"Mommy, Beth hit me!"
"But Dana took my doll!"
"Is hitting how we solve our problems. You girls come and sit in the kitchen while I finish up the dishes." Nancy pulled opposite chairs away from the table. "Not a word while I finish up here. Then, perhaps, you will be ready to apologize to one another."
The girls stuck their tongues out and made ugly faces at one another the entire time, but Nancy said nothing.
"Well that's that for dishes until after dinner. Are you two ready to apologize to each other?"
"I guess," they both mumbled.
"That doesn't sound very sincere to me."
"I'm sorry," Beth mustered with a tentative smile.
"That's better. Dana?"
"Me too," she intoned sweetly, but made fists and mouthed, "I'll get you later."
"What was that?" Nancy queried.
"Nothing," Beth replied. "Can we go play now?"
"Yes, but remember to be kind to one another."
"How was your day, honey," Dan asked as he gave Nancy a hug and kiss.
"Another day of six and eight year olds squabbling," she sighed. Would you have the girls wash up for dinner?"
While Dan was in the middle of saying grace, Beth squealed in pain. "Dana kicked me!"
"Girls, that will be enough," Dan pronounced firmly. "Dana, move to the chair at the end of the table."
Dana moved her plate slowly, slouched in the chair, picked at her food, then began to make faces at Beth as she had done earlier.
"You better stop that," Dan warned, "or your face may freeze like that, and that would not be pretty!"
"She does it all the time in front of mom."
"So do you, Beth."
Just because mom can't see ugly faces, Dana, Beth, does not mean that it is alright to make them. Though, in a way, it is not the ugly faces that are the problem, it is ugliness in your hearts. You can have the sweetest voices and nicest faces, but God can always see if there is ugliness in our hearts. That is why He sent Jesus to clean them for us if we ask Him to. What you may get away with in front of mom, or when I am in another room, you never get past God."
Nancy chuckled. "Thank God that He is always watching, even though, in a sense, I am permanently out of the room."
Both girls lowered their eyes and said softly, "I'm sorry, Mommy." That time Nancy had no doubts of their sincerity.
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