“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
As we draw closer to the Lord, we allow Him to search us and expose things that are not of Him. As with everyone, this is an ongoing process with me and the past week has been no exception…Jake is 13. For those of you have teenagers, I don’t need to say anything else; others may have an idea of what I going though. Having said that, this post is probably more of a venting and cry for everyone’s intercession instead of some en-lighting, encouraging word.
Let me first say, my kid is a GREAT kid!! He really is! For example, last Sunday at Brian’s birthday party, Jake was the only kid (besides the cutest little 4 month old in the world) there. As soon as the trash would fill up, he would take it out and place in the outside garbage cans outside. He also cleaned the mess on the table that was left by the ice cream cake and helped clean up after the party…should I mention, NO ONE asked him to do any of that! He did it on his own accord.
Side note: I call Jake a cat because he will only come and get cuddles when he wants to know and practically hisses at me if I try to get cuddles from him when he isn’t in the mood. At the party, after I stopped holding the cutest 4 month old in the world, Jake sat on my lap and wanted “lubbin” (as we call it), but as soon as I started to enjoy the lubbins, he jumped off! Goes to show teenagers still do cuddle, but are cats about it!
Anyway, it could be hormones, or my relationship with Brian or the trip to Guatemala, or all of the above, but my child (mostly when it is just he and I) seems to be possessed. His attitude is horrible, he disrespects me and, to top it off, his grades are super low. (After having a parent-student-teacher conference) he admitted he’s lazy and just doesn’t care. Did I raise this child? Is this what I have instilled in him?
As the Lord continues to work on me, He has revealed that I have not been a good steward of the gift He has given me in my boy. I have allowed unGodly behavior by not putting a stop to them when they first began. Whether my excuse for not addressing them was because of guilt or laziness on my behalf, I was not teaching him in the ways of the Lord…so the battle begins…
First and current battle: Grades/Schoolwork. His grades have consistently gone down this year and the number of missing assignments have gone up. So, we are trying to change the work habits. Currently, there is a book project due soon and my boy has not been reading his book. I have been on him to read and when he doesn’t or conveniently leaves his book at school a punishment follows. This weekend we are sequestered in our apartment (with a small break in order for him to clean the refrigerator and freezer for having a snotty attitude) with the intent for him to..finish…the…book. *Can you hear my desperation in that?*
The Lord is showing me that although the job of parenting was meant for 2 and I have not consulted Him in regards to raising Jake, it is never too late and I don’t have to do it alone! Yes, this could’ve been addressed at an earlier age and it might have been easier, but I refuse to dwell on that. I am looking at today and thanking God for the chance to restore any damage I have done before the ages of 15 or 16 when things tend to get really ugly!
I am not an expert at parenting a teenager (he is my first after all), but I praise God for the Grace He gives to learn as I go! It sometimes is an all out war and other times it is simply a stand-off, but, no matter what, it is always a Blessing because I know the battles I fight (and prayerfully win) today, will help Jake fight and win battles later!
Thanks to everyone who continues to encourage me! It honestly does take a village and I praise God you are all in mine!