Monday, April 12, 2010

Battle Horse

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Proverbs 21:31

I like to think of myself as a horse in the Kid War. Every morning I get up and try to get myself ready for the day’s battle. I think of my plan of action, as in “If they act like they did yesterday, I’m gonna…” I ready my arsenal of timeouts, removal of prized possessions, spankings, and miscellaneous threats. I tell myself that I’m the mother and they will listen to me today! Of course, I am wrong most of the time.

I had a sticker in my cubicle back when I worked for the government that said, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Some days I think this saying is applicable to my life with my boys. Some days I’m not sure if I’m the one whose morale needs to improve or if it is theirs. I’m not sure if I’m the one giving the “beatings” or taking them. There is a lot of gray area that comes with motherhood.

And yet, we carry on. Most days, things go pretty smoothly even though my words fall on deaf ears. Most days, there is no bloodshed or serious injury caused by their not listening to my specific instructions. Most days, what I want them to do gets done even though it seems like they argue with me forever. And most days, it is me that probably needs a timeout more than they do, or at least a nap.

I seem to put a lot of effort into the first part of this verse, but forget about the but. I should really be praying more for patience and wisdom and guidance as to how best to teach my sons to be godly men, but I get caught up in trying to get them to always do what I want them to do, act the way I want them to act, wear what I want them to wear, and so on. Sometimes it’s hard just to let it go.

And so the horse is often frustrated – that explains the long face. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

Eventually, I will have to trust that what I’ve taught them has been good enough for them to make it out in the world on their own. Eventually, tests will come of their faith and beliefs and it is then that my mothering will be on display. Eventually, I will become painfully aware of some area that I must have missed. Eventually, I will have to come to the realization that I’ve not been in control the entire time. God has. And I’m only helping God shape them into the people that he knows they will be, regardless of how I think they should turn out.

Maybe all that arguing is just junior lawyer training. Maybe all the tuning me out is really honing their focusing skills. Maybe their perseverance and stubbornness will make them great role models to their children. Maybe they will love me despite my shortcomings, and put me in a nice nursing home someday!

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11


  1. Can I get an AMEN??? Loved it! Connie

  2. > "Most days, things go pretty smoothly even though my words fall on deaf ears." Just remember you're raising BOYS... who will become MEN who also have listening deficits! Part of it could be gender-specific.

    > "I should really be praying more for patience ..." I told a couple of friends that once, and they laughed outloud. They said, "Don't you know when you pray for patience, the Lord sends you LOTS of opportunities for you to develop your patience? Pray for something else!"

    > "Eventually, tests will come of their faith and beliefs and it is then that my mothering will be on display." If they don't make the right decision, is the parent to blame? Once or twice, maybe "yes." But after that, it's their own decision making skills and doesn't reflect on the parenting, in my opinion.

    Jer. 29:11... a great verse for optimists!

  3. Love it, love it, love it, I will tune in to see how things are going. You had an unconventional raising, and turned out great, so don't worry too much about your boys. There probably will always be a woman taking care of them!


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