April 14, 2011

Distractions

The following scenarios (and responses) are true stories taken from The Santos Times.


 ~ One ~

The Santos children are gathered around their mother to listen to the next chapters from their read-aloud book.  My 'Middle Skittle' doesn't understand metaphors and gets confused.  Instantly "stressed" she pouts and puts on a complaining attitude. "I don't get it! I don't like this book! This is boring!"

Distracted Response:

Mother sighs.  "Well, then go draw or something so we can hurry up and finish this book."  The younger brother joins her in playing and it is only the oldest who ever hears the next chapters.

Focused Response:

Mother:  "That is not a good attitude. If there is something you don't understand ask nicely 'Momma, would you please explain that part?'  I want to help you learn."

Middle Skittle: "Momma, would you please explain that part about the green chalk?"

Mother Santos takes time to explain what a metaphor is.  Then she tells the group what the author meant by the statement "Scooter's profile was freckled green chalk in the twilight."  The whole clan giggles understanding.  Three  new words are learned (profile, twilight and metaphor ) and everyone goes on to hear the next chapters.

~ Two ~

Walking in the parking lot, brother trips sister.  Sister manages to stop herself from falling on her face but does scratch up her hands.

Brother: "Oh, sorry."

Sister: "Yeah Right! You did that on purpose." She sticks out her tongue to share her deeper feelings.

Brother: "Did Not!" and returns a cross-eyed, tongue wagging face.

Distracted Response:

Mother: "Hey guys, stop fighting and be still!"

Focused Response:

Mother to sister:  "A young lady never sticks out her tongue.  It is vulgar and rude.  The Bible says 'a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.' Now,  tell your brother "I forgive you."

Sister: "I forgive you, brother"

Mother:  "Now, thank God that you did not have a more serious fall."

Sister: "Thank you God for keeping me safe."

Mother to brother:  "Brothers are to protect and provide for their sisters.  Please be careful how you walk.  The Bible says 'do not return evil for evil.'  Apologize to your sister for arguing and making an ugly face."  

Brother: "I'm sorry sister for fighting with you. I'm glad you didn't get a bloody nose!"

~oOo~

Life in general is distracting. What's for dinner, paying the bills and health challenges are at the top of the list.  But nowadays it seems like we are far more distracted than necessary.  Texting, facebook, phone calls, web-surfing; these things can take over a person's thought life.

This was never more real to me than when I went two weeks without internet or phone.

Life slowed down.  I had more time to think.  More time to listen.  I had no reason to usher my children away when their chatter was too much.  So, I listened to their chatter.  At first, I listened with a heavy sigh.  I thought, 'there is so much I need to do on the computer,' or 'I wish I had a phone to call so-and-so.'

It is a little humiliating to admit I had this attitude toward my children.  At the same time, I am thankful that it was revealed.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (italics mine) 

What distracts YOU?  Music lessons? Sports activities? Women's ministries?  That person who makes you so mad?

God tells us what he wants us to think about. 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8 


 The more we think (and meditate) on God's word, the more we are able to handle the events that happen in our lives. 

and another thought ~
 
"If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up."

— Charles H. Spurgeon

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