Hands-on Parenting is NOT Evil!

It comes from every direction.  My daughter is encouraged to drink by our “friends.”  She is on her way home and tells them that her parents wouldn’t be pleased by her driving and arriving under the influence.  They assure her that it’s time to be her own person.

She just proved that she is.  And that she’s not dumb as a post.

She leaves home and supposedly Christian women make fun of her for calling “your mommy” every day.  “You need to grow up,” they say when she won’t take their negative and decidedly unChristian advice.  No, they need to grow up to the point they can actually keep their mouths shut about that which is none of their business.

She is grown up, and yet still a child.  Aren’t we all?  I call my parents when I need to hear the voice of one who will always love me, one who will not belittle me for being a bit sad or needy or unsure.  Does that make me defective, immature?  No, it makes me human.

My daughters communicate with me – when they’re feeling on top of the world, when they’re under a cloud, when things are rolling right along fairly smoothly.  Why should they not?

Rather than apologizing for having a good relationship with a parent or a child, we should thank God for it, and continue to do those things that brought us to this happy outcome – be there for that person, pray with and for that person, and let them know we will be as the Lord Himself is, the one who will never leave them nor forsake them.

It’s called giving them a strong foundation on which to stand, as well as wings for flight.  It’s called love.  And because of that love, my child feels free to let me know when she wants to handle things on her own.  I have such faith in her and respect for her, that I always ask her how she wants me to proceed, what she wants me to do or not do.  

We prayed this morning about a difficult situation, and I read scripture aloud to her, and encouraged her.  But when it comes down to the tough part, she must walk this walk alone.  And yet, when a child knows that she knows that her parents and Jesus will never leave her nor forsake her, how can she be alone?

Something about such a person really gets to people who don’t have this kind of surety.  Is it jealousy, or is it simply the all-pervasive societal view that parents are inherently stupid and faulty and should be sidelined and ignored in pursuit of . . . what?  The lovely mess that these anti-parent folks have made of their own lives?

What is this unholy desire to separate children from their parents?  What is this need to control and convince and influence?  And why is this invariably from people who have little or no control or success in their own lives, and with their own children?  But I must say in our case, most of our most vitriolic critics are themselves childless.

And yet, no need to fret.  My daughter, the one accused from every direction of being “too dependent” on her parents, is so much stronger than her accusers.  She goes on about her merry way, and forgives.  And she prays for those who show her nothing but disrespect and contempt (that after a bit of exasperated venting).

Just as I communicate with my parents and with my Savior, I have raised a child who does the same.  So to all these busybodies, I say, “Just mind your own business,” or as my mom says, “Tend to your own pea-pickin’.”

 

Anyone Can Find Crappy Christians – They Advertise Quite Effectively, But . . .

The only Christian we need to be looking at is Jesus.  I am always meeting people who justify their faithless lives with their sob stories of mistreatment by Christians.

Consider this:  Just because someone calls themselves Christian does not mean they know Christ, and that His Spirit has shed abroad the love of Christ in their heart.

And consider this:  Even born-again, Spirit-filled (yes that’s a thing, and I do mean a THING) Christians can really miss it and really be deceived and deluded (they can spout the BLASPHEMY that God does horrible things to people to “teach them a a lesson.”   See John 10:10).

And consider this:  If you let any person be your lens for looking at Christianity, you’re looking through a clouded lens.  Look at Jesus Himself.

The Christianity of the Bible is about love, hope, and victory through a living Savior, and if anyone presents it as a religious set of rules, they look suspiciously like someone who does not know Him.  Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  It brings life not death, conviction but not condemnation, victory rather than victimhood.  Again, real Christianity brings life, because it is alive.

Jesus is alive, and He lives in the hearts of those who will invite Him in.

What a deal.  Don’t let any poor specimen of Christianity steal the deal.

Amen!

How About a Bit of “Maximumism?”

hobbit-house

Starting in the low 400’s!  Yay.  For just a bit more you can get windows and doors.  And never forget the marble countertops.  Friends of ours got a deal on a  house because it had lovely blue Corian counters, which aren’t “in”.

I recently visited a favorite decorating blog post, and was disappointed.  The author, a lovely and talented Christian lady, was touting, “What’s in for Fall 2018!!!!”  And everything was white.  And grey.  And there was that teeny bit of “color” as proof of bravery.

Why not be brave and actually go with your heart?  Please, I must believe that I’m not the only one with a red heart.  I must believe there are red-blooded women out there, whose homes minister to their red-blooded family members, and to Hades with what’s “in”.

Pray to God it will soon be out, and as forsaken as most other decorating mysteries of the past.  Really, we once put fluorescent lighting in our kitchens to illuminate brown ovens?  Really, we now prefer stark white, encoldened (I made that word up) by gray.

Perhaps I should say we prefer gray “further silenced” by grey-white.

Gray.  Grey.  White.  Off white.  Off.  When can we get off this chilling, unwelcoming, stark, minimalism.

What’s minimal here is coziness, warmth, hospitality, jollity, personality, uniqueness, honesty, quirkiness, heart’s treasures.  

