Birthing an adult

I had the privilege to speak with a mom who had a teenager. The teenager is having to deal with a lot of issues. I kept hearing from the mom about what the teenager was doing to her, her husband (the dad) and the rest of the family. It seemed that it was the same thing each day. To say that she was frustrated, didn’t even come close. She was looking for a place to put this child to get help. As much as I could sympathize with her about her daughter’s issues, I felt the greater need to hear her as a mom. A dear friend of mine once said that birthing babies was easy, it is the birthing of adults that is difficult.

I have four children. I remember how different and at the time difficult it was helping them to become adults. I must confess, I am not sure I did it all correctly. In fact, I think that as a parent at that time, I stunk! (This does not define who I am, I just had some learning to do!) They are each unique. They each have their own personalities, ideas and gifts. Trying to place a “cookie cutter” formula just didn’t work. I read books,  studied other great examples, prayed, bound and loosed everything! I was given some great advice: don’t make mountains out of mole hills, let them individuate, and don’t treat them like you used to. What worked for them as children is NOT going to work as a teenager!

Here are a couple of tips that may help you with your soon-to-be adult:

1: Don’t make mountains out of mole hills. In other words, there are some things that you can allow to go by the way side. Focus on the things that are important for them to keep as they move forward. Respect, understanding, love, honor and value to start. You can help build these values.

2. Keep communication open. No matter what I was doing, there was nothing more important then allowing them to come talk to me. I tried not to give my opinion or try to fix the problem for them. (Didn’t always do that, but tried.) They need to know that they are being heard.

3. Take them on dates. Yes, I said dates. Fathers take your daughters. Mothers, let your sons take you. This is a great way to have a one-on-one with them. It will also help instill respect for the opposite sex. It can teach them to honor others.

4. Learn not to judge them. Their opinions are just as important as yours. We don’t want to dictate to them how to think, we want them to think on their own.

5. Being an adult means facing the consequences of your decision. Face it, we all mess up. As adults, we don’t have someone come to our rescue. Let them face the consequences of their decisions. Don’t jump in to fix “it” or “them”. Character is built by facing life’s experiences. Don’t circumvent that opportunity for them. If they come to you, help them with good choices, but don’t enforce your opinion or what you would do on them. Let them make that decision.

By the end of our conversation, this mom was doing so much better. Not sure how she will incorporate my suggestions, but she knows there is someone who is available with a listening ear.

Reflections for this season

Christmas tree? Could be!

Christmas tree? Could be!

Well, Thanksgiving has come and now is gone. Black Friday has come and now it is Cyber Monday. It amazes me how quickly the hype for the last two have evaporated with no thought to the Thanksgiving holiday – really! Expect for social media, not sure any company said Happy Thanksgiving! Now on to Christmas! Four weeks away, the hustle and bustle of the season. But what really is the hype about? Certainly not the real reason we celebrate. Very few take time to reflect the reason for the season. I am not knocking the giving of gifts. I am not knocking all of the preparations that goes on to get ready for this wonderful time of year! I guess since we have moved to the country with a slower pace of life and my husband’s retirement, I am looking at things a little differently. Most people have their tree up to just take down the day after or New Year’s day. There are parties to attend and people to catch up with. However, can I encourage you to take a moment and count your blessings. Truly look at your year from the prospective that all in all it has been a good year. Yep, not everything went your way. You may have had to face reports about health or family members that just “broad – sided” you. But even with all of that, it has been a great year. I am looking forward to finding that tree that will fill our living room. Watch my husband put up the colored lights (wonder how many it will be this year?)  I am looking forward to the smells that a fresh tree will bring! But I also want to remember that it is not about all of the gifts that will come my way or that I will be giving. I want to take the time to enjoy this season and reflect on all that this year has taught me. Looking forward to going into the new year with anticipation and joy!

What can I say….needed to “rant”

So, I just thought I would “rant”. I just looked up the word and I think this is what I want to do….bear with me.

So the first one I want to “rant” about is vocabulary. My daughter gets the books where you can do many different kinds of crosswords, puzzles, search words, etc. You know the types. Well, I have a confession to make. I need your forgiveness to start. I cheat! Yep, for those of you who know me this may come as a surprise. I have no excuses. I have been analyzing my motive for this defect. I have come to the realization that I do not have a wide range of vocabulary. There are these long words (50 cent words) that if I had learned them, I have not used them so I feel inadequate to understand them. Many of them I have to look up to see what they mean. Several times I have begun to relearn the meanings of words. The reason I am even bringing this up is because good friends of mine have opened a deli in our area. They are a couple of integrity. There were a group of people who sat outside one evening. As I was serving them, I commented on the fact that they had great weather to sit outside! One person commented on the fact that they couldn’t “cuss” inside. I was surprised by the response. I was speechless. As I thought about the person (whom I did not know) and the comment, I made a few observations. 1. This person was dressed business casual (why would he want to use ignorant language?) 2. Asian decent (nothing about this, just observation.) 3. Aren’t there better words in the vocabulary to describe what one feels than cussing?

Next “rant”. Children. I love mine. I would do almost anything for them. However, here lately, I have another confession. I had made them an idol. I know no one else has done that. As I have repented of my sin, the Lord reminded me that I needed to lay all down and follow Him. I have to trust Him with them and their decisions/choices. I have to move forward so that I can do as He has asked. It is very exciting to see what He will do in me. But I also know that as I lay them down, He will lift them up. He will accomplish His plans and purposes in me and them.

Third, technology. It’s great, sort of. Some have a concern about losing the “personal” part of life. A friend of mine has a radio spot called “The Microwave Moment”. That is what we have now. It seems that the younger generation is being trained to not think for themselves or develop fully because of what is available. (Again, I do know that technology is great for what it is.)

Fourth, the weather. Who really believes that complaining will make it either better or worse? This winter season has been long for our area and even longer for the north. Spring hasn’t even been normal. However, as I have tried to pay attention to this (yes, one should pay attention when things happen.) I can see the benefit of the change in weather.

Finally, (thought it was long enough…) Love! God’s love is for everyone. As I have sought forgiveness from the One in whom my heart desires above all else, His love has overwhelmed me. Because of what He did on the cross, He did for you. He loves you! And I love you. He is calling you to Himself. It will be a commitment of faith. If you are looking for a miracle, salvation is the greatest miracle you could have.

Autumn’s Water Reflection

There’s a reflection in the water that I had not seen before. If I were to look from the water to the scenery, what would my eyes really see? The brilliant colors of autumn looked marred somehow when looking at the water’s reflection and yet they call your attention to them, as they seem to sway with the beat of the movement of water. The steeple of the church beacons a second look as it stands out against the brilliant color scheme. The red of the tree seems to set the tree ablaze like the “burning bush” Moses kneeled at. That ground was holy. The yellow cries out to remember the sunny times in life while the greens speak of life everlasting. There are some things that do not fade with the turning of seasons. Oranges, yellows, reds and green all call to be remembered in autumn. It’s a reminder that change is constant. The evergreens stand as sentinels in the background creating a wall to protect those who would enter to worship.

The turning of the leaves calls us to remember a season of rest is coming. A preparation must be made to ready for what will come next. Will we heed the call? Will we listen to what nature is telling us? Will we read it like a book from our Creator? Will we see the sign of the time? Will the reflection in the water give us a clearer understanding of what we must do or will it cloud our ability to truly understand what we need to do? Will its beauty be etched in our hearts and minds as a moment in time? Or will we just ignore it and wish it were something else? Stop and take this moment to reflect…..

Water Reflection in Autumn

Water Reflection in Autumn