Comments on current issues

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It’s easy. Fundamentally they believe the world is overpopulated, and just like any other animal of which there are so obviously too many, it’s perfectly reasonable and moral to support methods that benefit the population.

We can’t make an impact without demonstrating why human beings are more than mere animals and, sadly, Christianity lost ground on that eons ago when we failed to maintain a strong presence in the field of science. Now that we’re being forced to return to it we find, general, that our grounding in our own faith isn’t solid enough to deal with the sheer propensity of god-less worldviews. The solution is we must face our weaknesses and begin to learn again. People’s lives depend on it.

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Perfection – at Jesus feet

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I see these all the times and on weekends like this it’s a great time to share some thoughts.

We think that being perfect is an unattainable ideal, and when we define our perfection the way that society does it is more than true. But perfection itself, while being an ideal, is not one that I believe is unreachable or even bad!  I know you’re all shaking your heads, but stay with me.  Perfection developed out of an ideal of completeness. The Greeks thought that to be complete you had to shed your physical existence by attaining knowledge. The Egyptians thought that to be complete you had to do enough right so your ka (soul) could find heaven.  I’m a Christian, and being complete in Christ is like nothing the world has ever seen. Being perfect in Christ is not only a beautiful desire but a promise! And one that I long for. It drives me to grow, to learn about myself and who God wants me to be. It might not be popular to say but my children don’t complete me, my husband either. Only Christ can do that.

How to be perfect/complete in Christ is a long lesson and one that is ultimately finished by him, but it starts with understanding what it is that defines us. Take this illustration from Dr. Hollinger, the GCTS president, who spoke at our chapel this weekend.  Same old story we all know about  Mary and Martha, but he made a distinct point that Martha was NOT doing something bad. She was serving, like Christ serves, like we serve our children and our families day in and day out. And yet there is a strong difference between the choices of each woman that Jesus does not miss.  Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, which is a position of learning and a distinct phrase denoting discipleship. She was listening and learning, defining herself by her presence at his feet.  Jesus tells Martha that Mary’s choice is one that will last, that it will help her persevere in times if hardship and struggle and darkness. It is the better choice, because it will sustain her. Martha is defining herself by her service, and when she attempts to make Mary do the same he rebukes her. The lesson is this.

Perfection/completeness comes FIRST from being at Jesus’ feet, not doing the dishes, cooking, teaching, going to women’s Bible study or any of the many many things we do. Think of mother Theresa or Corrie Ten Boom. They faced unspeakable hardship founded not on their work but by their discipleship at the feet of Christ, in prayer and in study and listening. Their service was an outpouring of that devotion, a by product that was blessed by their good choice. I think we CAN reach toward being perfect, I think we can live a life devoted to becoming complete in Christ and have no shame in wanting or pursuing that.  For us who love God and want our children to fall love with him as well, we MUST do that. And we have to start at Jesus’ feet.

Last thought, Jesus’ feet never stayed still for long. Are we ready and willing to follow when he gets up and starts walking?

A message to moms, “Don’t lose that.”

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There is so much hype and attention right now on the choices mothers are making or not making, and I have so many thoughts I want to share.  But I can’t share them fast enough to get it all across before some women somewhere jumps the gun and slams a door in my face because I hit a HOT button in her mental library of things you just DON’T say.  I just want to be me, and I’m a very personal person and very open about life with anyone who wants to share. Right now, I want to share an important message for moms based on my own experiences about a perspective that is lacking where I live and do ministry.

Ready?

Simply put, DADS ARE PARENTS TOO. And I don’t mean that they occasionally change diapers and babysit when you need a break.  A father is just as essential in your child’s education and nurturing as you are, and there are two common problems that need to be repaired.  The first is that father’s are NOT participating as much as they need too. The second is that we mothers often don’t let them. 

Let’s talk about the former first.  This is an article I pulled off the web about the hidden benefits of being involved as a father that give the physical and psychological perspective on fatherhood: The Hidden Benefits of Being Involved.  A fantastic biblical source of information and encouragement for further study is the recent movie Courageous. But don’t stop there!  Go deeper and find out more about WHY a father should also be changing the diapers, doing bottle feedings, watching the kids for AN ENTIRE DAY, cooking maybe? and demonstrating love and respect for his wife in front of his children.

