Embracing Boredom, Especially for Kids

No doubt thanks to someone’s inane but much-touted childrearing advice, many parents think kids should be entertained 24/7.  Add this to the “new information!!!!!” that kids should also make decisions for which they have neither the training, maturity, nor understanding to make, and you have frustrated and unattractive children on the loose.  Everywhere.

When my kids were acting up and acting out I had the wisdom (because of going to and believing and trusting God’s Word) to know I  was the key.  They needed me to be a warrior not a whiner, a problem solver, not a problem lamenter.  They needed me to look in the mirror and say, “Bev, are you a mother or milquetoast?”

They needed me to be wise to their manipulative and selfish ways, not a pudding or a jello, quivering at the very thought of my precious and perfect little ones not having everything they want every minute of the day.  They needed me to be a no-nonsense responder to their childish nonsense. (Sorry to all child-worshippers, but the last thing anyone on earth needs is for their needs to be the most important thing on earth.)

The parental response of “Find something to do or I’ll find something for you to do,” (and this didn’t mean something electronic) has been replaced with a horror of boredom.

Hold it.  Whoa.  Stop right there.  Boredom can be a very good thing.  Boredom fosters creativity and thinking.  As I told my kids on the rare occasions (kids learn quick what works and what backfires bigtime) they complained of boredom, “I’ve never been bored in my life.  I’m both simple enough and wise enough to be fascinated with God’s world.”

Translation:  Go play in the creek or chase lizards, or build a new fort, or make a train out of the fold-up chairs in the garage.  Go dig in the dirt or have a tea party with your dolls.  Just go and do and don’t tell me you’re bored.

I didn’t care if they simply sat on the back porch and dreamed of fighting pirates in a storm at sea, sighing at the “boredom” of their lives.  I didn’t care if they climbed a tree and listened to the birds all day long, or did nothing at all.  What I cared about was the attitude that their lack of ability to amuse themselves was not only my problem, it was my fault.

Sometimes we as moms have to sit on our urge to make everything perfect and beautiful for our little darlings.  We have to disabuse ourselves of the FALSE notion that the world will end and they will graduate at the bottom of the class if they even for one minute do nothing.

Doing nothing at all, but without a “poor little bored me” attitude, is a good thing.  Because in such times some very important things are happening in a child’s brain:  they are becoming thinkers, even philosphers.  They are being programmed as God intended, becoming the programmers of their own lives, the masters of their own thinking, discerners of the lies that masquerade under the guise of “new information!!!”

So here’s some new information:  Put the lens of common sense and the Word of God and the tried and true on your new information and see if it passes the test of workable parenting (that is parenting resulting in kids who are joys and joyous, rather than frustrated terrors).

If you and the world at large do not enjoy your children, your “new information!!!!” is faulty, to put it mildly.  In John Parker-speak, it is “the sheet of the boool”.

Parents, we’re IT!  We must be the adults (do the hard thing without whining) so that our children can be children (we make the decisions so they can grow in peace to the place where they can make decisions which are age and maturity appropriate).

Again, we are to be the adults, folks.  It’s wrong to rob a child of their childhood because we don’t want to grow up.  Your kids never asked for you as a parent.  They are the victims or the victors, depending on your choices.

So here’s something to try:  do nothing for awhile, every single day.  Think it through, pray it through.  Develop your parenting philosophy based on the knowledge of who your child is and what God intends parenting to be (see how He parents us – there’s a bit of sacrifice involved).  Exchange knee-jerk, angst and anger filled parenting with a spiritual, mental, and physical grace dance.

Enjoy!

Elaboration of this and so much more in just a couple of hours on The Homefront Show.  Tune in and tell a friend:

http://www.1360am.co

is the place to go

for The Homefront Show!!!

Today, Friday, May 18 at 2:00 Mountain Time

 

 

 

Formative Years and Transformative Years

It’s Springtime in the Rockies and I have never been more excited than I am about Spring, 2018.  It’s been clean up, declutter, and cleanse time, and I don’t just mean closets and cupboards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

God is at work in my heart and it’s astounding and marvelous.  Just as the water turkeys, ducks and geese on the almost-thawed local lakes are going ahead with their visiting, fishing, and welcoming Spring before it’s quite upon us, I too am welcoming, ready for Spring.  I am ready for newness, growth, surprises, adventure – transformation.

At the ripe young age of almost 60 (I love being older each year!) I have learned to embrace and give thanks for those things from my formative years which have stood me in good stead.  And I am learning that each year I live is more a transformative year than was the year before.

