|Art by Grace, age 9|
I am sure that you have guessed it by now...
My children write on the walls.
I remember the very first time that our first child did this. He was four years old, and it was Springtime - right around Easter. I remember this, of course, only because of the artwork itself. I will never forget my shock and surprise to come up the stairs and see an anatomically correct Jesus on the cross!
At first I was upset. How dare one of my children write on the walls! That is something only heathen children do! Then I was amused. I had to admit, his artwork was pretty good - if not fit for modest eyes to see!
We spent the next few months trying to decide whether or not to wall paper around it and save it, but in the end "proper decor" won and it was covered.
Since then, one child after another has taken up this dreadful ritual. Sometimes I wonder if they take their younger siblings aside and whisper in their ear, "If you really want to get mom and dad's dander up, do this!"
We moved into this house about five months ago and put a fresh coat of paint on nearly every room of the house. Yet if you walk through right now today, you will see that someone has colored on the downstairs bathroom wall with red marker, the girls bedroom with pen or pencil, walked up the stairs holding a pencil against the wall, and the upstairs bathroom... The day after my husband did the walls they had already written their names on it!
Day after day, year after year, I scrub walls!
Anyway, in an attempt to curb this problem, we gave them a wall that they were allowed to color on.
Tada! Problem solved!
It was all wishful thinking. Now I also have chalk on every wall of the house... and on the TV... and the furniture...
At least it washes off more easily!
We had a neighbor down state who had been in a Bible study on the life of Moses. In that Bible Study she had read the verses in scripture that said:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates...
"When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?' Then you shall say to your son: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.' " (From Deuteronomy 6)
...And she took them LITERALLY. She painted scripture on the walls like a wallpaper border!
I was so sad when they moved and the new homeowner painted over it.
I was thinking about the chalk wall and realized that I could put it to good use. I have decided that it is a great place for me to write the words of God on my "doorposts" so that they will be in front of my children's eyes, knowing that God promises that His word will not return void, but will accomplish the task for which it was sent -
To penetrate the hearts of my children.
To make them ask what those words mean.
To give me an opportunity to tell them what God has done for US - because he is the LIVING God and is still doing things in the lives of his children.
Things worth talking about -
or writing about on Chalk walls. Everyday Life Matters of the Heart Motherhood