Thursday, September 30, 2010

Raising Adults

I am raising adults... not children. This statement usually gets me a few raised eyebrows. I see so many people raising children these days and then they wonder why their offspring make such poor adults. I get my share of flack because I allow my kids to say and do things that some find questionable (these being the same people who generally find me questionable so...). I know that my children are real people not puppets. They have real desires, feelings, gifts and challenges. I am not nearly as concerned by what they do or how they do it as I am WHY.

I would much rather that they question someone (even an adult) right here, right now about something if they honestly feel that what the person did was wrong then to stay silent and be polite "good" little children. I love it that they regularly whisper to me "I don't want to know what would happen if we said or did that" after witnessing other people's behavior. Or even better the times they say "thank you for disciplining that out of me" when they see peers still whining, complaining or pouting... I am not kidding.... they have really said that MANY TIMES.

On the flip side, they can be severely punished for "good" behavior if I feel like they did it for the wrong reason. I don't allow placating people who are being poorly behaved. I will make all the allowances in the world for someone who is trying and none for the people who feel entitled to them.
My kids say that I have a 15 minute answer for every 10 second question. That is because although I will occasionally use the "because I said so" it is honestly rare. I want them to think. I want them to understand why. So I take the time to talk through my decisions with them and play out the "what happens in the long run" scenario so that they understand my heart. Even if they don't completely agree with me they don't question it the next time because they know why I am saying yes or no.

Anyone who knew me when knows that I do not tolerate teasing people in any fashion for things that make them different. I do however support teasing to the point of ridiculousness about the things that we all have in common. I love comedy and I think laughter is a defining beauty in our home but never at the expense of someone else. This was a hard lesson for me as I was teased and tormented when I was young and used words as weapons myself for a long time before God really taught me this.

If you read nothing else of this babbling on READ THIS...

I know that my children are not mine. I have been given an opportunity to raise and influence two daughters of Eve and two sons of Adam. They will take what I have taught them and use it to serve themselves or the Lord. I have no control over that. That is why I am far more concerned with their heart and the why than the behavior itself. I love it that they are all so different. I only hope their true love is the same.

Long Time Gone

I have been curiously absent from my blog world for a rather long time. I love to write and I am never short on opinions and so I was forced to ask myself why... why so long without blogging Miss Amy (because I actually do talk to myself in third person on a regular basis)? Fear. Yup, my answer was quick and sure.... fear.

I have very little ability to filter myself once I get started and so I must refrain at times to keep myself from saying more than I aught (yes, I just used aught in a sentence in 2010). I have found myself in one of those places in life where one must decide which direction they are going to go. There has been a shift in the ages and stages of my children, our location, our church family and in my family family. One might even say that the landscape of my life has changed. I know who I have been... now who will I be. I had the pleasure of having my niece Alex here for a long time this summer. She helped me really see the impact that I have as a mother. I know that my children are picking up all manner of questionable behavior from me but they are also learning that I value their relationship and commitment to Christ higher than any other aspect of their life. I am an evangelist. I cannot help it. My heart cries out for people who are lost and without hope. I have had some horrible experiences with churches and leadership and some have questioned well... everything about me and my faith. So then I tried to pull myself back and not be involved or put myself out there to keep out of trouble and limit strife... and I have suffered for it.

I wasn't made to stay out of trouble any more than I was made to stay silent. I love loving people... right where they are at... just as they are. Especially those that are harder to love. I have made my choice. I will step up and lead because I know God has equipped me for it. I will not be silent when I see others hurting and lost. I am pretty sure I will end up in trouble again at some point... and if the people I have been serving and caring for feel loved by me and by God through me then I will feel successful. I am tired of feeling empty at the world's version of success... I only really feel accomplished when I know God used me to reach someone's need and touch someone's heart.