But there is something in the air, something special about 2018.  I believe the Love (God’s Agape) more than ever before and the Love is changing my heart, cleansing and decluttering my mind, transforming me.

It is, as I told my husband, John, as though God has me out in a river on a raft without sides or oars and He is taking me I know not where.  I only know that it is somewhere good.  And the price of the raft ticket was faith working through Love.

Transformation, cleansing, peace.  The Bible says He put eternity in our hearts, and like so many of  His marvelous mysteries, I don’t fully comprehend and understand this statement, and yet, how it speaks to me.

How He speaks to me – patiently, tirelessly, lovingly.  Come along with me and be transformed.  Faithless to fearless, touchy to tender, defensive to delighted, whiny to winner, grouchy to glad.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  Thank you, Dearest Lord, for renewal, for transformation.  Amen.

P.S.  I’ll be going more deeply into transformation and ever so much more (like surviving church!) tomorrow, Friday the 23rd, at 2:00 MTN on http://www.1360am.co so please join in and call a friend.  Thanks!

A Sense of Humor, Death to Life, and Tricky Pastor’s Wives on The Home Front Show at 2:00!

So much ado about nothing with Joy Behar.  If Christians would choose to love an pray for people, and REFUSE, FLAT OUT REFUSE to be offended, and therefore DEFEATED by comments we simply don’t have time for, God might be able to get some things done, things like dominion.

We are called to take dominion over everything, including things that “creepeth”.  Pastor Bill Winston jokes that we have dominion over creeps.  We are not called to get distracted and disgusted by people who just don’ t know any different.

We are called to be as great and lovely ladies on white steeds watching over and gracing our given domains (personal domains demand dominion).  We are called to know who we are – Queens of our Realms – and that Queens have Divine Right of Dominion  (See Proverbs 31).

We don’t take dominion with our opinions.  We take dominion with love  And there’s this characteristic of Christians who walk in love – they’re funny, and they laugh at the funnies of others, even the ridiculousness of others.

To take dominion of the world must include having the attention of the world, having something they want.  They don’t want or need any more offense or strife.  But joy, laughter, light-heartedness – those make an impression.  Those open ears and eyes.  And hearts.

Dominion involves reaching hearts for Jesus, with the Love of Jesus.  So, if our hearts are full of disgust and disdain and disagreement with and for those who don’t know Him, and can therefore not possibly act like Him, the only dominion being taken is by Satan Himself.

DEATH TO LIFE

We can go from death (best friends with unforgivness and taking offense) to Life (walks hand in hand with Love) by CHOOSING to obey God, CHOOSING to accept the freedom from slavery (unforgiveness and taking offense are slavery) Jesus bought on the Cross.

That’s the bottom line.

TRICKY PASTOR’S WIVES

My sister-in-law is a pastor’s wife (yep, my brother is a pastor) who has this tricky thing she does to deal with all the nastiness Satan sends her way – he has special emissaries for pastor’s wives.  She laughs.  Lots.  And often at herself.

One of the things I love most about the church we (John, me, kids) attend is our pastor’s wife.  She’s another tricky one – she tricks Satan all the time by seeing the humor in everything.  She is funny and fun, and she gets a real kick out of life.  That mindset turns Satan’s little schemes upside down.

So, I say rather than being the tricked, we become the tricky!

Thanks,

Bev

P.S.  Join John and me today , Friday the 19th of March on The Home Front Show at 2:00 Mountain Time.  Go to 1360am.co and be inspired and uplifted and BLESSED!

 

Don’t Butt Heads with Buttheads, or with Granite-Skulled Mountain Goats

goats

There is Door Number 3, the door where I don’t go to jail.

Door Number 1 goes into Strife City, and the path leading there is Stupid Street.  Someone says something idiotic and offensive and devoid of all logic, reason, and wisdom, and I act accordingly.  That is, I decide I am going to set them straight.  This is idiotic and devoid of all logic, reason and wisdom, and I end up even more offended than when I started.

“Don’t butt heads with a butthead, Bev,” I admonish myself and promise never to do so again.  I know!  I shall (once again, even though it’s never worked before) try Door Number 2.

Door Number 2 is the High Road, where I pay them no mind whatsoever.  At first.  But I keep thinking about what they said, and vainly imagine (the Bible says to cast down “vain imaginations”) what I coulda, shoulda, woulda said.  I stew, and simmer, and stew, and simmer.

And then I murmur, and maybe gripe a little about it to someone else.  Then comes the fun had by all:  the rant.

Which leads me to, finally, mature spiritual genius that I am, Door Number 3.  I think I know the way, and what to expect, based on past (admittedly rather limited) time spent here.  I take the path marked “Forgiveness” and follow it to “Pray for them” and finally bask at a high place:  Mount Victory.

