Summer Storms

Our oldest son, Andrew, has an awesome (truly) photo of a summer thunderstorm in Fort Collins, Colorado. He’s there for a summer internship with Hewlitt-Packard, and is absolutely loving his work, not to mention the mountain biking he’s able to do in his time off.

I really enjoy a good summer storm like we had last night, and love waking to the fresh air that so often follows a full-blown squall. Unfortunately, coincident with the start of our summer vacation from school I noticed a distinct uptick in the number of storms INSIDE our home. Though each one has various summer activities, my children have a great deal more time on their hands. They use it to read, bike, climb trees, pick wild raspberries, build new homes in their woodland village, climb trees, and, yes, argue. Every year it takes a few weeks before my kids remember how to best use those extra hours, and the summer squabbles happen most often in these first weeks of our school break.

I’d decided several weeks ago after reading Ephesians 4: 29-32 in Sunday school that these would be our summer verses. We discussed the passage a few times, and I posted it on the fridge. I’ve found it so helpful in dealing with these summer outbursts. Here’s how it went this morning when there was a fracas over a super-soaker water gun. It went something like this (to the best of my understanding):

Child #1: squirts child #2 who is on base (safe)
Child #2: angrily grabs super-soaker out of Child #1’s arms. Probably angry words followed.
Child #1: bites child #2
Child #1 and Child #2 come inside to mom, both feeling they are the one sinned against.

As I talked with them about what happened, we read Eph. 4: 31. They agreed that was a good description of how they were feeling and acting. Their little faces were downcast as they recognized their sin. But then I told them the next verse describes how we should act, and we read it. After receiving their punishment (different amounts of swats for child #1 and child #2) and asking forgiveness, I noticed a distinct difference in the atmosphere. Child #2 comforted child #1 who had received more swats, and they went back on their way, with the storm clouds dissipated and sunny skies returned.

I wish I could say it always works so smoothly here. It doesn’t. But I do know it is helpful for me to have Scripture passages like this in the forefront of my brain, and even better, at my fingertips, to help me use the language of Scripture as I teach and admonish my children. This one is going to remain on the fridge for some time to come.


Ephesians 4: 29-32 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Comments

SaraY said…
Hi Mrs Wegener!
This was a good time to stop in on your blog! I love the way your children are merely numbers to you...ha ha, jk, I know you're protecting reputations.
I am working at summer camp with 24 kindergarteners and I think those verses could be very applicable here. I will keep them in mind for next time something happens.
Hope your summer is going great!!
~Sara
Annie Curell said…
Anne,

You are always so encouraging to me. We have had many "storms" come up with our daughters this summer. Thank you for the scripture reference, I know I'll read and discuss this with my girls soon.

Annie Curell
Anne said…
Annie -
YOU are an encouragement to me! And thanks so much for telling me the story about the cow who was struck by lightning while she was tied up waiting to be taken to the fair, while her family was inside eating lunch. Nearly every time something went wrong on one of our 4-H projects this year, one of the kids or I would say, "At least it isn't a dead cow!"
Anne said…
Dear Sara -

(Or maybe I should say, "Miss Sara!")

I've enjoyed your posts about your experiences with your kindergarteners. I hope you are greatly enjoying your summer break, and that you will be refreshed and ready for the new school year which is coming up faster than I can believe! Kara is so excited about living with you, Jessica, and Mia. - Mrs. W

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