This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Integrity Study - Day two

Whew! Today's study was a little tougher to get the kids to sit still through. Kitty was still activated from last night's therapy session and could not stop talking (or singing). Bob was pouty about being woken up, only to have to wait 15 minutes on Bear (of course we'd waited 30 minutes for her yesterday!). Bear was feeling obstreperous (like that word Sharon?!), and kept physically, verbally and non-verbally "poking" his siblings. Ponito was easygoing as always, but getting involved with whoever was being the most entertaining, and so perpetuating the problem.

Both today's and yesterday's session lasted about 45 minutes. While today's lesson covered more pages, it really didn't quite say as much as yesterday's. Not because it wasn't important, but it was a little more cut and dry and "preachy" until the end. (God is trustworthy. God never lies. Seeing God or Jesus in his holiness would be traumatic - with some examples from Isaiah, a story where 600 armed soldiers came to arrest Jesus and fell to the ground, and the disciples awestruck by the Jesus they were "comrades" with only moments before).

Technically this is a study designed to develop leadership qualities so maybe that's why in a couple of places it emphasized other things and it didn't say enough about why you should have integrity (since it assumed you wouldn't be doing the study if you didn't want to be a good leader). I think tomorrow's lesson is much more personal.

By the way, if anyone besides Sharon wants a copy of the study the version with study questions and bible verses, it is available here - just click Download Word Doc (it has an audio version as well).

What we talked about today boiled down to:

  • God and Jesus can always be trusted and never lie.

  • Unlike God, people can break promises and disappoint you. It is the unreliability of humans that causes a lot of our heartache. (Believe me I did not mention parents at this part, but Bear brought up biomom because Kitty started talking about biosisters who live with biomom. Bear told Kitty they were in a good home. Kitty looked at him like he was nuts - have to admit I'm not sure why he said that either unless he was trying to reassure her? He does surprise me sometimes. He might mean it too, who knows?).

  • God and Jesus are fully integrated (whole, wholesome, "have it all together.") and we should aspire to this. (We talked about crazy quilts and how they are a bunch of different random scraps, but when they are integrated they make a beautiful quilt. We also talked about how we must be TRULY integrated, because if you put a quilt together with Elmer's glue it might look beautiful... until there is some stress on it - then it falls apart).

  • Seeing God and Jesus in their glory is always traumatic and reminds us that we are unclean / sinners.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Kitty immediately started singing this song.)
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!
For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal (we talked about what a live coal is, Thanks Santa!) in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (We compared this to baptism)

Isaiah 6:1-7

  • We can never live up to God and Jesus' integrity and standards and trying to be self-reliant leads to trauma. (I stared at certain kids when I said trying to be self-reliant - can you guess which one was primary?)

  • The disciples were with Jesus all the time and were comfortable as his companions - while he wore his mortal* guise (*Kitty loved when I described this as his body - the part that eats and poops), but when he dropped that guise for a milisecond - all fell down overwhelmed (including 600 armed soldiers). (We also talked about this song -one of my favorites. I asked the kids what they would do if Jesus walked through our door. By then the kids were mostly off topic and talking about how they wanted to walk on water like the lizard?! ).

  • Jesus is the mediator between us and God.

Then we got to the important stuff (not that the rest wasn't important, just harder to show its relevance to the kids, particularly in regards to their integrity):

  • Christ is inside us ("then how could he walk through the door Mom?" *sigh* So glad you have a good memory for a metaphor Ponito!).

  • We have to try to behave with integrity because this is what we agreed to do (ex. when Bear and Kitty were baptised and accepted Christ).

  • We are given the ability to behave with integrity because we have Christ inside us!

Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship. Christianity is not about rules and regulations. Instead, it is the presence and power of a person who indwells us and promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

  • If we are Christ's body then we should be behaving as he would want us to. (And here is the song we talked about that is now stuck in my head).

  • Isaiah's commitment and his life as a faithful prophet demonstrate for us the possibility of framing a life of integrity with God’s help.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Yes, I loved the "obstreperous" word! And the quilt pic! So would my mom. Yummy colors. And I could tell the lesson was harder stuff. Kudos for sticking to it. And I have to admit to humming along with each song! (and if we are the body, WHY AREN'T HIS HANDS REACHING!!!) hee hee! There are worse songs to get stuck in your head. Really. Don't even try to think on that too long. I mean it! If a worse one starts to sneak in, go back right now and reread what's in my parentheses... quickly!!!