Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “school”

A Chance Encounter…A Truth Revealed

UnknownI was excited as I entered the bakery prepared to order the cake for my goddaughter’s baby shower.  It had been a busy day as I checked off my to do list so I welcomed a break to chat up the cake decorator whose daughter attends school with mine.  During our conversation, she asked whether my daughter would be returning to FB for 8th grade in light of all that was going on with the 7th graders.  Huh?  I had no idea what she was talking about as my stomach did a roller coaster drop.  “Oh yeah,” she continued – “there are girls who have been cutting themselves and some who are no longer eating who have to be supervised during lunch hour so they can eat.”  My look of surprise caused her voice to drop and she drew back slightly which caused me to lean in and press the issue.  “Names…give me names,” I said.  And sadly she gave me two names I instantly recognized as close friends of my daughter.  My mind wandered to the times recently that my daughter has skipped a meal or two or has moved the food on her plate around leaving it mostly untouched.  I then recalled the many times she has come home from school a little sad or quiet and now I’m not alarmed…I’m irritated!  I’m not irritated with my daughter, I’m bothered by the administration at the school who bombards my mailbox with emails trumpeting the many instances of scabies, lice and the like, but fail to give parents a heads up regarding behavior that our girls are exhibiting which could affect (if not addressed) those girls who are not involved directly, but are on the sidelines being infected.  Ugggghh!!!  “Lord, help me handle this one.”

As I drive home I sensed a peace that my daughter is not directly involved and I am once again in awe of the Holy Spirit who has been showing me how to pray for my daughter all along; who had arranged that meeting at the bakery because He knew that I must take steps now to protect my girl, to gain her trust, to place a little separation between her and her friends as they continue to heal.  I ask the Lord for help.  I ask for His wisdom and peace as I approach my child with this new found information and I ask Him to guard me from being irritated with her for not sharing what she knows if she knows.

Since my children were around 3 or 4, I’ve been talking to them about bad touch, good touch, stranger danger, good secrets, bad secrets, etc.  I’ve talked extensively as they’ve matured about friends and trust; we’ve discussed the importance of knowing when to bring an adult into confidence for a situation that may be too big for them to figure out.  Clearly, my daughter needs a refresher course, I’m thinking.

The minute she gets in the car, I just about forget how I’ve prayed.  I tell her I’ve heard some disturbing news and then I blurt out…”what do you know about the girls who are cutting themselves and not eating.”  I know….smooth, right?  Her eyes get wide and tear up and I continue my smooth execution by asking her if she’s involved.  My heart is thumping in my ears as she turns over her wrists and shows me and says “no, mom.”  I hear the Holy Spirit screaming for me to shut up and so I do.

We get home and she follows me into the kitchen and as I take a deep breath, I hug her and remind her that I love her, am on her side and there is nothing she can do that can change my love for her.  I tell her that she needs to trust me so that I could help her.  She’s crying now and once again assures me that she is in no way involved; that the girls involved have been in this tailspin since early this year when the school found out.  All of the girls are being counseled, their parents are aware and the reason she has kept that secret is because she was being loyal to her friends who were ashamed and asked her not to tell anyone.

She then proceeded to name each girl and it broke my heart to see her cry as she shared the names.  I wrote each name down and my heart broke as I recognized each name.  She hesitated and said there’s one more and this time she put her hands over her face as I held my breath.  It was her best friend.  Her tears slipped through her fingers and I felt her body relax as I held her.  I’m sure she felt my body relax also.  She was finally able to let go of that secret and I was able to exhale.  I promised not to treat her friends differently and at that point I was not about to lecture her about anything.  I just held her and reminded her what a loyal friend she was.  I told her I wished she would have shared with me so that she did not have to carry this burden alone.  My blessed girl said she has been praying for her friends and begging God to heal them; that she never had a desire to hurt herself because she has no emotional issues and she also knows that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (I almost cried when I heard her say that.)  I took her hand in mine and we placed them over the names I had written down and I prayed for each girl by name.  As she dried her tears, she assured me that everyone was doing better.  She knew a lot about both disorders…no doubt had Googled about them, since she used some technical terms.  The times she had no appetite or was sad coming from school were times that her friends were struggling either at home or at the hand of their peers who were judging them.  I believe her.

I’m proud of my girl for standing up for and with her friends; for being loyal to them; for praying for them and acting as counselor; for not caring that she too was being judged by the “theys.”  It blesses me when I recall how over the top she celebrated her best friend for her birthday..how she emptied her piggy bank and dipped into my wallet in order to make her friend’s birthday special because she wanted to see her smile…she loves her smile!

My girl and I have spent the last week snuggled up, having tea and talks and many laughs.  She has told me on more than one occasion that she loves and trusts me and feels closer to me since she’s told me.  I’m grateful!

