Friday, April 13, 2007

A Lesson from "The Borrowers"

We had so much fun reading "My Father's Dragon" at bedtime the last few nights - that I started in on one of my favorite books "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton. This book tells the tale of Pod & Homily Clock and their daughter Arrietty. They live underneath the kitchen floor in an old house. To quote the back cover of my book "Whatever the clocks need they simply 'borrow' from the 'human beans' who live above them."

Last night I began the tale. On page 9, we listen to Mrs May tell part of her tale. The tale from her brother's visit to the old house. "They thought human beings were just invented to do the dirty work - great slaves put there for them to use. At least that's what they told each other. But my brother said that, underneath, he thought they were frightened. It was because they were frightened, he thought, that they had grown so small. Each generation had become smaller and smaller, and more and more hidden. In the olden days, it seems, and in some parts of England, our ancesters talked quite openly abut the 'little people.'"

You have to understand that Mini-Me is a bit melancholy. She's logical and tends to over think things. I admit it, She get's the over -thinking from me. It's really bad when she's tired. I'm praying that she has the joy of the Lord and that He turns her powers for good. *L* She comes to me after we read the first chapter and she's crying.

"I don't think I like this book after all. It's giving me the creeps."
"Why?" I want to know -- immediately thinking that I shouldn't have started a new book at bed time and wondered: "Is it too late to switch to 'Mr. Popper's Penguins'"?

The Professor reminds her of the cartoon The Littles and I show her the drawings in the book. She understands that. And it finally comes out.

She didn't like the comment about them getting smaller. Of the entire first chapter, that is what she grabbed ahold of?? And I wasn't sure she was paying attention.

We get the tears to stop and she's willing to give the book another try tomorrow.

I'm sitting down at the computer, the Professor is in the other room, Mini-Me comes back. Tears again. "I wonder, do we shrink when we get scared?"

OOooooo!! This could preach!! So I stand up from my chair and told her "No, we don't shrink. Physically. But spiritually, we do."

I stood and pointed to the carpet around me. This is my territory. What happens is that we get scared from the enemy - and we take a step back. Or two steps back. And that's called "shrinking back." And when we step back, the enemy takes over our territory.

So we don't physically shrink - but we can spiritually.

I took a step forward. What happens is we start taking our territory back from the enemy.
I reminded her of my favorite lesson (So far) to teach my children's church kids -- God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but ???"

power. She responds.

Oh - no. Gotta say it like you mean it. And you gotta show muscle. God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but ???

Power. she says and she shows me muscles. Her eyes are twinkling again - her tears have stopped and she hopps back to bed.

And I'm left with a "Wow" moment. I'm left with a children's book -- and a "This could preach" moment. How does it apply to me??

I have fears. I really do. I just don't talk about them, because a) I think they're silly and b) I really believe in the power of the spoken word so I just choose not to talk about them. Believing that God and I will deal with them in time.

Probably more on His timing than mine. I'm all for keeping my flesh and not crucifying it. He seems to want to get rid of the useless stuff.....*Sigh*

A few of my fears: I have the fear of failing. (Which He has told me that Failure is NOT in His vocabulary -- so that's become a lesser fear)

I have a fear of screwing up my kids beyond repair.

I also have the fear of heights - but that, I think, is a healthy fear. Keeps me off of wobbly ladders.

So now I'm looking around, wondering, have I given any territory away by shrinking back??
Maybe. I have to admit that just maybe I have. But I feel the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in me. I'm taking back that territory. It's mine and I'm selfish. I want it back.

I'll keep you posted.

I wonder what other lessons we're going to learn from the Borrowers? I'll keep you posted on that, too.


callmekate said...

Wow! That's incredible. What a great lesson for your daughter. Since my dh started working nights, I've been reading my Bible in bed and I love it when I'm lead to a verse that reassures me of the power God gives us. I think I've given up too much territory lately. Thanks for the reminder. Thank you also for your thoughtful comment on my post, you talked about the burden of an intercessor. It sounds very interesting and it certainly describes me. Until I pray and pray, the burden stays with me. I'd like to find out more about this. I'll look into the references you mentioned. I've often wondered why I'm so sensitive when others are unphased. This could answer some questions. Thanks again. God bless!


appleleaf said...

Thanks heaps for your "Thoughtful Blogger" award! I'm very honoured and delighted. I'll get my thinking cap on straight away and nominate 5 others ASAP.
I love "The Borrowers" series, but it's not the normal sort of story about tiny folk. I think there is a melancholic, nostalgic sort of thread running through it. It's certainly written very realistically, as if the Clock family could, in fact, be true.
I found what you said about kids aged 6-12 interesting too. It seems to be the age in which many of my children's Primary School friends need to put in the least amount of work to get by. And it's all too true what you say about 8yo girls being considered "pre-adolescent" Where does the time go?

Cristina said...

Isn't it amazing when we can comfort our kids' fears in spite of our own? I was filled with fear and what ifs until I read the Trapp Family Singers, which is very different from the Sound of Music (don't judge a book by its musical). She had a passage where she spoke of our fears and worries and how this is not what God wants for us. He takes care of the birds and the flowers, why would we think he wouldn't take care of us, who he loves so much?
So don't worry, be happy.
Peace and Laughter,

jewlsntexas said...

Just in case you didn't know - there is a series of 3 books with My Father's Dragon - my son loved them. I cannot think of the names off the top of my head - but an internet search should help you to find them.

Holly said...

WOW, Amelia. This is such an excellent post. I love the way you handled this with your dd-it sounds like you were led by the Holy Spirit. I am going to remember this when I am feeling fearful and "shrinking back."
And, I hope you don't mind if I borrow your words when talking to my kids about this. I'm so glad to have read this. Holly

Anonymous said...

i loved the lesson!!
the borrowers is one of my favorite books, i'll never think of it the same again.