To all my loyal fans out there, I apologize for the silence on my blog the past 2 months. It's been a whirlwind of summer activities, life changing decisions, and yard work (we finally planted vegetables in our garden, a long time dream of my 5 year old son). I have so many more recipes to post, but those will have to wait.
Tonight I am going to share a story. A true story. One that just occurred about an hour ago.
I've been struggling the past month or so, with my 5 year old son, at bedtime. Every night it is a battle. Every night, we part ways angry. I hate it. I've read books in search of tips and tricks and behavior modification. I've tried to change things up a bit, in hopes for a more successful bedtime, to no avail. Nothing I tried worked. Every night, I just wanted to throw in the towel of parenthood, and run away. But with my determination and stubbornness to see this through, (and my love for this adorable family God's given me!), I stayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed that tomorrow would be better. It very rarely was better. It usually got worse. I would have to give myself a Time-Out every night just to survive. I would put the kids to bed, and throw myself on the floor of my living room, face down, and just lay there. I wouldn't get up until I had vented out my frustrations in my head, and had returned to a normal breathing pattern. Then I would get up, feeling much better about life and all of it's nonsense, and go about my business. Which normally involved washing dishes, folding laundry, and hiding stray toys under the coffee table so I didn't have to deal with them that evening.
Tonight all that changed. Thanks to the sunset. After dealing with the same power struggle and feeling defeated and a failure as a parent, I walked back into my son's room, and said calmly, "Would you please come watch the sunset with me?" The look on my son's face was priceless. "Yes, I would", he said. Tears had been streaming down his face so we cleaned that up and made our way to the upstairs balcony. I pulled him up on to my lap and we discussed the color changes in the clouds and how beautiful the sunset was and how it looked like a big giant painting. I held him close, scratched his back, and kissed the back of his head, several times during the 45 minutes we sat out there. He asked me questions about the trees and bunny rabbits. I asked him questions about the sewage system and his matchbox cars. I told him stories about Jesus. I told him how God created the world and how now we get to enjoy the beauty of His creation. I told him that God created him and chose to give him to me and his daddy. I told him what a precious gift he was to us (caught by surprise only 6 months into our marriage we found out we were pregnant !!!), and that no matter what he said or did or did not say or did not do, that our love for him would always be the same.
Then he said to me, (and I almost cried!), "Tell me more about Jesus, mom. What is He like?". I told him who Jesus' parents were and that he was a carpenter (had to explain that in detail of course), and how He loved little children, and about His miracles of healing the sick and feeding the hungry. Then my son says, "Who is Jesus' son?" I said, "Jesus didn't have a son. We are all his sons and daughters because he died on the cross for us, so that we can spend forever with Him in Heaven. We are His kids, and He is our Heavenly Father". And he responded with (very matter-of-factually), "Mom. Jesus and God are the same thing. So if Jesus is God's son. But Jesus is also God, then Jesus is His own son." I was speechless. I love the way he thinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's still 5, right? Oh dear ...
Then we went on to discussing how fake grass sticks to the dirt and who made it, God or man, and how babies are born, and when should he get married, and where do bunny rabbits go when it gets dark, and who made trash cans, and how was God was able to pour so much salt in the ocean, and why there are so many beaches, but the same water connects them all, and why if God made plants and trees do they die if we don't water them, and who made the streets, and is the sky painted or did God just put it there every night, and how come the moon and sun are so different and where do they go when they aren't up in the sky, and how come the sky looks so close, but we can't reach it, etc, etc. etc.
Finally, it was so dark out, I said, "It's time to go to bed, Tristan.". He looks up at me and says, "Thank you, mom, this is just what I needed. Can we sit up here again tomorrow night before bed, and learn more about Jesus?"
I bet you all can guess what my answer was! Peace has been restored to my home, at least for tonight. I am thankful for the sunset. I am thankful for that 45 minutes I got just to "be" with my son, and listen to him talk. I got to answer his questions without interruptions. I got to enjoy, for the first time in months, putting my son to bed. I got through a song and prayer without hearing a peep of complaint, kissed my son goodnight, and walked out of his room, thanking God for this valuable moment!!!!
Could it be, that all kids need, is a few moments of their parent's UNDIVIDED attention? Just a few moments where the iPhone is turned off. The computer is out of reach. The television is downstairs. The younger siblings are asleep in their beds. The child is being held by loving arms and there is comfort and peace and love and COMMUNICATION. A relationship was formed tonight. And I can't wait to continue that relationship tomorrow night.
Thanks for listening. I finally have renewed hope that tomorrow will be a better day! For real this time!