Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Christian’

Blatant Nepotism and Back to School

I took Olivia to get her sport’s physical this week.  We waited an hour to see the Doctor.  Apparently, waiting until the week before school to get your kids’ physicals is what all the cool moms are doing.  The clinic was running a little (a lot) behind.

I didn’t mind.  I liked talking to my girl.  When we were sitting in the lobby, Olivia gave me some career advice.  She said that I should open an office up right at our house and become a “Christian Organic Doctor who sells wellness”.  I’m like, I have no idea what that is, but I am TOTALLY in, Olivia.

She said that when she’s older she’d be my partner.  But, then she said she isn’t actually interested in any of that stuff, so she thinks she’d rather just watch my patient’s kids.  I love it when your children figure your life out for you.

I’m sad again.  I’m sad every single start of every single school year since I’ve had a school age child.  Zeke pointed out that going back to school does not really change my schedule at all, so there’s no reason for me to be sad.  I know that is true, but I’m sad any way.

Good byes have always made me sad.  Every fall I know we are saying good bye to another piece of our kids’ childhood.  It won’t be long before the last pieces are gone.

It’s going to be messy when all these kids go for real.  I know it.  I’ll be sad. I know one person for sure who will be sadder.  The kids have this one BFF who plays with them all the time.  This guy wants the kids to spend all their free time with him.  The other day the kids were gone, and this guy told me he felt so sad and lonely.  He didn’t know what to do with himself.

I said, “Scott.  I think you need to find some friends your own age.  These kids aren’t meant to live with us forever.”

He had a lonely look on his face.  He said, “I know.”

This is the down side of marrying a guy who has no interest in rubbing elbows with the movers and the shakers at the country club.  The guy who, if I’m remembering right, has never had a single “guys night out” in 22 years.

Guys like that  take their kids growing up pretty hard.

I’ve got a few years to figure out how to find some kind of life for Scott and me by ourselves, without kids.   I might get him into some pottery or paper mache classes.  Perhaps, interpretive dance?  If I keep this up, he for sure is going to ask the kids if he can live with them in their dorms.

Olivia has enjoyed her summer. She has sweet friends.  They have been busy filming and editing videos for their Youtube channel.  Is there anything at all about modern day child hood that looks like our own?  I recognize none of it.  I thought you were supposed to snap beans and wait for “Love Boat” reruns in the summer.

I was watching the girls’ videos and I thought they were funny and cute.  I’m not one bit biased, either.  I told the girls that the videos were awesome.  I said most of them were so long, that really only their Mother’s would have it in them to stick with it until the end.

I told the girls that if they made a short little video, I would love to put it on my blog.  Because, really?  just how long can people listen to me blather?  There’s gotta be something more interesting than that.  Like, a middle school girl’s fashion video.

Happy Back to School to all the wonderful families out there.  Blessings on you and your sweet children.  I am rooting for you!

 

 

Reggie is NOT a Christian

I have been slower to post lately.  I am not exactly sure why.  I only know I feel badly about disappointing thousands (I’m being modest, millions) of people waiting to hear from me.  If the world is bored, that’s because of me.  I’m sorry about that, you guys.  I’ve been busy.

Do you like it when people say they’re busy?  People LOVE saying that.  Like, if I tell you that I’ve been busy this summer, instead of telling you that I’ve been spending my free time watching “The Bachelorette” and “Last Comic Standing”, you would think being busy sounds better, right?.   I’ve been busy.

I might actually just be in a rut.  I have been pretty nose to the grindstone this summer.  And, then you have my awesome family.  What a blessing to have them all home.  What a blessing, indeed.  What a blessing to see all those blessed dirty dishes they use, and the socks they toss off in a day.  Blessing. Blessing.  It is a blessing.  Do I sound like I’m trying to convince myself?

Here’s the part where you tell me to have the kids pitch in and help.  Make a chore chart, right?  Give them their own duties.   Compensate them for their work.  See, I would do all that,  it’s just that I have found complaining is easier.

All these summer messes lead to issues.  I should be better at handling these issues.  They are not new.   I should be used to these issues. I might not fight it so much any more, but that doesn’t mean the  mess and clutter don’t get in my head.  I think a messy house leaves me feeling uninspired.  So, really, if you want to be mad at someone for my lack of blog posts, be mad at my family. No.  Don’t be mad at them.  They’re really nice.

My brain isn’t firing up fresh insight to share on line.  Instead, I’m writing notes like these:

20140726_075427

The other thing that has me down is that  I just realized Reggie isn’t a Christian.  It’s true.

The other day, Reggie  was whining and jumping.  His pupils were dilated.  He was worried because my purple bag.  I take my purple bag on overnight trips.  Reggie hates that bag.  Reggie saw me with that bag, and started to hyperventilate.

Scott said, “Reggie, you know we always take care of you. Can’t you have a little faith?”

That’s the moment I knew it.  Right there.  That’s when I knew Reggie wasn’t a Christian.

