Monday, August 1, 2011

You Know What Grace Is?

The other day I found myself laying on Meron's bed - exhausted after a day of work, exhausted from the heat and exhausted from hearing her whine and cry about a frozen yogurt push-up she wanted. Meron's room is cozy and comfy and everything was nice - except the whining. See - usually - when Meron has a great discipline-free day at school - she scores a frozen yogurt push-up and chills on the couch for about 20 minutes while I feed the dog, change clothes, etc.

But today she had a pretty rough day at school and I was trying hard to stand my ground on the push-up.

"But I WANT one! I want one NOW!"
This was getting tough. "You don't deserve one Meron - you were terrible at school today. Weren't you?"
"YES! But I WANT one!"
Oh I was nailing it - as parents we tend to look for these moments, don't we? A great "learning lesson," a chance for her to know about repercussions and consequences. Yeah - I was on point. "Yeah - sorry girl - ya just don't deserve one..."

That's when it hit me - why do we get so giddy about teaching consequences yet rarely do we jump on the opportunity to explain and model grace. Here it was... so I jumped on board.

I told Meron all about grace, what it was, how it worked and most importantly - who committed the most amazing, unbelievable, incredible act of grace ever... Jesus. I didn't just tell her about it - I told her I wanted to show her what it was - so we headed to the couch and I hooked her up with a frozen yogurt push-up. She was pumped and when Laura walked in - before I could explain my awsome act of daddying - Meron looked at her and said through a beaming smile:
"Mommy - I don't deserve this yogurt. But daddy gave it to me anyways."
Awesome Meron. Thanks. Not quite how I wanted the lesson to go down. Chalked it up as the precursor to some future discussions and just let it go.

Fast-forward a few days to the weekend. We were at the video shoot that Meron was part of with several other kids. We were wrapping it up and we promised them all Yogli Mogli for good behavior. Well - one of the kids had been busy all day, was tired and she was just kinda over the whole video thing. Let's just say her parents had to invoke the "no Yogli" clause and home she went.

I saw Meron watching the whole thing going down with a curious eye. As we headed towards the car with our friend JB, Meron shouted:
"Hey JB - do you know what grace is?"
I spun around in my tracks, curious where this was going to go...

Before either of us could say anything, she said all matter-of-factly:
"It's easy. Grace is when we get something we don't deserve."
And that was it. We hopped in the car and were off to Yogli Mogli.

After Yogli Mogli we were driving home and Meron said to me in reference to her friend who had to go home:
"I hope her daddy gave her ice cream at home."
I was kinda shocked. The lesson had stuck. And it made me wanna look for those opportunities more often. Sure - knowing repercussions and consequences is WAY important. But understanding grace and seeing it modeled ranks up there pretty high too!

Oh - she'll have another terrible day soon and I'll get to send her to timeout or withhold something favorite of hers. But that night - for a while at least - I couldn't have been more proud of her little heart!


Jay said...

Awesome Tymm. I said it my testimony at our mission trip retreat that I had a hard time grasping the concept of grace. Maybe I need Meron to teach me! Praying for a safe and successful trip for Laura.


the Mrs. said...

oh, wow, loooove it!

the little ones really get so much more than we/i sometimes expect.

i was at my sisters a few weeks ago visiting her and her family one last time before i head to uganda indefinitely (this saturday). early that morning before we left their lake house, i was talking about the needs, the lives, the desire for hope there. so, the next day, i was preparring to leave the "everday house", and was crying and sad, not knowing when i'd be back. little mary (my neice who's 8) looked at her mom/my sister and said, momma, do you want me to help you clean out the medicine cabinet. caught a little off guard, my sister said, "sure!". mary began grabbing vitamins and such from there, getting mom's approval before tossing in the "toss" box. and she even snuck in a few unopened bottles of vitamins, as she smiled at me. after this feat, mary slid the box toward me and said, "for the orphans!". oh, how i loved it.
later, as i was really about to leave, my older neice and nephew walked me to the door with two huge bags, telling their mom they were donating their old shoes to me to take. their mom nodded and i thanked them. when i got home, i dumped out the bag, and in the bottom, under the "older" shoes, were brand new sperry's loafers and new balance shoes. :)
haha, wonder if their mom has noticed this yet.
children are great, and really just surprise me. understanding of grace, sacrifice, etc. :)