One of the most precious things happened yesterday. I made some sort of cool pipe cleaner flower craft. My eight-year-old says “Mommy, wow! How did you do that?” I said “Oh, yeah… wow, Jesus must have taught me!” (Featured in photo is Presleigh’s version.) So, later this wise observer of mine and I were playing soccer when I said “Wow! Great kick! How’d you learn how to kick like that?” She replied “Jesus taught me!” This is an old post but it is extremely relevant to today. The point is that children are watching more of what we do than what we say.
As a stay at home mom, that sentence is hard to swallow because I don’t always live the exemplary life out in front of them. One recent example I could give is how we tried to start a new curriculum with my seven-year-old twins this year but my poor attitude effected the entire household. In the midst of our old computers not functioning as they should mixed with some of the online program’s quirks, those two weeks were frantic, rigid, maniacal ones leaving me an emotional mess. You see, my expectations were not being met, so I was having one big tantrum!
My plan began with good intentions but they were inevitably not God’s. Initially, my hope was to acquaint the twins with independent learning so that I could spend more time with my rising 4th grader. In my opinion, introducing new concepts to her would mean she’d require extra time, so using a computer resource for the the twins to be taught interactively would be a win/win right? Not so much. Between trying to navigate each lesson plan, calling the company with my multiple questions, updating our own operating systems, explaining how it all worked to the twins’, answering their various questions and trying to remember that my other child was waiting on me too, I may’ve briefly lost my mind! Not to mention how the several stimulating sights and sounds generated from this exhilarating teaching tool sent my auditory processing, sensory issues into a tizzy! Basically, I had a mini breakdown. I cried, I yelled, I prayed and I cried some more. At one point, I vaguely recall feeling like the fear could turn into a panic attack because I kept saying “How am I going to do this? I don’t think I can do this!” Eventually, I went outside to breathe, sit in the sun, cry and pray.
Finally, after a couple of weeks of trying to run this educational marathon, we had a “Come to Jesus Meeting”. I asked the children what option they would prefer: last year’s way of schooling with handwriting and bookwork or continuing on with the computer program? Each twin gave their pros and cons but ultimately it boiled down to their desire for a serene setting where Mommy is chill.
If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you know that I am all about confession so I confessed how my actions were wrong. With the change of direction and fresh perspective, my new aspiration was to turn this whole saga into a good thing by having them a) see true repentance in me b) discover how Mommy may actually be better for them than an automated teacher and c) reaffirm how their mother does not have it altogether and needs Jesus ever-so desperately.
Today as I write this blog we are on week two of our old method of schooling where we all gather around the table and work together. Go figure, I assumed that this style would be too difficult this year with their current level of education but we actually found the opposite to be true! We reestablished a quieter, slower, calmer atmosphere like how it used to be when I chose to relinquish my will God’s. Accordingly, peace, rest and joy returned. My regrets about my behavior at the beginning of our school year fade in the forgiveness found. My heart cherishes the grace granted me to try again. Undeniably, the Holy Spirit turned it around the moment I relented my plan for God’s best. Obviously, the whole escapade could have been avoided if I chose to let go of the illusion of control in the first place. But the blessing is that the roots underneath the surface of my frenetic conduct boiled down to both fear and pride together; as they are different sides of the same coin really. And you know what? Once those sins were uncovered and I admitted them, something powerful happened!
Today my eight-year-old said something remarkable. Out of the blue, she tells me how I am a good mother. The words which proceeded to come forth from her mouth next pierced my heart to the core. She said “When you say sorry, Mommy, you really mean it.” Wow! Right there I was convinced of my statement earlier: “the children are watching more of what we do than what we say.”