Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Will Get SO MAD

If you read my last post, you might be thinking, "I know she said Spriritual Parenting wasn't about behavior, but I bet her stories are going to be about a little girl whose behavior is changed because she followed the advice in the book."

You'd be half right. I wanted to tell you that kind of story. But then our actual evening happened and inside I laughed at the story that the Holy Spirit seemed to want me to tell. It was one that speaks to the truth of parenting.

Tonight when my youngest didn't get her way, right before bedtime she threatened, "I will get SO MAD!" Eyes closed. Little cheeks flushed. Fists clenched at her sides. Will get mad? She was already SO MAD.

Spiritual parenting opportunity.

We'd had a great evening. No blow-ups, aka "passionate" moments. I had spent special one on one time with her reading for a half hour less than an hour earlier.

When this happens, we have learned to have the expected consequence, which her very social nature detests. She sits on her bed to calm down. She growled, I don't know what else to call that guttural extrusion of breathe that perfectly punctuates frustration. When she got to her bed she must have been uncertain that we could hear the "growling" so it switched to more of a scream.

And we wait.

I looked at Eric and asked, "So does she miss family devotions tonight?" It was all I could do not to laugh at the parenting dilemma we held in front of us.

Spiritual parenting opportunity.

"No," he said, rising and walking down the hall.

In a few seconds the screaming stopped. I could hear nothing more than what sounded like a rumble, the muffled sound I know to be Eric's "I'm-so-tired-but-I-am-calm-and-controling-my-emotions" voice.

Ten minutes later we are all sitting in the living room, praying that the Holy Spirit would give us wisdom when we read the "sticky situation" described in the devotional book we were going through.

We open up to May 11, The Accident. Kids witness an accident and they have to determine how they are to respond. When they worried about whether or not it was okay to go to a strangers house to ask for help I asked how they would feel if it was Mom or Dad in the car and some kids were debating whether or not to knock on a strangers door. Gracie burst into tears, "I don't want YOU to DIE!"

Very passionate.

Spiritual parenting opportunity.

We talked about death and where we go when we die, if we know and love Jesus, and yes, the other alternative, if we don't know and love Jesus. And we talked about how Jesus is there right now, preparing a place for us. And then Gracie said, "And Mary will already be there too." Yes. Jesus' mother, Mary is there too.

Spiritual parenting opportunities.

Passionate hearts are ripe for deep conversations about things that matter most.

In these passionate moments we are given a sometimes split second opportunity to claim the moment to be redeemed by the Holy Spirit. It isn't our own wisdom. My wisdom would have told Gracie to go to bed for the night and miss out on the rest of the evening with the family. Her behavior was deplorable. (I'd have used kid-friendly language of course.) And we would have missed out on a conversation I believe the Holy Spirit wanted to have.

Spiritual parenting opportunities worth taking.


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