Ok, now for the second problem.  Honestly and truly, how much thought do you, as a mom, put in to opening doors for your husband to take more responsibility with the children?  If yours is anything like mine, he’ll stay out of a lot of it unless I ask for help.  Fortunately, we had some very serious discussions before having children in which my husband expressed his STRONG desire to co-parent with me.  What we have now is something I call duo-parenting where we both mentally and physically share our parental responsibilities completely, each compensating for what the other needs on any given day, and each putting preference on the others need for quality and nurturing time with our children.  Moms and wives, it’s not easy, especially if your man isn’t interested in doing it with you and if we don’t let them.  But people can change, right?

This lifestyle requires a lot of team work and a lot of communication.  Nathanael wanted to be as involved with the children as I was, and then he HAD to be because of their health issues at birth.  I couldn’t be super mom 24 hours a day so he had to learn how to mother them while I slept.  It’s not as crazy as you think.  We have to learn how to “father them” too when hubby works 60 hours a week.  The reality is that a child NEEDS both attitudes, both personalities and both people each and every day, and when one person has to be gone the other has to compensate.  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to compensate QUITE so much all the time?  To give our “mommy brains” and the attached ears a little more time off a little more often?

An aside: When reading up on my son’s hyperacusis (super, super sensitive hearing) I discovered that sleep deprivation, constant stress and physical trauma can cause hyperacusis, which in turn heightens stress levels and blood pressure due to the increased sensitivity to sound.  Sounds like motherhood from pregnancy onward!

God did not design women to be the ONLY parent any more than he designed a man to be, but we are AWESOME teammates.  Here are four essentials to get you started:

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1).  Find a couple of days out of the week/month during which you (mom) leave the house and leave your children with their daddy for the WHOLE day.  If you can do it a few times a week, even better, because you could use the time and HE will need regular practice if this hasn’t been a usual thing in your home. Even if all I get to do is go grocery shopping by myself, I have a chance to breath, listen to a good audio book I can’t when the kids are around and maybe grab a cup of coffee!  I’ve also found that I LOVE the hugs and kisses I get when I come home, and the ooos and aaahhs of presenting the children with fresh strawberries.  There is something REALLY relaxing about running errands when you’re not worried about hungry children who’ve been sitting in a car for hours and need to get home for a nap.

2). Figure our your duo-parenting teamwork groove. Nathan and I chat pretty regularly about our children, everything from what they ate that day to what they’re learning, what they need to learn, and what areas they need discipline in. All of these things are important to help the other parent be able to jump in at a moments notice and help or take over. For example, we’ll talk about my son’s behavior and agree on the top 3 to 4 behaviors which need to be nipped in the bud and not ignored. We’ve been doing this since he was 6 months old and consequently Samuel learns really fast what is ok and what’s not when mommy and daddy are both catching the same things consistently.  The less formal these discussions can get the better! Run-of-the-mill chat is MUCH less stressful than a long meeting, and then you’ve saved those hours of precious alone time for yourselves 😉

3).  Put your awesome multi-tasking skills to the test and find time for both you and your spouse to go to school.  Every parent has something to teach their children, even if it’s only how to draw an amazing dinosaur. If you homeschool, get both parents involved in teaching regularly!  If you use an online school or local option make sure that you and your husband spend time with the kids on their homework as well as extra-curricular activities.  That way you both know what’s happening in school and how your child is doing, you’ll both feel a sense of responsibility for their education, which will help in all kinds of family decisions.

4).  YOU.  Being a good mother is not about having all the meals ready, fantastically behaved children or a clean house.  I believe that those things do matter, but not at the expense of who YOU are, your own mental and emotional health and your own enrichment.  We can’t be good mothers if we’re not good people, good women.  How much have you thought about pursuing the unique and special interests that you spent time doing before having children?  Not long after my husband and I got married, I was sitting outside a coffee shop studying Ancient Near Eastern History when an old friend of mine, and a mother, approached me.  We’d talked a few minutes before, inside, and got caught up on our news at which time I got to meet her son!  As they were walking out to her car she stopped and said, “I used to do those things before.  Don’t lose that, ok?” And that’s my message to you as well.

No matter what, don’t lose what makes you you. It’s why your husband fell in love with you, it’s why your children love you and it’s what will make them want to get to know you as they grow older.  Bon Voyage!

photo courtesy of cottontradelink.com