But, lo, what is this heretofore unnoticed path?  And what do I see here in this high spot but a Granite-Skulled Mountain Goat?  I look to the left and to the right and there are others.  I turn around, hoping to go back the way I came.  Another goat.

I’m surrounded.  I did the tried and true.  The Formula!  I forgave and prayed for any and all buttheads in my life – past, present and future.  And what did I get?  Another version of the same animal.

I look to Heaven.  That’s the joy of Heaven!  No buttheads allowed!  Sheep, not goats!

I look around me again, hoping the goats will go away.  Instead, one is moving toward me, a little one, making tiny “maaaaa” sounds.  I can’t help but reach out my hand toward it, and suddenly it becomes a sheep, a little lamb.  I look at its anxious mother, and she too, is morphing into a fluffy sheep, fretfully following and nudging her baby away from me.

I squat and gather grasses into my hand, reaching and gently calling.  “It’s OK.  Here you go,” I whisper.  I turn toward the fretting mother and reach to her.  She sniffs and gently nibbles the grasses in my hand, then backs up and lets her little one approach.

And I hear our Maker’s voice on the mountain breezes:  If you think in butthead, you will see in butthead.  Don’t be a granite-skulled goat.  Be my sheep and feed my sheep.  And I felt His hand stroking my fleecy head, and maybe even scratching behind my ears.

The mama sheep and her baby stand before me, at attention.  I feed them more grasses, pat and stroke their heads, make lovey noises at them, and even scratch behind their ears.

The goats watch to see if such treatment is only for sheep.

I repent.

James Bond, Georgette Heyer, and Let’s Write!

I struggle with those highbrows, both in and outside my life, who refuse to read anything except “good writing.”

First off, I’m sure my writing doesn’t qualify.  Next, we are not in agreement of what constitutes “good writing.”  Ideally, I don’t have to choose, but if presented with a choice between the “dark, poignant, and tragic tale of human whatsit” and a story that makes me smile, laugh out loud, think and ponder, and generally feel I’ve been enriched in some way, there’s no contest.

Give me a writer whose life isn’t a “dark, poignant, and tragic tale of human whatsit” and whose mission is not, therefore, to make certain my life is, at least for a time, equally depressing, morbid, and joyless.  My husband, John, has a name for this prevalent idea among the literary “elite” (I do not think that word means what you think it means) that good writing  (Literature, no less!) comes from the angst of the tortured soul (good writing is the the province of such souls, don’t you know), and is most often performed under the influence of various mind-altering substances, and at the brink of suicide.   John says it’s bovine fecal matter, aka B.S.

It seems to me that much of what the publishing world is praising, publishing, and passing off as literature is contrived, formulaic, and trite.  Someone writes a great romance or two, and then suddenly they (or someone influencing them), decide we must add “poignance”.  Why?  Is it because the world is too happy and bright, and we must never for a single moment consider things not horrible?

Let’s write a book about predictable, boring, uninspiring, plastic people in plastic worlds being defeated at every turn!  If we put on a slick jacket with nifty artwork and get a crafty marketer to sell the plot, another sucker will pick it up and try it.

And sigh.  And say, “Where is The Swiss Family Robinson?  Where is The Secret Garden?   Why aren’t there more books like The Help and Louis L’Amour’s The Sacketts?  What is this fear of goodness, joy, beauty and victory, what is this celebration of ugliness, THIS FALSENESS, seeking to grip us all? “

Give me authenticity!  Authenticity works.  George Strait, Clint Eastwood, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, Edith Schaeffer, Ben Carson, Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth, and even Donald Trump are among those folks who dance(d) to the beat of their own drummers.  And even if we don’t like them, we pay attention.  They don’t leave us cold, bored, and wishing there was someone real in the room.

Who was the best character in Bewitched?  Agnes Moorhead, who played the wickedly honest Endora.  Why was Kevin Cline so much fun with Meg Ryan in French Kiss?  Because he made no apologies, cared not one whit for the opinions of others.  What made John Cleese so great in Fawlty Towers and in The Pink Panther?  It was because he was authentic, even awful, but in no way for a single moment, dull or ordinary.  It’s called entertainment.

People make fun of me, behind my back and to my face, for my unsophisticated tastes.  I have grown weary of explaining why I watch James Bond movies, but here I go again:  Because James is smart and strong and handsome and he always wins!  Because there are exotic locales and not a single boring moment.  There are amazing cars and exploding gadgets, and impossible feats of derring do!  Fascinating folks named things like “Q” and “M” and “Moneypenny” are always doing the dangerous and sacrificial thing, right along with James.  Yes, there are scantily-clad and shockingly-named women moaning, “Oh, James”, but to the fun-lovers among us, it’s just more fun.

