Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Navarro Vineyard
Navarro Vineyard

Each night at 10:00 there is an announcement on major television stations which goes something like this:

“It’s 10:00, do you know where your children are?”

It makes you stop to think about it. Do I? On a weekend, if your kids are out, you may text your kids, “Hey where are you?” Today I can hopefully cause you to have one of those moments but on a profoundly higher level than the daily 10 pm alarm.

Sheep are notorious for being slow-going creatures. You can’t drive them like cattle or you’ll kill them, they must be lead with great patience. Not one for having much patience myself, I often admire shepherds because they must learn the art of going easy in their lead and still retaining control, knowing when to push and when to step back is an art.

So when it’s time to move the herd after lambing, the time when the ewes give birth to the lambs, imagine the chaos! Baby lambs playing, easily distracted while mothers are letting their kids be kids. The scene could easily look like a scene from Wal-Mart where mom is shopping and the kid  is running around grabbing everything off the shelves it can and knocking it down. If that drives you crazy now multiply that times 50 and you start to get the picture.

Shepherds have a secret though. They understand that if you need to get mom to follow you, you pick up a couple of lambs and now you have mom’s full attention. She will go where the shepherd goes.

So who’s carrying your kids?

This question is so important because whomever that is, that’s where you’re being led. Are you getting the picture of where I’m going with this? If your kids are being carried by the bumping and grinding world of MTV then you can best believe that your attention is there. If your kids are being carried by Snooki and her bunch, you can bet you’re being led there. If your kids are being led by gangs and the local drug dealers then you’re being led to hospitals and jail.

Now, we as humans are likened to sheep, but hopefully we have a better handle than they do. Hopefully, when the shepherd signals for his flock to follow we are not letting the kids dictate where we are being led. Instead my hope is, that we are following the shepherd and bringing our kids along.

Sometimes I see sold out Jesus freak parents who think their kids will find their own path. Not even a ewe does this. Let’s be smart. Let’s be intentional. Whether you’re a Christian or not, pay attention to who is carrying your kids. That influence has the power to lead you and your family around.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

The Bloodsucker

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m missing the chip that other women have. Yes, I’m going to completely admit up front that it’s totally me. I don’t get into the vampire movies. I could care less about vampire love and vampire friendships. In fact, I had my share of bloodsuckers in my life and I don’t care to watch it on TV. Confused? Me too!

No, I’m not talking about fantasy vampires, I’m talking about the ones you have in real life. Yes, sometimes we encounter and befriend real vampires. Their purpose is to suck the life out of you with their emotional turmoil. In my younger days, when I had more blood to give, I thought they needed me. It fed my ego to think I could offer solutions to their problems, but it never seemed to fail, the more problems we discussed, the more problems there were. Pretty soon, I was anemic as I watched my blood drip from their lips.

I took a step back and realized I had not been helpful at all. In fact, the same problems were the same problems, I had not served them well, nor had I fed them anything nutritious, I was merely junk food. The extreme demands on my time on their part, and the lack of boundaries on my part, were doing us both no good.

In the vampire movies the damsel looks into the eyes of the vampire and sees need. She misinterprets that need and winds up a slave. In real life we need to take better care of the vampires and ourselves by really discerning between true need and emotional neediness because there is a huge difference.

When I read the bible many people came to ask Jesus for help. He helped them, a word of advice, a healing touch, a teaching, a reminder of scripture, but then he was off to help others. His time was limited, his resources were unlimited yes, but they needed to be spread out. I am reminded of the story of the loaves and fish when every single crumb was picked up after the meal (Matthew 14:14-21). We can do the same thing.

There will always be people who need your help. Help them. Then, recognize your ability, your time, your resources and don’t get sucked in. If you’re already there, as I was, you’ll need to disengage. It doesn’t have to be ugly, it just has to be honest. After all you’re friends right? Well, this may end up being the test but whether that friendship endures or fades, you’ll have rid yourself of your vampire obsession!

Sunday

theartzoo.com

Luke 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

I love Sundays. We wake up, get the coffee going, get the shower started and get ready for church. We all head out to church separately because we all have to be there at different times. We worship with fellow believers and before we know it, it’s over and it’s time to figure out lunch. Today it was hot outside so my husband decided to grill some steaks. I got some artichokes steaming on the stove and some red potatoes boiling and pretty soon we had a fantastic “linner”. You know what that is right? The lunch that is so big it takes care of dinner as well.

This Sunday there were no appointments or plans so we took some nice long naps. The great part of living in this little town is that pretty much without fail the evening brings a cool breeze. That makes for some backyard time in the evenings when we’re home.

I made a pot of coffee, and went and sat out on the swing to enjoy the breeze. The palm trees were swaying, Greta, our German Shepherd is now a middle-aged lady at 6 years old, she bounces around for awhile when she first sees you but she prefers to just sit on your feet and enjoy the evening with you. Lulu, the wonder dog, is only four so she is still quite the spas. She never stops coming to you to play keep away.

My husband has this bird feeder on the fence, he likes to help God out. The birds came to the feeder as I drank my coffee. Sometimes there were three at a time, sometimes only one. Pigeons and sparrows mostly. They come and stay a few minutes to eat their seed, then stop at the waterfall and take a quick shower. Then they stop at the top of the fence and sing as they figure out where they are going next.

They don’t store up seed as squirrels do, there are no to-go plates as funky family members make. They simply eat their fill in that moment. They don’t worry about where the next meal will come from, that is simply God’s job. As I sat there in this simple moment of life, I realize I take life way too seriously. I spend too much time on the what-ifs, making to-do lists and thinking these moments of stillness could be better used to scrub the tub. I think I need to take some lessons from the birds. I’ve been told they’re not very smart, in fact, calling someone a bird brain is an insult. Actually, I think they may be wiser than we are.