Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are you frustrated?

I've had a tough last few days with Christina.  I don't know what's going on, but she is going through a very defiant phase (which I know I've mentioned before - it comes in waves).  But she's also very good at picking up on my emotions when I'm losing my temper.  When I get upset, I tell her that "I'm very frustrated right now."  So now, when she notices that I'm in a mood, she'll ask me "Mommy, are you frustrated?"  And if I say yes, she stops what she's doing and gives me a hug.

She asks me if I'm frustrated if I'm in any mood other than happy, so I know I need to start putting names to my other emotions as well (sad, bored, etc. - I even told Sean I was feeling melancholy the other day!).  But I'm so glad that Christina can recognize when I'm not happy and that she wants to make me feel better.

I recently picked up a book from the library called No Matter What, by Debi Gliori.  In it, the child fox, Small, is feeling "grim and grumpy" and acts out by upturning the living room.  When the parent fox, Large, asks what's wrong, Small begins to ask if Large would still love him if he were a "grumpy grizzly bear" or a crocodile.  Large reassures Small that he will always be loved, no matter what.

I read that book to Christina last night before bed (and after a particularly "tantrum-y" evening).  I told Christina to always remember that no matter how frustrated Mommy and Daddy get, and no matter how mad she gets or how many tantrums she has, Sean and I will always love her.  I think God must have planned for me to pick up this book when I did, because the timing was perfect.  I don't think I impress enough upon Christina that love doesn't go away just because we're angry.  In fact, the reason we get so angry is because we love so much.

As a parent, I want the best for my child.  I want her to be safe and happy, and I also want her to grow up understanding that she IS under authority.  I want her to choose to surrender her life to God and submit to HIS authority.  And I know that in order for her to understand what that means, she has to know how to submit to parental authority first.  I've told her before, after a time-out, that she has to obey Mommy and Daddy because God put us in charge of her.  Obviously I'm very careful not to abuse the authority that I've been given, but I want her to know that by obeying us, she is obeying God and making Him happy.

So many people just HATE the idea of anyone being in a position of authority over them.  But you know what?  Submitting myself to God's will is so FREEING!  It means that I don't have to worry about my life - God will take care of me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  -Proverbs 3:5-6 New Living Translation

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.  -Matthew 6:25-27 New International Version

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