We used to think Reggie’s bad behavior was the result of being high strung and untrained.  Now I know. It’s because he doesn’t know Jesus.

Don’t even try to evangelize  your dog.  You’re just wasting your breath.  I read him Bible verses, and tell him that faith in a higher power will help him not be so anxious.  I’ve told him the story of Jesus, and explained all about His death and resurrection.

Reggie’s all like, “Meatballs?”

Then, I’m like, “Reggie, what are you even talking about?  Can’t you pay attention for one minute, and stop thinking about food?”  He can’t.

During supper this week,  I walked away from the table to refill my water glass.  I came back and Reggie was sitting in my chair.  My food was gone. He ate it. Reggie was fine with that.  He just looked at me, unblinking.  From my chair. No remorse.  The Holy Spirit is not acting as Reggie’s conscience.

I told him Christians don’t do that stuff.   We’re going to have to  keep talking.

 

Christian dog 2

Reading the Bible to Reggie. I may, or may not have been holding  a piece of pepperoni to get him to sit still.

 

Hey, Strict Christians, Stop It.

strict teacher

I think you and I both know that I don’t really know what I’m doing here. We’ve established that, right? I like to write. I like to be silly. I like to write silly stories. I especially like to write about my family. I like Jesus. Sometimes I write about that too. Sometimes people read what I write. Sometimes they even like it (love you Mom and Dad). Some people don’t. That’s all I know. So, let’s get that straight, before you go off believing I think I’ve got answers. I don’t. I mostly have questions.

When I have time, I like to read other people’s blogs. I think it might help me figure out what I’m doing. I especially like to read blogs from people who share my faith in Christ.

I read this one Christian blog about bikinis. This author had a humble tone. He was kind of funny too. I bet if I met him, I’d really like him. He thought Christian women have no business wearing bikinis.

I do agree that Americans are way over the top with their supersized food and undersized clothing. We’re just a, “go big or go home” type of culture. That attitude probably doesn’t always serve us well. Moderation is pretty cool.

The last time I went on a tropical vacation, I think my swim suit would have received a Vatican stamp of approval. In fact, it was so modest, I felt sort of outlandish in that environment. So, it’s not like I disagree with this guy based on my personal preferences. Yet, here I am, disagreeing with him.

I don’t want people to tell me what to wear. I really don’t. I have never thought about telling other people what to wear, but I wouldn’t want to do that either.

When I was a freshman in college I went to a sweet little Christian school that was not meant for me. This was a really good school down South. Many humble, Christ-like people graduated from that school. Lives were changed there. They had some rules.

One day I went to the cafeteria for lunch. I was stopped at the entrance. I was told I couldn’t enter the cafeteria because I was wearing a knee length skort. Yep. You’re reading that correctly. I was once a sinner, and wore skorts. You might think that’s just a fashion sin. At that school they thought it was a sin sin.

I was so ill prepared for rules at that age. I remember it took me a decent amount of time just to absorb the information from the dress code enforcer. I stood there at the cafeteria entrance, waiting for him to smile. I thought he might tell me he was joking. I thought he might say he just wanted to see how I would react if he acted in a way that was unreasonable. He didn’t do any of that. He was serious. He was unreasonable.

I didn’t get it. It was such a nice school. Why were they being so weird? At 18-years-old, I had no personal experience with adults trying to micro manage my choices. I was not used to it. I did not like it.

On a spectrum of typical family life, I would compare my upbringing to the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. We lived pretty innocently. So why don’t I remember having a bunch of rules? I don’t think we had a firm curfew. Nobody told us who we could be friends with, what to eat, drink, who to vote for, or what to wear. Everything my sisters and I knew about our parents confirmed their Christian beliefs. Why weren’t they strict? Isn’t that a hallmark of a Christian household? If it is, it shouldn’t be. Being strict doesn’t work.

That’s saying a lot, isn’t it? I’m usually more diplomatic. Let me rephrase. In my experience and time on this Earth, I have not seen evidence that being strict works. Better?

I can only know the stuff I know. What I know is that I have too many adult friends who went to strict, Christian schools when they were young, or had super strict parents. Now they reject Christianity. I have so many of these friends that I’ve come to a conclusion that there’s a connection between being strict and rebellion. Those adults I know are hurt and bitter. They want nothing to do with Christianity. That makes me sad, because it is my belief that Christianity isn’t what hurt them. Weird people who are strict did.

Did feeling judged for wearing a skort help develop me spiritually? Let me think back. I remember being embarrassed and my feelings were kind of hurt. Nope. It didn’t. I asked my self what good can come from all of that. I still do.

When I was a young mother, a really nice mom gave me a book. She said it was a great read, and would really help me learn how to discipline. I respected this young mom, and I suck at discipline; two good reasons to read the book.

I have never hated a book more in my life; I am talking about real hate. Usually, I work at keeping an open mind. I’m slow to develop strong opinions. I instantly had a strong opinion on this book. My opinion was that it belonged in our trash.

