When our kids fight one another or when I lose my cool with them or my wife, it is more than a temporary upheaval and pain in the neck. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the process of forgiveness. This is related to my last post about the word "sorry."
It has become popular to think we should just "forgive each other in our hearts." Forgiveness is highly misunderstood and debated among Christians. What is forgiveness?
An angry brother hits his sister. Siblings call each other names. Mom snaps at Dad over dinner. We often teach our kids to solve these conflicts with little more than the magical, amazing word, "Sorry." Before long, the kids begin to believe it can even make the consequences for their choices disappear (since it often does), so they use it...a lot!
We have taught our kids to stop using the word "Sorry." Well, sort of.
Sometimes, we all feel rejected. Rejected by those we love or seek to love. Rejected socially or professionally. Adopted children can often have a continued sense of rejection.
How do we fit in and gain that sense of belonging? How do we endow a sense of belonging to our children and others?
I feel slighted when the kids do not immediately say "Thank you" when I do the daily grind of providing for them in multiple ways. Be it meals, cleaning the house, yard work, making their lunches, teaching them life skills, etc. Why can't they just say thanks or show a little gratitude?
One of the hats I wear is that of a stay-at-home dad. Because of the thankless days, I can feel slighted because they don't seem to appreciate my sacrifices for them. I can feel anger and unappreciated. I can feel like it's a worthless use of my time and energy because they aren't responding to it. This can easily transition to me letting them know how much I "sacrifice" for them. Then I play the martyr, the martyr of manipulation, but...
Today is Macayla's birthdays. Yes, plural. She was born on Earth on this day in 2001. Yet, at 11:25 p.m. on this day in 2010, she went Home to Christ and celebrated her birthday in heaven.
It has been a tougher week than usual. Normally, her birthday week, for reasons unknown and unexpected, has not been difficult, but this year its is. Memories are mysteriously sweet and painful.
Macayla is a gift. Her life is one to celebrate. I miss that life, of course, but I am so thankful for it. As much as I want her back, I cannot be so selfish as to wish her back from the healing and wholeness she now has. Her impact on us and others has been greater than we could imagine and we do not yet fully know all of the impact. I thank God for her and for giving her to us.
Happy Birthday, Macayla! And thank you for the gift you are and the joy you brought to our lives! Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to be her parents. Thank You for saving us and we look forward to seeing you both, face-to-face, one day!
I have THREE, 3, dripping faucets at once. Two of them are showers so I'll have to turn the water off to the whole house to replace the stems. The grass needs mowing...again. (Stupid grass). A van to fix. Trees that need to come down and be cut up. I have to get a TV out of the attic to sell in the church yard sale this weekend. (Stupid TV!)
All of this and more is on my Honey-Do list. That's on top of all the other responsibilities on my plate.
Had to vent. What do you need to vent about?....
This is a response to a provocative blog post by Serena DeGarmo on her A Wordy Woman's blog. The post definitely hits on an exceedingly important issue for our daughters and our parenting in the current culture. She has also written about the boy version of this issue.
The approach Serena takes is controversial as seen in the comments. It is a quick, direct post. Single blog posts cannot adequately unpack the issue. With that stated, here are some possible places I would expand the discussion and get us as parents thinking intentionally about preparing our children for their sexual choices as teens and adults.
I am a father of four. The three still with us make me question if Jesus was wrong. He said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3) HE MUST HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOUR YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER!
The three I live with are the most legalistic Pharisees I have ever known!! Was Jesus wrong?!
One of the struggles in adoption is connecting to your new children. As I have written before, the adoption process is easy compared to the living-together process. How do we connect? How do we build a healthy relationship?
Honestly, many times our adopted children have felt like "neighborhood kids" who don't go home. The reason is that we don't have the history of experiences to have a strong relationship. Interestingly, I found insight recently where I least expected it...