Monday, February 28, 2011

A gift He gave me

I wrote a devotional for my homeschool co-op a couple of weeks ago, something I'll be doing regularly in the next eight weeks. I wish I had more time to blog, but as it is you get what I've already written:

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

"I once was blind, but now I see." 
I have many testimonies, stories of how God has transformed my life.  I'm quite sure I'm in the process of yet another testimony, to be concluded.  Lately, I have been challenged to more freely share these stories of God's faithfulness in my life.  

In the two years I have attended CHECCS, I have changed.  The year 2009 was the most difficult in my life, thus far.  I joined you all in the Spring of that year with my very active two and a half year old son, Z, and an infant daughter, Juju.  I knew I wanted to homeschool, though it was far too early to begin.  I came to learn, to be inspired.  Separate from researching my dream, I was angry.  I'm not sure exactly why I had so much anger, except for my sinful heart. If I was honest, I'd say I was disappointed and frustrated.  I didn't expect to struggle so much with two little ones.  I struggled to get dinner on the table, to keep the house in an acceptable state, I struggled to get out the door to go anywhere.  Everything was hard.  As an only child, I had no idea what to expect, and my mother, who lives in Germany was too far to help.  Little Juju got kisses and attention, while poor Z was the scape goat of my frustration.  He learned to potty train that year, and how I lost my temper with him when he'd have an accident.  He was not abused, but I struggled to feel any positive feelings toward him.  I am so ashamed of my lack of patience with his normal, little boy energy, his age-appropriate abilities or lack thereof and his naturally dependent personality.  

But, God is good, even when I'm not.  That Fall, when I was at my lowest (I even lost it at CHECCS once!), I prayed a prayer, I'm embarrassed to admit I needed to pray.  I prayed that God would help me love my son.  Our pastor always says, "God loves to give good gifts! Just ask!" It was true indeed, as only God can do, He softened my heart toward my son, I made every effort to connect with him in a positive way every day and rebuild trust. As a three and a half year old toddler, though, he still needed discipline and I wrestled with the best approach to truly teach him right from wrong.  Early in 2010 I found a little book I'd had on my shelf for years, a gift from my mother, "Don't make me count to three!" by Ginger Plowman.  What an answer to prayer!!  Addressing the heart and sin issues behind misbehaviors, this book utilizes Scripture to reproof (put off) bad behaviors and reprove (put on) good ones.  I was so excited, I shared the book with probably a dozen people in 2010, who read it too.  

Between changing my heart toward my son and the wisdom brought out from Scriptures in the book, I saw a changed person in myself.  I was relieved to see self-control where I had previously been a lose cannon, I saw grace where I had been hard and cold, I saw patience where I had previously had none.  God has since restored my relationship with Z and blessed us with a very special bond.  In addition, in the past year I have seen his anger dissipate, his patience with others increase and God's peace reigns over all of us in our home.  I am still a sinful human, and have learned I must leave early enough when we go places or my hurriedness will still cause me to sin by impatience and anger with my children.  Asking for forgiveness from my children is a daily practice and one that has blessed me in return by little Z also asking for forgiveness when he sins against me.  All these changes are my testimony to God's power, grace and patience with me and in my family.  He is so good.  Praise Him, praise Him!       


Jo said...

Wonderful inspirational writing Becca - Thank you. Jo x

Becca said...

Thanks for your compliment, Jo. It's always nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, but if it helps anyone, or brings glory to God for what He's done for me, that's good. By the way, I checked, 'bout time you updated us on your blog, eh? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Becca,

Loved your post. It is honest, and real, and so courageous of you to share! The truth is, I think many (most?) moms can completely relate to the things that you have felt! I know I have! I owe you an email, too. Been so busy, but I think of you all the time, when I am not near the computer to actually write! :)