Moms, are you tired and weary of watching the daily news and hearing about mass shootings, terrorist attacks, the national debt and wondering what in the world is happening to our country??
After all, we have enough challenges caring for our own families, putting groceries on the table, paying the light bill, plus the unexpected news from family and friends that someone has died. Life definitely has challenges.
How much more can we take? Well, we are not alone. There are millions of other people that are going through touch times too. God never promised an easy life. Yes, He will not put on us more than we can bear, but after awhile, we sometimes even question that.
God did give us something that many times we over look or don’t take the time we should to enjoy the, beautiful jewels that He gives us, our neighbors, friends, co-workers, and churches. They are everywhere, but we may not be looking, listening and enjoying these beautiful jewels as we should — our children.
We are blessed beyond measure with beautiful children everywhere. God knew we would need joy, encouragement, laughter and fun, so He gave us children to help us enjoy life, even as tough as our life gets.
We want our children to do well in school academically. We want to teach them about God, His character and attributes. We do need to discipline our children to help them do the right things in life and become all that God wants them to be.
I want to share these three important aspects and illustrate how these are implemented in the following examples.
Soooooo, grab a cup of coffee, a glass of ice tea or lemonade, curl up in your favorite chair and smile, and maybe even laugh out loud as you read three conversations I had with three adorable children.
The first conversation was many years ago, when I was in my first year of teaching kindergarten in South Carolina. I had a classroom of 25 adorable students that were very eager to learn. It was phonics time and I put several two vowel words on the board. I had students, one by one go to the board, mark the vowels and read the words. After reading the words we would then talk about what some of the words meant. One particular word on the board was: “eel”. I asked the class if anyone knew what the word “eel” meant. One of my students, who loved to answer any question any time of the morning, raised her hand. Sweet Mandy, with long brown hair and big brown eyes, was almost dancing in her chair; wanting to be called on so badly. So, I called on Mandy and asked her if she knew what the word “eel” met. She stood up as tall as she could, straightened her dress and with her cute South Carolina accent said, “I think that is when you call into work and tell them you can’t come in because your “eel”. Love it. Love it. Love it!!!
Another moment of smiles happened when one of my grand boys, Stephen was three years old. It was Sunday morning in the church nursery. I was the preschool director. Everyone was in Sunday school. Fun times ahead. Babies through the three year old classes were in session. It was approximately 30 minutes into class time and I saw the assistant teacher of one of the three year old classes walking down the hall toward me, holding Stephen’s hand. When they approached me, the teacher told me that Stephen was having a rough morning and was not interested in listening to the Bible story nor was he wanting to obey. I took Stephen into my office. I told him I would have to contact his daddy. I sent Steve a text message. He answered back and said he was giving the lesson to some Senior High guys and told me that he couldn’t leave class right then, and asked me to put Stephen in the corner until class time was over. Oh, my. What a challenge. Having a three year old stand in the corner, for how long? Well, it was almost impossible to keep him in the corner. It was 30 minutes later and Steve showed up in my office. He took Stephen by the hand and was headed to the bathroom. I asked Steve not to discipline him because of the length of time, he was in the corner.
About 10-15 minutes later, Steve and little Stephen came out of the bathroom and came into my office. Steve said that he explained to Stephen that he was not going to discipline him this time. He then proceeded to tell me that he told Stephen that he was going to show him mercy. He went on to tell me that he told Stephen how God showed us mercy and sent Jesus to die in our place so we would not have to die in our sin if we would trust Jesus as our personal Savior. That was showing all mankind mercy. Steve then took Stephen on to class for his Junior church hour, gave Stephen a hug, told him to be a good boy and Steve went on to the worship service. The rest of the morning went well.
After a relaxing afternoon, dinner over, nap taken, then on to church for the evening service. Parents were coming into the nursery, checking their babies, and toddlers into their age appropriate rooms.
