Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flushed Away!

Had an experience in a public place that struck me about something for the first time...

It's something that I think happens to all of us...unless it's just me? But, I think it's something in the "no-big-deal" category...something that...if I were to post the story on Facebook there'd be lots of comments beneath it like, "LOL" and "LMBO"...but it just struck me last night that it's actually not funny...

Imagine this...you're in a public restroom with one of those wonderful automatic-flushing toilets (that have scared many of my kids!). You sit down and set your cell phone on your skirt...do your business...and then forget that the phone is there and you stand up...dropping the phone <pluuunk!!!> into the toilet. Imagine your horror! You would turn, think, "eew" for a second, and reach for the phone...only then to have that toilet...that wonderful modern toilet...make that little "click" and "WHOOOOOSH!" and suck your phone away in an instant before you could even get the tips of your fingers into the water.

Would that be funny? Maybe later you'd tell the story in retrospect and laugh. But, at that moment, would you be laughing?

Some people might...but I think most people would be pretty mad. And, depending on the phone and how personal it was...sad, too.

Well, now let's say you're not you...you're 6...and the phone is your $3 laser pointer that you have been enjoying and dragging around with you for several days now. And, let's say this actually happened to you...how do you think you would feel?

Yesterday, I saw a 6 year old girl rush out of the bathroom crying hysterically...and her older sister, a young woman in her early 20's, was following behind her stifling giggles.

As I mentioned earlier...if I were to post this on Facebook that one of my kids had had this happen to them...the comments beneath would for sure have at least one "LOL" in it, true? And, I myself felt a bit like smiling...when I heard the young woman tell their mother what had just happened in the bathroom. But, it struck me suddenly how not actually funny that was...

The little girls' pain was real...and what she'd just experienced was obviously very upsetting to her. And, had she just flushed her pet hamster down the toilet, or if she were crying hysterically because she'd just seen her cat get run over by a car...we wouldn't laugh. I think it is that if we identify the event as something we'd think is worth being sad over we have empathy. But, if we think it's no big deal, then we don't really "care" about what the child is going thru.

The other thing that struck me is that I do this. I listen to my kids sometimes when they cry hysterically and I don't connect with them "there". I turn my head and giggle a little. I sort of look at them from afar and detached and rather than "feel" their pain and hug them and offer them the emotional support they need at that moment because I think the thing they're upset about is "unimportant"...I brush it off. I laugh. I tell them to "quit crying". I tell them not to worry about it. I tell them "it's OK". I think a lot of times when I'm at my "wits end" not knowing how to handle a situation with my kids is simply because I'm not seeing the situation from their perspective and so of course, I can't handle what's going on.

It makes me sad when I think about my own reactions just because I don't "get it" and how alone that can make my kids feel. And, it makes me sad for all the kids in the world because a LOT of kids out there in the world not only feel "alone" when they're this hurt or upset...they get punished/rejected/spanked when they're feeling these feelings...such a sad world...

It just struck me that this is one very empathy-less world we're living in....that kids don't get respect...and that I still have so much to learn and grow...I'm hoping I'll remember this moment every time they cry from now on...and treat them how they feel not how I would feel in their elementary school age situation as a 40 year old...



Light in the Darkness

I just had the most awesome experience tonight! (It's 1am, Dara!) OK! Last night. Whatever…

Light show at Disney... Sitting there on the uncomfy pavement in front of Cinderella's castle waiting for the fireworks display and they did this…thing…where they used Cinderella's castle as a…screen! They showed photos and videos on it. It was WILD. And, the wildest part was the part where they shone lights on the castle that completely changed it's appearance. At many points the castle looked fake…like it was a cartoon. It was the original meaning of awesome…it inspired awe. We're used to Hollywood taking fake stuff and making it look real, right? Computer animation like Avatar we're used to. But, what they did before my eyes in the real world was they took something real (the building that looks like a castle) and manipulated the light hitting it and it made it look fake. Made it look like it was a cartoon. It was so flippin' AMAZING! 

Check it out! 
(Sorry the pics aren't the best!)




They played videos and pictures that had been taken in the park "today" all over the castle...




Here, the castle was in flames!




Here, it started off all dark and then we heard chalk noises as the castle was outlined...

Then, it was colored in...


When it was time to change to something different it was "erased" and chalk blew away...




