Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Lesson Learned

So it was brought to my attention by SEVERAL sweet friends that it has been over a week since I wrote about what is going on with me. No worries. We are fine. This past week was "Fair Week" in that our town has a fair that runs Tuesday through Saturday and what do little boys like better than, animals, tractors, mud and cotton candy!? We have been enjoying each other. It has been a busy week and I will try to catch you all up to speed this week.

This past Saturday, we attended a tree planing for all babies in our area who have gone to Heaven. It was a rainy day but it was a great day to be surrounded by other people who are walking the same road. I attend a support group monthly with these parents and it is such an honor to know each of them. It was especially great Saturday because we all brought our entire families.

After the tree planting, which was at a local Nature Center, we headed in for lunch and an amazing program they put on for the kids. As lunch was winding down the kids began to run around and play together. It was good to see the children having a good time as we all chatted at the tables. That was when it happened...probably the lowest parenting moment I have experienced.....

My boys were running with some of the other children and they were all laughing when all of a sudden I heard a familiar voice shout "You IDIOT!" I looked over and Luke was looking right at me knowing his world was about to come crashing down. Things were so crazy I didn't even see who he said it to, but was certain it was my sweet boy who had said those mean words.

I looked at Howard and took a deep breath. I called Luke to me and took him outside. I was stunned because I have no idea where he heard the word and I had no idea how I was going to handle this. We are very careful about what the kids are exposed to and when they do hear something inappropriate we are sure to address it.

We sat down in the hallway and this was our conversation:

Me: Luke, do you know why mommy brought you out here?

Luke: Yes, mommy, I do.

Me: Why did I bring you out here?

Luke: I said "Indiant"

Me: Do you know what that word means Luke?

Luke: No, is it a mean word mom?

Me: Yes Luke. Where did you hear that word?

Luke: I don't know mom. Why is it a mean word? What does it mean?

Me: Anytime you are calling someone a name it is not a nice thing to do no matter what. That word means you are telling someone they aren't smart. That just isn't nice. Our rules are to be kind and be safe...calling someone names isn't kind.

Luke: Oh, (as he begins to weep) I didn't know that, really mom, I didn't.

Me: I know you didn't Luke, but you should not ever use a word if you don't know what it means.

Luke: Yesterday at the Fair I said the ride was exhilarating and you laughed about that, I don't really know what that means.

Me: Well exhilarating IS a good word, that ride was was exciting and fun, but if you aren't sure what a word means it is better to ask mommy or daddy before you use a word.

Luke: Okay mommy. I am really sorry.

Me: I know Luke, but I think you need to tell that to the person you said that word to and then you need to come sit with mommy and daddy.

Luke: OK mom.

So, after this incident, I have to admit I was mortified. My children are usually very well behaved and are wonderful in public especially. We always get compliments on how well behaved they are. I guess in some ways I have used that as validation that I am succeeding as a parent. This shook me. I wanted to crawl under a rock. I could not help but thinking "Oh my, everyone in this room must think I am a horrible parent!" They must think that we use that word at home and we most certainly do not! Funny how we are quick to take credit for our children's successes, but we want to make it known that we could not possibly be responsible for their failures. When the truth is kids make decisions. It is our job to guide them as they make those decisions so they learn to make good ones. Sometimes a poor decision is part of the learning process.

After giving it much thought, we do often define ourselves by our children and their actions. Their actions reflect our parenting, right? In thinking about that, I thought about how TRULY mortified our Father must be when we do things that do not reflect his teachings. We all make mistakes often, we are imperfect broken people who do wrong things. Think of all the words we use that God would CERTAINLY not approve of. Yet he handles us with such incredible grace.

Though this incident is one that made my heart sink and embarrassed me terribly it did make me look inward. It made me take a look at some of the things I do, maybe without even knowing the magnitude, that would likely make God wince. We all make our own choices. God gave us free will and we surely all abuse it at times. Luke certainly did not reflect our family values by using that word, and he certainly learned a lesson. Often times we do not do a very good job reflecting the Light of our Heavenly Father, He is perfect and good and we fall short, but he will continue teaching us and loving us allowing us to make poor choices along with the good ones, learning from them all!


