Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Move over Jackson 5

We're about to have 5 kids. There's no stopping us, really. Providence and Malachi are already on their way. Well.... maybe....

I love the "Baby/Jesus Loves Me" medley. And I love that Malachi can sing so many different tunes to Provi's G/C/D chords. (Or at least that's what she tells me she was playing. I have no clue.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Did you know it talks about S*E*X in the Bible

Provi has had some stellar blogging material for me lately. I almost always ask her permission to blog something she's done or said or written before doing so, and the last few times she's actually told me no. Said I always embarrass her. Abruptly followed by .... "And don't tell me it's your job to embarrass me." Have I ever actually said that (out loud)?

But tonight was one I just couldn't pass up. We bought a new Bible for Provi. It's called "True Images". Well, actually it's called The Bible .... but anyway .... In this True Images Bible, there are a lot of real life struggles that young girls are going to face in today's world, and it addresses how to view them from a Biblical perspective. The recommended ages are 13-16 years old, but I think they need to change that. Our kids are already hearing about this stuff earlier than 13, and besides, I actually wouldn't mind the first place they hear of it be in the Bible... at home ....where I am. From what I can tell, this Bible addresses everything Provi is already hearing kids talk about at school. It goes from self-esteem, to true inner beauty, to eating disorders, to friendship and dating, to confidence, and yes ... S*E*X.

Apparently, sex becomes "cool" in about 3rd grade nowadays. (Did I just say nowadays???) SCARY!!! So in our conversations with her about this topic, we've tried to make sure she understands that she needs to be getting her information from us, not the kids in her class .... because they are wrong. We've had some really great conversations, and she's generally pretty open with us in telling us the current topic of conversation amongst her classmates. (And they are usually wrong.) We appreciate when she initiates these conversations about when sex is being talked about, and I think she's starting to get that.

Back to the Bible. She dove right into her new Bible. She's determined to read it straight through. I remember attempting that somewhere during Elementary school. I got to the word "circumcision" in Genesis and had to stop and go ask my Dad what that word meant. I don't remember what he told me, but I'm pretty sure I stopped reading through the Bible then. Anyway .... tonight Provi comes over to me while I'm cooking dinner and points to one of the "True Image" sections of her new Bible. This is what I read:

Did you know that God created sex .... as a gift for us? He also created the only safe place to open this gift - a committed marriage. All other places lead to disappointment and pain. 

I smiled, and said, "Yup ... that's right!".
She replied with, "Okay, I just wanted you to know that was in here."
Trying not to chuckle and reply with a sarcastic - "WHAT? Sex is in the Bible?!?! That's it, you can't read that book anymore", I instead say, "Thanks. I know. The Bible is the #1 source for where to get your information about that. Mom and Dad are #2. The kids at school rank somewhere around 83rd on the list."

She grinned and went back to reading.

I still am laughing at the thought that she perhaps assumed I didn't know the Bible talked about sex, or that I'd have a problem with it. Nope, just those wrong kids at school I have a problem with.

Some hard, and scary years are coming around the corner for us with kids these days. (Now I just said kids these days??? That's it. I'm old.) We're thankful for the Bible (God's living, breathing Word) that speaks about things like .... you know ... S*E*X.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Loving Jesus is the best thing I can do for my kids today.

Parenting is hard. Period.

I go in spurts of feeling like we've got a good groove going when it comes to parenting. Then all of a sudden, I wake up one morning and realize that my kids messed with my groove. And all of a sudden I feel like a horrible mother who is losing my children to the world. I'm convinced that it will be because of my failures that my kids will turn into drug taking, horrible teenagers who live at home until they are 30 because they have no education and no job. Well, maybe I don't go to THAT extreme .... often. But I do open myself up to the lies that come flooding in when I feel like I'm just not doing great as a mom. And lies there are many. If you are a parent, you know just what I mean.

In the midst of these moments of failure, I'm also prone to look at one or two people in my life who seem to ALWAYS have it together. You know the ones. Then I feel like a bigger failure. Worse than that, I try to mimic their parenting style ..... for about a day ...because it only takes a day for me to be completely exhausted trying to parent in a fashion that is not within my temperament or creativeness or ability to do. I quickly remember that God made us all different, and each family looks different as a result. But I'm still stuck in my failures.

I went through years of diving into every parenting book or article I could find. They made me feel worse. I tired myself out even more with the rules and regulations, and once again - parenting in a way that did not come natural to me. So then I went through years of reading NOTHING having to do with parenting and decided I'd screw my kids up all by myself, thank you very much. As of late, I've cautiously moved back into seeking help through books and blogs that I feel will point me to Jesus in my parenting. I do this because I realize that what comes natural to me as a parent may still be sinful. It is only in Jesus that I can tackle that. I realize that the other parts of parenting that come natural to me, the ones that aren't sinful, are from Jesus - so it is to Him I look to how best to use those parts. And mostly, in whatever parenting technique of the day I choose - a whole lot of repentance is called for. So it is to Jesus I turn.

Over the past few weeks, I've fallen into one my ruts again. I told Aaron I thought we needed to re-evaluate some of our "methods". He disagreed. Our kids are kids. (Not to mention sinful ones.) There will come a day when we may need to put them on lock down due to their sin, but today is not that day. Today we point them to Jesus. And the best way to point them to Jesus at their tiny ages is for them to see a Mom and a Dad firmly rooted in Jesus. Aaron sent me a link the day after our conversation that was so very timely. I thank God for not allowing me to wallow in my failures for very long as this article was just the slap on the hand that I  needed. (With a wooden spoon even...one book told me that was okay, another one said it was abuse) And a slap on the hands filled with humor and grace will always be welcomed to this mama.

I highly recommend reading the article (if you still have time after this ridiculously long blog post). But just in case, here are a few tidbits that were my favorites:

* " They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about five foot six."

* "The breakfast bowl was a place for marshmallows, not dried camping fruit."

* "Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, think, what would Paul Tripp do?  Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] You know, Jesus wants us to love each other."

* "Could it be we’ve made parenting too complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we are as parents? They will see our character before they remember our exact rules regarding television and twinkies."

* "“I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they’re were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.” Maybe it’s not that complicated after all."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Aaron's Guitar Girl

This week Aaron dislocated his shoulder. Despite his wife's cautioning - he played his guitar this weekend anyway. He's going to have to have surgery, so perhaps he figured it couldn't hurt anything. That's beside the point. Anyway, because of his shoulder injury he isn't able to lift his left arm. One's left arm is needed for playing guitar. (Well, aparantly not, because he still played. I guess a capo makes it so you don't actually have to move your left arm very far??? What do I know though.) However, one's left arm is certainly needed to put a guitar over one's head. His left arm isn't functioning. So he asked me to hoist his guitar strap over his head for him when needed. Being the good wife that I am (ha!), I agreed. At the end of each church service this morning, I would follow him quietly on stage and slip his guitar into place while the rest of the church was praying. (Maybe people thought I was giving him a smooch right there on stage? That would be funny.)

Here's the real funny part. One of the other pastors (maybe I shouldn't admit that part) came up to us after services. He said, "Maybe no one else saw it because they were praying" .... (What was this guy doing then, I wondered? :) ) "But I couldn't help but notice your Elvis moment with Jody putting your guitar on for you. Next week I want to see towels."

Maybe you're as lost as I was. We came home and I needed Aaron to explain it to me. I guess Elvis used to have a guitar man who would put his guitar on for him. He would also hand him towels to throw at the ladies. All the single ladies. Wait ....

Perhaps after Aaron's surgery when he can't play guitar for six weeks, I will hand him towels to throw out during worship. Because that would be worshipful.

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