I’ve recently rediscovered how much my boys like warm muffins in the mornings for breakfast. I was on a quest to find SOMETHING Caleb would eat before leaving for school. He tries to leave without eating anything and it drives his dad crazy. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day (it’s why I have coffee for breakfast every morning). As a student, Caleb needs all the help he can get when it comes to being prepared for the school day. So, when I passed the bin at Food Lion with muffin mix on sale, I thought I’d give them a shot.
Every morning for the past two weeks I’ve added 1/2 cup of milk to the mix of the day and baked warm muffins. The only “critique” I received from Caleb regarding the muffins: “Can you leave them gooey in the middle?”
Oh my goodness; he IS my kid! I always love “gooey” in the middle! It’s WHY I want the middle orange or cinnamon roll and it’s WHY Steve complains that I under cook the Chef Boyardee pizza dough and it’s WHY I love the “sad streak” in a pound cake.
Mmmm….it looks perfectly done on the outside, but inside it’s gooooooey.
This is going somewhere, I promise; hang with me.
If any of you are currently experiencing a teenager in your household, first I’d like to pray for you. Seriously. Teenage years are one of the most challenging parts of being a parent. And second, if you have an extremely headstrong and stubborn teenager in your house, I’d like to get with your pastor and anoint you with healing oil along with praying for you because….wow. It can be painful.
Today I’m going to share about our teenager and what can typically be part of our lives with him (now, Caleb knows I write about my boys in my blog…it’s a punishment for being born to me, I guess. But it’s therapeutic for me so I continue to include them. And they pretty much provide me with my subject matter each day).
In my defense (I’ll let Caleb defend himself in his blog), Caleb tends to get very defensive very quickly. Just a mere questioning of his activities can send him into a total, Tasmanian devil tailspin. And that mouth…OMGoodness. I would have no teeth in my head if I had spoken one time to my dad like he speaks to us sometimes.
But, the grace of God allowed Caleb to be born to a father as gentle and patient as Steve Riggins (notice I left myself out of the gentle and patient part). As bad as this sounds, when Caleb’s mouth starts running back at us, in my mind I’m saying, “Oh no you didn’t! Hit him, Steve! Punch him! You got this! Take him down! Show him who’s boss!” I know that sounds terrible – I’m just being brutally honest here. But for the most part, his dad works to diffuse Caleb calmly and with a love and patience way beyond me. (Notice I said for the most part….sometimes his shirt and pants start ripping and the green man appears. It does, however, take quite a bit to bring the green guy out).
As you can deduct, we had a “disagreement” and our blow-up with Caleb left me completely deflated. Dealing with a teenager can be so exhausting and frustrating. When they lash out, as a parent, you wonder what you’ve done wrong and you just hurt because more than anything, you love your kid and want a relationship with them. As a Christian you wonder, “God, do they hear you? Do they really know you? Have I shown them the importance of letting You change their lives?”
Well, about an hour later, I felt two strong hands on my shoulders and from behind me, a sweet, low voice in my ear; “I’m sorry, Mom. I love you.” There was my gooey in the middle.
Even though I’d seen the typical reaction of a teenager on the outside, there was still my sweet little boy on the inside…that gooey part that I love so much. The part that makes my heart squeeze and my eyes get watery.
God loves the gooey part in us, too. I know I fail Him so often, yet He never has punched me or hit me or even wanted any such thing to happen to me. He continues to love me and pursue me. He shows constant compassion and is always long suffering and patient. Oh, how it blesses His heart when His child hits their knees or cries out with a repentant heart, “I’m sorry, Lord. I love you.” And oh, how quickly He forgives and takes us up on His arms and holds us. God the Father is the example of the kind of parent I need to be.
Let’s be more in touch with our gooey side.