Children, Family, Issues!, Social media

So Strong and So Mighty

So Strong and so mightyRemember the song, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do”?

The mountains are His, the valleys are His. The stars are His handiwork too.

Recently I got to see something that reminded me of my childhood church. I saw a Bible Study where the folks (mostly older adults…there’s something there, too) came to each other, hugged each other, checked in on each other, exchanged smiles, enjoyed a laugh, called out to each other. I couldn’t help but think that these lovely people are an example of what we have lost in our society.

These people surely had opinions on what was going on in the world, immigration issues, whether they want more gun control or not, their thoughts on the President…the list goes on. But more so, they kept it to themselves. They didn’t plaster their polarizing opinions on social media in an attempt to be the single-handed catalyst that our United States needs right now.

Looking at these people made me long for my own childhood days of church where folks just wanted to see how “your Momma and them” are doing. Where they gathered together in earnest prayer and thanksgiving.

I think of my kids.

I give them an instruction to clean the family room. Simple enough… “Just pick up your own things. Worry about yourself.”

And then, it starts. The arguing. Sometimes they argue with each other over literally the stupidest things. Oh, they seem so important to them but as the adult peering over them, I can assure you that this thing they’re arguing about is so very unimportant. Not only that, their arguments are weak and frankly riddled with logic holes. They are just too immature and busy arguing to even realize it.

I call the offending children to me and there standing before me are two kids still going at it with each other. Each thinking of how important it is that they win this argument.

strong and so mightyThis makes me think of how we look in front of our Lord. And when I say “we”, I mean the body of Christ. We bicker and argue over the nastiness of our President, gun control, violence, world issues, free enterprise, capitalism, abortion, immigration…right in front of Him. He has given us the instruction to love our neighbor as ourselves, to follow Him and to lead others to a saving knowledge of Christ. Simple enough.

Then why are we bickering with each other? Why are we debating each other? Because of all the squabbling I’ve seen and heard, I’ve not seen or heard of one person actually doing something about it other than working out the finger muscles as a keyboard jockey, spewing back-handed insults at brothers and sisters in the name of calling out injustice.

In love, of course. As if that makes it ok.

I think God is powerful enough and the Holy Spirit moves fine without our opinions. God wins in the end. God is in control. And God is enough. What if, instead of wasting time convincing the other person why he’s wrong, we got on our knees in prayer? What if we humble ourselves to the Lord and pray?

Do you think God is big enough and strong enough?

Issues!

It’s not a threat. It’s just physics.

Untitled designSomething happened to me today on the way in to work that stirred something inside of me and took me down the path of figuring out why and what happened. Along my route is a school zone and the road is a two lane with a center turn lane. The road isn’t very busy, despite the elementary school being right on it and the bustle of parents and school buses dropping off kids.

Speed limit is 30mph. A school zone.

And yet, this extremely important lady decided that she was above the rules and passed me in the turn lane to zip on down the road, completely disregarding the school zone and consequently the very reason it exists.

Sadly, I met her at the red light at the end of the road so her expeditiousness and law breaking saved her no time whatsoever. And she didn’t appear to be in distress, in labor, or otherwise stressed. In fact, she was checking her phone, probably for her important messages and texts. So important.

So she potentially endangered walking children, other drivers, buses, school personnel for literally no reason.

What made her do this?!

What made this selfish woman think that the rules didn’t apply to her?

And this is where my mind went…because I think it’s been a ticking time bomb that’s based on the “you are important” mentality we are mistakenly instilling in our children. That we have been instilling in our children for quite a while now. Let’s all enjoy the fruits of this mistaken approach to encouragement.

In order to live in a society together, there must be order, rules, boundaries, etc. We cannot live only for ourselves or we will cause each other physical harm. If I made decisions just for me, without any regard for the people around me, someone will get hurt. I don’t care for red lights but if I didn’t care ABOUT red lights, someone’s gonna get creamed.

It’s not a threat, it’s just physics.

People a long time ago were put in place to determine things like road rules, ordinances, methods of decision-making, orders, etc. In addition, people were put into positions to represent the masses on the forward movement of the society that ensures the benefit of as many as possible. Heck, we even had the forethought to put in place a mechanism that allowed for the change of people if those said people were not performing on our behalf in the best way possible. How lucky for us!

Long story short…the rules are there to keep everyone safe.

Which leads me to this…and it might sting.

You are not important.

Well, you are important…of course you are, bless your heart you sweet thing.

But seriously, you aren’t important. You are unique…just like everyone else. There are many of us…and there are many more to come.

Parents are telling their children “You are a leader!”, “You are a strong, independent person…you will go far!”, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something!”.

You realize kids take this crap literally, right?? Where is the talk about when things don’t go your way?

“Hey, sometimes you will be on the bottom of the totem pole” or “Hey, sometimes you will have to clean the toilet”

It’s why they suck at being friends, getting along, enjoying each other’s company, generally socializing with other people, etc. And don’t tell me that’s not true. Kids today are snarky, rude, selfish, lazy…and we’ve been telling them they are special and important. They believed us!! It’s not their fault!

Sometimes you aren’t the leader…that negates the idea of teamwork when your mentality is built on always being the leader.

Sometimes you aren’t a strong, independent person… we actually aren’t all good at everything and each of us possess specific skills and abilities that should complement each other.

Sometimes you can’t do something…there, I said it. Sometimes you just can’t and that’s actually ok because sometimes someone else can. I can’t build a car engine, but by golly my brother could do it easily with his eyes closed!

Sometimes you will have to clean the toilet. Just a fact.

I feel like some mothers are putting this crap in their kids’ heads now to prep for the day they envision when their grown child is standing in front of the press giving credit to their success (and obvious subsequent wealth) and that child says, “I owe everything to my mom because she always told me I could be anything I wanted”. And that’s selfish.

We cannot be a society of leaders. An upside down pyramid does nothing to move society forward. Every hive needs worker bees and being a worker bee is not a bad thing. It’s honorable. It says you care about others in addition to caring about yourself.

So…in conclusion:

Don’t pass me in the turn lane of a school zone!!!

Issues!

You might want to duck…

Ok…I may be shooting blindly and I may hit some folks. I’m sorry. It seems everyone is trying to be cool, relevant, hipster, chill…whatever. And from that exhaustive quest, comes phrases like these:

All the feels.

All the nope.

All the {fill in a random word here}.

I just can’t.

I can’t even.

That is on fleek. (what’s a fleek?)

I don’t want to adult today.

I need someone more “adultier” than me.

Sorry, not sorry.

Y’all seriously…where did descriptive words go? Where did finishing a sentence go? When did “adult” become a verb? Why, for the love of Jimmy Durante, are these phrases even necessary? How are we no longer able to articulate thoughts and feelings? And why is being a hipster so flipping important to people who are old enough for it to not matter?

Where am I right now?

I’ll tell you I feel and apparently act old. And I’m not even 40 yet. I do have an old soul, though, this I know for sure! I present Exhibit A:

Lately I’ve been listening to a newly created station on my Pandora radio app.

Julie Andrews. Need I say more? (Don’t worry, I will)

I love this lady. And I could listen to her all the live long day. Such incredible talent. I mean true honest-to-God talent. Have you ever really listened to the vocal range she had? Her ease and ability in light yodeling? (Check out the Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music if you are curious)

So this music station not only gives me Julie Andrews, but it also delights me with Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney…this is music!

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 8.48.01 AMCheck out these lyrics to Jimmy Durante’s ‘Once To Every Heart’:

Once to every heart
Love will find its way
Once to every lonely dreamer
Love will come to stay

Whether you are eight years old
Or even ninety-two
Someone in this world is meant
Especially for you

So when love comes your way
Fling your windows wide
Make her welcome, give her shelter
Keep her warm inside

Hold her always near to you
And dear to you alone
Be her lover, be her friend
And you will find the rainbow’s end
It always happens
Once to every heart

*sigh*…this is timeless. And it’s beautiful. And I know it’s a dying art, which makes it altogether tragic. Because I could listen to this conversation all day long in favor of a typical “whatevs” conversation (complete with finger sign) that I am subjected to daily.

Like I said…I’m shooting and you may get hit. I’m sorry, not sorry (you’re welcome). Tell people how you feel. Use complete sentences. Use adjectives (really and very don’t count).

Paint a picture with your words.

Children, Family, Issues!

Snuggle up, please!

img_2393-jpgSometimes my kids get on my last nerve. And I hate that because of how much time I actually don’t spend with them. Like really with them.

Sure, we spend time together while I bark out orders:

“Get in the car…we are so LATE!!”
“Who made this mess? Girl child, I swear if I see this stuff on the floor one more time, I’m throwing it in the trash can!” (relax, it never goes in the trash can)
“Boy child, why is your X-wing fighter tied to the hallway light??”
“Baby girl, where are your shoes??”
“Sit down…do you have ants in your pants?!”
“Eat it!!”

You get the idea here. This is not spending time together. This is managing livestock basically. And I mean livestock in the best way possible. My little lambs.

Now for the excuse-making section of the post:

I am so busy. I have a ton of crap to do and I have a ton of things expected of me. I’m tired. I’m stressed out. I have everyone pecking at me like buzzards do with a not-quite-dead unfortunate squirrel in the road. I feel like I look like that squirrel sometimes.

*sigh*

In ten years, none of those excuses matters. And what sucks about that is the fact that despite knowing that none of it matters, all of that crap gets in line ahead of the only things that should really matter. The only things that should be at the front of my “now serving” line. My family.

So, the day I for some reason had an afternoon to nap (no idea how that happened)…it took about five minutes before two of my little ones realized where I was (in my bed), to climb in as delicately as elephants, rearrange the blankets, push and pull on pillows, fix their stuffed animals and want to snuggle with Momma while she napped.

I almost got angry. Almost. And then, I was happy. Because there’s only a little more time where they’ll want to do this on their own. Where they’ll want to be in my company.

