Last night I read a story to the kids called “Wagon Wheels“. It was a part of Cyrus’ Language Arts lesson. I like to gather all of the kids around when I can, so we can get some reading time in. Here’s a summery of the story.
Wagon Wheels is about a man and his 3 sons who took advantage of the Homestead Act in 1878 which promised free land to anyone who was willing to settle the West. Ed Muldie and his boys moved or “pioneered” from Kentucky to Kansas.
They went to the city of Nicodemus which is where they had originally planned to live. But the father wasn’t content there. He thought the land was too flat and he wanted to search for land with more trees and hills.
The next part floors me. Ed, the father, left his boys who were 11, 8 and 3 to go and search for land “more his liking.” I mean, who leaves 3 children alone with only a dugout for a home?! Then it sunk in…their times were not our times. You had to risk your life just to survive and I’m quite certain the kids were more mature at younger ages than our children. They learned things I will probably never learn in my lifetime. Such as how to keep from getting mauled by wild animals, or how to hunt a fish or rabbit and then cook it to eat.
As I kept reading, something reminded me how my words as a mother can demolish any fears in my children. Here is the letter they received from their daddy when he had found land to live…
I have found fine free land
near Solomon City.
There is wood here to build a house,
and good, black dirt for growing corn and beans.
There is a map with this letter.
The map shows where I am
and where you are.
Follow the map.
Stay close to the Solomon River
until you come to the deer trail.
You will find me.
I know you can do it
because you are my fine big boys.
Love to you all, Daddy.“
In bold is what stuck out to me most. There is no hesitation there, only belief and confidence. Of course those boys were afraid, but I mean, look at what their daddy told them! He believed in those “fine big boys.”
Families who lived near the Muldie boys couldn’t believe that Ed, their father, was going to make them travel alone. I mean, I would TOTALLY be one of those families! It was crazy! Here is how the boys responded when they heard the other families saying those things,
“But we knew we could do it. Our daddy told us so.”
And guess what?! They DID do it! They traveled 150 miles and had to hunt, cook and keep themselves and each other alive. Did I mention there were wild animals?!
I can remember, not long ago, when Cyrus wanted me to draw the Detroit Tigers’ D.’ I told him “No. You need to draw it.” He replied, “Nooo!!! I can’t draw that! I don’t know how to draw.”
He walked away and started practicing. He brought it back to me and it was pretty good! I told him how proud I was of him. He replied, “But it’s not really good.” I responded with a story. I think I told him about how I didn’t always know how to draw well but when I believed in myself and tried really hard, I saw myself get better and better. I told him, “Just draw what you see.” -that’s what my daddy always told me!
So, Cyrus took my advice and now he can draw a Detroit D in 3 minutes and it’s fantastic! From there, he started becoming quite obsessed with logos and draws them really well! I’m so proud of him!
The power of my words as a mother can demolish their fears or demolish their dreams. And that is scary because I’m imperfect. I’m cranky and tired and cranky and I’m awesome at reacting instead of being patient and did I mention I’m a verbal processor?!? SO yeah.
This is why I’m thankful for grace and you should be, too. Because I know that as a mom, no matter how many kids you have, it’s really hard! When I chose to react, I should repent. Repent to them and to Him. Then, obey. Obedience in parenting our children in love and not anger because our words are extremely powerful.