Since becoming a mom I have tried very hard to meet each day's challenges with courage, humor and lots of prayer. I try to take the moments that make me crazy and turn them into "teachable moments." Let me just say that with 2 boys, four and one, I have a lot of opportunities.
Monday was yet another gloomy and chilly day in Dallas. I had planned to take the boys to the arboretum with their Gramma. No go. Instead we went to the mall play area. As we were going home we stopped at a department store to get balloons for the boys and look a sneakers for Jude. He's in a Nike phase right now and pointed out a pair of $65 shoes that he wanted quite badly. $65 bucks? I don't even spend that much on my own shoes! Ok, I'm getting off on a tangent here. Anyway, Jude melted down because I wouldn't buy him a pair of shoes. I mean M-E-L-T-E-D! It was NOT pretty. We had a talk in the parking lot and soon the tears dried up. He's four! Geeze it starts so early these days.
To try and make a "teachable moment" out of this madness I took him to our church on Tuesday. They have a water pump like the ones Living Water International sets up in Africa to provide clean drinking water. We sat outside and talked about the kids in Africa, read a small book about their living conditions, schools and daily chores and then talked about our many blessings. I showed Jude the pump, asked him to take off his shoes and socks, told him he needed to pump water into his bucket and then carry the bucket all the way around the building (it's a big building, about a 1/4 mile walk.)
While walking around the church he cried the entire time. He stubbed his toe lightly three times and the crying got louder with each small stub. I continued to tell him about the children in Africa walking to their pumps to gather water for their family. I told him to pretend he was one of them and that if he didn't get the water back to his village, he and his family wouldn't be able to bathe, cook, drink or eat. He just kept crying. Once we finished I told him to dump that water back into the pond and put his shoes on. He said, "I don't ever want to do that again." We went inside to have a snack and talk more. I asked what he'd learned and he said, "nothing." Great! Oh well. I had, at the very least, planted a seed.
(Above are pictures of our church. You can see why I like to just hang out there right?) I let the boys run around for a bit and then we went home for dinner. Over dinner Adam asked more questions about what he had done that day. And then I got affirmation for a hard day's work. Jude said, "I wouldn't want to have to go get water because I would be scared to have to leave my family and walk all that way. I would be scared to have to go away and get the water." Praise the Lord! If he learned nothing about materialism, at least he learned that he has been very blessed by the Lord and others are struggling.