This might sound a bit odd, but stick with me! God answers prayer in the strangest circumstances sometimes!
We had a rough week and a really rough weekend of the kids listening, doing what they know they should be doing around the house, etc which means lots of reminders, attitude, consequences...not the makings of a great summer break, right?! This weekend especially Brooke was struggling a lot with something and it was catchy with the rest of the family. There were some kind moments, but an overwhelming amount of attitude, impulsive comments and behavior, doing what she wanted despite the impact it had on others...when she's in the mode, she forgets to listen to her body and we end up with accidents. Not cool when she's capable, see our perpetuating cycle? We had a family circle meeting - talking seriously about what our family looks like, how we relate to and help each other, and ask for help or a break, and challenged each of us to show each family member love or kindness at some point during the day - every day.
The next day was another struggle for many kids, but again Brooke specifically. When we had time to talk, I checked in on her challenge. She answered honestly and by 6pm said she was only kind to Landon by helping him get a toy. Yikes! still time to turn it around - no wonder it's been rough though!
Next day, a good day for a few kids, but again rough for Brooke. Friday we had bought a slip n slide but we were in no shape to use it til Sunday. Brooke had to sit out as a consequence (our theory is they're learning-consequences and when smaller ones don't work, we need bigger consequences). It hurt for her to not play, but after calming down, she, Landon, and I sat on the porch and talked about her thoughts and feelings. There's a lot in there! :)
Fast forward, rough day today with a sitter and I was feeling at my wits end. Looking back at my words with her for the last few days, it was pretty negative and that's hard - she didn't do much to hold up her end, but I was really at a loss to help her! I told her, God trusted Mom and Dad to help raise you guys to be like Him and I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job - help me out here!
Remember that post about keep my eyes about the waves? She saw a poster of that phrase in my computer last night...Today's devotional was about Paul's thorn in his flesh (in this worldly place). Boy, this sounds bad, but this weekend I felt like I had a 6 yr old thorn! Then I was reminded about her thorns. How badly I wanted this to change, I bet she does too but doesn't have the words for it! Paul said he boasted about his weakness because in that, God's power is made strong! These are lessons He's teaching me, but I couldn't see the birds eye view in the thick of it this weekend!
Today I asked for help praying to figure out how to help her, stick with consequences and show her love. It wasn't until a few steps into the answer did I see, but God answered - in the middle of the mess tonight, when I recognized my need for him. During devotions tonight she stopped and said she need to go potty (end up having diaherra...). From the bathroom she called for me to help since she didn't feel well. God gave me compassion and not frustration. She talked calmly about how she was feeling (I'll spare you the details!) and suggested we read Corduroy while she keeps trying. Well, it took so long that Nich told her he'd finish devotions with the others and she said (not pouted or yelled) that she was disappointed but I offered to read it together just us after she was done. She finished on the potty, stayed calm, we read about nothing being impossible with God (how fitting right?!). She remembered a time when the Israelites were leaving Antartica :) and it seemed impossible but God helped. I told her about a time something seemed really hard (figuring out how to move past the weekend) but I prayed and needed help praying because I was really frustrated and God helped make it possible and spending time with her way sweeter!
Seriously?! God, I'm so thankful You're in our everyday and helping us navigate through this life for what You have in store!