The Parent Blog

Show Your Work

“Don’t freak out, mom.”

The destruction in the kitchen and the playroom are, in fact, not intentional graffiti to make me crazy, but rather just kids, learning and living and loving. I wade into the laundry room, hip deep, and thank God because I have people to call mine. And the tears that spill over in the other room because a sibling was unkind is an opportunity to hug children. A privilege.

The formula is simple:

  • Be kind.
  • Take a nap.
  • Eat vegetables.
  • Tend to the wounds of your missteps.
  • Teach grace
  • and remember the big one: Jesus loves you.

My purpose and my days are well-defined. But then I blinked, and suddenly the little problems are not quite so little anymore. Worst of all, my well-researched (and very wise) Christian answers are not satisfying anymore.


The little one came home frustrated today. She lost marks on her math test because she didn’t “show her work.” Remember that? I always thought it was to stop me from spying on smarty pants in the row ahead.
But I see something interesting here. Perhaps there is something profound in the process of personal discovery. It used to be enough to teach them the Bible story, tell them about Jesus, and answer their questions with a definitive yes (or no)!

Today, it seems that the process of working towards the truth is more important than the answer.

So tonight at dinner, I came PREPARED! Last Sunday in 3 different classrooms, they had all learned about Jesus calling Peter to walk on the water. So I casually mentioned it and waited. Sure enough, there was a conversation that included everyone. They all arrived at the same place: we can trust Jesus. But the process of getting there was astonishingly different, and I got to witness siblings, talking, laughing, processing, and showing their work. Oh my heart.

~Alison Hardman is the Stewardship Manager at The Meeting House. She is married to Ian, and mom to Sylvie, Andrew, and Katie. She is a celebrator of chaos, Jesus, and bad puns. 


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