Where is this going? I'm just trying to justify, to myself, why we ended up at the local Chinese buffet this afternoon after dumping a ton of currency on groceries the day before. ( I have not been grocery shopping "for real" since before Christmas.) Every time we step foot in a restaurant, something inside me cringes. Eating out with 9 people is not exactly budget friendly and I'm forever calculating in my head how much everything would cost if it was coming out of my kitchen, served by my waitstaff. The only time I don't do this is when we eat at Shanghai Grill because I could never produce that many different kinds of oriental dishes with the groceries I purchase from Aldi. (A shout out to my favorite store! Woo Hoo!!) Anyway, we ate out and I'm ok with that....now.
We had been there for about 30 min. and the kids were in full swing of sampling every fried item on the buffet, when on my way back with my second plate; don't judge me, a man siting on the aisle asked me if those were my kids that were making multiple trips to the buffet. Not missing a beat, I proudly said, "Yes, they are!". The gentleman proceeded to compliment me on their behavior and how nicely they were dressed. "I drive city transit," he said "and you don't see kids like that any more. What ever you're doing, don't stop. It's working." About 10 minutes later, a lady stopped by our table and commented on the two younger girls' behavior she had observed while they were in the restroom. "So polite and such manners! So encouraging to see....thank you!"
After these two encounters, I turned to the kids, thanked them for their efforts and reminded them why we use manners and treat others with respect. Not only because it's pleasing to Jesus, but because it's pleasing to other people. And, being followers of Jesus we need to show His love and act as He would if He were there,.....because He is! John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
You don't have to have a large family for more than 2 minutes before you realize that everyone within a 50 yard radius is watching you. Actually, staring would be a more appropriate term. So, as a parent, I've learn to use this to my advantage. As soon as someone is misbehaving I like to gently whisper in their ear, "Everyone is watching you and they're wondering why your acting like a [take 4 years of their current age] year old." This causes them to glance around quite rapidly and reduce their behavior to silent sulking, or embarassment.
Some might disagree with this method, wanting to raise their children to not be burdened with worrying about what others think and say about them.....wanting their children to feel "Free to be their own person!" *gag* Well, this is why I choose to raise my kids to care what others think about their behavior.
I Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
We were all born in sin with a sin nature. That means it's our natural tendancy to sin against God and without his sacrifice, without the shedding his blood, without Him taking our place, we have no hope of salvation from our sin, the curse of eternal death, and seperation from our Creator. Our 4 oldest children have all come to this realization, and have surrendered their lives to Jesus, asking for His forgiveness, following His command to be baptized, and have received the infilling of the Holy Ghost! Does this mean they are perfect? NO! It does mean that when they fall, they repent, get up and keep going. It means that they are responsive to the prompting of the Holy Ghost and the Godly encouragement of their parents and those God has placed in authority over them. It means that they know that they've been "bought". They're not a slave to sin any more. They have been seperated from the "world". They are in love with Jesus and they "owe" him their lives. They represent their Creator and through their actions they are presenting Jesus to their world.
Way to go Von Haden 6! I'm so proud to be your Mother. Keep up the good work and keep pointing to Jesus through your works!
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.