Greetings and Joy in Abundance!

Ever wonder why some people seem to be floating through life and others stumble?

I wonder this, and seek to find ways to float instead of stumble. Maybe you would like to join me in this search.

Seeking a closer relationship with God seems to allow my life to float along a little easier.

Phillipians 4:5-6 tells us to reveal our gentleness outwardly, that God is near and that we should not be anxious about anything, but through prayer and petition, we should thankfully approach the Lord with our concerns.

As a high energy person, my anxiety can run high. I am constantly seeking ways to leave my concerns at the foot of the cross.

Random? Probably not.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Children Need Us!

I was at a luncheon today, and there were shocking figures shared regarding theliteracy rate in High School graduates.  The figures are so dismal, that only 1 in 10 of our children will graduate from College as a progression of their traditional education cycle.  There is a problem with this.

I wondered where this problem originated.  I sat in my chair at this luncheon and cried for the children who are left wondering who they are and not understaning why they make their decisions. 

I remember as a young girl the way my father helped me understand the value of the power of choice - this was done with love and a firm grip of patience.  My dad sat me in a chair in the living room (I must have been about 14 years old) and just asked me one question.  "What reason compelled you to make this choice, young lady?"  I really had no reason.  I said I had no reason.  He said that was unacceptable and that I must sit and ponder - seek to discover the real reason behind my action.  Until I understood why I made that choice, I would never be able to understand the importance of my choice. 

This was a painful lesson to learn.  It must have been hours.  This was not the only time my father had done this.  These were regular conversations. I applaud my parents for their persistence and patience.  I praise God for strengthening them during these times.  I know it wasn't easy.  My dad told me it wasn't (when I was in my 30's) and I believe him.  I look back now and I see a very wise parent and a very foolish child.  At the time, I saw a very clever child and a very irritating parent. 

Loving our children - and even loving the children around us that do not belong to us but are given to us for a moment or two to cherish - is a gift.  The gift my father received of our love and respect for him was boundless.  We may not have liked his way of correcting or appreciated his philosophical discussions as much as we could have, but he found a way to give us the good discipline he saw our Father God give to His children, and emulated it.

I know I've written before about choice - and my parents were big on our personal choice - but there can never be enough emphasis placed on the truth that the Lord has given us free will.  There is not one person on this earth who can force you to do anything against your will.  They may take your earthly life if you choose not to yield, but that will take you to an eternal life with Christ Jesus.  As we choose each day whom we will serve, we choose to reflect our faith.  Where is your faith rooted?  Your choices actually tell the people around you where your faith lies.  The fruits of your life are a direct reflection of the effort you put forth in planting the seeds you are given. 

Seems easy, but really it isn't.  This is why our children need us so very much.  It's easy to tell people what to do.  It's easy to tell your children what is right and wrong.  It is better (oh, and so much harder) to model the behavior you wish to see continue around you.  Oh, thank you Lord, for my parents.  They were so wonderful to even follow the bike laws when we rode our bikes around Poughkeepsie, NY.  Stop at the corner, walk your bike across.  Never, NEVER ride your bike against traffic.  Follow all the traffic laws when you are riding in the street.  If you are riding on the sidewalk, follow the rules for walking on the sidewalk...that's when you MUST walk your bike across the street.  Follow the flow of traffic.  Do not go anyway even if there is no traffic if you are in the street and the light is red.

Wow - see, it works.  I still remember all those things, because my mom and dad didn't just say, "be careful" but they took me on a ride with them and showed me why it was important.  These 15 minute bike rides were very important.  Seemed like a little thing going biking with my mom or dad on Saturday morning, but looking back now, the little 5 year old really got a lot out of it!

Please remind your friends how important modeling behavior is.  If we wish the next generation (or any of the current ones) to be strong and vibrant, we must help them know who they are, why they are, and whose they are.  Mentor a child today - one moment at a time.  A five minute conversation can impact a child for a lifetime.  Can you remember one to share?

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A quiet moment of reflection