Friday, November 27, 2009

I want to say YES.

say yes




Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

Parenting is hard. Before I became a mom, I remember seeing other women with their babies, each time a-wishing- and -a- wanting I had one of my very own. My married girlfriends voiced my same desire, “Awwwww, I want a baby!” they chimed in unison. Never once do I recall any of us saying, “Awwwww, I want a teenager!”

That should have been my first clue.

Do you have teenagers? If you do, it's doubly hard. Are you tired? If you're doing it right you should be. Our son David is fifteen. We have already gone through the teen years with our oldest daughter Meghan -so begins Round Two.

David's grades aren't where they should be, or could be. He would much rather be socializing with friends, than working on his schoolwork. This child who grew up dazzling me with his impish grin and constant comic relief, is trying to win his teachers over with the same performance. Clearly, love makes a difference.

This Christmas his one and only gift request is for an Ipod Touch. He doesn't have a cellphone and craves the ability to text his friends like everyone else. This type of Ipod would give him that ability he says. And apparently, he is the only teenager in the western hemisphere who doesn't have one. We have never been parents who have been persuaded with the “Everyone has one.” argument. Though, he has given this line his best shot.

Because I'm a mom, I want to bless my son. I want to give him everything he desires. I want his Christmas morning to be magical and his joy to be off the charts. I want to give him an Ipod Touch. But, I just can't. If my son cannot take the time to study for a geometry test, why would I give him something that will distract him even more?

It reminds me of how the Lord often times says “No.” to me. If I was given everything I desired, what would my life look like? If the Lord granted all of my prayer requests at fifteen, I would be married to Shawn Cassidy, driving a red Pinto, and living in Disneyland.

Because the Lord loves us, there is no request granted or declined that hasn't first been sifted through His hands of love. Quite often, what we ask for we aren't ready for. And sometimes, just like our children, there is some work that needs to be done in us before we can handle the very thing we are praying for.

This Christmas, because I love my son, he won't be getting an Ipod Touch. This Christmas, I won't be saying YES. And, to be completely honest with you, on the morning of December 25th, I think I may be more disappointed than him.

Parenting is hard.

Lord, help me to remember that my child's wants and his needs are two very different things. Please give me the strength to make the tough decisions, the heart to love with each tough decision made, and the endurance to do it all over again tomorrow.




15 comments:

Debbie said...

Joanne, even us adults need to learn the difference between our needs and our wants. Too often we can insist on our way and miss God's best for us.

Blessings,
Debbie

Jackiedlc said...

Thanks for sharing Joanne.

I completly agree with you... I have a almost teen girl here (12) who is struggling with grades and as sad as it makes me feel to say no for those things she wants, i know it's all done for her best.

God is good and through Prayer we shall overcome :)

Denise said...

I think you are doing the right thing sweetie, love is always the better choice.

hip chick said...

Perhaps he could earn an ipod touch with his grades or some other good behavior. I have teenagers also. It's so nice to hear some one else who is going/gone through this. I think the parents of younger children really don't have a clue for the most part and parents of older children have blocked it out. Even the parenting magazines only have pictures of cute babies on the covers. That is because if there was a picture of a teenager no one would buy it. ;~)

Mari said...

This is so true. As parents, we want to give them everything they want and make their lives easy. However - easy and getting whatever they want isn't good for them. Being a parent is hard, isn't it?
You're doing good though!

Me said...

As the mom of 2 teens I can relate. Thanks for writing this. It makes me feel better for the times I've said no and to my teens I'm the meanest mom ever!! I know it's for their best ;)

Madison said...

Love it. A mom who thinks her son is capable of more. Yes!

Susan said...

I love you!! Shaun Cassidy, living in Disneyland...oh you always make me smile and giggle!!

You know my teen struggles and I know what you're going through and you're making the right choices from David, just like our Heavenly Father makes for us!

Praying for you...and my new struggle with my oldest...He will be 21 in two weeks! Oh Lord watch over him!!

Karen said...

My husband actually had a red pinto when he was a teenager...

This was a GREAT post...

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I love this today Joanne. Sometimes we parents try and give our kids all their wants and neglect their needs. THey NEED Jesus. They WANT material things.

You are a great mom!

Angie said...

Oh my dear friend. Yes, parenting is hard....but at the end of the day...when they're all tucked in bed...I know you smile. I do. Especially now. When their beds are not in my house :) (grinning)

I really miss 'em...but am mighty glad that I can have my bathroom all to myself....well...except for Scooter and Jeff. (See---there was a time..when they were growing up that you would find all four of us in the ONE bathroom at the SAME time. Yup. Stressfull times....

But good memories.

God is faithful.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

My heart has wept today because of my parenting; not for my "getting it right" but in this case, for getting it very wrong. I blew it. Screwed up with my 18 year old and said some harsh words to his heart. Yes, he'd done something deserving of some correction, but not at the level I gave it. I was operating from my own hurting emotions (a dangerous place to operate from). I've asked for forgiveness and will not soon recover from my guilt on this one.

On another note, my kids didn't get cell phones until they were 16. They pay for their portion and just now have added "texting" to their phones.

You're doing good, mom. Hang in there.

peace~elaine

Angela said...

Joanne,
Thank you so much for this post...I so needed to read this as a mother and as a child of God.

AJ said...

good job mom! I do not look forward to those years. I think you should get him an I Pod Touch case and tell him that you'll fill it if he can show some progress at school.

Of course, this is why my kids will hate me when they are teens. mu haha mu haha

Linda said...

It's really difficult when are in the storm, but your decision is the right one. Believe when I tell you, that when he becomes a parent he'll remember the lessons he learned as a teenager. It is such a blessing when your children come back to you after becoming a parent and say "Thanks Mom and Dad, I wish I had listened to you more." My sons, both with sons, have blessed my heart by saying just that.

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