Life Lessons

Sometimes when I am talking with or correcting one of my kids, I get this feeling like "this is a holy moment".  We can be in the midst of normal conversation or in deep discussion when it happens, but I suddenly become aware that what I'm saying is a life lesson.  Don't get me wrong, moms do this constantly all day long.  Every waking minute.

There are millions of life lessons we teach.

If you make the mess, you are responsible for cleaning it up.
Just because you didn't make the mess does not mean you don't need to help.
If you see that your brother needs help, HELP him.
Put your laundry in the basket.
You can probably get your own water.
Try that again with better manners.
Think about the last time that you wore your shoes.  Look there.
You actually DO need a coat when it's 35 degrees.
You actually have to wash your body.  That's the point of a shower.
You actually don't need 7 squirts of soap to wash your body.
Look around this room and see if you can find one thing that needs to be done.
Be a gentleman and hold the door.
People don't like it when you spit on them.
That healthy snack is going to make you big and strong!
Wash your hands or you will get pink eye.  Again.

You get the idea.


But the moments I'm talking about are different.  They are the holy moments where you get to tell your kids things that you wish you had figured out earlier in life.  They are lessons you are honored and humbled to teach. They are the words you are praying will stick.  

Today it was like this.

I don't know if you're familiar with reacting out of anger, but I am.  When I am angry I am tempted to become offended and, in my anger,  REACT to a situation instead of maintaining composure and acting purposefully.

So, surprise surprise, my kids often do this exact same thing.  It's amazing how parenting holds a mirror to your flaws and laughs at you.

Anyway, today Roman found some rope in the garage and was showing me some jump rope skills they were working on in PE.  (crossover?  Nailed it.)  He was having so much fun.  After his exhibition, he asked me if he could buy a jump rope with the money he had been saving in his wallet.

Now, Joe and I had recently sat down with him discussed impulse spending (of which he is the king) and asked him to make a goal to save a larger sum of money to buy something he really wanted.  So we agreed upon an item and a dollar amount.  

So, back to jumping rope...I was about to tell Roman that I wanted him to keep saving his money but that I would be happy to buy him a jump rope because I think that would be a fun thing for whole family to have for the summer and it would be great exercise.

But I only got to "Remember, we have already talked about saving your money..." when there was an outburst of "It's not fair!  I have the money!  You're the worst!", etc, etc.

So, he was sent to his room to calm down and when he came out I told him "I was about to tell you something that I think you will like to hear, but instead of waiting to hear what I had to say, you got angry and you missed it."

I asked if he was ready to be calm and listen, and then I told him what I would have told him originally.
And then I got to share the real nitty gritty with him:

 "You know, this reminds me a lot of how we are with God sometimes.  Sometimes, we ask God for something and he doesn't give us the answer that we were hoping for.  But God always has a plan.  He is a good Father.  If we respond out of anger when we don't get what we ask for, if we stop listening because we feel like 'it's not fair', we might miss the blessing he was trying to give us. That blessing is sometimes even better than what we were hoping for!"

Even though I taught a lot of crazy, patience-trying life lessons today, I am so thankful I got to teach that one.  Please, Lord, let their little hearts understand and remember.

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