I’ve been so excited about the Making Your Home a Haven challenge that is being offered on WomenLivingWell.org. The first step in the challenge was to light a candle everyday in a central focal area of the home, and then to pray for peace whenever your eye caught the light of the candle. Monday was the first day, and sadly, my candle never got lit….too much chaos with everyone in my household off in different directions. There never really was a time for us as a family that first night and I felt like I had failed… I decided to not despair, however, and make the most of Day 2 when all would be home with no pressing obligations.
I finished my day of work and got off at a decent time. I drove to daycare with excitement about a good night at home. I walked to the playground and looked around for my 7 year old. Neither I nor the daycare person could find her at first. We kept calling, and slowly a dirt covered object rose as if from the dead out of the sand at the back of the playground. My daughter had let other children bury her up to the neck in sand. She also had a note from school about misbehavior (after many warnings the note said). ugh! I thought…this can’t be a good night, and where has this behavior come from when she has been doing so good. My car was filled with sand. My bathroom floor was filled with sand…but I kept it together. I thought, a quick shower and all will be ok, but NO…in the shower my child proceeded to misbehave. When I asked her what’s wrong, and why are you acting this way, she said “Because I want to do what I want to do!” She is at least brutally honest..no sugar coating or rationalizing for her. Her father came in and was informed about the days misconduct and when he began to talk to her she argued with him (very brave I might add!) and her sassy mouth went in to overdrive. Uh oh! I thought….there goes my haven. Of course my child was given consequences for her behaviors, and as soon as her father left, she said “I hate having parents who are not nice. You are not nice parents.” I have never heard such words from my child before. All of these behaviors were so bizarre, even for her.
But I kept my focus. I went and lit my candle, and I prayed. As the flame flickered, I saw life glowing and my hope was renewed. You know my heart, Lord, I said. I give what’s left of this night to you.
I called my 7 year old to the kitchen to sit and start her homework while I prepared supper. I helped her with her homework and tried to make it fun. Immediately she calmed down and a peace settled over the remainder of the night. She focused and minded. Her father returned about an hour before her bedtime and commended her for changing her behaviors. My teenager volunteered to make some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.. “and by the way mom, I like the candle”, she said. As I sat with my 7 year old and we finished our cookies, I asked her what she had learned today…and very sweetly, she said..”to mind, and to think about what I’m doing, and to do the right thing.” And she gave me a hug. I thanked God for answered prayer, and the peaceful end to what started out so chaotic.
And I leaned over and blew out my candle with peace in my heart.
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