Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No Rest

Ephesians 4:26b, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

I have to admit that in our family, the sun sometimes sets with anger still brewing. Sometimes, the kids go to bed angry because we made them go to bed "early". Sometimes, Joe and I go to bed angry at each other. Most times, we all agree that with a good night's sleep, we will be much better equipped to discuss our disagreement. I can say that most times the sun has risen, the anger is gone and resolution is found. But, we were always struck with the verse in Ephesians, because the first part of that verse says, "In your anger, do not sin." If I am being totally honest, I probably DO sin as I stew in my bed before falling asleep. I am sure some pretty mean thoughts go through my mind....and I know that is wrong.

That has all changed once George came into our family.

George WILL NOT go to sleep until he has reconciled with Joe and I. He refuses...flat out will not sleep.

This happened again last night. The kids have been staying up a bit because of daylight savings time...and the amazing weather around here. Also, they have been playing outside from the minute they get home to the minute I call them in. The result? Some very tired kids.

And I have learned that when George is physically tired, he actually gets pretty hyper. He just refuses to settle down when he gets over tired. I have never experienced that before with the other kids, so it took me a while to learn the cues and learn how to deal with it. Last night was one of the nights that George was a bit out of control. We said "no" to something, and he had a poor reaction; he stomped around the house for a while with his whinny cry. We told him to stop and so he screamed, ran into his room and slammed the door.

He was then put to bed and told goodnight. Simple as that.

Well, he was NOT happy and he cried and screamed for a while. He demanded that Lincoln have to go to bed, too. We tried to talk to him, but he would throw his comforter over his head and refuse to even listen to us. Again...this doesn't happy very often, but it is a typical reaction when George is very tired.

When it was bed time, we brought in Lincoln. George, of course, was still awake. We said our prayers and went to give hugs and kisses. George said, "No hug!"

I lost it. I have told George how much that has hurt me in the past. I have asked him to no longer use that tactic to hurt me. He had agreed. I was so angry now! So, I told him that I was angry...that he knew how much those words hurt me...and that I was sick of it. Yes, I probably over-reacted. I AM the adult and should have simply walked out saying, "That's your choice." But, I didn't.

At this point, Joe and I both settled in on the couches in the living room and were talking about our day when we could hear George crying and moaning in his bed. We ignored it. We could hear him tossing, turning, throwing covers around. He simply could not settle down.

Joe went into the room to tell him it was time to go to sleep. And in that moment, George said, "I have to tell Momma I am sorry." Joe let him out and he ran to me, threw himself onto me and told me he was sorry and that he wouldn't say "no hug" again. I told him I forgave him.

With a smile on his face, he immediately settled down and fell fast asleep.

This is a child who simply can not go to sleep with any anger between himself and his parents. His body will not settle and his mind will not shut off. But once there is reconciliation, he sleeps with a smile.

He continues to teach me how to live the way God wants me to.

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