Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Does He Hear When I Don't Say Anything?

The other night, Joshua and I were in the kitchen working at the same time.

I could have written, "The other night, Joshua and I were in the kitchen together working." But that would be misleading. It would sound much too pleasant.

We had just walked in the door and I reminded Joshua he needed to unload the dishwasher. As he set to his task, I got back to making dinner. Before long, Joshua needed to put dishes away in the drawer in front of which I was standing.
So I stepped aside.
Then Joshua let out a *huff* and said, "You know, it's inconvenient for you to be working there when I'm unloading the dishwasher."
I was a bit surprised that he dared say something so flippant made that comment. I responded by saying, "Oh, really? Well, it was inconvenient for me to stop making dinner so I could go pick you up from track practice. But I did it anyway."
(I might have let out a little *huff*, too.)
And then, even though my mouth wasn't moving, my words kept coming. In my mind I continued on with everything I wanted to say. Well, son, if you unloaded the dishwasher in the morning - like you're supposed to - none of this would even be an issue. You would be done with your chores, and there would be nothing for you to do when you get home from practice. I wouldn't be in your way, and you wouldn't be in mine. It would be so much more pleasant if you would just do your chores when you're supposed to.

I looked at my son, completely oblivious to the conversation taking place in my head, and wondered, What does he hear when I don't say anything?



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Hmmm, I think I would have just kept talking!!

This reminds me of how God must look at me sometimes....Leah, it would be so much better if you just obeyed what I asked you to do the first time.


Irritable Mother said...

Leah - It is so tempting for me to keep right on talking in those situations. But my attitude at that moment was angry and frustrated. I know my words would not have come out with any grace. It would have been in my I-know-I'm-right-and-you-better-listen-to-my-wisdom tone of voice. And that only leads to fights between Joshua and I.
Yes. Sometimes I know it's better to bite my tongue. ;)

TheUnSoccerMom said...

Amen to Leah's comment!

And oh.my.word. how many times has this happened to me & Christen.

Yes, much better to bite my tongue, but oh so hard. :o)

Hope you and your daughter had a great weekend!!! :o)

Patricia/NYC said...

Hmmmm...I agree, it's soooo hard for me to bite my tongue, but I am really trying...while I do it, I try to say a little prayer in my head...but sometimes, I just can't hold that tongue!!

Your last line made me think...and I am encouraged to try harder!! :)

Have a GREAT day!

LisaShaw said...

Hi Karen,

I have to say that Leah's words are exactly what I was thinking when I came to the end of your sharing. :)

Thank you for sharing something that many of us can relate to as you share your heart and your family journey...

I sent you an Email earlier; at your convenience.

Blessings upon you and your family.

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi - It's always good to know we are not alone. :o)
We did have a good weekend. Thanks!

Patricia - Yes. Prayer in the midst of it is ALWAYS a good thing!

Lisa - So good to see you!!!
I agree. I think God uses my interactions with my children to help me understand how He sees me...

gianna said...

it's so good that you just lecture him in your head and not out loud. Poor Maya gets lots of lectures! I need to start lecturing her in my head until it's ready to come out in a way that will be heard and acted upon.

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - I wish I always bit my tongue at the right time...Not so.
Sometimes I think the lecture is appropriate, but other times I have found it really is better to be silent.
Parenting is difficult.

Sara K. said...

Karen, I'm so encouraged that you *didn't* continue that conversation. I have done that a few times with my 5-year-old son, and my husband reminded me how degrading it is to be berated in that way. And besides, you are right -- without love behind your words, you are like a noisy gong or clanging cymbal... and that's all Joshua hears (not the message). Surely, in your silence, he knew your displeasure... and perhaps even felt convicted... but why admit to Mom that she's RIGHT?! :)

Oh, to hold our tongues until the Holy Spirit leads us further!! (Parenting is very hard to navigate in this area!)

Irritable Mother said...

Sara - Our husbands are wise!
LOL! If there ever comes a day when Joshua admits I'm right about something? I think I'll need to check my pulse. I might have died and gone to heaven. *wink*