Friday, October 26, 2012

Kid Confident

You have to be a pretty confident kid to rock the star glasses.  You have to be an even more confident kid to rock the heart glasses. Um, well, maybe the confident one is the grown-up.

The one who is rockin' both the goofy, wide-open mouth and over-the-top spiral perm...yipes!

Building confidence in our kids is tough, and it's most certainly even harder in a world that is completely self-absorbed and insecure.  And I should interject here that I'm not merely writing of tots, as there are enough of us adults struggling with the same issue.

I've found that most concerned parents wrestle greatly with this question, "How do I build confidence in my poor, insecure kid without turning them into an arrogant fool?" Ah, Mr. Balance!  Why are you so elusive, and what must we do to find you?!

There are some pretty big nonnegotiable items in most of our parenting toolboxes:
  • We all love our kids more than anybody else loves our kids.
  • We all think our kids are amazing.
  • We all die a little when our kids face heartbreak...of any kind.
  • We all want others to enjoy our kids as much as we do.
Okay.  I can picture a few of you right now laughing and saying, "Enjoy?  Not really enjoying the little treasure right now.  Can't imagine anyone else enjoying 'em!"  So, maybe instead of the word "enjoy" I should use a phrase like, "We want to see the awesome God-given potential in our kids and hopefully, one, fine and glorious day...others will see that, too."

One of the challenges I faced...being a tad, tiny, miniscule bit older than some of my that I was raised in a time of "confidence = pride."  And a human's confidence in self alone is pride.  And not the good kind.

On the other hand, God-confidence is amazing.  I fortunately had parents who were fans of saying, "Pride goeth before a fall..." AND "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."

There he is!! Mr. Balance!!

I'm sure you're not having epiphanies left and right out there.  I haven't felt the earth move one, single time as I've typed this.

I just encourage you today to remember that while we can do nothing of outrageously incredible eternal value on our own...through Christ...look out!

Remind yourself first.  Look in the mirror and do what I used to do when my boys were little.  "Hey, girl.  Lookin' a little rough this morning.  Maybe no more cookies after midnight.  But, you know what?  Hear that?  That's some kids.  And they're yours.  And God thought with His help, you could do a pretty bang-up job of loving 'em and raising 'em.  So, let's wash face and get to it! Before they burn the house down!"

Once I remembered who I wasn't and was in Christ, I could go remind my guys who they weren't and were in Christ.

We're all still growing here in the Land of Oz, but the growth is so much easier when we remember that the best way to a confident kid, or human of any kind, is having confidence in the One Who was - and is - confident He is the help and hope of all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No Debate

It's been a little bit since I've blogged.  You see,  I've been debating on what to bring to you.

I didn't have to debate about what picture to use.  We didn't debate with the boy on the left when he was little and wanted to tear the house up with his brothers by playing "Power Rangers."  We just put our foot down and didn't do Power Rangers.  He didn't end up warped, and look...even though he wasn't allowed to watch or play Power Rangers, he grew up to meet and play with a Power Ranger. But, only when he was self-controlled enough to not tear anything up.

This picture also serves the blog well in that who would ever debate a Power Ranger?  Yikes!

Tomfoolery aside, it seems like some of you have been debating. You've been debating whether or not to let your preschooler trick-or-treat. You've been debating whether or not you should let your tween read "The Hunger Games."  You've been debating whether or not your teen is ready to date.  You've been debating whether or not you should vote...and who you should vote for.

I know of these debates, because in some moments of desperation, you bring them to me.  And it humbles me.

And, I'll be overwhelms me.

Then I start debating.

What in the world do I think I'm doing trying to encourage people? Most days, I'm just a cat shy of being my town's crazy lady.

And...I digress from there.  You know the digression.  It's similar to the one where your friend simply did not see you when you waved to her from across a packed football stadium, but within 30 minutes you have her hating you.  I knew you knew what I was talking about.

If I didn't have a Bible and a very big, patient, wise and loving God, forget the town...I would be North America's Crazy Lady.

Thankfully, II Corinthians 4:5 keeps the crazy under control:  "For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."

Debate over. It's not what I think.  It's not what you think.  It's not what politicians think. It's not what our well-meaning Christian friends think.  It's not what the world thinks.

I'm not preaching the gospel of me. 

If you know me, you know I say this a lot.  I just also forget it a lot.  But, it's so grounding.  So calming.  So, so true.

So not debatable.

It's the Gospel of Christ.  No debate.  No pressure.

While it may seem like I'm taking the easy way out, I'm actually taking the only way out.  We have to pray, read the Bible, and listen like crazy for the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide.

Because unfortunately, most of the time...we fret over gnats while camels run amuck.

What are you debating?  What bugs are keeping you distracted?

Go back to basics.  Remember your Source.

Remember a loving God Who saw a dying world and hatched a plan to save it.

He had to make a painful choice.  He sent His perfect Son to the most imperfect of places.  And people.

We would have agonized.  We would have requested a fact checker.  We would have wanted to see the polls. We would have wanted to know what our friends thought.

Fortunately, when God chose to send Christ...there was none of this.  There was no question of what He would do.  No hesitation.  No reservation.

No debate.