That wind! We’re fortunate the chimney pot is still on the chimney. Our chimney pot suffered severe cracks from intense heat about this time last year and it looks a bit lopsy, but has stood still throughout the year. These fierce, “wild” winds serve the purpose of uprooting the weak and I am surprised they haven’t yet found out the weakness of our chimney pot.
We like the weak to fall in the woods because, with a bit of work, they become our fuel for warmth. This is an analogy for what has been taking place amongst our family members.
This week, I have felt that the children have been challenged by blustery circumstances that have revealed areas in their character where they are weak. I am not exempt in character development either. It was an article in Time Magazine that challenged me first.
“Dweck has conducted studies with hundreds of students, mostly early adolescents, in which experimenters gave the subjects a set of difficult problems from an IQ test. Afterward, some of the young people were praised for their ability: “You must be smart at this.” Others were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.” The kids who were complimented on their intelligence were more likely to turn down the opportunity to do a challenging new task that they could learn from. “They didn’t want to do anything that could expose their deficiencies and call into question their talent,” Dweck says. Ninety percent of the kids who were praised for their hard work, however, were eager to take on the demanding new exercise.”
‘The Roar of the Tiger Mom’ By Annie Murphy Paul
TIME Jan 31, 2011
This was a very intersting article about our attitude towards parenting, but I was intrigued most by the different approach to encouragement, namely encouraging hard work. I’ve put it into practise and been making sure my ready praise of the children’s schoolwork has been for their effort and hard work rather than their achievement. These are not the circumstances that have been blustery for them, I hasten to add. They have responded well to being encouraged for working hard.
The blustery circumstances are irrelevant, but have led to a disgruntled feeling, an exposure of weakness in character and lots of discussion, study and prayer on attitude. It is our attitude that makes the roots grow deeper and ourselves stand stronger in wild and fierce, changing winds of circumstance. Our attitude is an invisible part of our being, our sphere, that determines so much of who we are, what we achieve and what we become. It becomes visible through our actions.
I love the way God has spoken to the children and me, through multiple ways. Yes, from the Bible: Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”
From our devotional: “That’s right,” agreed Grandma. “Shall I tell you something else that’s good? God is pleased by the things we do for him out of love. We may think some of our actions, or deeds, aren’t improtant, but they’re special to God because he notices the love you put into them. Giving a helping hand, a friendly smile, or an encouraging word is just as important to God as any other job.”
from The One Year Book of Family Devotions. Vol. 2
From Josiah’s Literature and Creative Writing work:
Don’t be so fast to get upset
When things don’t go your way –
But settle differences,
The loving Godly way.
Treat other’s with true kindness
And you will surely find,
That’s the way to build a friendship
That will last a long, long time.
From Ruthie’s Friday Character Building Reading:
“Some people may say that these are ‘little’ things. Maybe they are. But we must not wait for a chance to do great things. We must begin with little deeds of love.”
‘Deeds of Kindness’ Adp from ‘McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader’
I would say then that though we like having windfall wood in the physical world, there is pathetic fallacy to be found in this week’s weather and our family. We also like our weak attitudes to fall because, with a bit of hard work, they become our fuel to fire us up into effective expressions of love and warmth. This pleases God.
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”