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Monday, June 15, 2009

Finding Teachable Moments

We try to take advantage of "teachable moments" when they arise. Sometimes we hit and sometimes... I just get frustrated with all the questions, from our two little ones that I just throw my hands up and say, "Just forget it! Maybe I will go back to that one later!"
I'm now cognizant that I really have to be patient and stick to those lessons surrounding biblical issues. We are definitely raising them up in the way they should go but sometimes they get things a little twisted. Now our daughter is sharp enough to use what she learns in church at an appropriate time to bail her out of trouble.
The Genesis of these stories began with our daughter's kindergarten year.
Her teacher began reprimanding her for playing in the mulch after warning the class not to.
"That darn serpent!" she told her teacher.
She was serious! She folded her arms and stomped her feet. She wouldn't make eye contact with her teacher initially. She began talking to herself- shaking her head so much that her two, long ponytails were moving side-to-side.
"What are you talking about?" her teacher asked.
Slapping her forehead with the palm of her hand she responded, "The serpent made me play in that mulch!"
"What serpent?" her teacher asked.
She now made eye contact- she now had her teacher roped.
"You know that serpent who made Eve eat that apple!"
Well her brother, God bless his little soul, either gets things all confused or he may get it but does not want to apply what he learns. He wants to pick and choose what he wants to live by.
He and his sister have racked up with money from their birthdays here recently. He wants to spend it as soon as he gets his but I have made him save it. I mean he can't spend it if we don't take him anywhere to spend it.
So he has been saving it but Lord knows he has been asking for someone to take him to a store to spend it.
I have explained myriad times about tithing. Well it is usually a huge question and answer period with him. Yesterday as we prepared for church I told him that he needed to put some money in church. As we pulled out of the parking lot after church, I asked him if he put any money in offering in his class.
He didn't say anything.
I turned to look at him and his lips were pressed together as if he were keeping a secret- which he is not good at.
This begins our conversation. Which we have had before.
"Now I have told you that when you give it comes back to you."
"But I need my money to get that ATM machine from TJ Maxx," he whined.
"But God blessed you with that money so you can give some of it back in church," I told him.
"Huh? (Looking at his money) Grandma, Papa gave me this money and I got one of these dollars from her (pointing at his sister) room," he replied.
"WHAT? You give it back!" his sister shouted.
I further explained the process of giving and he listened, then looking back at his face I realized he would need more work to be a "cheerful" giver.
We went on to eat. When we left our tip for the server I saw him eyeing the money. Another "teachable" moment.
"Now see Mommy and Daddy are giving and it comes back to us," I told him.
"Daddy gone give her all that money?" he asked.
"Yes! And don't even think about getting any of it!"
On the way out of the restaurant we bumped into our pastor and his family. He always asks our two for hugs. Our son just recently starting complying and the pastor eats this up. He (pastor) gave them both a dollar bill.
When we got in the car our daughter, the appreciative little Saint she is, said, "Look! Pastor Bill gave us some money. I'm gonna save it with my other money!"
Then her brother with dread on his face said, "He probably gave it to us to put in offering."

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