I was looking back at what I've talked about this week and realized that I've only talked one time. Has it really been since Monday that I posted? So I started thinking about the things that have kept me from writing down my thoughts, because I'm busy, yes, but I'm not that busy.
A friend's birthday lunch at a fabulous restaurant. (Fun! Happy Birthday, Stacey!)
Trying out a Pure Barre class. (My body is complaining about that one today.)
Teaching classes. (Three more this week, I'll have to ignore the aforementioned soreness.)
Running errands. (Hello, Nike apparel for boys, you are pricey!)
Housework. (Just kidding, my house is a WRECK.)
Worry. (Oh, yes, now this one is where I've spent a majority of my time and energy.)
We recently confiscated a child's iPod (a child belonging to me, that is, not some random child, although I'd be very curious to know what's happening on these iPods that parents have zero clue about), and discovered some texts and other things that we weren't too pleased with. But what we were most displeased with was ourselves. How did we, fairly good parents in our own estimation (:)), allow our child to be texting at 10:30 PM (!) and know nothing about it? There are other issues for sure, but one thing remains clear: (1) this child is a sneaky little thing and (2) it's much easier to turn a blind eye to what you know could be going on than to deal with it directly. Especially when you know that dealing with it might mean the cold shoulder, insolence and a little cheek. Okay, that was two things, but you get the point.
Allow the worry to set in.
Am I a good parent? Am I doing the right thing for my child? Are they headed down a path of destruction? Why won't they listen to me? Are they going to make bad choices? Is this a sign of things to come? Do I have reason to dread the next 5 years? Can I really raise this child? Do I have what it takes? How can we come through this with as few scrapes and bruises as possible?
Now that I've allowed you a peek into what's been going on in my head over the last 48 hours, I must point out to you an observation: God is completely absent from my thoughts.
He's not absent from me, mind you, because Romans 8:38 promises that nothing can separate us from His love. Not even worry. But. Even though He'll never turn away from me, I can certainly turn away from Him, which leaves me feeling sad and empty. And broken. And searching. And worrying.
Not that I don't have reason to worry. There is some scary, inappropriate and downright terrifying information that our children have access to, right at the tips of their fingertips. And I am the one that put it in my children's hands. Without an ongoing conversation about internet safety, rules and guidelines, we are basically expecting our kids to pick up their cues from those around them (their peers, mostly) and figure it out for themselves.
Have you looked at your kid's peers lately?
Not necessarily who I want guiding them my children.
My mind was distracted and emotional yesterday. I talked ad nauseum with friends. I turned up worship music in the car. I prayed. I repented. I prayed. I cried. I prayed. And in between it all, I worried about the next 25+ years of my child's life.
Worrying without God is scary. Worrying with God is silly. So when I read the Proverbs 31 devotion for the day, while I had trouble "laughing at the days to come", I tried really hard to turn that worry into worship.
God knows my future as well as He knows me.
My job is to seek to know Him more as I place my future in His hands.
It's okay to be strict. (Who knows when the iPod will make a reappearance in this house. It will depend on the responsibility and maturity of the user.). Every generation needs rules and guidelines so that they can learn and succeed, and it just so happens that my kid's generation have access to a world that past generations have never experienced before. It's natural to not know exactly what to do. But we have to be smart. We cannot assume that the easy route is safest, because what we don't know can cause harm.
There will be pushback, and questioning, and "all the other kids think you're mean", and yes, it's hard. I hate it. But in the words of modern-day poet Kelly Clarkson:
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Stand a little taller...
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter.