“When you are standing in the middle of a storm you have two choices: Pray to God that it goes away. Or, start praying to God that he gives you the wisdom to figure out why you’re standing in the middle of a storm.” –Shannon L. Alder
Isn’t it amazing how kids from one family can be so different? I mean totally different. It’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get when you are having children.
My daughter is typical first born. She is pretty much obedient and a rule follower. My older son tests the boundaries a little bit more, but I could always get him to straighten up with the “momma evil eye.” But, when my youngest son was born he came out stubborn…..just like his momma!
Raising a stubborn child can totally have its challenges. So much so, that I usually carried a spanking spoon in my purse, and 2 in the car just for insurance! From the time he was about 18 months old until about 3 1/2 years old, any time we travelled outside of our home, our whole family would become tense because we never knew what could set him off and the wailing would commence. He actually bit my car door one time! Who does that?
One time in particular, I decided to take the kids to Panera. Yay! Fun outing with mom and the kids. On the way there, we were talking about what everyone wanted to get. My youngest decided he wanted a soda AND a cookie. Yeah…about that soda AND cookie. I told him that he could have a choice. He could either have a cookie OR a soda, but not both. That actually went over pretty well. He said that he really wanted a cookie. So, that was that.
When we got to Panera, we were all ready. There wasn’t a very long line, and the kids were like little angels. We ordered our meal, got our cookies and cups, and went to fill our drinks. I handed everyone their drinks, and then it happened. I really don’t know if he forgot about the choice he made or what, but when he saw that cup of water his angel wings turned into demon fangs. “I DON’T WANT WATER!!!” My heart began to race a little bit. Ummmm…remember you chose water. You wanted a cookie instead of a soda. I tried to say it very nonchalant so that it wasn’t like this huge deal. You know, kinda skim over it. But, he wasn’t having any of it. In his most disrespectful irritating 3-year-old voice (y’all know exactly what that sounds like) he said, “I told you, I don’t want water!!!” My face is getting red. I look around and people are looking at me. My other kids start to try to talk to him, but they are just making it worse. The people behind the counter are cutting their eyes our way. I try to make light of it. “Haha… where is his mother? “ I say and giggle a bit. But, then it happened. Something I didn’t count on. He lifted the massively full cup of water with his little chubby fingers over his head and proceeded to throw it full force at the cash register. When it hit the counter, it exploded. And I don’t use that world lightly. It was like a water grenade. It drenched the cashier, the people in the head of the line, and the entire floor. We all stood there with our mouths hanging open. No one moved….
Of course I got all of our food to go. We ran out of there like we were running from the scene of a crime. He screamed and yelled all the way home. When we finally got home, I had him go upstairs in his room until he could settle down enough to actually make sense. Eventually the crying stopped, and we were able to talk through it. He said he was just mad at his choice. When he saw the soda, he decided that he didn’t want the cookie, but the soda instead. But, by then it was too late. I wouldn’t let him have both. Geez!
Boy…I could totally relate to how he felt.
How many times in my own life have I made choices that ,later, I wish I hadn’t? How many times have I wished I would’ve done this instead of that? And then when I’m mad, or pitching my own little fit because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I blame God for not letting me have it my own way.
The Lord has a way of lovingly teaching us our lessons. If you are in a time in your life where the Lord is teaching you something, know this: He loves the one He disciplines. He knows exactly what you need. He loves us enough not to keep us where we are, but to take us where we need to be. And, just like a loving parent, He will guide you where you are going, even if you are kicking and screaming.
“because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” Hebrews 12: 6-8