I taught Jakobi how to write his name today. I actually taught quite a few kindergartners some tricks about writing their names and how to keep the letters where they belong in the lines. Fridays are my mornings in the kindergarten room. It is spring and these kids have been writing their letters and their names all year. But there were a couple today who with just a few tips (from someone who has been writing letters for 40 plus years) were able to see for themselves how much better they could control their pencil and get letters that looked like they wanted them to.
I love volunteering at the school. I love that I am not paid to HAVE to be there and it is just fun for me. The conversations that I have had with some of them are real and sweet. The challenges we have overcome and the stories they tell just reiterate the reason I am there.
There are a lot of things going on in my circle lately. There has been some real daunting prayer needs that have come to my attention in the past month that have been weighing down on me. As I take on the privileged task to pray my friends, family and even some acquaintances through their very real storms of life, I am humbled. God can actually let me share the load in this very real way, a very different way than I have let myself be used in the past.
This heart post may also be a little like a book review because after a couple of parenting discussions this week, I realized that I have become a little rusty. Just like teaching a child to write their name "in the lines", God's word gives us "lines" in which to live our life. I am rusty because I haven't been steering my loves to the light of His word as I should be doing lately. Maybe that is why the disrespect, laziness and unkindness to one another has crept back in.
It is a big job to teach our children the parameters that God has set for us. There are some who learn and have a seemingly stress free time following Him. Others may struggle at times and still others may fight it every step of the way. I have some of each in my brood, so unfortunately what works with one doesn't necessarily work with another.
In my discussions with other moms this week who are dealing with the same kind of sinful kids (lets face it, we were all born with it), I remembered this great book that I loved when we were in the preschool/early elementary years. There is a way to approach our children to turn the argument from being between you and them to being between them and God. It doesn't have to be between us and them at all. I love that I can share with them a passage of scripture that shows them God's character. I get to watch as the Holy Spirit convicts them and holds up the mirror to their heart. Does it happen that easily every time? No...I have one who is very prone to intense spiritual warfare and I have spent hours in the course of many days to pray her through some of the hardness and stubbornness that rears its ugly head. (She is A LOT like her mom!)
My kids know they have an enemy. They know that that enemy is powerful. But they know 1 John 4:4 that says "Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world." Tell your kids the truth, teach them the truth. Let them know they may be afraid sometimes and then show them where their strength comes from. Tell them you struggle too. It is okay if they know that you battle attitudes that aren't from God. I love this book "Teach Them Diligently" as a guide to help them. It helps me too, because we can't teach our kids what we don't know and practice ourselves. I love that now there are times my pre-teen kids come to me and tell me what is going on in their minds and ask me if I will help them find a few verses that will help them. My answer to that is always a smile, a big hug, and "Of course I will!"