Confession 58: A Lesson on Grace and Other Assundry Stuff

So, I have to send a thank-you to my friend Meg for introducing me to the “cutest blogger on the block” website. There are tons of free downloads you can add to your blog for a mini-makeover. It’s so cool! I had to resist all of the Fall designs since, technically, we aren’t there yet. So, I settled for “school-girl charm” since the school year has officially begun and my husband will like it because he’s a guy and thinks anything that resembles a school-girl uniform is “hot”:)

The school year is well underway here in SW Missouri. It’s hard to believe that we’ll have almost three weeks of school under our belts before Labor Day!! Does anyone else remember the time when school began after LD and ended before Memorial Day? Ah well… it keeps me busy!

School is off to a great start! Well, my mentoring students are doing nothing at the moment, but they’re my D and F students so there quite accustomed to that. I can only do so much to get them to get their work done and into their teachers, so if they want to waste this time, I’m not going to stop them. At some point they’re going to have to make a conscious choice to DO SOMETHING! It will probably occur next year when they realize that they can actually graduate but need to get their butts in gear to make it happen. Then I will move from nagging them to death to patting them on their backs and telling them, “you can do it!”.

I’m trying to educate and cultivate my juniors at the moment. We’re watching part of the PBS documentary The New Americans. They get a first-hand look at the experiences of Dominican baseball players, a Palestinian bride, and Nigerian refugees. A lot of it is subtitled, but they’re handling it surprisingly well. Anytime they can watch TV in class, they consider it to be a worthwhile lesson:)

Speaking of lessons, Chris gave Garrett an amazing lesson in grace the other day. I was super impressed. I must confess that I don’t always give my husband all the credit he deserves in the parenting process. Like many mothers, I just assume that since I carried and gave birth to the children, I automatically know what’s best for them. One of Chris’s common sayings to me is: “I am his father, you know!” He’s actually an amazing father. He’s always there for the boys, gets them ready and to the sitter’s every morning, gets them to sleep at night and engages in instructive discipline. Which leads me back to my original story– a lesson in grace.

Garrett was being a major pain in the rear last Sunday. He threw temper tantrum after temper tantrum. On one such occasion, he got overly zealous and slammed a bathroom door in his little brother’s face, knocking his brother to the ground. He was immediately sent to time out and went, literally, kicking and screaming. Chris went through the time-out drill with him– hands in lap, feet on floor, face front, no talking. Instead of complying, however, Garrett started screaming at Chris, “No! No! No!” At one point he even yelled, “Shut up!”, which he’s never done before (thank you Shrek) I’d had it. I came marching into the living room and told Garrett to knock it off. I also told him that Daddy and little brother were going for a walk to the park to play and he was staying home with Mommy and going to bed if his attitude didn’t change.

Our routine with time-out is that before Garrett can actually get out of time-out, he has to tell Mommy and Daddy why he’s there and apologize for the behavior. Chris called Garrett to him and placed Garrett on his knee. He asked Garrett what he’d done wrong. Garrett told him. Chris then asked Garrett if he deserved to go to the park. Initially, Garrett thought yes, but after a review of the aforementioned behavior, decided that he indeed did not deserve to go to the park. However, and this is the truly brilliant part, Chris told Garrett: “No, Garrett, you don’t deserve to go to the park. But you know what? Daddy loves you, so you’re going to get to go.”

What an amazing lesson is that?! Of course, Garrett’s only three so some of the finer theological principles are going to be lost on him, but what a great little seed planted. I’m so proud of Chris and his thoughtfulness as a parent. He taught me a lesson too.

Blessings and Peace,