Sunday, September 30, 2012
My children sit alone in church for the worship time because Paul and I both are in the worship team. This works for most of the time. Not today. Today there was all manner of misbehavior on the front row. There was running between the chairs. There was poking between siblings. There was pulling of hair. There was crazy dancing...not worshipping, crazy dancing. There was pushing. There was mommy, on more than one occasion, looking DEEP into their souls telling them to STOP with my eyes. There was a attitude of "what are you going to do about it?". Then the songs were over and I came off the stage and told my children to get their things and walk.out.the.door. We walked home in TOTAL silence. I told them I was so angry I couldn't even yell. It is at this point where they knew it.was.serious. I told them to sit down at the kitchen table and I passed out some notebook paper and told them to start writing what Church meant to them and there would be no talking. Then I walked away. Mostly to change my clothes, but also so I didn't rip each of them limb from limb. I knew I was beginning to make an impression because of the silent tears streaming down some faces, including mine. Poor Paul, he didn't know what to think. He can't see the kids from inside the drum shield and I could not adequately portray to him the severity of actions on the front row. So he supported me by repeating my instructions and adding that an apology would also be written. When I came back into the kitchen I asked if they were done. Surprisingly, they all said, "no". So I told them to keep going. Then I made a list of the other things they would write, including 1.What does Church mean to you? 2.What does Worship mean? 3.What does being respectful mean? 4. How can my behavior be better next week? 5. What does Worship look like? 6.An apology to God and to Mom and Dad as well as a verse that will help them remember how to behave in church. This took about 40 minutes to complete, which was fine. I cooked lunch and kept the silence until they were all done. After reading their responses, I am THRILLED that they DO KNOW the "right" answers and were just choosing not to act properly. On the flip side, I'm so ANGRY right now at the headway the Devil has made in my kids diverting their attention during Church. This has been a few weeks in the making. I've been noticing their behavior deteriorating over the last few weeks and I should have taken care of it earlier. I didn't. Until today. I won't subject you to all of their writing because that would be a longer blog than even I would want to read and my little Spanish speakers's (Abby & Caleb) English spelling is AWFUL because they spell all the English words with Spanish letter and sounds. But here are a few highlights: (Don't worry...I'll fix all the spelling errors. Your'e welcome.) From Abby: In response to #1. Church is awesome. We sing and when we are done we are in the auditorium and we read in the HOLY BIBLE(her emphasis, not mine!) We are Christians and we worship Him because He is awesome. In response to #4. Obey the gospel of Christ and pay attention to the scripture. From Caleb: In response to #2. What worship means is celebrating God and He lives in Heaven. People are at church because of God. In response to #6. I am sorry for my behavior, God and Mommy and Daddy and for disobeying you and please God please forgive me. Proverbs 24:10 If you give up when trouble comes it shows that you have very little strength. From Jacob: In response to #3. Respectful is a nice way of saying something. Being respectful to God is the most important thing in the world. Being respectful to your parents is pretty important, you should do it all the time. In response to #6. I made a big mistake. I should have sat still and worshipped God. God please take my sins away. I should have just sat and worshipped you. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son so whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I don't write this blog today to toot my own horn, in fact I feel just the opposite. I'd rather NO ONE know what happened today. I was embarrassed and frustrated. I am however, not going to give Satan the victory over today. My children do know how to behave and chose not to. I leave you with 3 pictures. These are the pictures they all drew in response to #5. Abby, then Caleb and finally Jacob.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
...and sometimes Paul and I just look at each other and say, "He gets it." Lately Caleb has been having all manner of Spiritual conversations with Paul and I. Today it stemmed from a song that we are singing at church tomorrow called Love Shines. It has a line in the chorus that says, "Love shines, love shines at Calvary Calvary And we proclaim that Jesus reigns in victory victory" On the way home from dove hunting tonight, Caleb was trying wrap his brain around the "love shines at Calvary" part. He was struggling to understand how God's love "shines" from Calvary. So Paul explained that Calvary is where Jesus died for our sins and how Calvary is the epicenter from which God's love is spread to the rest of the world. Caleb, in his own little mind, said, "So it's like an Army base that has a gas explosion? When the gas explodes then it floats out to all the surrounding area. Just like God's love explodes out from Calvary." I have no idea why it has to be an Army base...except he is a boy and most things = "Army". I have no idea why, in his own mind, a gas explosion comes to mind when he thinks of God's love spreading out from Calvary, but it does. I have no idea what paths his thinking takes on a regular basis to get to an understanding that is all his own, but God has wired him that way. Only my precious one compares God's love to a gas explosion and, in his own mind, he gets it.