We've been lecturing Avery a lot it seems about the importance of listening. She's only 6, so naturally she isn't going to have an extreme attention-span, and that has gotten her into a bit of trouble at school. She is graded on an "above the line" or "below the line" scale in her class, and yesterday, she almost got a below the line for not paying attention and listening. In Kindergarten, she could get away with hearing only half of the teacher's directions and still finish her assignment but more is expected from a First Grader. One thing she is though, is honest. As soon as I pick her up from school, she begins talking about how many "above the lines" she got for the day, and in yesterday's case, how she almost got a below the line for not completely following directions (she wrote about responsibility at home instead of responsibility at school). She is so eager to do the right thing and to please us and her teachers that she immediately has to free herself in a way of the thing she didn't get quite right. She even told me, "Mama, I just want to tell the truth." Praise God that He has instilled this spirit into her, and that she cares about doing the right thing! We try not to be too hard on her, and there is definitely a fine line between when to discipline and when to just let it go.
It made me think of how I react when I have "below the line" behavior, which can be on a daily basis! Do I confess to my Lord, as a child would to a parent, or do I simply ignore my behavior and hope God does the same? He is teaching me so much by being a parent to my sweet girl. There are many lessons to be learned, and the old cliche "life is not a dress rehearsal" is so true. But, like Avery wrote to me yesterday, "I get a little frustrated that how to listen is what I always do." Listening can be boring, and to be told the same thing over and over can become tedious, unless we realize the reason behind the guidance. In our case, it's to grow our little girl into a (hopefully) wonderful, responsible adult who cares how she affects the world she lives in and is able to be the Light God wants us all to be, for Him. She's off to a great start.