Lately I have been doing a lot of learning about trauma, the way it affects the brain, and how to parent kids with that history. Yesterday, my friend Brenda Benning from Minnesota, was here teaching my staff about Reactive Attachment Disorder and what happens when that is part of the mix for a traumatized child.
Last night we had to make the decision to not let our son, who apparently is being discharged from Job Corp, come home because his presence in our home causes so much chaos and stress. It was a very hard decision and Bart and I are very sad.
Those things combined have led me to a land that I wouldn't necessarily call regret, because I don't believe in wasted emotion -- but there certainly is a level of grief that we didn't have the tools that are available now. The way I parented (I say I instead of we, because Bart was intuitively better at doing the right thing than I) was not what some of my kids needed. I know it is impossible, but I sometimes wonder how it would turn out if I could have a do-over.
But also over the twelve years that I have blogged, I have tried to be hopeful and positive and faithful to what I believe God is saying to all of us. I've also hoped that my stories are once that you can relate to and find things in your own life and that my authenticity can help you figure things out, ending up at a place of hope and believing God to keep His promises.
I'm sure that you can name a situation in your life that you would like to do over. Whatever that is, I want to encourage you that what you learned in that situation was part of God's plan to form you and change you. We are a constant work on in progress.
Two things have been a big encouragement to me in the midst of all this. One of them is Bart's sermon illustration on Easter. He closed with this illustration:
When the house lights dimmed and the piano concert was about to begin, a mother returned to her seat and discovered that her child was missing.Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights "Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master Ivan Paderewski made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing. Don't stop." Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played that night. Only the classic," Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
If you want to check out the commercial based on this story it's awesome -- just click here.
Bart concluded his sermon with the words, I hope that you can hear God's whisper in your ear. "Don't quit. Keep playing. Don't stop." Those words have been in my head hourly this week as I picture my mediocre efforts as those piano notes but also picture God's around me turning my feeble attempts into a masterpiece.
The second is this song because I could have written the lyrics. No matter how old I get and no matter how hopeful and positive I try to be, I still have those times when I don't FEEL like an overcomer.
I trust that this song will help you as much as it has me this week: