Sunday, May 15, 2011

Perspective from Popsicles

 (Thanks go to my Mom for letting me borrow some of her pictures for this post).

- the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity
(World English Dictionary)

 Sometimes it's easy to see things
and know how important they are in life.

We want our children to recognize the value of

 Sometimes it isn't so easy to dictate how to make them understand these things
or how to import these values.

Violet had a lesson in these areas at the plant sale this year.
I think her parents did as well.

Back when I was a teenager,
my uncle took me on a road trip to go visit a prospective Bible college
and stop at some of his friends places on the way
for a traveling vacation.

He's a favorite uncle to all of his nieces and nephews,
as he's not met the girls he's meant to marry yet,
he does special trips and things for his privileged family:
fishing trips,
camping trips,
road trips.

He is the meaning of the word "fun."

On this particular trip,
he and I decided to spend the many hours driving in the car
memorizing the book of James.

(I think we actually only got the first chapter memorized.)

 I drew little cartoon pictures with each verse and showed them to him
and then we'd say the verse together
and then challenge each other to say it separately,
and then quote it together.
We'd add another verse,
amidst laughter at my desperate attempts to draw objects
to help us remember the verses
while zipping along in his car,
racing along unknown highways,
while heedlessly nibbling on bites of red licorice,
stale cheese puffs,
and sips of soda pop.

But the great part of this
is that those verses have stuck with me.
Verses in James chapter 1 ring in my brain,
usually when I call out to God after my pitiful attempts
to conquer problems on my own.

I found myself the other night
recollecting some parts of my day
calling out to God
after this came into my mind:

"If any of you lack wisdom,
let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him."
James 1:5


(Well, look!  Here's the Uncle in this picture,
creating wonderful memories with my children!)

Violet is a busy girl.

My husband says,
"She's always gotta have something going on."

 I am more of a private person.
I love people,
but I also enjoy quiet
and being alone sometimes.

But since I gave birth to this child,
I have had a shadow,
a constant  help,
a perpetual "buzz."

 If I could tap her energy and "involvement,"
we'd have a strong source of power.

 Violet likes people.
She notices everything about them.

I am "in the dark" about things half the time,
swallowed up by my insignificant brain movements.
This girl keeps me aloof to everything;
and she reads people like they are books.

My child is the tattle tale,
the help,
the guard dog,
the math-minded calculator.

She knows today what I've made at my cart sales
since the day we opened last week.


Oh, if I could have some of hers!

Tapped in to this is the desire to make some money of her own.

She sees the mobs of people that come to the plant sale,
green dollar bills stuffed in their hands.

She sees the opportunity.
She wants to help.
She knows that all this money is supposed to go toward buying
a skid loader for our Farmer.
She wants to have some spending money,
but she wants to contribute, too.

A couple of years ago,
she whipped up some clay snowmen
and ran about selling them for some random sum she decided on
and sold out of them in the first half hour.

People took pity on the little girl
with paint-stained fingers and pleading eyes.

Now, well over a few inches taller, older, and a touch more pushy,
I was convinced that the pity some felt would be abused
if I let her craft out a mountain of ugly,
half-heartily painted snowmen
that would doubtless fall apart
the moment they hit the passenger seat of the buyer's car.

not this year.

So I "helped" her mold some clay plant decor.
After impatiently waiting the allotted time for them to cure up,
she painted all the pieces,
wishing for more items to sell.

she did give a few away before the sale,
because she is a very generous person.
So, instead of vesting more of my now dwindling time
creating paint fodder for her,
I suggested she sell some Popsicles as well,
diversify her business endeavors,
not bundle "all her eggs in one basket,"
as my Farmer is fond of saying.

The morning of the sale,
 my entrepreneur was at her sales table
before I was even out of bed.

"What's she going to do out there for an hour before anybody is even here?"
I wondered.

She waited.

 I have to admit,

 it was nice having her busy for the two days
because I never had to worry about where she was.

 There was a lot of people traveling about the yard...

 a lot happening,

I was constantly answering questions about plants
or hearing people's garden tales...

 or chatting with friends who took the time
to come out and visit
and pick up a few plants while here.

I had safety in knowing this one:

 was in a penned place...

 right behind her sister's treats stand,
as well as under the watchful eye of my mom.

Violet sold out of her plant decor...

and did a great job getting her cold product into buyers hands,
even though it was somewhat brisk in the morning,
or standing in the shade.

Of course,
she seemed to be enjoying 
sampling the product every time I looked up to check on her as well.

