Monday, October 6, 2008

bedtime battles

Last night
when Josiah came walking into the dining room at 10:30
I squeezed my eyes shut.
I buried my head in my arms;
tears burned my eyes
and threatened to spill out.
The boy has always been a champion sleep fighter.
If he could get paid for this ‘skill’
he’d be one rich little boy!
I told the boys when they went to bed
- I had them repeat it, so I knew we were clear -
Do not get out of bed
for any reason.
If you get up, you will be spanked.
We went through all the scenarios…..
45 minutes later
Josiah got up
(I forget now, why)
He got a good spanking
along with a reminder.
He stayed in bed till 10:30
and he just couldn’t stand it anymore.
I did not want to spank that boy!
Why did he have to get out of bed??
As I sat there with my head in my arms
I thought, “Oh God, I am so sorry!
How many times
have I caused You to want to shut your eyes
and pretend that, no, I did not just do that?”
I did not want to spank that boy!
How He must have hated punishing the Israelites
time and time again!
Tyler began singing
ever so softly
about God’s grace.
I gave him (Josiah, not Tyler) a ridiculously soft swat
and picked up that scrappy little boy and held him tight.
Then we all went to bed together
and he fell asleep holding my hand.
Which is all he really wanted (needed?) in the first place.
I wonder so often
When its all said and done
does it really matter??
Do I have to be right?
Does my word have to be law?
Will I ruin them forever
as Mr. Pearl suggests
if I do not ‘win every battle’?
If I did win every battle - would that amount to anything?
The bottom line is -
I want my children to obey
me, first - ultimately God
because they want to. They choose to.
Not because they fear the punishment,
but because they love me (and God)
and desire to please me (and God)
Lord, please, grant me wisdom.
James 1:5


  1. I've been frustrated lately, wanting Nate to just *listen* already. I have to remember that the things that he *does* stem from the things that he *needs.* It's hard to see past that sometimes to meet his needs, especially when I feel like I need to be the boss. I'm learning that it is my job to teach him how to recognize those needs and address them properly so that, one day, he is a functioning adult, growing in those fruits of the spirit that even I still struggle with (patience, anyone?)

    I love the forums on for encouragement.

  2. Oh how well you have penned the thoughts I've often had. It is so hard for the little ones to learn, whatever the lesson, just like some lessons are hard for us to learn. Remember when your others were young, the struggles with them were similar, just different personalities. Remember that when God disciplines us that we do not lose respect or love for Him, but accept it (not always gracefully or gratefully), learn, and grow. There is a lot of growing going on in your house.


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