Thursday, July 9, 2009

some days....

discipline n. (dĭs'ə-plĭn)
Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
discipline tr.v.
To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to.

You know, it's the TRAINING part of the discipline that gets me in the day in/day out of life. It would be so much easier to simply skip that portion. Especially since it seems that I have some slow learners. Or at least those whose stubbornness mean it takes much longer to realize that "yes, Mommy really does mean it when she says..."

And yet, without the training, discipline fails. It is, after all, simply punishment when there is no training. (punish [puhn-ish] v. t. To impose a penalty upon; to afflict with pain, loss, or suffering for a crime or fault, either with or without a view to the offender's amendment; to cause to suffer in retribution; to chasten;) Our overflowing jails seem to be proof that punishment does nothing to train for moral or mental improvement.

Today I'm tired. Today, for the first time ever, Logan threw a major temper tantrum for his speech therapist because he didn't like being told to sit still and pay attention. And for the first time in a long time, I really just wanted to throw in the towel. Give up. Quit. Because it seems that the time I am investing in training is not getting results. Oh, I know that's not true, but this morning it sure felt like it. We practice. We remind. We praise for success. We train when there's failure. And we try again. And again. And again. But this? Well, this was beyond. And I'm frustrated.

Fortunately, the afternoon was better. Things settled down, and he can tell me what happened, where he made wrong choices. He told me he was sorry for being so naughty. I know he doesn't like being told what to do. But that's not a choice--life works that way, even when you're as old as I am. Others tell me what to do and I must choose to obey. Or risk discipline! It happens at school, at work--it's part of life. The sooner he comes to terms with this, the better off we'll be.

Now he's tucked into bed, sleeping quietly. Again I am reminded of how I must seem to God, so much like my child in desperate need of training. I am blessed that God never chooses to punish, only to continue disciplining in hopes of producing character, moral, and mental improvement. Tomorrow is a new day. And for that, both of us are grateful.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV


  1. I LOVED this post!!!! Oh, Jennifer, as I read your words, I immediately felt like I've been there. I still am at times.

    Hang in there. The training will probably last a lifetime here, but the gold medals in heaven will be worth it!



  2. Great post Jennifer... I'm right there with you, too! We definitely have days where I think Rachel will never get it and we are stuck on an endless circle. She seems much more strongwilled than me at times...but I have to just keep working with her.

  3. Oh yes, welcome to my world - every day. Sometimes I get really tired & frustrated too. Hang in there. Other days will be better.