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Monday, November 16, 2015

Fleeing home

My daughter and I got into an argument last night at Wal-Mart. It was more than a little white trash, and I'm embarrassed to say it started because I passed gas. That's right, I tooted at Wal-Mart. No one in our family ever really holds it in, so I didn't think it was any big deal and I did make sure no strangers were around that I could possibly offend. Yes, that's correct - I am justifying my Wal-Mart fart to you. You're welcome.

My daughter was walking behind me, but she was further back than she'd admit as we weaved our way through the boys' clothing section looking for Amelia a new basketball outfit.

"I'm moving out." Was the immediate response she snarked at me.

The hate and the disrespect in her voice made me want to explode. I quickly barked that she wasn't allowed to talk to me like that and to go wait for me at the front of the store. "Now, GO!" Not the best choice of words considering what she said, it was almost like I was encouraging her to want to leave by sending her away.

Madeline has this way of rolling her eyes with her whole body and it doesn't actually involved rolling her eyes. It's this nonchalant, I don't care, shoulder shrug that sometimes make me want to pull out her and my hair. No emotion, just sluggishness.

I'm not proud of my reaction, but it was a real, raw moment that I haven't been able to escape.

Fleeing home. 

I remember being her age and not being able to wait to leave home. It's not something most 12-year-olds think about but I did. And now she is.

I would daydream about leaving, and the day I turned 18 and a bunch of other dumb shit stuff. But I reasons - good, good reasons! My parents had a terrible divorce. I lived with my dad and grandparents and had no privacy because my bedroom was in the dining room. I couldn't have friends over. My mom didn't call. My dad wouldn't let me go to sleepovers but he would go out drinking so I had to stay home with my grandparents. I HAD REASONS DAMMIT!!!

What have I done to this child? What are her reasons I am missing?

The comment (that I later learned she thought was a joke...terrible joke really) shook me to the core and revealed so many layers to me that I could not hardly breathe.

I talked to her in the parking lot while the little girls waited in the car. I apologized for my reaction, told her why it upset me and how when I was 12 I couldn't stand my parents and I didn't want to be that to her. She said that she was joking "daddy and I joke about it".

"Oh". My insecurities are making me miss the joke I guess.

It would only make sense that today my devotional would be titled Fleeing Home. As if God doesn't know our exact struggle at every second, sometimes he reminds us that he knows and he cares and he's there. Even when he seems silent like I have been feeling he is lately.

"For centuries, despite God’s forbearance and prophetic intervention, His people chose stubbornness rather than surrender, rebellion rather than obedience. Because they refused to listen to God, they were cast far from the promise of home. Sin never reaps the benefits we think it will. Our greatest good—our happiness (and home)—is found in God and keeping His commands."

I don't want to be stubborn. I don't want to be rebellious and I definitely do not want to refuse to listen to God. But I do it every day without even realizing it. Before I get out of bed, when I complain instead of being grateful. When I am impatient and not kind. 

And I definitely do not want the consequences of my actions to cause my daughter to want to flee home.