Teaching Grace to my Little Gardener

by - August 30, 2011

Last week a friend of mine posed the challenge of making the most of teaching moments with my little boys. One concept I long for them to understand is grace - recognizing how and when to give it and knowing when it is given to them. The Baby is still too young, but he certainly presents plenty of oportunities for his big brother to show him grace. As their mommy, I'm learning that discipline and grace are equally important acts of love. You might remember back in the spring when the Man-child stomped my onion patch. It's an ongoing lesson.

Friday, the boys and I went to my favorite garden center, Logan's, to pick up fall transplants and seeds. Logan's stocks Tootsie Pops at the front of the store, and Scooby, the Man-child, is always eager to pick one out. As was my general practice, I told him before unloading him from his car seat that if he was very good and didn't whine, pull things off the shelves, or run around like a crazy monkey I'd let him have a sucker before we left.

He really tried hard to be sweet but understandably grew impatient as I read the backs of countless seed packets. At one point I had him sit in time out just so I could focus and not have little hands grabbing at my waist as he yelled "Up! Up! Up!". Otherwise, he was attentive to his brother and kept his hands off all the fun tools the store is stocked with. I was even complimented on their behavior by Karen who was assisting me. As we checked out, he went for the suckers and I let him pick one out. As I put him back into his car seat, I explained that he had whined and didn't deserve the sucker, but I loved him so much that I wanted to have grace on him and do something sweet for him.

"Oh, Mommy! Kank you so much. I'm sorry for whining and saying, 'Up-up-up.'"

The conversation continued today as we were driving home from errands and Sarah Evans' song, "A Little Bit Stronger", came on the radio.

"She is stronger, Mommy?"

I explained that the song was about how her friend had really hurt her feelings, but she was getting better now.

"Does she hurt her friend's feelings?"

"No, she might want to, but she's having grace and getting stronger and not going to hurt her friend."

Now I don't know if that's what the song was really about, and I didn't want Scooby getting too wrapped up in Sarah's personal life, so I redirected the conversation.

I explained how Jesus tells us that when someone hurts us, like hits us on the cheek, we may want to hit them back.

"Jesus tells us to say, 'You hurt me, but I'm not going to hurt you back. You can even hit my other cheek, and I will still forgive you and have grace on you because I love you.'"

"Oh, Mommy. So did she (Sarah Evans) hit her friend?"

"No, sweetie. She had grace... It's like when Baby Wookie pulls your hair. You might want to pull his too, but because you love him so much, you don't. You have grace on him and forgive him. You can teach your little brother grace"

"Oh, Mommy! So when I get home and Wookie pulls my hair, I will tell him that I love him so much and give him grace? And I don't pull his hair?"

"That's right. I'm so proud of you, Scooby. You really do understand it!"

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  1. So sweet! I LOVE these teachable moments. I'm always amazed how much their little minds understand.

  2. They really do absorb everything! Since this conversation, he's already told Matthew twice that he's having grace on him since Matthew pulled his hair.



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