09 Jul On playing catch-up and trying to mother well
Posted at 17:23h
We are immersed in summer mode in the Treat household. We finished up our homeschool year the week of my last blogpost, which means Camilla is finished with 1st
grade. Now, I swore
that we would do some math and a lot of reading over the summer . . . but have we opened up the math book since June 6th
? Or has Camilla even touched her Flashmaster
? We’ll just have to do better next week. (That’s what I keep saying, anyway!)
We have been reading, however. I’m working on 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
by Jen Hatmaker (loving it and it’s totally challenging me), Camilla is reading In Grandma’s Attic
and Todd is reading Good Call
by Jase Robertson—he’s been sharing some tidbits from this as he reads and I’m enjoying it, too. I’ve started reading The Princess and the Goblin
out loud to the kids, and while they seem to like it, for whatever reason they just don’t want to sit and listen to me read lately. Or not that book, anyway. Maybe it feels too much like school.
We’ve also been spending tons of time outside. We’ve been camping twice already! I’ve been thinking of doing a summer series on camping . . . who’d be interested in that? Anyone . . . anyone . . . ?
I’ve discovered that my internet addiction goes far beyond Facebook. In fact, just after giving up Facebook
(ostensibly for good), I found myself wiling away my writing hours reading about the O.J. Simpson trial
. It was the 20-year anniversary, you know! And, in spite of the fact that I never really cared about the trial when it was actually happening, I do
remember watching the chase on TV. So this June, I pored over all the gory details and even told myself it was research, because I have
been thinking about writing a murder mystery. I mean, that thought has crossed my mind from time to time. I may not be writing one now, but who knows? This knowledge could come in handy someday. So you see, there are even better ways to waste time than reading your Facebook feed.
Speaking of summer mode . . . two weeks ago, a certain child’s behavior was over-the-top unbearable. I mean, beyond anything I’d dealt with before in terms of defiance. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail for the sake of said child’s privacy. I will just say that I had never heard her announce direct disobedience in this way before. Over the course of two days, we had some dire consequences, some good conversations about what was going on with her, and she and I prayed together several times. I encouraged her to start reading her Bible and praying in the morning as soon as she wakes up. We’ve talked about this before, but she needed some reminding and it seemed especially pertinent considering the behavior I was seeing. I explained that it’s hard for us to change our actions on our own. We all want to sin sometimes, but God can help us grow and learn to do the right thing if we allow Him to change our hearts. But we need to spend time with Him for this to happen. Now, I think I’m pretty good at explaining God’s grace, at reassuring my kids that I love them even when they misbehave, and I tried to do this throughout these conversations. Last week, while the younger kids got to play at Grammy and Grampy’s, my eldest had to come with me while I did some writing (one of the “dire” consequences). I suppose I inspired her. She began writing a little novel of her own . . .
And now I question how well the concept of “grace” is coming across to her. Am I teaching my kids they have to perform to receive my approval? Or God’s? Am I brainwashing her and trying to make her into a robot? I don’t even think I used the word “good” in our conversations, but somehow she got the impression that being “a good girl who loves God” was something she should strive for. Loving God is the goal, absolutely! But being “good”? Doesn’t scripture tell us, “There is none who does good, no, not one?” (Psalm 53:3)
It’s back to the drawing board for me. As soon as I think I have something figured out, I’m blindsided. I just keep praying I don’t royally mess up these children.