Contrary to the allegations of the Bond naysayers, there are thought-provoking plots (sometimes, anyway) such as the consequences of worldwide information and surveillance control, adding depth and texture to an already satisfactory offering.  Most of all, in Bond we have a hero worth his salt.

I don’t apologize for liking Roger Moore better than Sean Connery or Daniel Craig, and I do admit that a couple of the Bond flicks weren’t quite up to par.  And I am happy to say that the final (???) Bond movie, Spectre, is my favorite among favorites because it ends, as do all my favorites, “Happily Ever After.”

So sue me.  I believe in happy endings.  Listen, if you don’t, you won’t ever have to worry about one if your own life.  You won’t have to worry about people calling you Pollyanna, making fun of you and thinking you give a care what they think.

I once had a boss who made fun of me for reading Reader’s Digest.  “So?  You read Time,” I countered to his frowning confusion.  I was supposed to apologize for reading uplifting stories of real people, rather than what the “intelligent” people read.

Yesterday at the Red Feather Lakes Library I picked up Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson.  I am miffed at myself because I hoped that would redeem me in the eyes of one of the more “highbrow” volunteers, one I am quite sure thinks my Georgette Heyer love affair quite childish.

I am halfway through Sons and Soldiers (would have stayed up all night reading it, but my heart had to have a respite), almost finished with A Gentleman in Moscow (taking my time because I don’t want it to end – how I love, respect, and admire the Count!), just started on my third reading of Minerva by Marion Chesney (why do I love Minerva’s  atrocious daddy?), and I just finished with Georgette Heyer’s A Lady of Quality.  This represents my fiction reading of the moment.

Non-fiction includes my annual reading, month by month, of The Shape of a Year (such a treasure) continual dippings into and out of various motivational and informational books (Jennifer Scott’s Madame Chic books for instance), magazines (I just subscribed to Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman magazine!!!!), homemaking blogs, and of course, my almost daily reading of Psalms, Proverbs, and something Jesus and/or Paul had to say (I’m sadly deficient in my Old Testament knowledge, and often mistake the exploits of Daniel with those of David, Joseph or another notable.  This lack, it seems, isn’t nearly as reprehensible or disconcerting to others as is my lack of taste in movies).

I guard my heart.  I believe much of what passes for literature and entertainment is a danger to the health and therefore the strength of my heart, and even my character.

And I think it’s time that all of us who want to write but don’t think we’re “any good” should just get to it, without a single thought of what anyone thinks about what we write, without a worry or even a nod to the opinions of others about what constitutes “good writing.”  Even if it’s never published or read by another soul, we can say we did more than criticize and complain.

Let’s write, shall we?

P.S.  TOMORROW, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, AT 2:00 MOUNTAIN TIME, TUNE IN TO:  WWW.1360AM.CO FOR THE HOMEFRONT SHOW.  I’ll be sharing good stuff on manipulation (how not to do it, or to feed it); champion forgivers among our Founding Fathers, rescuing yourself from the TORTURE of unforgiveness, and much, much more.  Thanks ahead of time for joining me!

 

Create in Me (and especially in that other person) a Clean Heart, O God.

I recently heard two very different sermons – one was an admonition that if you don’t do what your pastor says you are in rebellion, and the other was a preacher accused of rebellion himself, because he was preaching not to do what the world does, or what anyone says, but to do what Jesus says: to trust, love, forgive, and to take dominion by faith-filled, absolutely fearless, uncompromising words and actions.

The sad thing is that the attempt to squelch and squash and force people into doing whatever they’re told, and saying if they don’t they’re rebellious, is a surefire, tried and true, works-every-time way to push people into rebellion.

Satan’s ways. They don’t work very well, folks.  We try to force our spouses into behaviors based on what our vision is.  Usually when we’re under that controlling spirit our vision amounts to this:  you agree with me on every single issue and we’ll all be happy as larks.  That controlling spirit is a spirit of rebellion, and so blinding it makes us think everyone else is in rebellion.  It walks hand in hand with pride, and therefore, goes before a fall.

That spirit comes after us when we give into fear – fear God can’t or won’t handle this, we must take it into our own hands, do it like some other book, certainly not THE BOOK, says to do it: Childrearing 101; Husband-fixing 101; Basic I know best; Making others behave so I don’t have to for dummies who think everyone else is a dummy.

Disrespect is what this amounts to.  Listen, if you’re gonna take that line you had better be the second perfect human. Of course you’re saying that you’re actually more perfect than that one perfect man, Jesus.  You’re ignoring Him, disrespecting and disregarding Him, and in His Name, Glory Hallelujah, you’re spouting Satan’s lies, and going his way.

But please don’t let us judge anyone else for doing this, because the more horrified we are about it, the more susceptible we are to going from a place of grief and prayer to a place of anger and judgement. And then we, too, will be easy prey.  All of a sudden no one will want to be around us, all of a sudden we’ll be lecturing our kids, and dishonoring our mates, and thinking no one is as smart and wise as are we – just like the behavior we so recently abhorred in someone else.

John Maxwell talks about this in How Successful People Win. He says it was hard for him not to buy into his own press, his own place of leadership, without becoming prideful and unwilling to listen to others’ gentle corrections.  The problem, as he said in so many words, is that once you disdain what someone prayerfully and carefully and in love, tries bringing to your attention, they’ll stop.

It’s an untenable position for the one wanting to help. There is only one answer and that is faith in God through prayer.  The flesh and every logical thought says, “Fine.  See if I try to help your know-it-all self again.”  But after prayer for this attacked and fragile human, remembrance of the real enemy comes, we get revelation about what the enemy is up to, and what’s going on in the precious heart of the one we love.

And, we are ready to fight again.  This time, however, we will let God handle it.  We will only speak if He says to speak (if you’re unsure and have no peace about it, keep still), and we will only say what He says to say.  And . . . we will do it under the anointing, the very love, of Jesus.

If you try and try and try again, and all you get is trampled for your efforts, as the one you love is acting less like a friend or lover, and more like a swine, you can remember two things: 1) God doesn’t expect you to get beat up and disrespected and disregarded; and 2)  He really can handle it.

And here’s where another fear must be faced and fought and brought DOWN.  It’s the fear that this person is going to have that promised fall that follows pride, and that the fall will be too great to be borne, the damage beyond repair.

But when all else fails, it is a clear sign that it’s time for the only thing that never fails: Be still and know that He is God.

About this time is when the object of your prayers starts asking you what’s wrong, what’s on your mind. But unless you know they’re in a place where they really want to know and to do the right thing, rather than in  a place where they simply don’t want the discomfort of you not being all about them, just keep still.

You can say, “I’ll tell you if you really think you want to know, and are ready to listen, and you promise not to get upset.” There’s a good chance here, and be ready for it, they will not respond well to this.  That’s OK.  It’s time to trust God, remember?  He is so much more than able.

What a difference 24 hours can make. You can pray and declare and do warfare, and it looks like it didn’t do a bit of good, and then one or two days later you find yourself trying to keep up with this person set free, and about to sail away to a higher place in Jesus.  Set free.  This is not the time to say, “Ha!  You’d still be acting like a pig in a pen if it weren’t for me, and my super-anointed, spiritual giant prayers!”

All this requires harnessing the tongue to the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Bible tells us in the Book of James that no man can tame the tongue.  But the Holy Spirit can not only tame it, He can make it a powerful weapon against the enemy of our souls.  I like to pray David’s words from Psalms: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

When we get too focused on the wrong spirits operating on and pressuring and having a high old time in other people, when all we can see is their stupidity and ignorance and stubbornness, it can mess up our own spirits. Not only that, it can make us prey (judgement does this) to those very same problems in our own sweet selves!

Let us not focus on what the enemy is doing, but on the Greater One who can whip him every single time. Amen!

P.S.  Love is Patient.  Love is Kind.  And Love is Fearless, which is why, as we know, Love never fails.

P.P.S.  Remember to get your copy of “The Maker’s Marriage” right here on homefrontshow.com just by clicking on the picture of the book! 

Swiss Family Robinson, John and Rebekah Parker, and Pastor Mark Williams

What do the above listed books/folks have in common?  They’ll all be featured on the Homefront Show in less than two hours!!!   http://www.1360am.co is where you want to go at 2:00 PM Mountain Time today.  That’s 2:00 Friday, January 26.

John and I will discuss what makes a good book and using books for family unity, and Rebekah will share an almost unbelievable story of forgiveness which will put our petty grievances in perspective.

I have more treats, such as the bizarre behavior that coexists with a “not my fault” mentality, and Pastor Mark Williams talking about honor, and how giving honor honors the giver.

Lots of good, inspiring, uplifting words today, including words about the power of words both for building and for destruction.  So contact anyone who needs a lift today, and just say this:

2:00 PM Mountain Time, 1360am.co.

Thanks for being with us!

Bev