2 cents worth of wisdom | I AM Powered to Parent

Head’s up! Here’s my 2 cents worth of wisdom for the day (puns facetiously intended)

READ Proverbs 22

We all have Proverbs 22:6 ingrained in our biblical parenting toolkit, “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We moms wonder if & pray that we have helped set our childrens’ feet on the path that God would purpose for them-using scriptures to train & fashion their character.. .But, have you ever considered the FLIPside WARNING of this exact passage? There are 2 sides to every coin, after all. It’s all how you emphasize the phrasing: “Train up a child in the way HE should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” a completely different mindset, worldview, & outcome!! Contemporary culture is PCing parents to “spare the rod” (which spoils the child). “Woe to you, O land/household, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!” Ecclesiastes 10:16. “The rod & reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” The scriptures, especially the book of Proverbs, trains us parents in the way we SHOULD go, with the confidence that if we “discipline our children, they will give us rest” (Proverbs 29). 

Ok, 2 more cents: DISCIPLINE & PUNISHMENT. I learned this lesson many years ago, before I was married, in leadership training with Bible Study Fellowship. We were empowered to tackle a room full of toddlers which had a Little Tikes slide as the temptation/centerpiece in the middle of the classroom! I was absolutely amazed at how we could manage this crew of motley minis!! We navigated minefields of dysfunction & distress with these simple imperatives:
1. We walk up the steps & slide down on our bottoms. 

2. If you choose to walk up the slide, you will be invited to have a talk with the teacher outside the door. 

….singing the chorus of “Trust & Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST & OBEY“. ..we transition from bible story to playtime.

Jubilant toddlers form a line at the steps, except for Jack. “Jack, remember, we walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” | DISCIPLINE is training a child in the way he should go.

Jack smiles and proceeds to climb the slippery slope, upward. ..to the chagrin of eager bodies, exercising a new lesson in patience, itching to slide downward. There are no willowy threats in this room, no, “I’m going to count to 3”. ..and we don’t allow the insurrection to continue until all the adults are exasperated to the point of an emotional outburst and yelling, “DON’T DO THAT!!” when we have hit our own tipping points as little ones have started to cry & meltdown.. . | PUNISHMENT is giving an apt consequence for the infraction at hand.

Nipping mutiny in the bud, as the newbie childrens leader in training, I am assigned to practice the parenting lesson. Deep breath. I reach out to take Jack’s little hand in mine, smile, & invite him to come and have a chat. Outside the door, hearing the muffled  giggles of pure joy that must seem like a world away to the little pirate prince, I kneel to eye level with the now, wide-eyed Jack. The devious smile has flipsided in reverential fear. This is when we share understanding with the little rebel :: Logic + Love. “Jack, what is the rule for enjoying the slide?” Respectfully he answers, “We walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” “Yes”, I explain, “This way, everyone will safely enjoy the slide. I care about you and all the children here. I want you to be able to enjoy the slide. In fact, Jack, you are the oldest boy in this class. You could be the leader and show everyone how to use the slide safely! Are you ready to go back and try it again?” nod, nod. big smile!

Jack, a 3 year old, rose up to the challenge! He obeyed the rules of the slide & led his classmates, cautioning those who would start to backslide. He also came to trust my loving authority and would save a seat for me next to him at snacktime each week!! A disciplined son gives rest. 

What pocketful of parenting gems have you gleaned from this month’s 31 for 31 challenge in the Book of Proverbs? 

#IAMWise #IAMPowered #IAMPoweredToParent …COMING SOON to the I AM Powered Series



I AM Wise | Proverbs 31 for 31

May’s I AM Powered theme is I AM Wise 

“To know wisdom & instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive discernment in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, & equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge & discretion to the youth-Let wise hear & increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb & a saying, the words of the wise & their riddles. The fear|reverence of The LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom & instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7 

Solomon’s words of wisdom for the wise & warnings for the fool are encouraged today as Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias urges, “Let my people think”. Let each of us be built up & so build up our children to read well & think well. Wise men do still seek The Great I AM.

an apple a day | Let’s each read 1 chapter from the book of Proverbs on each of the month of May. 31 for 31

PLEASE SHARE PROVERBS & RIDDLES in the comments below & let’s think well, being transformed by the renewing of our minds! 

Who’s in the forum?

I am Thankful for Art & People

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.” Proverbs

"call things" detail from "Whispering", 2007-8 by Jaume Plensa. art installation at The Cleveland Clinic
“call things” detail from “Whispering”, 2007-8 by Jaume Plensa. art installation at The Cleveland Clinic

Could the recalcitrant, college-bound teen, teetering the tightrope of doling respect for & desiring respite from her mother, have possibly prophesied her path? Each incoming freshman was invited to select only 2 things that best represented his/herself to the incoming class of peers.

Katy Koran, Art in the Afternoon. The Cleveland Clinic
Katy Koran, Art in the Afternoon. The Cleveland Clinic

Art & People | the 2 necessary entities required for an Art in The Afternoon discussion at The Cleveland Clinic‘s Wellness Institute. I am thankful for the opportunity to volunteer in this Arts & Medicine program designed for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. As an Art History major, all those years ago, I was passionate about the people behind the paintings. Now, with each group that tours the world class contemporary art collection, I am compassionate for the people before the paintings. In those brief lucid moments, memory loss patients recall a lifetime of adventures in dazzling detail. Each story is a precious pearl, hidden within the shell of a person with Alzheimer’s. Alan* once serenaded me from his walker, “Maryann, Maryann in the moonlight…”, recounting a song his father used to sing. For the next hour & a half, every artwork, prints to photos to paintings, seemed to stir Alan’s treasured memories of skinny dipping off cliffs along the French coastline, war, & family. The few of us gathered there who would not forget Alan’s escapades within the blink of an eye, glimpsed at a rare pearl-the abundant life-joy itself.

The wayward teen, with all the detours & downturns since, has finally rediscovered her prophesied path. Art & People. I am Thankful.

"Whispering", by Jaume Plensa 2007-8. The Cleveland Clinic.
“Whispering”, by Jaume Plensa 2007-8. The Cleveland Clinic.

“In the poet, Francois Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-42), the protagonist Gargantua and his crew are on a ship at sea when they hear strange voices in the wind. Because the air is so cold, the words quickly become inaudible and congeal into icy letters, falling soundlessly onto the deck. In Whispering, Plensa translates this poetic fantasy into an artistic reality, creating a silent stream of cascading steel text. Not just a random sequence of letters, Plensa’s Whispering spells out quotations by a wide variety of historical and literary figures, including Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Martin Luther King, among others. Plensa writes, ‘Like doors, the curtains reveal and frame our experience in the environment. Language becomes the space of memory.'”

* Names are changed for the security & privacy of patients & their families.