Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shattered Pots

I have a friend who addresses each email or text to me with, "Hi Super Mom."  I pause each time it flashes across the screen, because I know her sentiment is genuine, but she doesn't know my depravity~what lurks inside, waiting for release.

My husband is working on an award package for me as the representative for the squadron, the Joan Orr Spouse of the Year award.  And I struggle~for he's asked me to stop being humble and help him put together the list of the many things I do well and in service to others.  I struggle because he knows my depravity.

The main problem is that I want to be "Super Mom."  I've managed to arrive at this stage of life having never really struggled with anger.  Until this past year.   Until parenting a strong-willed child who has staying-power and whose coping skill for frustration is anger.  He's genetically cursed with my bent for perfectionism, and somehow 10 is not less than 43 but equal to it when the struggle for power ensues.  I was quiet a lot last spring, rising to hope daily between the three or four battles a week.  The battles that could throw an entire school day off and last for hours.  Rising to face off with fear and failure and the suffocation that comes from hours of being chased down.  Chased down by a son who is relentless in his pursuit of me once I have passed my limit of patience
~a child who makes me feel trapped in my skin, because I'm not good enough, perfect enough, can't find one more tool to use to help us get through this moment
~a child who wants only to be held
~a child who needs to be seen as a child
~a child who would endure pain over and over rather than face his imperfections
He and I, we're quite a bit alike.
I know God is using my son to help grow me up.  He's using him to help pull up the deep-grown roots of perfectionism, the contradiction in what I believe about mercy and grace and what I practice.  I've discovered some things in me I didn't know I was capable of ~  
When patience is sapped, slamming doors feels good.
Anger born of fear boils hottest.
No one truly wins a battle for control~to battle is to fight, and fighting always wounds.
I smashed two potted plants to the floor today, clay broken to fragments, rich earth covering the entire landing and spilling down the stairs, green leaves flat on their sides, and thick-ropey roots, twisted round and round each other.  I smashed them, feeling the explosion waiting inside and hoping it would jolt the chaos off-track long enough for us to get back to us.  Back to Him.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way,  just as we are - yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:15,16
I'm a broken pot.  My shattered edges have potential to cut.  My roots have grown thick and twisted, the strong ones with the weak, and I'm in need of pruning, a new pot and new soil.  Oh, I'm so sad that I help my son practice habits of anger, that my family has witnessed my brokenness, that at 43 I've discovered slammed doors and broken pots can bring release.  But I'm grateful that I have a great high priest who has gone before me, who can fix the things in my children that I break, and does not demand perfection from me~only authentic faith that He can do what He has promised to do.
~love me
~forgive me
~lead me
~fix me
~never leave me
The plants are re-potted.  The 10 year-old is back at life like all is normal.  And I have an image of a wad of roots splayed across the floor and once more feel the tugs of roots being pulled from my heart.  And I am grateful that He loves enough to keep us all from drying up in the blaze of anger.
I am learning.
No fear.
No failure.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children - with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.  Psalm 103: 17,18

Perfect peace, Favored One.

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