plant the seed, it will grow.

I never know if what I’m teaching my girls is sinking in. Some days it feels like all I do is correct, redirect and discipline. Those days are so hard! Those days make me feel like a failure a thousand times over. Why won’t they listen to me? Why do I have to repeat the same thing over and over again? What am I doing wrong?? WHY DO THEY KEEP PUTTING THINGS IN THE TOILET??? I know you’ve all been there. But then there are those AH-HA! moments that come up every once in awhile — not much — that just reinforce everything we’re doing and sort of… make us relax. It’s hard to relax.  Parenting is a huge responsibility. There’s a very good chance that we could be screwing our kids up for life and not even know it. Everyone says “all you need is love” but OK that’s fine and good for things like Love, Actually, but in real life? You also need massive doses of chocolate and perhaps a glass or two of the bubbly. And things like wordpress.com and amusing auto corrects posted by strangers.

But I digress…

Every night we pray with Jovi before bed. We thank Jesus and go over the day’s activities together. We’ve found that not only does it open up those most-important lines of communication (prayer!), but it helps ground Jovi before she goes to sleep. She gets to “relive” parts of her day that were fun. During that time we ask her to name something she’s thankful for. Most of the time it’s one of us, her sister, a relative, a book or a nearby animal she happens to glance at right when we ask her. We started introducing other “facets” of faith several months ago; one of them being to ask Jesus for comfort when she’s scared at night. The whole scared of the dark thing is relatively recent, maybe in the last 5 months or so. It doesn’t happen often but when a train goes by and everything else is quiet, she’ll come to our room mumbling things about monsters or storms. The same when there’s wind or a breeze is playing with her curtains and making weird shadows. Most of the time she just crawls into bed with us without saying a word. Not that everytime she does that it’s because of “monsters”, but the point is, we’ve never really had the opportunity to pray when she’s scared, in the moment. It’s always after the fact and only then if she remembers to tell us about it.

That’s why I was so surprised and grateful the other morning when, as I was picking out her clothes for the day, she very matter-of-factly told  me: “Mommy, Jesus helped me go to sleep last night. I was scared so I talked to him and he made me feel better. He helped me because he loves me.” I was so “……!” that I couldn’t even think of any appropriate words to say. I finally reassured her that that was the perfect thing to do and that I was happy that she was comforted. It really surprised me because it had been forever (I can’t even remember the last time) since we’d talked about praying when scared. But still, she remembered. What it must be like to have the faith of a child. And how easily I forget to do the same thing my 3 1/2 year old daughter did without hesitation.

Even more importantly, how reassuring to her dad and I that the seeds we’ve planted are growing. It’s humbling and affirming; the things we are teaching her are sticking even when they don’t seem to be. I am grateful that it’s not all up to us, that our wisdom alone isn’t all they’re depending on. And thank goodness for that or we’d all be left wanting.

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6 Responses to plant the seed, it will grow.

  1. Kendra says:

    I love that kids surprise us in the most random of times, catching us completely off guard! Yesterday, when all of us were outside, Jovi started singing “Jesus loves the little children” in combination with “Jesus Loves me”…it was her own rendition. There was about 30 seconds where 4 of the kiddos were singing it together, sortof. Seeds planted Jen!! Austin will pray for his friends every night before bed–those that got hurt at school even if it was just a slight bump on the head. He may not know the kids other than their name but lesson learned in just praying for another–even if not your “friend.” That whole faith like a child thing–yeah, we have a lot to learn from our own kids!! 🙂 Keep planting Jen…even on those “hard” days!!!!

    • Kyle started singing that song to her months ago and she just recently started singing it on her own, out of nowhere! That’s another great example of things sticking. When he heard her sing it all the way through out of nowhere he was so happy!
      That’s really sweet about Austin. Jovi’s just getting into the “friend” thing, but it’s something we should start doing as well.

  2. Christa says:

    I love it… I would take a large glass of that bubbly stuff with you today… it has been one of those hard/not listening days! I love it when the little plants poke their heads out of the ground for the first time! It amazes me every time and it shouldn’t – I planted the seed in that ground… same with kids – I love when you see the neat stuff come out… it is even more humbling when the “bad” stuff you subconsciously planted comes out… yikes!

    Hugs to you!

    • You’re totally right. I never understood the excitement of gardens until I planted one of my own. It’s gratifying to see those little plants grow and produce.
      And … yeah… those “bad” things come out in Jovi as well. The other day in the car she started yelling at the car in front of me to “go go go!” Oops. 😐

  3. taxe says:

    Perhaps sting put it best: “…every move you make, every breath you take [she’ll] be watching you.”
    Ok, I tweaked it a bit but you get the picture. I think the capacity of a child’s mind is far more then we give them credit for, maybe it’s just their motor skills and muscle coordination that are trying to catch up with everything else. Don’t under estimate her discerning eye..

    I remember when I was in fourth grade I made an extremely HUGE conscious effort to remember a particular idea. I thought about it over and over so it would stick with me forever. I thought: “Travis, remember years and years from now that when you were in fourth grade, you understood the world. There are a lot of details and little things that were a bit uncertain, but for the most part, you get it. So when you are older, remember this when dealing with kids.”

    Kind of a surreal thought, but food for thought nonetheless.

    • Well said, and that’s pretty heavy thought for a nine year old. Although I can’t say I’m that surprised! You were always intuitive. Still are.
      Jovi is very thoughtful and … astute, I guess? She picks things up during our conversations and will bring them up weeks or months later. it never fails to shock us when she does that. We have to be super mindful of what we say, how we say it and how we act. She’s at that age of building memories (which is so weird to think about!) and her memory so far is pretty amazing. Earlier this summer she talked about LAST summer when she went swimming in ya-ya and grandpa’s pool. It hadn’t even been set up yet and she was already talking about it. How she remembered that, a year later and at such a young age? I don’t even know. A child’s brain is an amazing thing! She talks about you a lot, too. Any time Reno is mentioned she asks about you. She recognizes all of your songs within a couple measures and can sing along with the second half of the Stop Song. She’s an awesome little person.

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