I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.
In yesterday's post, I mentioned my common tendency to get to the middle of the day and freak out a little if we haven't completed the day's school work and I have to use rest time to do so. I get flustered and feel uptight inside. My brain is telling me to not worry about it, there is still plenty of day left and I'm the only one putting pressure on myself anyway; but it can be a challenge to get the rest of myself to be reasonable!
One of Elizabeth's Language Arts activities yesterday was to make salt water taffy. She has been reading excerpts from Lois Lenski's, Strawberry Girl, in which they harvest sugar cane and make candy. The activities this week center around reading directions and giving instructions. My girl LOVES to cook or bake anything - except recipes that require the handling of raw meat, haha - and she said this was the best Language Arts lesson yet!
She was able to do the work on her own, but we hadn't had time to get to the "pulling" part. I had planned for us to do that together and knew it would be fun and messy, but as I realized it was probably going to take up most of rest time, meaning most of the time in the middle of the day when I take a kid break, I started getting flustered. I was not speaking and acting as kindly, gently, and patiently as I should, because I was only looking at the timer ticking away the minutes, thinking about other things I needed to be doing, and feeding my flustered feeling.
Elizabeth was having a great time pulling taffy and chatting away to me! And I was unterrupted by grace as the Spirit basically said to me, Chill out and choose what is right! I was choosing sinful behavior over righteous. I was choosing self over God and others. It wasn't making me feel good, but I was continuing down that path anyway because I wasn't getting what I thought I needed. God reminded me that He would both forgive me and give me all I needed to turn around and enjoy the taffy pulling as much as Elizabeth. I am always lamenting that I feel like I don't get to spend enough time with her anyway. There I was, having time with her!
I wish I could tell you I did a perfect about-face and the rest of the time I was full of joy. It wasn't perfect, but it was convicting and challenging to think about how I was in the midst of something I wanted but not getting something else I wanted. Boy, I sure need the Lord's help each moment of every day to simply embrace each moment of every day for what it is, not cursing the moments for what they are not. God is good to interrupt us by grace to help us see our errors, His loving-kindness, and offer forgiveness and hope!
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
* * *
At the end of each monthly series, I love to give away a couple of treats. Seems to me like a good way to wrap it up! Next Thursday, I will announce the winners of these tasty local treats:
|A bag of Colombian coffee beans roasted by Commonplace Coffee.|
Three Gardner's chocolate bars: PB Meletaway, Salted Pretzel and Creamy Caramel.
How can you enter? Glad you asked. Here are some ways to get your name in the running one or more times:
- Leave an "I'm in!" comment on a post between now and next Wednesday, April 29 before midnight EST.
- 'Like' my Facebook page. Here's a link! (If you're already a fan there, that counts for an entry.)
- Share a link to Life in the Valley or the Life in the Valley Facebook page on your page. Or if you don't have Facebook, share Life in the Valley with a friend in another way.
- Share your own interrupted by grace story in a blog or Facebook comment sometime before the giveaway.
I work on the honor system around here, so just let me know how many times I should put your name in the hat! Also, if you are not a coffee lover, enter anyway. Commonplace coffee makes a great regift; any of your coffee-loving friends will be glad to take it off your hands, and you still get to keep the chocolate!