Sarah Joy Albrecht

Help for Abusive Parents (RE: Murderous Thoughts)

Jul
23

I just wanted to add to my previous post that I know that there are moms and dads out there who have lost control of their temper, who may have even hurt their children, and who are looking for help to break free from this vicious cycle.

A parent (yes, even a Christian parent!) might have had right intentions at first by thinking, “I’m doing the right thing by disciplining my child!” and then they may have gotten too carried away and lost control while disciplining – resulting in child abuse.

If you’re reading this, I want you to know that by God’s grace, you can be forgiven and you can change.

I am not a counselor, and I’ve never had experience in working with anyone dealing with child abuse before – but here is an example of one way you might pray about this:

“Dear God, I know that you gave this child and I know that you want me to raise him/her in way that honors you. Please forgive me for losing control and abusing my child. I admit this to you, knowing that you saw me the whole time and that I have nothing to hide from you. Forgive me for hurting my child, emotionally and physically.

Please give me courage to apologize to my child. Please give me wisdom as I seek help – that the guidance I receive would not just be pop-psychology, but rather rooted in God’s Word. Lord, help me to be humble. Soften my heart so that I can receive wisdom and apply it to my life – instead of making excuses for my behavior.

Please help me to change. Please work in my heart and teach me to love my child in a way that brings honor and glory to you. Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross and paying for my sin of abusing my child. Please help me to rest in knowing that my sin has been paid for and that I am free to change my heart and my behavior – because I am a new creature in Christ – and that I do not have to be a slave to this sin any longer.

I pray for my child, Lord, that you will comfort them and remove this hurt that I have caused them. Help them to be able to forgive me. Help our relationship to be restored. I know that forgiveness and restoration may not happen immediately, and I trust the timing for this is in Your hands.

Lord, I admit that I am afraid of what might happen if I seek help. But Lord, I am turning the consequences over to you and I submit to you and TRUST you with my life, knowing that you love me and that it is for my good and your glory.

In Jesus Name, Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer , please email me – okay? I want to support you by praying for you, too. If you do not know where to get help, I will do my best to help you find a Christian counselor in your area who can meet with you, offer you hope, and hold you accountable.

I might just post some more thoughts on this topic in the future… kinda mulling them over, and seeking wisdom before I blog.

Even as I look for resources for parents who have abused their children, I am not readily finding helpful ones with a Google search. It grieves me that there aren’t more resources that offer guidance beyond the ambiguous “get help.” I realize that it’s an uncomfortable topic. I can recommend calling Place of Refuge as a start. I have heard the founder, Diane Langberg, speak many times on the topic of abuse. She is the author of On The Threshold of Hope and Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse .

One resource for an example of parenting advice that is rooted in God’s Word, that I recommend to ALL parents, is Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Fill your mind with Godly parenting advice – so that you can prevent anger-blow ups before they even start by learning how to handle parenting / discipline situations in the RIGHT way. Please do this NOW before the next blow-up – don’t wait until you go too far again.

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How We Percieve God

Jul
20

I had a longer post written and then silly me – I walked away from the computer to change a diaper! Then someone closed “mommy’s side” (my login) and all was lost…

In the Excellent Wife, Chapter Two addresses how our perception of God changes the way that we relate to him. I wanted to dig a little deeper and make this more personal so we can really apply this foundational chapter to our lives.

I came across this very interesting Time Magazine poll and article. Even this secular magazine notes that the way we see God has an affect on how we view politics.

Here’s the poll: “How We View God”

And the related article “Behind America’s Different Perceptions of God”

The categories from the poll are : Authoritarian God, Benevolent God, Critical God, Distant God

My question to my pals – how do YOU view God?

Think about a recent crisis. How did you respond?
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Rising While it is Still Yet Night

Jul
16

Below is an excerpt from a reply to a post I made at Moms of Grace in our online Excellent Wife study.

As we study traits of an excellent wife, based on Proverbs 31, I think the tendency is to justify why we don’t have to apply some of the things on the list – writing them off to cultural differences or to them being archaic.

Here’s some reflection on Proverbs 31:15 :
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Murderous Thoughts

Jul
11

This is a confession of my murderous thoughts. They were my first response.

I was at an amusement park this weekend and a woman was abusing her son in the bathroom stall next to me.

My little girl was with me, and she said, “Mommy! That lady is HURTING her little boy! We HAVE to DO SOMETHING!” My daughter was visibly upset – I could see the fear for the little boy in her sweet face. I told her that I would – that I needed her to be quiet for a second so I could figure out what was going on.

As I listened, I could hear her repeatedly hitting the little boy (about 5 or 6) in the head and chest while he just quietly whimpered and begged for her to stop. She kept pushing him to the corner of the stall. I could see his little freckled face through the crack. His eyes were squeezed tightly shut. He had nowhere to go. She cussed him out – along with horrible, descriptive language about how she was going to hurt him more if he didn’t stop crying – and that his father would beat the you know what out of him when he got home, too.

