Leah was getting ready for her first day of pre-school. She was very excited. On their organic farm, usually it was just Leah, Mommy and Daddy. Leah could not wait to make new friends at school.
Quickly, Leah put on the new clothes that Mom had laid out on her dresser– a new jean skirt, a blue t-shirt and tights. To put on the last thing, Leah needed some help.
“Mom,” she called. “I need help.”
“I ‘m right here sweet pea,” Mom popped through the door to Leah’s room and helped her put a brace on her leg as well as her special shoes.
Mom drove Leah to the pre-school and parked the car. They went into Leah’s classroom hand in hand. Leah was bouncing with excitement.
Her teacher came over and crouched before Leah. “I am Miss Brown and I am delighted to have you in class.” Mom hugged Leah goodbye, and
Miss Brown directed Leah to a table of activities.
Leah eagerly looked around at her classmates. She moved over to a girl who was smiling at her. The two girls began putting puzzles together. Leah’s new friend was named Paulette.
The things that the pre-school class did all morning were fun to Leah. After lunch the class went out to the playground.
The other kids started running to the swings, slide, and jungle gym. Leah walked slowly with a limp towards the swing-set where Paulette had gone. To her surprise before she got to the swings, a boy ran up yelling, “Limpy, limpy, Leah. Limpy, limpy, Leah!”
Leah saw that he meant this to be mean. She froze in place and felt her face turn bright red. Tears started to form in her eyes until suddenly she felt someone come to her side. She felt an arm go around her shoulders.
“Come on Leah. Play with me,” Paulette said as she pulled Leah away from the bully.
The joy was gone from the day for Leah. When her mother picked her up, Leah tearfully told her what happened.
Leah’s mom listened with sad eyes to the story.
“My sweet and wonderful girl. I need to hold you in my lap and talk to you.” Mommy said.
When they arrived home, Mommy held Leah in the rocking chair. She kissed Leah and hugged her until the pain in Leah’s heart was much better.
“Leah, I know you are very young but there is something you need to learn now.”
Leah looked at Mommy with wide eyes and listened with concentration to what she said.
“There is nothing wrong with you. You are wonderfully made and completely beautiful.” Leah nodded then Mommy continued.
“Everyone has something in life that is a struggle. Some people have a hard time learning to read or think. Some have wounds in their spirits, like the little boy who was mean today. And some have a challenge with their body, like your limp. Anything that challenges a person is like fertilizer.”
Leah was totally confused now. She knew a lot about fertilizer since she lived on a farm. But how was a limp like fertilizer?
Her mom went on to explain,
“When we want a plant to grow, we add the compost or organic fertilizer to help feed that plant. We hoe down the weeds so they don’t grow.”
“In each of our hearts, we have good plants and weeds. The good plants make us kinder and more loving. The weeds make us bitter and hard hearted. Which plants you fertilize determines how your heart becomes.”
“Do the good plants in our hearts have names Mommy?” Leah asked.
“Yes, sweetie. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” said Leah’s mom.
“I will talk to your teacher tomorrow to ask her to teach the children about being kind. But, there will always be those who will be mean.”
“I need you to look deeper at them–see that they have wounds on the inside. They are afraid that someone will see their wounds so they draw attention to you instead. They are afraid of challenges coming to them, so they become bullies.”
“Stop and face the bully. Don’t be afraid. Look into his face and see his fear and his wounded heart. Say to yourself, “I am wonderfully made, and I choose to put fertilizer on the kindness plant not the bitter weed. Then go and play with Paulette.”
“When you know that you are perfect, just as you are, most others will learn that also. You will have a head start on the good plants growing in your heart because you will have many chances to fertilize them.”
Leah thought, “ I have a smart mommy.” She snuggled closer to soak up Mommy’s love into the good plants in her heart.