Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ever feel like this? I do ...

UPDATE: Besides being more independent and opinionated during the day, Luke has also had trouble the last two weeks with bedtime and night wakings. Ever since we got the okay to let him sleep through the night without food at 14 months, he has been a dream sleeper. After stories and prayers, he rolls right over in his crib and falls fast asleep. The last couple weeks, however, he has cried when we put him down and keeps up the tears for about 45 minutes. Awful! Well, I am happy to report that tonight he went to bed tonight without a whimper. I think God knew we needed that little bit of encouragement! Tomorrow night might be a different story, but we're going to go kick up our feet, put some ice on our black eyes and enjoy the quiet for tonight!


ORIGINAL POST: We have had an interesting past three weeks with Luke. We have always described him as strong-willed and sure of what he wants, but those characteristics have always been fairly easy to rein in. In the past couple of weeks, Luke has gotten stronger, louder and more defiant. After that sentence, I want to make sure everyone knows the shiner is not a result of the above trends. =)

After scouring books, calling friends and watching discipline DVD's, Rog and I are reassured that Luke is not a little monster without the capability of empathy or obedience (my fear), but a — you guessed it — toddler. So, we enter toddlerhood armed with the time-out stair, the "ignore the behavior and walk away" tactic, and lots of prayer. Discipline is hard! Hardest is being a consistent disciplinarian. Especially when you aren't seeing a whole lot of progress. But I am reminded by many who have survived this phase that the hard work will bear fruit.

I have been a part of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) the past several years and this year we are studying the life of Moses. Through Moses' life, I am seeing in a new way God's patience with his people, and his promise of ever-present help. You often hear of how Moses resists God's call for him to go to Pharoah to bring His people, the Israelites, out of their oppression in Egypt (Exodus 3 and 4). But I didn't realize that Moses resists God four times. And all four times, God patiently walks Moses through his hesitancy.

Moses' final argument, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue" echoes a bit of how I have been feeling in this new phase of parenthood. I do not always feel equipped to train Luke up to love the Lord and to honor his mom and dad, to serve others before himself and to long to do what is right. But how God answers Moses' concern is exactly how He answers my concerns: "The LORD said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'"

Raising Luke is not about how good or not good I am as a mom. Raising Luke is about relying on God's wisdom and His goodness in generously giving that wisdom to Rog and me when we ask.

So, with God as our help, we forge ahead into this strange land of toddlerhood, trusting that all three of us will come out on the other side with nothing more than a black eye. =)

Oh, you're wondering how Luke got his black eye? Wrestling with Papa and Nonna. How I love boys.


  1. jess-beautiful words of wisdom. thank you for posting this. i struggle every day with the consistency of raising my kids righteously--thank you for your inspiration! love you!

  2. Jesse,
    I try to stay quiet on the topics of parenthood unless otherwise asked. That said, I am going to speak up knowing that you will ignore me if needed!

    Two things:
    The first: Intentional parenting. By that I mean sit down with Roger and discuss the man you'd like Luke to be. What are his characteristics? How will he interact with the world? What kind of a Dad will he be? What kind of a husband? What values do you want him to have? What skills?

    The second: guidance. Don't think about discipline think of it as guidance - that you are guiding him towards being that man that you imagine. Everything you do is done with the end in mind, a gentle nudge back to the path. Less about obedience, more about guiding.

    Does that make sense? I'll be happy to expand if you want! And please, remember advice is yours to look over, throw away what doesn't fit, try on what might. Also, yay for Luke! Developing right on schedule and perfectly normal!