Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Digging Holes and Attachment...What they have in common!

I’ll just say right up front… I am not a gardener! I don’t like the spiders, the heat, the ants, the dirt under my fingernails, the bees, the backache, the garden snakes or did I mention, I can’t stand anything that creeps and crawls? The creatures totally ruin gardening for me, they send me scrambling from the dirt to get out of their way and my kids laughing because that “big” spider (that’s really the size of my pinky fingernail) sent me into a tizzy…

But in the distant past, I have been known to try it…so digging deep into my memory banks today, a thought occurred to me.

The process of attachment is a lot like digging holes…

I’ve mentioned that Abby and I are finally moving forward, that she has really been warming up to me…letting me rock her…asking me for hugs…just all around improvement… But I’ve kind of steeled myself for when those backward steps would come, which they were almost certainly guaranteed to happen.

Today was the day…Abby came home in a really bad mood. She wouldn’t hug me, she wouldn’t show me anything in her backpack and she flat out refused to let me read her homework book to her…it was not fun.

At one point, she just stood across from me, at the top of our stairs…she wouldn’t look at me…she destroyed this wonderful little book that she had made at school and she wouldn’t respond to anything I said…

So I sat down on the stairs of our playroom close by so I could think about how I wanted to respond… As I sat there, I went through a whole range of emotions…frustration, confusion, sadness, heartache, but finally the light dawned… For some reason (might have been that I was talking to my Abba Father during all of it) I started thinking about digging holes…

Here’s the thing about holes…when you first start digging them, the ground is so hard, it feels like you are never going to get anywhere. The deeper you dig, the more likely you are to experience a cave in... but the nice thing about cave ins, is that the ground is soft, so it’s not so hard to get back to where you were…

And that’s when it dawned on me…Attachment is like digging holes…the ground of their hearts is so hard to begin with, it seems like you may never make any progress so that something beautiful can grow…but as time goes on, and you persist with lots of love and grace and acceptance, you realize you’re making progress and you get so excited…And then all of a sudden, the sides cave in and you have to re-dig…

But, the walls of the heart are a lot like those gardening holes, once the walls have been excavated the first time, they’re a lot easier to dig out the second time!

So, I said and little prayer and decided to try it out…My very wise and experienced friend Ruthi had suggested that I explain to Abby what a mommy does and then just do it, without waiting for an invitation… So I said, “Abby, I’m so sorry that you’re sad and mad, it’s ok that you are. But do you know what mommy’s do when their little girls are sad and mad?” A barely detectable shake of the head ‘no.’ “We take them in our arms and hold them and hug them and tell them how we'll love them forever. And that’s what I’m going to do right now.”

And that’s exactly what I did… she didn’t get all warm and cuddly with me, but she let me hold her and she sat in my lap for a while. Afterwards she said, “Abby hungry.” So we went down stairs and shared a snack together…talked about school and as I type, she is sitting in my lap coloring a picture!

Hmmm…maybe gardening isn’t so bad after all! As long as I NEVER forget, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7

4 comments:

April Isaacs said...

How do you type and have someone on your lap coloring??

That is a great story and a great analogy. So, what's it say about me that I spent 5 minutes thinking about how do those two things mentioned above, together, at the same time??

Shannon Seibert said...

This is wonderful....love all the analogies you draw.
Today I was studying that EXACT 1 Corinth. verse! I know that is a sweet connection of our hearts today...love you!

Michelle said...

Your friend Ruthi is indeed wise and I am going to remember this, "tell her what Mommies do, then do it". :)

Denise said...

Great story. What a wonderful mother you are, to sit and pray for His direction instead of having a pity party!! And look at the reward you were given~

Again I will tell you that you should write a book!!!

Have a great weekend...oh and I am not supposed to be on my computer right now...