I'm going to go off-topic for a minute, but bear with me and I'll come back around. About a year ago, I read Debi Pearl's article "A Whole Boy" and I have not been able to get it out of my head(see the article here). In it, Pearl describes a painful encounter with the hurting mother of an out-of-control eight year old boy. There are problems on top of problems. The boy is spiraling downward. The mother is begging for The Answer, and Pearl is backed into a corner. What advice should she give? Organic food? Structure and discipline? Homeschool? Repentance?
Oh, there are so many moments when I am the mother in this story! My heart feels dischord in my home and I am at a complete loss for what to do. I am desperate, angry, biting, silent. I see smart-mouth boys that act disrespectful and lazy. I hear impatience in my raised voice, oozing sarcasm, and bitterness at perceived injustice. I feel the weight of piles of junk and extra pounds that I refuse to let go of. The anger and frustration wells up that things are not different. And I think, what is the answer?
I have run full-bore down the rabbit-trails of answers. A Montessori Homeschool Model. A Kosher Diet. Monitored Sugars. Carefully-Scheduled Calendars. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
But I am a Whole Mother. These are Whole Boys. And Jesus has come that we may have (a whole) life, and that we may have it more abundantly (john 10:10)!
Clean. He needs to be made clean. He needs a clean body, free of poisons, sugars, and dyes. He needs a clean home, free of anger, Hollywood, and deceit. He needs a clean day, free to roam the countryside until his body is relaxed and tired. He needs a soul cleansing that can only be found in Jesus and His shed blood. He needs a clean daddy whose heart wants only to bring healing for his son. He needs a clean mother, whose heart is turned to honoring and reverencing her husband. He needs a clean world, both physically and spiritually.
....How do I tell his mother? Where does she start? ...It must start with her, for she is the one seeking a solution. This mother can't clean up the world. She can't dictate to Daddy; that would create further strife. But she can decide to honor and reverence her husband, thus bringing to her son at least one area of peace and security. She can go to the library and study the effects of foods, dyes and sugar, then take that information and act on it. She can take him to a place where he can run for hours, instead of forcing him to labor over a workbook that will never make a difference now or in eternity. She can pray, asking God for a miracle both in herself and her son. She can laugh and sing the joy of the Lord right into his presence. Everyday, he needs her smile. If she will do these things, it will be a beginning. Like a young tree bent in the wrong direction, she can begin to straighten that which is crooked (Debi Pearl, "A Whole Boy").
Isn't that the most beautiful list? It makes me take a long breath somewhere deep in my soul. This is what I am looking for. It reminds me of another list I love, one about a beauty who seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands; who rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household; who considers a field and buys it; who girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms; who extends her hand to the poor, who reaches out her hands to the needy; who clothes her household with scarlet, who makes tapestry for herself; who watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness; who opens her mouth with wisdom, and on whose tongue is the law of kindness (from proverbs 31:13-27).
Slowly, I am pursuing Wholeness, for myself and for my family. I have a little grab-bag of tools that I use. I have spent four years researching the effects of different foods and have barely scratched the surface....but I see change in my sons, myself, and my husband. I am working towards allowing my boys to have independence in the things that are not too large for them to handle (a Montessori method), and in the understanding that those boundaries are often much farther out than my controlling spirit perceives them to be. I read the Flylady emails to tackle my superfluous 'stuff', and to kick the negative thoughts in my head.
And I go to the chiropractor now, to take care of me. The aches and pains that began with my first pregnancy have slowly worsened over the years, as is to be expected....but they increased exponentially after Sean was born (face-up) two years ago. I don't know if it was his position during delivery per se, or if a fourth pregnancy was just this body's final straw, but things have not been great for a while. Justin has been wanting me to do something about it for a long time, but I just wasn't ready.
Then a friend told me about a clinic nearly an hour away, where a family of doctors would work together through gentle biofeedback techniques to help me begin to heal, and I was sold before I even met with them. I think they were who I was waiting for all this time. By the time I finally went for my first adjustment, the bones in my feet felt at times as though they were broken, I had shooting pain down my right leg, I couldn't sleep, I had no nerve reflexes in my left arm and couldn't turn my head to check my blind spots, and I had to manually adjust my hips at times just to get out of bed in the morning. I was in pain all the time, but for so long, I had been reluctant to get better. The thing about pregnancy is that it pretty much forces you to come to terms with being uncomfortable. There is no other option. And I've been in and out of this pattern for so many years, I forgot what it was to feel healthy. I had actually lost the desire to have things be any other way.
At my first adjustment, I was asked to write down up to three sites where I was experiencing symptoms. I had to consider the page carefully before deciding what to write--I had pain radiating everywhere; how could I pinpoint a location? My subsequent appointments followed suit. And then suddenly, when I was in the clinic this week, I realized suddenly as I was filling out the form that there was only one place I could legitimately say was hurting. One place. After only a handful of short adjustments. The difference still astounds me.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and I'll be living at the chiropractors' for a while. But I've been so absolutely blessed by this experience and by the parallel it is playing to the rest of my life. See, that overall pain, that radiating discomfort, it's not there anymore. There is life returning. And I see it in my home, too---there is life, there is peace in so many areas. There are things that are working as they should. The time and energy spent in making corrections are paying off. And you know what? The closer things get to good, the easier it is to see what is out of alignment, what isn't working. When we are all getting enough rest, and eating clean food, and encouraging one another, and working together, and one member of our little clan suddenly has a tantrum, it's blazingly clear who has the issue that needs to be dealt with in that situation (and yes, sometimes it is the parent!). When the pain is everywhere, and everyone is losing it simultaneously, it's pretty difficult to pinpoint where the adjustment needs to happen.
So it's a new year, and time for resolutions I guess, but I am content to just plod along my little path in pursuit of alignment in all areas of my life. I know that this life is fleeting, and that I am not meant to love the world, but I know also that I can experience God here, and right now, that is all that my soul is longing for.