Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Ultimatum

I just have to share another of my shining mommy moments. This one happened today on the phone with my 16-yr-old daughter.

She: Mom, I told you I'm staying here. I don't want to come there for school.

Me: That really isn't your decision to make. It's my responsibility to see to it that you get the guidance and discipline that you need.

She (all dramatic like): It's my life! Not yours!

Me: The reality of it is that it isn't your life. You belong to God, so He gets to make that call.

She: I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Me: We have to talk about it because if you expect me to allow you to stay there, then you're going to have to show me that you're seeking God's wisdom in this. You got that? So the first thing you need to do is start praying. You need to ask forgiveness for disrespecting your mother. And you have to start going to church. Whether you want to or not. And you have to read your Bible. And I expect you to call me every day asking me to do a devotional with you.

Then you need to show me some fruit. You know what I'm talking about?

She: Yes. The fruit of the Spirit.

Me: That would be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. You'd better get to squeezin' out some of that fruit. Then you need to read 1 Corinthians 13. That's the chapter on love. I want evidence that you are willing to be obedient, not just to me, but to God. Do you understand what I'm telling you?

She: Yes, Mom.

Me: So here's the deal. I'm planning to pick you and your sister up at the end of this month to bring you back here for school. IF you think for one minute that I'm going to leave my job undone, you need to think again. I'm responsible for training you up in the way you should go, and that is exactly what I intend to do. IF you expect me to believe that you're doing what you think God wants, then you'd better get godly in a hurry.

[silence]

Me: Are you there?

She: Yeah, I'm here.

Me: Well, I've got to go back to work. I love you.

She: Love you too. Bye.


Squeeze out some of that fruit? Get godly in a hurry? Move over, Beth Moore. You've got competition.

11 comments:

Diane said...

Don't feel lonely. I want to pinch Jessica's head off sometimes, and today's been one of those days. For whatever good it might have done, I laid down a few old home truths to her tonight. *Sigh*......

She may be 18, but a Mama's work and worry is never done.

I feel your pain, Brenda. Truly, I do.

Brenda said...

For some reason, I keep telling her that at 18 she's on her own. You really don't ever let go, do you?

Diane said...

No, you don't, but the worries and the consequences are bigger, 'cause there's more at stake the older they get.

Hang in there, Brenda. Sooner or later, that "raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD" has to kick in.....Tell me it does, Brenda! And "Train them up in the way they should go, and when they are old, they'll not depart from it." Just how old do they have to be for that to start taking effect? Okay, the Bible says it, so I know it's true, now we just have to wait for it.

I don't know about you, but I never have had much patience for waiting on anything. Lord help us, and I mean that sincerely. :-)

Brenda said...

Amen.

Barb said...

Further proof that something my own mother told me years and years ago is so true - being a mother is the most rewarding but also the most difficult thing you'll ever do. This is a tough, tough age. But your guidance will pay off. Just when you wonder where on earth you went so wrong, they surprise you by coming around. As great as my two girls are now, believe me we had our ups and downs to get here. Hang in there. I feel in my heart there are happier days ahead. xoxoxo

BooMama said...

The only thing that would have made it more Beth Moore-ish is if you had called her "Beloved." :-)

But seriously? Great wisdom there. I feel like I got a parenting tip or nine.

And how much do I love that Diane said "home truths"? And that you said "squeezin' out some fruit"? I will so be using those phrases one day.

Clemntine said...

My kids' ages range from 1 to 15, so I'm in Schizophrenic Mama Lala Land.

Love the transcript of your conversation. I'll be printing that out so I can rehearse my "lines".

My favorite "Beth-ism"?

From the video for "The Patriarchs":

"Ah LAHK it POUFFEH" (English: I like it pouffy), referring to her formerly pouffy and recently sleek hairstyle.

Since I *AM* pouffy, I say that little gem a LOT!

Toni said...

Hey, everything you said sounded good to me, Brenda. Squeezin' out fruit, indeed. Niiiice.

Grafted Branch said...

You may take me off your link list for this (I hope not) but I think really what you've done is set yourself up for a WONDERFUL moment of witness for the Lord before your daughter. It's going to require an apology to her though. In it, she will be able to see a sinner saved by grace and moved by a humble heart. If she doesn't "see" it now, she'll recognize it later, be assured.

As her parent, you SURELY get to call the shots. And it would certainly be nicer if she would WILLINGLY submit, but maybe that's not realistic now. Submission, yes -- willingness, not your's to command.

What you're requiring of her is not something she is able to produce. It is not by the will of man that the rebirth comes, and it is only by the indwelling Holy Spirit that such fruits may be borne.

If she's not born-again, you can't beat her over the head with it. It may even be too late to "train her up in the way that she should go." You may have to settle for prayer and witness in drawing her to the Lord.

Because, after all, was this the tender, patient and redeeming witness of the One Who died for you?

Know that I love you in the Lord, Brenda, my new cyber-friend and Sister. I hope my words are received in the Spirit with which I've prayerfully composed them.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Squeezing out the fruit! Brilliant Beth--I mean Brenda! Way to put the enemy on notice...you are not settling for soured apples....you are harvesting the fruit of the Spirit! You go girl!

Love the direction you led your daughter. She is blessed. Now I pray a special blessing over you--that God will give you the desire of your heart!

Diane

Texas Gal said...

Squeezing out the fruit. Good word picture. God tells us we will know them by their fruits. I believe you had every authority to say that to your daughter.