"Fabulous Fun Day" sprinkled with some "Grace"!
My dear friend Karen emailed me last night to offer some home schooling encouragement, (thank you precious one) and the timing was perfect. Abby has just been not with it this week and it has been very difficult, trying, exhausting, discouraging, and frustrating. "Maybe it's time for a break, a fun day, a field trip or something," she suggested. The moment I read it I answered, "Thank you Karen and Holy Spirit."
So I thought about taking her to the Children's Discovery Museum in Atlanta for a little field trip. I decided to wait and see what the morning brought.
Well, the morning was one of our typical mornings where there is no sunshine in my little sunshine. Within five minutes of being awake I wanted to crawl back under the covers and hide all day! "I can't reward this behavior with a field trip," I thought to myself. Especially since it's been ALL WEEK LONG. So after she was sent to her room, I laid there and tried talking to God about it... it's in the other book I am reading and HIGHLY recommend, "Walking with God," by John Eldridge.
"OK God, what do you want me to do with Abby today?" I waited and my own thoughts starting swirling in my head... school her, play with her, keep her in her room half the day... so I asked again and waited. Amidst my own thoughts, "Connect with her" popped in... from nowhere... well, not nowhere, that's the beauty of the Holy Spirit. "Ok... connect with her, heard that loud and clear. How do you want me to connect with her?" "Play and fun." I laid there in bed with the biggest grin on my face... it is so delightful to hear from God... I can and hope to get addicted to this!
So I continued to pray for patience and time management and we had a fun day. It started with breakfast of course but then, before I even finished cleaning the kitchen, we went and sat in the sun (in the sun room... ha) and played several rounds of Memory. As I sat and thought about what I wanted to do with her, play games, play dough, read books, and be outside together, I incorporated "schooling" into it and was thrilled it was still going to be a "school day".
So Abby beat me in two games of Memory and in the third game we tied (I caught Dusty trying to cheat and give Abby cards... he was not happy to be busted!) It was a fun day (especially the butterfly sandwich daddy made for her) but had it's moments... one particular one in the car where she actually stuck her tongue out at me... mercy! I was scolding her for talking disrespectfully (for the 100th time this week) and she stuck her tongue out at me.
OOHHHH, girl... what did you just do!? Now see, I was facing forward when she did this to the back of my head! She was very startled that my mommy eyes saw her do this in the reflection of the windshield (very funny in itself). So I scolded her some more and when we got to Target (my favorite store) she was very rude and continued to be ugly. So I explained to her that her heart was not in it's proper place and that she could spend half and hour in her room when we got home and be alone. She is allowed to be ugly all she wants, in her room alone. But she can not be intensely ugly with the family or friends. We try and talk to her about her heart and what motivates her to behave so. SADLY, some of it (don't have the %) is from the stinkin Topamax she is on but she can't be a disgruntled person her whole life because of a drug.
Anyway, ramble... sorry, we talked about it some more in Target and I could see in her eyes that she was getting what I was saying. Her apology was sincere and her heart was touched (goal achieved). She had reached for my hand several times in the store. So we were walking out of the store hand in hand when I heard, "show her grace". I smiled and agreed. Grace is a beautiful gift we are given and we do not deserve. I have explained grace to her several times and extended it in such circumstances. So I started the "grace talk" again.
Mommy: Abby, I am going to show you grace today honey.
Mommy: You know you deserve to spend time alone for being so ugly to me, that is your consequence for making a bad choice right?
Mommy: Well, would you like to be given grace today and not have to go to your room, even though you made some bad decisions?
Abby: yes, mommy.
Mommy: Well, God gives me grace everyday honey, because I make bad decisions too. So I am going to extend grace to you.
Abby: little smile and head nod.
It wasn't a perfect day... but it was a beautiful day... in many ways!