Children learn some things really fast, and some things really slow. For example, if a child is raised in a home where she is loved and accepted, she is likely to quickly learn that crying is a way to obtain attention relatively quickly. I was at a birthday celebration recently, and one of the older children who was also there, became upset about something. It was his home, so he walked slowly up the stairs to his bedroom, and then, being careful to leave his bedroom door wide open, he proceeded to cry very loudly. This was a clear message. This was not simply him feeling upset, but this was him declaring that he was upset, and everyone needed to know that! Another adult quietly joked that he was surprised the child had not made a walk around the table first, crying as he went. And of course those whose responsibility it was went and talked with the child and helped him to resolve his reason for being upset.
I enjoy reading some of the memes that appear on Facebook, and recently I read one that denied the idea that children learn more from watching us than from what we tell them to do. This mother was complaining that her children regularly watched her cleaning up after everyone, and yet they never seemed to copy her! Yes, there are some things that children need a lot of help to learn.
If you have read many of my previous blogs, you will be aware that a recurring theme is giving thanks to God. I think I am pretty good at it. I practice giving thanks regularly, so I should be good at it. Then something goes wrong. Like yesterday. I left for work at just after 12:10pm. That gave me fifteen minutes to get there, five minutes to find a parking spot, ten minutes to walk to my classroom, and twenty minutes before I actually started my class. Now when I drive away from my home, I generally head in two different directions. One direction takes me towards where I work whilst the other takes me to church, and to church activities. I was not paying attention and started travelling in the wrong direction. I figured I would not turn around, once I realised, but instead I would go the back way to the college I work at. That was fine until I came across some flashing lights and had to stop for a train. I think some of these trains are half a kilometre long these days! It took seven minutes! I declared that I was trusting God, and I waited with a good attitude. After all I had planned in twenty minutes of extra time. The train eventually disappeared, and I could proceed. But only for a couple of hundred metres, because there was another train crossing! And this train was travelling so slowly. I have to admit I was becoming a little anxious. Yet I continued to declare that I was trusting my God to get me to class on time. I naively thought that this train would be shorter. Five minutes passed, then ten, then fifteen! I continued to speak positively. I thanked God that he was in control, that he would get me there in time. Twenty minutes passed, and still the train was stopping me from proceeding towards the college. Eventually, after about twenty-five minutes, the barriers were raised. I drove about half a kilometre and had to stop at a red light. That is when I slipped, and angrily asked God why he was not helping me. I was quick to repent though. I wish I had not slipped, but I did. I declared again that I trusted God. Not to get me there on time though, because that was now impossible.
I found parking much quicker than normal and ran in the rain round the outside of the college, to get to my classroom quicker. I was twelve minutes late, but I was able to cover everything that I had planned for the two-hour lesson, so it all worked out okay in the end.
My day was not over yet though. Months ago we had some flooding in our basement, and slowly I had cleared the floor, had the walls repaired, and then I painted all the walls. Now I was ready to begin replacing the flooring. We had purchased some vinyl slats that clipped together nicely, plus some insulation to put under that. I put the first piece of insulation down, with a few struggles, but it was down. Then I began with the slats. The problem was that the basement floor is not actually flat. And the walls are not straight. So I put the slats down, slowly join them together, cut them at the end, and start another line. Great. Except where the floor is not flat the slats keep coming apart. And the mallet that I bought to hit them into place seems to be causing some damage in the slats. The salesman told me it would be easy! Well it is not easy. I end up asking myself whether to cut my losses and get someone to come and put carpet down instead!
At this point I am feeling a little peeved. Giving thanks to God is not what I feel like doing! So I recall Psalm 50:14,15 “Why don’t you bring me the sacrifices I desire? Bring me your true and sincere thanks, and show your gratitude by keeping your promises to me the Most High. Honor me by trusting me in your day of trouble. Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you.” I stopped working on the floor and spent some time giving thanks and praising the Lord with my husband.
The day was still not over though, and my next issue was some texts from my daughter. She is working three part-time jobs and is barely making enough to cover her bills. Then the powers that be have decided they need to save more money, and what better place to save money than to take it from the working poor. Her rent assist has been cut by over sixty percent, from two hundred and fifty dollars to just under one hundred dollars. Basically this means that she is now unable to pay all her bills. For months my husband and I have been praying for financial breakthrough for our daughter. She is trying so hard and we are so proud of her.
And I make the choice to trust the Lord in my day of trouble. Yes, I can afford to help my daughter, and I will do that. “Thankyou Lord that I can make up what is needed. Thank you that you will help me with my flooring. Thank you that I am not alone in any of this. I trust you God.”
And the learning continues.