Tag Archive | Christian living

Am I Smarter Than a Six-Year-Old?

I’ve had multiple times to ponder that exact question and I must say that some days I’m not quite sure!

A few months back, Haley, my granddaughter, asked me what the difference was between “concentration” and “contemplation.” Wow! Good question. Not sure I’ve ever really thought about it much before. So, after a quick mental back-and-forth battle, I answered her the best I could.

Thing is, she has kept me on my toes a lot! My daughter, Stasie, and I noticed a good while back that Haley has a thing for words. It seems that every time we turn around she is coming up with a word or phrase that takes us by surprise. And, what’s more, she usually uses it in the right context, or at least pretty close.

Take for instance one drive home from Sunday morning church. Stasie and I were talking about how unusually tired we both seemed to be and were seriously debating having nap time before lunch. (Nate, my 3-year-old grandson, had already dozed off in his car seat, making our situation that much worse and our decision that much easier.) Overhearing our conversation about napping, Haley chimed in saying, “Well, I prefer to just rest.” What 6-year-old uses the word “prefer” over the words “want to”?

She got to “just rest.”

Or, take the time she asked me if I could “accelerate” through the frozen food aisle because she was cold.

Sure thing! So I chuckled and sped up.

Then there was the time she decided I not only needed to zip my winter coat, but button it as well. So she stood there facing me and, with gloved hands, began to button my coat for me. Without giving up and without taking her gloves off, she finally succeeded at getting all 4 buttons through their corresponding holes and in place. Then she stood back and exclaimed, “Well, that was a struggle!”

“Yes, honey, it sure was!”

Last week as Haley and I were waiting at the bottom of the hill for her school bus, I began asking her questions about her bus “seat-mate.” I learned that he was a boy, that he was probably 5 or 6 years old, and that he was maybe in Kindergarten. When I asked what his name was, Haley paused for a while and said, “Well, that question has me stumped!” Then, with finger raised, she said, “But I will discover it eventually!”

I’m sure you will!

I just stood there shaking my head. I’m not sure what this young lady will grow up to be or do for a living, but I suspect it will have something to do with words — either written or spoken. And I will try my best not to discourage her interest, but will instead encourage her natural ability to grasp words and their meanings. The next time she begs to join in a Scrabble game, I just might include her — even if it does mean I might lose!

Am I smarter than a 6-year-old? I’m still not sure. I like to think so — at least most of the time! One thing I do know is that this amazing granddaughter is a lot smarter than I was at her age.

But I wonder something. Haley has no idea she has a gift for words. She just uses them. When either Stasie or I comment about what she just said, you can see from her expression she’s trying to figure out why what she said was so amazing or unusual. She doesn’t see her gift or ability as anything special — yet. To her it’s as natural as breathing.

As you know, I can’t let this story end without a life lesson being learned or a life application that I need to take to heart. What I have personally taken away from these reflections is this: I know that God gives all of us different gifts and abilities. And it’s up to me to make the best use of the ones he has given specifically to me.

But I’m left wondering: Do I have a gift or ability others see in me that I may be in denial of — yet? Is there something that comes as naturally to me as breathing that I haven’t seen as anything special — yet? Is there something more I need to be doing for God that I’m not doing — yet?

I’m fairly certain the answer to all three questions is, “Yes.” If so, then I need to take some action. I need to focus on getting rid of my “yets.”


Ok, God . . . I Get the Point!

Living life around a three-year-old can be exhausting and entertaining, but it can also be educational. God seems to be using my grandson, Nate, to teach me a lot of life lessons lately. Take the most recent one, for example.

Nate and I were alone for a short time while his mom took his older sister to school. During the course of those 30 minutes, he brought a single piece of candy to me, asking me to unwrap it for him. As his grandma, it was tempting to give in to his request. But, knowing it was probably not the best “second” breakfast option and knowing his mom would strongly disapprove, I declined his request, promising him he could have it later. (As a side note, due to recent revelations of a heart health concern, we are working toward reducing his sugar intake severely. Much easier said than done this time of year!) Anyway, Nate apparently didn’t like my answer, because he promptly left the room and took it upon himself to unwrap the candy and eat it. I know because he came to me a few minutes later with chocolate on his sweet little sheepish-grinned face!

Now that he was thirsty, Nate then asked me to get him a drink. I told him I would if he could wait just a minute while I finished what I was doing. He obviously didn’t wait because the next thing I knew, I heard him frantically yelling from the kitchen, “Grandma, I need you!”

Wasting no time in getting to the kitchen, I quickly saw what had happened. This sweet little chocolate-covered-faced three-year-old had taken it upon himself to pour his own drink. The result: one cup on its side, juice all over the counter, and one little boy standing there frozen in place, not sure what to do. I thanked him for letting me know about the mess and reminded him that he should have waited. I then proceeded to clean up his mess while he (now more patiently) stood there waiting for his drink.

