My kids surprise me sometimes

My boys volunteered, yes volunteered, to be in the kids Christmas program at church. I didn’t force them, or beg them, or bribe them even though I was one of the directors of the program. They volunteered on their own because it meant they could hang out with friends, and they didn’t have to memorize any lines. Am I disappointed that there wasn’t a spiritual reason for them to volunteer? Nope! I want them participating, willingly, in church, and I know the maturity will come.

The next thing they volunteered for was a skit, or really an interpretive dance, that went through the story of the life of Christ. They participated with about 12 others in the youth group to perform this amazing story. They put in the practice and worked with others, and understood the major events in the life of Jesus. It was beautiful! Not a dry eye in the room!

I sat there proud of my boys. I sat there in awe of what they had just presented, collectively as a group. I was amazed at their expressions and timing, and what these teenagers had lovingly represented through song.

As parents, we have prayed over our boys. We have instructed and guided them in truths from the Bible. Others have invested their time and love into our boys. And for 6 minutes last night, we saw the fruit of that investment. We saw that gentle reminder from God that everything will work out, that they are good boys growing into amazing young men. A reminder that they are truly in God’s hands and things will be okay…no matter how these teen years roll out in front of us. God is in control.

Parenting is Hard

Yes, there are self help books on parenting, but there is no instruction manual on raising each of your kids. Let’s face it, personalities are different in each child, and must be handled differently.

I struggle at times with each of my boys. One is like me, the other like my husband. Both are still learning, and both are not like either of us. What do I mean by that? My husband and I have reached a level of maturity and responsibility that help us to control both our emotions and our words… most if the time. My boys, not so much. It’s our job to teach them, but quite frankly it is like talking to a wall at times.

The maturest of our boys, has a sense of responsibility, is organized at home and at school, is kind and caring of others, but has a stubbornness so deep that I have no idea where he gets it from. It especially runs deep if he feels he has been unjustly accused of something. We saw it all the way back in the 1st grade when he refused to move his carpet square away from his friends when the teacher caught them talking. He refused, and after scolding him and requiring him to move his “color” on the behavior scale to red, it took a phone call to mom, to get him to comply. We saw it again last night when he blamed his brother for something that was an accident and was reprimanded to blaming. He still does not agree with the reprimand even today. This led to another talk about respect… and what the Bible has to say about it too.

We see too often in today’s society where someone is always to blame. We blame others for our decisions or mistakes, our backgrounds, our lack of futures, and even our lot in life. We try to hold on and teach further our motto that This Family Believes in Personal Responsibility.

Personal responsibility is hard sometimes. It’s hard to apologize and it’s hard at times to forgive. God’s grace is enough for us, and therefore we must extend grace to others too. We also have to give ourselves grace because we are not perfect, and we mess up sometimes. We also must remember that accidents happen, and no one is to blame. We’re to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess, and then learn from our experience. It’s how we mature and grow.

My boys are 12 and 13. They still have a ways to go to develop into mature young men. However, we keep working towards progress as parents, and we know they will get there… eventually. In the meantime, we pray!