I saw Steve and my sweet innocent looking Stephen walking down the hall to the three year old room. All seemed to go quite well. (Probably the afternoon nap made for a better evening.) It was about 15 minutes into the hour, I could hear volunteers talking to their little ones in the rooms, legos falling to the floor and little ones giggling as they picked the fallen lego tower pieces up from the floor. Everything was going quite well. The three year old class was getting ready to go out to their playground. The group was holding on to the rope as they followed the teacher down the hall.
Then, I saw Stephen walking with an assistant teacher walking in the opposite direction of the group. They were coming toward me. The teacher told me that Stephen was not being kind to his friends, didn’t want to share the toys and didn’t want to obey.
I took his hand and we walked into my office. I asked Stephen to look up at me. I told him that I was going to have to text daddy, who was already in big church listening to the preacher, to come and see him. I told Stephen that I didn’t think daddy was going to show him mercy this time. As I was texting Steve, Stephen slowly walked over to my desk, picked up a small used pencil and pretended it was a car. He pushed the pencil down the side of my desk making an “engine” noise. He stopped moving the pencil and looked up at me and asked as seriously as he could. “Mamaw, will you show me mercy? What does she look like? I don’t think I have ever seen her before.” Ok, well so much for that theological explanation his daddy gave him about God’s mercy!
Now friend, your ice tea or cup of coffee may be gone, but I have one more conversation that parents may smile at, and grandparents may laugh out loud, because of the sudden explanation a small child can think up when it comes to being disciplined.
It was a late Saturday. afternoon, my son and daughter in law, were visiting from out of state. They were wanting to attend a 5:00 church event and asked if we would watch the boys. Oh, yes, our delight. The boys were eight, six and three years of age.
The boys were playing outside, I was sitting in a lawn chair. Legos, box cars, sidewalk chalk and a small bike were the chosen toys to play with. The boys were having a lot of fun. I got up and checked the laundry in the dryer. When I did, I heard Stephen, scream and start to cry hysterically. I ran to him. He said that Stetson bit him in the back. I looked at the bite, applied an ice cube to it and looked at Stetson and asked him why he bit his brother? He looked down at the garage floor and said that he wanted to ride the bike. I told him that it is not a good reason to bite someone. If he wanted to ride the bike, he should have asked Stephen. He said he did ask him but he wouldn’t share. I told Stetson he should have come to me and I would have handled sharing the bike. I looked at Stephen and told him he was going to have to sit down for awhile and not ride the bike until he is willing to share.
I turned to Stetson and told him that Papa was going to have to discipline him because we should never bite people. We walked into the house, Stetson barely able to walk because of his chin dragging the ground. We walked into the bedroom. Papa Jim whispered and wanted me to ask Stetson what procedure mom and dad did when someone needed to be disciplined. He looked up at me with those big brown eyes, his shoulders drooped and said that they, well they….sorta, well they.. Then, with an immediate change in his facial expression, his big brown eyes looked like big brown smiley faces, a smile on his lips, his chin held high and arms crossed; said: ” Here in Florida, they just give us a hug and tell us that they love us.”
Oh, out of the mouth of babes!!!!!!
Oh, can you believe that? I did a very fast turn about to the bedroom wall and held my mouth shut for fear I would burst into laughter. Trying to compose myself, I slowly turned around and looked at Stetson who was still standing in his confident expression; and told him that Papa Jim was still going to have to discipline him because we are not to bite. As Jim took Stetson’s hand and walked him toward the bed, I started spelling: “B-e- c-a-r-e-f-u-l” I wanted Jim to handle the discipline carefully. Evidently he did, because I didn’t hear much crying from Stetson.
Parents, Grandparents and adults everywhere, please take time from your busy stressful schedules, listen and watch over these special gems God has graciously given us to enjoy.
These are priceless jewels—– our children.
Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Palm 127:3
Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Proverb 17:6
(King James version. Copyright 1982. B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co.)