Random ramblings of a Rose…

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Validation

I want to talk about something today, folks. You probably guessed it from my title, because I didn’t make any attempt to camouflage it. Validation. Specifically the definition: to recognize or affirm the worth of a person or their feelings or opinions. Let me start out by saying that I am completely aware of the fact that validation isn’t necessary, and that sometimes seeking it makes one feel worse about him/herself than just being content, regardless of others‚Äô thoughts on the matter. However, as this topic specifically pertains to my boys – Jose, now almost 9, and Squishy, rapidly approaching 6 – I have to say that I am getting REALLY tired of people in their lives only deigning to offer validation (or finding it necessary to pass uninvited judgment) as long as I’m made aware of one *VERY IMPORTANT* (said with supreme sarcasm on my part) thing:

Their likes/dislikes, desires, dreams, activity choices, etc. may indicate that **gasp** (horror of horrors) they might possibly be gay or fall somewhere on the spectrum not strictly in the MANLY MEN camp.

You know, yeah – maybe that’s true. Maybe as they get older, they will come to me and let me know that they believe that to be the case about themselves. But guess what? And I’m speaking to BOTH (or should that be all?) sides here: THERE IS NOT ONE DAMN THING WRONG WITH THEM IF THEY ENJOY LIVING THE WAY THEY DO AND THEY ARE STRAIGHT, AS WELL. When did it become a rule that nail painting, wanting to do mommy’s hair & makeup, loving My Little Pony, being disappointed we’re not getting the new Tinker Bell movie RIGHT NOW, playing dress up & dancing in a tutu, participating in gymnastics, choosing pink as a favorite color or Queen Elsa as a favorite character, wearing a headband or hair clips – any of these things (or more) – are exclusive privileges awarded only to boys who may be gay/bi/anything other than cismale?
boysIf you are the well meaning more-liberal-than-I friend/family member who sits me down and gently discusses with me the possibility that my son may turn out to be gay in order to give me time to “prepare for that future” and, “What would you do if that were the case?”: thank you, but I really wouldn’t change a damn thing. If they’re gay (etc.) then they’re gay. It will not change how much I love them, my wants, wishes, and desires for them to have a blessed life, whether or not they are welcome in my home, etc. Pretty much all of you know that I am a moderately conservative Christian, so yes, I hold certain biblical beliefs that I may wrestle with regarding the topic, but none of that will change the fact that Jose and Squishy are MY SONS. They were given to me by our Creator God and I do not for one second doubt that He is in ultimate control of everything. So why would I need to worry and fret (which the Bible specifically labels as sin, by the way) about something that was never mine to be anxious over in the first place?

If you are the concerned more-conservative-than-I friend/family member who sits me down and lovingly states that hubby & I need to take a firmer hand in the choices our sons make, because in letting them make their own decisions more often than not, we are letting them choose a slippery slope: I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. There is not one single passage in the Bible that leads me to believe in any way, shape, or form that ANY of the choices our sons have made that we have allowed/upheld are ungodly or sinful. They are CHILDREN. They are supposed to explore & discover, lead by us and their other guardians, and Jose wearing leg warmers to ballet class or Squishy loving & wanting to keep his long hair is not going to create something in them that wasn’t there to begin with. It just doesn’t happen that way. And you know, I have to say that the Jesus I read about in the Bible isn’t someone who beat up on his disciples, watched porn, and fired assault rifles to prove his manliness to those around him. So when you tell me that I need to “toughen up my boys” and “let them be men,” I have to wonder if you’d have told Mary the same thing? And in case you’re worried about their spiritual relationship with God, don’t. You recall that time when Christ displayed anger in a physical manner – like we expect men to do – turning over the tables in the temple and kicking everyone out in righteous indignation for the mockery made of his Father’s house? I can GUARANTEE you that Jose & Squishy would be more than happy to participate in that sort of “manly” activity on God’s behalf. They love the Lord deeply and fully and the suggestion that they can’t possibly be true Men of God if they enjoy traditionally “female” things is ludicrous.

