34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35 NIV
A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I needed to get my vision checked. But this time it wasn’t with the eye doctor…it was with the Lord. My son, Josh, and I have been through a lot together…and I mean A LOT. He was just five years old when I escaped from my domestic violence marriage/family life with him and his brother, who was four months old. There is a lot of baggage that he and I both brought with us from our life with my ex-husband…their original father from birth. So many people told me that because he was only five, he was young enough that he wasn’t old enough to soak in the situations and behaviors he was exposed to while I was married to my first husband. Those people were very wrong.
Josh has really struggled because he loves me so much…but he was taught, extremely well, attitudes and behaviors toward me by my ex-husband that will take years to unlearn and replace with more healthy ones. In addition he has his personal healing he has gone through and PTSD struggles we have discovered together along the way from what he went through with my ex-husband. It has been a big struggle…in many ways. I love him and have always loved him with all of my heart.
Will was such a blessing to Josh as Daddy. They loved each other and struggled through issues together in a way that only a Dad can walk with his son. I am so amazed when Josh will remind me of a time with he had been in trouble for something and Dad (Will) took him into his office/study and they talked through the issue and Will taught him to look at his behavior choices from the perspective of God’s Word. Will would make little drawings to help him better understand that behavior is a reflection of our attitudes and our attitudes are a reflection of how our relationship with God is doing. He was training him to begin to love in the way that God loves us…loves him. Wow! He still has those bits of scrap paper and will bring them out and show them to me when we get into a discussion similar to one he had with Dad last year or the year before that.
Josh has come a long, long way in his heart healing and his behavior has come a long way too since we left our old life in 2008. I am so very, very proud of him. But I realized over the past couple of weeks that I had gotten so focused on training him that I had forgotten to tell him how proud I am of him. I was so busy trying to do the training of both a mother and a father that I didn’t make time to just stop and enjoy this precious son of mine and to see him with eyes of grace…to remember to love him and see him in the way God loves and sees each of us.
Something he said to me a little while back stopped me in my rush of life…he asked me when we were going to have time alone together again…just the two of us to just talk and have fun. Don’t get me wrong, we are together every day all day. We are a homeschooling family! We have one-on-one time in most of his lessons. But I have been so distracted, exhausted, and at times overwhelmed with everything since the accident that I forgot that he still needs Mom/Son date time…
even though especially now that he is ten. I realized that…wow…he IS ten! Five years have gone by so quickly…and he is growing up before my eyes…and I could have easily lost him in the accident in July. Every moment we have is precious and I need to remember to not be all work and no play!
So this week, I urge you to join me in the challenge I have given myself.
I urge you to make time to stop the rush of life and find a way to just enjoy being with each of your children. Michael and I have special Mother/Son time each Sunday afternoon when Josh is at the Children’s Ministry at our church. Before the accident, Josh and I had a weekly date in town…even if it was just errands with a stop for a snack and time to talk…and me listen completely focused on him. While they were in the rehab hospital I had special one-on-one time with him while Michael napped for an hour or so during my visits with them. During that time we would play a game on the Wii together or just “walk” (me walking with my walker and him in his wheel chair–he had two broken legs) around the rehab hospital and talk about whatever he wanted to talk about. Our mother/son bond really grew during those times.
He misses those times. And you know what? So do I.
I asked him to forgive me for not having as much time alone with him as I did in the past and I committed to doing a better job of making time for us to have one-on-one time. I made that commitment over a week ago and some days it is harder to do than others, since I am their only parent now and Michael is so young. But on the days or nights that I do, I am amazed at what a difference it makes and continues to make in our relationship. When we have made the time together alone, there are fewer challenges with disrespect during the day and more giggling. And I am reminded to not take myself and everything around me so seriously all the time. I hadn’t realized how serious I had become until Josh mentioned it to me one day. Wow. The insights of a new ten-year old!
So this week, I invite you to join me in focusing on being thankful for our children. I don’t mean just thankful for them when things are cool and during a good day…I mean being thankful and reminding yourself of the good in them when they are in the midst of a meltdown or having a serious attitude problem…seeing them through the eyes of grace. There is so much to see, so much to be thankful for, so much to be proud of inside of them. And I am not always the best about remembering to TELL him when I see those things. I am so glad that God is here with me helping me to learn and grow as a mom. I am so glad that my boys…both of them…are so forgiving when I screw things up and aren’t afraid to tell me when they need “Mommy Time”.
I am doing a lot better at it and I am so glad. The accident had a huge impact on Josh’s life and faith…on all of us but tonight I am focusing on this young man. God is helping me to remember to really see him and appreciate the person he has become and how much he has grown. I am so, so thankful. And I am doing better at telling him that…and taking the time to just listen or be silly…to see him with grace. Will used to know how to help me “lighten up” when I go too intense with life, and now I realize that God is nudging me to do the same. I can see the difference beginning already and we are just getting started.
I am so thankful that God is giving me eyes that I might see with grace.
Do you ever struggle to see with grace?
If you are journaling with us in the Blessing Journal challenge, the journaling guides for adults and children for Week 7 click here.
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Sitting at the feet of Jesus with so much to learn,
And be sure to join us the rest of the week for…
Tuesday– Time to meet our Sponsoring Partner, Recycled Memories and check out the special and fun giveaway she is doing just for YOU!!!
Wednesday– Marriage with Gina Marie~~~ Stepping Out of your comfort zone…this week!
Thursday– Real life with me, a recently widowed homeschooling mama continues…I’ll even have pictures of my room ready for you so get your thinking cap ready!
Friday- We announce the winner of Recycled Memories Giveaway!!