Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The little children in China...

So, we're full-force into the "why" stage of life these days. And well, any other generally inquisitive question you might think of. So, after you gag because realize just how many things in your daily life you've purchased from Walmart, you get the question of "who made this." My new answer..."the little children in China." Ashley's response..."wasn't that nice of them?"
Yes, yes it was...except when you think about how many things "the little children in China made" for you to buy. It starts to wear on the heart. I don't know...maybe we could somehow get everyone on board with the idea of each girl having one corn-husk doll that grandma makes for her and each boy having just one wooden gun. And the two of them can share a sock horse on a stick and a sock monkey. Anybody on board with that? Just think of how many FEWER things we'd have to pick up at the end of each day to put in their places.

Okay, okay, enough ranting...but it is worth considering. Just how much of what we purchase was made by little kids in sweat shops? I'm not sure I really want to know the answer here.

On another topic, well kind-of, I think that we are all humoring ourselves to say that God has given these children to us to raise. I'm beginning to think God sends the children to us to help us to grow up and receive a few instructions, and to provide little mirrors into the depths of our lives that we so often ignore.

And, still, on another topic. Please pray for our friend Carrie and her family. She was in our youth group when we worked with the teens at our church in Richardson. She lost her dad very unexpectedly just over 3 years ago. She lost her mom just a few days ago. She's only 20 and both of her parents have already passed. Wow...I cannot imagine. We went to see her tonight at the visitation and she looked pretty well wiped out. Anyhow, if the Lord burdens your heart for her, please just pray for her and clarity and endurance as she recovers and presses forward with the things the Lord has placed in her heart. She has an amazing heart for the Lord and He has gifted her in some very special ways.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Mommy Monster

Well, I come to you all humbled over the past few weeks by some sin that has entered my life. It's been one tough month. You know how things snowball. Lack of sleep, crying kiddos, less sleep, more crying, more crying...and then you begin to break and snap and react rather than respond, and begin to feel like you're loosing it-your mind, your self-control, your gentleness, etc.

I started to see myself reacting to my children in a way that was not okay for me. I was snapping and beginning to shout. I felt what I would describe as "justified anger" toward my children. It was not okay. I would spank out of frustration, not love. I just wanted my kids to get away from me so they would stop crying about EVERYTHING and stop bothering me.

Finally, I realized that I really had lost it-I had lost my leaning on the Holy Spirit of God, trusting him to parent through me. In my own, very ugly, humanness, I was beginning to parent. I was doing it out of "my own strength." Let me just tell you folks...parenting out of our own strength is a very, very UGLY thing and yields pretty terrible results.

I have confessed to others of my fleshlyness and am seeking to shake myself empty of me moment by moment, so that His Spirit can re-invade the depths of my being, my attitude, my parenting, my everything.

It is scary to think of what life may be like for so many who, I suspect, live daily in this very scary, unfulfilling way of parenting, and living in general. I share my struggles from over the past month with you in hopes that maybe this touches your heart, or strikes up a conversation with your spouse or your friend who you may suspect is feeling "angry and frustrated" rather than under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit. You can hear the difference in the voice. There is a sharpness there that we would cringe if we heard flow from the mouths of one of our precious little ones back to their siblings, friends or even to us. We would cringe if someone else spoke to us that way. May we not break the spirits of our children, but instead may we get to a place of self-control (possible only through the H/S) so that we don't feel and act and respond in a way that is out of His control.

In sorting through my struggles, I shared with my best friend Julie that I had really been struggling and that I was beginning to act "White Trash" as a parent. I said, "here I am, an educated person and I'm acting like I've thrown all I've learned out the window and become white trash." She said (and I'll paraphrase), "Em, it has nothing to do with status or education. It is not white trash, it is without the Holy Spirit. The educated and upper class do it too, they're just better at hiding it." She is right. So, completely right... So, next time you think in your mind, "that's White Trash," consider that maybe it really is just someone living without the grace of the Holy Spirit to act as a governor of his/her thoughts/speech/actions. Consider that maybe instead of judgement, that person is crying out for help-the help of the H/S. And maybe, just maybe, you are the one to share that hope for a better life with him or her.

For what has been broken, only He can make new. If you have struggled, as I have this past month, I urge you to confess your struggles with people who will hold you accountable to growing from that place. Though many/most/dare I say all, of us have gone/will go there, it is not an okay place to stay.

Painting, pumpkins and pimp?

Painting project today...and then I got a phone call and it went from my little angel painting to a little green monster, but still just as sweet. Too funny. I guess maybe she actually wanted to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle for Halloween.

Pumpkin carving with friends last night. Joe, of course, did the cool cat one. He's so creative. I really love it!

My little Mr. Monster. We took these pics Saturday after we did a photoshoot for some friends. I re-discovered this little hat when I was prepping for the photoshoot and just had to have Joe snap a few while we had the camera out. I just absolutely love the last one.

My little problelm solver...

Things were quiet in the know there must be a problem somewhere. So, I walk back to my bedroom and there it entire container of floss, strung out. I ask, "What are you doing, I asked you not to get into the floss." The response, "But mommy, I have some chicken stuck in my teeth."