On Sunday evening, my dear friend Norah and I hosted a Christmas pajama party for the preschool and kindergarteners of our church family. It was a small crowd, but a wonderful event, mostly thanks to the thoughtful planning of our children's minister, Erin Silver.  Erin is one of those women who is so beautiful on the outside, you are a little taken aback by how her inner beauty outshines her physical beauty. She had crafts and food and meaningful activities planned, and always has time to love on our children while parenting her own brilliant, precious toddler, Davis. It was a great event, and at the end of the evening she sent me this email retelling a part of the story of Sunday night involving her son Davis and Anna Cate, and I wanted to share it here on my blog where I seek to keep the stories of the things I want to remember about of my children.  The words below are from Erin. 

A Lesson in Grace and a Preschool Christmas Party!
 Each year the children’s ministry plans a handful of Christmas activities for children and families. This year our preschool party was hosted by Norah Pence and Sarah King and was filled with fun crafts, games, and food. This was also a pajama party so children dressed in pajamas of all colors and fabrics enjoyed one another’s company on this December evening.  The highlight of the preschool party was the book exchange. Each child brought a wrapped book and then got to choose a book from under the tree that they would get to take home. Each child drew a number and waited their turn to pick a book. Next, it was time to open the books and reveal the treasure that got to go home with them. All was going as planned until my son decided he did not want the book he had chosen. Envy of other books took over his two-year-old mind and his tired body gave into a full on tantrum. As someone coordinating the event, you can imagine the embarrassment I felt that my child was acting in such a manner. After a good 10 minutes he was still upset but I refused to let him pick another book because that seemed like a reward for bad behavior. I often base my parenting choices on what lesson will be learned from the situation and it seemed like this lesson in “getting what you wanted after throwing a fit” was not the lesson I wanted to teach. I found myself sitting on the stairs trying to reason with a two year old who wanted a different book when Anna Cate King (an older sibling helping with the party) approached us. She asked Davis if he wanted to switch books with her. Davis wiped his tear-stained face and with a smile said “yes.” She then proceeded to sit on the stairs and read it with him. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to let him swap books. After all, what was this really teaching him? If you cause enough of a fuss you will get your way? But after I thought about it, I realized that this was a lesson I wanted to teach him, a lesson in grace. You see Davis did not deserve to get his way after acting out, but Anna Cate wanted to extend grace. She knew that there was something she could do that would heal a hurt or ease the pain of someone else and that is exactly what she did. God’s grace has been extended to us through Jesus Christ. Not because we deserve it, because we all fall short, but because God loves us that much. I certainly don’t always make the best parenting choices but tonight I learned a lesson of my own. Grace is a wonderful thing that I often take for granted. Each time I read this new book with Davis, I have an opportunity to talk about grace with him. Grace that he received from Anna Cate and grace that we all receive through Jesus. May this advent season be filled with grace and love and may I remember that some lessons are best learned through children! 

Erin Silver 
Minister with Preschoolers and Children

“It's not the law of religion nor the principles of morality that define our highways and pathways to God; only by the Grace of God are we led and drawn, to God. It is His grace that conquers a multitude of flaws and in that grace, there is only favor. Favor is not achieved; favor is received.” - C. JoyBell C


Aunt said…
Sarah, thank you for sharing that darling picture of Davis. I have bern thinking so much about the pajama party story. One aspect for which I am very grateful is that Erin allowed Anna Cate to bestow her grace upon Davis in his sadness and loss of control. I am so afraid that I would have been so upset with my own child that I would have not realized the importance of accepting the balm of an angel in the form of Anna Cate. Davis received a blessing, and just think how Anna Cate's tender heart sang as she was able to calm a very disquieted little boy.