Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Guilty as Charged
First posted Dec. 2006

"I am the one holding the keys to the atmosphere in our home."~ Terry Maxwell ~Author of: Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit

Ouch! Does this quote ever hurt?

When my kids are out of control and I'm the reason why!

It's an all too familiar scene. Me checking email while the kids are supposed to be doing their school work. I look up in between typing. "Joey(9), have you started your school work?" Chris is still sawing logs in bed, and Timmy (6) is playing nicely with Grace (4) because I haven't set out his school work yet.

I'm distracted and not in control of my kids. When I call Timmy to do his work, he ignores me.

Chris (12) finally slumps down the steps, disrupting the semi-quiet house with his just out of bed attitude. (Not a good one, mind you.)

I pull myself away from the computer and try to gain control of the morning, but we've been off schedule for some time now.

I could blame it on the fact that the Chris' play has caused us to stay up late many times a week, for several weeks. So in an attempt to catch up on sleep, we all catch a few extra winks in the morning.

I could blame it on the holidays and the cold weather that makes me want to spend the day in my pajamas surfing the net. Or I could blame it on the fact that my kids are just rebellious. But bottom line is they are following my lead. When I don't have a plan for the day, the day seems to spiral out of control.

Kind of like this... No one is listening to me and if they are, they're not obeying. I raise my voice a little louder, not wanting to deal with their disobedience, hoping that they'll just listen and do what they're told. Fat chance. They continue to ignore me until I finally get frustrated enough and blow my top. I run through the house like a lunatic, trying to get everyone back on task. My nine year old starts to yell and whine back at me, my 12 year old throws insults at my nine year old and my six year old cries because I raised my voice at him. When I gain composure and try to apologize, he won't listen to me and stomps off to find a quiet place to cool down.

I feel the weight of my sin and try to make everything right again. I find those I've offended and apologize. We talk about disobedience, distractions, the enemy and his fiery darts and then about consequences.

This scenario happened the other night. We all repented, and we all understood (and received) the consequences of our sin. But was it enough to change our behavior? Enough to change my behavior?

The reality is I've grown weary in doing good. It's no fun parenting all the time! So I think over the last several weeks, I've slowly allowed myself to get out of focus. I've welcomed the distractions because I've wanted to distance myself from my never ending parenting and homeschooling responsibilities. And I had to pay a price for it!

My children's behavior is a result of the atmosphere I've created. I didn't wake up one morning and consciously say, “I'm going to let my home go.” It just happened. Slowly.

But the story doesn't have to end here. If I am to blame for the negative behavior in my home, I have the power to turn it around.

How? By following God's leading...

A gentle answer turns away wrath.

Train up a child in the way he should go...

Do everything without arguing and complaining.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Beloved, let us love one another.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal...Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

I think those are good places to start!

Gina Conroy is founder of Writer...Interrupted and a homeschooling mom to four. She writes about her experiences trying to balance it all at Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted.

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At Wednesday, 21 March, 2007, Anonymous Diane Day said...

Ummmm....Ouch? Have you been hanging out in my house lately??? Thanks for the advice and the encouragement! ;)


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