It's always exciting to me when I hear a devotion or listen to a speaker and then God gives me an opportunity to use what I just heard. Well, it's exciting when I choose well in the moment...(I'll save the stories of my "not-so-well choices" for another post.)
Anyway, last Tuesday I attended both Carelink meetings and got home about 9:30 that evening. Kids were washed up and ready for bed but didn't have school the next day. Micah asked for a snack and I told him he could eat a cheese stick, brush his teeth and go to bed. He bursts into angry tears! I was stunned because I thought I gave him the answer he wanted. Then I found out he was upset because he didn't want to go to bed right away. Bob was ready to "chop down the tree"...
Pastor Brent spoke at both Carelink meetings about the importance of knowing when to chop down the tree that's not producing fruit and when to put manure on it (fertilize it) and hope it produces fruit the next season. (Luke 13:6-9) He also shared that we all have a tendancy towards either extending grace to others or passing judgement on them. At which point on the line do you naturally stand?
How's this apply to being a mom? Sometimes our children need the discipline & punishment, i.e. "chopping down the tree", but other times our children need gentle correction and guidance, i.e. "put some manure on them." Okay, Brent's word picture, not mine :-)
BACK TO MY STORY...
Bob's usually the grace guy. I'm the hammer. But as Bob began to lay down the law with Micah, I had all these thoughts race through my mind, "Could I extend grace this time? Does Micah need chopped or his emotions gently coached? (Emotion coaching? Where'd that come from? Oh, yeah, Matt just spoke on that an hour ago!)"
Grace reigned. The four of us had a great little impromptu family worship time talking about Luke 13, manure and chopping down trees, a little of what it meant and a few "poop" jokes - you understand if you've got kids my age how quickly conversations go there :-)
Had I not listened to Pastor Brent & Matt G. both share in Carelink early that day, the evening would have ended with two upset kids, an irritated mom and a missed opportunity for family worship. Thank you, Lord! ~ Tiffany