Melissa Dovel said...

Thanks for the great reminder of who are focus needs to be on to please. I sometimes tell my girls when they do wrong that "I will have mercy on them". I also tell them that much like the mercy that God has with us- we can not expect to get it but when we do learn from it. I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other day about how we women need to hear that we are good moms from time to time. So I am here to tell you that you ARE an awesome mom don't doubt it for a second.


So Blessed said...

"Yet he handles us with such incredible grace."

The way you handled this situation with Luke was a precious example of the same grace our Father extends to us...over and over again. What a blessing.

Praying for you, sweet Kristy.


Tiffany said...

Sometimes it's our children's slip-ups that give us the wake up call that we need. As I have learned from being around my neice, they pick up things so easily and repeat it without knowing what it means and it frustrates me beyond anything when my husband will say stuff around her that he shouldn't and she will go and repeat it. And, now with our son at the age of learning to talk he is becoming quite the little parrot and my husband isn't very careful about what he says a lot of the time and especially with the shows that he watches and the video games that he plays. It really bothers me with Alex being at such an impressionable age right now. I just know one day he will repeat it. I know that God doesn't teach us that stuff and I want my son to know what is right and what is right in God's eyes, not the world's. So, I know how you feel!

Unknown said...


Great job! Now be gracious with yourself! God loves Luke and knows he needed to make the mistake so he could learn from it.

You and I as parents make mistakes probably daily, yet God uses them to teach us a thing or two about His love, graciousness and how His mercies are new every day for us.

God knows we are human and He planned every detail of His Son's life and death to redeem us from all things. In Him we are a new creation and as such we all have the power to defeat our flesh - because Jesus defeated it for us on the cross! He is living in us right now - it is only for us to believe in that power given to us by the Holy Spirit! Allow Him to teach us and draw us closer to Him as we reflect His image.

Praising God for the lesson learned for you and Luke!


Sharon Harrison said...

Wow...this post is amazing. You don't know me and I can't remember if I have ever commented on your blog but I have prayed for you and many of the other precious families that have lost their babies. I worked for Angie Luce's grandfather's ministry for 9 years so I guess that is how I started following the blogs. All that to all have blessed me in so many ways. Even though I am a generation older than you I still have learned so much through yours and the other ladies posts. This post tonight particularly hit home tonight. Our kids are 20 and 22 but these truths still hold true!! Thanks again and I pray God's richest blessings on you and your family.

Chrissy said...

Awesome post! Hey, was today picture day?

Joanna said...

Hmmm. Really something to think about there.

Anonymous said...

I've appreciated your blog. As a mother of 2 and grandmother of 7, I feel I can comment about your experience. You handled Luke's comment very well. This may be the first time but it won't be the last time that your children will embarrass you.

You said: "We always get compliments on how well behaved they are. I guess in some ways I have used that as validation that I am succeeding as a parent."

Your validation is NOT based on how well your children behave or what other people think of you. It is so easy to judge our value by what others think or say. Your validation as a successful parent is based on doing what God has called you to do as a parent.

Do you teach your children about Him as you walk in the way, as you do your daily tasks, as you play? Do you teach them to hide God's Word in their hearts so that they might not sin against God? As they get older will you discuss world events in light of God's Word?

I would encourage you to begin to develop God-confidence as a parent--confidence that He is leading you in what you do and teach your children. It will help you when your views and ideas clash possibly even with the other Christian parents in your peer group. For this will probably happen some day.

When we measure ourselves by looking at others, we are measuring by a crooked ruler. Only measure with God's ruler which is the only accurate one.
2 Cor 10:12-13

I share this in His Love to encourage you. You obviously are a mother who dearly loves the Lord and loves her children. Keep up the good work!

In His Love,

Stacy@hiswaynotmine said... God uses our children in so many we train and teach them, God is training and teaching us! Love how God works in each of our hearts because He loves us so much and doesn't want to let a moment go by when He isn't drawing us closer to Him.

And that rock you wanted to climb under...I'm sure you found many of us other mothers hiding there with you! :) And I don't think anyone there thought you were a horrible parent! It sounds like you are doing a great job.