Yesterday we had a day full to the brim of unpredictability and last minute changes, on top of all the normal activity. Starting when the alarm went off at and ending with an email at the day was so full of twists and turns I could hardly keep my seat belt on. Somehow, through it all we managed to have a very productive school day with only one small activity left undone.
One of the topics that we covered was obedience. I found a book on character training on my shelves last week that I had forgotten about. It offers excellent, concrete tools for helping kids understand and live with character. The first one we discussed was obedience. It has a simple definition and then some "I Will . . ." statements. Some of them --
I will have a cheerful attitude.
I will complete all that I am expected to do.
I will go the "extra mile."
(among a couple others)
Then we read a couple stories about obedience in nature and history and talked about what true obedience looks like. We had some great conversation and I was excited to give my kids more practical tools to live obediently.
Then, on with the crazy day. During study hall my younger kids were in our quarters watching a Bibleman video, and a little bird told me that they had helped themselves to a Cheerio snack by dumping the box on the floor and grazing like animals. Lovely. However, Charles was gone at the other campus and I could not spend the time cleaning it up just then as I needed to get all 17 kids out the door for a picture in front of the school.
After the picture (smooth, thankfully!) and dinner we returned to our cottage. Faith had hurried and gotten back shortly before most of us. She walked up to me as I came in the door and said, “Mom, you know that mess that Brooke and Nathan made?” (big smile on her face)
“Yes, did you clean it up?”
“Mom, I got to use that obedience stuff.”
“You did, didn’t you! Did you work cheerfully? (she continues smiling, basking in the praise) Did you go the extra mile? I’m so proud of you.”
I so treasure these moments when training comes to life.
Then she says, “Mom, no, I used the Obedience story papers to clean up the mess!”