A Godly Education

tanzania

In our Children’s sunday school classes, the focus has always been kingdom living. We wanted the children to be able to lay hands on one another and pray, even in the playground. We wanted the children to know memory verses that they could call upon in times of trouble. We wanted them to know that how they acted at school reflected on Jesus. We wanted them to know that even though they were little, they could still pray great big prayers. Recently, I filled in in the Pre-K and Kindergarten class as their teacher was going to be out. When I asked the question, “I want to pray for my mommy and daddy and ask Jesus to ____________” One little girl who is 5 years old said, “let the heavy burdens fall off their shoulders and have peace.” Super surprised I said, “What’s heavy burdens?” “Stuff that makes you scared or mad or not want to come to church.” When I asked one little girl who is 4 “I want to pray for myself and ask Jesus to___________” She answered, “Help to remember to put my plate and cup in the sink, clean up my toys and be nice to my baby brother.” You have no idea how much that blessed me. When we ask the children for prayer requests we get hands raised quickly, “There’s this bully at school” “There’s this test coming up” “My mom yells at my dad to come to church” “My dad drinks too much with his friends” “My friend is sick and missed two days of school” “My brother keeps hitting me” They notice! They love! They understand Jesus will hear them and that nothing is too small or too big.

It’s often the grown-ups who get in the way. Recently an issue popped up. Our kids didn’t know the books of bible. The scramble ensued. Oh no! The kids don’t know the books of the bible. I bought the music they would need to sing and memorize but I didn’t see the point. I kept my mouth shut and went with the plan. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that it lasted about two seconds. I asked a question not to sow discord but to make them think. Bibles have tabs and they have a table of contents, do we really need to know the books of the bible? Is it not more important and to our benefit to know scripture and what lies within those books? Is it not more important to know how to pray for someone or how to pray for ourselves? Is not more important to know that we belong to a kingdom in which no weapon formed against us shall prosper? Oh, it will try to knock us down but we have some promises to call upon. What does knowing the books of the bible do for you in the daily activity of your life? To me, knowing where the book of Ephesians falls in the bible is not important. What’s important is we all understand and know in our hearts and can say in our own words the premise of Ephesians 6:10-18. Just a thought.

To read more about how these kinds of things happened even in the days of Jesus read a good friend of this blog’s site, Jonnysoundsketch2. Click here.

Happy Birthday

Today is Anthony’s birthday! He is going to a concert so we won’t get to see him today. We celebrated last week and my mom and aunt met us in Fresno!

IMG_0329

Anthony, I love you. You have blessed my life tremendously. Have a blessed day, have fun at your concert and with your friends. Oh yeah, I forgive you for being the LAST to know! I’m happy for you though! Love you Bubby! When you’re happy that makes me happy!

Jam & LC 2

Anthony! How did you get so old while I stayed young?!

Why I Love Him

Love Happens Universal Pictures
Love Happens Universal Pictures

The Scene: Friday afternoon. Both of us are beat, he more than I. He plops down on our bed, grabs the remote and ice cold water from the fridge. I stop and ask him, “How much do you love me?” He smiles big and says, “A lot, why? What do you need?” I smile back and say, “I want to go see the new Jennifer Aniston movie.” He says, “Baby, I can’t take you till the last showing because I have to take the kids to the football game at 7.” “Oh”, I say, “it’s okay, I was going to ask you to take me to the 4:40 showing.”

He looks at the clock, 4:15. “I can do that, but I won’t have time to shower.” “It’s okay!” So he drags himself up and we go to the movies. As the movie starts I say, “Thanks for bringing me.” He smiles and pats my leg. I get it, he’s tired.

About 10 minutes into the movie he says, “Oh, okay I know what this movie is.” I look over at him and say, “You mean you came with me not knowing what movie it was or anything on a day you were tired? Awww!” He says, “Baby, wherever you are, whatever you want to do, is where I want to be.”

Do Stay-At-Home Mom’s Risk Their Careers?

www.theparentszone.com/ working-parents tips-to-l...rking-mom
http://www.theparentszone.com/ working-parents tips-to-l...rking-mom

This is part four of a discussion we started on Lies Women Believe.

Marina, a young mother had some valid issues to address in her comments and I wanted to bring them forward as we discuss solutions.

Marina: When I was little, I was sucked into feminist deceit thinking that women should be just as successful as men and we need to rise up and prove that women are actually superior in many areas. I now see that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone!! I know who I am and whose I am. My career focus has been dramatically changed. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying women shouldn’t work or be successful, God wants to partner with us in our desires so that He can use us wherever we are. The thing is, I have realized the source of many of my desires has come from this prideful, feminist propoganda. This has so touched my heart that I am actually considering what I can do to spend more time at home raising my child and children to come!

According to Tony Robbins, a 40 year study on 1.3 million women show that women are more unhappy today than ever before. So what is the reason for it? I believe we’ve hit on it over the last few days.

