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Monday, July 23, 2012

Getting What We Don't Deserve

July 10, 2012

That was certainly the case in our house today. It’s Tuesday, milk run day. Friends of the family run a small creamery about 10 miles from our home and we make the drive every week to buy our milk supplies. Often we are running behind schedule because the children are dragging their feet getting the morning chores done. Today was no different with one exception. The two girls were doing everything but what they were supposed to be doing; and, our son was picking up the slack. He was busily doing his chores, helping Mommy with odds and ends, and doing everything the girls were supposed to be doing. My little man was on a roll! Not only did we get everything we had to do done, working as a team we were able to get a jump start on the afternoon chores too. Big smiley faces for my boy. :-)

As a reward for all his extra work I told him he could pick out anything he wanted at Apple Valley and keep it all for himself. He was so excited. I thought I might be shooting myself in the foot so to speak by fostering a selfish, gloating spirit. But it was a risk I was willing to take because he needed to be rewarded for all his hard work. Of course there were thank yous  and high fives and hugs galore but he was so exceptional today I just had to step up the positive reinforcement. The drive to the creamery was uneventful. There was no gloating, no bragging, in fact no mention of the reward at all. Maybe my fears would be unfounded. We got to the creamery and the kids ran off to play on the motorized John Deere tractor like they always do. I got our milk; a handful of organic, raspberry, fig bars and was ready to check out. The man brings me bag of gummy worms. We check out and get everyone and everything loaded back into the van. That is when the gummies get noticed!

From the third row seat I hear “What’s that ‘siah?” Nonchalantly my boy replies “Gummy worms, I got them as a reward for working so hard today.” Insert gummy in mouth…now. “Can I have one?” Uh Oh, here it comes. The gloating, the selfishness, everything I feared might happen. Brace for it….here it comes….”Sure.”

What? Did that exchange really just happen? Not only did he go the extra mile this morning, he did not use the opportunity to make his sisters feel badly about it. Now I feel like I need to run right back in the store and buy another bag of gummies. But I didn’t. When we got home I put the girls to bed for naps and called my son over to the couch. I told him how proud I was of him and the way he handled himself and the whole gummy situation. I reminded him that the gummies were his reward for working so hard and that he did not have to share them with his sisters. Then I praised him for sharing his reward and thinking about his sisters.

Banner day for the little man!

But to do good and to share forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. – Hebrews 13:16

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pete and Repeat.......

July 2, 2012

Pete and Repeat are sitting in a boat, Pete falls out, who is left? – Repeat

Pete and Repeat are sitting in a boat, Pete falls out, who is left? – Repeat

Pete and Repeat…………….

You get the idea. My father used to tell this joke to us as children and my husband would torment his niece and nephew with it when they were little. My life feels like this joke some days. Just when I think they have it – here we go again.

It would seem that mopping a floor is the most difficult to master skill on the planet. Maybe in the whole universe. It is not like Mondays come out of nowhere and ambush us, but every Monday when it comes time to do our morning chores my children forget how to. And it is not like I rotate the assigned chore from week to week. Every Monday of every week my son is responsible for mopping the floor while I do the dishes that have accumulated over the weekend. And every Monday (well 99% of the Mondays) he only does half the floor, or leaves alternating swaths of wet and dry. And every Monday I have to show him how to do it and make him start over. What should take 10 minutes turns into to 30 minutes ordeal.

When he finally completes his task we sit and have a talk about diligently working at something until it is accomplished. We talk about doing everything to glorify God. We talk about the time wasted and the other things he could have been doing if he had only done it right the first time. I know he feels a sense of pride when he does a good job so I am baffled as to why he does not always do a good job. And I know he hates having me tell him over and over how to do it.

I think he’s testing me! Seeing if I have the same standard today that I had last week. I must be more consistent!

I know this passage talks about teaching the word of God to our children but I think it applies to all areas of our life. We must be ever vigilant and we must not rest.


And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. – Deuteronomy 6:7.

DISCIPLINE, n. [L., to learn.]
1. Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, comprehending instruction in arts, sciences, correct sentiments, morals and manners, and due subordination to authority.
2. Instruction and government, comprehending the communication of knowledge and the regulation of practice; as military discipline, which includes instruction in manual exercise, evolutions and subordination.
3. Rule of government; method of regulating principles and practice; as the discipline prescribed for the church.
4. Subjection to laws, rules, order, precepts or regulations; as, the troops are under excellent discipline; the passions should be kept under strict discipline.
5. Correction; chastisement; punishment intended to correct crimes or errors; as the discipline of the strap.
6. In ecclesiastical affairs, the execution of the laws by which the church is governed, and infliction of the penalties enjoined against offenders, who profess the religion of Jesus Christ.
7. Chastisement or bodily punishment inflicted on a delinquent in the Romish Church; or that chastisement or external mortification which a religious person inflicts on himself.

1. To instruct or educate; to inform the mind; to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits; as, to discipline youth for a profession, or for future usefulness.
2. To instruct and govern; to teach rules and practice, and accustom to order and subordination; as, to discipline troops or an army.
3. To correct; to chastise; to punish.
4. To execute the laws of the church on offenders, with a view to bring them to repentance and reformation of life.
5. To advance and prepare by instruction.