Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Tomato Said it Best

If you've been a parent for long, surely God has used veggie tales at some point to remind you of a spiritual truth. It sounds ridiculous, but there has been more than one occasion that I've found myself crying over a talking vegetable reading a Bible verse. Go ahead...laugh....keep laughing.....
Okay, now, can we get on with this?
The cool thing about God is that he knows what we need before we do. Like last night, when I watched the Gideon movie with Linco.
There were so many things that I thought were amazing about Gideon's story. How he trusted the Lord to provide his strength, How God had chosen him to carry out this trust and see a great working of God's strength, and that he was weak.

So much I could relate to. But then I clicked off the power, and started to put Lincoln to bed. Little did I know I was about to face the hardest battle I had ever had as a mommy.

We started going through the bedtime routine and he started to disobey. I began dealing with it, and he continued to refuse to disobey. I can't describe specifically what was going on, but I began to flounder when I saw nothing I told him to do had any weight. I would tell him to do something, and he'd coldly stare back at me and calmly ignore me as if I had said nothing. I kept telling him to do the same thing and he continued to refuse.
This went on for entirely too long (me feeling frantic and terrified of how long this would happen--I HAD no collateral) until I threatened to throw away his beloved (and most prized) Larry Boy mobile.

Guess what...It's gone (your kid might be getting it for Christmas). That....was really hard, and later I shed many more tears about having to throw away the Larry Mobile (I know...in John's words "It's just a toy".)

Finally, the straw that broke it was threatening to throw away his favorite stuffed animal (which I would have done, and hated even more). He complied and broke down.

Okay....before you start on me--let me tell you that I know! I look back and see all the things I could have done differently, I could have set a timer and given him some time to think and walked away--prayed my face off--then walked back and asked him to make a different choice. I could have been more loving and reassuring in the midst of it. But in it...I was pathetic.
I put him to bed, called John and bawled my eyes out all night long. Bemoaning my "unfit"-tedness as a mother, the fact that I'm ruining my kids and that surely they're going to end up as drug dealers or drag queens some day because of my lack of wisdom. I finally fell asleep, way earlier than normal, exhausted and with eyes so swollen from crying I couldn't see out of them (but somehow resisted the urge to drown my sorrows in an entire bag of Halloween candy).
This morning, I woke up feeling like I never wanted to set foot on the ground again, and I sure didn't want to do the mommy thing today.
I got up anyways, and began to read my Bible. I decided to read....Gideon.

Here's what God showed me:
1. God refused to drive out the enemies of the Israelites as he did before as a test of their reliance on him (Judges 2:17-18). Isn't this the same thing as my situation? Every time Lincoln disobeys, and I have a chance to deal with his disobedience, I am doing so out of obedience to God. I am addressing Linc's rebellion because I have to obey God. It's a chance for me to respond to God with obedience, and respond to my kids with love and gentleness (instead of what I want to do, which is ignore it and look the other way). The point is not to get really good kids, but to grow closer to God in the way I parent (or do anything for that matter).

2. "When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." (Judges 6:12) God is also with me, the outcome of my kids depends not on my own strength or amazing parenting, but to God, who will work in Lincoln's life in some way, no matter what I do. I put way too much stock in my own actions. Also, he called Gideon a mighty warrior, even before he was one. Just like God sees me as all the wonderful and perfect things I have inherited in Christ, even before I have become them.

3. In Hebrews 11:34 Gideon is spoken of in the "Faith hall of fame" as being one "whose weakness was turned into strength" and "who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies". This is all attributed to Gideon because of his faith in God. Not because of his skill, wisdom, or quickness with the sword. How--too- can my weakness not be turned into strength as I respond to God with obedience?

4. "The Lord turned to him and said "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" Judges 6:14
Now, we can know from scripture and the promises of God to us who believe two things: 1. We have strength too (God's spirit lives in us) and 2. He has chosen us.
I have been chosen to take care of these children I've been given. I could give you countless scriptures about how God has appointed us as mommies to be there with our kids, training and raising them. So there's no mistake there. Also, I have the strength from God's Spirit living in me to do good to my kids, and obey God.
All it takes is applying that faith in this in my own life.

So today, I'm beginning fresh. Believing in what God says, and holding on to this whole "mighty warrior" thing. If you see me at the grocery store wearing my kids plastic costume armor...now you know. Have a great day, mighty warrior!


Tamara said...

Love this! These battles are the hardest, but we're fighting them to win our children's hearts for Christ. In the end our children will make their choice, and Lord willing, they will remember how hard their mom battled--that they would see the love of Christ through us--and our children will choose to also follow Christ.

thinkingwoman said...

Love this!