Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: On Waving the White Flag

It's one of the battles we said we'd fight to the very end that's left us raising our white flag of peace high into the sky on a cool December night.

That food is more than calories and carbs/fat/protein and taste, that it's meant to connect us to the soil and each other, to nourish, heal, sustain is a philosophy John and I wholeheartedly embrace, especially now in the aftermath of chronic illness and healing.

But here we are in the chill of almost-winter, preparing together to raise the white flag, a peace treaty for our oldest son, regarding the guidelines we've set for the way we do food in our house.

Because when we said it was a battle we'd fight until the end, we didn't really mean it; I, honestly, had forgotten what battle entails -- a forceful overtaking, a strong-hold grip that leaves slain hearts along the way. And that's what's happening with our oldest -- he's taken us to battle. Our troops -- at 3 and 5 years old-- are on the verge of declaring civil war.

We'd more envisioned standing united, going up against the normal Standard American Diet, educating, encouraging and helping our boys, who would then help others, implement change.

What we'd envisioned sounds a whole less like battle and a whole lot more like a mission rooted in love. But we got what I asked for -- we got battle instead. Worse yet, my mom had pointed out, is that it's on the verge of war within our own home.

As John and I plan our offer of peace, we don't abandon our conviction and belief.

Probably, it's just the opposite; we affirm what we've come to learn about nourishing our bodies versus simply eating anything edible is foundational for good health.

But we refocus -- our mission, the delivery of the message, the rallying of the partners in work because our oldest, he is angry, too angry for five years old and that red flag is what we need to reframe.

I'm bewildered, but his anger isn't lost on me or John. In times of passion or frustration at his questions and insertion of his will, we've come at this the wrong way -- information drawn like swords ready to pierce the misinformation instead of with teaching words and heart.

And in those times it's like we picked a battle with the wrong little people -- two strong-willed boys, the oldest being a leader to his core who will battle until the very end.

So now we begin the peace process, cleaning up the land mines of anger unintentionally planted, soothing the open wounds with salve of choice, putting down the swords of information and arming ourselves instead with words of love-coated explanation.

Because this actually isn't a battle I, either of us, are willing to fight until the bitter end favoring conviction over the actual heart.

But it is a mission field on which we'll stand in truth and love and enough faith to know that messages delivered in love don't often fall on deaf ears.

Simple BPM
Link up at Melissa's!


  1. Jesus' peace is sufficient and I'm sure your house will be peaceful place again very soon.

  2. I hate that it's been a battle, but I think you're in the right frame of mind right now. You can still teach and guide and he will come to make good choices simply by watching you guys. I hope there is peace soon!

  3. Dominic has entered the stage of challenge, too. At five, you still know what is best for him, but he is at the age that he's ready to be a leader with his own courageous opinion. You are the parent. You must do what you think is right. But as you know, pick your battles. And know that if you force certain things it may just end up that there will be a complete melt down of resentment. Parenting is HARD! It is the hardest job I've EVER taken on. You should see the looks I get when I send in my healthy lunches for the boys. Mom- an apple AND a tangerine?! Mom- But Jacob gets chips in his lunch. Mom- but I don't like "insert whatever veggie they are trying to avoid like the plague."

    I think ALL parents go through this fight.

  4. Amen! Reese is a strong-willed two and a half year old, and we struggle every day with getting her to eat healthy foods. But we won't give up on teaching her about the value of a balanced diet. You are right - lead with a loving example. They'll come around.


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