Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skittles, sweetness, and sacrifice..

Our morning started rough. Our youngest, Emily, woke up on the wrong side of the bed and couldn't decide if she was hungry, tired or wanted to snuggle up with her teddybear for a few more hours.

There was nothing I could do. Tuesday morning is homeschool co-op. We have to be there at 9:00 a.m. I have four older children receiving serious instruction, and they are not happy if we are late. Their teachers are not fond of it either. So, we got Emily rolling along--breakfast in the car, toys in the bag, and an extra sweater because, "it's so cold, Mommy". I was already having hot flashes for the day, so I couldn't relate. But I bundled her up anyway.

So, we roll in three minutes late. Teenagers bolt out of the car in a dead sprint clutching backpacks, drawing boards, water bottles... and Emily and I let the dust settle, "Should we get to your first class, honey?" Call me lax, but I have no problem letting her take her time getting to her first class. It's a fabulous class, but it is designed for 2nd through 6th graders. Emily hasn't even started kindergarten, so I sit with her, helping her and explaining things as we go.

The class is a Bible class that was designed by the lady teaching it and her husband, a local pastor. It is fabulous instruction, great content, and well paced. It's just a little too advanced for her age. I plan to have her take it next year and maybe the year after, just for a good solid foundation of the concepts--not to mention a great review for me!

So, as we go along, I help her with the answers to the questions. I want to help her feel involved as well as motivated. For this class, the teacher brought treats (a bag of skittles) for each child who answered two right questions. All was great, except for the teacher's daughter, Stephanie. Poor Steph. She's too old to have her mother's help and too young to "get" everything. She ended up with no skittles and was a crying mess, bawling in her mother's arms as everyone was leaving.

Emily and I sat there, watching her cry. I knew what a hard morning Emily had already had, and I was tempted to just let the mother and child work this out, but instead I said, "what do you think Jesus would want us to do with our skittles?" Emily said, "Eat them later, after lunch"

Yeah. O.K.

"So, did you know that mommy helped you answer all of those questions, and that is why you have the skittles.. what about sharing with Stephanie?"

"I'd like to eat them later.."

"Why not share them with Stephanie, now?"

(bury head in sweater.. and then looks away.. and then throws them at me)

It's the best she could do. So, we went over to Stephanie and her Mommy and opened the bag. We divided them in half with one left over. We gave the teacher the extra one. Suddenly, the room got brighter. The candy tasted better, and life was in perspective.

I witnessed a grumpy, selfish little girl turn sweet with a little skittle sacrifice. What a happy day she had after that! Even at 6:00 p.m. when we were still there, she was happy and content.

Even though she is too young to know the Lord Jesus personally, she is starting to understand some things. That is an encouragement to me!


Ruby said...

A great story! Life deals out some good lessons if we just look for them.
You must be so thrilled to back into the saddle of day to day life after your wonderful trip away.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh, that IS a sacrifice!

Good girl :)


Mrs. Santos said...

What a sweet story. It immediately reminded me of a similar event in the life of my five year old...only I don't think our story had such a sweet ending.

here's the link if you are interested:

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

what a great lesson you taught the little ones with this! That is just such a fantastic story!
Love Collette xxxx

Jenny said...

Emily's response of "Eat them later, after lunch" made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of myself. I sometimes have the same sort of reply when the Holy Spirit prompts me to be Christ-like (when I'm not really "in the mood").

But, when I'm obedient, as Emily was here, the floodgates of Heaven open, and I receive blessing. Makes me wonder why I want to be a little rebel.

Thanks for sharing.

Ruby said...

Thanks for your sweet comment. I'm glad I found your website. I had 4 children all very close together. I am glad to see that a 5th child is possible after being on the funny farm ;)

My name is Ruby, so I thought I was losing my mind when I saw Ruby's comment below mine. (Thoughts of when did I post that comment?)

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I love this story. I love how it turned out great even though she was very reluctant to part with her skittles. A great lesson for all of us! And I'm pretty sure Jesus wants me to eat a brownie after lunch today. :)

Becky said...

Boy, that sounds exactly like how my youngest would have handled that. All the others would have immediately shared, but there's just something about that youngest. Not that she's mean spirited or anything, but maybe being the one all the others usually give in to, or give things up for, has caused her not to think in terms of giving things up for others very often. Hmmmm - I think perhaps I should work with her on that.

Berean Wife said...

That sounds just like my obedience at times. I just throw it out there begrudgedly, without quite having the heart. :(

But even the self-enforced obedience does wonders for the soul. Makes the heart more eager to follow the next time. One of these days maybe my heart will always be in the lead. :O

Berean Wife

Organizing Mommy said...

Wow! What a neat thing to get so many comments!!
Emily is our caboose, and I am not as strict with her as with the others. It's bad, and I know it. It's like she's an only child or something, and we hardly ever have to "share"--especially something that is so precious like a bag of skittles!

and "eating them after lunch" is the hardest thing we've asked her to do, so far... LOL

Mrs. Parunak said...

Oh, I love it! What a wonderful story, and what a good mom you are to point E in the direction of loving others.

sara said...

Y'know this gave me a new way to think about things. It usually bothers me when my kids do something nice begrudgingly, but maybe it shouldn't. Sacrifices do hurt, after all. And it IS a training session. They can learn to be gracious a little at a time. As Jenny and Berean Wife have already said, this is often my attitude when asked to give up something I want - I'll do it but I ain't happy about it. My kids can't be expected to obey better than I do seeing as I've had so much more practice.

Thanks for sharing.