Once again, this piece points to the importance of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives.  He is our teacher, our guide, our comforter, our revealer, our wisdom, our peace.  I’m praying today for our youth…our daughters.  I pray a hedge of protection around them and pray that no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that they would be delivered from the hand of the enemy and set on a course which would be pleasing to the Lord; I pray that their appetites would be for that which honors God and that they would respect themselves and each other.  I pray that they would get a revelation of how much the Lord loves them; how they are fearfully and wonderfully made; how great their purpose is; how there is hope and peace in their future; I pray for their parents..for peace in their households; and a greater knowledge of and relationship with the Lord and their children….in Jesus’ name.  Amen and so be it!

My Boy’s Big Day!

I’ve been a bit on the mopey side lately…wanting to spend as much time with my son as possible.  “Mom, can I play on your computer?”  “Yes,” I say, knowing that he’ll be close enough for me to sneak glances at from time to time without being so obvious.  “Mom, do you wanna watch our favorite show now.”  “Yep, I’d love to,” as he settles in next to me on the couch.   Today marks a new chapter in my son’s life.  Today my boy is officially a high school freshman and I’m blown away!  Where did that time go?  I recall being told when he was a baby to enjoy the time with him because it goes by so fast.  How true!

It was quite clear to me that parenting entailed a series of separations and I anticipated the possibility of pain.  That separation began in the delivery room and I have been “painfully” aware of it ever since.  I was surprised at how sad I was when I brought him home from the hospital.  For nine months we had shared a secret while he grew inside of me and now that we had become separated, I had to share him.  Then came the time when he was around 10 months old when he decided that he no longer wanted to be trapped beneath my shirt for a drink.  He traded me in for plastic.  I was broken hearted when I dropped him off at preschool because the arms that comforted him throughout the day would no longer be mine.  I’ve watched him slowly become independent and while I celebrate his budding independence, I’m missing my little boy.

My boy…my miracle child, has been the sweetest, most tender gift from God.   I fell in love the day it was announced, after my first ultrasound,  that “this pregnancy is happening.”  From day one, I’ve been super aware that I would be raising someone’s husband, so I’ve been diligent about teaching him what girls like…be a gentleman; ladies first; open doors for them; smell nice; dress sharp; r.e.s.p.e.c.t.; leave room for the Holy Ghost when you dance (hehe);  honor your parents; love and serve the Lord…oh, and “the girls love the curls, son!”  I’ve also told him that “everyone starts dating at around 25.  That’s the cool thing to do!!” 🙂  On his school field trips, he always thinks of me in the gift shop and brings me home a trinket (and one for his sissy too); he compliments me constantly (for free…doesn’t cost me a thing:); he still holds my hand in public; makes a perfect cup of coffee and assumes the role of the man of the house when my honey goes out of town.  Recently, I’ve started teaching him how to cook and he has expressed an interest in learning how to wash clothes.  During those times that I’m stealing glances, I think about his wife (the one I’m praying for all the time) and I think about how blessed she will be.

And so the separation continues and as he begins this next chapter…. high school….that hormonal cesspool, I’m anticipating the dating thing and I REALLY need to get before the Lord since I’m thinking the dating at 25 deal ain’t gonna fly.  Long ago I heard a great answer to the dating question given by the oldest child of that Duggar family…the one with 20 kids.  When asked why he chose not to date, he felt that when one dates, they give a little piece of their heart to each person and he wanted to give his entire heart to one.  I’ve passed that little dittie on to my kids.  Another time, we were stopped at a light coming home from elementary school and we saw a couple of kids making out and my kids’ eyes were locked on them.  I said, “you see those kids there…chances are they will not be together long enough to marry.  He is kissing and caressing someone else’s wife and she’s making out with someone else’s husband.”  I’ve encouraged them to respect themselves…save themselves for their husband/wife.  I’ve pointed out that they can always be like “the crowd,” and dabble in marriage-type behavior; however, if they choose to remain pure, the “crowd” that has chosen that behavior can’t be like them.  Whew…what a tightrope we walk in this area..trying to walk the line, make the right choices, trying not to blend in in a world where everything is permissible.  The challenge for me remains in the angst felt by my kids when they are not allowed to run with the crowd…and so I remain prayerful that their appetites will be for those things that are pleasing to the Lord and beneficial to them; that they remain rooted and grounded in the Word; that they not be tossed and turned by the philosophies and doctrine of man, as dad and I keep watch over them as best we could, teaching them as much as we are able and trusting God to cover them better than we could ever cover them.

Today I released my boy into the next part of his journey into manhood.  He left this morning fed and watered with expectation written all over him.  Dad and I prayed over him, and with a kiss and a wave he was off.  I did good…Dad, not so much.  He called me from the drop off area sounding pretty weepy, blown away at how fast time has gone…

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