Monday, April 18, 2011

My Little Sapling

Over the past two years, I have often turned to Hosea for comfort and encouragement. Sound weird? I mean, who would turn to an Old Testament book about a man whose wife is unfaithful? And what does that have to do with me?

I have often said that I can relate to Hosea because his wife, Gomer, did not love him. She turned her back on him daily and did unspeakable hurt to Hosea's heart. And did God tell Hosea he could end the marriage and walk away? NO. God insisted that Hosea stay true to Gomer, no matter what Gomer did or didn't do.

Can you see the connection now?

So, I have often quoted a passage from the end of Hosea.

I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel and he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots, his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. Men will dwell again in his shade.

This is my prayer for George. God has brought healing through pouring His love into me and asking me to love George. God has caused my anger to turn away from him. Now...George is becoming my little cedar sapling!

How have things been lately? Bringing George home for schooling was THE BEST decision we have made in a long time. He is no longer around influences that cause him to imitate bad behavior. When we started home schooling, I heard the usual, "This is too hard." or "I can't do this." But, I pressed him, telling him how smart he is and that I knew he could do this. I saw him try to do the things he was getting away with in school, but those things are not acceptable in our house.

I am still using a very strict discipline strategy with George. Here is the line...if you cross go to your room. One important piece I have learned on disciplining a child from a hard place is to NOT separate myself from the child during those "time-outs". It is crucial that George still be able to see me, hear me, talk with me....reinforcing that he is not being abandoned or left alone. So, George gets sent to his room and stays there with the door open. And when he cools off, he asks if he can come out and talk. He must say he is sorry and acknowledge what he has done. We then talk about better ways to deal with situations the next time they come around.

And then off he goes...usually with a smile and a skip.

I can't even begin to tell you how drastic the turn around has been. Now, in reality, it has been coming for a month or so. I don't know what caused the huge downfall in January and February. Maybe it was the painful anniversaries? Maybe it was the dreary days of winter? Maybe it was the exposure to such negative behaviors at school? Maybe it was a combination of all three factors creating the perfect storm.

The good that has come out of it has made the tornado worth it.

I believe George truly grieved.

I believe George really believes in his heart that we are never going to give up on him.

I believe George now sincerely loves this momma!

Every night, as I tuck George into bed, he has started saying something new, "Momma, I love you so much and I know I am going to be your son forever."

And then he kisses my cheek and says, "I am so happy now."

Sometimes he will get quiet and say, "Momma, there are more kids in Africa that need you."

And I answer, "I know."


Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

What wonderful news! Praying I have a similar story to tell eventually.

Brian & Amy said...

Oh what a treasure George's words are to you each evening!!! You are an INCREDIBLE PARENT!! Mimicking the Father's love for us...thank you for your love for George and your role model for us!


Lynette said...

Tearing up over here Tracey. What sweet words for you to hear before falling asleep at night.

Bear Creek Mama said...

Ahhh, this just warms my heart....and I LOVE the Hosea connection. Yes, that's what we are called to do - love the unlovable. Our prayer is that eventually they will accept it - and it looks like Georgie is finally doing that. Praise you sister for your steadfastness!