You see, when you look at how we were created and when we were created our unhappiness makes sense. In Genesis, the woman, in physical body form, didn’t come on the scene until everything was in place and ordered by God. Her body was formed out of man after he developed a need for her. She was created to be his helpmeet. She was emotion and love and sacrifice and willful and strong and opinionated. She also carries the seed and multiplies into human form, so she is hated by Satan. When you remove her from all that she was created to be, she is lost to her original design.

She finds herself today out of order. She finds herself today, both mother and father, both working and sustaining. Her apron strings long to have children tied to them but her demands are many. She’s painted herself into a corner and yet pride and obligation keep her from her true destiny. Her number one need is security but she finds herself in a world where the only security she has lies in her own abilities.

The biggest thing corporate America will tell her is that she will risk her career by taking a time-out for her family. That statistic is, that in fact, she will make less money and have less ladder climbing ability over her overall career than a women who stuck it out. Hey, facts are facts.

Ask yourself, should you make your lifelong decisions based on financial gain? Are there some things that are more important than money? It would seem that the 1.3 million women who participated in the study that Tony Robbins talks about, will tell you that there’s got to be more to life than what we’ve been given over the last 40 years.

I tell this story all the time but it bears repeating. When my son Anthony was 5 and my daughter Casey was months old, my neighbor came home with a new car. A working mom, her kids in daycare, they were going to Greece that summer for a 10 day vacation. I was beyond jealous. We shared a car and weren’t going on vacation. I determined that day to get a job because I was missing out on the good life. After I put Casey down for a nap and fed Anthony, I was rocking him to sleep. He would nuzzle my neck and play with my hair while he yawned and talked. That day he said, “Mommy, you always smell so comfortable.” It stabbed my heart. Who would rock him to sleep, who would smell comfortable to him? No one but me.

My mom was a working mom. She got to hear about our first word and first step, she regrets she missed her time with us. I was a stay-at-home mom, I could tell you a million stories. The only thing that I regret is that my kids grew up. It was the most fulfilling, happy time of my life. I have a career now and I’m happy with that. Women: you can have it all. I promise you, I am proof of that. I have to now tell you the bad news. You can’t have it all at once! Make wise choices.

Whose Raising The Kids?

www.blog.thesietch.org/ 200803/13/ we-be-hav...ral-world
http://www.blog.thesietch.org/ 200803/13/ we-be-hav...ral-world

This is part 3 of Lies Women Believe.

In part three of the discussion on lies we women have bought into, Marina, a young mom brings up some interesting points that I thought were provoking enough to discuss.

Marina:Many have abortions because the timing is not right, they can’t afford a baby. This has become not just a mindest, but a cultural mindset affecting an entire nation. The laws in place are not a cure for this mentality, it just masks the symptoms. The real problem has come from a cultural shift on our priorities and what we regard as first importance.

Pastor Susan: What happened was that the moms of the 60’s raised daughters who believed that men were trying to keep us from our goals. We also had very guilty feeling moms who knew the heart-wrenching decisions of picking work over their children. Yet, they were stuck. Women were telling other women that they were somehow less than for feeling guilty or for wanting to stay home. They were asking the women why their husbands weren’t carrying 50% of the workload at home. So women sucked it up and did what they had to do. This created moms who were out of sorts, feeling guilty, tired and resentful of the whole mess. Women began to believe they had options. That their needs were more important than an inconvenient pregnancy. Only statistically we see many more women who live in bondage over the decision of abortion than women who live free. They end having deep regret, they think about it each year saying things like, “My baby would have been 14 had I kept it.” If this was such a flippant decision then the residue of that action would not permeate our thoughts in the now. It’s not as easy as women told us it would be.

Marina: I have been struggling with this issue even before I attended this conference because for the last few weeks, every time I drop my child off at the sitter’s I think to myself “I should be the one that spends time with my child during the day, loving him, playing with him and teaching him.”

Pastor Susan: Now there is this shift happening not just in Marina but in her generation who is waking up to the knowledge that women were sold a bill of goods. The adults who were raised as latchkey kids realize they missed out on something. The women of this generation are realizing that we weren’t given more freedom, we were given more burden. Now we are expected to work, raise children and statistically we are doing a majority of the household chores and running of the kids from event to event. We are tired! Women realized that they spent their childhood raising themselves, divorce rates increased in this society and we were not better for it.

The problem lies in that our society has changed. Men, for the most part, and I am generalizing here, don’t want to marry women who want to stay home and raise children. If truth be told, 40% of white, over 50% of Hispanic and over 70% of African American babies are born out-of-wedlock. 65% of kids in prison don’t know their fathers and if they do, they weren’t raised with them. Men also are in an period of finding themselves so they also think they are entitled to stay home. It’s a mess to say the least.

Tomorrow let’s talk about what this all means and what we have to do to make it work for everyone.

