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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One thing I love about homeschooling is having the opportunity to stop, relish and learn from unexpected experiences that occur rather than having to pass those moments by.  A strict schedule or curriculum rarely affords this luxury and I'm so thankful that we can enjoy these special times.

I left one of our garden cucumbers on the dining table last night- just had one of those mommy moments where you forget to stick it back in the fridge.  Short digression: my father-in-law visited last night and we wanted to show him our cucumber-squash hybrid creation.  (What would you call that sort of thing?  A cucuash?  A squacumber?  I don't know.  Take a look at the photo posted further below and you'll see what I mean.)

Anyway, as we were having breakfast around our table this morning, Sadie noticed a caterpillar that had decided to dine with us, enjoying the fruits (or vegetables, as the case may be) of our labor.  I'm not really sure how he got there since the cucuash was in the fridge prior to his modeling debut.  We do have fresh cut flowers in a vase on our table, so maybe he was hiding behind or inside of one of the blooms.

There he is, feasting away.
I know you can't see the whole thing, but hopefully it's enough to know that's a pretty big cucumber, right?  Not to mention the wrong color.  As another aside, these are some of the best cucumbers I've ever tasted.  Somehow, they taste sweeter than our store-bought ones (which I've always thought had little to no flavor at all or sometimes even a bitter taste).  Maybe that's just because I'm not used to eating home grown vegetables (having grown up mostly a city girl and all) or maybe it has something to do with the unique nature of its creation.  Either way, I'll take it. :)

Anyway, we all watched in amazement over our honey nut cheerios as he enjoyed his cucumber breakfast.  (I know my city and "germophobic" friends (I mean that in the most loving and endearing sense of the word.) are grossed out now by that image.  Come on, though.  He's kind of cute, right?  Or maybe my daughter's love of bugs is rubbing off on me.  ;)

At any rate, we were totally engrossed (no pun intended).  The kids particularly so, as they were far more interested in what the caterpillar was doing than in listening to our bible lesson this morning.

See the two bites he's already taken? ;o)
At first, Josiah tried to swat him off, scolding him for eating our produce. lol  As expected, this met with consternation from our other two nature-loving offspring, complete with Sadie proclaiming that the caterpillar is one of God's creatures.  She's right, of course.  So, we had a conversation about how Josiah was doing something he thought was good- protecting our food and our family and looking out for us; but that Jackson and Sadie were also trying to do something good- take care of God's creatures.  My general rule is that if a creature is in their natural habitat, I will do my best to spare their life (unless they are a threat to my children or myself) but if they invade my home, all bets are off!  You are in enemy territory, buddy!  (Unless you're a cute little caterpillar or other helpless looking creature.  Then, you might have a prayer.)  By the way, the caterpillar's name is "Itchy Hungry Cucumber"...a conglomeration of what each child thought his name should be. :)

I found it more than coincidental that our bible lesson this morning was the story in Matthew 15 where Jesus tells the Pharisees and his disciples what the difference is between clean and unclean.  He explains that it's not what you put into your mouth but what comes out of it that makes you clean or unclean...from your heart.  Our kids were all acting out of a kind heart...a clean heart.  Had the Pharisees been around to witness our encounter this morning, they very well may have declared our home "unclean" and demand that we evacuate while they perform their rituals to "cleanse" it (what was it, like 7 days or more?).  But then what of the caterpillar?  He'd never have the opportunity to become the beautiful butterfly that he is destined to be.  What of us?  Where would we find shelter during this "cleansing" time and would we be able to take anything with us (clothes, etc) or would all of it be considered "unclean"?  Which is the more loving thing to do?  Adhere to strict and rigorous "rules" over one little caterpillar while leaving a family homeless and naked or nurture the caterpillar despite his invasion and let the family remain in their beloved home, clothed and well?

It's not a perfect analogy, obviously.  If our home were roach-infested I'd be the first one out the door!  But I think you get the point.  Weigh the cost, weigh the risk, and act accordingly, lovingly- in the best interest of all parties.  Don't concern yourself so much with the outside of the cup but the inside.  Don't concern yourself so much with whether a non-Christian ate the "show bread" but more so with their hunger.

I'm thankful for this teachable moment, not just for my kids but for me as well.  May we all be clean today. 

I think I'll let the caterpillar live this time.  But if he gets into my watermelon...  ;)

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