And if you’re the snooty, judgmental, self-righteous person on either side of this debate who wants to look down your nose at me because I’m CLEARLY screwing my kids up for life: leave. Seriously. We don’t need you in our lives. To the room mother surprised that my Christian-school-attending son would be in gymnastics, last time I checked, the entire male Olympic gymnastics team wasn’t gay (and you know damn well you’d still watch the Olympics and root for them, even if they were, so please keep your hypocrisy to yourself). To the former friend who joked how I was going to be so lucky to have shopping buddies to keep me up to date on current fashions when my boys are older (because **wink, wink, nudge, nudge** they’re obviously going to be open to that sort of thing given their proclivities), how dare you? You grew up feeling like you couldn’t be yourself because of how others might judge you and you were terrified to come out, but you automatically pigeonhole my boys because they make effeminate choices sometimes? Isn’t that JUST as bad?
2015-03-14 14.16.21So please, if you are going to give validation for my boys choices, give it because you love them. Because it makes them happy. Because they enjoy what they’re doing. Etc. Don’t only validate them because you think they’re going to need the support. Don’t only validate them because you think you know what their future holds. And don’t WITHHOLD validation from them because you think the choices we have allowed them to make aren’t “manly” enough, especially for “good Christian boys.” And if you can’t deal with these guidelines, then please just keep it to yourself. We don’t need, or want, false validation or self-righteous judgment. Modifying Thumper’s Rule here a bit: “If you don’t have anything nice and genuine to say, don’t say anything at all.” Because it’s gotten old.

Thank you.

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I know, I suck at blogging… Lol

Well, clearly I am terrible at this! ūüė¶ Almost 7 months have passed since my last post, and much has happened, but I’ll try to summarize. ūüėČ

Jose graduated from Kindergarten (such a cute day they had for us proud relatives!) and lost a couple of teeth.  He also worked hard at the Accelerated Reader program he was accepted into early, and made great strides.  His capabilities in that area blow us away!

We went on a month-long road trip all over the country (Iowa, Michigan, Texas, back home) and SURVIVED! ¬†Squishy couldn’t wait to get home by the end, and even asked if he could just go home by himself, ha ha. :mrgreen: Jose, on the other hand, asked if we could go around the country a second time.

We had a great time on our trip. ¬†Stayed in tons of hotels, but saw no bedbugs (thank God!) ¬†Jose got to shoot a rifle. ¬†Squishy and Jose both went to the Iowa Children’s Museum, and there were no broken limbs this time. ¬†The whole family participated in a Murder Mystery dinner – totally awesome. ¬†We thought Squishy had gotten into the Blue Hawaiians, but it turned out to be a Dum Dum. ¬†**whew** ¬†Celebrated Grandma Rosie’s 90th birthday, took in a Kernels game and fireworks on the 4th of July, and spent tons of time with everyone.

In Michigan we celebrated a bunch of birthdays РJose turned 6 in June, Squishy turned 3 in July, and at least three other MI relatives had birthdays, too, so there was a ton of partying going on!  We rode 4-wheelers, went fishing from the canoe in the lake, make water features, went to a water park, and just generally made a bunch of good memories.

In Texas, we got the privilege of meeting a wonderful soul from Ethiopia who is soon to be part of our larger family. ¬†He adored Squishy’s hair and was a complete blessing to be around. ¬†Can’t wait to see him again! ¬†We also were thrilled to have a family member get baptized in the ocean while we were there. ¬†Really cool! ūüėÄ

We got the boys hamsters for their big birthday present once we were back in town Рthey named them Chocolate Cherry (Choco), and Solomon.  We also had their pictures done when we came home, because Uncle Dude bought them AWESOME Naval outfits.
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Both boys started school shortly after returning home, and Mike went back to teaching for his 30th(?) year. ¬†Mainly computers this year, which he’s not thrilled about, but knows the Lord has a reason for everything. ¬†Squishy is in the 3’s class at the same preschool Jose went to, and Jose is in first grade with his best friend. ¬†Squishy has LOVED school since day 1 – no tears from him! ¬†Jose has had a little trouble with figuring out how to be a friend to someone who is raised with different values than you, so we’ve had many talks about that. ¬†He seems to be doing well, though, and is showing more signs of not being afraid to be who he is w/o fear of what others will think/say.

