Just when I thought I was getting to a good place, God continues to reveal areas to me that need work. I love that we have a God who loves us so much that He is not willing to let go the stuff that we don't even see. The stuff that holds us back like an invisible anchor in our souls.
Let's go back a few days...it hit me...my kids are mirror images of my husband and I. You have Moses, heart strong, sensitive, quiet, empathetic to others, obviously loving and tender hearted. A sweet rule follower who stays well within the safe boundaries of the rules set out for him. He feels ALL things very deeply...from losing to the "wrong" thing for dinner to having to come in from playtime.
Then there is Aaron. Stubborn, hard headed, does not like being told what to do but who is also very loving, considerate of others, kind, quick to help and more internally very loving. He does things the hard way, the way that makes sense to HIM, if not to anyone else. He is helpful and obedient, eventually. He doesn't worry about anything. Very laid back and hard to stress out.
Aaron is me. Moses is Doug. We didn't set out to make them this way. They are who God wants them to because if it was solely our doing, they would be identical little people right? I mean they have the same parents, same kind of nurturing in babyhood, same diet, same household. If it was all our doing they would be more similar than they are.
I have no doubt that if we give them to God, each and every trait will be used for His glory. If we seek out God in all of our decisions on how to parent and discipline and structure their little lives. If rely on HIM and put their best interests ahead of our own, then each and every aspect of who they are will be used for His good.
I want there to be a major difference between Aaron and I.
I believe that there are turning points in every life. Places that you visit that spin you around and set you off in a different direction than you were previously heading. Sometimes we can control theses turning points, sometimes they happen TO us and sometimes they happen BECAUSE of us. Part of being a parent is teaching our children how to recover from these pivots and still manage to be setting off for the right destinations even if the direction has shifted. Once you are an adult, you glean from what your parents taught you and do it on your own. Part of this teaching as a parent is to learn who your kids are, teach them life skills that accentuate who God made them to be, learning how to work with traits like being stubborn and turning them into a positive like never giving up.
Embracing who they are, who GOD made them, and making it your job to help them learn how to make the best of that.
I have a choice with Aaron's stubborn nature.
I can try to change it by whatever means necessary through use of words, actions and an environment that lets him know that I am NOT ok with who he is, that he is not good enough as is, that his trait is a flaw and that it's my job to fix it. Of course I will not come right out and say that but you know how things can be implied so a message gets through right? I can demean him and hurt him so that stubbornness begins to flow from a fountain of mistrust as well as from its original source. I can make sure his self-confidence takes a good few blows so that once out in the real world he has a hard time thinking he is worth anything because, man, if his parents didn't think him good enough, then who would? If he can't trust his parents to be a safe place then WHERE is? I can give him flawed logic and teach him terrible self-talk that will set him up for heartache and pain beyond anything that God would ever want from him. I can make sure that it will take him a good 18 years to undo the damage that I've done, to clear the webs of hurt and wrong words of planted in his soul.
I ask God how to handle it. To give me grace and wisdom. To love the little boy God gave me and embrace his spunky little self. To see the joy in his eye (or is that mischief?). I can look past the naughty and see the kind heart. I can look past the defiance and see a kid who just wants to make sure that I mean what I say because THEN he feels safe. Then he trusts me to say what I mean and mean what I say. I can teach him that I am his safe place, that I can take it all and still love him unconditionally and wholeheartedly. I can teach him how to be selfless for the ones we love or want to love on. I can do my very best to send him into the world, confident of who God made him, how to use his traits for God's glory and knowing that he is very much loved as he is.
One of the above is my childhood and one will belong to Aaron.
When I was telling Doug about my realization with our boys...how Moses is quiet and sensitive like him and how Aaron is stubborn and doesn't like to be told what to do like me...he said "YOU don't like to be told what to do? I had no idea". Sass.
I've been thinking about it ever since...where does my stubbornness and not enjoying being told what to do come from? Why am I so fiercely independent? As I pondered it all...God totally spoke to me. Trust. In general, still at this point in my thirties, I don't have a whole lot of trust in people. At the just right age I was taught to not have that trust. I was taught that people will hurt you and be selfish and not do the things they say they will.
What it comes down to, I think, is that I am still learning to trust. I have very many people in my life now who are trust WORTHY but you know what they say...it takes a lot of good to undo the bad. It's going to take a lot of people keeping their word, and not being hurtful and not being selfish for me to overcome my aversion to not trusting. And I have a huge mountain to level out to get there. I've had a lot of hurt from people I trusted...or people I should have been able to trust or people that should have just been nice to me but weren't.
Essentially, I'm at the same stage as Aaron is with his stubbornness and I am learning how to use my traits for His good. I am doing some un-wiring and I am thankful that God is not content to leave me where I am.
Being aware is a good place to start.