Thursday, July 26, 2007

Conversation with the Kids

My job watching 3 young children frequently involves many frustrations and aggravating situations. A lot of the time I am guilty of focusing on those not-so-good moments when I am describing how my day or week has been. This really frustrates me after the fact, because I usually consider myself a really optimistic person. I always like the good news before the bad. The cup is usually half full rather than half empty. You get the idea. Well, since coming to the realization that I spend way too much time focusing on the negative aspects of my job, I've decided to try to see the many blessings I experience each day.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to have a little Bible discussion with the two youngest children that I watch. Eden (6-years-old) asked me who the first person on earth was. I don't really remember what prompted this question, but I think she kind of just asked it out of the blue. After pausing for a moment to think how I should approach answering the question, I told her that Adam was the first person on the earth. She was a little confused about who Adam was, but once I brought Eve into the conversation, she understood. We talked about how God created Adam from the dust of the ground and later created Eve from Adam's rib. She didn't understand how Adam could live after he was created from the dust of the ground. I had to smile at the innocence and simplicity of children's thinking. Sometimes I forget that what is obvious to me might not be so obvious to small child.

She continued asking questions after that (as most 6-year-olds tend to do) and we talked about Cain and Abel. When I mentioned that Cain killed Abel, Abbi quickly became interested in the conversation. "Why did he kill his brother?" was her simple question. I explained to them about jealousy and had them act out a little skit of siblings being jealous with one another to help them understand the situation. The conversation continued for several more minutes. We talked about God telling Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, but then providing a sacrifice in his place.

It was at that point that I knew the Lord was working in the situation. After a really rough day earlier in the week, I really questioned if this is where God wants me right now. How could I be serving Him in a situation where He is not respected or acknowledged? How is this helping me grow in my relationship with Christ? How is this job preparing me for my future when I disagree with so much that goes on? These were a few of the questions passing through my mind as I cried out in discouragement. In the midst of my discouragement, I felt that peace which passes all understanding. I couldn't really answer all the questions, but somehow I knew it was right. Two days later, that conversation helped me understand. God put me in this situation to learn about Him, to depend on Him, and to grow closer to Him. I am in this situation to be a representative of Him to those kids who only hear His name proclaimed once or twice a year.

That few minutes of discussion really meant a lot to me. I don't know if any of it will stick in their minds or really mean anything to them, but it will definitely be ingrained in my memory for quite a while. I pray that it will stand out in my memory as a reminder to show His love and patience at all times.


Chris said...

Lyd - I really enjoyed reading about the conversation you had with Eden and Abbi. More than that, I enjoyed the reflections at the end.

I rather suspect you are in much greater use in the Lord's hand right now than you suspect. Those who know the Lord well would not benefit nearly as much as these children who do not have the exposure.

The other night at The Muny I thought about how great those two children are, yet mourned their lack of spiritual leadership from their folks. Their hearts are great, they just need a little spiritual direction and urging. So I am thankful that the Lord has placed you there.

Also, I think you'd be surprised in years to come to know how well they'll remember this conversation, and others, and the influence you were to them. Especially when you keep the positive outlook!

I'll pray more now knowing better your struggle, because Satan wouldn't want the Lord having the advantage. And with you there, in the right spirit, the Lord definitely has the advantage.

lydia said...

Chris- Thank you. I think you're right. I was reading last night and I Peter 3:9-17 was brought to my attention. While I don't really consider myself to be in a harmful or terrible situation, there has been some emotional suffering so to speak.

After studying this passage of scipture, I was even more encouraged to keep the right spirit knowing the Lord is on my side.

Thank you for the prayers. I know that when I fail to be prayerful before I head to work each day, the days don't go as smoothly. However, when I do maintain a cheerful and prayerful attitude, the Lord greatly blesses my time with the children and my job is a great joy.

1Peter 3:9-17 "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing."