Yup. I’m circling back on some things from nearly a year ago. …Which is good. We need to reflect. If I were truly Godly, when compelled to make a statement to what I experience, a true Christian response would be to bite my tongue, say a prayer, and ask the Lord to make it into question… Think on that.
It is my job to edify. The reasons why are highly important. I’ve hit on Bernard of Clairvaux before. Do you remember what I quoted from him some time ago?
There are some who seek knowledge for the purpose of knowing. That is curiosity.
There are some who seek knowledge for the purposes of being known. That is vanity.
There are some who seek knowledge for the purposes of selling it. That is greed.
There are some who seek knowledge for the purposes of edification. That is love, charity, and prudence.
It is my job to edify. I’m to teach and instruct my children. It may take the whole of my life. If it does, I’ll do so. Regardless, there is an important point to be made. Let me illustrate it.
In order to refer back to a previous blog, I must offer it as a reference, so here you go: A tale of two cities and one sweet little girl… This will provide the back story.
My daughter decided to make hot sauce again this year. She intended to grow things, cook things, bottle things, sell things for $, buy things with the $, and then give the purchased things away. Altruism, right? In most cases, yes. So she grew some things and others were kind enough to grow some for her in order to aid her in the mission.
So she grew things:
This is what she grew and a generous helping of what others grew:
Beautiful produce isn’t it? God builds amazing things. Absolutely mind boggling creations! She went onto prepare and cook things:
I love the color and feeling of life associated with this kind of project. She bottled things:
She is now at the tail end of selling things:
Next, she’ll take ALL the proceeds and buy board books, then drive them to the Blank Children’s Hospital, donate them for the purposes of being given to the child patients, and somewhere at some point, those books will help a family in some small way during the toughest of times. That is the hope and prayer, anyway…
Did you see any edification in there? Sure, there were flashy bright images, but what about instruction? Was it clear to you?
It began with heartfelt conversation on whether she should do fundraiser project again this year and what best to do with the charitable contributions. There was clear and focused consideration given to what this may entail and what the work would encompass. We defined goals that were associated with expectations. Then we set the plan in motion and she began. My daughter was given instruction on everything from which peppers were ready and suitable to pick, to how to properly use a knife and handle food, to safety concerns over using the range cooking surface. Of course things like proper addition of water to a boiling mash slurry, and what utensil to use with stainless or Teflon pots came up. Even things as insignificant as the proper way to utilize the shiny new Shark Blender were topics of conversation and teachable moments.
What about the stuff I didn’t provide pictures for? You can’t possibly know of course, but I’ll offer some clarity. I asked her to go online, as I watched her shoulder of course, and search for information on the Blank Children’s Hospital and report to me. I required a minimum of 5 pages of content from her. She found the hospital online, researched and read about it, provided a report ranging from explanations on pulminology to the STAR Center. She learned how to take money, properly count back change, organizer her pre-orders, and respond to questions at the Farmer’s Market from strangers about the whole project – IE, public speaking skills combined with the research on the hospital. It wasn’t uncommon to mention Mira, her best friend who had been a patient at Blank as well.
Side note – Some shy away from talking about Mira, since she’s with God now. I never do. I miss her. But I am urged from my very core to share the residual joy from everything that did and continues to surround her. I never tire of thinking of her, especially when I can honor her memory. I weep for the fallen, but only to satisfy our grief. Then, my tears dry and I celebrate salvation, for there are worse things than ascending, I assure you. What if I’d never met Mira or her family wasn’t so important to me? Would my walk be less sufficient? I wonder so. I don’t celebrate her loss. No. In great contrast, I celebrate her life, and will continue to as long as I am able.
I could go on a forever about the things associated with a project like this, but there is a single point to be made. I wanted my daughter to learn properly, but more specifically I want for her to learn for the sake of learning itself.
I firmly believe there are two components present in top tier teachers, regardless of their focus – learning for the sake of learning, and love… Those two are paramount and key to making instruction truly work well for students as beneficiaries.
I care about whether my daughter knows the rules on using a knife, why it is supposed to be sharp, how it is to be carried, the method in which it’s held, and technique in which to use it to avoid cutting yourself or becoming fatigued quickly, as well as things like how to wash and care for it. Is that chief on my list of things to accomplish by week’s end? Nope. However, when we’re involved with those things and I’m putting forth effort to instruct and share with her simultaneously, our connection is increased. Not only is she being taught, but our bond is further solidified. Through that bond and that time, evermore present is the opportunity to discuss things ranging from a tough day at school to why God calls little girls to heaven – I care about those things far more than culinary skills. Yet… They go hand in hand when we place Him first. The foundation is laid through our good works to shape and lay options at the feet of our children. We’re to instruct by edification. Edification comes with teaching in the traditional sense, but also showing our kids by example – especially when we don’t realize we’re instructing if you know what I mean.
Children need to witness from you, candidly, how to respond well in times of both great trial and great fortune. That’s why they call it ‘trial’ by the way – it’s a test. …And your grade will manifest itself in your child’s behavior.
You saw pictures above of a 9yr old girl who is taking part in every aspect of this small charitable venture. Our dearest of friends have contributed. You saw the parents of the little girl that continues to inspire this blog alongside my daughter.
I believe she is void some of the greatest aspects of this kind of action simply due to her age. She’s not old enough to grasp it all yet. …But she’s picking a lot up. And not just culinary skills.
It needs to be said, because some of you might actually be thinking “He’s such a great dad with such a great little girl,” that we’re just like you. I screw up as much or more often than I get it right. My little angel you see in these pictures, is a full blown terror when she gets on a roll. This blog isn’t a “Holier than thou art” work in progress. I tend to write about successes when it comes to kids, because it is more palatable than my failures. I assure you, I pray and meditate frequently on this and by no means have it all figured out. However, there is one thing I can leave you with that I’m certain is true and helpful.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
They watch me, my kids. I have to carry myself properly and instruct properly – one is coming easier to me than the other, and by the content of this blog entry you should have a handle on which. I’d bet it isn’t much different for you as a reader. Trust in Him, and when you have questions the manual is there, if only you break it open, read, and apply it…
Be salt and seek light my friends. I pray this for you and me.