The Tale of Teenagers and a House Full of Opinions

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We’re deep in the throes of summer and what I mean by that is basically there’s been a whole lot of together.  A lot of close quarters.  A lot of doing all of the things with all of the people for all of the hours of all of the day.  Together.

Now don’t hear me wrong, I love my tribe.  A lot.  And I don’t even want to hear the word “school” uttered around these parts.  I just don’t.  Because I’m not ready for them to go back and I love the pace of our days but if I’m perfectly honest (and I know no other way with you, you know that right?) then I will admit that we all need a break.  From each other.

Because along with all of the lazy summer hours and the lounging and the calling watermelon dinner and the late night runs for a dip in some body of water, along with the popsicles and water balloon fights and the sleeping in later than normal, there are a few other things.  Things like, lots of opinions and too much sarcasm.  Things like, why don’t you see it my way and I can’t believe you just did that’s.  There are boys who are hot and sweaty and moody and all sorts of hormone imbalanced which causes not only a smell that one can pick up on from 3 blocks away but just a feeling of agitation.  Like, all the time.

The hubs and I have been picking up on it over the past few weeks and instead of calming it all down and coming in with our angelic tones and wise ways, we’ve just become agitated right along with the rest of them.  I don’t know how it happened but we went from the happy and carefree days of summer to everyone talking at decibels only a dog should be able to hear and always with the utmost disdain for everyone else around who may dare to even look at you.

I’ll be honest, I thought it would pass.

I’ll be honest, it hasn’t.

Of course, our first mode of combat failed miserably.  We had this theory which seemed so good in our minds.  Something along the lines of, lets just make everyone do MORE things together because surely THAT will help us all learn how to live better in community and blah blah respect and kindness blah.

We weren’t even a few hours in before we were screaming ABORT MISSION and sending everyone to their rooms.  Us included.

We came up with a Plan B and it went something along the lines of, “Look all of the teenagers straight in the eye, bouncing from one set of beady little numbers to the next, and speak all of the words.  All of them.  When you think you have run out of words to speak just keep saying more.  And when they’re all glazed over from all of the words and they would do anything in the universe just to get you to stop speaking, speak even more.  Eventually, they will collapse.  Their opinions will cease to matter and they will just run outside to get away from the words and your voice.”

So, that wasn’t really the most effective plan either.

I’m pretty sure I was sick of my own voice even before they were.  I’m that one in the crowd that you can always hear.  I just have that pitch, y’know?  It’s annoying even to me.

I awoke this morning with a new plan.

Plead to the Lord God almighty to settle down some of the opinions in this home.  Calm some of the constant bickering, take hold of the self-righteous tones and cast them away, and allow us to see that we are 5 people with 5 ways of doing things and we all just need to respect that my ways are the best ways so we should all do everything my way.

*crickets*

So, here’s the deal.  Sometimes you wake up in the wee hours of the morning and you pray for your family and for your kids and then you realize that you’re the one who needs the words you’re speaking more than anyone else.  You realize that you embody all of the things you’re asking God to correct.  You see that your heart is stained as black as the rest of them and you’re the one who is somehow supposed to be leading them in the ways they should go.

Well, it’s no wonder they’re an opinionated mess of pride.  So are you.

And with that I breathed the deep breath and I turned my prayers away from all of their nonsense and onto my own heart as the case should nearly always be.  Because rarely is it them without me.

So we’re praying this.  This morning.  Every morning.  Alone and together until it becomes so normal that we utter it constantly and it changes our hearts, the big and the little ones just the same.

Let the words of my mouth and the

meditation of my heart

be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,

my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

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