Thursday, September 13, 2012

Losing Control

Laying in bed I had the weight of my guilt, my inadequacies, my frustration, my disappointment, and my sadness sitting on my chest and making it difficult to breathe. The outward expression of my emotions resulted in a physical pain. What I was feeling was the darkness of defeat. 

A few weeks ago, the financial strain in our home was overwhelming. Due to being a slow season, my husband's job had cut him down to ten hours a week. We knew that it wouldn't cover the bills and agreed that my husband had to look for another job. He found a full time night position that is located a little further away. I was nervous about him being gone every night and was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep the girls quiet during the day when he was sleeping. Due to his other job only needing him a couple hours a day he said he would keep both jobs. Before he even began his first day his day job became very busy and needs him to work not only full time, but a little overtime. He is taking an online course. My husband has been gone for 18 hours a day. He tries to stay up and spend time with the girls and I but I make him go to sleep because I don't want him to get overwhelmed and exhausted. He is home three hours in the morning, when we are still sleeping, and four hours in the late afternoon. I miss him so much. I am so very proud for him working so hard to provide for our family. I miss my best friend. I miss talking to him. 

To make things worse, Abbie seems to have lost her mind. I know it is normal for children to begin to flip out or to act out when there are major stressors and changes. For the last couple years we have struggled with her stealing and lying. I thought we were over it but she began to do it again. She will take something from my room, play with it, make a huge mess, destroy it, and lie about it. We have tried so many things from talking to her, making her replace the items, spanking her, grounding her, making her hold cans, and nothing seems to work. The stealing makes me mad but not as much as lying right to my face. I can see my makeup all over her, her stuff, and her sister... yet still she swears up and down that she didn't touch my lipstick. She is seven years old and she knows better. 

So yesterday began as normal. I was tired and overwhelmed to begin with. Then she stole from me and lied about it. I was upset and made her sit at the table writing sentences until her father could spank her. *** I made a promise to myself to never physically discipline her when I am emotionally involved or angry. To me it is the difference between discipline and punishment. ***  The hubby was asleep and I had been trying to keep the girls quiet so he can rest a little. Before she even finished her sentences I told her that she could go in her room and play until dinner was finished but that she could not watch television. I made her repeat after me. When I looked in and saw the television on I reminded her that there was to be no more television and that she needed to be obedient. I went to continue on dinner and then caught her watching tv and when she heard me she quickly turned it off and tried to lie about it. I punished her. I did not harm her or abuse her but I know that my heart was not where it should have been. I didn't do it to teach her. I did it because I was angry and tired of it. I wanted to quit. I wanted to walk out the door and leave for a couple hours but I couldn't. I was afraid that I would say something that would hurt her so I left the room and didn't go near her the rest of the night. After bed the girls went to bed for the night and the hubby left for work. 

As I lay in my bed trying to sleep I found it hard to breathe. I felt guilty for not having self control. I felt like an inadequate for not being able to get her to stop stealing and lying. I felt a sadness for not being able to talk to my best friend. I began sobbing. The pain and exhaustion was so much more than I had realized. I began praying and crying out to God. I prayed for her. I prayed that my attitude would change. I prayed that I could find a way to discipline her. I prayed that I could find rest and comfort in God's arms. I kept repeating Matthew 11:28-30 "“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I began thanking God for all He has given me and began singing His praises. Soon I was able to fall asleep and I woke up in a much different place then I was yesterday. Yes, things are still tough and can be overwhelming, but I claim the victory God has won for me. 

I talked with Abbie this morning and apologized for my actions. I told her that though I am supposed to discipline her God says, "in your anger, do not sin." We set up a reward system for her and are going to try it for a month. 
God is good. Instead of losing control I need to give God the control.