Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Lesson on Tolerance

God definitely has a sense of humor.  I mean really.  He does.  In fact, He is probably up there giggling away right now.  Which is good.  It would not be as fun if He were just so serious all the time.

So, you are probably wondering what happened.  I'll tell you.

Elizabeth, our oldest, was a happy single child until Jo came along when she was 9.  Then, all of the sudden, she had to SHARE stuff.  Like HER stuff.  All the time.  With a BABY!

So now Jo is 3 and Elizabeth is 12 and they share a room.  A very small room.  They sleep on twin bunk beds, but Jo usually ends up in Elizabeth's bed by morning.  Jo doesn't wear socks to bed, so her feet are cold.  That's why she gets into Elizabeth bed in the morning.  Elizabeth makes a great foot warmer.  According to Jo.  Elizabeth does not agree.  She does not like to be awakened in the early morning with cold feet on her legs.  But Jo is adamant that there is nowhere else that her chilly feet want to be in the morning.

And Jo is very dramatic.  She tends to cry.  A lot.  Everyday.  She cries when she doesn't get what she wants (and this is NOT because she had gotten used to getting what she wanted.  Crying gets her nowhere, but she just does it.)  She cries when she THINKS she might not get what she wants.  Sometimes, for good measure, she cries when she DOES get what she wants.  She cries whenever anyone leaves the house and she can't go.  She cries when you do take her and then she wants to be home.  Elizabeth does not like all this crying.  There was not all this crying before Jo came along.  And sometimes, Elizabeth gets very ANGRY at Jo for all this crying.

And for the cold feet in the morning.

And for other things that 3 year olds tend to do to their older sisters because they adore their older sisters who are incredibly awesome people.

And sometimes Elizabeth YELLS at Jo for these things rather than talking with her with respect.  And sometimes she is not so nice to Jo.

So, at our family meeting, we addressed this issue.  Jo decided that she should respect Elizabeth's space and try not to cry so much (so that she could get stickers and go somewhere fun with Mommy!) and Elizabeth admitted that she is not very tolerant.  She said that she thought that it would be a good idea for her to pray about this and ask God to help her work on her patience and tolerance.

So she did, and God did just that.

In His own style.

Elizabeth is in middle school where you get to pick your electives.  She is in band and then picked shop and drama as her electives with home ec and art being her last very last bottom of the pile choices.  So, first semester she got home ec.  Go figure.  But, they told her to just stick it out because if she did, then she would have drama for second semester.  Ok.  So she cooked and sewed her way through first semester.  Those of you who know my Elizabeth know that this is a pretty ridiculous class for her.  She can cook anything anywhere with her eyes closed and knows her way around a pattern and sewing machine, but she stuck it out looking forward to the carrot of drama before her nose.

Then she prayed to be taught patience and tolerance.  And she asked God to help her with this lesson.

So He decided that the best way for her to learn tolerance is to have a certain class second semester.  Can you guess what it is?  (I'll give you a's not drama)

You got it!  ART!  She does not like art.  She does not like the art teacher.  She appealed.  She was turned down.  There are 800 students.  She can not have what she wants.  Everyone is in the classes that they get and that is it.  Try again next year.  There are no other options.

So...she came home mad.  Hoppin' mad.  And I said, in my own motherly style...

Well, Liz.  You have some choices.  You can like the class or you can not like the class. BUT...your choice is not to be rude or ugly in the class.  You must learn....tolerance...for your teacher and your class.  She also knows that if she does not get an A in the class, she is not allowed to stay after school for the extra activities which include...drama!  And part of the grade for art is how the work is done, not just the end product.  Bad attitude=bad production=bad grade. (House rule.  You don't have straight A's, you don't have time to spend after school on extra stuff on Wednesdays.  She is an extremely bright child.  This is not hard for her.)

So, I am sure that God is snickering up there.  She asked for help, and she got it.  She will either learn tolerance in this class or she will give up the drama that she so badly wanted that can only be had after school on the condition of good grades.  I think that this is a much better way to teach this lesson than I could have ever thought of.  So, will I chase down her counselor and holler 'No fair!' about her schedule.  No siree bob!  I'm not meddling in this one.  God's got it all taken care always!

No comments:

Post a Comment