Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ethan was having a VERY difficult time sitting still and being quiet in church this morning. Sitting next to him was a couple I didn't remember seeing before. They looked a little severe so I was trying even more desperately than usual to keep him quiet and still (Dave had taken Dylan out, so I was on my own with the other two), and hoping against hope that he wasn't being too much of a distraction.

Since they didn't have small children with them, I was astonished when she turned to Ethan and gave him three strips of colored star stickers and a small scrap of paper. She pulled out one of the hymnals and a pen, and laying the paper on the hymnal for support, she wrote "Jesus," "God," and "Heroes" (a secondary topic of today's sermon). She then whispered to Ethan that he must listen to the pastor very carefully, and whenever he heard the pastor say the word "Jesus," he must put a purple star next to his name. "God" was a yellow star, and any mention of a hero - be it King David, Hercules, or Superman - was a green one.

It was slow going, since today was the Christmas sermon, so he used the word "Messiah" far more than any others, but he did mention David a few times, which we counted as Hero, and talked at length about "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world," so we used up the yellow stars pretty quickly.

It was just the thing. I'm ashamed I never thought of it myself, and I'm going to steal the idea and use it every week. It's a GREAT activity for his age, and it actually gets him listening to the sermon. It's a perfect idea in every way.

Then out of nowhere she produced colored pencils, and more paper, and I was wondering who in the world this angel was, and why she had all these things when she didn't have any little children of her own, and feeling wretched for having thought she looked at all severe. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and she was FAR more prepared than I was (I had forgotten to bring their usual coloring books and magnadoodles, which wouldn't matter anyway, because familiarity hath bred contempt) and with much better ideas than I could ever hope to have.

Ethan drew some pictures, and then, after asking me to write his name, he copied it. HE WROTE HIS NAME. He actually made a decent-looking A, even - something he's been fighting me on for what feels like weeks.

When the sermon was over, I thanked her profusely, and complimented her on her wonderful sticker idea.

She was SUCH a blessing, and I just hope she also had a chance to listen to the sermon a little as well!


Kerrie said...

Oh my goodness, how WONDERFUL to get good suggestions and support and HELP instead of glares and criticism!! What an awesome lady, I try to remember stuff like this so I can bless others in these situations - and you can bet I'll remember it when I have my own small children with me! :)

Jamie said...

What an awesome woman! People like that are such a blessing!

Anonymous said...

I am smiling as I read that! I saw you guys sitting by her, but had no idea she did all that. How nice, what a BLESSING!