Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This week Wednesday Wisdom is on vacation!
For a few days we will all be together....Anna home from Costa Rica....Patrick from San Antonio, Texas....and all of us others have made plans to be home. We're anticipating a joyful time.....grateful for His provision for it!
More next week...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I saw Georgie the other day; only I shouldn’t say his name is Georgie. Now it’s George; he’s married with a three-year-old daughter. I remembered one of my first encounters with him when he was in sixth grade. He was sent to the office because he simply would not do as the teacher asked. When the secretary told him to sit down, he defiantly muttered, “You can’t tell me what to do.” Georgie was building quite a resume in his first week at our school.
Upon returning to the office, I saw him standing there resolutely, imagining that the whole world was against him. At that moment in his life, that was probably close to the truth.
I guided him into my office and we began to talk. Again, Georgie was difficult, unreasonable, and defiant. In normal circumstances like that, I prescribe a good old-fashioned middle school spanking. Georgie was a prime candidate.
After checking his file, I noted that his dad wished to be called before Georgie would be spanked. I dialed his number. When he answered, I explained the situation and ended by saying that Georgie needed to be spanked. Then I added, “I can do it or you can come do it.” He said, “I’ll come.”
When Georgie’s dad arrived, we met again in my office: Georgie, his dad, and me. Georgie’s attitude was unchanged, demonstrating belligerence and anger at everyone involved, including his dad. Then his dad made a strange request; he asked Georgie to step out while he talked with me. Georgie did. Then his dad turned to me and confessed, “I have never spanked him; how do you do it?”
I showed him how to grip the paddle and how to use his wrist action to give a good pop at the end of the swing. He caught on quickly, and we asked Georgie to step into the room. I think that Georgie was so shocked to see his dad holding a paddle that he forgot to be upset. He followed my directions as I instructed him how to receive a paddling. Mr. S. delivered a very solid whack to the rear end of his son, who immediately stood up and burst into tears. His dad looked him right in the eye and said, “If you are going to go to school here, you will obey the rules.”
After Georgie regained his composure, we returned him to class where he obeyed and followed directions quite like a little gentleman.
His dad, on the other hand, was exhausted and elated. It had taken everything he had to give his son a spanking, but he was encouraged that he had taken to the task at hand. He was even more encouraged by his son’s response. After a few minutes, he got up, thanked me and left. He was the first person I ever taught to spank his own child.
And George is now all grown up with a family. By the way, he is a teacher and a coach. He stopped by my office to see me and to reminisce. I asked him if he remembered that day in my office. He didn’t remember it at all. Then he shared with me about his daughter’s heart condition and asked me to pray. I did and he left. It was good to see him.
I wondered as he left, “Where would he be if his dad had not walloped him that day in my office?” I believe that it was a significant day for both him and his father. Mr. S. gave everything he had that day to train and correct his son. He was exhausted and glad. I imagine that he is still glad today as he watches his son take on responsible fatherhood.
Today, I challenge dads to train and to correct your children. It will take all that you have, but you’ll be glad.
As you trust God and do the right thing, you will see His blessing on your children.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Starting my day with the Lord helps me to hear him later. Here’s an example of when I really needed to hear Him:
It was another busy day! With five children and no more than eight years from the oldest to the youngest, I was on the go! Children to oversee, chores to do, food to cook. I didn’t mind administrating the jobs and doing the housework; but if I had to re-do things because of carelessness, this mother hen’s feathers got ruffled.
The linoleum floor in our family room/kitchen area was NOT user-friendly. It attracted dust, dirt particles, and scuff marks and then advertised them. Cleaning it meant scrubbing it on my hands and knees, a wearying task. Having completed this job one mid-morning, I was relieved to have that behind me.
A little later as we were preparing for lunch, each child was helping. Anna was helping with sandwiches, Patrick was pouring drinks, Will setting the table.
As Patrick tried to place the orange juice back on the fridge shelf, it slipped from his little hands and landed with a big PLOP on the floor, rupturing the side of the carton and sending orange juice under the fridge, under the stove, and covering my clean floor with its sweet, sticky liquid.
That was it. I had been working all morning, and I was undone. Seven-year-old Patrick just looked at me, waiting for my reaction. I did not disappoint him. I lost it. I fussed and fumed as I cleaned. He felt terrible, and so did I.
After cleaning it up, I fled to my room, closed the door, and began crying to the Lord. As I calmed down and began leafing through my Bible, He led me to this scripture: “Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” But I read it this way: “You are worth more than a clean floor.” Then I understood. I had definitely messed up.
Patrick was of more value than a clean floor. That’s what he needed to know. Somehow I had everything all out of alignment. The clean floor was important, but not more important than my son’s worth. Of course, I went back to him and asked him to forgive me; and thankfully, he did.
This truth became one of the footers of the foundation of my home: Communicate to the children how valuable they are by how I treat them.
Now, did I mess up? Absolutely. But what if I had not been spending time with Father? Would I have run to him with my failure? Would I have been able to hear the truth he spoke to me in that moment that changed the way I parented? I don’t think so.
Cultivating a daily time with Father allows Him to change us.
Thankfully, He does.