Red Felt Pen

Yesterday was the first day Ainsley came home with homework and a worksheet she had done in class with a “grade” on it. A grade, meaning, “-1” on the top corner of the paper. I find my reaction kinda funny now that I think about it, but at the time I was like, “what? negative 1. Isn’t that little harsh? This is kindergarten.” Well, I will address this line of thinking later, but Ainsley also happened to have a tough day and her clip got moved from the blue face to the green face. On the kindergarten scale of behavior, this means she got into trouble. Blue, green, yellow and red is a call to the parent. When I asked her what happened she said she got into trouble for talking during rest time. Her friend, Lilly, was making her laugh while they were supposed to be quiet and Ainsley felt like it was unfair and wanted the clip to move back to blue.Well, of course I’m coaching her through this drama, and she tells me that her clip moves back to blue tomorrow. And I hear in my head, “your mercies are new every morning” a song by Nicole Nordeman and I think to myself, yeah, this is good. This is the way God works. We sin, ask for forgiveness and His mercies are new every morning. I’m glad Ainsley’s teacher is implementing this kind of behavior modification technique. So then I tackle the worksheet with the negative one on the corner when Jesse gets home. His immediate reaction is that it’s good because he wants Ainsley’s teachers to be hard on her. He knows she’s smart and she needs to be pushed. My conclusion is that it is good. It’s good to have an adult in Ainsley’s life who genuinely wants her to excel and learn and who is OBJECTIVE at the same time about her progress. Me, I’m totally not objective because I’m her Mom. I have a subjective view of my children and probably always will because they are MY kids. I need a plumbline, a standard, an objective observer to tell me where they are missing the mark at times. And doesn’t this so reflect our relationship with Jesus… I can go about my business thinking I am on target, when really I’m missing the mark. I have selfishness, impure motives and flat out sin in my heart. Just when I think I’m ok, is when I need Jesus to come in and give me that objective correction of a “-1” because He is the plumbline, He is the standard in which to judge by as God’s son. God loves me, and as his child He wants me to get straight A’s on all my papers, but that’s impossible. So when I fall short, His mercies are new every morning.

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