can’t make this stuff up

Apr 25, 2014

Hey y’all. Just jumping over here to the ole blog to share a story from this morning. . .

I was in my happy place. Settled in my big leather chair with a blanket around my shoulders, coffee on the side table and book in my hand (especially after a 3 day solo parenting stent, including some sick kiddos and a tball double header…seriously).

My oldest was on the floor scribbling out a story about a knight battle into his journal. The 2nd boy sound asleep on the living room couch. Then my 3rd made his way down the stairs and a bee line straight to my chair (he’s a big mommy fan right now).

As usual, I asked if he wanted to grab his Bible and have a quiet time with me. He said, “no” and he snuggled his body close to my right side.

Earlier that morning I had been prompted by the Holy Spirit to have a conversation with this cuddly 4 year old, who is going through a season of “name calling”.

You see yesterday I had to drop lots of consequences because of the use of some not-so-nice names he had called his brothers. And at the end of the 3rd day on my own as a parent (while trying to pick up the disaster our home had become, so my husband would be welcomed by a haven instead of a pit), I lost my temper and raised my voice, “Stop calling names! Will you PLEASE stop! Why can’t you just stop?”.

So this morning I confessed to him that it was a little silly for me to question why he couldn’t stop, when I struggled to stop yelling. I shared how we both were struggling to control our words. And I understood that it’s hard sometimes.

Then he offered a solution, “Maybe we can stop having time outs?”.

You mean just let you do whatever you want? Hmm…I don’t think that’s the right solution. But maybe we can have some different consequences, like if you call someone a name you have to say 3 nice things to them. Or you could help me cook lunch, or pull weeds, or wash the windows. . .”

“Oh I want to do that! Can I wash the windows?”


Then the craziest part of the story happened.

He saw my Bible on the ottoman and picked it up. Opening the front cover, my “filing” system started to fall out (anyone else keep a million papers in their Bible? oh, just me?).

He found a map of the patriarchs, which we looked at for a while.

Then he opened a paper labeled, “Bible Reading Schedule, Summer 2011, Lessons from Proverbs” from my older boys’ school.

AND THEN he pointed to some words and said, “I want to read these verses”. 

“You mean the ones labeled, ‘Reproof & Correction’?”


So I start reading the verses. . .

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. {Proverbs 29:15}

A child left to himself. “let him do whatever he wants”…

Then this. . .

Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.  {Proverbs 29:17}

Without any formal kind of devotion time, truth made it’s way into his little heart. The reason for the timeouts and the consequences. . .grace, peace, delight.

Good things come from correction.

For me and him.

*FYI. This is not a discussion on spanking/the rod/discipline, just a story about a mom, her son and God’s word. But if you want a great book on the topic of what these words, “rod of correction” and “discipline” actually mean (Hebrew origin). . .check out Clay Clarkson’s book, Heartfelt Discipline

 (amazon affiliate link).



  1. Dawn

    This is our house right now. Our four year old seems to delight in name calling and potty talk. And it frustrates my husband and I to the point of yelling.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      This being my 3rd boy, in my mind I know this is just a stage, but in the moment my emotions take over and I definitely get frustrated. Typically it’s emotions which lead him to name calling, so I really can’t get too upset. We both need help with self-control! Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone, Dawn! have a great weekend.

  2. Katie Bennett

    “As usual, I asked if he wanted to grab his Bible and have a quiet time with me.” I love this. I’m new to your blog, but found it after listening to your interview on How They Blog. Thank you for being a model of spiritual parenting for me. I am so doing this with my daughter and will continue reading!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Wow Katie! honored by your sweet words. Only by God’s grace. . .look forward to getting to know you! blessings!

  3. Narelle

    Hi Heather

    Thanks for the recent blogs about tricky 4 year olds. Really timely for me. I have missed your blog voice… the podcasts are great but I don’t always have time or opportunity to listen in. 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you for the encouragement Narelle! Good to hear I’ve been missed. Podcasting has been super great for me to meet & learn from others who I interview. I know it’s hard to listen to them. My favorite time to listen is on my phone while I’m grocery shopping or folding laundry. Thank you for enjoying the posts I’ve written. . .hard to make time to write but given how his story turned out I’m thankful now that I took the time. blessings.


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