Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Strength. Indeed.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

This Bible verse is in my sidebar.
It is labeled as My Strength.
And, once again, God has shown me the truth in these words.

I was sitting down to eat my breakfast, looking through Matthew's folder, when I saw the homework assignment he had not completed the day before. (Long story there, of which I'll spare you the details.) Suddenly my heart quickened as I imagined the road before me.
Getting my little ADHD guy to get ready for school on time is always a challenge. Adding a homework page to the mix was not an ideal plan. This scenario usually involves heavy doses of cajoling reminding nagging, with a fair amount of frustration, and I just did not want to go there.
I put Matthew's math page on the table and said, "You can work on this while you eat your breakfast." But he insisted he couldn't do both at the same time. So I let him eat his cereal first.
After that first bowl of cereal, however, he said he wanted more. Which is when I saw where we were going with this game and I knew I needed to step in. I told Matthew he could have another bowl of cereal after he completed his math page.
Honestly, the way he reacted to that statement, you would have thought I'd just taken away his DS for a month! I knew the fight was on, and I just didn't want to go there.

Oh, I wanted to. My natural tendency at that point is to move into raise-your-voice-and-threaten-to-take-things-away mode. Fighting back is my typical response.

But on this day, I remembered Exodus 14:14 and I knew I needed to be still. I told Matthew, "You may have another bowl of cereal, but not until you have finished your homework. Now you can get your work done and have more cereal, or you can fuss and whine and be miserable about it and not get your work done - and NOT have another bowl of cereal. That's your choice." (It would be appropriate to read a firm tone into those words...)
And then I went silent.
I prayed, God, please fight for me. I'm not going to nag. Please motivate him to make a good choice.
I sat next to my whining son, finishing my breakfast, biting my tongue to keep from nagging. And the next thing I knew, Matthew had picked up his pencil and was doing his homework.


I hadn't nagged.
I hadn't threatened.
I hadn't gotten angry. (Well, maybe a little. But I kept it inside. *sheepish grin*)
And Matthew did his homework.

God fought for me.
He is my Strentgth. Indeed!



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I really, really need to learn to keep silent way more often than I do. I'm better than I used to be but far from where I should be.


TheUnSoccerMom said...

oh wow.... This is exactly what I needed to read today and God knew it. Thank you!!

Patricia/NYC said...

I LOVE when that happens! ;) I have to remind myself of this very thing over & over you I often go the "fighting" route...just the other day I did the very thing you did & I too was AMAZED!! But then again, we really shouldn't be amazed, right? We need to TRUST & BE STILL! :)
Why can't I remember to do that every single day??!!
Thanks for the awesome reminder, Karen!!

crys said...

Thanks for the reminder, Karen. We have been stuggling with remembering and completing "our" resposiblities lately and my response is always raise my voice and threaten. Next time (later today :-) I will let God fight for me. God Bless!

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - "I'm better than I used to be but far from where I should be."
Me, too, my friend. Me, too!

TheUnSoccerMom - Oh, soccer season is almost over for us. Sooooo looking forward to being an unsoccermom again. *sigh*
Glad God brought you over here today. He knew. He's good like that!

Patricia - Trust and be still. That's right. It doesn't always look the same every day (as you'll see in tomorrow's post...) but we can always trust Him.

crys - And HE will!

Sara K. said...

I love it! Karen, that is SO encouraging!! You chose to respond correctly and God was faithful! Yay! I frequently find myself in similar scenarios. Oh, how I wish I had such self-control ALL the time... I really need to be better, significantly better, at not raising my voice and threatening... but even when I slip up [ugh], I'm so thankful God can still [somehow] work it all out for His purposes. *Phew!* Praise God!

BusyB said...

Love when God steps in!

Irritable Mother said...

Sara - I am so thankful He uses the 'even when's, too.

BusyB - So do I!

Enyonam said...

Thank you Lord for giving me yet another reminder of trusting in you completely to fight for me in anyway way possible. Thank you Karen for sharing this~smiling~

Irritable Mother said...

Enyonam - Thanks so much for visiting. I'm glad God reminded you that you can trust Him for everything.

Nina said...

Oh thank you for this post...lately I have been nagging and raising my voice and getting angry, and my kids are only little, all under 5! My 2,5yo son drives me crazy at times, no matter how much I love him...I seem to react in anger a lot to him. I forget he is not even 3. So thank you for the reminder to "be still" and trust God to do the work in their hearts.

Irritable Mother said...

Nina - My son drives me crazy sometimes, too. No matter how much I love him. It's human nature, I think.
But we don't have to rely on human nature.
We rely on God, and He will lead us through these days - working in our hearts, as well as theirs.