I so appreciate the fact that Kids of Integrity doesn’t have any kind of specific timeline stamped on its lessons. We’ve tried devotionals meant to be done each day. I always felt guilty if we missed a day . . . then we’d have to do two the next day. And if we missed two or more days, then we were really up the creek! Kids of Integrity’s flexibility suits us so much better. This past week was a perfect case in point.
Rob left for a 12-day business trip on a Thursday. I thought we could easily finish off the Self-Control lesson and start a new one before he got back. Nope. I came down with the flu on Friday, and Jessica picked up the bug a few days later. By the end of the week, everybody was healthy again, but I was pooped! My parents offered to take the kids for the weekend to give me a break – hence we have not made further progress on the lesson.
On second thought, maybe our recent “simmering” is producing a richer aroma than if we had raced through the lesson. Here are a few examples:
- Jessica had been given a balloon and took it outside to play. Within minutes, it popped. Instead of bursting into tears and moping (which is what we would expect from our little drama queen), she picked up all the pieces, brought them into the house and politely asked if I could blow up another balloon for her. I was floored! Such calm, mature behaviour from a truly theatrical child can only be explained as the power of the Holy Spirit helping her to retain self-control.
- The kids have recently manufactured copious amounts of Perler Bead crafts (iron-on fuse beads). Before the beads are fused together, you have to be careful not to jiggle them off their spot on the peg board. Well, one day I accidentally bumped a yet-to-be-ironed airplane designed by my four-year-old aeronautics engineer. Uh oh. I held my breath and waited for the wail. It didn’t happen. I was able to apologize to my sad but calm daughter and offered to help her rebuild it. What a blessing to see the growth!
- Benjamin, on the other hand, has been a bit of a monkey in the past couple weeks. He squirted water on his bed with his water bottle and then also soaked the aforementioned Perler Beads (it makes them clump together). These aren’t serious shenanigans, but neither do they demonstrate the maturity he is capable of. So, we had a long talk about what God would have us do when we’re tempted to do something we shouldn’t. Shortly thereafter, Ben said, “Mommy, just now I wanted to squirt water all over the table, but I decided to show self-control instead.”
They’re learning the vocabulary. They’re learning the concepts. And their hearts are changing. Thank you, Jesus!