What do you do when you are in the car? Let me re-phrase, what do your kids do while riding in the car? You are probably driving. My kids ask all the time for a car with a DVD player and TV. But, we drive a much older vehicle that doesn’t have those new fangled devices! 🙂 We do have a portable DVD player that we use for trips to visit family, but that is the only time we use it. I will tell you that my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE to ride in the car with friends. . . mostly because they get to watch a movie, which is really cool when you don’t normally get to do that in the car.
I totally get why people have DVD players in their car. . . first, it doesn’t cost much more to get it in a new car; second, most used vehicles probably have one; third, it entertains the kids while we are driving and hopefully leads to less fighting, arguing, etc. But I have become increasingly thankful that we do not have one in our car. God has shown me what a great opportunity with a captive audience we have while we are in the car.
When we are in the car we sing. . . and I mean sing loud! The girls love to sing and so do I. Right now we are constantly singing Christmas songs. But usually it is some sort of praise music or kids worship cd or the christian radio station. I bought a copy of the new Travis Cottrell Ring the Bells CD for Christmas. The first song is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The first time I played it in the car, both my children and I were so moved by the music. Addison said, “Mom, it almost makes me cry to hear that song.” I love how music can move us. . . the words, the instruments, the glorious sounds. We like to sing in the car.
We also do lots of talking. Now, don’t get me wrong. . . there are many an argument going on in the back seat about something, but we have some great conversations in the car. And I am talking about just driving from our house to school or to WalMart or the grocery store. Here are two recent conversations you would have heard if you were a fly inside my car.
First conversation between Ava Jane and I on our way home from ballet (just the two of us in the car):
Ava Jane: Mom, are you suppose to go this fast?
Me: Well, maybe I am just going a tad faster than I am suppose to. (I was going 60 mph in a 55 mph zone)
Ava Jane: Mom. You are disobeying.
Me: (letting my foot gradually off the gas pedal) Ava Jane, I guess you are right. Mommy is going faster than I should. But sometimes mommy’s make mistakes. I am sorry for driving too fast.
Ava Jane: It’s okay mommy. I forgive you.
2-3 minutes pass and we see a police car. . .
Ava Jane: Mommy, it’s a good thing you slowed down or you could have been in big trouble with that police man over there. Aren’t you glad I told you you were going too fast?
Me: Yes, Ava Jane. Thank you for letting mommy know. I’m glad I didn’t get a ticket. Let’s not tell daddy mommy was going too fast, huh?
Second conversation between me and Addison when the two of us were shopping on Saturday:
Addison: Mom, I called Lance “Lancey Pants” at school the other day. Is that a bad word?
Me: Well, Add, it’s not really a bad word, but it sounds like you were making fun of Lance and that could hurt his feelings. It is not kind to make fun of someone. The Bible tells us “not to let any unwholesome words come out of our mouth and to build each other up and encourage one another.”
Addison: I am sorry I said that, mom.
Me: Addison, you don’t have to apologize to me. Maybe you should apologize to Lance and tell him you won’t say unkind things again. And then maybe you should talk to God and tell him you are sorry and ask him to help you be an encourager to your friends. God likes to help you do what the Bible says.
Addison: Mom, I am trying to talk to him, but you won’t be quiet long enough for me to tell him.
A couple of minutes pass and she begins to tell me about another little fella in her class that tends to get in trouble a lot. Here is the conversation:
Addison: Mom, why does (xyz) love the devil?
Me: What? I don’t think he loves the devil, honey.
Addison: Well, then why does he sin so much?
Me: (blown away and wondering how to respond) Well, maybe he doesn’t know about God and how much God loves him and how God wants him to act?
Addison: Well, he sure does disobey a lot at school. I don’t think he knows the One True God. Maybe he worships another god.
Me: Honey, what other god are you talking about?
Addison: Well, there are lots of other little gods, but only One True God. Maybe like that little golden calf we read about in the Bible.
Me: (again, not sure how to respond – after all, we did just read the story about the golden calf and how people worshipped that instead of God) Huh? Well, here’s what I think. . . you should pray for (xyz) that he would want to know the One True God and that he would want to obey God.
Addison: That’s a good idea, mom.
And at bedtime last night Addison prayed for her friend that he would know the One True God and would want to obey Him. Wow! What a learning opportunity we had through our conversation in the car.
So, here is my challenge to you. . . take a day or a week and turn off the TV in your car. Listen to Christmas music. . . pop in a kids worship cd. . . talk to you kids. . . or better yet. . . try driving in silence and see what your kids might want to talk to you about. My conversation with Addison came when we had no music playing. . . it was just quiet. And she had something on her mind that she wanted to talk to me about. I am soooo thankful for the opportunity we had to share together. There are so many distractions in this world. The car is such a perfect place to share some sweet time with your kiddos.
I’d love to hear how this goes for you! Share a conversation or a special time you shared in the car with your kids.