I have changed my entire kitchen because of the colors on a Susan Bright calendar, and once because of an April Connell dish towel.  To my delight, and isn’t that the point?

Why must we delight in being like everyone else, and therefore really like no one?  Why worship at the altar of what’s “in” rather than seeking to find and express what’s “in” our own hearts?

There’s a falseness, a facade, in preferring pressed wood furniture that won’t make it twenty years, over a family heirloom mahogany table (I have a friend who gave such a table to charity because her daughters had no use for it).

We choose to make social “statements” rather than personal, and in so doing, say nothing at all.  We are not mindless parts of a group, or a generation.  We are each unique in all the world, in all the history of the world, and our homes should reflect who we are, not which group with which we share birthdates, or fad to which we’re enslaved.

So, how about we go to a bit of “maximumism” (yes, I made that word up, too).  Why not maximize our own personal joy in our surroundings by making our homes uniquely, radically, and positively ours.

Are we cold and soulless, unwelcoming and robotic?  No, we are human!  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as the Word of God tells us.  “Knit together in our mother’s wombs, known by God before the foundation of the world.”  Talk about “maximumism”!

Welcome to our very own homes, and welcome to everyone who enters herein.

 

Get the Should Out of My Writing!

Tightwad Gazette author Amy Dacyczyn tells the story of how her creativity went out the window when she was told exactly what to create and when to have it done.  We sabotage ourselves in this same way when we write for results, rather than for the joy of creating.

I’m attempting to plant a seed here, based on my somewhat murky vision of what the crop might be.  A plain white packet of tomato seeds will not be chosen by a novice gardener as quickly as will the one showcasing a vintage watercolor of sun-ripened tomatoes on the vine.

So, let us envision a lovely scene, all written to our own specifications, no “shoulds” allowed, and let’s call it ours.  It is not for the cruel editor’s cut, or the critique of the masses.  It is not even for the approval of those who love us and think whatever we do is simply grand.  It is “Not for Sale!”

It’s for the joy and the beauty of creation.

And tomorrow, we will see, as delighted and adventuresome children, what comes next.

As I listen to layered birdsong and the rustle and shimmying of aspen leaves, and think with satisfaction of my watered, sort-of-thriving herbs, I imagine myself in this setting as a small child.

I would bury my face in those exuberantly red geraniums.  Could they smell like they look –  bright and boisterous?  And all those vines hanging down around the sides of the basket – might I hide among them, and make myself a spot?  A place of my very own?  Would anyone care if I nibbled on those mint leaves, or some basil?

And suddenly there is a little girl in my heart, and she has a story.  I don’t need to know the end of the story, and an outline would be quite ridiculous.  I live in the here and now, and this story will tell itself in its own good time.  I don’t have to know if it’s long or short, serious or silly, and there’s no reason to define it, limit it, constrict it – should it.

This is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  And I’m lovin’ it.

Writing, I mean.

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

 

 

 

Is this year, this spring, going to be different?

The following is some of the material from today’s Homefront Show radio broadcast.  To listen in, simply go to http://www.1360am.co and enjoy1

When I lived in the south fall was my favorite season – the end of the heat! But now it’s spring and for some reason, I am more excited about spring than ever before in my life.  It’s not because of the end of the cold, in fact I am wanting that to last a little longer.  It’s something more.  Partly, at least, I think it’s because god is doing a new thing, teaching an old dog new tricks, renewing my mind as never before.  Because It’s time for ACT II.

This morning, as usual before every show (Homefront Show Coming up at 2:00!), John was praying for me, for the show and everyone listening.  He said something about people out there in need of a victory for the home team, and that struck a chord in my heart.  So I asked him if he would actually come on and pray on the air today.  And even though he wasn’t keen on the idea at first, he later agreed.  So we have that to look forward to.

I believe in faithfulness and loyalty and tradition and dependability. I believe in antiques and antique people.  And what makes those things special is when they are a part of  the new thing, the adventure.  For instance, in the trip we’re leaving on tomorrow – it’s a new thing trip to see some loyal, faithful, dependable, traditional people, some of them very young antiques.  I’ll talk more about that in today’s broadcast.

It’s springtime – we actually in Red Feather Lakes are about to have two days in a row without snow! Springtime.  Spring cleaning, new beginnings, opening windows and airing out the house, seeking that first fresh and locally grown produce, breathing deeply and being reminded of God’s faithfulness – that Spring always comes.

And I am remembering that I enjoy what I consider “good” poetry in the Spring.. For me good poetry reminds me of God’s beauty, grandeur, goodness, and love.  Words of loveliness, like in  Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods, my all-time favorite poem – but it’s about winter.  For a spring poem to share on today’s show, I found one about dancing mountains by E.E. Cummings.  I think is the very thing, and I hope you enjoy it.


To enjoy the poem, as well as thoughts about the dining room table, Clint Eastwood’s movie about an averted terrorist attack starring the actual players in the true story, some home ec tips you may have forgotten or never knew, and much more, join me today at http://www.1360am.co and thanks!