 All in all,
it was a great experience for her:
she used lots of math skills
and social skills,
both of which she excels at.

But trouble came later.

 It involved this:
her little money pack.

When we closed up after two long days of work,
Violet carefully put her table and chair away,
and cleaned up the cooler
as instructed by her dad.

Later that evening,
we asked her how much she had made,
and she gave us a guess.

When we asked to see the money,
the truth came out:

"I can't find it.  I know it is in the house somewhere.
I put it on something white.
I just can't remember what."

I don't need to tell you that my Farmer was a bit upset with Violet.
He likes responsibility.

He sounded frustrated,
but passed it off as we were all tired,
and said she could look for it in the morning.

Long story short,
the money pouch did not turn up the next morning.

My Farmer was not pleased to hear this the next evening.

Violet has a way about her that she does not express emotion
in circumstances like this.
  I know because I have seen her hold it in when I deal
with her in school and around the house.

It comes across as she isn't concerned or doesn't care,
but I have learned that she actually just quietly takes it,
bottling it up
because she is frustrated at herself.

I didn't say anything as my Farmer went into greater detail of 
why he was disappointed and how she needed to work on her
organizational skills. 
He made her pay from her piggy bank for the Popsicles we had bought
although only charging her half,
saying we'd take some of the burden as well.

He wanted her to learn responsibility;
she does tend to lose her things often.

We later discussed the situation in the basement.
I felt he was being to hard on her,
not because of the consequences,
but just that he needed to stop talking about it.
I could see it was really starting to eat at her.

I felt it was partly our fault: she's only 8 after all,
and had done an excellent job at cleaning up,
far better than most 8 year-olds would have.
I felt we should have taken her money
or at least reminded her to put it away right away.
My Farmer agreed that this was partly true,
and I could see him softening.
I said it was probably stolen,
and we ought to let it go now.

I also am forgetful myself and know the frustration I feel 
when I cause myself endless searches
for things I thought I put somewhere
that I didn't.

I didn't know what to do.
I didn't know who was right.
My Farmer was probably right.
but I might be right, too.
It didn't really matter who was "right."
It was just a matter of how to help her learn
without crushing her spirit.

So then he and Violet prayed together.

It was helpful in putting it to rest.

 A couple days later,
Violet ran to me excited that God had answered her prayers.

Lillie had gotten to the shelf in the basement where the videos are kept,
and Violet had gone to stop her...
and there was the money pouch,
where she'd left it in her hurry to clean up.

"Happy" could hardly express the joy in her eyes.

And I don't need to tell you who was the first person
that she wanted to tell about it.

 Life's frustrations can seem overwhelming to us.

Large, cumbersome,
burdening our minds.

After we've done all we can to try to help the situation...
 sometimes we just need to step back and let go...
say a prayer and give it to God
who sees all and understands the situation.

Ask for wisdom.

Seek counsel.

Learn from error.

Join our minds
to gather what is going on
from all point of views.
It can help to understand a situation
from a perspective that perhaps 
isn't our own viewpoint.

Pray and let go.

Let God.

And in amazement,

and in His timing,

we'll see the whole picture in best perspective.

"Cast your burden upon the LORD,
and He shall sustain thee:
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22

 Linking up to:


  1. Violet learned 3 lessons. Be responsible,Mom & Dad love her no matter what. God loves her even more & Blesses her in His time, Love the pics.

  2. What a wonderful God blessed outcome for your daughter and all of you I suppose, I too am one to hurry and forget sometimes ans rely on god to clear my mind and paths to bring me back. Thanks for sharing. Have blessed day!

  3. Pray and let go...let God! That took many years for me to get that!!! God cares about the little things in our lives as well as the big. He has allowed me to find things I have lost so many times and always in his timing! Loved this post and I am very happy to have one of those special Violet creations!

  4. Beautiful story and inspired, thoughtful parenting.

    Thanks for sharing.


  5. What a beautiful story. Sweet glad she found the money. I lose stuff all the's a wonder I don't find the cereal in the refrigerator and the milk in the cupboard. ;)
    Hope your plant sell was a huge success! Your home is beautiful...enjoyed all the lovely photos throughout this post.

  6. This is such an amazing story. Your kids are lucky that you write like this and they can have it to remember and read to their kids and grandkids. I am just trying to figure out how you have time to do everything you do and do so well.

  7. what a sweet way of writing sharing memories that will last forever I enjoyed all the wonderful pictures as well

  8. What a great lesson. I need to let go and let God too.


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