What you do when your child wakes everyone in the house at 4:30 screaming that you stole their fan.

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The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Luke 6:45

 Ok, so the title pretty much sums up the story but if you want to know the details… Emma, my 7-yr-old wakes up today at 4-ish to screaming that she can’t sleep but it didn’t end there, and when I say screaming, I mean screaming, waking up the whole house including a baby that should not be awake at 4:30. She proceeds to tell me that I stole her fan. This is the deal with the fans, it’s hot, I mean stifling, around 100 highs and so we have the fans out to help with the heat at night. There are two identical fans except for one has a knob on the top and one has the knob on the back. Somehow in moving fans around the house the last couple days that fans got switched around. Eithe

r fan is no one’s possession except for the Benson household. They blow the same amount of air about, so I was very angry at 4 in the morning.

So what did I do when she woke up screaming that I stole her fan?  I am not writing this post because I am some sort of parental authority. This like a lot of posts are written to help myself walk through things mentally and a way to preach to myself truth which I very much forget at 4 in the morning after a night of bad sleep already.  So, that being said, I screamed back at this 7-yr-old because I was angry and it was the absolute wrong thing to do. I screamed and showed no Grace because I was tired and bothered. I screamed because I had to now but a restless baby back to sleep. This is after I blew up at her last night for repeated disobedience. I needed to have a talk with myself.

Let’s talk about the heart of the matter, well our hearts, that’s the matter. I’ve been going through my head all morning and read the word and read a little of a biblical parenting book I’m reading and it gave my mind perspective that I may have already known but choose to ignore in these incidents. So, last night and this morning I needed to ask my daughter for forgiveness for anger towards her. It truly is a humbling experience to ask your child for forgiveness, and I know a lot of people may be uncomfortable with the idea but it is a biblical one.

My plea for forgiveness from my Daughter is not because she should get her way in everything and so my offense was not allowing her to do that. I sinned against her because the Word says so. Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear,slow to speak, slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.It is actually quite the opposite, we talked about our hearts and why we do the things we do, why we sin against each other, and because grace was not shown. So knowing what I did wrong I woke seeking the word and resolve to ask my daughter for forgiveness. We had a great talk, Emma shared with me that she was only thinking about herself and that she was sorry for waking us all up. She asked me for forgiveness and I instructed her what she should do. Emma happily accepted my apology and hugged me. I am always amazed how freely she loves and forgives and shows me grace. I’m just a bitter old lady in comparison.

In Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp says this: Correction is not displaying your anger at their offenses; it is rather reminding them that their sinful behavior offended God, It is bringing the censure of sin to these subjects of his realm. He is the King They must obey.

I am a learn-on-the-go type of person, I have to learn things the hard way in order for me to truly get it. This whole parenting thing, it’s so hard. I am thankful for people on my life and a few people that have written books that point me back to the Word, Christ. Thank you all.

So here are a few of those books that are really helpful for those that  struggle like me and need a little helpful prodding, knowing the Bible first as well of course:

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp – I am reading this right now and it has been very revealing especially in this season of life.

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson– This is a great guide to showing Grace to your kids, it’s incredibly truthful and biblical. There is a very, very helpful chart in the back that helps me sometimes when I get flustered what to do in a particular situation.

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel– This was the first book I read that truly diagnosed my heart as a parent and got to root of it, Sin. I am thankful for having been introduced to this book in a time I really needed it. Many people confuse Grace  with permissiveness or lack of discipline but this book helped me see that is a gross misunderstanding of the word, and help me to form my thoughts as a Christian Parent.

So thank you all for joining in this journey with me as a Parent, I am flawed but He is perfect in my place. The image above is of Emma playing sweetly outside this morning after our talk. Alice is still asleep, God is good.

 

Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson; A Review

 

How important is it to learn about Grace at an early Age? It is of the utmost importance, in my opinion,  just as it is equally important to learn as an Adult as I am doing now. Grace colors the way we interact with others and even ourselves in all of life. Grace, simply put, the In Faith,Grace that is undeserved comes from God and is the antithesis to working to no avail to pay your for your own debts, for your own righteousness. It just doesn’t work that way. Grace is transforming and refining because it is difficult to extend Grace if you don’t understand Grace and once God’s grace is understood it can change everything that you think you know about Him and what that means for your faith.

