parenting


Parenting is difficult. (That’s an understatement, wouldn’t you say?!)

I am sending this out to all parents who may be feeling frustrated, discouraged, worried, etc. I have found that when I’m upset, stressed, etc the best medicine for me is a good laugh. I therefore hope this will bring some laughter to any parents whose spirits need to be lightened.

I stumbled across this years ago. The title and the author are both unknown to me.

After creating heaven and earth God created Adam and Eve and the first thing He said was “Don’t!”
“Don’t what?” Adam replied.
“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit” God said.
“Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!”
“No way!”
“Yes way.”
“DO NOT eat the fruit!” God said.
“Why?!”
“Because I’m your Father and I said so!” God replied, wondering why He hadn’t stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later God saw His children taking an apple break and was He ticked!
“Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit?” God, our first parent, asked.
“Uh huh,” Adam replied.
“Then why did you?” asked God.
“I don’t know,” said Eve.
“She started it!” said Adam.
“Did not!”
“Did too!”
“DID NOT!”

Having had it with the two of them God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed.

Whenever your children are out of control take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for You?

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My baby had a baby. My daughter had a daughter.

For the last few weeks, as I’ve been awaiting the birth of my first grandchild, I’ve been packing up many of our belongings, donating other belongings to Good Will, and finding new homes for much of our furniture. My husband and I are moving out of the house in which we raised our children, and moving into one in which we hope to live out our golden years.

The irony, or significance, of these two events occurring simultaneously has not escaped me. What continues to rumble around in my mind is the Circle of Life song from The Lion King, one of my favorite Disney movies when my children were young, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GibiNy4d4gc) as well as the first two verses of the third chapter of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes (“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.”)

As I was walking across the hospital parking lot the day I was going to meet my granddaughter, it struck me that the last few times I was in hospitals it was because I was saying goodbye to someone whose life was ending. This time I was about to say hello to someone whose life was beginning. As I held and rocked my granddaughter for the first time I felt an incredible sense of peace. I could have sat in that rocking chair with her indefinitely.

The circle of life. It keeps rolling on with a momentum of its own in spite of who is president, what the stock market is doing, where there is civil unrest or war, or who won the Super Bowl or an Academy Award. The circle of life. People are born, they grow up, they live, they die. It’s beautiful and it has a life and a momentum all its own.

Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World [HQ]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21LGv8Cf0us

 

 

Since I’ve been posting some pretty heavy duty material lately I thought it was about time I balance it out with a bit of humor. Here you go:

CREATION CHUCKLE (author unknown)

After creating heaven and earth God created Adam and Eve and the first thing He said was “Don’t!”
“Don’t what?” Adam replied.
“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit” God said.
“Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!”
“No way!”
“Yes way.”
“DO NOT eat the fruit!” God said.
“Why?!”
“Because I’m your Father and I said so!” God replied, wondering why He hadn’t stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later God saw His children taking an apple break and was He ticked!
“Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit?” God, our first parent, asked.
“Uh huh,” Adam replied.
“Then why did you?” asked God.
“I don’t know,” said Eve.
“She started it!” said Adam.
“Did not!”
“Did too!”
“DID NOT!”
Having had it with the two of them God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed.
Whenever your children are out of control take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children what makes you think it would be a piece for you?

Made molasses cookies this morning. Ribs are slow roasting in oven and have macaroni & cheese ready to go in oven. These are some of my 24 year old son’s favorite foods. Told him I would make all this if he would come over for dinner tonight. Sometimes bribery works, just sayin.

After creating heaven and earth God created Adam and Eve and the first thing He said was “Don’t!”
“Don’t what?” Adam replied.
“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit” God said.
“Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!”
“No way!”
“Yes way.”
“DO NOT eat the fruit!” God said.
“Why?!”
“Because I’m your Father and I said so!” God replied, wondering why He hadn’t stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later God saw His children taking an apple break and was He ticked!
“Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit?” God, our first parent, asked.
“Uh huh,” Adam replied.
“Then why did you?” asked God.
“I don’t know,” said Eve.
“She started it!” said Adam.
“Did not!”
“Did too!”
“DID NOT!”
Having had it with the two of them God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed.

