My boys. My life.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Respect and offending vs living out faith

I'm just going to forewarn you if you choose to read this... this has been brewing on my heart for quite some time. It may ruffle some feathers. In fact, I kind of hope it does and I'm not going to apologize for it. Get that? Not. Going. To. Apologize... that's kind of the essence of what this is about!

I'm tired of living in a country/world that is so focused on not offending and disrespecting others. God sent Jesus to love and accept - I get that. But didn't He also leave His word for us to live by? I'm so tired of so many issues out there... be it gay rights, women's/abortion issues, God in schools, etc. Even that story from out east where there was a father/daughter dance and it was CANCELLED because someone complained. Someone complains about something and issues/policies change so as to not offend and disrespect. What's next? I alluded to the thought yesterday about voting in churches. When is that going to change? In God We Trust on money. So many things that have or will be changed because someone just might be offended.

I don't mean this to come across disrespectful but we as Christians have some responsibility in this. Are we going to turn luke-warm and stop standing up for what His word says? About what marriage is? About what sanctity of human life is? You can love and accept those who live in ways you don't agree. Jesus did that, and we need to follow that example! But that doesn't mean you turn your back on what the Bible says about those issues. Aren't we called to be set apart in this world? For our lives to look different? Aren't we called to carry a cross and be His hands and feet?

Are we as Christians overly concerned with offending and disrespecting others that we turn a blind eye and instead offend God and what His word says? Are we going to continue to let one little compromise follow another and diminish His word and His presence in this world? Are we going to continue to let the moral decline of this country continue down the path it has been going? Or are we going to do something about it?

If you aren't Christian, fine. But if you are... what are you living for? To earn favor of those in this world, or favor in His eyes? Whose cross are you carrying?

** Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wish I Had Intervened....

This morning I took Ethan and Shane to the zoo. I was kind-of disturbed by something and now regret I didn't do more about it.

Ethan LOVES the stationary train there. He could play on it, probably for hours if we let him. He gets frustrated when other kids want turns, too. I feel like I sometimes am beating my head against the wall and feel like a broken record, always saying to him, "We have to share. We have to take turns." etc etc.

Well, while he was being rather patient waiting for his turn there was a boy and girl playing in Ethan's favorite part - the train engine. The girl, granted, was taking longer than her fair share of time in there. The boy, presumably her brother, was agitating her from in front of the the inside compartment - he was leaning in from the front window. That wasn't too bad, but it escalated. The boy continued to pick this battle, moving inside the train engine and hitting and biting at the girl. I looked around, wondering, where the heck is/are the parent(s)?

I looked around and found a lady, presumably their grandmother, off on the furthest away bench, talking on her cell phone. Once things escalated further to the children yelling and crying, she yelled over a few times to quit fighting. Rather than getting her butt off the bench and off the phone, and trying to actually do something about it. Ugh!

I know... it's not my place to judge, but come on. Kids at 3, 4, 5... whatever they were... don't always know how or make the best decision on how to interact with each other. They need adults/caregivers in their lives to guide them. I will be the first to admit, sometimes I want to zone out. But this was completely out of line and irresponsible.

I regret not doing anything (except for explaining when several children were involved that we need to take turns). The boy was smacking at other kids and I was not about to put up with that if he took a swing at my Ethan. I would have gone over there and had a talk with the kids' caregiver. But instead, I did nothing... and now I just pray that these kids have parents who are more into their children's lives than this grandmother was... today anyway. And that when I have an opportunity in the future to do the right thing, I would be quicker on my feet and go against my non-confrontational personality. Cuz it's sad to think there are kids in this world who need strangers to fight on their behalf.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some Kindergarten Ramblings From Day #2

I want to try to do a better job of blogging, for my sake as much as anything. If others enjoy reading, then that's a bonus, but not priority. I'm doing this for me, and our kids, to try to remember moments in writing better. I do a good job, I think, of capturing moments on camera. Want to do a better job of writing. So here goes....

Just wanted to jot down some highlights of Bryce's first day of Kindergarten.

One of my proudest moments is him telling how he saw another child he knows alone on the playground. He said he stayed with him until this friend saw some of his new friends. Bryce could have just run off, but instead, he wanted to make sure his buddy was not alone.

These are the things that will matter in the long run. Grades are important, yes. But I'm sure many would agree that it's far more important to care for others. Be kind. Loving. Compassionate.

Ok... unrelated.... there are things I'm sad about with Bryce gone that I want to remember... I'm getting kinda Toy Story-ish here, but seeing his beloved bear my grandparents got him when he was born.. and some of his other favorites, laying on the floor where he left them, and outdoor toys he enjoys... makes me kinda sad. Like these toys are just waiting on him to come home and play.

Among the sad things also include missing the laughter of Bryce and Ethan in the van. Their nonstop conversation and laughing, and yes, occasional arguing and fighting. After taking Bryce to his second day of school today, Ethan cried once again the whole way home. It is a little hard to take how lost he seems without Bryce around. So much of Ethan's identity has been in his older, big and loud personality brother. It is GOLDEN to see Ethan find HIS voice again. Today we went to Toys-R-Us after Bryce went to school. There was a coupon for $5 off (any amount) good through today so seemed like a good opportunity to give Ethan something special to look forward to. The whole way there and back, he was constantly pointing things out, always saying, "Mommy, look...."  Cracked me up when on Coliseum he said, "Mommy, it's the United States of America flag." His speech is so proper - beyond his years-proper! It's surprising how much I failed to realize how much he was just wanting to be like Bryce. And how much less I could HEAR him when they're together. So even though it is sad for both me and Ethan that Bryce is around much less, this is becoming quite clear how important this transition is going to be for Ethan's development. I look forward to really focusing on him, especially once preschool starts.

We still need to share this news with some family members, but we are putting Shane in the 1s at our church preschool. We believe our reasoning for this is sound. Ethan has some struggles, along with being lost in the mix as the typical middle child. I first wanted his and Shane's preschool days to line up so I could reclaim some me-time and use the time to stay caught up with my business. Especially October-December, I quickly fall behind since it's the busiest time of year for me. However, the preschool days/times didn't jive up, so we found ourselves facing the decision of whether or not to still put Shane in. We decided to for some of the reasons stated above. Also, because it will be easier for me to get involved in Bryce's school year. Because of some challenges we have faced with Ethan's social development, I have refrained from doing certain things with the combo of Ethan and Shane. I look forward to being able to do things again, more easily anyway. And giving Ethan some 1:1 focus so we can further discover his identity and personality. :)

I haven't had a lot of 1:1 time with Ethan. So even though this new stage in Bryce's development is very bittersweet, there is definitely a sweetness being found in my 3-year-old. Shane, too, of course... but Ethan has so much to say and I just can't wait to hear what he'll tell me next!