Friday, November 6, 2009

Nothin' Worse than a 40 year old Throwin' a Tantrum

Matthew 7:11  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

I return to my blog with head held low, humbled but not ashamed - more aware of my sin than ever. 

It all started with a good desire - to honor and bless my son with a really cool 13th birthday experience.  I wanted to go all out with a fancy dinner and hotel stay downtown followed by a vision-casting stroll through the UW and SPU campuses, whetting his appetite for the academic endeavors that await him.  What started out as a good idea slowly grew into a soul-enslaving demand as my fingers grasp more tightly on MY plan.  Foolishly, I hadn't tallied the dollars this would cost our cash-strapped family.  I also wasn't willing to admit that I was committing one of the cardinal sins of short-sighted, instant gratification parenting - swapping the big, glorious event for the mundane moments.

I am so accustomed to this M.O. of mine that I didn't recognize it until it was too late.  I unleashed a Veruca Salt-worthy tantrum on Phil complete with sobs and stomping foot (even more ghastly is that I resembled VS in my early years...) delaring that I wanted a night out, I wanted a fancy experience - honoring Jake was out the window as I spewed my true intentions - I WANTED WHAT I WANTED. 

Throw into the mix that God has been pricking me with the reality that my relationship with my son isn't where I want it to be.  I have been free with criticism and stingy with encouragement.  I have not been building him up as I ought and I awoke to the fact that I was pinning my hopes on "fixing" this problem by applying a fancy-night-in-a-hotel bandaid.  I was less interested in repenting and walking the long, hard road of perseverance to pour into my kids on a daily, hourly basis.  I wanted 24 hours of glitz to tie the relational strings that I hadn't been careful to tie in the past few months.

After more shed tears (this time, softly flowing from a contrite heart), I did what I should have done to begin with - I prayed.  God used a friend's kind but firm words (it was actually she that coined my sin a spoiled brat tantrum!) to stir an idea that is so much richer and deep than even a penthouse splurge.  I spent the next few hours pouring over my old journals, copying words I had written to him over the course of his life.  I remembered God's faithfulness to my son and to his forgetful mother.  I reminisced about wonderful times of joy we have had.  I reveled in the young man that I see God growing.  I was reminded of the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in both Jacob and I to reveal sin and redeem our lives.  I can't wait to give him his gift - I am thankful to the Giver of ALL Good gifts for this lesson and for my son.


  1. Jen, you have no idea how much this story is blessing me in the midst of writing this short note. It has been a rough season for mommy and 3 year old Roman Easter. Thank you for your honesty and your turning to Jesus as He is truely our strength and provider...even in the ugliness of our tantrums. Oi. Miss you sister and hope to see you and Phil some day soon. Love, Annie

  2. I love, love, love this post. Thank you for your transparency.. btw - I got you added to the M2M blogroll. Forgive me for taking so long - somehow the request ended up in my spam folder..

    Much love,