And then there's the school reports and final chats with the teachers. You kind of want to stroke the teachers, say 'Well Done' to them, get them a duvet and let them sit in a darkened room somewhere. But instead you ask them to explain what the numbers and letters mean and how well your child has done and what they could improve on. You have to be able to read 'Teacher Code', when analysing the reports. Knowing my dear boys, I add my own interpretations when I read "lively and outgoing", "a great sense of humour" and "contributes well with regard to Christianity and sharing his own experiences".
There are joys too, when I read 'personable', 'shows respect', 'polite', and 'team player', as I know that some of that is down to training. You know, the every day stuff that you train and train and train and train, until eventually it shows up on a school report or even better 'out in public'. They need to work harder at some things, especially the dull old details of spelling and punctuation, and a little less silliness here and there. There's always ways for them to improve their learning and there's things to congratulate them on.
I asked the boys to do me a school report; how well I've done this term as a mum. A brave and stupid task. I didn't bribe them with snacks as they answered. But I was in a relatively stable emotional state as I listened at the door. Apparently I'm doing well at 'serving my husband and children, making meals, disaplining (Okay, so the teacher may be right about the spelling) and being a mum'. I can live with that. But apparently I do need to 'shout less and work on my gentleness, and self-control'. Ha ha how perceptive these little people are. Can't keep much from them. A fair assessment I'd say.
We had a good chat about the reports. I explained that I was just as interested in the character bits as much as the results and grading. Got to love working on the 'heart stuff'. And we spoke about God's view of us; how we were His enemies; evil sinners who were far away from Him. And how He loved us when we were like that, and how Jesus' death on the cross meant that we can now be His adopted sons and daughters and come close to Him.
We chatted too, about how perfect our Heavenly Father is compared to us. He doesn't need to work on His self-control or silliness. He doesn't shout at us and I reckon His spelling is outstanding too. There is always going to be heart stuff for God to work on in us. He wants us to be more like Jesus and live more of a life of worship to Him. One day we will all have to stand before Him as He reads every detail of our report to us. Gulp! And then He will accept us in or turn us away, based on whether we accepted Jesus' and lived for Him, or not. It's good to ask Him what areas He'd like us to glorify Him in more. Thankfully though, He never writes 'Could Try Harder' over us. Instead in His grace, He writes over our reports, in blood-red letters, 'Accepted', 'Redeemed', 'Restored' and 'Forgiven'. That's surely one to frame and tell everyone about!
"Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."
"A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." Proverbs 21v2-3