Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mended spirits, broken glass

Today is not just any old Sunday. You know, where we get up at 6, get the kids dressed and out the door by 7:30, are at church working by 8, and get finished somewhere between 2:30 and 9pm. Nope, not today. Sure, it starts like any other Sunday. The alarm goes off, we rebel and stay in bed another 30 minutes, finally get up, get dressed and wake the kids.

"Okay, guys, go get your clothes off the table and put them on." (I lay them all out on Saturday nights).

This is met with these annoying whiny sounds that I can't even begin to spell, but if you're familiar with French they sound a little like the vowel sound in "rien."

We drag five very cranky children out the door...oh, and did I mention one slightly cranky husband? This is not really normal for us. Our children are usually quite content little morsels.

Once at church, Loren and I get all the children signed in and realize that we can actually go to the 9am service today! So we mosey on over there and take our place among the worshipers, feeling much like strangers in our own church...it's been so long.

But God knows what He is doing this morning, because that precious time of refreshing does so much to mend our spirits that have been feeling quite downtrodden lately. It's that feeling you get when you've been pouring out from yourself freely, but you haven't had a drink in a really long time...you know what I'm talking about?

We go back to the preschool building for the 11am service with a renewed spring in our steps, and trip along throughout the rest of the morning rather well. Soon after the church children are all gone, I decide that I don't have everything I need to do my usual advance preparation for next week while the children relax downstairs, so we opt to go on home.

Now, everyone knows that just as soon as you begin to feel refreshed, something has to come up to test that. Right?. Is it just me?

So our 10 year old son and 6 year old daughter start arguing in the van. Not uncommon for these two. The have enough squabbling going on between the two of them to ensure that any further squabbling among the other siblings is completely unnecessary. After reminding them two times to treat one another as family and not enemies, I tell them that any further strife will lead to my pulling the van over and dismissing them from it.

Of course, I don't have to tell you how long it takes for them to start back up. My guess would be that it is almost precisely 73 seconds later that we hear them verbally pummeling one another again. Not to be proven a liar, I pull the van over at the nearest side road and dismiss them from it.

Although quite upset by this, the Little Princess (who instigates nearly 90% of these things) unbuckles and exits the vehicle. But Mister Pre-Adolescent has to be coached out of the van a little more persuasively.

Once out, he starts threatening to throw a rock at the window. We tell them that they can fight outside where the rest of us don't have to be bothered by it. He makes good on his threat.

And then when the rock actually crashes through the van's side door window, he has the nerve to be shocked by it.

After our God-ordained spiritual refreshing, Loren and I remain surprisingly calm throughout the whole ordeal. What point is there in overstating the obvious? Mister Temper realizes, with horror, the seriousness of what has just happened. The flame of his former passion is immediately doused, and it is replaced with sincere repentance...toward us, toward his sister, and toward God.

Both of the little culprits assure us that they will do whatever they can to earn money to pay for the mistake...him for the window, and her for the rivalry she is aware she stirred up. And even though we all wish it had never come to such an expensive lesson, I believe that we may have been rescued (even if only temporarily) from the precipice of strife.

I'm figuring that they will be finished paying this off by the time they're ready to head for college. At what point do we have to tell them how much the window actually cost?

5 comments:

Vered said...

Wow.

My kids fight too. It's just the dynamic between them and I am slowly learning to accept that this house will not have peace and harmony.

The broken glass.. just, WOW.

Sheila said...

wow...I have no idea how you guys remained calm after the rock and broken window. I think I would have sat down and cried.
Congratulations on that one.

Hugs,
Sheila

Shelley said...

Vered, my brothers and I always fought horribly. We left one another black and blue on a regular basis...not to mention the stitches. My kids have been much more well-behaved in that one sense. But those two just can't get along.

Sheila, I don't know either except to say that it was by the strength of God's renewal of our spirits. The cost of repair is officially gonna be $201 and some change. Thanks for the hug...I sure needed it!

RaChel said...

well that was one heck of a sunday;)
hope the lesson is learned for good... it's awesome that you've been able to remain calm, great exemple for the kids :)

Shelley said...

RaChel, thanks, but sadly, they were at it again today. I sure do wish I could read your blog...if only my French were better. I only had 2 semesters of college French (none in high school). I was a Spanish major, believe it or not, and I really loved taking French class!