When the castle looked like this it looked like it wasn't real...it looked like a cartoon...









And, that…got me thinking as I sat there… 

Romans 1…
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made 

THIS amazing awesome thing I experienced isn't an accident. Isn't…like…by chance. It MEANS something. This thing I experienced is "science" and it means something in the spiritual world 'cause God designed it that way to teach us something… 

And, so… 
The Bible says that...
Jesus…is the light of the world…
Those who hate Jesus live "in darkness"…and their eyes are blind…
Satan comes as an angel of light and blinds those who don't believe... 

There is a lot of imagery in the Bible to that effect. A lot of spiritual imagery in the Bible…and tonights show at the castle was the physical example of it. 

There was a building there in the daylight. When the SUN shone upon that building and I looked at it I saw it. I knew what color it was and how the building was structured and I could see that there were still some of the Christmas light nettings on one of the spires. I could see…when the true light of day…the light of the sun…was shining on it I could correctly see what was actually there. 

THEN… 

It's 8pm. It's dark. No more sunlight. They announced that in order to do this thing (show us this light show) they would have to turn off the lights. Get that? Turn off the things designed to help our eyes be able to see what's actually there. In order for them to show us something that wasn't there…they had to turn…off…the…lights. Get that? 

In order for me to sit there and have my eyes look at something and see it incorrectly…in order for my eyes to be deceived and to NOT see what's really there but rather, to see what the person doing the showing wanted me to see…they had to outen the lights. (Outen's not even a word is it!) 

We have eyes so we can see physically. And, we see physically when light bounces off that object and hits our eyes. A whole area of medicine is dedicated to the eye because the eye is so awesome. But, without a source of light to create light to bounce off of an object to return and enter that eye…the eye is useless. 

Depending on the light type…and intensity of it…your eyes can be deceived or they can tell you the truth. My experience tonight was that my eyes were SOOOO deceived…but in a way that was sooooo amazing!!!! 

So, if we back up to them turning off the lights so they could do the show. In order to be visually deceived we have to have the source of LIGHT shut off. Extinguished. That's the physical world... 

What about the spiritual world? If you think about it…all the religious views will acknowledge "God" or some "higher power" but they all have one thing in common…they say "no" to Jesus whom the Bible refers to as the "light" of the world…

Jesus used to tell parables and say, "Let him who can see see…" He touched them and allowed their eyes to begin receiving the input that sunlight bouncing off of objects carries.  He healed the spiritually blind, too... He was speaking spiritually…and that is why He healed the physically blind. The physically blind cannot perceive the light which is bouncing off of objects...and the spiritually blind cannot see spiritually or they see what's not there...

I said that the deception my eyes experienced tonight was amazing…and it was…and I bet that technology could make a house that looks like a pile of garbage look amazing. But, who wants a pile of garbage that looks beautiful in false light? Don't we all want a "house" that looks beautiful even in the brightest sun of day? Sometimes, what's true and right doesn't look as "amazing" and "awesome" as the false thing...but real is always better...

And, getting back to last night...although I was "powerless"…powerless as I sat there in the dark to tell my eyes that I was not seeing something real. 

My mind received that input thru my eyes and believed what it saw…and no amount of the following things would have made my eyes stop seeing what they were seeing:
- telling me
- preaching at me
- pamphlets revealing the truth about the light show
- accusing me of believing a lie
- posting blog postings like this on their walls
- protesting at the light show that it was showing something untrue
- holding signs by the road that would tell me that the light show deceived my eyes
- telling me God hates me because my eyes see the castle as it is not
- judging me for seeing what I was seeing and stop being my friend
- giving me CD's of your pastor's latest sermon explaining all the technical reasons why the things my eyes were perceiving were false

...none of these tactics or any such thing could have made my eyes stop seeing what they were seeing that night!!! My eyes were seeing what they were seeing because someone purposely turned off the lights and showed me what they wanted me to see and I was seeing it...right?

The only way to stop a deception like this...beautiful tho' it may be...




...is quite simply to turn on the light...



"But if the light in you is darkness...how great is that darkness..."


You are to be the light of the world...you are to shine for Jesus. Shining for Jesus isn't about what you do for the church or what you do in Jesus's name...it's about who you are when you do those things...


- - -


The fireworks after the light show were amazing, too!!! There were fireworks in the shapes of hearts and stars...it was just awesome!!!









