Sometimes the best faith lessons are taught through simple stories. These are the kinds of stories that should fill our children's heads and help form their attitudes and actions. After all, Jesus taught with simple stories (and also told us to become like children.)
"Pete the Cat" books are great examples of this. In fact, I find myself quoting these to not only my children, but also to myself. It helps, too, that many of these books come with accompanying songs. When a situation comes up that we need a reminder of a Pete motto, we simply all start jamming the Pete the Cat song. You can find many of these songs on YouTube.
In one book, Pete the Cat has new white shoes. “Pete loved his white shoes so much he sang this song: ‘I love my white shoes . . .’” But as he was walking along, he accidentally stepped in a pile of strawberries. His new white shoes were no long white, but now they were red. I love what the author says next, “Did Pete Cry? Goodness, no! He kept walking along and singing his song.” The story continues with other mishaps with his shoes changing colors, and Pete still singing a song.
With a four-year-old daughter, it is not unusual for things to go awry and then to have that sudden burst of tears. So for example, when we were on a walk and her baby stroller’s wheel broke off, or when we had to go run an errand and her favorite barrette couldn’t be found, I simply reminded her of Pete the Cat. “Did Pete Cry? Goodness, no! He kept on walking and singing his song.”
How about us, moms? Do we sometimes panic or even despair when things don’t go as planned? What if we were planning to go out with our spouse and a child throws up when we are getting ready to leave? What if we were trying to purchase a new home, but realize we don’t have enough cash for the down payment? What if we were planning on having another baby, but are having difficulty conceiving? In all matters, large or small, God is in charge of all.
This is trusting in God’s Divine Mercy. It is knowing that sometimes things are going to go seemingly bad, but because of God’s Divine Mercy for us, we know that he will take care of us. He always does. We have to remember that simple phrase that Jesus told St. Faustina to place at the bottom of His picture that she had painted of Him, “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
And just as I remind my daughter often about the Pete the Cat story and knowing that it is all going to be ok, I often need to remind myself of the Divine Mercy picture of Jesus. In fact, during this year of Mercy, I have put this image in various places around my home, and even in my car. Whenever my “white shoes” get changed, soiled, or I step in something I shouldn’t have, I look at the picture of Jesus and remember, “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
At end of Pete's shoe story, we read the moral of the story: “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song. . . .because it is all good.”
Copyright 2016 Tami Kiser
Photos courtesy of Tami Kiser. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tami Kiser is a wife, mother, teacher, author, and speaker. She runs a video production studio featuring Catholic speakers. These can be purchased or viewed on Formed. She also is the co-owner and host of a new Catholic Retreat and Cultural Center in the Carolina Mountains called Heart Ridge. She has taught everything from NFP, Zumba, cleaning toilets, Catholic crafting, the hula, bullet journaling, tap dancing, and liturgical living to Saxon Math 54 for the 10th time.