Month: March, 2011
I couldn’t wait until Wednesday for this one.
Dear Mak & Livy:
I’m not the kind of mama who believes in “everyone should get a trophy”. I’m not the kind of mama that will tell you that your team rocked against a team that wasn’t good to begin with. What is the accomplishment in that? I’m not the kind of mama that will tell you a school project is good when we both know that it’s not. And I certainly won’t reward you for getting an “A” on said project just because the bar is set so low.
And I know without a shadow of a doubt that many reading those very words will gasp. I’m not the kind of mama that is persuaded by loud gasps either.
On the other hand, I am your biggest cheerleader and I’ll encourage you always. I just won’t lie to you. That’s my promise to you. Any parent that does is setting their child up for failure.
I love you sweet girls.
Dear Mak & Liv:
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. I’m posting photographs of the beach continually these days and am in full gypsy mode. Do you know what that means? It’s that time of the year that I desperately need to see, smell, hear and touch the sea. I get all gypsy like and want to sell everything we own and take off and camp on the beach for the rest of my life. Wouldn’t that be grand?
Now, on to the topic that has been swelling in my heart for a week now.
Last week a good friend of mine posted on facebook that he had been judged and he didn’t like it. Honestly, when I read it I didn’t like it either. I got mad.
While I was upset, I began thinking a few things. First I began wondering whether or not the person that judged my friend was a Christ follower. And then I remembered something another friend told me a few years ago. She said that she thinks that Christians judge people and that sometimes they can be very unloving people.
The grief in my heart, children. The grief.
As your mother, what can I say about all of this to you? The first thing that I’ll say is that it is important to regularly, publicly recognize when you make mistakes. Let people know that you know for certain that you make mistakes. I hope I say I’m sorry enough. Golly I do.
When we acknowledge that we make mistakes and when we DO NOT pretend to be perfect, we also should remind people who are watching how we live that we are messed up and to only look at Jesus as the perfect One. Know that when people find out that you follow Christ, they will watch you intently. They will be curious to see how you behave. It’s a great responsibility, my girls. Treat it with great care.
Your inner circle of friends and family should see you recognize your faults fairly regularly. The question is, how do you handle the people that are farther out of your sphere of influence? Maybe they are an acquaintance and don’t know you intimately. How do you behave in a way that is humbly Christ-like when you don’t have regular interaction with them?
My experience has been that after those people have watched you for a while, they will begin to develop thoughts about you. Most importantly, I believe that they will begin to gauge whether or not you can be trusted. If those people have determined you to be a trustworthy person, it may be that they will test you. I don’t think that they test you in a mean way. I think that they test you in the most flattering, complimentary way.
I see these people much like a sunflower. They will come to you with their petals halfway open. Open only like the sun is just beginning to shine. Open as if they’ve been closed for the nighttime sky but are beginning to open and warm to the summer sun. And then it will happen.
They will present you with a deep, dark, secret. These secrets are like gems to the sunflowers. They hold them tight and they don’t let many see the gems. The only thing is that they aren’t gems that are good and worthy. They are horrible things that have been done to them. Or they are horrible things that they have done. Things that shame them. Things that they won’t let many see.
As a Christ follower, the question is what will you do with those gems? How will you handle the sunflower’s dark, shameful secrets?
I promise you that if you curl up your nose and if you gasp in horror when the gems are presented to you, the sunflower will close it’s wounded and scarred petals and will lean away. The sunflower will move away from you and your sunshine and it will never, ever trust you or your sunshine again. You will have failed miserably. You will have lost a sunflower that was looking for a sunshiny friend. How long will it take that sunflower to find sunshine again? And if that flower someday finds a few new rays, will it be able to open up it’s wounded petals and lean in to feel the warmth again? What if the answer is no? Do you see how important it is not to judge the wounds the petals reveal? Do you see how devastating it is to reject the gems the sunflower offers? Even though the gems are ugly and dirty?
On the other hand, if the sunflower presents you with a deep, dark secret and you lean in and gently offer compassion and love, that sunflower will open it’s petals wider. It will lean in closer to you, just like a yellow sunflower in corn fields leans toward the big, bright summer sun. It will let you see the wounds on it’s petals and it will let you help care for them. The sunflower will shine. It will shine because it’s dark secret is now in the light. And you know that Scripture says that the darkness has no power over it once it’s in the light.
