BY COREY WADE
One of the things that I love most about my church is that all the young families are more than willing to take other people’s children into the “Big Service” for worship before the kids are dismissed for children’s church, while their parents are working in the nursery, worship team, etc. They do not need to worry about watching their children and trying to perform their duties.
It is in this context that the following conversation happened to one of my poor friends as he watched my daughter and she took the church-kid-abusing-the-system loophole up to 11:
Janice Eicholtz | @JanJanMom
Recently, I attended a baby shower. As I was putting the finishing touches on the gift and signing the card, I signed as usual: Love, Erik, Janice & girls. Only this time, I thought about it. I wondered how much longer I would write my kids' names on my cards. What is the grace period before young adults are expected to be in charge of gifting others on their own? Of course, this led to me thinking about this era of delayed adulthood. What benefit is it to delay adulthood? Is it so that we parents can save face? "Well, I know my kid did (insert terrible action), but he is only 20...that is really still just a child."
Do we really benefit from a society that is not expected to mature until they are 30? I see teenagers from the ages of 13-19 on a daily basis. Some of them don't even have the discipline to put their trash in the trash can. They just drop it on the floor. Why? Parents are too tired and stressed out to take the time to teach their children how to clean and maintain. They choose to do it themselves. So, a whole group of folks are not picking up after themselves AND they are EXPECTING OTHERS to do it for them. Adulthood should start in the teen years. Messages of old are not being passed along to our teens as they used to be. For my own amusement, I'm going to review some of my favorite advice.
Jeff Weddle | @anti_itcher
It’s been 24 years since I was in high school algebra, and I still haven’t used algebra one time in my life. Not once, which means my low grades don’t mean a thing, right?
Well, not exactly. I am now old enough to have a kid in high school algebra. My daughter is currently struggling her way through algebra too.
As she brings home her failed tests and horrible quiz grades, it would be really nice if I could lecture her. It would be nice to tell her to buckle down and do the homework and get the grade up. But I can’t. Want to know why I can’t?
Janice Eicholtz | @janjanmom
The other day as I was out and about, I overheard a snippet of conversation. It was a grown-up asking a teenager what his mom did for a living. "She doesn't work outside the home," the teen replied. "So, she just stays at home," stated, matter-of-factly, was the reply. I won't tell you the gender of the person who said it. I won't tell you how deeply it rocked my faith in people. I won't even go into great detail about how quickly I bristled and how my eyes rolled. Instead, I will relay a little bit about the years when I "just stayed home".
My parents divorced when I was three, so I did not get to experience life with my mom being a full-time homemaker. BUT, it was pretty common in those days for men to be about making a living and women to be about making a home. In fact, modern day society often chuckles at the antiquated and stereotypical magazine articles and advertisements directed at women from that era. I hate that. Feminism should include the freedom to be a full-time mom. It should be a choice that is valued, not ridiculed. The choice to be a working mom should also be valued. There is no right or wrong-both choices come with their own perks, right along with the choice to not have children (and-gasp-sometimes, still be a homemaker!). Women need to lavish support and hold the judgment towards other women! We are all in this game of life together. Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to encourage one another DAILY lest we become hardened by sin's deceit.
Janice Eicholtz | @janjanmom
My real job is a substitute teacher. I love it so much. There are so many diverse and wonderful teenagers at the school where I work. I'm just the right mix of thoughtful and sarcastic for this job to be a good fit. The kids often ask me questions. Today, they were talking about parenting. I said, "Don't do it, it's all a big trick. You pour your heart and soul into them and they reject everything you teach them and hate you. They never express love or gratitude and they don't even like you." Then, I said I was just kidding and they should have a whole bunch of kids in order to offset all the idiots having kids or we will only have idiot kids running the world.
Mostly, I am totally joking. But, every good joke has a kernel of truth.
Janice Eicholtz | @JanJanMom
When my kids were babies, all I could think about was meeting their needs, keeping us all fed and getting as much sleep as possible. I also tried to keep us all bathed and showered... daily was the goal, but I can't say that we always achieved it. I was also attempting to manage our household. I didn't believe it could all be so hard. I couldn't wait until the kids could talk and tell me what they needed. I couldn't wait until they could walk and not have to be packed.
Later, I would learn how easy babies were when I had to clear the house of anything breakable from the waist down and suspect any and all silence. I lived for naptime when I could hopefully get a quick shower and not be exclusively in charge of keeping a tiny person from harming themselves whilst exploring the environment. It was so much harder than having a baby, or so my now experienced mom brain would think. I couldn't wait until they could really think, write, and communicate effectively. I was especially excited for kids that could get in and out of the car on their own.
I kept thinking that each age would get easier and then discovering that each age was, in fact, harder than the last. Fast forward to now -- two grown-up teens, eighteen and nineteen, plus one not quite grown at fourteen. This is what I thought would be NIRVANA... kids that can be left by themselves, drive, work, and really help around the house. It would be easy as pie.
But, alas, there is no pie.
Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
“Mary did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you delivered will soon deliver you…”
Whether it’s a favorite of yours or you choose to quickly switch the station, whether you prefer Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd or Vicki Winans (or any of the other dozens of artists who sang it); this song, like clockwork, makes its annual debut every year just after Thanksgiving. Personally for me, it’s a favorite. (Then again, I also love "Christmas Shoes", which I’m learning is the eleventh sin and something no one in their right mind will ever admit to.)
Maybe it’s because I am a mom and maybe my love for the song increased when I welcomed my first born just 5 days shy of Christmas day, but either way this beautifully written ballad is a great reminder during the whole year, not just the month of December.
When you think of Jesus, what crosses your mind? Maybe floods of childhood Sunday school lessons come rushing back. Maybe you picture him seated in a throne next to our Almighty. Possibly, you immediately think of his crucifixion and resurrection. When I think of Jesus, I ponder his childhood. Again, that very well could be because I have a son of my own who was born December 20th, so every year as he celebrates another year of life, I try to imagine Jesus at that very age. Being Mom, I also try to imagine what Mary must have gone through during her time of motherhood to our Savior. My favorite story concerning Jesus’ childhood is found in Luke. In these ten verses, we get a glimpse into the preteen boy he was and the Savior he would become.
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