Are we teaching our children about Grace? Are we learning about Grace? How do we bring up conversations about Grace in the everyday, ordinary moments of life? Sometimes you need a starting place. That’s what I feel Jessica Thompson’s book is, a tool for conversations about God, Grace, and remarkable Love.

It is no secret that we homeschool (Charlotte Mason style) and as a part of that we do daily bible studies, I love that time where we talk about scripture and what it means to us. We discuss Gospel things and what they mean in our day-to-day.  Emma who is six-almost-seven is not always interested to be truthful, but we do get a lot out of it and it is a great way to point to the Gospel then and later when things happen in life and she loves to listen to the stories. We also do something called Character Training, we learn about biblical character that we should embody.  Most people do more than one Character in a year and we started the year that way but since we were struggling with Obedience with the mini teenager (that’s what it’s felt like) in our home we decided to stick with Obedience as our  character for the entire year. If you ask Emma what Obedience is she will tell you that it is “doing what you are told with a happy, submissive heart”. The expectation in our home is “First-Time Obedience”, meaning that you do the previous the first time you are told. In this we are all learning about obedience al-together because I also tend toward the opposite. The apple does not fall far from the tree. We can see how teaching this way does work on hearts little by little with God’s help.

I say all of the above to say if those things are not learned along side Grace and Love then it completely defeats the purpose in my mind. Bible Stories and learning about how we should live can mean nothing if we aren’t connecting it to the Love Story we’ve been given. Without learning Grace, we will tend toward moralism or legalism. That’s why Grace is important. So, I was very excited to get the happy mail that contained my copy of “Exploring Grace Together” by Jessica Thompson. Thank you, Jessica! I treasure “Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus” written by Jessica and her Mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick. It has truly been a wonderful resource for our family. I was very excited to dive in this devotional with Emma and our family.

We have done a week’s worth of devotions from the book to date and we enjoy them very much so far. I of course have read ahead and am excited to discuss all the things inside with my daughter. My praise is that it brings to light everyday issues children and yes, adults struggle with and shines that Gospel light on them so we can see them with new eyes.

For example in Chapter 1 “The Good One” we discussed how all fall short and following the rules does not win you what is given freely. This is so important for us to discuss because Emma in most cases is a “follow the rules to the letter” and has what I like to call a high sense of justice when it comes to herself and others. She is the first to point out among friends that they aren’t following the rules so it was a really great discussion for us.

In Chapter 4 “Just Not Sure” Emma shared that sometimes she doesn’t understand Faith as well just like Sam in the story but that she still wanted to have Faith and thought it was very important. It was a great way to tell her that she is always welcome to talk with us about her thoughts and doubts and we will examine them together, because she isn’t alone in this. Then prompted from the questions we prayed for the special Gift of Faith.

Bullies are a new thing for us this year, I’m not sure if it’s because of the age of her peers or what but we had never experienced it. Emma is a very sensitive child and is really affected by “name calling” or unkindness but she also is not always aware when she is the one being unkind to others as well. Chapter 6 “I Can’t Be Nice” was a great devotion to discuss what we are to do in these scenarios, when we feel like we can’t be nice to others regardless the circumstance. We were able to bring out some situations that have happened to and by Emma and discuss what we can do about them. It is a great way for Mom as well to talk about how she struggles with this.

I really have enjoyed the devotions so far and we will continue with them with our family in hopes that the Gospel conversations continue. The only thing we have done differently in the devotions is that in our Charlotte Mason tradition Emma will narrate the story back to me before we discuss it. We do this for retention in our home and it seems to work for us. Anyone can do this as well but it isn’t necessary for the material. Here are some thoughts on Narration, if interested.

I completely recommend this book. It will become another invaluable resource for us as we raise young children’s hearts and also examine our own hearts. Do it with your families knowing both you and your children will benefit from it. I can’t wait to see what else Jessica has in store in the future, I am totally fangirling her on Instagram and Twitter and almost referred to her as @thejesslou in most of this post. Anyways, go and give her a follow https://twitter.com/Thejesslou and http://instagram.com/thejesslou.

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What are your thoughts on this book? Was this review helpful? I love posts to start a dialog for more conversation.