His crime? Being afraid of the upcoming fireworks display that SHE wanted to watch.

She said that after they got out of the bathroom, she was going to lock him in the car. It was 95 degrees outside. She said she didn’t care what happened to him.

When she got out of the stall she yanked him by the arm to the sink, and then touched up her already heavy eyeliner as if nothing happened. It amazed me, that in a very crowded restroom that there was not one person in there not staring at their shoes.

I pictured crouching on my left foot while my right foot made square contact with her mouth, knocking out every tooth in it for speaking to her son in that way. Her neck might even break. I pictured her head bouncing off the metal stall behind her and her body hitting the beige tile floor in a pool of her own blood.

I wanted to hug this poor little boy and take him home to live with me, where he would be safe.

Then, I remembered a passage from Deuteronomy 32:

v. 35-36

Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,
In due time their foot will slip;
For the day of their calamity is near,
And the impending things are hastening upon them.’
For the LORD will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their strength is gone,
And there is none remaining, bond or free.

INSTEAD…..

As soon as she stepped out, I grabbed my little girl’s hand, got a VERY accurate description and called security.

The mom had sandy-blond and was wearing an orange shirt and white shorts. The little boy was wearing a powder-blue shirt, maroon shorts and had black sandals with red designs on them.

The guard was an older gentleman and started to say that he was reluctant to get involved – “maybe she had low blood sugar was was just yelling a lot” he said. “It’s been a hot day, and people here are getting irritated.”

I prayed, “No! No! Please, God, don’t let this security guard ignore me!!”

And then another lady came over and begged for security to get involved – and validated the story. Her husband came with her and said, “My wife immediately told me about what happened in the bathroom. She was very shook up by what was going on in there. You must do something about this little boy. He could be hurt.”

The lady chimed in, “I heard her say she was going to lock her son in the car – can you at least make sure that this doesn’t happen?”

YES! Thank you, God…

The security team did NOT have a female officer to send in. So, they waited till she came outside – but she never did. She actually went out a back entrance, opposite of where she was inside the building.

Given the description, they started to look for her.

Then, they spotted her – and quickly called for me and this other woman to come identify the abusive mom. She was standing off to the side by a vendor’s stand, holding onto the little boy’s wrist and still yelling at him! He was cowering and crying.

This poor little boy. Not once through the whole ordeal did he fight back. It was never the case of a parent trying to properly discipline her child but getting resistance. Her whole point was to hurt and humiliate him. In this case, just for being afraid of fireworks.

Last I saw, security was surrounding this woman.

Another security guard came over and took a statement from me and from the other woman.

Then ANOTHER woman came over to security and said, “THANK YOU for taking care of this situation – that woman was beating her little boy in there, in front of everyone.”

PHEW.

I walked back to my family (Tom knew something was up and kept the kids with him) and Tom went up to me and surrounded me with his strong arms and held me close. I was shaking. I tried not to cry. I have never in my life seen a person harm a child like that before.

I wish I know what happened after that.

It’s HARD not knowing, and wondering if the little boy is okay.

It bugs me that my first thoughts were to kill this mom.

I am thankful that the Deuteronomy verse came to mind, or else I just might have.

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Here’s a new way to complain about dinner!

Jul
09

I made spaghetti with a bland canned sauce – and I didn’t “doctor it up” with spices…

Tab (trying to be tactful) “Mom, is this a new recipe?”
Me: “Kind of.. it’s a different sauce.”

Tab (bowing her head) “Pul-eeeze, dear God, don’t make me have to eat this. AMEN!”

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Holiday Week Blessings – Independence Day Vacation

Jul
05

One of my posts from the Excellent Wife study at Mom’s of Grace:

My husband has off from work this week.

We don’t have any huge plans – saw Transformers, went to a picnic, bought a much-needed second car (little car for travel to work – LOW GAS MILEAGE), and we’re going to Hershey Park this weekend.

But… while he’s home, I’m trying to think of little ways to be a blessing to him. He enjoys drinking really cold water (and he’s trying to drink more water these days). I know it’s such a little thing, but while he’s just hanging out around the house here, I have been bringing him a glass of cold water a few times a day.

I’m also working on shorter putting-the-kids-to-bed time (can take up to an hour sometimes) so that I have more time with my husband at the end of the day. We sat out on the porch last night and watched people launching illegal fireworks all around the city between houses that are veeerrry close together. “Woah… I wonder who’s roof that one landed on…” The police, at one point, seemed to be driving around looking for people launching the larger fireworks, but then the patrolling stopped as the fireworks activity picked up around 11pm and I think they just gave up because there were so many of fireworks. It was interesting to watch – our house is up on a hill and we have a decent view.

I hope that you, too, will be able to find simple ways to show your husband you are thinking of him.

Holiday times, when husbands may have off from work, can turn into real disasters if they are filled with arguments, criticism, and spitefulness when things don’t happen they way we (read *I*… because I’m definitely talking about myself here!) want them to.

I have to stop myself from bringing up the to-do list…
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