Friday, January 23, 2015

Equally In Need Of Grace

Just because we educate at home doesn't mean we don't deal with bullies here at the One Room School House.

Who would have thought that the bully under this roof would stand at a whopping 31 inches tall, weigh in at 24 hefty pounds, and pack a mean, and I mean seriously mean, punch?

The littlest one loves to carry around the long pieces of his wooden train track set. And he finds it to be absolutely hilarious when he takes that long wooden piece and bops the Charmer right over the head with it.

He bops. The Charmer cries. And the Soul Man laughs, then does it again.

My Charmer is going to be the best husband. He is so incredibly tender and sweet.

But right now he has a few life lessons to learn. A tender heart is a glorious quality, but even the tender-hearted need to be able to look their little brother in the eye and very kindly  but firmly say, "no, you will not hit." There are a million ways to put nasty people in their place without being nasty back.

The little brother is one and a half and quite frankly he rarely actually listens to his older brother. We are trying to help the Charmer learn to confidently remove the train track from his little brother's hand and then show his brother how to be "nice" by gently running his hand down his brother's arm and saying, "nice, Solomon, nice. Be nice to me."

We practice these things often with The Charmer. We remind him that he's bigger than his brother and that it's not ok for his brother to hit him and that it IS ok for him to guide his brother in a firm yet kind way into doing the right thing. If you ask the Charmer what he's currently learning, hopefully he'll tell you, "A man handles himself with a kind, confident, firm hand and heart." He knows what that means. He knows how to practice that with his brother.

And yet despite our continual instruction with both boys, when his brother bops him over and over and over again, The Charmer just sits perfectly still and repeats through his tears, "please, no thank you... please, no thank you... PLEASE, no thank you!" And if he does manage to get the train track out of his brother's hand, his brother has a plan B, and he immediately starts doing this karate-chopping-scissor move right up in the Charmer's face. So sad! A little bit funny when you watch it all go down. But still sad.

It's a training season for our two youngest.

We're patient, we're consistent.

They'll get it. I know they will.

But they don't have it now.

We've got to repeat, repeat, repeat and we've got to have grace in their learning.

There was a day when I looked down upon the Mama's who had "hitters." I mainly felt frustrated with them because their kid was hitting my kid and truthfully, I just wanted them to get it together and train their kid to find his kindness!

I'm sorry. Please forgive me? I had forgotten about grace.

Our first four kids weren't hitters. But guess what?  #5 is not only a hitter, but a bitter and a screamer as well.

Last Sunday The Cowboy was out of town and I went to pick up the kids from their classes at church by myself.

I picked up the girls first. No problem there.

Then I headed to the Charmer's class. When his eyes met mine, giant elephant tears streamed down his face as he tried to choke out the words.

"What's wrong buddy?"

"Isaiah cccaalllled meee a, girl. I'm not a girl Mama. I'm_a_boy!!!!"

I don't even know who Isaiah is, or who his mother is, but I had words for them both.

I hugged my boy, reassured him that God did indeed make him a boy. We talked about what to do the next time some kid says something lame to him.  I stayed calm while talking to my little guy, but inside I could feel my Mama-bear tendencies rising up... how dare that kid call my kid a GIRL!

Lastly, we went to get my Solomon from his class. As I reached out to take my boy in my arms his teacher informed me that he had bit his friend Levi and bopped several of the other kids on the head with whatever toys he could find while yelling at the top of his lungs.


Now I'm the Mama with the kid that hits, and bites, and screams at the other kids.


This week I've been thinking about the dozens of ways that we spend our time thinking less of each other as Mamas, as women. Really, we're all in the same boat.  If your kid is not the "hitter," he just might be the nose-picker who wipes his boogers on his friends' clothes. If not the nose-picker, then maybe the fit-pitcher. I've got one friend who's kid just wants to eat butter. And another who's kid continues to stick small objects up his nose.

We've all got something going on with our kids.

And we're all spending our lives putting everything we've got into our little people's hearts. We're all praying and being diligent, and asking the Lord to take our kids and do in them things greater than we could ever ask or imagine.

I read a blurb from a sweet little ebook called Mama Wars this week... We're all in this mothering thing together...

The gospel of Christ holds no place for comparison. We are all equally in need of grace, and we all equally receive it as a gift from God. In regards to mothering, the gospel clearly applies:
• None of us are mom enough.
• Through Christ, God offers us grace in our moth
ering. He takes our meager efforts and produces spiritual fruit in us and in our children. He is enough. 
• He has given us principles in Scripture as a frame- work for mothering.
• He has also given us the Holy Spirit to individually lead and guide us in mothering our unique children.

What does this mean for day-in, day-out motherhood?

It means that we are all mothering toward the same goal—that our children know and worship God. 

Our methods for reaching that goal may vary according to our unique families, circumstances, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Will he lead every believer toward the same goal? Yes. Will he lead every believer to the goal in the same way? No. And this is a very good thing

I plead with you earnestly to remember grace, to turn off the chorus of (good) voices on the In- ternet and (good) books on your shelves, and to focus on the only voice that matters, the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit in the pages of Scripture.

Such a sweet & true word for a woman's soul!

Right now I have two beautiful boys who are in the thick of learning needful life lessons. 

I'm super sorry if your kid happens to be one of the innocent kids who gets bonked on the head by my kid. 

Thank you for grace in the learning seasons. :) 

 {There was a free day at the Botanical Gardens in Denver last week. So we spent the day up there with friends.}