Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Parables’

Getting God’s perspective while parenting: a life lesson

My kids are not like other kids. I know this is true of all children, as much as it is true of all people: we are not alike. But there do seem to be certain similarities between people. And we don’t seem to share those much in this family. For instance, my girls think deeply about everything. This week we had to address a slew of issues:

  • Why did we leave Johannesburg? (Pollution and support systems).
  • Why didn’t we start homeschooling sooner? (Financial and social pressures and plain old fear of the unknown).
  • Why didn’t we teach the kids a second or even third language from birth? (We were busy and distracted and didn’t think it was important: they could learn that at school).
  • Why didn’t we leave them in school to mix with their friends and learn stuff? (Because they hated it, learnt nothing, were bullied and the school wanted them to be medicated to “fit in”. And because we couldn’t afford it).
  • Why can’t we have another sibling? (Money, time, hereditary illnesses, miscarriages and more).

And many more.

The questions are not unreasonable, of course. And in time I will answer them in detail (whereas now I pretty much said, “You’ll have to trust that Daddy and I always want what’s best for you”). What struck me, however, was the resentment. In each case, I am seen as a big, bad, feelingless ogre with no sense of what really matters or how much damage I have inflicted on these poor, defenceless lives. Even in the face of their tears, drama and utter lack of comprehension, I refused to bow to the pressure to give more information than I feel they’re ready to handle. I know that we’ve made mistakes, but I also know that we’ve done our very best with the resources to hand, and always had the best intentions.

It made me think of my walk with God. When he doesn’t do what I expect Him to do, when things don’t happen on my timetable, when things do happen that I know He could have prevented, I feel hurt, betrayed and abandoned. I feel scared and alone. And I ask “Why?”. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking why, but the attitude is what counts. God’s Word is full of passages showing how important our heart’s attitude is, and that’s where I fall down. I get angry and bitter, and I turn away from Him.

But if I, with my mistakes and foibles and “good intentions” can make decisions on behalf of my inexperienced, helpless children, and keep crucial pieces of information from them for their own good, how much more so an infinitely wise, infinitely GOOD God? He promises to have my best interest at heart, and I need to trust that that is true. I don’t want my children to know about our near-poverty experiences. I don’t want them to even think about miscarriages and childhood deaths. I don’t want them to know about the base evil perpetrated against children and why we go to such lengths to protect them from it. There’s time enough for them to find that out in their lives. Not now.

When we look at our lives we see only the path we’re on, the steps we take. We don’t know what could have been. We see our small home and see only that we don’t have a bigger house. We completely miss the single room we might have in our parents’ house. Or the tin shack we might have in the local township. We see our clapped out, ancient car and miss the fact that we might have no car at all. Or a very expensive car that costs a lot to fuel and service and insure. We see an unhappy marriage and miss the pain of loneliness some bear. We see an empty bed, no wedding band, and miss the abusive, painful marriage we may have had. We don’t know what God has saved us from. We don’t know what He has in store.

We only have two choices: rail against His perceived slights and oversights, or trust Him to be the faithful and generous provider He shows Himself to be, over and over again. I choose to cry “Abba, Father”. Daddy. And I choose to trust in Him.

I stumbled across this article after I’d written this post, and it sums up my thinking in a more edrudite way. Recommended.


Our God, the Artist

Yesterday was a Konos-n-Art day. Because I have SO much to do, and because I have been blessed with standard 24-hour days rather than the requisite 48 that would make it possible to achieve all I have to do, I have split the school day over two days. This means that on one day we do Maths & English, and on the next day we do Art & Konos, which includes Science, History, Geography and Biology. We do Bible every day, of course.

It may seem as though this is not enough school, and I certainly believed that would be the case. But the results of Goldilocks’ recent exams speak for themselves. 91.5% for English. 63% for Grade 4 Maths, and we’re only doing Grade 2 Maths in school! And 69% for the the rest in a combined exam. In this case, the exam covered work we haven’t done yet, and didn’t cover some things that we have done. So I think we’re okay.

But back to my story: yesterday was an Art day and a Konos day. Because we have just started studying birds in Konos, and because we are discovering the shapes in objects in Art, I thought it would be a good idea to draw a bird for Art. And because we had just studied camouflage as well, I chose an Ostrich (Tony Hart, of course). It’s South African, and it has fairly good camouflage. We drew the birds, then used watercolours to paint them (according to their ACTUAL colours), and camouflage them to the background. (Painting is SO teherapeutic!)

The Parable (and the point of this post)

While we were painting, Goldilocks said, “Mom, don’t you think life is like painting?”

Not sure where this was headed, I sagely nodded and said, “tell me more.”

And here’s the parable she relayed:

“God is the Artist. The Holy Spirit is the Water, and we are the paints. Without the Water, the paint is dry and doesn’t really make any colour at all. With a little bit of Water, a picture starts coming, but it only really looks like anything with a lot of Water, and a gentle stroke from the Artist. The more Water you use the better the picture, and if you use a lot of Water, you just get a hint of the colour, and a very realistic picture because of the gentle shading the Water creates.”

Isn’t that a beautiful picture of our relationship with God, the Painter of our Masterpiece?

Gospel Parables from Red Riding Hood.



I’ve mentioned before that my girls are great at parables, and I know I promised to share some of them here. The most recent one came from our youngest, who explained life to me in this way:

All the humans on earth are teeth, and we’re all covered with plaque. The person whose mouth we’re in is God, and he hates having dirty teeth. (Who doesn’t?) So He brushes His teeth with the Truthbrush, which is Jesus. The Truthbrush cleans us and removes all of our plaque, making us clean and shiny.

Unfortunately, not all the teeth want to be clean. Some of them stay plaque-y, get cavities and fall out. When they fall out, that’s when they die and go to (what she calls) “the Other Place”.

Isn’t it great? A little shaky around the teeth-making-their-own-decisions bit, but she is, after all, only six. I loved it.

It does rather give one pause for thought as far as Wisdom Teeth are concerned … are they the pastors?

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