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Monday, April 6, 2015

Wait Time-Indulgences

I attended ETSU, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN for my masters program...Art Education. I learned so much about how to teach children, different learning styles, different classroom management styles, different classroom lesson progressions, etc, etc. However, the one thing I learned that I have clung to and found applicable in every other are of life is ........wait time.

Wait time kicks in when you ask the class a question, that you want a response to, and they give you nothing. So then as the firm, professional educator that you are you wait them students out....you can give them the stink eye while you wait but I have found that waiting calmly, looking into their souls is a  much better, faster way to produce answers.

Most of the time students don't want to answer for several reasons. 1-they are too tired to put together more than 2 words cohesively. 2-they don't give one iota about what you are rambling on about. 3-they didn't read or do their homework the night before so they are sweating and praying to God that you don't call on them and reveal their shameful laziness or 4-they know the answer but they aren't about to let you or their classmates on to the fact that they enjoy learning, they in fact LOVE IT!!

So what do you do? You WAIT THEM CHILDREN OUT!!! You ask the question and even when everything inside of you wants to yell out the answer or say things like "well let me give you a hint" or "ok ok, here is the answer, we have to move on"...you just sit and stare. I LOVE IT. The awkward silence in the room makes them rethink the question and before long one or two little shaky hands go up and they begin to offer reasonable responses.

This method is SOOOOOOO applicable to every other part of our lives. I have a rule for my own 3 lovelies at home. If mom ask you a question, she will never accept the answer " I don't know". Because if you honestly don't know what your homework assignment is then you best be figuring it out. Or if you honestly don't know where your uniform shoes are for the 3rd day in a row then you had better tear the house a part before I pull out of my garage in the mini-van.

So, sometimes when I ask a question and my children can only think to answer " I don' t know" but they know that those 3 words aren't allowed they get real quiet. That is when I wait them out. I just stare at them and wait for them to think through the problem and how they can personally solve it so that I don't spend every waking minute finding shoes, homework, chargers, huggy batman and the coveted candy blanket.

We also use this in our dinner devotionals. Adam is great at asking the kids questions and getting them to think through how these lessons from long ago are applicable to our lives today. Goober is known for creating an answer that wouldn't make sense on Pluto so many times we just have to wait him out, let him think through what he has just heard and formulate something with reason to it. Believe me, its hard to not prod him or give out hints but waiting on him allows him to struggle, to wrestle with God's word and how it truly speaks to him today.

We ask the kids every Sunday to tell us how the Lord spoke to them. We simply do not allow regurgitation of the sermon...it has to be something that tells us that they were expectant to hear from God and open enough to receive it. Waiting on them to put their thoughts together, while chowing down on lunch, has led to some of our most beautiful discussions. When my 10 year old can tell me that "the resurrection of Jesus gives hope to everyone and that to be a Christian you have to believe in the resurrection"...thats good stuff. When  my 5 year old can tell me that she has lost her "scratchboard book but that its okay because when she dies she will not need it in order to spend forever with God", that is good stuff. Those are things that God whispers to them in their little minds as they struggle and think through what they have heard and apply it.

Wait time is good, its good for us to wait and see what others can produce when all the world around them is silent. Its good for us to sit and wait on the Lord to speak to our hearts. Its good for us to ask questions and honestly give the other person a moment to reflect without demanding an answer from them. Its good for us to wait for those little minds to learn grit and to not depend on their parents for the answer or hints towards the answer.

God reminds me of "wait time" constantly. I was antsy all weekend, for several reasons. The first is that I hate being sick and so anytime I tried to be productive or to produce any fun activity for my children it literally wore me out. I took too many naps to count. I was also anxious as I was waiting to hear from the Lord, I feel like I have been waiting to hear from him all year long honestly. I keep laying my desires before him and HE IS THE MASTER AT WAIT TIME!!! I'm pretty sure his answer to my requests is "wait"....but I don't wanna. So I keep begging and I keep trying to tell hiim " I don't know what you are saying"....but just like me he doesn't except that  " I dont' know" answer...because I do know. I know he wants me to wait on his timing and his perfect plan for my life and for my family's life...but waiting is hard, especially when you think you may be waiting for the answer you don't want to hear.

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