“Hey there’s a stick we could pretend we are reindeer!” Savannah excitedly announces and skips over to the fallen branch.

Insert big brother hearing the suggestion, and being faster, grabs the soon to be reindeer antler first.

“No Avery!  I saw it first, I want it!”

“I had it first”

“No Av-ery, I saw it first.”

“No, I saw it first”

(okay breath, I only have a second to asses the situation, and shepard my children to the heart of the matter)

I decided to start with Avery, since he is obviously the oldest, and in our home, should be the leader as far as setting the example between the two of them.  “Avery, where was your heart just then?  Were you being thoughtful and did you say, ‘Savannah you can have this stick and I will find another branch in the yard’ or were you selfish and only thought of yourself at that moment?”

“I was selfish and thought of myself.” (said with a sheepish grin of agreement)

“Now Savannah, were you also being selfish when you only thought of yourself and not the happiness of your brother in that moment?”

“Yes Mama.” she answers, with a visible acknowledgment of understanding.  “Here Avery you can have this stick, I will go find another one!”

All this played out over a reindeer antler looking branch, and why confront them BOTH about being selfish, and not the oldest that rushed in to overtake his sister?  Are we to glorify God in all that we say and do except when we are wronged, no we are to glorify God in all that we say and do.  This is not in our nature to think of others first, and this knowledge brings us to the cross, where we can repent and be forgiven.

Being a stay-at-home mama that is in the thick of it, I need to have constant encouragement and wisdom to draw from.  The first and best book that I read is the BIBLE, the second is

A very well-loved book in our home, with insightful wisdom on applying God’s word to our day-to-day happenings.  Previous to reading this book, we might have only dealt with the most selfish of the two, but behavior is only the surface of the problem.  We must get down to the heart of the matter and deal with the root sin.

See what Charlotte Mason says about character,

A child has an odious custom, so constant, that it is his quality, will be his character, if you let him alone; he is spiteful, he is sly, he is sullen.  No one is to blame for it; it was born in him.  What are you to do with such inveterate habit of nature?  Just this; treat it as a bad habit, and set up the opposite good habit.”  Parents and Children by Charlotte M. Mason, volume 2, pg. 85.

They say, ‘The child is so young; he does not know any better; but all that will come right as he grows up.’  Now, a fault of character left to itself can do no other than strengthen.”  Parents and Children by Charlotte M. Mason, volume 2, pg. 87.

Quite right Miss Mason,the Bible says

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.  But that is not the way you learned Christ!-assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24, ESV.