Videos I took of the light show:




- - - - - - - - -

I feel like there is so much truth in just the concept of "light"…that a whole book could be written on it…but that's all I have to say about it for now! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Managing Baby Jesus?

Normally what happens when "I was just thinking" is that I'm in the shower (only place I really relax) and I get something in my head and I can't wait to get out here to the computer and type. It's been a while since I felt like that...

I feel like that right now!

But, I can't take credit for this thought at all! I was listening to a podcast from a church I listen to a lot...and it was a sermon I didn't even think I'd wanna bother with 'cause it was a "Christmas Sermon". So last year, right? WELL...I am SO GLAD I listened to it!

Pastor is Shane Hipps. And, he talked about the gift of the Christ child.

He brought a lady up onto stage with an infant and asked her questions about her relationship with that infant. He asked her how she feels when the baby cries and how she feels when the baby laughs. He asked her how she responds when the baby cries...if she waits an hour? And, she said, "No. I go right away." He asked, "Why?" and she replied, "Because I love her."

He then pointed out that Jesus...came to earth as a baby. God...came to earth as a baby...who spent His time as an infant...crying out...to His mommy...at all times of the day and night no matter what Mary was doing or what plans she had or how she felt...He cried out to her...for her love and attention...

Mary...is our 1st example how to respond to Jesus. 

Think about how Mary responded to Him from the very moment she even heard He was coming? Self-sacrifice…Mary didn't say to the angel, "Yeah, but, I have plans! Can't God send the Savior after I'm married and have a few years to get settled?" She didn't say, "Well, you know this could get me killed?" She didn't say anything about herSELF…she just said…yes. 

Can you imagine Mary with an, "Infant Management Program" in place when Jesus was born? 

Can you imagine Mary teaching baby Jesus to, "Cry-it-out" and to "self-soothe"? 

Can you imagine Mary leaving baby Jesus to cry so that He wouldn't grow up to be too clingy to her? 

Can you imagine Mary sitting there with her friends chatting over coffee while baby Jesus cries in the playpen and Mary scoffing, "Oh, He just wants me to hold Him all the time! He has to learn that He's not the center of the universe!"

Can you imagine Mary hitting baby Jesus to teach Him not to touch things on her coffee table?

Can you imagine Mary making sure baby Jesus knows "who's boss"?

Can you imagine Mary making all of her plans about and for herself and just dragging Jesus around with her as an accessory?

Can you imagine Mary treating baby Jesus in any of the ways most people treat their children?

Can you imagine that being God's way of growing Jesus?

Jesus didn't come to earth as a full-grown man…in charge…a King. He came as a baby and began His relationship to mankind with that lesson.

Romans 1 tells us that God does everything with a purpose. Everything He's created shows us something about Him...about the truth. His coming to earth as a baby…was not without purpose. We are supposed to get something from that. And, not getting something from that…makes God mad because He made the lessons there obvious.


For we women...when we have a baby...that baby is a lesson from God as to how to respond to Him. And, He said, "as you've done it unto the least of these...you've done it unto me..." didn't He? That's huge!

Imagine...God calling out to you at 3am...and you're just too tired to "deal with Him." He needs to learn to cry out to you at times when you're not tired.

Imagine...God calling out to you on Saturday...but you have Him scheduled for attention on Sundays only? God needs to be regulated on a schedule for His own good so He'll…not disturb you when you're sleeping.

Imagine...God calling out for you and you just...turn that baby monitor off and let Him cry…He needs to be able to…go to sleep on His own…so that you can sleep.

Imagine...God calling out to you and you deciding that He needs to just learn that He is not the center of the universe…that you and your husband are the center of the family and God needs to remember that you…are…not…His…buddy (friend)…

The truth about all the old wives' tales about "holding your baby too much" and "picking the baby up when they cry"...and the truth about parenting programs like, "Preparation for Parenting"…the truth about books like, "On Becoming Babywise"…the truth about how to truly "Grow kids God's Way"...was shown to us on Christmas morning…and Romans 1 says that...we have no excuse...


Friday, January 13, 2012

Parent vs Friend

I was just thinking about "friendship". You often hear parents say things like, "I'm their parent first and friend second." I have even heard parents say, "I'm their parent not their friend!" And, it seems that this is recognized as a noble attitude toward parenting. But, is it?

