"Should swiss alps be capitalized?" I ask my eight year-old son.
"Wait ... what is that again? He asks seemingly frustrated.
"Take a break." I say.
"Thank you!" He exclaims.
Today has been a tough one— long. Not only have I had to homeschool, cook, do laundry and ..., I've also had to throw some unexpected lessons on: kindness, not being vengeful and The Golden Rule. Today reminded me of Elisabeth Elliot and what she often said, "We have to teach our children, line upon line, precept upon precept." This is no easy task and isn't for the faint of heart!
I often sit back and wonder "Am I messing these kids up?" They are so sinful and haven't been around half the stuff I grew up around, yet I was so different it seems. There was only my brother and me, and I am five years older so that could account for why we didn't argue as much. Both of us attended school outside of the home too so we weren't with each other 24/7 the way my kids are.
Today in our home during school time: sisters bickered...brother's disagreed...sister and brother argued and on and on went the cycle.
This is how it went:
Child comes in from back yard in tears. "What's wrong?" I mistakenly ask.
"...won't let me ride the Escalade ..."
"Yeah, but you got off." Goes the other child.
"Yeah to go to the bathroom," says crying child.
"Okay, so you got off!"
"Help me Lord," is my whisper.
I had one flame after another to put out, but in doing so I saw and I learned ... .
I saw how much God loves. I was a bit shamed at thinking about some of the things I try Him with and what I put Him through. Showing me myself as I dealt with my children gave me perspective and the strength to keep going. If God could be patient than so could I, right? In seeing myself and how my Father deals with me, I was able to bestow grace and mercy on my kids. The more they came with complaint, the more He continued to whisper. I'm thankful that I was able to hold on to Him during those nerve wrecking—nit picking "trying times."
God didn't stop there either. He quickly showed me how to put a stop to all that was coming my way. The Lord showed me how my kids are to let nothing come between their relationship thus breaking up the harmony between them, and when they allow a "thing" or something to break the relationship that "thing" has to go. I instructed them that the building up of the relationship is what's most important and should always be preserved. If they couldn't comply, then the toy or toys has to be put up for a week. Of course, they didn't want to put the toys away; therefore, they quickly came to a resolution.
The other awakening that I put "back" into place is when they said something "ugly" or unkind to one another, they had to hold hands and walk together to a room, sit and think of five things they liked about their siblings character. Once they both had their five things they had to come and share those good things with the family.
I'm learning that being at home with my children, homeschooling them is not only for them. It is for me too. I'm learning in leaps and bounds right along with them about the most important thing—not school work: character. Gratitude.
Last night before bed I thanked God for showing me His extended love for me while allowing me to deal with my children. He calmly and lovingly walked me through each crazy episode of the fights. By the time night came and we had fallen into bed. We concluded our night with a Walton's night calling.