I had a moment yesterday. Actually, I had a few moments…but I’ll stick to sharing the one that really stuck with me.
I picked up the kids from school that afternoon, just like normal, except for two things…Baylor got pink, which is the highest of the good behavior colors – I won’t go into how I feel that this new color conduct system teaches kids that good works makes you a good kid – I’ll save THAT for another blog…or not – Anyhoo, Baylor worked her way up to pink and Maggie was super quiet….both quite out of the ordinary. I pat Baylor on the back for getting pink and tell Drew man that green was great, as well. Good job kiddodinks. Maggie makes it just past the play ground and tears just start streaming down her cheeks. I suddenly feel empathy for Michael when, in the past, I’ve been overwhelmed to the point of tears in a restaurant or any public venue, and he has, immediately and without a touch of sympathy, whisper-yelled at me to, “Stop that crying!” His fear of judgmental strangers fueled his blatant disregard for my raw emotional state (I’m not bitter). Every fiber of my being wants to tell her to hold off on the waterworks ’til we make it to the car – I’d hate for another parent to think I’m as insensitive as I actually am sometimes… but I restrain myself, which is proving to be a difficult task, especially when she’s steadily chanting, “I’m so mad at myself! I’m so mad at myself!”
I simply could not imagine what could possibly have happened that would spur such emotion from a nine year old. Come to find out, my perfectionist daughter made a less than stellar grade on her history test. She was SO upset with herself for not studying properly. If you know me, you know that I never really took school seriously – So this level of self-loathing over a grade on a test is just beyond my comprehension. I really dig deep and tell her, “Well Mag, we’ll just go home and study the information, learn it and move forward.” She looks at me like I’m nuts and exclaims, “I hate myself!”
I was more upset that she actually said that about herself than the fact that she flunked her history exam. I stopped us in the middle of the parking lot full of possible judgement and told her to NEVER say that again about herself. I sent a prayer up in the form of an emotion that I’m sure God interpreted as, “Please help me say the thing that will help the most…Please speak through me!” I asked her, “Maggie, have you ever stayed mad at a friend, when they have hurt you, for as long as you’ve been mad at herself today?” She, of course, replied, “No.” I then told her that she should treat herself with the same forgiving spirit that she strives to treat her friends with.
When she spoke that way to herself, it was like she looked me in the eyes and told me that she hated me. That child is my heart. If she doesn’t learn how to deal with disappointment in the small things, she’ll crumble when life throws her some real curveballs. This being a parent is tough. “Hello, I’m Captain Obvious!” We hurt when they hurt – But it’s our job to suck it up and be the vessel for God to speak to them through. We gotta be clean vessels, y’all. I can’t be dusty and full up with filth and then expect to hear Him and then translate His voice clearly to my precious babies. My desire is to speak the words to my kids that will really challenge the way they think, and redirect their focus from themselves to Jesus – To His purposes…His grace…His forgiveness.
Anytime that God really speaks to my heart, I just feel like I have to share it! Isn’t life so sweet? God always turns my struggles into something beautiful for His eternal purposes. I sure do appreciate Him for doing that for me. XOXO, Beck