Jan 6, 2012

The Solution

Bennett has come home for the past several weeks complaining about school.  My ears instantly perk up when I hear, "It's just not fun anymore."  The homeschooling mom in me wants to solve the problem immediately.  I know what to do, I think to myself.  But is that what God wants me to do?  Does He want me to always swoop in and fix all my son's problems?  Is it my problem to fix or is it God's way of teaching Bennett's little heart something more?  Or is this purely an academic problem? These are daily questions I struggle with.  And then I bring it to God.

Of course I could always homeschool him again.  I'm very aware of the problems of public schooling.  But I'm also acutely aware that homeschooling is not perfect either.  Which does God want for this child at this time?  Again another question.  Is it the academic thing that's the most important lesson right here and now or is it a heart lesson...something deeper, bigger, beyond me?

Knowing my tendency to knee-jerk reactions, I decide to wait.  I pray.  I hear nothing.  No answer.  My flesh longs to make the road less difficult for my sweet boy.  How am I to do this when all I get is radio silence on the other end?  God's end.  Then I decide to just trust...not knowing what else to do.  I trust the path He's placed us on and just continue walking, by faith, ahead.  Even when I can't hear Him.  Even when I can't see the path.

Then it happened on accident.  The answer came.  I didn't know it was the answer until a whole day went by.  Bennett and I were cuddling before bed one evening talking of life and the hardships he was experiencing at school.  I told him what I did when things were especially hard...I look for things to be thankful for.  I told him that when I look around and all I see are all the things that are frustrating me, that's all I'm ever going to see.  But if I change my focus and start looking for things that I'm thankful about, it starts to change my outlook.  My situation hasn't changed, but my heart has.  I wasn't even sure if he was listening.

I found out today he was.  He couldn't even wait until he got in the car to start telling me about his awesome day.  "Mom!  I decided to start looking for all the things I was thankful for from the beginning of the day and it was one of the best days ever!  I have so many things to write down tonight about my thankfuls.  You know, it worked.  When I started looking for things to be thankful about, I didn't have time to sit and think about all the stuff I didn't like."

So there you have it.  God knew what Bennett needed all along.  I'm reminded of how He encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to "give thanks in all things for this is God's will for you".    All things - not only good things, not only things we like, not only when things are going the way we want them to.

To quote Madame Blueberry in Veggie Tales, "A thankful heart is a happy heart."  How true that is.


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