Everyone needs friends, right? So, parents believe that their child will find friends somewhere other than with them. And, kids will find other kids to hang out with and call their friends. But, sad truth of the matter is that what kids find in other kids is not people authentically interested in them who will stick with them thru thick and thin. What kids find in other kids is usually going to be people who find them interesting and fun to hang out with, and, when the interesting and fun part gets tampered with those "friends" disappear.

Often, as kids the person we referred to as our "best friend" was the one going out and doing all sorts of "bad" and "naughty" things with us. Often, it was our "best friend" who was the one who we told all of our dirty secrets to and they did nothing to try to dissuade us from pursuing those things, but on the contrary they encouraged them. It was often our "best friend" who sat there while we defied, rebelled, and lied to our parents and cheered us on. But, was this person really our friend if they didn't care about us dong bad stuff?

I believe it is because of this experience that most of us have that parents think that if you are your child's friend then that means you'll just sit back and let your kids get into self-destructive and bad things and do nothing. But...

The Bible says:
"A friend loves at all times."

If a friend loves at all times…what is love? What does being a friend really mean?

Love (a friend) is patient…
Love (a friend) is kind…
Love (a friend) is not jealous (unhappy for you when things go well for you)…
Love (a friend) does not brag (does not try to make you feel small so they can be big)…
Love (a friend) does not act unbecomingly (never does anything shameful or rude)…
Love (a friend) does not seek its own (never puts themselves first, uses you or treats you selfishly)…
Love (a friend) is not provoked (doesn't get mad at you easily)…
Love (a friend) does not keep a list of the things you've done wrong…
Love (a friend) does not get excited about wrongdoing (doesn't sit back and giggle while you lie to your mom on the phone)…
Love (a friend) rejoices with the truth (likes good stuff)…
Love (a friend) bears all things (never gives up on ya)…
Love (a friend) believes all things (believes in you!)…
Love (a friend) hopes all things…
Love (a friend) endures all things…
Love always wins…

Could anything be better than a friend?

I know myself...I want to be my children's bestest friends. I know I fail at times and am impatient...I'm sometimes unkind...and I sometimes do things I'm ashamed of...and I could go on. But, when I look at this list above, I want more than anything to be my children's friend. And, the only way to teach someone what "friendship" is is to show them by example what friendship really looks like. I know that if I treat them as a friend they will treat me the same in return, and will most likely be that type of friend to their brothers and sisters and to others. 

Can you just imagine a whole family full of "friends" who all treat each other with love? 

I believe that if I were to simply focus on being my children's friend...my whole household would change...

So, if you believe you should not be your child's friend...what would you scratch off that list above to make you a "parent" and not your child's "friend"...and how would that be better? 

And, if a "parent" is different and superior than a "friend" then...what IS a parent? 

What more superior qualities to a "friend" (see above) is a "parent"? 

And, if Jesus is our "friend"...how is being a "parent" better than that?

I believe those questions are worth thinking about...


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Muddy waters...

Recently a few blogs I've run across have discussed gender roles...and really what they're talking about is boundaries and definition. I get it from all the reading that it's the common belief in the developed world that these gender roles are to be done away with. They're old school. They're oppressive and disrespectful and debilitating. 

But, it seems to me that...everything in life needs boundaries and definition. Without it...a river becomes a swamp, right? When there is a boundary...a swamp becomes a flowing river which can power a city. 

Or, imagine...you feel oppressed and ruled-over by the lines in the pavement which tell you where and which direction you may park your car. So, you get the shopping center to remove those lines. Now, you pull into a parking lot freeeee of oppressive lines! Hallelujah! Now you are free to choose to park your car anywhere!

Yeah. How would that work? And, how safe would you feel driving through or parking in that parking lot?

If I had time to think about it right now...which lately I don't have time to do much thinking...I could list for you a buncha' things which benefit from boundaries and how taking away the boundaries makes things uncertain and ultimately unsafe. I feel like far from "women's liberation"...really...all we've done to men and women in the developed world is we've removed the boundaries...

And, now maybe you at first imagine that well maybe a parking lot sans lines would be kinda' fun. You picture people parking in interesting patterns and think, "yeah, that could work." But, if you could see and experience the reality of it...once there were about 100 cars strewn erratically in the parking lot it's then that you would see the "fruit" of this idea. Far from Utopia there would be confusion, fighting, accidents, and a inefficient use of space in the parking lot so much so that if it got "full" it would end up leaving many people out...and when it wasn't full the messiness of it might turn many away...

