Monday, June 6, 2011

Our kind of playground

In my opinion, the great outdoors makes a way better playground for my kids. There's so much more to explore! Natural beauty doesn't even begin to compare with man made plastic structures and the surrounding suburb fake-ish landscape. We never leave out of boredom the way we often do a neighborhood park.

I smile when I think back to the hours we spent hiking these rocks last week. If you recognize this place, you know how spectacular it is. So much so that when we arrived in the morning, there was a film crew set up with all the trailers and trucks and equipment. This type of stuff hardly interests me any more, and we were bummed because it meant we had to go on the opposite side of the cliff we wanted to hike. After we had hiked up for a good distance, when I knew we were out of site of the crew, we circles back over to sit in the sun and munch on peanuts. Suddenly a man, huffing and puffing and red in the face, appeared over the edge of a boulder to ask us to move. Apparently our voices were being carried through the canyons and picked up on the sound recording. Oops.

It's interesting to see the differences in each of my kids. They all come from the same parents and live in the same house, but the differences can be amazing. Some are fearless and invincible (or so they think), while others are more cautious. Obviously we were all on the alert for rattle snakes, but Andrew's paranoia was hilarious. Every grass that rustled or cricket that cricked sent him running. He eventually calmed down about the snakes, but it took time for him to try scaling the rocks. Yet every time I forced him to climb a little (in order for us to stay together) he was glad to have conquered a fear. 

Conquering fears. It's hard stuff. In most cases the battle is mostly in our head, and totally conquerable. I want to raise kids that can face their fears head on, and learn to understand what is worth fearing and what fears need to be crushed.

(This was probably a much more sanitary "sand box" than any community park!)

I had some pretty persistent fears recently which could be reduced down to one thing: The fear of man. It is never a fear worth having, and certainly it's not a God honoring fear. Had it not been for the help of the Lord, I may have pressed those fears onto my children in a harmful way. The thing was, I wanted to be liked and accepted by a certain group of people. My fear was that my kids would misbehave and mess things up for me. I was afraid that I would be judged solely on the basis of my kids' behavior.

I never want to tell my kids to behave a certain way to make me look good, or to behave well because they are the pastor's kids and people are always watching and scrutinizing. That's a sure way to make them run for the hills, especially as they get older. It's a great way to get them to resent us, their parents, and to run from the hypocrisy they would associate with Christianity. 

They need to know that obedience is always for the Lord. I need to remember that too. And when my kids misbehave, when they disobey, it is an offense to God first and foremost. It's not about me, and my response to it can be God honoring.

That is so freeing for me. It removes so much of the pressure. If I am not accepted for whatever reason, I'm OK with it because God is my judge. Really, the obsession is removed and my focus is put back into the proper place.

If I'm rejected because my kid misbehaved, then fine. I can't blame my kids so much. Rather I can work with them knowing that I mess up too. And if I am not liked based on my personality, perceived strengths and weakness, I can rest in the knowledge that God has made me who I am on purpose and for His glory. And again, that He is the measure of all things. 

My fears are lifted and I become free to live as He made me. No one can alter or change what He has planned for my life, and so I live eagerly expecting to see what will unfold, what He has in store for me.

I never intended for this blog to be some sort of teaching platform. Not at all. This is for me now and it may be helpful again in the future.


1 comment:

  1. Where are these pictures taken? Absolutely gorgeous! And I love the spiritual lessons!


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