At the beginning of October, I took on a long-term sub position in Squishy’s school (the Pre-K class) so that is exciting, scary, awesome, and daunting all at the same time. ¬†It’s so nice though, because I don’t have to figure out where to put Squishy for daycare while I work, because he’s right there with me. ¬†This job really fell right in my lap after a big shake-up at the Y involving my dad being laid off, and it is clearly a blessing straight from God. ¬†I am still at the Y right now, too, but it seems as though the people I know there are dropping like flies! ¬†But until God tells me, “Move!” I’ll stay right where I am. ¬†And the boys love that we are still there because it means they can stay involved in activities/sports like soccer, swimming, etc.¬†Jose got to participate in a swim meet before the “winter” season set in (meets become very limited at that point), and he got 1, 2, 3, and 5 place ribbons as well as a 3rd place all-around medal in his age/gender division. ¬†So proud! ūüėé Squishy played soccer with Aunt Eggy and had a blast!

The boys also started AWANA this year. ¬†We looked into it after the men’s BSF group failed to find leaders for the children’s program (a gross irresponsibility to our youth, in my opinion, but no one’s asking.) ¬†It has been a big hit with both of them. ¬†They’ve been memorizing Bible verses left and right, asking theological questions, and asking to tell me stories they’ve learned. ¬†Super glad to have this additional influence besides school and church. ¬†And speaking of church, we’re in a period of transition right now, but we’re listening to God for the next move and trusting that He will lead as He’s always done.

Squishy had school pictures done that turned out SO adorable we just had to get them, too, despite having ones done this summer.  See??
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This past weekend, Jose and I did the “Color Me Rad” 5K with his best friend and another friend from class – total blast, even if I didn’t manage to set the color into the shirts properly before washing them. ūüėź
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And I think that just about brings me up to date on all/most of the important stuff. ¬†There’s lots of other little things that have happened that I should have been writing about all along, but I don’t *think* I missed anything vital, ha ha! ¬†Here’s hoping my next post won’t wait till next June… ūüė≥

Dying From 10,000 Papercuts

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. ¬†Or take ships as an example. ¬†Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go. ¬†Likewise, the tongues is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. ¬†Consider what a great forest is set on a fire by a small spark. ¬†The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. ¬†It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who¬†have¬†been made in God’s likeness. ¬†Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. ¬†My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~James 3:3-10

I have been embarrassed, humiliated, and saddened by things that have come out of my mouth – and this all under normal life circumstances. ¬†When I pair my lack of self-control over my mouth with a stressful day, a cranky or unwieldy child, lack of sleep, fatigued husband, or any number of other situations that can be¬†burdensome, the results are… ¬†well… ¬†extraordinarily¬†shameful, to say the least. ¬†As a parent, adult, teacher, leader, and caregiver I know right from wrong, how I should act/what I should say, and the¬†consequences¬†that can come when I fail to live according to the will and plan of God. ¬†I am held to a higher standard and come under greater scrutiny before the Lord because of the influence I hold in my various roles and the fact that, simply put, I know better. ¬†As someone who has been a Christian for two decades, my level of maturity (i.e. my ability to control my tongue) really ought to be higher than it is.

My tongue can direct, destroy, or bless.  Through the grace of God, I can claim to be someone who has a pretty good handle on using my tongue for appropriate direction of those under my influence and for blessing pretty much everyone in my life, in one way or another.  However, the destruction my tongue brings Рespecially to Jose and Squishy Рall but outweighs the benefits it brings.  And this is terribly distressing to me because it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45.)  Knowing that, if angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, cutting, bitter, biting, rude, careless, condescending, cold, insincere, unfair, and selfish garbage is what comes out of my mouth more than anything else, what does that mean about the content of my heart??  What is pouring into my heart and mind Рthe wisdom of the world, which comes from Satan himself, or the wisdom of God?

