One Day At a Time

Every now and then, motherhood serves you up one of those days.  The days that beat you to a pulp–before breakfast.  The days that make you wonder if you should be saving for college….or reform school.

I’m kidding.

Sort of.

It was just a really hard week last week.  And I crawled into the weekend, my heart bruised and my spirit a little bloodied.  It wasn’t pretty.  I wept, and I doubted, and I was mad at my little Offender who, so help me, still makes my heart sing with his crooked smile.  I lay in my bed and cried, and I begged God for something–anything–to redeem this ugly day we’d had. 

I looked over at my laptop.  My sweet friend Robin had sent me this passage:

1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock;
       do not turn a deaf ear to me.
       For if you remain silent,
       I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.

2 Hear my cry for mercy
       as I call to you for help,
       as I lift up my hands
       toward your Most Holy Place.

4 Repay them for their deeds
       and for their evil work;
       repay them for what their hands have done
       and bring back upon them what they deserve.

6 Praise be to the LORD,
       for he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
       my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
       My heart leaps for joy
       and I will give thanks to him in song.

9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
       be their shepherd and carry them forever.

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped."  These are just the words of peace I needed to hear.

Also? "Repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve."  If I’m not mistaken, I think that’s a Biblical way to say, "I HOPE YOU HAVE A CHILD JUST LIKE YOU SOMEDAY." 

Oh, yes. I’m defininitely feeling better now. 

I’m thinking these thoughts, laughing through my tears, when The Offender comes into my room and hops up in my bed.  He can’t sleep.  He tells me what’s on his mind, and I listen.  And at one point in our conversation I tell him, "you know, you just can’t always trust girls.  Believe me.  I used to be one."

Used to be?

The joke hung in the air for just a minute until it washed over us both.  We laughed together, and he leaned in to nudge me with his shoulder.  I placed my hand on the top of his head.  The rumbles of laughter silenced, and we sat there together, a cheeky pre-teen boy and his over-wrought mother.  It was a good silence, the kind that patches up the holes we’d left in each other’s hearts that day.

Thank God for the sweet mercy of taking things one day at a time.

65 thoughts on “One Day At a Time

  1. ~Miss Nelson says:

    I love this passage…”The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.”
    It really is comforting. Thank you for sharing.
    I am glad to hear that you are taking comfort in the words as well.

  2. Chelsea says:

    “The days that make you wonder if you should be saving for college….or reform school.”
    I’ve often told my husband that we should have a therapy fund instead of a college fund. My kids will need it.

  3. AmberStar says:

    I thought those days would never end…they were excruitiating and awful and they did end. And now one does have one just like him, and he is a good father. Take it One Day At A Time

  4. maria says:

    Oh Shannon, the woes only get bigger. Keep those passages close, you will need them.
    Some days I think I may be saving for bail, instead of college. And now that my oldest is 18 I tell him all the time he will get a son “just like him” one day, and I will take his apologies then!!! lol
    Smile… school starts soon.

  5. Midwest Mommy says:

    Oh I hear you! Today has started out liket hat for me. It wasn’t even 8:00 am yet and all heck was breaking loose in our house. Finally now things have simmered down but man! Those days are rough.

  6. Kristin says:

    The Word is my best source of comfort; it reminds me of who is in control and offers the perspective I so often need.
    p.s. I love your comparison of the Bible verse (hoping that your child gets a child like themselves one day). On her most harried days my mom would always say that… And now I find myself thinking the same!

  7. Shannon says:

    What great words of wisdom. My pre-teen is driving me crazy most days. I wasn’t prepared for a boy being moody and dramatic at 11. EVERYTHING is a big deal. Hang in there.

  8. Robin says:

    Shannon, I loved hearing how those words were the right thing at the right time; isn’t it an amazing thing when God plunks His truth in your lap when you need a particular measure of it? What a joy to see the same scripture ministering to others because THEY need to hear that very thing right now.
    “It was a good silence, the kind that patches up the holes we’d left in each other’s hearts that day.”
    That line is beautifully worded and my favorite of your post; it’s a lovely depiction of redemption :).
    (And, I agree, those golden moments are healing.)

  9. kellie@LaVidaDulce says:

    This post was great. I am always amazed how God uses my children to teach me more about Him, and myself!
    Thanks for sharing your mom/son moment with us! As a Mom to a pre-teen son, I appreciate it!

