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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Under the Happy Tree

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Under the Happy Tree
I don’t know if I decided to undertake today’s trip under the “Happy Tree” in our front side yard because it might make ME happy or because it might help the kids. Sometimes I think our emotions are so intertwined that what benefits me emotionally really does help them.

We did a late lunch. Something like one in the afternoon. It took that long for my kids to come out of the funk they were in due to the “no screen time” day we are having. After their attitudes last night we had to implement a consequence and that’s what I decided would be best. I hate being “mean mom,” but I figured if too much media was causing them to think that talking with their parents was boring, we had a problem.

I was so discouraged last night. Several years ago I may have pitched the whole idea if I got push back like that, but I really feel like they need to go through the ups and downs and continue on in the hard things. Otherwise, how are they ever going to manage their emotions when they are older?

So the picnic. As you can see I packed a little picnic of food they would like and set it up under the tree. I didn't bring out the Operation World book yet. I figured I would talk to them and see how they were doing. When their blood sugar had sufficiently risen, I casually approached the subject.

“I know you guys had a hard time last night with the vacation.” I start.

“It seems pointless if we’re not really going anywhere.” Boy 10 says.

“Well, I was wondering. I originally was going to go through in order, but if you were to pick four countries to visit, which would they be?”

We had a nice conversation about that. They were unanimous on Japan. England made the list as did Italy and Canada. Several U.S. sites also came up with significant disappointment that they were part of our own country (Florida and Hawaii were two).

“Well, how about we start out with the United States?” I suggest.

Girl 12.999 giggled and said sure.

United States
As I got the book, map and globe, the thunder in the not so distant mountains signaled that our time was limited. I pointed this out to give them hope that this would be a short visit. We had a pleasant time learning about our own country and talking about what might be the things we should pray for the U.S. These included:
  • That we wouldn't get into any more wars
  • That people would know what is right and wrong
  • That we would understand that we are not alone—that there are other countries out there

Then we prayed and packed up with not a drop of rain on us. That’s it.

Good intentions
I’m glad we started off with the United States. The biggest complaint I heard last night was that this trip didn't apply to them. Even though my goal was to help them see outside of themselves, I think the giant leap to Kazakhstan was too much for them. Even Jesus went in order from local to distant when he told his adult disciples that they would “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

For the little ones
I wish we had sponsored a Compassion child much earlier. We started about two to three years ago and it has been such a great experience. I know it can seem overwhelming when you have little ones to start anything new, but to start growing that relationship now with a child in another country would be so wonderful for your kids and the child whose eyes shine out of your refrigerator door where his/her picture lives with along with crayon pictures and shopping lists. Consider it.

Thanks again for coming with me on this journey! Blessings…

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