But Are You All In?

Every one of us has a little child still living inside of us, that we shush many times in our thirties.  We tell her we are too old for that.  We tell him that his time has passed.  Love her.  Let him out.  Let the child live.

At training, we learned an activity.  As a part of the activity, you voice your concerns about the project at hand.  You have a few minutes to get it all out, and at the end of the venting session you say, “but I am all in.”


I was not all in.  You name it, and I just was not there.  I was burnt out from teaching.  I was tired from coaching.  I felt like my blogs were going into a blackhole.  My budget was in the red, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to keep my son out of trouble.  I had tried and failed at all in.  I was almost out.

Out of what?  Out of money.  Out of patience.  Out of inspiration.  Out of motivation.  Out of energy.  Out of new ways to phrase the same prayer.  You name it.  I was almost out of it.

Then, that dern Still Small Voice just would not stop talking.


“Tell me all about it,” He says.

So I start talking, and He listens to every word.

“He just won’t listen.  The teacher calls me.  The counselor calls me.  The camp director talks to my husband.  I have tried it all.  Spanking.  Time outs.  Rewards.  Punishments.  Positive reinforcements.  Negative reinforcements.  Still much of the same.  He still won’t listen.”

“Go on, ” He states matter of factly.

“That’s it for that,” I reply.

“Sit him in the chair,” He says.

“I tried the chair,” I tell Him.

“You have all summer.  Sit him in the chair.  Make him come up with something.  Keep your voice calm while he is in the chair.  Encourage him while he is in the chair.  Tell him what a great kid he is while he is in the chair, but whatever you do, do NOT let him out of that chair until he has given you a way that he will remember to listen,” He stops.

“I tried the chair. The chair doesn’t work.  None of it works.  Next day.  Same behavior.  I AM OVER THE CHAIR!!!  Why did you let my sister die?  He was fine.  She was fine.  We were fine.  If you had just let her live, I wouldn’t be dealing with this.  I can’t do this!  I am OVER THIS!”  I scream.

He responds quietly almost in a whisper, “But are you all in?”

His words hit like a ton of bricks, and I sit stunned.  Then, I motion my son to the chair.  I pray from the moment his seat hits the cushion, and I begin to encourage him.  “You are such a good listener.  I know you know how to listen.  Look at how you sit in the chair when mommy asks you to sit.  You do not throw a fit.  You do exactly what I ask you do every time I ask you do it.  I know you are a good listener.  What can you do to show this same behavior at camp, at school, or anywhere?”

Quotes | Inspirational Quotes | Motherhood Quotes

My son shrugs his shoulders.  I send my Inner Voice the side-eye.

Hours go by.  Same chair.  Different speech.

“I know you can do it son.  Look how long you sat in this chair.  If you can sit in this chair this long then certainly you can listen at camp.  You are an amazing listener.  What can you do to help you to remember to listen every time like you are listening now?”

Same shrug.  Same side-eye from me.

Time cuts the chair short.  We go to bed.  We wake up.  I look at my son to see if he has a solution.  He’s got nothing.  I have nothing.  I continue my prayer.  He continues his chair.

My husband watches him after I leave for work.  On my way, I vent.  God says, “Trust the process.  You told me you were all in.”

I get home from work.  I run to my son.  I ask if he has thought of anything that can help him remember to listen.  I will take anything at this point…he can repeat what he told me months ago.  Just give me something.  What he gives me is the same shoulder shrug.

I give God the same side-eye.

Fast-forward, I go to the store.  I am trying to figure out how in the world I am going to get my son out of that chair without losing the entire purpose.

God interjects, “BRITTANY IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE CHAIR!!!  I sent him to you to save him and to save you.  I am reprogramming his inner voice.  I am teaching him to sit for hours on end so that he knows how to sit still when he gets to school.  When he is frustrated, he will hear you in his head – encouraging him, telling him you know that he can do it.  Reprogramming only happens with time.  So if you would, please stop giving me the side-eye. NOW ARE YOU ALL IN?”

When I get home, my son is elated to tell me that he has come up with something.  Whenever he needs to remember to listen, he is going to think about the chair.

The same chair that plagued us for longer than I care to admit; the same chair that taught him how to sit still; the chair that whispered calm words of inspiration and motivation; the chair that changed him; the chair that changed me.

The chair that represents that I am absolutely, positively ALL IN.


Are you all in?

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Life will try to get you to give up. You will want to throw in the towel. You will want to walk away, but are you all in?

Linked at #BVNetworkParty

62 thoughts on “But Are You All In?