Whenever your children are out of control take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?
(author unknown)

I am currently reading Bruce Wilkinson’s book Secrets of the Vine. I LOVE his description of how God disciplines us when we need it. It’s based on John 15. He developed this description following a conversation he had with the owner of a large vineyard in northern California.

Excerpt: “… the life of a grower–the long hours spent walking the vineyards, tending the grapes, watching the fruit develop, waiting for the perfect day to begin harvest. ‘New branches have a natural tendency to trail down and grow along the ground,’ he explained. But they don’t bear fruit down there. When branches grow along the ground, the leaves get coated in dust. When it rains, they get muddy and mildewed. The branch becomes sick and useless.’ ‘What do you do?’ I asked. ‘Cut it off and throw it away?’ ‘Oh, no!’ he exclaimed. ‘The branch is much too valuable for that. We go through the vineyard with a bucket of water looking for those branches. We lift them up and wash them off.’ … For the Christian, sin is like dirt covering the grape leaves. Air and light can’t get in. The branch languishes, and no fruit develops. How does our Vinedresser lift us from mud and misery? … Discipline is what happens when our loving Father steps in to lift us away from our own destructive and unfruitful pursuits. … I’m linking ‘lift up’–the intervention of the Vinedresser in John 15–to the word discipline as it’s used in Hebrews and elsewhere. … What does God do to wayward believers? Answer: He takes necessary measures to correct them just as the vinedresser takes necessary measures to correct a wayward branch.”

If we accept God’s invitation for a relationship, he promises to take care of us in every way imaginable. This does not mean that God gives us everything we want. Like any good parent, God does not indulge our every whim and desire. He does, however, give us everything we need.

Those of us who are human parents want many things for and from our children. One of the main things we want from our children is obedience, unquestioning obedience without discussion, negotiation, argument, and so forth. Is there a human parent alive who has not used the phrase “Because I said so!” when trying to get children to do something? I doubt it. If such a parent exists, I would like to meet him or her.

The same holds true for God, our heavenly parent. He wants his children to obey him. From the beginning of creation, God gave much to his children, and all he asked for in return was obedience. His children, right from the beginning, had a difficult time giving this to him. Think about it, God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise and told them they could have anything they wanted except the fruit of one tree. So, what did they want? They wanted the fruit from that one tree. What did they do? They did what they wanted to do, not what they were told to do. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me.

Now think about something else, when God told Noah to build a boat Noah was in the middle of a desert! Can you imagine how ridiculous it must have seemed to the people around Noah that he was building a boat? Can you also imagine how much grief Noah and his family probably took because he was building a boat? Yet, Noah did not let anything deter him. He did what God told him to do because he loved God and trusted him. God wants this same kind of obedience from us. He wants us to obey him without question even when it seems to make no sense at all, especially when it makes no sense at all.

Those of us who are human parents give our children rules to live by because we love them. The rules provide needed boundaries for our children, protecting and guiding them. In turn, we want our children to follow our rules because they love us and value the relationship they have with us, not because they are afraid of us. The same is true for our heavenly parent. When God gave the Israelites, his chosen people, his family, rules to live by he was taking care of them, protecting them. He never meant for the rules to replace the relationship he had with them. As a matter of fact, God gave the Israelites rules to highlight the relationship he had with them. He wanted the Israelites to be set apart from the nations surrounding them. He wanted them to live by a higher standard than the people around them and to be identified to other nations as his people, his family.

Somewhere along the line the Israelites got the idea that they had only to follow God’s rules to be acceptable to him and to become part of his family. God did not want the Israelites to follow his rules so that they could become his children. They already were his children. He had already adopted them into his family. God wanted them to follow his rules so that the world would know that they were his children.

(excerpt from When Religion Isn’t Enough)

 

 

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