  10. Jolanthe says:

    We are having one of those months it seems with our three year old. And the cherry on the sundae this weekend was he broke one of my toes (on accident but due to a temper fit).
    Thanks for sharing the verse. πŸ™‚ I’m so posting that one where I can see it right now.

  11. Carolina Mama says:

    Should I go ahead and name my blog “I’m scared of the days ahead…” πŸ™‚ Yet, He is not the author of fear but of “power and love and of a sound mind.” May you continue to turn to the Bible in time of need. Me too. And thanks for the great influence of righteous parenting. God Bless.

  12. Kelly says:

    Wow, that was beautiful. Don’t we all have those Offenders. And the crazy thing is, it’s not always the same kid. Which is scarey that there can be multiple offenders in one family. For what its worth, you have great kids and we enjoyed them Saturday night.

  13. tracie says:

    I LOVE that God hears us {and answers prayer} just when we need it. If we can be silent enough to listen, and open enough to ‘get it …’ He never fails. Bless you and your little Offender! πŸ™‚

  14. AmyDe says:

    Thank you for sharing – it’s just what I needed today. This morning I sent my eldest (all of 7-1/2) back to bed for a “do-over.” I told her she needed to lay in her bed a little longer to see if she could adjust her attitude and start the morning over with a new and better one. So far it seems to have taken, but some days – OH Some Days!

  15. Shauna Okongo says:

    Wow, thanks for that word. I have two girls under 3, and there are days that I wonder if I shouldn’t just trade them both in, sell them to some African gypsies as we travel around Kenya. And then somehow, in some special way, they redeem themselves.
    I was often told as a teen that I would be paid back by having children just like me. I can look back at that now, and I just think what mean words those were! I was an awful child!!
    Blessings to you, and thanks for the refreshment.
    Shauna Okongo

  16. Marcy Massura-The Glamorous Life says:

    I don’t know why I keep reading you…you always make me cry!…..such a lovely moment in time. A moment of transition…a healing moment. lovely. isn’t it great to get to FEEL so much? We are the lucky ones…even if everyday doesn’t feel like it…we are the lucky ones.

  17. Overwhelmed With Joy! says:

    Beautiful, Shannon! I think, as parents, we all have those days from time to time. Thank goodness the Lord provides us with the sweet moments such as these to offset the rough days. Our children, no matter what their age, know how to push our buttons and then can in the next instance melt our hearts. God bless them!

  18. kris says:

    You and I were living in a paralell universe last week. I was truly completely deflated and low low low by Sunday morning. But God is good (and so is my husband who saved me from myeslf and gave me some much needed Child free time) And today is a chance to start fresh and try again to be a better mother and follower of Christ- May God be with YOU on the journey as well. heaven knows the road is full of potholes and distractions along the way….
    God bless you and yours!

  19. dlyn says:

    Great post – my Mom says she always prayed I would have a child just like me someday. I truly thank the Lord that He saw fit to not answer that particular prayer!

  20. Lisa P. says:

    Thank you for sharing this…it’s just what I needed to hear after a HARD two weeks with my precious 4 year old!

  21. Jenny says:

    I remember a “schedule” that I read long ago (but I may not have the ages exactly matched) that goes something like this:
    age 0 – 6 – think their parents are like God
    age 7 – 12 – think their parents are the smartest people in the world
    age 13 – 17 – think their parents are the dumbest people in the world
    age 18 – 24 – think they are smart enough to handle anything, they know much better than their parents
    age 25 to 35 – think their parents probably know a thing or two
    age 36 – 50 – think their parents were the smartest people in the world
    age 51 and up – think their parents were like God
    So according to this, time is on your side.

  22. The Apron Queen says:

    Oh, the holes they leave in our heart sometimes. I have been known to call my own Mom & apologize YEARS later for the holes I must have left in her heart at times. If paybacks are heck… whoa! I better hold on because I was not an angel & I’m in for a very bumpy road. And “holey” heart. πŸ™‚
    For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

  23. We are THAT family says:

    If I close my eyes and think, really imagine, what’s around the corner-the unseen, the unknown, the joy, the sadness that awaits me as a parent, I can’t breathe.
    One day at a time. I live there.

  24. Karen says:

    I obviously don’t know you or your son, but, boy, do I feel your pain! Some days are just harder than others. However, I am amazed at how much God has taught me and changed me through the life of a 9 year old boy!!