A single spark can set an entire forest on fire. ¬†In the same way, little remarks, insults, words of disapproval, etc. are like tiny little papercuts to my children. ¬†And I am killing them with 10,000 papercuts – the words from my mouth. ¬†Do I make Jose and Squishy safe, worthwhile, and valuable through my words? ¬†Or am I reckless? ¬†Piercing them with words like swords? ¬†What kind of effect are my words having on my children? ¬†Yes! ¬†I make sure there is no doubt in their minds that I love them. ¬†I tell them daily, I show them through my actions, I praise and thank them, I build them up, I teach them the Word, I guide, direct, instruct, help, comfort, edify, and soothe them. ¬†But when they lay down at night, is it the, “I love you”s and “You are so special!”s they remember? ¬†Or is it the, “Don’t act so stupid!”s, the “Why are you so naughty??”s, and the “Would you just shut up!!”s???? ¬†I know for myself that I hold onto the negatives in life far longer than the positives – why would my children be any different? ¬†I can’t dismiss the backlash my words have on others just because I am a woman and women are known for being harpies, bitches, gossipers, shrews, etc. ¬†It’s not an excuse and it is not in line with God’s will.

So, what can I do? ¬†I can pray, be in the Word, study alone and in groups, pray, seek the council of fellow Christians, upright leaders, and the Spirit, align myself with God, pray, and above all, pray! ¬†Pray for heavenly wisdom – wisdom that is pure, clean, wholesome, selfless, peace-loving, considerate of others, deliberate and careful to take other’s thoughts and feelings into account, submissive (having a readiness and willingness to yield to others where I can when it is not against God), compassionate and merciful, empathetic, sympathetic, fair, sincere, and which reaps a harvest of righteousness.

“Is anyone among you in trouble? ¬†Let them pray. ¬†Is anyone happy? ¬†Let them sing songs of praise. ¬†Is anyone among you sick? ¬†Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with the oil in the name of the Lord. ¬†And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. ¬†If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. ¬†Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. ¬†The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ¬†~James 5:13-16

A prayer life is the mark of a mature Christian, just as is control over the tongue.  And if I pray earnestly for the will of God (not just trying to get him to do what I want, when I want), he will work on my behalf.  The passage says that it is prayers of the righteous that are powerful and effective.  The problem is that the Bible also tells us that there is none righteous Рno, not one! (Romans 3:10)  So how can my prayers change anything?  What is all that praying about my tongue situation really going to accomplish?  Where can I get the righteousness I need?  From Christ himself.  At the moment of my salvation, His righteousness was transferred to me РI need to pray on the basis of HIS righteousness.  God is not required or forced to do anything as a result of my prayer, but the earnest prayer of a righteous woman immediately causes God to act on her (my!) behalf.

So does this mean that if I pray through Christ for self-control regarding my tongue, I will immediately be given the ability to never again speak in anger, frustration, bitterness, etc? ¬†Probably not. ¬†Yes, God could do that for me, if it was His will. ¬†But it is more likely that this will be a process. ¬†I may not get exactly what I want, but God will move in new and fresh ways to bring about His will in my life – a will that includes heavenly wisdom in speaking to others, especially Jose and Squishy. ¬†If I want to mature in my faith and gain control over my tongue, I must pray on the basis of Christ’s righteousness and patiently wait on the compassionate and sovereign God to move on my behalf. ¬†I can’t run ahead of God’s time-table, despite my suffering for the things I’ve said and the pain I’ve caused (and will likely still cause) in the lives of my children, and others. ¬†I must not give up on prayer – or use prayer to beat up on God – when I feel He doesn’t respond “quickly enough.” ¬†God knows what He’s doing, He is pursuing the best for me, and I have to trust the work He’s doing behind the scenes.

One Month+ (Now with Johnny Appleseed Pic!)