Yes, sweethearts your reaction to hard things given to you by others will have lasting effects. Be very careful to take dark gems in as a gift given to you without judgement. Take the dark, ugly gems and help those sunflowers bring them out of the darkness into the fullness of the Light of forgiveness that Jesus offers.
This is your responsibility. And mine. And each Christ follower’s.
I’ve posted this before but I believe it is time again.
I love you.
Dear Miss Mak & Miss Liv:
“Childhood is a journey, not a race.”
I read that this week and wanted to stand on top of the table and scream, “YES!!!” That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say. YES!
When we say no to something that seems silly to you, I promise you that there is a very well thought out reason for the “no”. My promise to you is always to have a reason when I give hard answers.
Things move too quickly in today’s world, including childhood. I fight only the parenting battles that I firmly believe in – usually in order to preserve what bit of childhood this world allows you to keep. And the thoughts and ideas in my head about raising young ladies stem from my desire to parent from a biblical perspective, keeping assaults on your childhood to a minimum.
Often times we’ve had to say no to movies because we know that there is content (words or images) that will do nothing but assault your childhood, cause you to understand things that you shouldn’t yet even contemplate or force you to relinquish a bit of your innocence. We aren’t trying to shelter you from the world – there will be a time and a place to let those bits of the world in – but often times the world tries to tell me the time is earlier that I think it should be. I’m not willing to let this crazy world dictate such things to me (or you).
When we make a rule, there is a good reason for the rule. I promise. Sometimes it seems silly to you; often even after I’ve explained it. Someday, however, my hope is that you have a moment when you are driving down the road and you realize the rule we had made perfect sense. Like the rule we have that you aren’t allowed to text/call boys. I’ve explained my rationale. I know you don’t like it. Someday, especially if you have the honor of raising young ladies, you will understand. Kick, scream, roll your eyes, cry and yell – it won’t change the rule. My prayer is that someday you will appreciate it.
We also believe in “rights of passage”. Of looking forward to certain things……….of getting certain rights when you reach a certain age. Livy, I know you want your ears pierced very badly – right now at age 8. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting your ears pierced. But, how much more special will it be when you reach the age that we’ve set for you to have this wonderful, exciting thing happen?
All this to say that these decisions that we are making are all for your good. Always and only for your good. Even if it doesn’t seem so good now. I double dog dare you to find anyone in this world more interested in your good than your pops and me.
She’s a lot like me in that she has a million ideas all wrapped up in her head and is continuously saying “Mama, I have an idea.”
The other day I told her that she needs an idea book like mine. She liked the idea of an idea book and tonight as I was putting her to bed, she reminded me that I promised to get her an idea book. I pinky promised that I would have an idea book for her tomorrow. And then she told me that she was worried that her idea book would get full and how in the world was she going to do all of the ideas she writes in her idea book? I tried to explain that an idea book is really just a place to catch all of her ideas and then she can worry about getting to all of them but that the important part was to get them all down. I could see the gears in her mind shifting, although I’m pretty sure that she is still worried about getting to everything.
With the wheels in motion and as I left her bedroom this evening, she said, “mama, I really need the tree house cleaned up soon.” And on to the next thing……..
I was absolutely astounded today at a newborn photo shoot. Baby N was the most mild mannered, relaxed baby I have ever seen. Ever.
He never fussed and cooperated with every little thing we did. And he did so for three hours! Can you imagine? It was wonderful. And that’s not even mentioning the amazing light coming in every corner of his beautiful home. And to make it even more sweet, mom was as relaxed as he was (which certainly contributes to an easy shoot).
Thank you, Anna for spending your morning with me, for sharing your beautiful son with me and for the great conversation. I can talk forever with a fellow veg!
The 2011 Session dates have been posted to the website. If you would like to see the available dates, please go to the website and click on Calendar. The fun begins in April!
I also have a few extra fun sessions planned. If you are interested in what we’ll be up to this year, please shoot me an email and I’ll share with you!
I’m so excited for this year of shooting!