Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

.the value of truthfullness.

Wednesday night, while I was cooking dinner for our little family and a friend, my boys were quietly coloring at the dining room table. It was so peaceful and quiet. That should have been clue number one that something was amis. We were laughing and chatting in the kitchen, the meal just about complete. All of a sudden, Dylan ran into the room. But not your typical, racing speeds shouting something unintelligible.

He ran straight to me, and wrapped himself around my legs. He hid his head between my knees. And he wasn't letting go. He said something along the lines of '"oh no", at least I think that is what he said.... He began to pull me towards the doorway that leads to our living room, all the while his grip on my leg remained firm. He was hesitant to take me to his destination, but also seemed like he knew he had to tell me something. He has never done this before.

And so, I walked around the bend to find my cream colored couch covered with orange marker. To his credit, he had a piece of paper with a lovely drawing in said orange marker, smack dab in the middle of the rest of his masterpiece. I have to admit, I loudly said, "oh no!!!" And then the boy got a stern talking to.


But then I laughed.

And then I was grateful.

This may sound crazy, or completely like I have lost my mind. Maybe. I wouldn't be too surprised! But in that moment, I had a realization, one that I think has been brewing in my heart and mind for a week or two. My son was being honest. He was being truthful. He did not try to hide his wrongdoings. Instead, he came to me and brought me to the scene of his crime. Maybe he was proud of his artwork. But I don't think that was it. I think he was experiencing conviction. I think he knew he had done something wrong, and chose not to try to hide it. If you have a two year old, or know my Dylan, then you must know that this is not typical.

As much as the added work of cleaning this new mess up is not my favorite way to spend my time, I would much rather have this moment, so clear and real to see God's grace at work in my little rebel, than a perfectly clean couch.

You see, for many many months now, I have been at a complete loss as to how to be a faithful parent to this boy. He is so very unlike my first two sons. He is always on the go, into everything, extremely brave and adventurous, curious about everything, and a mess maker extraordinaire. He has a temper, and I have been the victim of many a slapping, hitting, hair pulling fits of rage. He can huff around like a 4 or 5 year old, and does not like to obey his momma. To say he has a strong will would be a pretty accurate description.

I have found myself humiliated when in public he has thrown a fit at me, and I have tried to restrain his blows. I have prayed in earnest for wisdom in this matter. My other two sons were nothing like this. It has left me feeling totally helpless at times.

I have wondered, what I have done wrong in raising him. I have wondered if all the time we have had to spend with Jack at the hosptial has had a negative effect on Dylan. I knew I could be better and more diligent in training him, and yet always felt perplexed how this little rebel came from me! Yet, there are so many moments when I see myself in him so clearly. It is so clear where he gets some of his feisty side from, that he comes from a passionate momma is a factor as well.

And so, for the past month or so, I have been dedicating myself to training him to obey and to control his temper. Holding him close to me when he wants to run and hit, lots of pretentding what not to do and the right way to respond, time outs and discapline. I have been seeking to respond to him right away, instead of allowing other things around the house to take up my time. Dylan has been project number one, well, maybe not #1, but certainly a priority. And to the joy of my heart, by the grace and mercy of God, we have begun to see a little change in him. He is still a sinner who needs a savior, but that is the amazing thing. I no longer view him as problem I do not know how to handle. I now see him as a sinner, who I can amaze with the love of Christ as I parent him day after day.

The Lord was stirring something in my heart, but it wasn't until I read this blog post from Lysa TerKerurst that it all came together. I am so grateful my friend Esther posted it on FB and I clicked and read. Here is an expert from her post:

"I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart. I started sensing He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.

Maybe God’s goal wasn’t for me to raise a good rule following child. God’s goal was for me to raise a God-following adult. An adult just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along."

and then the comment from a woman who said the following:

"When my son was a toddler I complained to my pediatrician that he was such a handful. “He is strong willed, stubborn, tells me no when I ask him to do things, and is into everything” I said. “What can I do?”
My doctor’s reply was simple and has stuck with me throughout my son’s life. “All these characteristics that you are complaining about now are what are going to make him successful in the future. Do you want a teenager who says yes to all the peer pressure? Do you not want a curious child who will explore and question the world around him? Do you not want a child that is stubborn and willful in his values and beliefs?”
I was taken back and realized he was right. Now my son is a senior is high school. He has never had a B on a report card because he is too stubborn to accept less than his best. He tells his friends no to drinking and smoking. His curiosity has led him to dig into the complex world of biology and is hoping to become a pediatric oncologist.

Embrace the personality your child was given, it is a gift from God."

I know TerJeurst says it better than I ever could. I am amazed at how the Lord has helped refine my perspective of my little rebel. I am so grateful that I see him more as a little boy with so much personality, all perfectly put together by a loving Father. That all the things that make him so strong willed and exploratory, and wild, and creative, intelligent, and adventurous; well those are all the exact qualities the Lord put into him for His purposes. Instead of trying to change Dylan into a well behaved boy, I am able to value the things that make him so unique and try to help him learn how to exercise self control and wisdom.

Sorry for the long post. I just don't want to forget what the Lord is teaching me through my sweet crazy boy and the grace He gave me in the midst of the chaos. I am grateful that by the grace of God, I can look at my messy marker covered house, and value growing truthfullness over cleanliness. I hope my sons grow up consistently encountering a momma that is gentle when they confess, slow to anger, and that the Lord would help me to shower them with love and mercy, as He has shown me the same. Today I am grateful.


Janet said...

good stuff Tali, thanks for sharing.

Momma.Smart said...

great stuff Tali! I've had to remind myself of similar things with Nyah and how all these "negatives" could really be turned into something great later on. So thankful that God is ultimately in control and providing all the grace. We will have lots of stories to tell our little ones when they are older :)

Jan said...

Wow! I love it that Dylan chose to come get you instead of hiding it or ignoring it. How God is working in moments of crises is so important and so hard to do. I am glad you had the grace for that. For me, I have been trying lately not to project negatively into the future--"how can he possibly provide for a family one day if he can't remember to bring his homework home from school".
Yet what you wrote is such a better way! Project into the future with FAITH instead. Thanks friend.

Rebecca Holter said...

Stellar job, my dear Tali. I marvel at the clarity of your sight. Love you.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful post, Tali. Thank you for sharing!