One lesson, twice taught, in the course of maybe five minutes. That morning it dawned on me that, very often, my responses to God’s answers to my requests are not much different than Nate’s responses were to me.

I don’t like it when I bring a request to God and he tells me I need to wait. On more than one occasion I’ve walked away and treated myself to it anyway. I’ve charged ahead with my own plan or agenda to make my request happen in MY time. Then, when everything backfires and I have a full-fledged mess on my hands, I run to God, yelling, “God, I need you.”

When that happens, I can almost hear God sigh as he lovingly takes my mess and begins the process of cleaning it up, all the while quietly whispering, “Cheryl, honey, we’ve been through this before — if only you could have waited just a little bit longer.”

The Security Light

I had yet another visual aid lesson a couple of days ago. It was after dark when I needed to make a quick trip into Knoxville. As I walked out onto my front porch and began to take that first step leading down to the driveway, I realized the security light did not come on as it should have.

“Probably another burned out bulb,” I thought.

So I slowly and cautiously stepped down. Second step, still no light.

“Yep, must be a burned out bulb. Seems like that needs to be changed much too often!” My thoughts continued.

So I slowly and cautiously took another step down. And another, gaining confidence as I went. Then, reaching the last step, boom! The light suddenly came on, illuminating my path and nearly scaring me to death. While I was thankful for the light, I was a bit frustrated that it hadn’t come on sooner. After all, it seemed to me the most dangerous and uncertain of my steps was the first one off the porch — not the one that landed me on solid ground.

As I drove and thought about a solution to the problem of the security light, I realized what a lesson in faith this was. Although I couldn’t see the first few steps I was taking, I trusted them to be there for me. Why? I had experience with these steps. The steps and I have a history together. These steps had been there when I needed them before. Why not now?

That’s the way it is with our walk with God. Very often we find ourselves in situations where it’s just too dark to see the next step in front of us. You desperately want to, but you just can’t make it out. Yet, because you have had experience with God in the past during other times of darkness he brought you through, you continue on. Because of your past history with God, you keep going forward. Maybe slowly. Most likely cautiously. But you keep going nonetheless. That’s the important thing — keep moving forward. Each circumstance we ever faced in which we stepped out in faith in God is yet another foundation on which we can stand as we take our next, often larger, step of faith.

I decided that night what I need to do with the security light is to get my ladder and re-position and tighten the screws so the light triggers a bit sooner.

As I pondered the life lesson to be learned, I decided what I need to do is re-visit God’s faithfulness in times past, grab His Word, and commit (or re-commit) a few key verses to memory. I think I’ll start with this one: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

6-8 Living

Welcome to my (still under construction, very “plain jane”) website where I plan to post a blog every Monday morning.  Yes, I know I posted this on Thursday, but bear with me!  This venture has been somewhat daunting for me who is not, in any stretch of the imagine, technology savvy.  You will just have to come back every Monday to see what’s new!

You will notice under my name a tag line called “6-8 Living.”  Let me begin by telling you how 6-8 Living came to be and what it is all about.

I have always been a bit partial to the numbers 6 and 8 because of my birthday — June 8th.  I’ll leave the year as a secret between me and 1,000 of my family, friends, and high school/college classmates and personnel.  Several years ago, I began to notice a lot of scripture verses I was memorizing had references of 6:8.  Micah 6:8.  Isaiah 6:8.  Matthew 6:8.  Romans 6:8.  You get the idea.  You probably know these yourself.  Being intrigued, I sat down with my Bible and began to search from Genesis to Revelation all the 6:8 passages.  While I initially wrote them all down, I finally settled on what I call my “Top Ten.” I believe living a life focused on these ten 6:8 references can change your life. So, periodically my blog of the week will focus on one of these passages of Scripture.

Other times my post will be a devotional thought. Whether we realize it or not, each one of us has within us lessons to share.  If you are out living a life, with all its bumps and bruises and mountain top experiences, and if you are able to discover a Biblically sound life application along the way, you have a devotional thought that will be of benefit to at least one other person. Feel free to share those with me.  You just might end up being one of my guest bloggers!

Sometimes I may post a short saying or thought and ask for your feedback. I may issue a challenge for us to do together or ask a question. Whatever I do, I expect to get some participation and responses!!! Don’t keep all your wisdom to yourself — share a bit with me!

Who knows? We may also venture into a bit of Bible study.  And we most certainly will start listing some of God’s characteristics and attributes.

Right now, the sky’s the limit as far as what will be posted. The only promise I can make to you and the only criteria I’m determined to latch on to and uphold with all my might is this: it will be God-honoring. Our life-walk is too short and our path too treacherous to ignore God’s blessings and how he is at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

So, here we go!  Thank you for partnering with me on this new journey.