Some days, in what seems to be a very bizarre world, I question why I was ever chosen to be a parent. I read articles about "dropping everything and just playing" and I cringe, I can't relate. I listen to moms say things like "the laundry can wait" and I think "for who?". I don't get this mentality. This mentality that begs us to create a world where our kids are the center of the universe, putting off all responsibility and dropping what we are doing in the spirit of being the fun parent. Do people not see how this is setting us up for disaster? Is this not how Justin Bieber was created?!
I don't get what is so wrong about telling your kids to "go play" or saying "sorry, I can't drop everything for you right now, I have to wash the dishes". I've seen kids whose parents turn their days upside down trying to please their kids and fill their time for them...and I've seen their houses, sometimes neither (or both) is pleasant. And if that is how you choose to live, that is all well and good. I'm happy for you, pleased that you have found what works for you, I'm sure you will like having them live in your basement when they are forty (I kid!). But don't think for a second that my family will buy into it, or follow that recipe.
My kids will have chores. They will hear the word "no". They will be told to find something to do and sometimes getting the house clean WILL come before them. They will hear "we have work to do" or "I'm working now so we can play later". No is not a dirty word. It's a character building word!
Is it because I don't want them to feel valued? Or I want them to think that chores are more worth my time? No way! I want them to know the value of working hard and EARNING time to play! I want them to know the satisfaction and the happy tired feeling you get after a hard days work, earning your keep and doing your share. I want them to be able to entertain themselves with Lego's and books. I want them to know what it's like to have to play or be alone, and be OK with that! I want them to know that the universe does NOT revolve around them! (shocking, I know). I want them to have their priorities right (especially as kids, since teaching this concept at a later age would be all that more difficult). I want them to know that FIRST you do what you have to and THEN you do what you want to and that sometimes you don't get your way. I want them to know that you have to take care of the blessings you were given. The end.
My all time best example of the mom to be is the proverbs 31 woman. She rises early and works hard all day. She makes the most of her time and does not waste a moment. She does not have a sign on her wall that says "good moms have sticky floors and dirty ovens". She doesn't put off work for play, she works first so she can play later (I assume this one just based on her character). It doesn't say anything about putting off things for tomorrow or not getting the job done or making sure she does whatever her kids want to do (and yet they still honor and respect her!).
All of this to say, I don't feel like I fit in at all with this modern day parenting. And I honestly don't want to, I'm ok with the path we have taken. We have kids that (most) people like, who are polite and kind and are able to find something to do with their time when there is work to do that they can't contribute to. They know how to do the laundry and empty the dishwasher. They can vacuum and clean a bathroom. They can make a few meals for themselves. And I'd like to think that all that work makes our fun times sweeter, since they are earned and looked forward to and not just doled out at the whim of boredom.
And if all of that makes me a radical parent (not the 80's kind), I am good with that. I'll also be good with a basement empty of forty year olds.
Hope your week is AMAZING and full of good surprises! I've you've stopped by here, I am thankful for YOU!
1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
I am not a writer, not by any means of my imagination, I do not possess the skill or talent necessary to call myself such. Every so often, as the Lord sees fit, He allows a writer to transpose themselves with me. Any good word or sentence that has come of this blog has been a direct result of that allowed transposition. There are times that I feel so strongly the need to pour my heart out that I cannot do anything but do so. Those times, so strong with God's presence, I feel I am doing a small part of what God has called me to do. It's amazing to me, the path He has created for me. I make monsters and write a blog FOR A LIVING. That just sounds insane, now doesn't it? The even crazier part to me is that depth of audience which He has allowed me to reach, not just sewing hopefuls or stay at home moms but women who need encouragement, broken people who God speaks to through my story, MEN. That last one kills me. I don't know why, but when a male tells me that they read and enjoy my blog and walk away encouraged, I feel like the circle is complete. God has created a ministry so suited to me, that no one else could do it, not in the ways He has allowed me. He is awesome like that. We are not limited to choices 1-20 but instead are handed a path so unique, that no one else could even tell it the same way in the history of world. Amazing.
And sometimes He speaks up in ways we don't expect.
Take the table in the photo above. We recently inherited it from Doug's grandparents home. Doug's grandpa passed away this winter and grandma has moved permanently to her condo in Florida. The table and its china cabinet went through many hands before it came to ours. It's a grand table, with the ability to seat up to 20-22. I don't think I've wiped it down, or set it or sat at it once since having it and not thought about all of the dinners and conversations it has seen. The holidays and family times. The missionaries and pastors who coffeed with the grandparents. This was their formal dining room table and grandma was an entertainer, as many of her time, who made wonderful meals and served friends around it, more times than anyone could count I am sure. It lived a good life in it's old house.
And now it sits in mine. It rarely sees a table cloth. Little boys sit and color at it. It sees homework being done and corndogs and mac and cheese, elegant meals a long ago history. It gets messy with kids projects and occasionally has some glue stuck on it. It still sees friends who gather together. Peoples bellies and hearts are still fed on it. The Bible is studied and Thanksgiving this year will be a grand event.
I caught myself looking at this table the other day and hearing God whisper. "The table's job is still the same. The surroundings are different, the people are new, but the integrity and purpose are the same". Huh? I was totally like "it's a table, God". I moved on with my day and then much later it hit me. If I take that statement, like a projector film and lay it over certain areas of my life...it still rings true.
Sometimes God changes what the surroundings look like. Some people come and go in our lives. But our purpose is to maintain the integrity and purpose He washed us with in the first place. Our job is still the same. It doesn't matter if things don't look they way we were used to, or want to, or like someone else's. My desire in life, is to be so tightly enmeshed with Him that all the storms do is blow away the chaff, and sometimes the surroundings and people in our life are just that, things that once had purpose in our life, but no longer.
That is the purpose of a storm sometimes. Our job is still the same.
Yes, I am still reading The Message translation. No, I'm not doing it to be "a cool Christian" and no, I do not believe it is an abomination to the word of God. No need to email me about the safety of my soul or how it harms others. I am well educated on the subject, thanks. :)
You can read for yourself why it's OK to read The Message if you would like. :) My friend, Ryan, who wrote that article for me, recently informed me that Jesus himself used and quoted a paraphrase of the word of God. I'm hoping he will have the time to share that info with all of us soon. :)
In the meantime, enjoy these verses. Feel free to print and hang and use for yourself as you see fit (personal use only please). Have a super day! :)
More free verses of the day HERE.