Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can do things I couldn't, feel things I didn't and know things I wouldn't...Praise God! --Beth Moore
I find myself asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit almost daily lately because I am convinced that it is not in my own power or wisdom that I have been able to walk through the last few weeks of parenting. I'm so glad that I can say I am looking back on this latest storm and so thankful that I don't think I've burned bridges but by God's grace was able to build some.
So, I cried all day the day I emailed the principal and band teacher. In hinds sight, I can see that I was getting my period but at the time, I was overcome with anger, sadness, frustration and grief. So many times in my life the most compelling drama comes right before my period..and it leaves me to wonder...which comes first? Seriously, what's up with that?
Anyway...the principal called me shortly after I had written my blog post. She wanted to find out more about the story and help me process through this situation. She did tell me that she saw this as cheating, stealing and lying and that there is a specific discipline rubric to handle this although it did offer her a range of punishments from suspension to detention. When she mentioned suspension I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach...OMG, what have I done? Many times throughout this process I've had to remind myself and have others remind me that "I" did not create this situation, that my daughter had created this situation, this was not my doing. As a mother, it's hard to keep that in perspective sometimes. The thing is when I see other people going through similar situations, I quickly and freely judge their emotional responses, but experiencing this first hand awarded me a much different perspective.
After much discussion, the principal and I came to the conclusion that a 1-2 day out of school suspension was probably not the most effective punishment. Social networking is my daughter's most valued resource, so it was social networking that was going suffer the most. She was going to be pulled into the principal's office, talk this over with her, be required to talk to the band teacher face to face and confess what she had done, lose recess for 2 days and lose the privilege of attending all specials such as gym, music, band, chapel, library and computers. She was going to be required to sit in a room alone during all of those times during the school day. The unfortunate thing for her, and the rest of the family, was that this punishment was taking place from Friday to Monday.
All day on Friday, I was conflicted. I wanted to kill her. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to teach her. I wanted...I had no idea what I wanted....I wanted this to end. During the day, I was given a unique perspective on our relationship with God. The Bible says that we "grieve the Holy Spirit" and that Jesus "wept over Jerusalem." I don't think I ever fully understood this...but now, I think I have a better understanding. My heart was breaking over her choice and what I was being required to do in order to parent her. I knew that I had to continue to punish and instruct her and yet throughout it all it was breaking my heart to see her in such pain.
Oh, the drama! I should have known 16 years ago when Doug and I got married that we would always have a lion's share of drama surrounding our family. Neither him nor I seem to escape it...it comes naturally, it often thrills us and life just isn't worth living if you don't fully experience it. My children, all of them, have embraced this way of life as well. Oh, the drama! She cried from Friday pretty much straight through until Sunday. As I type this we are in the midst of a 30 hour snow storm. Just when I think it's over, the snow comes back with a vengeance...such was the crying in our house. "The worst part is, Mom, I just don't know what to tell my friends about why I'm not out at recess or at band. I don't ever want anyone to find out about this mom...I haven't even told my best friend."
I prayed with her...ALOT! Over her, with her, for her... And for that I'm thankful. We have since been praying together and studying God's word together. She asks for it. I'm glad. If this is what it took for the two of us to start learning about living with Jesus...it was worth it. She is worth it.
It's just the beginning though... 5th grade, 6th, 7th, 8th and then high school... I'm buckling my seatbelt, reading my Bible and praying hard... life, here we come!