Teaching Tip Tuesday
I am sure you have heard the expression "be careful what you pray for, lest you get it." Here's a similar word to the wise, fellow bloggers. Be careful what you post, for surely you will be put to the test.
I had just pressed "publish post" on 100th Post: A New Name when Wilbur approached me with watery eyes, a runny nose, a hacking cough and the words, "Mommy, I don't feel so good."
That was not my outward reaction toward Wilbur. But, tucked away in the back of my mind was a selfish, sinful thought. "We are supposed to start school Monday. I just don't have time for this. We're supposed to go to the library and start our research on Mexico. We're going to launch the new blog, and the boys are supposed to write their first post. We have a field trip on Wednesday and we're supposed to do x and do y and z. There goes everything I have worked so hard to put together."
A couple hours later, here came Orville. "Mommmm!!! My ears hurt." By Monday morning, we were all soooo sick, and it was obvious I needed to take the boys to the doctor. So instead of the great morning at the library, we started the day at the pediatrician's office.
As I sat in the exam room, I continued to wrestle with selfishness. I was mad that they were sick. I was mad that I was sick. I thought of the planner I had worked so hard to get in order over Christmas break and how it was already, on the FIRST day, in shambles. Then, in came the nurse. The doctor had ordered a strep test and blood work. The boys were visibly anxious, and so for a moment, I stopped thinking about myself and began coaching my boys.
"Orville, you are soooo brave... a man in the making. I know you can take a little, bitty finger prick."
"Oh no, Wilbur, blood's not gross. It's science."
My spirits were lifted as the nurse took my unintentional cue and discussed with the boys the make up of human blood and other biology factoids. Science class took place, right there in the exam room, taught by someone far more knowledgeable than I. "Not so bad after all," I had to admit to myself.
The doctor came in a few minutes later. No strep, praise the Lord. However, he needed to look in their ears because he suspected ear infections. He pulled out his ear-checker-outer thingy-ma-bob. That's what I call it. I thought that's what everyone calls it, until Orville asked, "Is that your otoscope?"
For some unknown reason, he had learned this word and had been waiting to get sick so he could go to the doctor and use it. He and the doctor then had quite the discussion of medical terminology. Hmmm... science, check. Vocabulary, check! The day was not the waste I had assumed it would be, and I was convicted on many levels but mostly for my selfishness earlier in the day.
The Lord has been convicting me regularly of my sin problem of selfishness. Generally, I do not think of myself as selfish. I hope that those of you who know me personally are surprised to read this about me. But, that is the nature of sin. It often runs deeper than we realize ourselves. On a day-to-day basis, I am pretty giving, but when my plans are disrupted, I am sooo tempted with frustration and anger and often act accordingly.
James 3:12-15 says, "Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water? Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don't brag or lie to cover up the truth. That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself."
I left the doctor's office thinking of my vision statement, convicted. I knew I had not acted like a mom with an "OLIVE vision."
An OLIVE mom is obedient to Christ, particularly when His will does not mesh with her plans.
She loves God and her neighbor, especially her little neighbors who need her more than anyone else.
She possesses ingenuity that she uses at home, or in the doctor's office to grab hold of teachable moments for the benefit of her family.
She is a visionary parent who sees God's providence in all things, including sore throats. She promotes experiential learning by surrounding herself with her olive plants, not pushing them away when their needs interfere with hers. She longs for them to learn profitable lessons, applicable to real-life circumstances, by her example.
She is aware of the influence she has over her little plants and models righteousness, faith and repentance.
My teaching tip this week is really more of a reminder for me. Note to self... don't be frustrated by the interruptions of motherhood. Teachable moments are really God's providence at work. Repent of the sin of selfishness. Pray for the grace to serve the Lord with gladness and nurture my plants with self-sacrificing, God-honoring care.