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?”
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?
Leave your email so that I can send all in strategies straight to your inbox.
Linked at #BVNetworkParty