Jose and Mrs. Teacher


Well, here I am, taking forever to update again. Surprised? ūüėČ Didn’t think so. At any rate, I’m taking a little time tonight to reflect on the past month (plus.) Jose started Kindergarten on August 24 (see picture above of him with his teacher the day before school started), and he has changed so much just in this short amount of time. It’s as though this vast source of knowledge has been opened in his brain and it all comes tumbling forth in wondrous proportions. I am amazed daily by my child and the incredible amount of information he has seemed to suddenly assimilate in such a minute portion of his life. Here’s an example of what I mean:

  • Counts to 200 with little hesitation and few (if any) mistakes
  • Repeats/explains Biblical stories, such as Creation or the fall in the Garden of Eden, with precise detail and knowledgeable application of the principles presented therein
  • Creates patterns incorporating up to four different shapes and colors
  • Writes sentences and creates (not just draws, but uses scissors, paints, glue, whatever it takes) illustrations, such as: “the hELuctR And the pilit” = “The helicopter and the pilot.”
  • Solves fairly difficult mazes with apparent effortlessness
  • Comes home and copies concepts done at school, explaining why they were done that way, to show us what he’s been learning

    Jose was learning about x-rays in class

  • Memorizes one or two sentence Bible verses every week
  • Displays an awareness of a variety of sight words, including (but certainly not limited to): and, the, a, an, he, she, go, we, me, it
  • Rhymes words with ease, sometimes even coming up with complex rhymes
  • Identifies beginning and end sounds in many words

And again, these are just some of the multitude of things he blows me away with on a daily basis. ¬†I am honestly not trying to brag or somehow toot my own horn for my son’s accomplishments. ¬†I am just in utter shock at how much he has absorbed, how quickly it’s happened, and how well he’s retaining concepts that I distinctly remember not learning until 1st or 2nd grade. ¬†I don’t know how today’s early childhood teachers manage to cram in everything that state standards require them to pass on to the kids at such young ages, but it is apparent that Jose’s teacher is doing something right.

The best part? ¬†Jose loves school. ¬†LOVES IT. ¬†Even when he was having a small issue with one of the other students last month, he never once indicated in any way that he didn’t want to go. ¬†He loves learning, loves being with the other kids, loves sharing what he was taught that day. ¬†Sometimes he loves doing one thing or another a little too much, goes overboard, and ends up on yellow, but hey – I TOTALLY understand how that . . . ¬†squirrel!!! :mrgreen: And in just this month+ that he’s been there, so much has happened in class! ¬†He’s already been star student, meaning he got to bring home the class “pet”, Stella (a plush Mario star, lol), and had special activities every day centered around the class finding out more about him – from an “about me” poster, to having momma (me) come in and read to the class, it was a fun week all around.

He made a best friend before school even started – the day before to be exact. ¬†At “get acquainted day”, we met the other students in his class, and I knew before he even told me, which student would be his best friend – a pretty girl who has just turned 6 and is taller and slightly better at everything than the other kids. ¬†Want to know how I knew she’d be his best friend? ¬†The first thing she did was boss him around, and tell him what he needed to be doing on his treasure hunt. ¬†He has a serious pattern when it comes to his best friends – bossy girls who love to spend time with him, playing pretty much any game he dreams up. ¬†With their own rules added, of course. ūüėÄ

The class has had a Johnny Appleseed week, ending in a dress up like Johnny day (I don’t have a picture on this computer, but I’ll try to remember to come back and post one later.)

Here's the picture! And yeah, I know that's the wrong kind of pot, but his ginormous head was too massive for our single handled pots, lol. Besides, they made paper ones in school that they actually wore.


They’ve made it almost through the entire alphabet and will be having an alphabet party at the end of this week. ¬†They go to computers, library, P.E., art, music, and Spanish at least once a week. ¬†They try new foods in class, practice things on the SMART board, and learn little class “cheers” (which Jose LOVES to repeat, as long as he’s not being too shy.) ūüėõ ¬†They have chapel twice a month, and the Lord really speaks to Jose’s heart during those times. ¬†There is so much more that I know I’m forgetting, but I am just a little overwhelmed (in a really good way!) at all the changes being wrought in my little boy.

I was so worried that I was somehow sending him off into the great unknown, unprepared for what he would face, when it turns out I¬†was the one woefully unprepared for just how well he’d blossom and how incredible he’d turn out to be in his new environment. ūüė≥

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