  25. Molly says:

    Oh goodness, Shannon. I am/am not looking forward to older children. It’s just so complicated!
    I was feeling similarly defeated last week with a three-year-old, after I had decided to spend some intentional, fun time with him and all he seemed to want to do was disobey and be naughty. It just broke my heart.
    Thanks for this post!

  26. Amanda says:

    Oh my, this post was wonderful. Thank you for sharing. It goes deeper than skin, right where I needed it. Mama’s hearts just hurt somedays… huh? Blessings!

  27. Amy says:

    There is joy in knowing we are not the only one’s encountering “these” days! When friends tell me that it will increase in the teen years, I just laugh and say, “exactly what will be different?” Just give me today for now, Lord! I’ll take today. I love how God gives us an understanding of His infinite love and compassion so that we can know how to have that for our families, too.

  28. Sandy says:

    Yes I have an offender also, those pre-teenage hormones are all the rage these days. It is hard, and my son does say some down right mean things, but it is those tender, quiet moments that continue to bind us together……….and a good sense of humor helps also!
    Thanks for posting this, it’s nice to know other women are dealing with the SAME thing!!

  29. Sandy says:

    Yes I have an offender also, those pre-teenage hormones are all the rage these days. It is hard, and my son does say some down right mean things, but it is those tender, quiet moments that continue to bind us together……….and a good sense of humor helps also!
    Thanks for posting this, it’s nice to know other women are dealing with the SAME thing!!

  30. TracyB says:

    My mother in law used to say that line to my ex husband ” I hope you have kids like you one day”. He did have children like him, the problem is that he is not around to deal with it, but he is also not around to deal with the sweetness, and lovingness of those children. I need to memorize those passages also, and keep the children close to my heart and teach them the right way, and to forgive.

  31. To Think Is To Create says:

    Oh gosh, I adore that passage. And I laughed out loud at the “used to be one” line. Sounds like something I’d say (actually, maybe I have…I wouldn’t really know, because I have no brain left lately).
    Hang in there mama. You get a break in a few days!

  32. Angela says:

    Boys have that special “way” about them sometimes…. girls do too, but boys are just different like that. I have had two go through that age, and now they are older and they think I’m not crazy anymore. It’s hard, but you *will* come out on the other side. Thanks for sharing in such a sweet way.

  33. prasti says:

    i love that passage from psalms, and often refer to verse 7 for strength, endurance, comfort and encouragement. this was the verse i clung to during labor and to get me through my miscarriage :). wishing you a lord-filled week!

  34. Gego says:

    Oh, Dear.
    Y’all be careful what you pray for as a parent.
    I have a son who was blessed with mischieviousness. I never prayed that he would have a child like him, but I thought that he deserved one. He has grown into a fine and wonderful man, a good husband, and a fabulous father. Yes, he deserves one or two or three or four like him and the mother of his children.
    One person should not try to take blame or responsibility for a child’s development.
    It takes two to tango.
    Loved this post! Many thanks for reminding me that what happens at a young age isn’t necessarily what happens in adulthood.

  35. The Glamorous WAHM says:

    You know, I always say, that while God may not keep us from every struggle, He always goes ahead of our struggles and, prepares a way for us to get through them. He had those scriptures in place for you long before you ever knew it would be a bad day with your “offender.” Isn’t He an AWESOME God?

  36. Kristenkj says:

    I haven’t been to quite the place you’re speaking of, my children are still a little younger, but I can see that I will get there someday. I love what you said about the silence that mends the holes you put in each others hearts.
    With a mama like you, I can’t believe any of those kiddos will be in reform school. πŸ™‚

  37. Deb@BirdOnAWire says:

    Thanks for posting this verse. And it is true that God picks our children just for us. I’m listening to you on Blog Radio, its great to put a voice to the “voice” here. Thanks Shannon!

  38. Rena says:

    Oh, how I felt your pain when I read that! I have all daughters, almost 18 (July 30…and going to basic for the LA National Guard in Sept…but that’s another story..), 15 & 22 months.
    The teenage years, especially seem to try us to the core as mothers. Oh, how I ache at the words you wrote.
    What a beautiful encouragement that your friend sent! I just want to tell you that my heart goes out to you! I pray for extra wisdom for us as mothers in these days!
    Be blessed and encouraged! And thanks for sharing!

  39. Kathy C. says:

    Oh, I remember those days so vividly. I also remember the sweet times of reconciliation. They are all learning moments, for both parent and child. God’s Word certainly does have a way of giving us exactly what we need at the moment we need it. He is so good.
    Have a blessed day!

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