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Friday, March 26, 2010

. Seizing a Teachable Moment.

She asked about the m&m's that had settled at the bottom of my purse after being tossed in there at the reception we had attended last Saturday. Were they still there she wondered? Could she eat them? I told her "no" and once again explained how we do not have snacks before lunch and then rambled on about the sugar content and the amount of dye found in those round chocolate candies. I explained how they were just for a once in awhile special treat, and how now was not the time for that treat.

A few moments later I found my purse haphazardly spilling out onto the living room carpet. My heart sunk. I knew what had happened. I breathed a prayer quickly so as not to let my anger surface. Sure enough I found the little tulle bag filled with not as many m&m's as moments before, clutched in the hand of my four year old. Her eyes told me she knew what was coming. I talked her through her behavior and the consequences. We talked about how sin - naughty choices - always has consequences. After giving Cadi her consequence and snuggling her on my lap, kissing her sweet head and wiping her tear stained cheeks with my finger tips, we sat rocking back and forth in Jim's recliner. Her leftover shudders from crying tugged at my heart strings. As we rocked, a book from college came to mind. It was a book by Dr. Howard Hendricks called Teaching to Change Lives. It is a book that has stuck with me, although I only read it once for one class. The book was life changing for me.

What has stuck with me the most after all these years is his concept of "teachable moments". He talked about how an effective teacher teaches from the overflow of his or her own life and has the ability to recognize and seize "teachable moments".

While sitting there with my sniffling daughter folded into my arms, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that this was a "teachable moment". So once again I shared with my daughter of her Daddy in heaven and His great love for her. I told her again of His son, Jesus, and about what He did for her, for us. Today seemed right to give her a few more details. While holding her delicate, little hand in mine, I told her about the nails that were hammered through our Rescuer's hands. I told her about the crown made of thorns that was pushed onto Jesus' head by men who laughed and made fun of our King. We talked of His death, we talked of His resurrection, and we talked of the relationship her Daddy in heaven longs to have with her.

Cadi's heart is becoming increasingly tender. Every time we share the gospel story, she seems to understand a little more. She was so soft this morning. We cried together as we talked of the cruelty Jesus endured for all of our naughty things. It's such an intricate dance, sharing accurately and age-appropriately, not pushing her to make a decision that she is not ready for, but being open to the possibility that this may be the day that she understands.

And although our conversation is over, and it seems that today is not the day. It is getting closer. I am fervently praying for that moment when she truly understands and for Scotty, as well. I pray that I will be purposeful in recognizing and seizing all of the "teachable moments". Today I was tempted to sweep away her misbehavior with the mask of graciousness. After all we needed to push through our morning, we had curriculum to get through and I had a house that needed attention. But for at least that moment, I did the right thing by seizing a "teachable moment" and planting yet another seed in the soil of my four year old's fertile heart.

There is no better education that I could give my children.

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5 comments:

Carrie said...

Oh, Tiffany, this tugged at my heartstrings - Z & I are at such a difficult point in his discipline, and I know that I struggle with laziness and too much mercy as well, then lapsing into angry discipline when I finally get frustrated. Thank you for the reminder that loving discipline brings teachable moments. And how exciting to be able to share the gospel with our children and to see them getting closer to understanding the truth - what a blessing!!!

rameelin said...

I adored this post! Cadi is beautiful...and I can feel the similiarties between her and Nora as I read about your interactions together. You're a great mom, Tiffany. I feel so impatient and frustrated lately--and so beaten down by my own self for being that way. However, in the midst of it all, I always look for those tender moments to teach. You're right, it's a delicate dance and I love learning....
your friendship teaches me & I'm grateful.

Amy said...

Tiffany,
beautifully written, my kids are older, but I still try to take advantage of those teachable moments!

melissa said...

precious. thank you for sharing this simple reminder that we have the awesome responsibility and privilege of sharing Jesus with our little ones! what an amazing legacy you are leaving for yours!

melissa

Chrissy said...

You won an Applebee's gift card from Traveling Light...stop by for details! :o)

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