Like...we all know how fruit works, right? If you eat like a pig the "fruit" is negative and you get an unhealthy flabby unsightly body. If you work out and jog and eat well the "fruit" is positive and you get a healthy body with an attractive appearance. Right? We get the whole fruits thing. You reap what you sow. What comes around goes around. Karma. Got it.

So, here we are 100 years into the future from the time women have been "liberated" right. So, what's the fruit? How does our world look now that we've been working so hard at removing the boundaries of those gender roles?

Women now are now free to choose to go to work. Oh, but are they? No. Let me rephrase that to make that more truthful. Having daughters and being female myself, the truth in 2012 is women are now expected to go to work. So, being freed from the demeaning role of wife/house maker...now we get to go to work like men do! This sometimes deprives women of children entirely (by choice). If they choose to have children it often limits the amount of them. And, always it takes women away from the home and children 8-10 hours a day. 

And, the fruit of this time away from home? Increasingly...year after year...we have more and more children on meds for things like bi-polar disorder and depression...increasingly we have children committing suicide...increasingly we have a statistically more and more depressed world. There's some fruit. What does that tell us? Is it negative or positive?

And, what about women's health? Did you know that the more cumulative months of nursing you have the more your chance of breast cancer decreases? Nursing babies makes women's bodies healthy. Nursing babies can ward of depression and anxiety in women. But, now moms find terms like "stay at home" mom to be shameful and something we have to explain and justify and so we rush off back to work asap...(so we can be equal to men who really feel no biological need to be near the babies like we do which actually makes us UNequal because men are doing what's natural for them (by leaving) and we're doing what's unnatural for us)...and so we put our amazing life-giving lactating breasts back into push-up bras so they look nice for the world...we feed our babies bottles...we do not get enough sleep...we're stressed out, tired, and always in fear of breast cancer. There's the fruit.

And, what about men? Men, used to be needed. Women needed their men at one point to go out and hunt and drag home something to eat...they later needed their men to farm the land and bring in the crops...we later needed our men to go to work and "bring home the bacon". Men had a family to support. They were needed for the survival of their families. Now, who needs men? Sometimes their bacon is insignificant compared to the women's bacon. Their wife makes babies, cares for the house, AND brings home the bacon...so what good is he? And, what's the fruit? How happy and healthy are men in the west these days?

I don't need to research it or post specific references here...we all live in it. We all see it. We all know that most of the world is on anti-depressants these days. Men and women. We all know people aren't happy and that their marriages are failing. Just browse the reality TV program selection these days. Shows about OCD, hoarding, animal abuse, bi-polar disorder, anger issues, drugs...I mean...you name it and there's a show for it. Our culture is not doing well.

That's the fruit of our current gender-confused culture.

Some, I notice, try to blame all of the problems we have on "genes"...but even if it were our genes...what in the heck has happened in the last 100 years to cause such a disturbance in the gene pool? One could wonder...why are those waters so...muddy?

Jesus said you'll know stuff by its fruit. Christian ladies...think about what you've bought into in your thinking about your role as wife and mother...

Think about it...so many studies have been done which have shown that even short separations from mom have negative effects on the baby. Taking a newborn away from her mother for even just a few hours you can start to see negative things happening to the baby's body. But, what about dad? Do babies suffer from being separated all day from dad? Sorry, guys, but if it's not a permanent (divorce) type separation the answer is no.

And, women...you separate us from our babies and we have a negative physical response. But, dads can go back to work the next day and smile and stand around handing out cigars, right? 

Our female baby-making lactating bodies are almost magic we're so amazing...and what we do with our bodies matters SO MUCH to the next generation...just our presence can direct our children toward being a peaceful, well-adapted, socially competent, confident, content, and loving person in the future. And, what are the ripple effects of that kind of person? That's power. Imagine all the women of the earth kicking back...relaxing at home instead of running the rat race...and exercising that power (that men don't have and could never have) to bring peace on earth...


(It is interesting to note that women CAN do whatever men do...but they can't do what we do...yes...girls rule and boys drool.) :) 

Worth thinking about...



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