I’m glad they climbed in.

How do you keep your priorities in check? Let me know in the comments!

 

Children, Family, Issues!

So…A lot to talk about!

37a7c3fa-c3d3-4e5c-8368-eb13b909bae2-jpgThe primary purpose of this blog is really a humorous memento for my children to document the stories that otherwise might be forgotten and also so others have the opportunity to follow along…and to those folks, thanks for following along!

That being said, the below is a message to my children:

My darling children,

A few days ago we elected a new president for our country. This has brought out a new level of crazy in the people of our country and now that we all know what each others’ innermost thoughts and feelings are (thank you, social media for providing us with an irresistible vehicle to share things we have no business saying out loud, much less writing it down and saving it for the ages), we have drawn a line in the sand. Some of us are on the “right” side and some of us are on the “wrong” side.

So, which side is right and which is wrong? Good question. It depends on who you ask.

The beauty of our uniquely designed country is that we have freedoms to think and speak our minds, no matter how delusional we actually are. So long as we aren’t breaking our laws we can be bat crap crazy, worship a spaghetti colander, eat upside down and speak only in pig latin. For the record…you will do none of these things because we raised you better than that, but you get my point.

Now lately, a problem is starting to bubble in this great country. For some reason, we as a nation seem to have intertwined our freedom to think and speak with the notion that only what we individually think and speak is correct and anyone who has a differing opinion should be burned in effigy, pushed off a cliff, hanged in the town square or launched into space tied to a rocket ship.

Believe it or not, we even see this within our own church! Within our own church! I know, right?!  People no longer associate with Daddy and me because they think they know what we believe and what we are against, which may differ with what they believe. And rather than have a conversation with us, they choose to judge us harshly and walk away.

We seem to be losing our ability to have differing opinions and a sound, logical disagreement with our fellow citizens. This is such a beautiful art and it’s dying.

I think it’s dying because there’s a moral decay happening. Generally speaking, we aren’t polite to each other anymore. We don’t care about others. We want to be first. We are most important. We are too busy. We are too selfish. We are too rotten and spoiled. That’s right…we are spoiled!

Imagine what a society that genuinely cares about each other looks like. I mean GENUINELY cares for each other. GENUINELY. CARES. I imagine it would look a lot like what I see in you children when you offer to share your dessert with your friend or when you deliver the Christmas cards you made to folks in nursing homes. Or when you share your toy with brother or sister when he or she has gotten hurt.

So, in everything that you do…be kind to others. Be kind to animals. Be patient. Be understanding. Listen- truly listen. Be selfless. Be generous. Be the person God designed you to be.

I hope that by the time you read this years from now, our country has healed and has come together. But just in case it sucks, know that Jesus has won the battle and that God’s plan reigns. He is still on His throne and He is still coming to retrieve His children. Nothing about His plan changes. You will always have that Hope.

So keep being kind until He comes back, even when it’s hard. I love you three more than all the sand on the beach and the stars in the heavens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issues!

I really wanna be normal…

b1855742f12aacd1c30d7d78406e91e3It’s amazing what is unearthed in the normal, ordinary things of life. Who would’ve thought that the simple planning and inviting of friends to boy child’s birthday party would bring out the insecure, lonely high schooler that apparently still dwells deep inside of me?!

I know this of myself…I am in introvert. For me, this is the lovely combination of being witty and creative but actually becoming physically drained to be in the presence of others. So my talents are either unnoticed or I have to awkwardly push them on to people who may be too busy to really care and appreciate or who don’t seem interested in me at all.

As an introvert, this causes me to spend the last bit of energy I have (left over from the draining experience of interacting with others) over-analyzing why no one cares about or appreciates me, as irrational as that may be. I wonder what I’ve said or done to make people not interested in me as a person because no one is naturally drawn to me. I see casual interactions all around me and it looks effortless and natural.

So if it’s that easy…then it must be something I’ve said or done wrong that keeps others from showing any sign of interest or investment in me.

Yeah…I have issues. And I certainly don’t want to pass this crap on to my kids.

So, despite feeling like other people simply humor me with small talk when there’s no exit strategy they can utilize without being straight-up rude to me, I will continue to do things that are so uncomfortable and draining to me.

Socialization is apparently a very natural thing, so even though it’s physically exhausting to me I will do it for my kids. I will chat with people after church, I will sign up to help with programs, I will contribute to events, I will show up to optional activities…all of which is so very tiring for me. I want them to see what “normal” interactions look like. I want them to see that communication with others is natural and I want them to see what investment in relationships looks like.

So I will even invite friends to my child’s birthday party…even if it spurs on irrational thoughts of why someone declined to come. I can somewhat deal with people not liking me, but I can’t stand the thought of people not finding value or worth in my kids. Birthday parties are light, fun, celebratory events…simple as that.

There is a strand of people out there who want to have friends but have the issue of socialization exhaustion. It sounds goofy, but it’s real.

I just wish people understood this…