Are you ready for total transparency? I hope so, because you’re about to get it. So, the first breakout session at the 2:1 Conference Saturday morning was a sponsor session. The choices were Apologia and Classical Conversations.
If I could have found a ride to the Verizon store to get a replacement for my phone that had died Friday afternoon, I would have. I’m familiar with both Apologia and CC, so I didn’t expect to hear anything I hadn’t heard before.
Apologia’s owner, Rachel Carmen, was supposed to talk about the books that Apologia offered. I thought I was just killing time. Somehow, though, in the middle of talking about books, Rachel started talking about something that is usually a part of her keynote address: having a HEART for your children. It went something like this:
H – Have a heart for God. If we don’t have a heart for God, we can’t have a heart for our children.
E – Enrich your marriage. Make sure that your kids know that you love their dad like crazy.
A – Accept your children.
R – Release your kids to God. They are not our kids; they are His.
T—Teach them truth. Homeschooling is not the answer; Jesus is. Truth matters more than academics.
Good stuff, huh? You may wonder why I don’t have much for letter A. That’s because that’s when I quit listening to Rachel and started listening to God.
See, she was telling this story – a story about breaking her son while trying to “fix” him. She said that one day they were driving down the road listening to Focus on the Family on the radio. Dr. James Dobson was on, talking about strong-willed children.
Rachel looked into the backseat and saw that tears were streaming down her son’s face. He said, “That’s me. I’m that kid.”
Rachel said to us, “I did that. I did that to him. All his life, I’d been working to convince him that he was that kid.”
It was that moment that God spoke to me. I’ve been doing that to Megan. I’ve been tearing her down instead of building her up.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” – Proverbs 14:1
I am fairly certain that she has ADD – not the hyperactivity or even inattention, but definitely the impulsivity. It drives me batty sometimes. I will say to her, “You’re driving me crazy.”
“The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21
It makes me a little sick to my stomach to even type those words. I’ve been saying that to my baby. Not daily, but often enough. Not always in so many words, but in my actions, my body language, and those long-suffering sighs.
She has two older siblings whose job it is to let her know that she’s annoying them. You know how you have a kid that you butt heads with? Well, that would be Megan and Brian. She seems to push his buttons quicker than Brianna and Josh.
And, then, there is her mother telling her that she’s driving me crazy. Who is standing up for this kid?
Megan is a words of affirmation kid. She’s always leaving little notes for all of us, telling us how much she loves us and pointing out special things about us. And here I’ve been tearing her down with my words when the truth is, she’s not driving me crazy at all. The behavior is frustrating sometimes, but she is not the sum total of her behavior.
If I took nothing else at all away from my weekend in Sterling, Virginia, this word from God would be worth it all. I came home and talked to Brian about it and we’ve made a concerted effort over the last few days to build Megan up and to direct any words of correction toward the behavior, rather than her character and personality.
I want this beautiful, incredible, sensitive, loving kid to know how special she is. I want her to recognize how God has gifted her and crafted her specially. I want her to understand that she fills a place in our family, in my heart, and in God’s creation that no one else can fill.
I want her to know that she does not drive me crazy, but that she rocks my world – that she is loved more than she can ever imagine and that she is worthy of words of praise and affirmation, rather than an onslaught of negativity.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19
I’m looking forward to a time of refreshing, rebuilding, and restoration.
These were hard words to write, but I hope that they speak to somebody that needs to hear them as much as I did. That kid that you may have been trying to fix is just exactly who God created her to be. Don’t try to fix her. Accept her.