The author and his wife had a lot of children. The author’s philosophy involved breaking the child’s spirit. He compared children to horses. He spanked a lot, with a switch. He described what kind of switch to use. I’m sorry. That’s hard to even write. Did I mention what an awful book it was? Like reading a nightmare.

He said his oldest children were proof that his methods worked. They never questioned him, and they were always, instantly obedient. His methods proved to me that he’d actually scared his kids to death. Congratulations. He calls his methods discipline. I call them something else.

I felt sorry for the children in that book. And there’s nothing funny about adults hitting kids in to submission. But the methods discussed became a joke in our house. I found them so absurd.

When I described what I was reading to my children, their eyes became wide. I think they started behaving better just hearing about this guy. So, I guess he helped me after all. Too bad, I think he is so, so wrong. I’ll keep my naughtier kids with unbroken spirits, thanks anyway weird, strict guy.

My parents were not weird. They were calm and respectful. They gave us room to make mistakes and disagree with them. They heard us. Kids want to be heard. They gave us plenty of work to do, and we couldn’t afford to be spoiled. They never told us what the rules were for being a Christian. Their Christianity was personal. It was a relationship between God and them, and it happened in their hearts.

I’m trying to emulate that combination now that I’m responsible for my own kids. I can’t really know if it’s working, can I? It’s too soon. And you should know that just because I think out loud, in public, doesn’t mean I’m right.

I just know that I won’t be telling my kids that there are rules for being a Christian. I will tell them that being a Christian does not happen from the outside in. It happens from the inside out. It is a condition of your heart. It’s a personal relationship between you and God. Your personal relationship with God will help you make decisions about what you should say, do, eat, drink and wear. We don’t get to decide what God is telling other people about all of those things, and other people don’t get to decide what God is telling us.

I find talk about clothing and spankings tedious, really. I’m sorry for that. I would rather talk to my kids about being kind, faithful, humble, patient, self controlled, and joyful. I’d like to model that too. I want to tell them that they are going to have to determine for themselves whether they believe Jesus has the power to affect their lives. I want to tell them that’s what I believe, and that is what I have experienced. I want to tell them that divine relationship will be a solid foundation for building healthy human relationships and weathering life’s most violent storms.

I want to talk to my kids about all that, but mostly I want to show them. After that, my job is done. Then they get to decide what they want for their hearts on their own, and my job will be to love them no matter what.

I don’t want to try to control people. I’d be terrible at it. I do want to celebrate faith. My Faith is my light house.

A sweet friend sent me this song, listening always helps me celebrate! You might like it too.

A New Year’s Resolution…For Real

I have got a real one this time. I’m not even clowning around, wearing wrestling gear and mocking the sacred New Year’s Resolution tradition. I don’t know where some people get off.

We spent some road time with our kids over the holidays. I’m sort of liking that these days. I like it for the same reason I like taking my kids to school every day, even though we only live blocks away. Trapping my kids in the car with me gives me an opportunity to hear what they have to say. They’re interesting people.

Eddie said something on one of our trips over vacation that has me thinking. He told us he was not interested in and does not like conversations based on making fun of people, or discussing other people’s shortcomings. I thought to myself, Whew! I’m sure glad that’s something just teenagers do.

What I actually said was, “I know what my real New Year’s resolution is now. Thanks Eddie.”

I throw a lot of words out into the universe on any given day. Statistically speaking I don’t give myself good odds for no regrets. Most days I’ve got words that I would like to take back. Too late.

I heard a funny Christian author say one time that he was always surprised by how Christians pounced on one another’s mistakes, making harsh comments and criticizing, as if we are all properly sanctified, rather than being in the process of sanctification. What the? That’s complicated. Sorry, it’s written in Christianese. Probably should have written it in Chinese so more people would know what I mean. Why do Christians talk like that, anyway?

Here is a universal translation: We are all a mixed bag of good and bad. We are all making mistakes. The mistakes we are making today are things that we will learn from tomorrow. God knows that. If you remember the song, “He’s Still Working on Me” from Sunday School, you get the picture.

Viewing folks with this type of lens, makes me less inclined to make myself judge and jury. I would love to think that people are viewing me through that type of lens as well. I’m going to work on this resolution all year. Sometimes I’m going to fail; sometimes I’m going to write open letters to Matside Mom.

https://smithmiki03.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/dear-matside-mom/

But, ALL the rest of the time I’m going to make an effort to choose words that build people up. I’m going to focus on the good I see in people. I will take the time to tell them what I see and why I appreciate it.

When I see things that I don’t appreciate, I’m going to say, “meh. I’ve got too many troubles of my own to take up brain space with theirs.” I’ve been practicing this and I think I’m getting better at it.

I asked Eddie, “If people can’t make fun of each other, and point out each other’s mistakes, what are they supposed to talk about? I bet you never thought of that!”

No. I didn’t really ask him that, because I know what he would say. “Then just stop talking.”

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