Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Driving Lessons

For his birthday, Jonah received a John Deere Gator. He affectionately calls it his "John Deere Bota" because my dad has a Kubota in which he does yard work, toots around the neighborhood, and does all sorts of grampa-ish stuff. I'm sure both tractor companies are thrilled with the misnomer.

Anyways, he LOOOOOVES his "Bota". He drives all around our yard loading, unloading, dumping, pushing, pulling, giving rides, etc. I'm convinced that there's a love for all things mechanical ingrained in boys at the moment of conception.

Strapping Woody in for a ride

Crank it up!

What good is a tailgate if it doesn't dump?
Now our driveway is not that hard. In fact, it's quite simple.

For unknown reasons, certain family members have a hard time mastering it's simplicity.

So I can understand why our three year old considers it perfectly normal to run over bushes, shrubs, flower beds, or any other type of low-lying vegetation.

A while back, Jonah was piddling around in his JDB while Bear was transplanting some trees and plants in the yard. (He's dedicated to reverse the slow destruction of our plant life. It's his cause.) Jonah asked if he could go through the bushes- a normal occurrence in our house while in a car, apparently. Bear told him no, so he put it in reverse and moved on to an alternate route. Well, 3 or 4 minutes later Jonah made his way straight through an Indian Hawthorne.

Bear proceeded to go through our discipline routine.
"Did Daddy tell you not to go through the bushes?"
"Did you obey?"
"What happens when you don't obey?"
"I get 2 spankings." (Yes, we spank. Call DFCS.)
"Come here...."
"Hey, Daddy-Can I just have 1?"
"Wait a minute! Daddy! Jesus took my punishment. He took my spankings away!"

Um, yeah. Talk about a Twix moment. We had been talking about what the cross means and how Jesus took our punishment for us, explaining mercy is not getting the judgement we deserve. Wow. He was listening. Wow. How do you answer that one?

Well, he did get a spanking. Consistency is key, right? But afterwards, we talked with him about how discipline is not punishment. Often we confuse God's discipline with punishment because it's hard. But that's what He uses to protect us and put us on the right path. And if He didn't love us, He wouldn't bother. All that from an afternoon in the yard and a mother who may need some driving lessons.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." -Hebrews 12:11
"My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."
-Proverbs 3: 11-12

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