Friday, August 7, 2009

...Need to See Grace

When I was in junior high and high school, I was a cheerleader, a very skinny cheerleader. It didn't matter what I ate or how much I ate, I burned it off (Oh how I miss that aspect of puberty!). For a cheerleader that meant one thing, I was a flyer. For those who are unschooled in cheerleading, it means I was thrown on top of the mounds and stunts. When we would practice the mounds, I would practice with my shoes off (red-neck style) because I could use my toes to latch onto the collar bone of my base to maintain balance until I was comfortable with the stunt. I had no problem sticking to a mound. It's when I was required to walk on my own two feet that issues arose. I never played basketball for the simple fact that it required me to not only walk but run AND dribble at the same time. That was just a calamity waiting to happen. In a time of life where the extremities grow at an alarming rate to the point the body has trouble compensating for their awkwardness, grace IS NOT something exercised. Do you remember just trying to look normal? Being graceful was way down the list, and truth be known there are days I still have issues of grace.

But the grace I was referring to in my title is not that of physical aptitude; it's a spiritual one. I recently had an opportunity to witness it in my home between my son and husband. It afforded a wonderful opportunity to teach Pearce the definition of grace.

Pearce is four years old and attends the daycare at our church and school. He will be starting Pre-K 4 this fall, and his teacher has been elevated higher on my prayer list. To give you a little background on my little man, you need to know first of all he is precious and he is beautiful and good lookin'. He also happens to be adopted, so if you see the picture of my family and wonder how in the world this child got his beautiful coloring, it's not because I blessed him with it. One other bit of information, he is the answer to my mother's prayers. I thought by adopting I would circumvent her prayer because I was not swimming in my own gene pool to have children. God DOES HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR! Pearce is the answer to my mother's prayers. He is strong-willed and determined (knows what he wants in this world and knows how he is going to get and whoa be to the person who stands in his way -- which is typically me!). He is full of movement and life and when he smiles his whole face lights up, and his laughter is contagious. But Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, he was not laughing at daycare.

Pearce had become frustrated about having to go to daycare knowing his sister was at home with a babysitter who is also keeping my niece. I had contemplated allowing her to keep Pearce as he is her favorite, but Pearce adds a different element to things when he is with Erin and my niece. So, we opted to keep him in daycare. As time progressed the frustration turned to anger and told me on more than one occasion he wanted to be with me.

On Tuesday, I received a call from Mrs. Sharon at daycare saying that Pearce had been disruptive and had hit his teacher when it was time to come inside from playing. She asked if I would like to talk to Pearce (translated: Talk to the boy!) I told him how disappointed I was, and we talked about what I expected to hear from his teacher when I picked him up that afternoon. I also told him if the daycare called me about him hitting someone, I would be bringing my wooden spoon up to the daycare to take the necessary steps to get his attention. I did not get any calls that afternoon.

Wednesday morning, however, before 9:30 AM, Mrs. Kathy from the daycare called saying Pearce had hit a child. I told her I was on my way. I think she was a bit surprised by that. So, I arrived at the daycare with my wooden spoon in hand and retrieved Pearce from Mrs. Kathy's office. We went to a restroom that was completely unoccupied to take care of the matter. (My sister and I subscribe to the Rapture and Transformation form of discipline -- you rapture the little dahlin' to another room to transform their behavior.) I sat down on the chair, and I looked him in the face and told him I loved him. He said he knew. And I asked him the reason why I had been called. He was completely honest. I reminded him of what the consequences were and about our conversations. Then I reminded him about another part of our conversation. He was suppose to leave on Friday to go see his "G" in Mississippi and stay for a week. I told him she was going to have 6 kids there in all, and I was not going to send him if he continued to show me this ugly behavior. When I reminded him of that caveat of our conversation, huge tears flowed down his face, "But I want to go." He then bent over my lap, and I spanked him. He cried more over not going to Mississippi than over the spanking. I let him stand in his correction for a moment, and then I loved on him telling him I loved him and I knew he could do better. Reluctantly, he went back to his class, and I went back to work.

The other person involved in this story is my husband. He has been struggling with a particular area in his life, and it has affected every area of his life including his family. Thankfully, my husband is a teachable man -- Praise the Lord. He listens to wise counsel -- Thank you, Jesus. When I told him about the events of the day, he asked if I would be willing to reconsider if he talked to Pearce. He said he felt some of Pearce's behavior was a reflection of what he was struggling with personally, and when Patrick steps up to take a leadership role that I've been praying for him to do, I choose to submit.

When we were all at home, the three of us sat down in the den to talk. Patrick confessed his struggle to Pearce in terms he could understand, and they talked about the consequences of his own actions and behaviors and the consequences of Pearce's. Then he asked Pearce if he knew what "grace" was. I explained that grace is getting something better than we deserve. For example, his bad behavior deserved him not to go to Mississippi, but we were going to exercise grace and allow him to go. We were giving him something he hadn't earned or deserved. Oh, the joy on Pearce's face! How could you not love that face? I asked him what grace meant, and he understood in his own terms.

There are times when we have to stick to our grounds, but there are times when we need to exercise grace. When we practice grace, it is a huge opportunity to explain to our children the eternal benefits of practicing grace and extending it to others. This just sets up perfectly the conversation to come about how Jesus showed the most excellent form of grace towards us while we were still sinners in dying for us. There is no greater love than that.

I was so touched by watching grace unfold in my home at the heart and knee of my husband to the heart and face of my son.

May you receive grace today in a special way and may you extend grace to those around you.


  1. Oh that face....I think I would over-do the grace with that little fella if he lived at my house! :) I miss you!

  2. He is just too cute! I could eat him up!!! Praise God for grace and wooden spoons! I miss you!! Hope that he has wonderful time in Mississippi!!

    Love ya!
    Susan aka former high school cheerleader flyer!! I understand you perfectly!!


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