Two Tiaras and a Sword

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One of THOSE Days

It's been one of THOSE days. You know exactly what I mean. One of those Murphy's Law -if it can go wrong it will go wrong-kind of days.

It all started when I woke up with a crick in my neck. Not a big deal except that it has been there since Sun. morning. I was really hoping that it would be gone this morning. But it wasn't. Then I was slow getting ready, and later getting to work than I had wanted to be.  I had failed to make copies of a test I needed to give today. My students were "needier" than usual, and wanted to crowd around and tell me all of their stories.  Which is fine, when I have plenty of time...and unfortunately I didn't have plenty of time this morning.

We had chapel, which is wonderful. And when I got my class settled, my son came to sit with me, which is even more wonderful. I was sitting there loving on him, feeling all warm and fuzzy when I looked at him, and he burst into tears. What!?! So I quietly asked him what was wrong. Sobbing, he could only get out the words, "I miss". So I gave him a minute and asked him "You miss what?". To which he replied, "!" That would be my mother, who passed away in February, 2008. Of course then I got teary eyed as well. I miss her too. And I too, am sometimes overwhelmed by missing her. So, I loved on him and cried with him.

Insert a couple of other things right here, that I do not feel I can discuss at this time.  But both were things that I NEVER would have expected this day to bring.  Unbelievable things.  Things that both saddened and angered me.  Things that never should have happened.  Except we live in a sinful world.  And in that sinful world, evil things happen.  Which reminds me that we as Christians must be saltier, and shine brighter so that others can see God in us, and so that He will be glorified. 

Then I found out that someone I love is being mistreated. By others that I love. And my heart breaks again. Why can't people just be nice to one another? Why can't people just love one another like the Lord commands? Then I remember that hurting people, hurt people. The ones doing the mistreating, are hurting too, and must be taught how to deal with their hurt without hurting, or mistreating others.  And so, I must pray for wisdom, that I might be able to help guide all three to a place where they can get along, as God would have them to do, despite their differences.

And then, I look around me. I see my "castle" with all of it's provisions that the Lord has generously supplied for us. I look at my wonderful husband, who loves me and is faithful and honest. A man of integrity. I look at my children, who have sound minds, and healthy bodies, and hearts to serve others and glorify the Lord. And I am thankful. I am thankful for my " one of THOSE days". Because it brings life back into focus. It makes me even more thankful for the "everyday" kind of days. The days I too often take for granted.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Something we all need

I need it. You need it. My husband needs it. Your husband needs it. My children need it. Your family needs it. Pastors and church workers need it. Teachers and students need it. The person who sits next to you at work needs it. The store clerk who checks you out, and the waiter/waitress that serves you needs it. EVERYONE needs it...

It is absolutely free. We have it within our power to give it lavishly. It costs us absolutely nothing to give it away. We know it is needed by everyone. We know it is free to give away, so why don't we share it more often? Why is it missing from our lives?

"What is IT?" you ask. Encouragement. We could all use more of it. Think how good an encouraging word makes you feel. A genuine encouraging word can change a tough day into one of hope. It can lift up a discouraged spirit. It can help mend a wounded heart. Hebrews 3:13 states, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." James 4:17 states, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

So, we know that everyone around us needs it. We know that it is within our power and
totally free to give away. We know that the Bible commands us to do it. We know that if we
don't do it, it is a sin. So, let's pray that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to those in our path that we can encourage each day. Let's stop worrying about what has us down, and look for ways to lift others up. I know from experience that we too will be blessed when we do. So, while we have breath, let's build up and edify those around us!

If you do, and are blessed as well by your experience, or if someone has encouraged you, please feel free to leave a comment, and encourage the rest of us with your story! I will go first by saying that I have received great encouragement from those of you who have decided to follow, read, and comment either here or on facebook that what I have written and shared here has touched or encouraged you in some way. It is good to know that God can use my crazy ramblings for some good. Much love to you all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 In the Know - Be Willing to Let Them Make Mistakes... In the Know - Be Willing to Let Them Make Mistakes...: "Thanks you so much for joining me again for this series on building a bridge to your child's heart. I appreciate the encouraging ema..."

The above is a link to a really good series of blogs on parenting. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read over some of them. They are easy to read and very helpful. Hopefully they will be a blessing to you, as they were to me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blind parenting

Growing up, I heard my mother say on numerous occasions, "I will never say that my children will never do something, because that is when they will do it and prove me wrong."  Then she would go on and tell about our next door neighbor.  She was a mother who ALWAYS took her son's side. In every fight.  On every occasion.  He. did. no. wrong.   Even when he robbed a clothing store, put racks of stolen jeans in her garage, and got wasn't his fault, it was someone else's fault, he was just helping out a friend who needed some storage space.  Even when he gave her a plant for Mother's Day, and told her it was called a Mary Jane plant, and that she didn't have to worry about it at all.  He would water it and take care of it for her...(Yep...he was THAT bold, and she was THAT blind to his faults)...It was a marijuana plant.  She was bragging about her wonderful son and his great Mother's Day gift, and when another neighbor pointed out what it was, she STILL took his side saying that he couldn't have POSSIBLY known that was what it was.  Right.  I don't guess by now that you would be shocked to find out that he ended up in prison.

