Sunday, November 16, 2014

Finding peace

The greatest thing about moving to the farm next year is knowing that it will, most likely, be the last time we ever move.

I long to stop counting houses I have lived in during the sixteen years we have been married. This house is nine. The farm will be ten.

And ten is where it shall stop.

We've noticed our little Sidge having some difficulties again. And we are pretty sure it is surrounding the fact that we are talking about moving again. He has no idea what is bothering him and never puts the stress into words. We have no idea for sure that the move is what is bothering him. All we know is that he is not himself again. He is plagued by difficult thoughts and stressful feelings.

And that is hard to watch as a Mom.

For those of you who have never met Sidge in real life, I am not sure I can accurately put into words the sweet and caring heart of this little boy. He is full of life. Full of passion. Expressive. Emotional. Kind. Tender. He says things that make you laugh so hard or look at your spouse and say, "Did he really just say that?" He calls the world exactly as he sees it. If you ask him if he likes something, he will not mutter a quick yes or no. He will tell you, "I'm not sure. I think so. Maybe. I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it. Maybe yes." He wants to get it right. He wants it to be exact. His honesty is so deep it is comical and endearing and perplexing all rolled into one.

What is so wonderful and difficult to watch with Sidge is the realization as he struggles that his struggle has to do with a childlike mind beginning to think adult-like thoughts. He is a blend of innocence and the world's adulteration. And while I don't want that to happen, I know it is part of living in the world we do and growing up.

I do not care if my children get straight A's. I don't care if they go to college. I don't care if they get married or have children. I don't care if they are athletic or artistic or social. I don't care what their BMI is or whether they enjoy the theatre or baseball games.

There are only two things I truly want for each of my four babies.

1. I want them to love the Lord and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

2. I want them to have peace and be content.

Both of these are very important to me. I really don't believe you can have #2 without having #1 so in that regard, they go hand in hand.

But I do believe you can have #1 without having #2. I have been there. As someone who has faced three significant bouts of depression in her life, I know that you can love the Lord and still face a deep unsettling in your soul that can bring you to your knees in emotion and gut-wrenching pain.

I can't prevent life events that might injure my children. I can hope they don't occur -- or at least that they occur with less frequency. And I can make some big choices to hopefully lessen the impact of big changes. JB's decision to get out of the military was made so that we can lay down roots. I have complete respect for families that are in the military and who do it for an entire career. However, in our case, we felt like it was time to stop the moving and settle down.

My prayer for Sidge, and all my children is simply that He will come to know the Lord in a real way and that he will find peace in his heart and contentment in his soul.

I pray that for him and all of us. If you are in a place right now where you spirit isn't settled, I encourage you to look at my goals for Sidge and recognize them as goals for your own life. Firstly, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savior? (If you don't, feel free to email me to discuss!) And if you do, and still don't have peace, how can you slow your life down and what big changes can you make to help facilitate peace.

Over the last four years, and especially during our first year back in the USA, JB and I have been working to make purposeful decisions that we hope will simplify our life. 

I pray this blog post causes you to look deeply, as we are doing for our little boy ...


Anonymous said...

Amen. Yes. All of that.


Bonnie Leigh said...

Hi Wendi. We've gone through several rotations of this behavior with our young son, too (who is 4.5 years old). It gets better, and then occasionally pops back again for a few weeks and we go back to being very intentional with him.

A counselor friend suggested the book "The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them", by Elaine Aron. I'm not usually one to think a single book is a 'cure', but this one in particular has been incredibly helpful for me to understand myself, my husband, and my son. I liked the book because it didn't make me feel guilty (as some parenting books do!) but had very helpful descriptions and tips, much along the lines of what JB has recommended. As you can imagine, it is sometimes more difficult for a little boy to be sensitive because of our cultural stereotypes.

Anyway, here is an opening description:
"A highly sensitive child is one of the fifteen to twenty percent of children born with a nervous system that is highly aware and quick to react to everything. This makes them quick to grasp subtle changes, prefer to reflect deeply before acting, and generally behave conscientiously. They are also easily overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation, sudden changes, and the emotional distress of others. Because children are a blend of a number of temperament traits, some HSCs are fairly difficult–active, emotionally intense, demanding, and persistent–while others are calm, turned inward, and almost too easy to raise except when they are expected to join a group of children they do not know. But outspoken and fussy or reserved and obedient, all HSCs are sensitive to their emotional and physical environment."

Bonnie Leigh said...

Also, I love that the author's personal motto is, "To have an exceptional child, you must be willing to have an exceptional child." Awesome!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Wow Bonnie! This sounds EXACTLY like our Sidge. I am ordering this book TODAY. THANK YOU!