Back-to-school shopping…let the games begin! Researching and searching, making a list and checking it twice, trying on and taking off. It’s a process-much like parenting itself; part trial-and-error, part purposeful and planned.
Yesterday, it was uniform shirts and dollar store school supplies…today it was shoes and haircuts. Shoes. Aisles and aisles of choices ranging from funky to functional. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but after I had their feet measured we set out on our mission as we meandered the stacks.
I can’t believe he was wearing shoes that were 2 sizes too small.
Yikes. The prices are a bit steeper than I recall.
How did we do this without coupons on my smart phone?
I have to steer her from shoes that create lightning strike effects in the movie theater…can’t make that mistake again.
As I help her tie up her tennies, he slides in next to me with his choice. Red tennis shoes with black soles. Somewhat surprised by the choice, I approved. “Those are sharp! Go find your size and bring ’em over.” She springs from her stool and runs double-time down the aisle. “They feel soooooo good!”, she tells the whole store in all of her excitement. Memory foam is written on the side of the box. What will they come up with next? When I was a kid the man on the commercial would have claimed that it was made with “space age polymers” or something. It really is a neat idea. Memory foam is manufactured to react with heat and mold to fit the surface (or in this case- foot) it is in contact with. Smart shoes that take on the form of the feet that wear them. Ok…we’ll try them.
Just then, he comes to me with shoe box. When he opened it, I noticed that it was not the pair he had shown me before.
“What happened to the others?”
“Well, I noticed the price and thought that it was a bit too high- so I put them back.”
“Honey, what’s ‘too high’ ?”
This opened up a beautiful discussion between mother and son that was absolutely wonderful. You see, he has been earning allowance for certain chores and we have been teaching him about tithing and stewardship in the process. Just two weeks ago, he wrapped up some of the change he had been saving and proudly made a deposit to his bank account. (At age 8 he says he is saving for a car. You know what? I bet he’ll meet his goal.) When he looked at the original price on the box it was steep, indeed. He missed the sale price. But, it was a proud moment for me. I know some adults who don’t have the common sense and conviction that this kid had today. Even though it was not “his” money he was spending, he wanted to be a good steward. He was thinking of this little “team” of ours and not himself. My heart sprouted wings right there in the store.
When we calculate allowance we have a category marked “above and beyond”. This is for the stuff that he may take initiative to do without being asked. For example, one day he emptied the dryer and folded all of the clothes (and sorted them into piles!) because a shirt that he wanted was in that load of laundry. He did this on his own without instruction. He got “points” for that. Today, he showed a real effort to contribute to our household when he made that decision in the shoe store. We sat down with him later and talked about it. My hubby said he wanted to give him “above and beyond” points.
“Oh, I don’t want points for that. It was the right thing to do.”
I think another set of wings just sprouted from my feet! He is getting it!
He is understanding humility, sacrifice, stewardship and so much more.
I hate to say it, but sometimes I need some affirmation. I pray to God regularly and ask Him to guide me…I want to know that I am steering these kids the right way…HIS way. But, am I doing a good job? That moment of affirmation happened, standing among the stacks of boxes…the memory foam in this child is working. God is pressing on him. Hubby and I are pressing on him. He is being molded and that “memory foam” is holding its form.
I wanted to share this with you- not just to brag on my kid (although I am definitely proud!)- but, to give you some hope and encouragement. There are times when you may think that your efforts are in vain. Those days when you feel like you’re banging your head on the wall are getting closer together and you wonder why you’re talking…and if anyone is listening.
Keep praying for them. Keep talking. Keep modeling…because they’re watching.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
I pray this scripture for my kids often. I have it written on a card on my dresser so I can meditate on it. God is working. There is fruit here.
John 15:5 says:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
And that, folks, it just it…Apart from Jesus Christ, I can do nothing.
In study, in prayer, in daily scripture meditation, in application, by faith…through the Holy Spirit…I am being changed and transformed. I am a hunk of memory foam: my heart, mind and life. Whatever influence I invite to press upon me will be the very influence that molds me. I can testify to that- the good and the bad. I am renewed and redeemed.
So Mom and Dad, on those days when you are praying hard for your kids, maybe banging your head on the wall or sitting in your room crying…wondering if your kids hear….God gives strength to the weary.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.