The other night coming home from soccer practice, I just had Shelby and Charlie in the car with me. Jesse and Addie were riding in the truck with Dad, so my oldest son and youngest daughter were having some rare quality time.
They were chatting and laughing and talking about school, and soccer, and rope swings, and all kinds of great things. They were bonding…getting along…being friends. It was a sweet moment for me to listen to as we drove the 17 miles to our home nestled in the country. Sometimes I learn a lot in those 17 miles.
I learn about my kids days, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry (like the movie "Letters to God"), and what makes them love. ON this particular night, I learned what makes Shelby come clean…in a sense.
Shelby is a saver….she saves everything…including her money. If she finds money, it's going in her bank. We kinda have a so called rule that if money is found on the floor…dryer…car…it's fair game, but you can't take money from someone. Well Charlie had some money go missing about 2 months ago out of his change jar…he suspected Miss Thing but she never fessed up. We figured it would come out sooner or later.
That night she came down from her shower….hair was still soaking wet…mismatched pj's on and she handed Charlie a dollar. She said "Here Charlie". He looked at it to check for counterfeit…and then looked at her and softly said "thanks Shelbs". Me, being the great Mom I am, couldn't just leave well enough alone…so I pried a little bit.
I asked Shelby why she was giving him the dollar…She said "'cause he was being sweet". I said "wow, Charlie did you hear that...she gave it to you because you were being nice to her". I asked Shelby where the dollar came from…and she told me she had taken it from Charlie, months ago. We saw a "teachable moment" and jumped on it. We then looked at "sweet little innocent" Shelby and told her that it was never ok for her to take someone's stuff (aka …stealing)…no matter what, but the reason she finally came clean was because she felt guilty…she knew she had done wrong. We also told Charlie that it's important to treat people right…that people always respond to kindness rather than to meanness…and that he needs to love his sisters and treat them with respect. Before when he would go to her about the dollar, he would holler at her…demand her to give him money…tells her she was a thief…you know…all kinds of nice things. But when kindness was displayed….she caved.
It showed me that even if I'm done wrong, which Charlie had been done wrong, it doesn't give me a right to respond in anger…hatred…frustration. I need to always be conscious of the way I respond to everyone….even those who see me at my worst.
I pray that kindness would ooze out of me…that God would strip away my selfishness…my pride…my anger…and that all those things would be replaced with the fruit of the spirit…patience, kindness, love, joy, peace, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, and goodness. God taught me that valuable lesson through a dollar bill….and 17 miles!
Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.