If you don’t face your fears, then you don’t get to play with the kittens
After a bumpy week, behaviorally speaking, with my eight-year-old, I could tell I needed to spend some one-on-one time with my boy. So, I took him to work with me. This time together is something I cherish because I get to show him how we make our living, and I have the opportunity to teach lessons about life, work and also investing. And when we loaded the truck up that morning, I had no idea the lessons that were about to be learned.
Our first stop was at a flip that is sitting while the guys finish up on another project. There, my son and I unloaded some lumber. I purposefully chose things for the day that would be labor intensive because I want to instill a strong work ethic in him. Manual labor is a great way to learn to keep going, even when it is hard.
Next, we went to Home Depot to get supplies for the day. We had two tasks. The first was to fix a broken water pipe at a rental and the second was to spread pine straw, mulch and then put out steppingstones at a flip that’s about to hit the market.
At the store, we are able to learn about different kinds of pipe, which types of pipe glue you need and why Teflon tape is important. He thought Teflon was funny word.
We also loaded 40 bags of mulch, five bales of pine straw and 16 stepping stones.
We left and headed to the rental. We arrived and got out the plumbing toolbox and the materials we just purchased. But as I started to go under the house, my son asked, with a slight quiver in his voice, “Do you want me to go under there too?”
When I said “Yes,” he was visibly shaken. When I asked him what was up, he wanted to know if there were any snakes under the house.
This was interesting to me. You see, I don’t like snakes. I mean I really don’t like them. Do they put me in the fetal position? No. Can I pick them up and get them out of the way? Yes. Do I enjoy it? Why, no! So, I understood my son’s hesitancy, but I didn’t know it existed until right then. But he pushed through and we got the pipe fixed.
Next, we went to do the landscaping. This was the part I was wanting to work on the most. My son is strong and fast, but he tends to run out of energy quickly. And one of the best ways to work on endurance is with long, slow labor like moving mulch bags and spreading them.
We had been going for about an hour when my son said he heard kittens crying under the house. At first, I was going to climb under the house and get them myself. But then, I noticed I could remove a foundation vent and gain access more easily.
Once we took the vent out, one kitten was easily obtained. But the others quickly scattered out of arm’s reach. I told my son he was going to have to climb through the vent hole after them. Once again, he became visibly shaken and asked about snakes. At this point I knew he had to be the one to get the kittens so that he could face this fear.
I tried to rationalize with him saying that there were probably no snakes under there because they would’ve eaten the kittens already if there were.
He was still scared. So I defaulted to scriptures to help with this battle. I referenced the psalms where David says Yahweh was his strength, his shield and his deliverance. And I asked my son if he believed the same. He said that he did. We then prayed for strength to overcome his fears and for courage to save the kittens.
When we got through, he wasn’t completely ready, but he was more resolute.
Finally, he inched his way through the vent hole and under the house. He did this not once, not twice but four times. And the whole time I was encouraging and letting him know how great it was that he was facing his fears.
Once my son got himself and all the kittens out, the pleasure of knowing that Yahweh had helped fight his fears into submission so that he could save the lives of six little kittens overtook him. It was a great moment to watch my son beaming with excitement and satisfaction over his achievement.
I was so proud of him.
The moral of the story here: fear is real. Will you master it or let it put you into submission? I hope you chose to face it and experience the joy that comes from playing with the kittens you saved.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.
Great story Joe! Your boy won the Dad lottery.