Monday, November 19, 2007

A Tender Heart

I keep wondering how God will use our tender hearted children to further His kingdom and bring glory to Himself. It's an exciting, overwhelming, sometimes discouraging, yet hopeful journey we parents are engaged in!

Our sweet Dreamer is often brought to tears by the sufferings of those around her, the hurting world 'out there' and we wonder where such empathy will lead her as she seeks to live a life pleasing to God. We are praying that our animated Storyteller will turn his passion into something amazing, but since he is only seven, it is hard to even imagine how God will direct. I know without a doubt that God has a special purpose for these two wonderful children that He has entrusted to our care for such a short space of time. God is the one who will mold them and form them, allowing them both to be tested and strengthened through trials and sorrows. I am glad I know nothing about what our children's future holds, except to be confident in this, God is in control, and He will finish the good work He has begun in our children. Despite our many parenting blunders!

Today, I made a most horrible mistake. I didn't carefully preview a book, and now they have decided that they never want to be read to again! Oh boy!

We had quite a lengthy morning. The appliance repair man came and went early with a promise to return with parts later. The Historian did a history lesson with both children while I did some usual Monday morning chores. I hurried off to help with creating some decorations for the church's Christmas tree - a bit of a brainstorming and work session. I needed to be home so the Historian could get to work, and also to be there for the repairman's return. It all worked out, and my oven is working just fine now, but by the time lunch was over and all was said and done, I just needed to get my feet up and do something relaxing. My best solution - read aloud!

Without praying for direction or really looking through my lesson plan, I grabbed a book from our to read shelf, ' The Terrible Wave' by Marden Dahlstedt. We began to read on our big couch, cuddled up together against the dull, chilly day with a soft blanket and good light. The story engaged the children immediately since it is written from the vantage point of a 15 year old girl's experience of the great disaster. We were cuddly and comfortable and they begged me to keep going.

There were many of points of discussion, some new words to be explained, and great food for thought. The children took a break to play, but then found me again and begged for another chapter. Or three. As soon as supper was cleared away they rushed into their p.j.'s and asked for more! Since Daddy was at work late tonight, they had me read on and on - past bedtime! We were all on the edge of our seats - despairing and delighting in turns as the story unfolded. We were almost to the end and desperately wanted to see it through, so we finished the book - or almost.

*Spoiler* if you plan to read this book:
We came to the fourth to last page and discovered that young Timothy had also perished in the flood and had been found five days after the disaster. My children were inconsolable.

The Dreamer calmed first, but it took 45 minutes for the Storyteller to get a hold of himself. We finished the last few pages, which were filled with bright hope, and a promising future, but I'm afraid they will always remember their deep sorrow.

Read aloud's are an important part of our school work, so regardless of their passionate declarations, we will continue with them, and we will finish our study of this terrible flood, and the good that has resulted. In a sense, I am blessed to know that though this senseless loss of life occurred more than 100 years ago, my children felt it as though it were just taking place. They are still so innocent and tender hearted - they have not been 'desensitized' by the casual reports of lost lives that we are hearing every day, or calloused by graphic television images. I will not be one to tell them 'toughen up' or 'stop being a baby' - they will learn to look at tragedy without really seeing soon enough.

I have learned something about the power of words - again. I will, in future, be more prayerful concerning the timing of our reading adventures and prepare them more for difficult subject matters. I think perhaps those last few pages read in the bright sunlight of day would have seemed a bit less forlorn, but maybe not.

I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the vast needs in this world that I almost wish I didn't know - what little bit I do actually know threatens to overwhelm me. Yet I know Jesus had a tender heart, for the lost, the hurting, the poor, for widows and orphans, and even stubborn fishermen, and so I long to have the heart of my Saviour. I look into the faces of my children and learn something daily about the faith of a child - something I think I would miss if I were not a home school momma. Learning from one another - what a challenge. What a blessing!


  1. Our wonderfully tender hearted Grand children . . . may they forever hold tender hearts and a real knowledge of God working in their lives.
    Great post Honey. Give them big "poppa" hugs please. We mis you all so much.

  2. What a great post!!


  3. Thing is sometimes you don't know how they might take a story - for instance when I read Charlotte's Web to my dd she was maybe 5 or 6. It was traumatic for her when Charlotte (a spider) died. That bothered her for some time. I guess since Charlotte had a humanized personality it maybe seemed more like a person rather than a spider dying.

    She is now 8 and has enjoyed watching the DVD so I guess she's over Charlotte.


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