Friday, September 28, 2012

Peephole People

Opportunity knocks. Do I open the door or pretend I'm not home?? 
I've been talking to my kids a lot lately about opportunity...not for advancement, but for negative influences or even deadly assaults. See, I was informed by one of my dear ragamuffins that he or she should be given allowance to do most everything and only have it taken away if they use it improperly. I do believe that facebook was one of the things that they "deserve" to have. Obviously, I like facebook, but I also like driving a car and I still refuse to let my 9 year old drive through Montreal on summer vacation. Someday, she may...just after she administers a mild sedative to her mother in the back seat. Call me overcautious, but I also think it a bad idea to go pub crawling among flesh craving 40 something men, even though I'm completely content with my own husband. I suppose the argument might be stronger if I used an example of something I actually desire to do...even a little bit. 

The point is, testing your resolve to do right by putting yourself in tempting situations is foolish. For younger people whose brains are not completely and fully developed yet, the classification of situations as "tempting" or "dangerous" should be left up to Mom, Dad, Grandparents and in some cases, even your dog with his instinctive sniffer. Not to insult young's a biological thing. I think teens should be encouraged to recognize their capabilities and develop the guts to live within reality. They are much stronger than society gives them credit for. Giving teens the "follow your heart" line or "you need to make your own choices now" is nice and all, but real life and consequences are no respecters of niceness and good intentions. We don't live in a movie script with happy endings all the time...and loving our kids always means saying "no" at times...let's be real...a lot of times.
These questionable situations are not always bad nor good for everyone across the board. They must be custom made labels based on the bent of each person considering participation. I never felt it a bad thing for me to enter a bar as a teenager. The temptations there on a scale from 1 to 10 was about a -30. The only bad thing I would have been tempted to participate in there would have been judgmentalism toward the drinkers. But for the next 17 year old, trying to forget the pain they left outside the bar door, opportunity for many dangers is higher than the room's collective partiers. Outside of things like murder, lying and wearing pastel pink, I'm convinced that each child God has graced us with has different needs and may require different guidelines than the others.

In our desire to develop high self-esteem in our children (and to be a cool parent) we often put our precious kids at unseen risk. Sometimes I hate the fact that I see danger in things and long for blissful ignorance, but I'm trying to change my perspective. I should be very thankful for the insights God reveals to me in order to do my Mom job properly. The time, effort and grief that is often required in parenting is admittedly high, but in this case, the cliche "I'd do anything for my kid" would be appropriate.

Be safe...use the peephole before opening the door to your home and those treasured souls that reside there.
"...and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:27

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Autumn Dance

I walked into our local fruit and vegetable stand in late August. I caught the scent of fresh dill and, for me, summer was over. 

Yes, we made several more trips to the beach while in southern Ontario since that day, but in my heart, the season had changed. I did not reject the offered, summer delicacies, but in my mind I was packing up the long evenings, populated streets and tank tops. Nothing is more welcome in my life right now than a routine, a cozy sweater and fewer activities. Hopefully, there will be fewer can dream.
Fall is, by far my favorite season. I have gone on before about the scented wood stacking, perfectly colored leaves and pumpkin pies, but the ending of one season and the beginning of another is all about hope. The rich colors and comforting textures of this season remind me of the promise of God to move us forward. The beautiful death of leaves pushing me forward in faith, believing that promise that "All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose". When things look dead, we can believe in life. The bars of the physical world must be overlooked. Beyond the cold steel bars is a force unimaginable, yet more real than the pile of paperwork, dirty dishes or broken family I might see with my eyes. God is reminding me of Himself lately. 

Holding on tight is hard to do. Running a difficult race can be tormenting. Longsuffering is exactly what it says it is. But when the time is right, our all wise Father does what He always intended to do. When you least expect it, He unleashes a small bit of His power and blows you away. You wearily stand in an open field, enveloped by fresh winds blowing those sacrificial leaves all around, and cry pent up tears of  fear and relief. Prayers of confession flow as you admit your days of doubt mingled with prayers of laughter and joy at what He has done. Enjoying Him in the moment. My heart and body can do nothing but dance. So thankful for this season. Fully aware of the future valleys to be endured, but knowing this step will make the next one easier to take. For today however, I will indulge in the revelation of His sovereignty.

I see, smell and feel hope all around right now. I don't need to know what He will allow to happen or how a story will end, I just need to know more about Him. The mind of Christ is the richest possession. It brings freedom, peace and hope as well as strength to endure all things. As we walk in obedience and faith, once in awhile, He makes His move. He does something to "show" us His beautiful, welcome and irresistible will.There is no other faith whose Savior is alive, all powerful and completely love. How I wish you would know Him today...for the first time...or in a renewed way.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"
Ephesians 2:8

"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I must share a little of our first week of homeschooling this year. With MUCH convincing, my second son allowed me to post this. His American geography is good, but his singing the his own "tune" is even better. Thank you Gabe for your cooperation :)

My eldest...whom we shall refer to as Jethro...would like to major in junk food baking this year. I made him throw  a bit of whole wheat flour into the mix, just for my conscience sake. He won't major in the subject, but everyone appreciates a hot cinnamon roll every now and and then. 

Yes, we did math, reading, grammar, science...yada yada yada...but those pictures were boring, so no posting. 

Pretty good first couple of weeks back at it.