Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teachable Moments...

Okay, first of all, it has been WAY too long since I've posted. January...what?! Life got crazy. We went straight from the holidays into crazy crunch time at school not only preparing our kiddos for the tests to come but purging and packing our classrooms  to move our sweet school to our new campus over Spring Break. Things just haven't slowed down since and I rarely venture into the office for anything other than to retrieve something so sitting and writing took a back seat. But I need to blog. People have been asking. I've been itching to write. So, it's time. Bear with me...I may have forgotten how to form a sentence....ha!

One of my constant prayers as a mother is that the Lord would provide teachable moments in my time with my son. These teachable moments come in the forms of questions he asks, situations that arise, or discipline that needs to be carried out. My goal is to always point it back to Christ. How's that working, you ask? Well, most of the time, if I'm being perfectly honest....I fail miserably. Maybe I'm "too busy" and don't take the time to really answer his question. Maybe that situation I just brush under the rug. And that discipline? Maybe frustration and impatience get the upper hand and I let a teachable moment slip by yet again. It's not intentional but then again, that means I'm not being intentional at all in those moments God provides for me.

Saturday was different though. Hubby was with his brother working a side job so Gabe and I had the first part of the day to ourselves, just the two of us. That honestly doesn't happen too often and I wanted to make sure I spent time with him while also getting things done. I turned up some music and he helped me out around the house. Then we were in his room while he was putting toys away and I was putting his clothes away. I don't even remember what was said but I mentioned to him that he was not being nice. The conversation started something like this:

Me: You are not being very nice.
G: Well....
Me: Well, do you want to be mean? (I'm expecting him to say no of course)
G: Yes.
Me: (Thinking he has not understood the question) Do you want people to be mean to you?
G: No.
Me: But you want to be mean to others?
G: Yes. I want to be mean.

At this point, I need to prove a point and not launch into a lecture to a 4 year old whose eyes will glaze over after 20 seconds. So, I softly but firmly told him I would not be helping him anymore and I left the room. Of course, my child, being the sensitive one that he is, immediately began crying. I waited about a minute before re-entering the room to talk to him.

Me: Did you like it when mommy left?
G: No.
Me: Did you think I was being mean?
G: Yes.
Me: How did that make you feel?
G: Sad.
Me: Well, buddy, that's how other people feel when you're mean to them.

At this point, we moved our conversation to the couch in the living room. He sat in my lap as I began to really use this moment to point it back to Christ.

Me: How does Jesus want you to treat people?
G: Good. He wants us to be nice.
Me: Right. And don't you want to be like Jesus?
G: But I want to be mean.
Me: (Thinking I'm losing him somehow) Buddy, why do you want to be mean? That hurts mommy's heart.
G: Well, when bad guys come, I want to be mean.
Me: (I have realized we were on completely different pages) Ohhhh, so you want to be mean to bad guys. Not everyone?
G: Right. I'm going to be mean to bad guys.

I could have left it there. I could have told him that mommy didn't understand before and thought he wanted to be mean to everyone and that now I understood. But, I felt the Spirit urging me to take it deeper. And, so I did.

Me: I understand wanting to be mean to bad guys. But can I tell you something? You know when Jesus died on the cross?
G: Yeah, when he died and then he came back to life 3 days later?
Me: Exactly. Do you know that there were bad guys that killed him? They beat him and made fun of him and they killed him.
G: There were?
Me: Yes. But do you know that He was never mean to them? In fact, He asked God to forgive them. And He loved them.
G: Wow. So we show love to bad guys too?
Me: Yes. I know that's hard but Jesus wants us to show love to everyone.

(Note: Between the above and below sections, months have passed. I got sidetracked when I started writing this and just now picked it back up. So this whole story is actually like 2 or 3 months old. I apologize.)

It seemed to sink in. Then, he ran to get his little devotion book I got him for Christmas. I turned to that day to read the devotion and the scripture that went with it was exactly what we needed. He got his Jesus Calling Children's bible story book which of course had the story we needed as well. I just love how God orchestrates things. We read the story of Jesus dying on the cross and how they beat Him and spit on Him and He never uttered a mean word. He asked the Father to forgive them instead. It was a beautiful moment that I was able to pause and really take the opportunity to teach my little guy a lesson. Let's be real...even mommy needed that lesson too. 

Thank you, Jesus.
Image borrowed from {http://www.teach-through-love.com/watch-free-trainings.html} 

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