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Snarled spaghetti, special gifts and letting go

November 29, 2011
 |  by Krista

Snarled spaghetti, special gifts and letting go

Ben and Jess couldn’t quite figure out what was going on at dinner the other day when Rob and I put a glop of spaghetti on each of their plates but removed their forks and put the sauce out of reach. We told them they had a job to do before they could eat: untangle all the noodles without breaking them. With the grins of children who have just been told to play with their food, they dove into their assignment with gusto.

As per the Kick-off craft instructions, we read the story of the rich, young ruler as our offspring prudently picked away at their pasta. At first, the meaning of the parable went over Jess’s head, but I think she got it in the end. Ben understood every nuance: Once we’re tangled in worldly things, it’s awfully hard to get untangled! And the MORE we have (i.e. the bigger the ball of spaghetti), the harder it is to separate from it.

It was an amusing, memorable exercise. (As a side note, we didn’t rinse our pasta after it was cooked. That made the job a little more challenging.)

* * *

As God’s perfect timing would have it, Jessica brought home a book from school that led to a great teachable moment. It was the story of a boy who is envious of the seemingly perfect life of one of his classmates. His idol, Tommy, is popular, athletic, charismatic, artistic and owns a really cool bike. Later in the narrative, though, we discover that Tommy’s seemingly unblemished life is marred by the fact that he struggles to read. It was a lovely tale with a clear message that everyone has their own special gifts and we should use them in service to each other.

The book sparked a great conversation with Jessica about her own talents and abilities, and those of her classmates. She fairly quickly came to the conclusion that she is happy with who she is and what she can do. I was thrilled to hear it!

* * *

Just the other day, we tackled the Hands-on option called “Closet Clean-Up”. We chose to weed through the kids’ closets, toy and bookshelves. Just over a year ago, we did the same thing for the Generosity lesson, so the concept wasn’t entirely new.

Benjamin is learning to let go of whole sets of things even if there’s one book or toy in a series that he might still be tempted to hang on to. After I explained why someone else might appreciate receiving a complete collection, he was able to offer them up willingly.

Likewise, with a bit of coaching, Jessica was able to part with a pile of books on the condition that we “read them just one more time before they go.” She was very proud to give a stack of early reader books to her former kindergarten teacher at school.

It’s all good stuff. The lesson is hitting its mark!

Related Lesson: Contentedness