viernes, 3 de junio de 2016

Giving God the finger

Not a lot has happened since the last post. Well, that's a misunderstanding, I guess. I just don't feel the urge of writing every single detail that goes on in my life or in my children's lives. I don't know. I know that I will forget things, and that is okay sometimes, too.

I do collect memories, but I don't want to be obsessed with remembering. It's easy for me to obsess with things - whatever that will get my mind of thinking about my own problems - or so I'm learning in my counseling. 

I'm thinking lately more and more about eternity... I'm trying to wait on God to tell me or show me what it is that I am supposed to be doing for the rest of my life in lieu of raising my children. Ever since I came to this country I had wanted to work, but I was never able. Now I'm able but I have children, and I've been giving it a thought whether or not to work - eventually. We spent sometime the other day with Emerson's boss (ex-boss I should say), and his wife. They are a very sweet couple in their sixties, I think. I talked to her about many things that go through my mind, and while she never say I shouldn't work, I left their house that night thinking that my job at home is more difficult than I realize it is, and more important than I think it is. 


Emerson got a bench for his birthday


I also left the house feeling encouraged because my children were very good that night... then the next day I was faced with my boy spitting on my face at the library. Literally. It was very challenging to suck it all up, and don't smack his face. He was right in my ear and he blew a raspberry to show his disapproval when I asked him to do something. And I felt ashamed, and humiliated. I felt so discouraged after that. Specially because it seems I didn't do anything about it. Not even coming home, or in the car. I was furious. But he was so upset that if I had given him a spanking it only would've gotten worse - way worse. 

I'm learning to "Give it to the Lord".  Like the other day I got into an argument with Emerson and he said things that six months ago would have been awful for me to hear. God has shown me, however, that my worth is not on what Emerson says about me. So I let him go free of my mental prison, and I was able to forgive him. I told God it hurt. But that I was willing to let him go free. Then five minutes later, BAM! Emerson apologizes for having said what he said in a very specific way as if I had told him what actually hurt. I think in my circle that's when the Holy Spirit convicts you. I gave it to God, and God - not me - dealt with Emerson.


Ana's dress for her birthday

Regarding Enzo and Libby, though... I always take it in my own hands. Driving back home I was crying, and I was telling God so many things... Feelings that I felt. I was disrespected. I was angry. He deserved to be punished. And I felt like a terrible mom. He had been so rude to me. I was able to actually see how my feelings fluctuated from one day to another. But God is the only one who has never changed. And I realized once again that feelings are feeling and sometimes - most of the times - in situations like this I cannot trust them, and I have to evaluate them against God's truth. 

I think God has been showing me lately that many of the times I have given consequences to my children, it has been to get even. You know, to make them pay. I have punished many times instead of disciplined. As a follower of Jesus, that is not love. Not the love that God has for me anyway. God comforted my heart on the drive home by showing me that He also was humiliated and disrespected on the cross... and He didn't retaliate. I remembered one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament, Phillippians 2:5-8,

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 










I used to think my way was the only way, and the right way. But I do not have all the answers about being a mom. I apparently let Enzo go free. But I could no longer give him a consequence out of my own anger and my hurting pride. God comforted me by reminding me about the verse above, and how humiliated He also felt. 

Then I also remembered some parts of a Psalm that I have memorized lately, Psalm 103:7-10



The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.

   


I was still angry, though. I kept on crying telling God I knew about that, but that Enzo needed to pay. He had wronged me. He, figuratively, had given me the finger. In public. He had shamed me. And I mean, after a while, I think I came to the conclusion that throughout my whole life I had also given God the finger - many times. So it's not like Enzo was doing something awful or that it was my place to be self-righteous. Yes, he sinned against me, but basically it came to a matter of pride for me, and love is not proud. 



















"WTH... so you're saying I should let him go free?", I asked God in my mind. 

I don't know if He answered or not, but I ended up thinking about the episode with Emerson - where I gave it to the Lord. God dealt with him. And I had NEVER EVER done that with my children. I am the one teaching them right from wrong. I am the one who guides them. I am the one responsible for their spiritual being. But I don't think I had ever given my children to the Lord in that sense. If they disobeyed me, they had paid the consequences. And of course, there is a balance. Children need consequences for their actions. 

But I think God is teaching me to love unconditionally - something that I lack badly. Being in counseling I've learned I give to get. I was raised that way. I have manipulated my way to get love - the love that I was never given by my parents.  So even though a follower of Jesus is supposed to love unconditionally, I haven't been a very good follower in that regard. 


Exhausted

And seriously, with Enzo... Loving unconditionally hurts. It is difficult to let go of that pride. I was rightfully angry at him, but that is what forgiveness means. I had him as a prisoner in my mind because he needed to pay. Yes, he owed me. But I had to let him go. That is what forgiveness is, to say, "You don't owe me".

So anyway, I held the consequence until I was able to tell Enzo that I forgave him for what he had done to me. He couldn't care less, of course. He kept on misbehaving all day. I would think he was tired, but then he is tired all freaking day all days lately, hahahah!!

I don't know... it took me several hours being grumpy and moody with him and Libby, but little by little, I think God soften my heart. I had never asked God to soften my heart in regards to my children. But I told Him I just didn't know how to give it to Him - my son. My husband was a grown up man. The Lord could deal with him, but my son... I had to deal with my son because he is my son. But I was honest about the fact that I didn't want to let go of Enzo, and I asked God to help me. And Enzo was being cute... Oh, I remember!!  Enzo read the word sad.

That day we were reading books, and Enzo began memorizing one. He saw a picture of a monster that looked sad, so he said the monster was sad. Whether he read the word or not, or figured the word out because of the monster's face it's not important. I was so happy. Libby cheered. Enzo couldn't believe his eyes. He had read a word!! Libby and I hugged him, and just like that I realized that I am the one who is supposed to show him how to forgive. 















I need to follow Jesus so my children follow me. We all follow Jesus, but they will be first imitators of me (which is not biblically random... Paul asked people to imitate him). I finally let Enzo go free. I had given him to the Lord, and I stopped being grumpy with Enzo. I don't know if the Lord dealt or will deal with Enzo. Based on my experience, God hasn't dealt with me the way I deserve to be dealt with. All I know is I was free from feeling that I had to make my son pay for what he had done to me.

Yes, Enzo kept misbehaving. So I did give him a consequence. He went to bed without playing with Libby. That broke his heart, but I was in control of my emotions, and it was not in anger or pride that I disciplined him ;)

Ok, so.. what else? Oh yeah, the dogs have fleas. We had to vacuumed the whole house, and hopefully they will be gone soon. A week later, we still found one upstairs. We vacuumed again. Libby and Enzo got free haircuts. And Libby keeps on cheering Enzo about reading. I think she's so darn cute praising him for "reading" when he doesn't even look at the book. She's clueless about the fact that he has the book almost memorized. Then again, I don't want to break anybody's bubble. After all, Libby learned to read exactly the same way. They'd better keep on reading that monster book even though it's missing the cover. I have to pay a fine because Mia ate it.


Enzo reads
















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