Monday, January 14, 2013

A Princess, a Stupid Math Assignment, and a Potato

It was a stupid math assignment.  She was frustrated, so she tossed it away for later.  Later came and went, and she was up against the clock.  "My Mom lost my homework" didn't pan out. You could cut the tension with a knife.  She tore, crumpled, even stomped on the rotten thing.  Marched away in disgust.

Hate prepubescence!

So, I gave her a few minutes to calm down with Curious George.

Then I quietly explained that the assignment DID seem dumb.  It was doing multiplication the hard way.
I started with an easy example, to move her into the difficult.  "I KNOW how to do this!"  she screamed in my face.

I calmly showed her how the easy could move into the difficult.  OH.

She quickly finished the assignment and left for school.  "Have a peachy day!"  I thought, "And don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out!"  Hhmm...

I luxuriated in the relief brought by having most of the little darlings finally out the door for the next few hours.  Just as I looked around and started to sink into Monday Morning Despair a profound thought hit me.  So, here I am blogging about it under a snake-pit of little girls.

First of all, this is not and accurate portrayal of the scene by my computer; and second, it's ironic that I'm writing these thoughts in this situation (under a pile of toddlers saying things like, "Watch me!  Can I type, too?  Are you listening to me?"  Life is full of irony.)

Anyway, here are my profound thoughts:

Princess didn't realize that her math assignment was three-fold.
1.  It would show her that there are many different ways to approach and solve a problem.
2.  It would give her a few of the specific approaches.
3.  It would prepare her for math problems to come by introducing some algebraic terms and processes.

It just seemed stupid, boring, and hard to her.

I my calling with the children of our congregation, I am preparing to teach a lesson about God's individual love for us.

I'm planning to use the object lesson where I will give each child a potato, ask them to get to know it and name it, let them spend some time with it and really learn about it, and then have them throw the potatoes back into the main box and allow them to find "their" potato from the others again.

If a ten year old can pick out "their" potato from a pile (and they can!) after playing with it for a few minutes, how much more does a perfect, omnipotent, loving Father know us?

When He gives me a difficult assignment, how often do I stomp away from it?

I know that He loves me, and knows me.  I know that everything He does is to help me grow and be happy.  I know that He doesn't give me any challenge without also supplying everything that I need to go along with it.  I also know that He can see the beginning from the end, and that with my very, very limited vision, I need to trust Him.

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I'm sad and disappointed in myself when I realize that once again I have tried to do it on my own.  I need Him, and love Him.  I want to lean on my Father and willingly submit, as a child, so that he can take me and make of me something glorious.

Lately I have been exhausted, physically and mentally.  (I just found out I've got some thyroid problems, so hopefully I can get my levels up along with my energy.)

In my opinion, I've been hearing my name too much--it seems like everyone needs a piece of me --everyone seeks to have me listen to them and watch them and help them and hold them.  I just want to be alone in my own thoughts, sometimes!  Hence the name, Mom.

One of my dear friends (Catherine) wrote an article on Segulla  about our witnessing for others.  It has had a profound impact on me.

Here's the link address if it works:

(You can also follow the link through Bluestocking Mama on my blog links.)

Anyway, she alluded to our sacred calling as mothers, to merely witness the greatness of others.

It's our JOB to laugh at their jokes, watch their tricks, listen to their stories, cheer at their programs, find their special lucky-ducky socks, walk to the door with them and wave as they leave, greet them by name enthusiastically as they return.

I should never feel burned out by this divine trust.  Some of my little children love me so much, that they are willing to incur my wrath by pushing a bean up my nose while I sleep, just to experience the attention it will bring them.

They follow me around all day, watching me clean toilets and fold laundry.  
I am a rock-star!  So why would I want to cuss and rant about needing personal space with this kind of adoration?

I want to stop thinking about my life as one big "Human Obstacle Course" and see it for what it is.

My loving Heavenly Father had given me an experience that is teaching me all the qualities I will need to be happy.  He's helping me to become like Him.  I am His Daughter!  I love Him!  I trust Him!

I will calm down and be His hands today, be more mindful, seek guidance.  I will pray to see them as He sees them, to help Him help them become the best they can be.

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come.."  Also, "Behold your little ones."


Anonymous said...

Amen. Kudos to us rockstars. -b

Anonymous said...

Ps. Thanks for the potato idea -I forgot about that one -I'm totally using it sunday it fits perfect with my YW lesson. Perfect. Your a great blessing to me - And I promise to never call you mom. Ps. You have 8 kids. Thats twice as many as me. Your a super-rock star. Gold level.

Kristen said...

First of all - thanks for reminding me to take my thyroid meds. It is only 3p now...

Second - I agree. It is all about perspective. A nap and exercise help too. Oh and a plan for dinner. PB Noodles baby!

You are, as always, amazing.

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