Monday, November 17, 2008

Cleaning House - God's Way

I had a bit of a parenting crisis last night. When I put the boys to bed, I had them tidy up their room. As they did so, I noticed a tiny little saw, like the kind meant for pumpkin carving. I knew that had not been in there the day before when we crazy-cleaned their room, so I asked about it. They lied.

I don't know about you, but when my kids lie, all bets are off. It's the one thing that sends me completely over the edge, and for good reason - God has a lot to say about liars, and none of it is flattering.

I went over the edge. I really did. I kept asking them and kept taking things and privileges away every time they lied, so half an hour later the little that was left in their room after Saturday's purge was gone and they were to sleep on the floor with a blanket and a pillow. My stomach hurts just thinking back on it.

I came out to the living room and e-mailed my Mom. She came quickly to the rescue, talking me down from my ledge and insisting that I get my boys off the floor and deal with the problem, then put them to bed in their nice, cozy beds. It was hard to swallow my pride - I was afraid of looking like a wishy-washy Mom - but God took care of it. The guilty boy confessed close to midnight and we all went to bed and had a good sleep.

This morning we returned the stolen item to the store and the security office there gave my son a very good talking-to. God had all the details covered.

My Mom said something last night, in the middle of the mayhem, that was straight from the Lord. She said that it sounds like God is doing some house cleaning. She reminded me of a problem we had a couple weeks ago - Caris & I had just cleaned out her room and she was suddenly really scared at night and couldn't sleep. I joked with my Mom that maybe she just wasn't used to her room looking so nice. Later that night, though, Alif said that when he went in to get Canaan in the middle of the night, he felt uneasy in their room, like something wasn't right in there. I prayed over the room several days in a row and there haven't been any problems since.

Then my computer broke, and my online time was and still is far, far less than it was before. And now this with my boys.

God knows what he's doing. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, He says, and that's true. How wonderful a feeling it is, though, to know that He cares so desperately about the details of our lives. That he's not content to let me raise my kids under the oppression of an internet addiction. That they mean far too much to Him to let them slide under the radar with misbehaviors that could blossom into a lifetime of pain.

I am so thankful that He never gives up on me.


  1. Oh, Emily! Praise God for this trumpet sounding off the alarm. Last Friday at Bible study Lyn made a comment, something about how parents who raised their kids right get the reward of seeing them grow up saved. It wasn't worded like that at all, but that was the gist of it to my heart. As you know, I feel so many regrets, because not one of my three is walking with Jesus. Sigh. So, after that, I really amped up my prayers for them. Today, I decided that, like the Bible says, it is not in wisdom to look back and say days past were better. So, I mentally put up a block wall to the past, and onward to the future. My extra long point lol is that it's been on my mind that I was given a gift of three kids. I was selfish and depressed at the time of raising them, so I did not spend quality time with them the majority of my hours. I yakked on the phone to my billions of girlfriends, which is totally equivalent to computer time, in these days. Also, how I longed for the hours missed holding them, looking in their eyes, reading God's word to them, telling them about God, His justice, why He hates sin (cuz of His utter and complete holines), how much He loves them, all about how we are to be like Jesus, about God's mercies, what grace means. In other words, I thrashed them with the word but did not lead their hearts to long for the God I could've taught them to know. And now, here is your blog, sounding a wee bit like I am in hindsight. So, consider this another God-given chance to change. The computer will be there when they are gone, and that won't be long.... And I just bet God will give you a busting ministry online to compensate your obedience now. :) Bless your kids now, Emily. They are worth it. xo

  2. Awww Emiles, I so admire your sharing this on here. God knows you are such incredible parents, I bet He just wanted to use that saw thing to teach them a valuable lesson He knew their parents would step up to. You're really facing things head on and I'm impressed.

  3. an encourager, a verse comes to mind: Joel 2:25 - "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten..." God will honor your love and prayers for your adult children. We all make mistakes as parents, so may you also be encouraged by His Word. xo Susan

  4. Emily, I'm so proud of you for upholding God's standard in your household. Doesn't it seem that He is especially near in the hard things too? May He bless you with another good night's sleep! Love you!

  5. {{{{{hugs}}}} so many times i have to go back to my kids and undue what i have done or said. god knows our hearts and that we want to be the best mom to those kiddos that we can be and teach them to be good and faithful to him usually he teaches us that over and over also.
    btw you have a great mom!

  6. Wow, great post. Thanks so much for sharing. I can totally relate!

  7. Emily,

    I just wanted to say, thanks for sharing this. I know it must have been humbling. I was totally inspired by the internet addiction comment. Not that I'm totally addicted, but I find myself checking in FAR too often. Yesterday, from morning until late afternoon, I turned off the computer and my day was GREAT! I had fun with all 3 kids and read 140pgs of Potty Training in Less Than a Day.

    Thanks again!

  8. just wanted to say thanks for sharing this so honestly and openly-- we've all been there as parents, and you are an encouragement!