A few weeks ago, I signed our six-year old to audition for our church’s Christmas play. He was never enthusiastic about the idea, but my husband and I agreed that he should do it.
The first few times I went over the lines with Samuel were not good. With his lack of interest clearly on display, I found my tiny reservoir of patience running thin very quickly. Whether it was not reading the script carefully, playing with his toys or not making any eye contact when speaking, it all irritated and perplexed me.
My frustration became obvious which only seemed to make Samuel’s resistance stronger. The tug of war had me wanting to call it quits. I started feeling the futility of the situation and felt he’d ever memorize the lines.
To my surprise, I decided to keep pressing on not wanting Samuel to feel like he could get over on us so quickly. It was painful and hard until finally one day, that kid recited the entire audition script almost verbatim.
I couldn’t believe it. Not only did he show he knew the words, but he actually added a bit of dramatic flair. On top of that, as we kept practicing, he started showing more and more excitement and interest in auditioning for the play.
Who was this kid and where had he been hiding the previous few weeks?
Why had he made it so terribly hard on me when he was obviously paying attention the entire time?
The next day, I found it quite ironic to be receiving a Facebook message from a friend inviting a group of moms to read Brooke McGlothlin’s, Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most.
I’d read an earlier version of the book a couple of years ago and remembered loving the prayers. I like how Brooke puts it early on in the book, “I pray because I don’t know what else to do…because I don’t have all the answers.” That is definitely where I’d been those last few weeks with Samuel.
I felt God was telling me that what I had been trying to do with my son, I was trying to do within my own power. I hadn’t sought His help. I hadn’t asked for His guidance on how to reach my son. And so I struggled.
Not that I believe prayer alone will make this parenting thing easy breezy (though it sure helps), but I truly believe God was sending a gentle reminder to me to continuously involve Him in raising, instructing, caring for, guiding, leading and loving my children because we aren’t capable of doing it alone.