If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Strong Medicine

It was a big moment.

Yesterday, I took my nine-year-old son for his cystic fibrosis checkup at his pulmonologist’s office.

We’ve been making these visits every three months since he was eight months old. But this appointment was different.

For as long as I can remember, every test was often a struggle of epic proportions – from the pulmonary function tests to the sputum culture.

Tear-filled eyes. Tortured pleas.

How do you explain to a sweet, terrified little boy that shoving a six-inch long Q-Tip down his throat is for his own good?

I’ve been tempted more than once to grab him by the hand, make a run for it and take our chances. Let ‘em find some other poor child to harass. I’m taking my boy to Dairy Queen, Doc.

But I knew it wasn’t the right thing.

He needed the tests no matter how difficult and unpleasant the process. No matter how hard he fought, screamed or kicked.

I could not allow the short-term pain and protest to cloud my view of the big picture.

But yesterday, for the first time in nearly nine years, he went through the paces without a whimper. Even when they drew blood. It was as if he finally made the connection – as much as a nine-year-old can -- between the hassles and staying healthy.

He even got a Spongebob gift card for participating in one of the clinic’s CF studies. Spongebob can cover a multitude of sins.

I walked out of the office breathing a prayer and smiling at the thought of how far we’d come.

I’m in a tough season of having to deliver some strong parenting medicine in a variety of ways.

To our children, our choices and boundaries sometimes seem like cruel and unusual punishment. They don’t understand the “treatment.” They fight and protest. They cry and plead.

But we have to stand firm. No ditching and going to Dairy Queen.

One day they may finally make the connection.

Or not.

The only confirmation that we’ve administered the right medicine may be years away – and never acknowledged by our “patients.”

As any good doctor will tell you, a positive outcome is worth the price.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of righteousness for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11 (New Living Translation)


  1. Awe, I'm sorry you guys had to do that. Doesn't sound like fun at all, and what a hard thing for a little boy to go to!

    Great verse and reminder. Thinking of you!

  2. Oh Melinda...that is the verse that I needed right now...in my most recent post, I questioned the idea of God's discipline....thank you for sharing this verse.
    So sorry that your Micah has to go though visits that are not fun but rejoicing that he handled it with grace today!

  3. I think one of the hardest parts of being a parent is understanding that sometimes the cure can be worse than the issue. We too have had to go through many similar things with our four year old, who thankfully was ruled negative for CF, after 12 tests!!! He now understands inhaulers mean that he can breath better and that if he takes his medication he will stay on top of things most of the time.

    I believe that children that are secure in their environment and the love of their parents are sometimes the ones that push the boundries the most.

    Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it also brings the most rewards too.

    Hope you have a healthy Autumn and Winter.

  4. I understand, well. My Mom had a hard time too with my Brother. Sometimes I catch myself saying why him, why her? It should had been me. I am more than willing to have gone throught that pain instead of them. I see the tears in my daughter's eyes, screaming why this happen to me? Is sad. But some things happen to make us stronger and draw closer to God. I wish I could take away their pain, but only God can do that. As for discipline in my home. I try to be tough. But kids always get the best of me. But is true we all need discipline at some time.

  5. Melinda, that is so difficult, especially when they are young. I pray the Lord to continue to give you strength and courage, then enable you to reap the rewards.

    God bless dear one.

  6. I'm so proud of your little guy, Melinda!

    Medical issues are NOT easy to deal with, but because you've stood firm, and your little guy has matured, you both benefit! And hey, a little trip to DQ afterwards might benefit you both, too. :)


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