Smiles and Complaints

Smiles and Complaints

A few days ago we were going out for a walk. I called our baby girl to the front door. She was on the other end of a messy lounge. Smiling, she bottom-shuffled through all the obstacles: duplo, books, cushions. She was headed for her goal and wouldn’t be stopped!

The next morning I sat her in the high chair with a bowl of porridge. Forgetting she can’t really feed herself porridge, I started to tidy the kitchen. Five minutes later, her hands, face and clothes were porridge-splattered, but she was still smiling!

You don’t need to teach joy to young children. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t worry about politics and pandemics. There is a lot we can learn from them! (Matthew 18:3)

One thing you do need to teach young children, though, is not to complain. Often, when I organise fun activities at least one child will find a reason to complain. It can be very frustrating as a parent.

But then, in my thirties, I’m still teaching myself not to complain. Since lockdown, the complaints going through my head have increased. Often they leak out of my mouth too. Even outside of Covid-19, whatever our circumstances, we can always find reasons to complain: if we’re looking.

As with children, we have to catch ourselves in the act and say ‘stop’, look to the good things God has given us, and choose to smile instead.

Since being a parent I can imagine how frustrating it must be for God. He has given us everything, and yet has to listen to all of the world’s complaints, both inward and verbal.

God doesn’t hold grudges however – and He loves us deeply. Therefore, let us confess our complaints to God, apologise, and ask Him to help us be more joyful.

‘Do all things without grumbling or disputing.’ Philippians 2:14

‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.’ Philippians 4:4

‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Theme Day Thursday

To inject some fun into our lives during this isolated time, as of this week, we have introduced ‘Theme Day Thursday’ into our homeschool week.

This week our theme was ‘Ninjas’.

We started the day making costumes, head bands, belts, swords and shurikens. The swords we cut out of cardboard, reinforced with wooden dowels and used a glue gun to cover them in tin foil.

Then we did a couple of online martial arts lessons.

Next we made sushi!

After lunch we watched some videos about the real ninjas of Japan and listened to some traditional Japanese stories and music.

While the kids watched Kung Fu Panda 2 (thank you Netflix) I prepared some potatoes for making prints. We tried to replicate Hokusai’s famous prints of Mt. Fuji.

Finally, we drew Japanese flags and looked at atlases and other books we had, with information about the country.

A good time was had by all (although there still was some complaining that needed correcting!)

If you have any ideas for next week they will be gratefully received! Please add to the comments below…

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4 Replies to “Smiles and Complaints”

  1. How totally inspired and fabulous! Wow! Dear Rebecca, your creativity is absolutely beautiful!! 🙂

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