I can say that God has already been so faithful to gently let me know that I am doing SOME things right.
Thursday night, as I set my alarm clock, Dr. Dobson’s talk radio show was broadcasting. There I lie in my bed thinking about how this one of “those” radio shows. It was one of those that I would have turned off a short time ago, because it didn’t apply to me. Like the shelves in the bookstore that I have so often passed by, quietly thanking God that the books on helping children through divorce and the anger from a broken home were books I did not need. And there I lie. Wondering if there might be something I needed to hear from Dr. Dobson and his guest…. some information that I would prefer not to need, but none-the-less, find that I may need anyway. As I listen, I heard several words of wisdom that God had already divulged to me. There are several things that I have done or am doing that are good, helpful and prudent. Things that surely had been simple gifts of the direction of the Holy Spirit. For this, I am thankful.
We’ve already had our first meltdown. Sweet Joy cried herself to sleep Sunday night. Though she is my dramatic child, she isn’t likened to tears. She cries seldom… and those tears are rarely shed as a bedtime meltdown (2-3 times in her lifetime?).
Her tears were disguised as tears of frustration over her inability to keep her room clean. There has been a family member who used to “save the day” when she felt she couldn’t clean her room on her own. Rather than learning that she could “do it” (whatever “it” was), she learned to avoid the job or begin and give up. That has now stopped and I am thankful.
So, as tears flowed, I was able to console my sweet Joy and let her know that I knew she could clean her room, but that, in fact, she had to do it by herself. I would not clean her room for her. I knew she was capable. It was a big job, but she could succeed.
And succeed, she did. It took her two days to complete the job, but with some furniture exchanges in the house, she pulled it off. She asked for a bookshelf from another room and traded out a chest of drawers with her sister. Now, she points out, all of her furniture “matches” (it’s all a light oak, like her floor) and she’s organized again. She is so very proud of herself. I did not help her. I did not save her. I did not rob her of the ability of working towards a goal that appeared insurmountable. I did not take from her the pleasure of reaching a goal. She cleaned and organized her room – all by herself. And she is very proud.
As Joy sobbed uncontrollably after she crawled between the sheets, we talked. She eventually she calmed down. Though I suspected something else had upset her … because we often fall apart over the thing that really has nothing to do with our broken heart. Yet, I didn’t try to change the focus from the room. I just allowed her to cry, consoled her and encouraged her in her room-cleaning skills.
It is difficult to watch our children struggle, but if we don’t let them struggle when they are young, they will be ill prepared for adulthood.
I listened with encouragement to several points that Mr. Hart made. I’m thankful for that program …. the program that I would have earlier thought, “I’m so glad that I don’t need that.” God used it to let me know that I’m doing some right things although we’re walking through something I hoped I would never see.
Tomorrow will be one week. And we’re okay.