Marina

www.flickr.com/ photos/ lizaedithphotography/ 2423267040/
http://www.flickr.com/ photos/ lizaedithphotography/ 2423267040/

Yesterday I repeated a blog on Lies Women Believe. Marina commented on this from her perspective as a young mother. I didn’t want her comments to get lost and I want to discuss it further.

Marina:Wow….this article was sent to me by my mother…it is soo true. I myself have been evaluating this issue for the last four days, and here’s why. I was at a conference this last weekend and one of the speakers was Kris Vallaton of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He gave us a little spill that has had me thinking. He brought up the issue of abortion and how this issue has arised in our culture and how our society’s value of children has been demeaned. America went through the agricultural age with a high value for children. The children helped with the farm and helped to bring income in their family. They were important to the family. They could do more. Somewhere along the line (after the war sometime) the feminist era creeped in and women had an itch to be comparable, to be valued as much as men.

Pastor Susan: During WWII women went to work, while the men went to war. It’s what was needed to keep our country going but what happened is, we really liked working. We liked the independence and we were appreciated in a new sense. This group of women, raised women of my mother’s era. My mother graduated high school in 1959 and for the first time, women of her generation were given options. No longer did they HAVE to get married and have children to be considered decent women. Suddenly they were going to college to get a masters and not a Mrs.

Marina:In the industrial age many women entered the workplace and suddenly the children became a burden for the family. Now we need somebody else to watch our children because he have the responsibility to provide just as the man because now we’re equal! Our mindests become as such: The more children we have the more expenses we have and the children are no longer valuable for helping us, but burdensome for taking from us.

Pastor Susan: This were the dilemma came in. As women, we were supposed to work and bring home the money but society still expected every woman to have a child. If you were a woman who didn’t want a child you were considered selfish or something was wrong with you. We still carry that stigma. If you wanted to stay home and raise your child, you were a stone-aged babe who needed to get with it. The pressure was coming from all angles and we, as women, were just as caught up in the pressure of this new generation as the men were.

Men became accessories in this era. Women determined that men weren’t necessary. We needed their sperm but not their input. We began to teach our sons that they needed to find a woman who would work and help him financially keep the family together. It was a pretty sad state of affairs but you would have never convinced us of this at this time. This is, coincidentally or not, if you see the writing (spirituality) on the wall, where the shift in families attending church services began to decline. I mean, think about it, with all we had going on at the time, we couldn’t fit another thing in. We were tired women and something had to give!

Good points. We’ll continue this tomorrow!

Lies Women Believe

www.tropicalisland.de/
http://www.tropicalisland.de/

Something has been on my heart recently. It’s about those missed windows of opportunity that occur in a woman’s life. I grew up in a feminist household so until maybe the last 10 years or so, I believed a lot of the propaganda. Now, I believe some of it and some I dismiss as damaging. Let me explain.

I believe that women should earn as much as a man for equal work, no question about that. I believe that women should get an education and should pursue their passions, buying property and handling money. I am in no way a woman who believes a woman should be at home or a subservient.

That being said, I know so many women who have pursued their dream career only to find themselves in their mid to late thirties and just meeting that man of her dreams. Marrying him, she is approaching 40 when her baby hunger arrives. Frustrated, heart-broken and thousands of dollars later, she is desperate to have a child. Only what has happened is, that she has traded her child bearing days for the corporate ladder and now time has run out. Medicine has tried to keep up but it’s not as successful as we’d like to believe.

There are windows of opportunity in a woman’s life. There is time in a young woman’s life where she is finishing college and heading into her career. She is becoming who is supposed to be and hopefully finding her lifelong spouse. This is a window of opportunity.

There is time in her late-20’s and her 30’s to grab hold of that baby hunger and raise her children. There is nothing wrong or sad about a woman who takes a time-out to do this for herself and her family. I think we demean a woman who chooses to do this and I believe that it is her right to choose for herself what she’d like to do in this season of her life.

Then there is the time in her early 40’s where she once again pursues her passions for herself. This is where the burden comes in for me. I’ve met many women who are in this season of their life and they are only getting started on marriage and family. Unfortunately, for many, their window of opportunity for a child or four has come and gone. We can’t fight nature. I’ve hugged them as they cried because tests have shown that they no longer are in the stage of their life where a baby is possible naturally. I’ve seen their eyes as they explain that they were always told that they could get fertility treatments and have a child. Only fertility treatments are expensive and not always as successful as we’d like to think. There are seasons in a woman’ life and sometimes opportunities are missed.

I think we’ve been told that a woman can do anything a man can do. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. A man can have children in old age, a woman can’t. Instead of thinking that her body has betrayed her, we must teach our daughters that we have moments that must be grabbed in life. We must teach that career is not the only enrichment in life and that one day, we’ll look up from our work, to discover that we’ve missed out on some things that we’d like to have. Let’s begin to talk about this.