Even When It’s Difficult

Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.        Colossians 3:21

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt took Mason forever to learn how to whistle. Now that he knows how, he’s making up for lost time. Being able to whistle both in and out, he whistles unceasingly, morning, noon, and night. He whistles while tying his shoes, doing his homework, making his bed, you name it.

To me, it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. It bores a hole in my skull, leaving behind a throbbing ache. I’d rather poke my eyeballs out than hear one more second of whistling!

The thing is, Mason is whistling from a joyful heart. Despite my wanting to jump out a window every time he purses his lips, I’m fighting with every bone in my body not to yell at him for it. That would crush his spirit.

I have tried to make rules like, “No whistling before Mommy has her coffee,” and, “No whistling during homework time,” to get some relief. But Mason can’t seem to control himself. Whistling has become like breathing for him: he can’t imagine life without it.

Whistling isn’t the only thing in my household pushing me over the edge lately. Now that my kids are growing up, they’re making choices and doing things differently than I would. I don’t like that. The control freak in me much preferred when they were younger and did things my way, like little soldiers in my army. I know that’s not healthy; but it sure was easier, and kept me sane.

It makes me wonder HOW God can stand by and watch and hear what we do. I’m sure most of our choices resonate like fingernails on a chalkboard for Him. Yet, despite us repeatedly doing things differently than He’d prefer, He gives us free will nonetheless. More importantly, He does so with infinite and unconditional love.

I have to do the same for my kids. I HAVE to make it through this whistling phase (please God, make it just a phase…) without yelling at Mason. Instead, I have to encourage and  support him in his new found skill, one that brings him such joy.

After all, whistling is just my training ground. I need to make it through this baby step to mature as a mom. This is only the beginning of Mason and his siblings doing things and making choices that rub me the wrong way. As long as what they’re doing and choosing is safe, I need to affirm them. Otherwise they’ll never become their own people. And like God does for me, I need to extend infinite and unconditional love, no matter the choices they make.

Questions For Reflection:

     * Are my kids developing habits or skills that drive me crazy?

     * If what they’re doing is safe, can I encourage them to continue, even if it is difficult for me?

     * Do I recognize that God always extends infinite and unconditional love to me, no matter the choices I make?

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4 thoughts on “Even When It’s Difficult

  1. Claire. you learned it from the best of control freaks!! Don’t know how you all made it through! You definitely have more patience than I did and I know you will get through all the phases so much better than I did! xo

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    • Perspective is such a funny thing, Mom, because I see things completely differently. I remember, and still witness you being so patient. You are a great role model, no matter how humbly you deflect the compliment 🙂

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    • Thanks for your comment Maria. I don’t come by patience naturally and most times don’t come by it at all. But I’m trying… I wish I had found your website when my boys were little. My oldest, especially, was a train fanatic! For those who are interested, you can check out Maria’s train table website at: http://toytraincenter.com/

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