The whole point my mother was trying to make was that she did her best to raise us.  She took us to church, she taught us morals, and she loved us very much, but she knew we were not perfect.  She knew that we were individuals and that we would make our own choices.  And that sometimes, we would make the wrong choices.  She knew that we were children, or young adults, and that our reasoning skills had not completely matured.  She also made it a point to tell everyone, while we were within earshot, that if they EVER saw us doing anything wrong, to please feel free to discipline us, and then to come and let her know, so she could discipline us as well.  And she meant it!  She did not want to be blind to our wrong.  She did not want to think we were perfect.  She wanted to do her part to help us learn to be right.

I learned several valuable lessons through this.  First, that I could not get away with anything.  If I did something wrong, my momma was going to find out, and she was going to take care of it.  After all everyone we knew was watching me.  They would tell on me!  I would be in serious trouble!

Second, I learned that my mother loved me very much.  She didn't want me getting into trouble and ruining my life.  She cared about me too much to take my side every time.  She loved me enough to allow me to learn hard lessons sometimes, knowing that hard lessons often build strong character.  The character that is never tried and strengthened, often fails when hard times come.

Third, I learned that there are consequences to my actions.  If I followed the rules, and did what was right, all was well.  If I chose to do things my way, despite the rules, I learned that I took the punishment for my actions, whatever they might have been.  However bitter they were to swallow.  I knew that I could not go home to her crying and she would instantly take my side.  I also knew that if I was in the right, she would stand up for me.  She was there for me either way...but she never tried to get me out of any punishment that I deserved.

Last, I learned that as a parent, I must pray daily that I am not blind to the wrongs that my children commit.  I know that they are children, and that they are going to make mistakes.  I would much rather them learn that there are consequences for their actions, so that they don't make the same mistakes, commit the same sins over again all the while thinking, "My momma took up for me last time, she will take up for me again!"  I would rather them remember how much trouble they got into the first time, so when they are tempted to sin again, they realize "It's not worth the trouble I'll get in when I get caught!" 

Two of my children have recently gotten into a little trouble at school.  Both of them made bad decisions.  Both of them were punished.  And we as a family used both opportunities as learning situations.  I can say with quite a bit of certainty (I will never say never) that neither of them will ever do what they did again.   I'm also not going to say that they won't get into trouble of different natures.  Because I know children.  But if and when they do, they will again face the consequences of their actions.  They will learn that we love them and stand beside them at all times.  They will learn that they alone are responsible for their own actions.  We will not make excuses for them. They will learn that in our family you are expected to own up to your mistakes and pay the price for them...They will also learn that life is SO much better and easier, if you just make wise choices.

We are certainly not perfect parents.  We struggle each and every day with parenting issues.  But we take God's Word seriously.  And we take our jobs as parents seriously.  I love my children very much.  I want them to grow up to be responsible, godly adults with a character that stands out and shines for our Lord.  I don't want to be a parent that is blind to my children's faults.  I would much rather SEE their faults, so that I can help them to overcome and be better people for it.  And I certainly DO NOT want to be visiting them in prison all the while proclaiming loudly that they are innocent (because I missed all the signs that God gave me along the way). 

So please pray with me and for me that I will not be a blind parent.  If you have children, know that I am praying for the readers of this blog to not be blind parents either.  And, if you happen to know me and my children personally, and you EVER see any of them doing wrong, please feel free to let me know.  I will not be mad at you in ANY way.  I will THANK YOU for caring enough to help me help my children be more responsible and godly young people.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The blog button I COULD NOT resist

While browsing through some blogs lately, I came across a button that reached out and grabbed me.  It sparkled, flashed in neon colors and screamed HEY!!!!  LOOK AT ME!!!!  CLICK ON ME!!!!  FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ME!!!! My was like the proverbial carrot dangling on the end of the stick in front of my nose...It said...something books for FREE!!!!  What?!?  Seriously?!?  I am an AVID reader, and spend quite a bit feeding my book habit...So this, well, this was FABULOUS news!!!!  Of course, I HAD to click on it and check it out!!!  So I did.  And what I discovered was a world of publishers - Christian publishers in my case - that will send free books to bloggers.  If  you will review the book when you are done.  Different publishers have different requirements...if you are interested, you should check it out! first review...

promises to keep by Ann Tatlock
Looking for a book that is thought provoking and chock full of controversial issues?  Then this is the book for you.
Janis Anthony is the mother.  She has relocated her family in order to escape an abusive relationship.  She leans toward being bitter and even giving up on the thought of love completely.  She admittedly has no relationship with God, and even doubts that He has anything to do with what happens in their lives.

Tillie is an elderly lady with one wish left, and she planss to achieve that wish by any means.  She is a Christian, and provides wisdom and comic relief throughout a book full of heavy thoughts and deep subjects.

Roz is Janis's eleven year old daughter, who wants everything to be right in her life again.  She wants more than anything to reconnect with and just be able to have a good relationship with her daddy.

Covering everything from domestic abuse, to interracial issues, it also touches on substance abuse and war.  Very deep subjects for what I though would be a light, easy read.  And although it was definitely thought provoking, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of what had the potential to be a strong Christian content in the book.  Roz asks Tillie on several occasions how she knew she was going to end up in heaven, to which Tillie gives a very vague answer that only serves to confuse Roz more.  Tatlock does a great job at keeping the reader guessing how it will all turn out until the last few chapters in the book.  And only then does she give another vague statement or two implying that fact that Roz finally understood Tillie's earlier answer to her questions.  I will recommend this book to friends, because it does deal with issues that makes the reader think and reflect.  I will warn them though that it is vague in it's theological message.

This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing a review.  I was not pressured in any way to write a good review.
And...for those of you who love to read like I do...check out this website...sign up, and receive free books like this one that you can review yourself!