Monday, August 23, 2010

Who am I to judge?

Some of you may know that I have a passion for those affected by human trafficking.  As I hear the stories of those who have been oppressed, victimized, abused, neglected, and abandoned my heart is broken.  It can be easy to judge and look at these victims' parents and say "where were you? how could you? why would you do ______?" But as the Lord has taught me this week, I am no better. 

We know that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  When I am disobedient, when I discipline out of anger and frustration rather that love, when I am willingly following my fleshly desires over the desires of God I am hurting my children. 

My heart was completely broken this weekend as I thought of how my actions could potentially harm my children.  Obviously I am not trafficking my children, but am I teaching them that their worth is in Christ?  Am I showing them the love of Christ?  I don't think we mothers realize the huge responsibility we have in shaping our childrens lives!  Sure, there are the obvious things: teaching them to go to the bathroom, tie their shoes, do laundry, cook, drive.....but what about teaching them that they are everything to Christ?  That their worth and value is not in the tropheys they earn in sports, the grades they get on a report card, or the college they get into? 

These children (and they are children, the average age of entry into prostitution is 12) feel they have no worth, no value.  They don't see the treasure they are in Gods eyes. 

If I teach my girls anything, above all I want them to know that they have hope and a future in Jesus Christ.  I pray that even when I am not all the mom I should be, that Christ will fill in the gap and show them His love.

And for those children whose parents have failed them, who have not been the parent Christ would have had them be, you are not alone.  There is hope, there is a future and you are worth more that any precious jewel in the eyes of our Savior.

If you want to learn more about human trafficking, click here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Can I get a steaming hot side of "guilt" with that?

We are starting week two of our homeschool adventure.  I am feeling much better this week about things...well, I was until I logged onto facebook  and saw all the mommies with their cute little kindergartners and their too big for them backpacks on their way to the first day of school. 

Guilt came over me.  Am I this horrible human being for depriving my child of this "obvious" right of passage?  Where is her Disney princess backpack?  Her Hannah Montana lunch box?  Her "hello, my name is" sticker?!?!

Sigh.  Why does being a mom come with so much guilt? Sometimes I feel like I am on "Deal or no Deal" and the rest of my child's future depends on which suitcase I open.  Will it be the million dollars, or did I risk it all to walk away with fifty cents? 

I know it is just kindergarten.  What is she really missing?  I taught kindergarten for a few years.  I'll tell you what she is missing - a boy licking Mr. Potato Heads butt, kids making "magic potion" on the playground (don't touch it - it's their pee), temper tantrums, sand fights.....yep.  good stuff. 

I was about to drown my sorrows into some sort of empty calories when I checked my e-mail and found an encouraging note from a woman I don't know (but we share mutual friends - its the magic of facebook).  It was just what my guilt ridden heart needed to hear.

So often I tell other women to pray and do what is best for THEIR family.  Not to judge their insides with others outsides.  To be OBEDIENT to what God is calling them to do.  I OBVIOUSLY need to listen to my own counsel.  This is what is best for our family right now. 

So what to do with all those guilt trips?  Lets hope I can earn some frequent flyer miles from them, because I am sure after all this, I will need a vacation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Slow and steady wins the race...

OK, I have had a rough week and I need to do some venting but do not have the emotional strength to "talk it out".  So, I am going to "blog it out".  Nothing like unleashing pent up frustration and sending it out into cyberspace.

I am a mom.  I love being a mom.  It is a joy to be a mom.  Most of the time....

We are finishing up our first week of homeschool and can I just be honest here?  It was poop.   It's not that it was necessarily hard (although getting my 5 year old to practice handwriting is a little like working out a peace treaty with North Korea).  It is not that it was not fun (shape hunting in Wal-mart?!?!  Who wouldn't want to do that?)  But it was draining.  Having my almost two year old at my heels crying and whining for two hours, having my almost 4 year old ask if she could play computer every 30 seconds and having my 5 year old who has been doing double digit addition for a year take 20 minutes to solve 6+8.....well, lets just say it made me more tired than usual.

You are probably asking yourself, "then why homeschool, lady?"  Why homeschool.....  Good question.  It is not like I churn my own butter, sew our clothes and wear a bonnet, so why home school?   We recently moved to our first home which is a ways away from the school we really wanted Kaylee to go to....plus, she didn't get into that school.  Well, at least not right away.  The day I went to the homeschool convention, this school called me to tell me she had gotten in.  SUPER!  But, we had already bought our new house and driving 120 miles a day does not appeal to me or our family budget.

Why not public school then?  Well, here is the deal...I taught in the public school system and my last year of teaching I had the worst crop of kids you could imagine.  I am pretty sure at least two of those kids were on America's Most Wanted.  And I saw how, I, the TEACHER, was incapable of providing all of my students what they really needed.  When you have kids who have never even used glue sticks before, you don't really have a lot of time to work with those kids who can read.  I saw kids in my own class slipping through the cracks and it killed me.

I am not some sort of school snob here, I realize that there are great teachers in the public school systems (but lets be honest, there are some not so great ones too, and you don't really get a say in which one you get). And there are amazing kids that come out of public school.  But I saw what happened in my own classroom and I didn't want that to happen to my kid.  Kaylee is the type that would fall through the cracks.  She is bright, quiet and shy.  Every teachers dream, and the easiest type of student to neglect.

We can't afford private school, the school she got into was too far away....home school it is.

There is more to it than that though...It is not like home school was a last resort.  I had been thinking about it since I got pregnant with Kaylee.  Your perspective on EVERYTHING changes once you become a mom.  I want to be active in her life, I want her to love learning and be engaged.  I also want to protect her.  Yes, protect her, shield her, shelter her.  She is 5.  5!!!!!!  There are just some things I do not want her to learn about, know about or see.  Yes, I do want her in a bubble, because, once again, she is 5.  There is a time and place for certain things to be learned.  I saw so many students losing their childhood.....I can remember when I was in 5th grade, and we would color pictures for our friends during story time (yes, we still had story time in 5th grade) and when I started teaching, we had 5th graders already experimenting with drugs, joining gangs, even becoming sexually active.  I want my girls to be kids as long as they should!  The world seems to want our kids to grow up so fast these days.  You go to the store and they are selling "bikini bottom" style undies for a 6 year old!   

I am just a mom trying to navigate through the craziness in this world and prayerfully do what is best for my kids.  But it isn't easy.  And sometimes God paints us in a corner and tells us to homeschool.  So here I am.  A homeschool mom.  A frustrated, tired, overwhelmed homeschool mom.  It was only the first week, I am sure it will get better.  Slow and steady wins the race....