Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Solomon {Interruptions vs Opportunities}

{He loves these giant balls so we had ourselves a ball party.}

He's got the strongest personality of the six under this roof.

He's opinionated, jealous & prideful.  He is certain that he knows more than anybody knows and he will not back down.

He's also determined, convincing, tender, passionate, & loving__ Oh__soo__loving.

He comes in close and squeezes my cheeks with his pudgy little hands. He loves to hold my hand (on his own terms of course) and he lavishes kisses and gives full body hugs all day long.

His voice__ his sweet little voice__ it'll make you smile even when you think you're angry.

His newest thing, when I say "I love you Solomon," is to respond with, "I love me too!"

He's animated and expressive and insanely cute which makes it crazy hard to discipline him.

He's been my hard one.

But I'm learning a deep heart lesson right now.

The other day he introduced himself to a friend, "Me Solomon. Me crazy." (He doesn't use proper pronouns yet.)

When I heard him say the word "crazy" my heart sank.

I long to speak life into my kids. And the truth of the matter is that my Solomon is so outwardly challenging in every aspect of my life in this season, that the word crazy just naturally falls off my tongue. I'm fairly certain it hasn't damaged him for life at this point. But he is hearing the way that we talk about him. And he's hearing words that are not making his soul stronger (Ephesians 4:29).

Yes, he challenges me to the core, but I think I have been looking at the challenge the wrong way. I have spent much of my mothering years looking at the challenging moments as interruptions from more important things, when in reality they are really opportunities to truly foster the most important thing__ the heart.

A little boy refusing to obey is really an opportunity to remind that boy of the unspeakable joy that comes from willingly coming up under God's authority in his life.

A yelling little boy, demanding that his brother give him the truck that he wasn't even playing with just because he doesn't want his brother to have it, is really an opportunity to teach that precious heart about stepping up and laying himself down, because living a life for others is so much richer than living a life for self.

A crazy dinner hour with a little boy who doesn't want to eat what's given to him, is an opportunity to speak gratitude into the boy, to kindly hold him accountable to a grateful heart. He doesn't have to like everything given to him, but he can refrain from calling everything that he doesn't like, "yucky," and he can learn to say thank you to his chef for working hard to make good healthy food for his body.

A little boy who can't seem to gently pat his sister on the back, brings opportunity to show that boy what a gentle touch looks like, to show him with my own actions how to practice kindness and self control with the people around him.

Do these same scenarios come up a dozen times a day?


Do I get tired of repeating myself?


Is this wonderfully made little soul under my roof worthy of my time?


More so than the laundry, or the meal prep, or the math lesson?


His precious heart is worthy of a perspective change on my part.

Seeing these challenging years as opportunities and not interruptions is molding my little guy's heart, much more so than when my exasperated self kept trying to micro-manage his behavior. It's changing our family culture and bringing joy back into our days.

There's no such thing as a perfect kid and there's no such thing as a perfect Mama. God put the two together that they BOTH might grow into His likeness through a life time of seeking His face.

My little man is three today and I have been asking myself these questions__

Have I led my boy to the foot of the cross today?

Have I shown Him God's greatness and grace?

Have I lowered my voice and lowered my posture so that my eyes meet his and my own actions are able to imitate Christ's humility?

"The mundane, ordinary things are genuinely tremendous undertakings requiring Christ-courage. 
Who has the courage to live a life of little, unnoticed sacrifices? Loving an angry child, making a bed, kneading dough in the kitchen. Voluntarily picking up a trail of discarded socks. Gratefully, folding up a damp towel abandoned on the bathroom floor. Carefully placing a tossed pair of shoes into the closet.
This is our life: a mosaic of little things, daily sacrifices in small, quiet pieces. 
And it's beautiful because at its very essence, this Christ-life is about the little things being the greatest things of all. Christ Himself told us: Whoever wants to be great in God’s kingdom must learn to be a servant of all. And when will I hands-and-mouth-and-feet-remember that this little stuff is the truly noble stuff—the Jesus-stuff? Didn’t He too do great things that seemed so little: washing feet, and gathering children close on lap? Dying on a tree. In His kingdom heroes live hidden, medal-less lives, lives laid down.” 

If we really wanna raise these kids up, we've got to get down low, and ask the Lord to help us steward well the souls He's given us.