I've been away from the computer for all the classic reasons...never get my hands on it, the adapter broke, too much going on.....I have to wake up way before everyone else in order to have a time slot with it. But, in the summer, when the sun is up it is way easier to get out of bed.
This past weekend was Father's Day weekend and it was wonderful. Having been to two funerals in the last few weeks for friends my mom and dad's ages sure made me appreciate that we have both sets of parents. We enjoyed hosting them as well as my brother and his wife for a BBQ. However, things took a turn for the worse when my mother-in-law took a tumble while out looking at the bunnies. She landed face down on her wrist and broke it as well as getting two stitches in her forehead! Unbelievable. So sad. We're praying for a fast recovery.
Now that the weather has turned hot, hay season has also started. My husband's job at the college is so flexible that he can take the time off when he needs it for farm work, so that's what he did last week, bringing in over 500 bales of hay in just a matter of a few hours. Last year, my 5 year old was perhaps not a big help, but he was out there, lifting 50 lbs bales. This year, I would actually say he was an asset. Now don't go thinking we make our 5 and 6 year old doing slave labour. It isn't like that. He was so excited to help, we couldn't keep him away! It was amazing to watch him come in trailer load after trailer load all hot and sweaty, working like a true man at such a young age. I was keeping a close watch on him though and sure enough his young age started to show through and he found himself in bed fast asleep long before it was all done, but I was impressed how much he had done with his "six pack" (which he will show anyone who is willing to look or ask about).
This boy is going to be the President of the World someday or at the very least an Olympic athlete by the time he's 10. He's got energy and strength like no one I know, but with it comes a slight down side. I wouldn't say he has behavioural issues. He's just got a lot of behaviour! He can be either really great or really naughty. Sometimes it's very intentional and other times he just doesn't know he's being bad. He's like Tom Sawyer, or Huck Finn, he just finds himself in these situations and he doesn't know how he got there. I have to be on him like glue all day if I don't want him incarcerated at a young age.
Last week I had reached the end of my rope. How much "behaviour" in one day can a person handle? I knew he needed heart replacement! I knew the only antidote for sin is the Word of God. But not being the fastest of readers, he gets frustrated and gives up on reading almost as soon as he gets stuck. I decided I would help him. And, a good passage immediately came to mind that I had just been reading in Isaiah. It was actually the passage I had written about Canada and the similarity between it and Israel, but this time, I thought of my son.
Isaiah 1 talks about Israel being like a rebellious group of children, "but they have rebelled against me." I was feeling like God with my own little rebel. Israel, "laden with inquity...children who deal corruptly". Harsh words, but my little guy can be laden with inquity at times and can be in his own way corrupt. Israel is then described as "sick" and "faint", "from the sole of the foot even to the head". Sometimes that's how naughty my son can be, from top to bottom! I was reading this passage to him and he had to agree!
Then Israel tries to get out of its bad behaviour by bringing "vain offerings" and "incense", but God says, "I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly...I am weary of bearing them". I told my son it's the same way with him. I am weary of him saying, "I'm sorry!" when he clearly isn't sorry. He clearly hasn't changed his corrupt 6 year old ways. Saying "sorry" is just like a "vain offering" - he doesn't mean it! It also makes me weary and not unlike God who says, "I will not listen", I also say, "I can't hear you".
But, thank goodness, it doesn't stop there. At this point, if it had stopped there, you would find yourselves entering into a depression, but there is good news! Isaiah 1:16 says, "Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean, remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, please the widow's cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord;though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; thought they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but it you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Wow. There lies the antidote for a naughty child. I told him, "It's that easy, 'Wash yourself clean, cease to do evil, learn to do good....'" But I wanted it to stick, so we did actions for every phrase. We would pretend to wash our hands for the first phrase. We would make a stop signal for the next one. We pretended to pray for the "learning to do good" phrase and on and on. In almost the first run through he had nearly memorized it. But what I really wanted him to grasp was the choice he was given at the end....if he is "willing and obedient"....good life. If not.....bad life, really bad life. So now, all we do is run through the verse all day long. "Hey! Are you learning to do good? Are you ceasing to do evil? Are you refusing and rebelling? Are you going to eat the good of the land or are you going to get eaten by the sword?" He knows the good of the land means he'll be blessed. He also knows getting eaten by the sword isn't necessarily that I'm going to pull out a sword at the end of the day, but that there are consequences for his actions.
I've had the younger 4 all put this passage to memory. It has helped me speak truth over the kids. The very last phrase in the chapter says, "for the mouth of the Lord has spoken". I remind them, "I'm not making this stuff up!" It isn't me! It is God who has made these decrees.
The Bible truly is the best book on parenting. If I just keep trying to be faithful, I know it will pay off in the end. I'm after his heart. I'm attempting to give him a heart transplant with no anesthetic! There are so many moments where I want to give up and just leave him to himself, but the risk is too great. So I keep on.....