>Last Thursday I had a morning appointment to meet someone at church. After a great visit and lunch, we arrived back at home right about the time we usually put Steven down for a nap and get started with school. Usually by that time, though, we’ve already done our read-aloud and history reading over lunch, something that everyone seems to greatly enjoy. So, on this particular day we were a bit behind.
Meanwhile, Steven’s sinus drainage had caused him to get sick at lunch, so I knew that it wasn’t going to be a matter of get home, put him down for a nap quickly, and get started on schoolwork. First I was going to need to clean him up, change his clothes, and make sure it really was just sinus drainage. Even after I got him to bed, I knew I also needed to take care of a couple of things on the computer before heading to school.
So, in order to maximize our afternoon, I handed the girls their writing assignments as soon as we walked in the door. Angie needed to copy her new spelling words and Olivia had a copywork assignment to do. After giving them their work, I headed to the back to take care of Steven.
I got Steven in bed and then sat down at the computer. Several times I heard the girls goofing off in the school room, but instead of going in there to check on them, I just hollered at them from the living room. That’s almost always the wrong thing to do, and I know it. I just wanted to finish those last few things. Knowing the the girls weren’t finished yet, I figured I’d tap out a couple of emails too while I was at it. Finally, forty-five minutes later, Angie came in with her completed spelling list, something that usually takes her ten minutes at the most. Thinking Olivia had to be done with her work, too, I headed back to the school room.
What I found did not make me happy. In forty-five minutes Olivia had written five words and Angela’s spelling list was in the sloppiest writing I’ve ever seen from her! I fussed at the girls and told Olivia she would have to keep writing while I read to them.
I picked up the Bible and opened it to the new memory verse we were supposed to start working on that day. It was Proverbs 18:9. As I read it to myself, my jaw dropped! I looked at the girls with a very serious look and then looked back at the verse. In a calm, serious tone, I said, “This verse is so very appropriate.” I read it to them and asked if they knew what it meant. I could tell by the look on Olivia’s face that she understood it completely.
In fact, the verse didn’t have to be explained to either girl. They both knew exactly how it applied to them and to what they had just done. Angela silently retrieved her spelling list from me and rewrote the sloppiest of the words. Olivia proceeded to complete a beautiful copywork assignment very quickly while I read aloud to them.
But the girls weren’t the only ones convicted by the verse. I realized that I had not been diligent myself – I should have been out there with them long before, guiding them along. At the very least, I could have done my work at the school computer while supervising them. But, really, I didn’t have to be on the computer as long as I had been.
And what about the days leading up to that day? I’d not been very diligent at home, claiming this excuse or that. I was slacking, and it was destructive.
I shared the verse with Doug the next morning, and he was stopped by it as well.
Needless to say, the girls and I learned that verse very quickly. And, it’s been with us consistently since then. The Word of the Lord is alive and powerful, and it is great motivation to live right when we let it!