Gettin a new one ripped

You know what I have this season?
Hope in the fact that my 13 year old WILL live to see another Christmas.
Everytime I’m out and I see another adult or an older teenager I want to run up to them and hold their face and say, “You did it!!! You lived! Your mother didn’t kill you!!”

But seriously.
No one tells you when you are holding your precious 8lb 10oz baby boy, “You’re always going to love this sweet human.
But you aren’t always going to like them.”
So here you go.
I’m telling you.
I love my children.
I’d lay down on a railroad track for them.
But a lot of days….nope.
Don’t like them.
Especially the one about to hit manhood.
You see, I’ve never raised a teenager before.
This is all trial and error.
Some advice my mom gave me (one who has successfully refrained from killing both my brother and I…props mom) was “The first kid is really an experiment. You do the best you know how and hope for the best.
Pretty solid.
Except when you look at this teenager and you see your sweet 8lb 10 oz baby in there and you think, “I’ve raised an asshole.”

And each night you go to bed, exhausted but hopeful.
The alarm goes off.
You go about your morning, hearing your darling teen stir around.
“Good morning sweet pea.”
About 5 minutes into life you realize, “Nope. Still a jerk.”
On our way to school recently one morning, as I was taking a breath during a tirade about ungratefulness, being mean, selfish and talking to people like they were animals, God reminded me about my tongue.
“Um, God can you give me a minute here…I’m trying to rip my son a new one….”
And because God is a gentleman, He allowed me to finish.
But when I did, I felt like the asshole.
In 30 seconds flat, I had set the tone not only for my sometimes hormone induced psychotic son, but for the unsuspecting yet watchful hearts in the van.
Nice job.

Regret hovered in the van and settled in my heart as I took a deep breath.
I apologized and then asked the kids if we could pray.
God is so good.
He is good to restore what I stripped away.

Is my son a jerk sometimes?
Did my rant do anything positive in his heart?
Probably not.
When Christ speaks about the tongue being a mighty force, like the rudder of a ship able to steer a huge vessel.
The smallest part of a ship determines the outcome of the boat’s destination.
Just like my tongue.
I felt the Holy Spirit rip me a new one and gently remind me that I am the adult and these little people were entrusted to me to shepherd, guide, and lovingly nurture.
Even in the times I want to punch them in the throat.

So this morning…
I again have hope.
But I also am armed with the Holy Spirit to guide MY tongue.
I’m praying today that my words speak life.
That my words speak over them power and victory and the authority they have in Christ Jesus.
That they guide my growing 8 lb 10 oz babies in the grace and mercy that God gives us so freely.
Gives ME so freely.
Especially on days when I don’t deserve it.

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.

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