Thursday, January 2, 2014

Discipline...

Over the last six months, I've done some serious evaluating. Making the decision to become a full-time stay-at-home mom was a difficult but exciting choice, and from the moment we felt led to take that leap, my mind was spinning.

I'm passionate about becoming a godly mom and wife, and let me tell you, God isn't starting with much here. I have such a short fuse and half the time, I don't even realizing I'm snapping.

I could go on, but much of what I've discovered about disciplining my children over time is that, it's less about changing their behavior and more about changing mine.

So hard.

Tonight wore me down. We're coming off the heels of Christmas and my three year old has been sick for the past week. Couple being spoiled with gifts, junk food and late nights with fevers and constant TV, and you've got a recipe for a disaster. She's been in full meltdown mode.  I've said before that I think consistency is the key; whatever your method, be prepared to follow though - first time and every time. I realize this is sometimes easier said than done.

Matt went back to work today, Hannah to school, and Emma opened her eyes ready to conquer all in her path. It started with getting dressed, wearing a coat, not being allowed to watch TV, banging her knee, throwing toys and refusing to put shoes on. I was tired before 8:30am.

Leaving my parents' house today, I told her either way, she had to put her shoes on to leave. If she fought with me about it, she couldn't have her music in the car. She tested that - and had a music-less ride home.

Later this evening, our little spitfire, refused to eat her dinner, sit on the potty, take a bath and put on her pajamas. After many warnings and punishments, little Emma went to bed before 7:00pm. I sat and rocked a hysterical little girl, begging for a 100th chance. Watching her trying to catch her breath from crying so hard, I wanted to give in. I was fighting back tears. I had to stick to my guns. If I don't follow through, she will never take me seriously, follow the rules, or learn to be disciplined. She won't understand that their are consequences for her actions.

I couldn't help but think of how God is with us. He doesn't want to discipline us. But he wants us to be healthy and whole. He gives us chance after chance. He wants us to do the right thing. It's not about him torturing us when we make a mistake. It's about making us a little uncomfortable when we're knowingly making bad decisions so that we redirect our paths. It's out of complete love. It's so hard for me to grasp,  especially as someone who can tend to be anxious, but looking at my baby and refusing to give in, I understood. It broke my heart. I was glad it was dark in her room because, as her little eyes stared at me piercing my soul, tears were stinging mine.

She's sound asleep, exhausted from not feeling well, and I'm praying tomorrow is a better day. I'm drained but confident that tonight, I did the right thing, helping Emma take a baby step toward a more fulfilling life.

Parenting is hard. I wonder how God feels.

Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.


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