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  1. I sure could of used your blog years ago. My son was one ofthe first kids to be HADD. I ggot those phone calls too. Tried the meds…….everything. I tried drugs. Drug him to church, church camps, drug him to doctors. …..he found pot in the Army. Lost him for 3 years on the West coast. Was a byker. Started going to a byker church. Became a minister. Wish I had tried the chair. Would of maybe not taken all those years for my Lord too get me off my chair! Victoria

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know bringing up kids is very challenging, especially boys. And he has been disturbed being taken away by your sister and then going through a different pace of life. Then again losing her and coming back to you again. That is a lot of stress and trauma for a growing up little kid. There must be lot of grief and pain too inside of him, at the same time it is not easy for you too, managing your kids and him too. Only thing I can think of is to be, very patient and yes you have lot of faith in God and pray for strength for both him and you ❤
    Yes sometimes too many things fall on us together. Getting stuck for money also is very stressful, I too have gone through such times. I have not worked out, but being a wife, mother and full time home maker also is a lot of hard work ~ physically and mentally, especially if your husband/partner is not very helpful or understanding. It is very hard when the children are young. I know you have lot of help from others too, try to get some advice and also a bit of time for yourself to relax and calm down – so that you can better face all the war going on with the kids!
    As always I will keep you in my prayers. You can message me on Face Book any time for strength and comfort. Hold on. Things will settle down once he starts to grow and settle down. I send you many Blessings of Love, Light and Healing Energies. May God Bless you 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome. Good to know you get enough rest, you have a kind and understanding husband. Not all can say that, in my experiences! Yes I will keep you in my prayers and send Blessings your way. Much Love and Light from me. God Bless ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this! I needed this. I’m really struggling with my oldest sons behavior. We had to cut our camping trip short because he just wouldn’t check the attitude at the door!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whew! I am always concerned about that. I keep myself covered in prayer, and I let God take care of the rest. As parents, all we can do is our best. And God does not even require our best. He requires our obedience. Sit your son at His feet and leave Him there. I am petrified that I am not doing enough or that God will not answer my prayer. Either I am going to have faith or I am not. I chose faith.


  4. What an inspiring story! God is always so creative about “dealing” with His children. I’ve gone to Him a few times, utterly exasperated and at my wits end- and He always has the solution that I need- and usually it’s something I’ve never considered trying.
    Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I actually went to a teacher training, and it was at that training that God revealed He wanted me to use this same method of correction to help me work with my son and help him grow into the man God wants him to be.


  5. Whoa God is so good when we trust Him, right? And kudos to your son bc my kids wouldn’t have lasted but a fraction of that time. I would’ve had to use duct tape. That all purpose parenting tool. Lol Seriously, though, so glad you linked this post with us at #BVNetworkParty 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Kelly! I’m always shocked that he just sits there so quietly for so long. I am always thinking if you can sit here, how in the world are you having so many problems elsewhere, but God knows what He’s doing. I just have to trust…On a separate note, I love reading so many of the pieces at the Linkup!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Not fair! I read your blog as I wait for my to go order and tears are rolling down my face. Beautiful blog and story. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t always understand God’s purpose. I am all in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really admire you for sticking in there when you didn’t see results, while you even argued with God. Parenting is hard. And some people today would take issue with such a way of dealing with a non-attentive student. Moms need to hang in and do the hard work that brings the results that honor God. Great job, Mom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sticking to it was not easy, but when you are all out of options, you do what you have to do. I’m convinced that God let’s us exhaust our options so that He can work things out in peace – not that I ever give Him any peace 😜.


  8. Wow, Brittany!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I love how the Lord walked you through this whole process, and you continued to listen to His still, small voice. You are training your son to do the same. Blessings to you and your family. And yes, I’m all in too! 🙂 Thanks for linking with #BVN


  9. Dear Brittany!

    I was captivated by your blog post. It’s essential to remember the impact we have on our children. Sometimes all they need is our time and our ears.

    Edna Davidsen


  10. Beautiful, Brittany! Love how you shared this experience. So very creative! Raising kids is hard work, takes a great deal of patience and prayer. You’re doing a great job! Keep loving him, keep teaching, and keep listening to God! You got this!


  11. You are hearing from God! Do you know how many Christians I know who don’t hear that still small voice? Too many. But you get it – and your children will benefit soooooo much from a mommy that listens to God. You got this, girl, and God is with you ! Awesome story.


    1. Thanks so much Lisa. I am so careful to make sure that the Voice I’m hearing is truly God and not my desires for myself. I am so careful with those conversations to be sure I’m walking with His true will. Thank you so much 😘😘


  12. This is a beautiful post! God absolutely knows how to get His message to you, in whatever creative way he desires! It’s crazy to look back on situations like this and see that God is SO faithful when we trust in Him. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Superb! As always! I remember when I was a young mother listening to a speaker about education of children informing us how many more times a child needed to hear praise than they needed to hear criticism. Five or ten or a hundred times more. I can’t remember exactly now, decades later. But, it changed everything. Like with you, God gave me a new way to program their inner voice through praise and affirmation. And now they are successful adults, hard working, well educated, law abiding, kind people. It worked! That chair and your words of praise and affirmation will be with him all his days! Good job, Momma!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you. I’m in tears. I’ve been waiting for time to catch up on your posts. THIS one is where I started. I am in the midst of totally different circumstances-yet all the same wait, frustrations, questions, and doing everything but jumping jacks to convince myself to avoid feeling hopeless. Years ago, the Still Small Voice spoke to me. He said, “it looks bad, but hang on I’m doing something.” (I’m married to a recovering addict. It’s been a long seventeen years of serious ups and downs). This morning in prayer, I begged for a “hug”. I just need to know “hanging on” is still the proper battle stance- for my marriage, for my daughters, for my granddaughters.
    and then I read, “God says, ‘ Trust the process. You said you were all in.’ ”

    Thank God for the process. His faithfulness with “hugs” when we need reassurance. And thank you for sharing in such a raw and real way.
    Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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