Tonight, Gracie had copied down Jeremiah 29:11 to put next to her bed so she can read it every night & every morning. The verse talks about God having a plan for our lives and how He has plans for good things to happen to us and has plans to give us hope. She has a girl in her class named Hope. Here is a paraphrased conversation we had:
Hope, in my class, her real name is Christian.
Yeah. So like, Christian and Hope. You're a Christian and you can have hope!
I love that she made that connection. I don't know anything about this little girl's family, but I'm assuming they have a Christian faith, you think?!?! LOL
I also copied down the verse about "In my Father's house are many mansions......." so that she could tape that one up to read often. Gracie thinks it's so neat to think about a mansion. I do too. Of course, talking about this type of thing really sets off my literal minded daughter. She wants to know all sorts of things about what God looks like and what a soul looks like, etc. I don't know these answers and she really wants some answers. I try to tell her that because God is God, everything will be perfect in Heaven and we won't want to change anything so it doesn't really matter about the answers to some of our questions. I try to say all of that without making it sound like her questions are dumb because they're not dumb. It's just that I don't know the answers. Really, I love that she has the questions. I love that she thinks about these things.
She told me that she had been reading the stories (in the Bible) in order and she was where the men were with Abraham and Sarai had laughed. I decided to read some of the next part to her and it was where Abraham was asking God to spare Sodom & Gomorrah. I'm glad I chose to read the next part to her. The men came to Lot's house asking him to send the men out so they could have s** with them. Later, Lot's daughters decided to do some less than favorable activities with their father. Right or wrong, I kept pausing and skimming ahead and skipping parts. Some people may say I shouldn't skip them; some may say I should skip them. Whatever the right answer is, I did skip some parts.
The thing is, Gracie is a smart girl and the girl doesn't need me to read it to her. She can read it herself-and probably already has, truth be told! She's been reading that Bible by herself since midway through Kindergarten. She said, "Why do you keep pausing? Are you reading ahead?" Goodness! I love that she wants to read the Bible and I in no way EVER want to discourage her from reading it, but I'm a little leery for her to be reading some of it right now. Her Bible is a NIV version for children. It's the "real" Bible just with simpler vocabulary. For example: it doesn't say, "The men wanted to lay with........" No. It says, "We want to have s** with them." It doesn't say something about the daughters "being with child." No. It says, "They became preg**nt....."
I guess my thinking is that if my sweet girl is reading the Bible then surely God will bless that. I will pray that God will bless her reading of the Bible and that He will allow her mind to understand the things she needs to understand right now and that He will shield her from dwelling too much on the things she doesn't need to know or understand yet. I would appreciate any prayers you could send up too!
One area where Gracie struggles is in talking to other people, specifically adults. We laugh about her being in a "Gracie bubble" (kind of like her daddy!) It's funny: last week when I was volunteering at her school, it was a kinda crazy day. It was picture day and they went to do that at the same time they should have been going to lunch. The little boy I help was pushing his limits with me to say the least. It was just a little hectic. I was complimenting Gracie on having good behavior at school and not being swayed into acting bad even though sometimes it may look like fun. She said something like, "Well, sometimes I don't really want to talk to people so it's okay." It was even funnier later at lunch when she was talking (she got to sit outside with a few other kids). The little boy who sits next to her in class and who apparently is always trying to get her to talk (I had just seen him trying to get her to talk and she just sat there ignoring him with this smile on her face!) pointed at her and said, "She talked! SUCCESS!" It was so funny!
Anyway, it's okay with us if she doesn't want to talk to kids when she shouldn't be talking. However, if an adult is talking to her she needs to respond. She is constantly being "rude" when adults talk to her. After a soccer game one of the parents will say "good job" to her and she'll just turn her head and walk off. Someone will speak to her at church and she'll barely acknowledge them and walk away. At soccer practice, her coach was trying to instruct her on something and she walked away. UGH! We have been over & over the "yes maam" and "no maam" lectures-and we prompt her to say the right thing if we see her walking away from someone. I don't think she's trying to be rude. It's just......I don't really know what her deal is with it!
Today, Chris was really upset at her for the way she had walked away from the soccer coach so she got some privileges taken away (no books for the rest of the day-UGH-I just realized I read to her tonight-oops and no iPod for 2 days) and I had her write about how she should act. Again, I know some people are against writing as punishment, but I feel this will help her think through how she should act.
I was really happy tonight at Life Group though. This "newish" couple at church complimented both Gracie & Katie. It feels SO good to hear things like that. They have 1 child out of college, 1 child in college and a Senior in high school. Mrs. W teared up one time talking about going through a bit of the "empty nest" syndrome right now. We told them about some of the problems we're having with Gracie not talking to adults the right way and she was quick to assure us that Gracie had talked to her that night just fine. Gracie had also started reading to her before Life Group began. It was a Patricia Polacco book and those can be quite long. I had told Gracie that she might not want to listen to the whole book, but she assured me later that Gracie could read to her; that she enjoyed it. I love it when "older" people (they're not old but not our age) pay attention to my children. It feels good!
Anyway, here is a picture of what Gracie wrote. You will probably have to click on the picture to make it bigger. I had to give her some clues at the end in order for her to fill up the whole page. I prompted her to put the part about God.
Baby Caroline is home!!!!!!!!!!! We're so happy about that! Her 5-7 day hospital stay ended up lasting about 8 weeks!