Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heart Troubles

When the Husband and I were chatting about the state (or chaos) of our family this weekend, we realized we were lacking structure and there were some heart troubles in our home.

The structure is something we give lip service to but as soon as we dream of implementing a schedule, life stomps all over it with big heavy work boots and I feel defeated. The Husband is comfortable with baby steps but I am an "all or nothing" kind of gal . Another thing I'm working on.

The heart troubles are something else entirely. You see, mostly they're good and loving kids. But there are times when I see their hearts shrinking like they've been hanging out with the Grinch and I wonder if their hearts will soon be two sizes too small.

This weekend, I saw a lot of envy and coveting. You see, three of the boys celebrate birthdays between September 15th and 24th...and they got some spending cash in the mail. One of the boys has a birthday on New Year's Eve and did not have any spending cash..and he feels as though he only gets gifts at one time of the year (never cash) and was feeling really envious and cranky and got downright beastly.

I lectured about greed and I lectured about envy and I lectured about..you get the picture. I was doing a lot of lecturing so I probably sounded like an adult in a Peanuts cartoon ("Wah wah wah waaah wah..." "Yes Ma'am").

I started to think about his heart and how it was doing. Not just that he was envious but that he was feeling left out and hurt and just down. He was definitely in need of some hugs and TLC in addition to the lectures and words of wisdom from moi.

Then yesterday the boys who hear about being brothers forever had a disagreement on the bus. It seems that *C* was getting teased (for being a "nerd", liking "uncool stuff" )and younger brother *N* decided that he wasn't going to sit with *C* because that wouldn't be cool.

Umm hello! This is your brother. Maybe *C* can be annoying by talking a lot (*N*'s excuse), but he is the same boy who helped *N* through the jitters on his first day at this new and bigger school. Stand by your brother, dude! Loyalty! Blood is thicker than water. All that jazz.

Heart troubles.

*N* is young so I understand it's hard sometimes to go against a group, especially when you want to be cool. (It can be difficult for adults to stand out and do hard things that go against the group.) But it is so uncool to dis your brother. I would have expected him to get in trouble for defending his brother not to ignore him when he needed a friend.

My heart hurts to think about it.

I cannot force them to make the right choices if I'm not there. Sometimes they do. Sometimes, not so much. They're not always going to take the high road. They aren't always going to be content with what they have when they see someone else getting something they dream of. They aren't always going to have the empathy to put the needs of another before their own wants.

My job is to teach them how they should respond, in word and deed, and hope that they will usually do the right thing, even when it's not easy.

So what did I do after lecturing and hugging? I prayed. I prayed for their hearts and their minds and their protection. I prayed for their relationship with each other.

And this morning...I sent them off to school with "I love you" and yes, a lecture to "be a friend to your brother." Because really, all I want is for their hearts to be healthy- physically, emotionally and spiritually.



  1. I think we can only do the best we can and then as you said, be prayer warriors for our children. Leading by example is another biggie, because "do what I say, not what I do" just doens't cut it. I know you already know that stuff! :) Being a good mom is the hardest thing I've ever undertaken in my life and I couldn't imagine doing it 6 times over! God Bless you and your husband and as you know, God will give you the strength to continue to be a good parent! God Bless!

  2. Stacey,
    Congratulations on your newest blessing!! Send me your snail mail to Taketimefortea@aol.com and I will send out your postcards:-) Get rest dear and cherish that newborn!

  3. Shoot! I have a whole lot of praying I need to do b/c there's a whole lot of envy and coveting and not standing by your sister going on around here.

    I hope your boys "hear" you.

  4. You're a wonderful mom. As your sons grow up they will have stories to tell and will cherish the memories of their childhood. Growing pains are never easy but definitely lessons that need to be learned.
    When my kids are mad at each other I remind them that they will be brothers forever and they need to be there for each other now and when they grow up. It always gets them and they end up hugging and shaking hands.