My son attends the summer camp offered by our city’s Recreation Department. Although he has fun there, he isn’t being nurtured academically. I purchased a workbook titled Summer Fit Second to Third Grade: Math, Reading, Writing, Language Arts + Fitness, Nutrition and Values. He has the knowledge to complete the tasks therein but often needs coaching. By the time we finish the book, my hope is that we’ve built on what he’s already learned and acquire some new information to keep him ahead of the game once school starts. He should also become more independent in completing his work. My intention was to pair this workbook with addition and subtraction flashcards. The first time we went through the addition problems, he whizzed right through them. The subtraction problems, however, had longer pauses and times where he still counted on his fingers. His response made it clear what we needed to concentrate on.
Tonight we began a new page in the workbook. Once we finished, I pulled out the subtraction flashcards. He got an attitude, rolled his eyes, and said, “But we’ve already done those.”
Wait…hold up. What? Come again? Chile please. Boy bye. Lord, give me strength.
After a deep breath, I explained that he must practice. Through repetition he would know the subtraction problems just as well (and quickly) as the addition problems. In furthering my point of his error, the conversation went something like this:
Me: What have you been doing the last couple of hours?
Him: Watching TV.
Me: And what have you learned from watching TV?
Me: Exactly! So don’t you dare get an attitude with me for trying to help you learn something. You will not rush through this as if you have something better to do.
After he picked his face up off of the floor, we resumed our session and he went to bed. Being a parent often causes me to reflect on how my Heavenly Father must feel about me. How many times have I been frustrated when there was no response? Yet, I am later reminded that the teacher doesn’t talk during the test. How many times have I been frustrated to feel as though I’m going through the same mess? Yet, I am later reminded that practice makes progress, and you cannot be an expert with which you are not familiar. How many times have I felt deserving of a break from hardship, trials, opposition, and unrest? Yet, I am later reminded that I only inflated the issue making something out of nothing. How many times have I resented God when He was only trying to make me better? Yet, I am later reminded that this is what I asked for; to be better. I love these scriptures below. They definitely help me to keep myself in check.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I have to remember that my God knows all, sees all, and hears all. I can’t question his methods if I trust His omniscience. Salvation via Romans 10:9 isn’t a once and done thing. It is the start of our walk with Christ. In the beginning, we need lots of coaching and hand holding. As we mature, the training wheels come off. We may wobble a bit and even fall, but after much practice we’re riding with a spirit of exploration and mobility. In the end when it’s all said and done, we want to hear, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.” Hang in there and trust the process.