Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The "easy way" vs. the "hard way"....

I can remember, when Emma and Caleb were very little, saying to them, "Now, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way." It is funny how at that time, I was trying to get them to choose the easy way!! (meaning, with less discipline!) And now, here I am trying to help them to see the value in the hard way. =)
Yesterday, the kids had a science report to work on. It just so happened that their English work was also about taking notes, and then writing a report. So, Emma took her "notes" on the hawk's bill sea turtle, and then as I read the "report", I noticed that the sentences seemed strangely familiar. Well, that is because they came right out of her science book. I redirected her to her English lesson, which specifically pointed out the difference between copying IDEAS, when taking notes, and copying sentences, which is stealing.
She broke into tears. "Everyone else in my class does it that way, and the teacher said it was ok!!"
Oh man.
How do we, the Hester family determine what is right, and what is wrong? How do we find out what God thinks about something?
The Bible. (Emma answers, and then bursts out, "But I don't read the Bible everyday!!! Just the Action Bible!!")
But Emma, you know the answer to this.... Does God think it is ok for you to take someone else's words, and put them into your report as if they were yours?
I thought we were finally getting somewhere. And I made sure she knew that for the other kids in her class, this was not sin. They had their teacher's approval, and many of them are young, and so at certain ages, you will allow copying facts and information. However, her English lesson (and her momma) have now made her accountable for this. I made sure she knew that I was right there, ready to help her make her own sentences....
But come lunch time.... Emma was just struggling with it, complaining about how she didn't want to work that hard!
And as I looked around at my mess of a kitchen as I tried to strain the vegetable broth, cut up all the veggies to get dinner going in the crockpot, and make lunch for the kids... I told her:
"You know, sweetheart. It would be easier for Mommy to pack all of you kids up in the car, and go through the drive through at McDonald's, and buy you a lunch that someone else has already made. But, not only would the food be less healthy, but I would be spending almost double what it would cost to feed you at home, and that would not be a wise use of the money Daddy works so hard to make for us. So, we could do it the easy way.... but, I want to choose the way that will be most honoring to God."

She got it. And, as a side note, her report turned out so well!! But it just reminded me, that sometimes, it is hard to do things the hard way. Sometimes the easy way seems better. And you know, it's not bad to go out to lunch and it's not going to kill them to (shudder) eat McDonald's for lunch one day. But it reminded me to check my own heart.... Am I taking the easy way, or the hard way? And it also reminded me that many times, the hard way is the easy way!! Because God's way, although difficult, is the way filled with the most joy, beauty, and delight.

"The way of a lazy man is like a hedge of thorns {he is too lazy to remove them!}, but the way of the upright is a highway." Proverbs 15:17


the jenkins said...

wow Lisa thanks for sharing.....can you homeschool ME?? Is Emma in school? I would love to catch up with you soon :)Love you Hesters :)

sarahgrace said...

One of the things I find so difficult about parenting, is the (seemingly) paradoxes, such as this one. It's so hard when they are so young and very literal with things (in some ways it's easier too! LOL.) Thank goodness for real-life illustrations like the one you were able to use right then and there. My prayer is that as mothers, we're always to recognize the tools we have right with us to be good teachers for our children, and that God will guide us to continually find the balance between all these confusing issues for our children, so they can grow up to be well-adjusted people. :)