Step 2 says, “Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.” One of the pivotal words in this step is the word “you.” Can restore you Nannette! You restore you ______ (Fill in the blank with your own name.) It doesn’t help me at all to believe that God can and will help everybody else. I have to progress in my belief that He can and will help me. One of the things I’ve learned to do to foster this belief is to keep my eyes open for little signs, personal signs, witnesses to me that the Lord is minutely aware of my situation at every moment.
A day in the life of a Home School mom is full of one-on-one tutoring. In my case I had the challenge of teaching five children who were all at different ages and stages. Five levels of reading, writing, and math – Five children with varying interests and attention spans – It’s really quite a challenge! I was always on the lookout for methods I could use to teach something to all five children at the same time. It had to be something that would hold everyone’s attention. It had to be a method that allowed everyone to learn at his or her own speed and on his or her own level.
I found the good old-fashioned flash card met the criteria perfectly. One picture is worth a thousand words, especially if half of your class is too young to sit and listen to a thousand words. I made large 8×10 flash cards. It allowed us to learn the names of hundreds of things – colors, shapes, animals, Presidents of the United States, Presidents of the Church, musical instruments, leaves, flowers, famous works of art, anatomy, the planets, geographical land and water forms, countries and their capitals, events in history etc. I made good use of every simple picture I could find – old calendars, use discarded out of date textbooks that were filled with great pictures. I had a great time collecting, but I had an even more wonderful experience rotating through various subjects and presenting new cards to my children. There’s nothing like walking into the Visitor’s Center on Temple Square and having your five year old say, “Look, that picture is ‘Gethsemane’ by Harry Anderson.
We had a great experience, but I have to be honest and say that there were times when it was hard and I was weary. There were times when I wondered if it was all worth it and if I was really doing what the Lord wanted me to do. Was he really aware of me and my little class of five? Would He help me keep up the pace day after day?
One night I sat on my bed until late cutting up an old calendar and gluing pictures of different kind of birds on to cards. I remember going to bed and telling the Lord that I was worn out, that it had been a hard day, and “was I doing the right thing?” The next morning we resumed our regular school day schedule. Half way through the morning I gathered everyone together. We sat on the floor in the living room and I drew out the ten new cards flash for the week, all pictures of birds. I flashed each of the cards one at a time, stating the name of the bird. The children repeated the name. We reviewed the ten cards following this same format three times. One of the birds I had selected the night before was the Cedar Waxwing, a lovely little bird, crested, mostly soft brown, black around the eyes, a yellow tipped tail, and red spots on the wings. I had never had the opportunity of meeting this bird, and when I flashed it for the children I commented that I wished we had something besides robins and sparrows in our neck of the woods. With that I finished up, put the cards away, and fixed lunch.
After lunch my oldest daughter walk her little brother over to a neighbors house. She was gone only a minute when she came bounding back into the house. “Mom, Mom, you’ve got to come and see. In the trees by path to the church there are hundreds of Cedar Waxwings.” We gathered and followed my little bird watcher to the path. Sure enough, a numberless flock of soft brown, crested, blacked eyed, yellow tip tailed birds with red spots on their wings rested in the neighbors trees nibbling away at the left over autumn fruit that hadn’t yet fallen to the ground. I stood there in amazement. I stood there looking up for a very long time. I looked up at the birds in wonder and I looked to Heaven in awe that the God of the universe would send a flock of birds to bring my children and me a message. “I am aware. I care very much. And most important, if I can deliver the birds to match you little flash card I can help you with anything.”
I’ve looked every year since and never seen another Cedar Waxwing in those trees, but if I keep my eyes and heart open I can have a “Cedar Waxwing day” seven days a week. The Lord loves to manifest Himself to us. There are always Signs.
Take a look at these beautiful birds: http://www.ownbyphotography.com/newpage5.htm
By Nannette W.
Posted Friday January 30, 2009
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W.
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