Friday, September 2, 2011

This is what I asked for...

Yesterday we started the SAHM's (Stay-at-home-mom) bible study.  Every one I have ever attended (this being my 2nd) has been a Beth Moore study.  This one on David.  I really like David, I feel like if a world-class screw up (pardon the rough language) like him can be called "a man after God's own heart" - well then there's hope for us.  I feel like God put him in that particular position to show "your heart doesn't have to be  perfect, you just have to bring all of it" for God to use you.  That's a direct quote form B-Moore herself.  Another good one is "there is a country mile difference between appeasing God and pleasing God."  Wooo, isn't that the truth. We also talked about things we ask for, and may or may not like the outcome (even though we asked for it).

I have been praying for sometime to be used in the lives of others.  I love people, as if you didn't know.  LOVE people, their hearts, what they think, where they have been and most importantly where they are going (with God's guidance).  God sure answered prayers, one of them in a way I could never have guessed.  I asked for Him to allow me to cross paths with a young person I can influence, in a positive way.  Well He gave me 13 of 'em! 

I am a middle school volleyball coach.  Ha.  Yes it's true, I'm not even kidding.  It's a lot of work, but I like it, I'm actually starting to like the girls too!  Ha ha, seriously, kidding!  These girls are between the 5th & 8th grade.  Yes they are loud, and talk way too much, goof off and get attitudes, but it's so fun to sit back and watch them interact.  To see them help, encourage and love each other.  I love the excitement they get when they do something well.  The intensity when they are trying to focus and work hard.  It's sweet how much they adore Brynnen and treat her like a sweet baby sister, well maybe a niece -nicer than siblings would be :)  I have to remind myself what 8th grade was like...oh, we were super cool, sitting at the back of the bus.  We giggled and shared lip gloss, didn't have a care in the world, besides what we were wearing tomorrow and what cute boy passed us a note during class.  Times have changed so much since I was in the 8th grade.  It breaks my heart realizing some of the things middle schoolers have to deal with.  So much divorce, death, sickness, and pressure in this God-less world.  A lot of people say "oh to be young again" I think I'd like to keep my 28 years thanks!

I didn't realize at first why I said yes to this job, I still can't even tell you how it came about.  I do know, I now have 13 extra blessings that I am SO thankful for, 14 if you include sweet Kayli that comes to watch Brynnen during practice. :)   I was expecting college age, but I am grateful God answered prayers in the only way He can...absolutely perfect! 

(A picture to come!) 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kids now-a-days, I tell ya....

Anytime I take Brynnen to the grocery story there are always several people that say "Hi" or interact with her.  Occasionally she will yell "Hi" or "Hi Freeeennn!" (hi friend) until the person, who has no clue this random toddler is saying hi and not throwing a fit, notices her.  The other day was no different.  I was unloading my groceries on the belt when this man got in line behind us and started talking to Brynnen.  After the groceries were out of the cart, I joined the "conversation", he said something to her that required a thank you- all I had to do (in my serious mommy voice) was say "Brrryynnnen"  she responded "Tain-too" (thank you).  That lead to a conversation about manners, and how disrespectful and self centered most children are now-a-days.  What happened??  We went from "yes sir/yes ma'am" to "ugh, whatever!" in a matter of 2 generations.  I wish I could blame it completely on these kids, but then I see grown men and women with the poor, self serving attitudes and I'm reminded of the sad culture we have created.  We allow children to be rude/disrespectful, not only to their parents and elders, but even friends or people they don't know.  Then we have the sweet, respectable parents, with terrible children, I'm not talking about toddlers, I'm talking 6 up through teenagers that have ZERO manners.   So I ask again WHAT HAPPENED??

One explanation: God has been taken out of everything except the church (and even in some cases, that's debatable!!).  We are sinners by nature, only by reflecting God's perfection can we even begin to show love and respect to one another, including strangers.  I also blame the media.  The media portrays the elderly as a burden (Talladega Nights scene comes to mind) , parents as idiots that let kids do and have whatever they want (again Talladega Nights, Housewives of Orange County, I could go on and on).   We allow it.  TURN IT OFF, change the channel, monitor what your children watch, this is what is influencing our future leaders!

Even magazines are teaching parents to "just go with it".  I had (key word HAD) subscribed to Family Circle, what I thought was a Christian magazine (I am almost positive we got it when I was younger...).  Anyway, the first issue I read had an article on throwing a tween/teen birthday party "that's safe, fun and controlled-while winning some serious parent points", first sign this would be a terrible article.  PS Parents, you are the adult, you shouldn't be "earning points" from your children.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with doing nice things for them, but this is how society has changed roles.  Instead of kids trying to "earn points" for rewards such as eating out, family vacation, or choice of movie, we now have parents trying so hard to please their children.  (Serious eye rolling here).  The article continues instructions to allow the kids to dj, and I quote "Okay, so you may have to listen to Lady Gaga and Kanye West over and over.  Even if some lyrics seem offensive, there are more important things to worry about.." Are you kidding me??  Let's try that again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!  Why are your children even allowed to listen to that trash??  (Do you lead by example here parents?????)

I can't even move past this, because I am so appalled that an editor would even allow this ridiculousness in the magazine.  "Even if some lyrics are offensive"- Really?? What kind of parent allows their very mold-able child(ren) to listen to offensive lyrics.  More parents just think "it's a phase" or don't want to hear the whining/screaming/slamming or whatever else kids these days do when parents make tough decisions the kid doesn't like.  Well you are right, it could be a phase, but aren't you glad I don't let my toddler run around hitting, scratching and biting- hoping "it's just a phase"???

The bible says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6)Train a child, and when he is old, are the 2 phrases that stick out- it doesn't give specific ages.  I am 28 years old and my parents call me their child (well more often refer to the 3 kids of us as "children").  That doesn't mean my parents still tell me what to do, although, I do seek advice sometimes, but it does mean until that child is out of your house, no matter the age YOU are responsible for their training, aka attitude, aka behavior.  It doesn't say "train up until 10, then let them figure it out" phases, of course. (yes you can giggle here, I did) :)

 I am by no means a perfect parent, uh, hello, have you been around her recently??-haha .  Seriously tho, I don't have a teenager, I realize this, but it has to start young.  You don't play pee-wee football, skip jr high, high school & college to be drafted.  I pray daily for Brynnen's heart as she grows.  I pray for grace and wisdom for Stephen and I as we lead her.  I know what I expect and I am willing to work hard to train her in the way she should go.  She is learning, I mean she's only been here for 18 months, we'll give her a few more ;) (wink)  Oh, and I can't take all the credit, her daddy is a ESSENTIAL part of the process. 

I could go on and on, but I'll end with this:  Let's put God back in the center of our family.  If you have made mistakes in the past, own up to them- tell your child(ren) there is going to be a new way of doing things (God's way), and be consistent.  It will be hard, especially at first, you'll want to give in to hush them up, but don't.  Pray for wisdom, for you and the kids, pray for hearts that are cultivated, and for discernment.  We are raising the future, and then they have the responsibility to raise their future, wouldn't it be helpful if the first group were "trained" the right way??

If you are a "child" reading this, and you aren't acting right- STOP.  It's not cool, or hip or even epic, it's foolishness and a slap in the face of your creator.  I have been there, you're parents have been there (maybe), become everything we weren't, you won't regret it.

Send me and e-mail or text, we would LOVE to walk this journey with you.  :)

She's a keeper!