random notes and chit chat from the insanity of our life

Peek into our life and see how crazy it can get with 6 kids, homeschooling, sewing, and now farming. We're in our first year on the land, and entertaining the world with what we don't know. By the grace of God, we're learning, day by day, so pull up a chair and laugh with us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So, I'm not the most eloquent person, nor am I the most learned, especially about Bible stuff (working on it, ok?)   But this morning, I woke with this on my heart, and felt the need to try.  Hopefully, God will do some of the typing on this.
I was thinking last night about a misconception I see online, a lot.  People often say "If you praise God for the good things in your life, you have to blame Him for the bad."  The thing is, they are missing a few important things in their perception.
First, God is good.  God is love.  God is holy.  He is just, and amazing, and perfect.  He is things we, as humans, can't even conceive of.  He loves us like we love our kids....but to the nth power.  And when your kids misbehave, sometimes you have to let them suffer the consequences of their actions, so they learn how to do right.  Well, so does God.  Some of the bad things that happen in life are our own fault, and if He doesn't allow us to learn from them...we'll never become better, and more like Him.
Second is that we live in a broken sinful world.  When Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and ate the fruit, they broke things.  They let sin, death, pain, suffering, all sorts of evil and sad things, into what was a perfect creation, and now we all have to live with that.  So when bad things happen, sometimes it's just the end result of that sin, suffering, death, pain, evil and sadness.  Sometimes, it's because someone ELSE made a bad choice, and it affects others.  Sometimes, it's just....life in a broken world.
You see, it's not like He is sitting in heaven, watching us and going "Oh, that girl there, she gets the 'found a $20' card today"...."That guy there, he's getting the 'flat tire' card...oh, and how about a 'step in a mud puddle on the way to work' card, too!"  No, He is standing next to you, saying "reach out and take my hand, and I'll help you through this.  If you need support, you can lean on my shoulder, and if you can't walk, I will carry you.  All you have to do is turn to me."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

No perfect parents here

So, on another website I go to, I know this gal.  I bet you know one like her.  We all know one...the Perfect Parent.  You know the type.  Her child never had an accident (potty or otherwise).  He never backtalks.  He always chews with his mouth closed.  He slept through the night at 3 days old, napped on schedule from birth (a schedule that fit AROUND her schedule) without being rocked or nursed, weaned on his first birthday without a fuss.  Mom never used the tv as a babysitter, heck, they probably don't HAVE tv, and if they do, they only use it for educational programming, and NEVER before age 2.  He read at 3 years old, potty trained at 2, has impeccable manners, gets straight A's and his clothes always match.  On the rare occasion that he misbehaves, they have a family talk, and it never happens again, because "we used reason with him, and now he understands".
I hate those types.
I know, I shouldn't hate.  Ok.  I dislike them immensely.  Better?  But it's ok, because I WAS one.  Most perfect parents have one...maybe 2 kids.  I rarely meet any with more.  And I think I know why.  You see, as I said...I WAS a perfect parent.  With my first baby, I did everything right.  And hence, she was perfect...right?
Funny thing is, I now have 6 kids, and I know I am NOT a perfect parent, and PTL for that!  You see, when I was "perfect", I thought that I was in control.  If I parented perfectly, she would turn out perfectly.  I never considered HER personality in that.  I now have 6 kids, all different, and I know that it's not me.  It's really NOT about me.  Each has their own personality.  Their own good and bad points.  Their quirks, their flaws, their gifts.  Strengths and weaknesses.  They are all, gasp, human.  And I love them that way.  Each is individual, the way God made them, and while my parenting affects them, it doesn't MAKE them.
And let me tell you, it takes a lot of the pressure off when you understand all this.  Because I'm NOT perfect, and if I have to be, then we are ALL in trouble.  But knowing that it's not all about me makes me a much better parent, because I can enjoy them in all their imperfections, without having to figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it. 
And if God can love ME, as flawed as I am...well then, they are safe, because they are certainly better than I am, already.  And if that is the only thing I teach them, that we don't have to be perfect to be loved, by Him and by humans, then I think maybe, I've done it right after all.
My kids have accidents.  They backtalk.  They sleep in our bed till they are 2-4 years old, and nurse about as long.  They misbehave, much more frequently than I'd like.  They watch too much tv, have no real schedule, and sometimes, the outfits they choose to wear make me cringe.  And they are wonderful loving children, full of life and joy and the love of Christ.  We snuggle, we read, we laugh, we make a mess, and I wouldn't have it any other way.