So I was poking around the internet today and found this blog post that really hit me hard:
Let me very briefly explain that when Peyton was a baby, he was so incredibly high needs, and I was working full time and desperate for some kind of relief. At Peyton’s 6 month check up, our former pediatrician asked how he was sleeping and I honestly said it was difficult. The pediatrician told me that I need to start laying him down to sleep at night, and just letting him cry, that he needed to learn to sleep on his own and self soothe, and that if I didn’t I was putting him at risk for developmental delays. So I did. For months, I just let Peyton cry, and for months he cried…and cried…and cried. He never “learned” like other babies do. I would have to sit in the living room and hold myself, crying too, but I just knew I had to help him learn if I was going to be a good mother.
Ironically, Peyton has struggled with developmental delays and now has a diagnosis of childhood Anxiety. I recently learned of a study done at Harvard University that said that a baby who has been crying for 20 minutes has the same vital signs as a 30 year old man having a stroke. What happens is that a stress hormone is released into the brain, acting much like an acid wash, on all of those neuro-pathways a new baby is working so hard to develop. I know that there is no way to know for sure if my actions back then caused Peyton to have the struggles he does today, but I sure wish that I could know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they hadn’t.
Look, I’m a mom, I’ve been there with the severe sleep deprivation and NEED for some sleep. However, as an adult I know that my own needs cannot come at the cost of the baby entrusted into my care. There are other ways of meeting those needs. My own personal solution consisted of co-sleeping with babies and keeping them close to me. I know that Dr. Sears has other really good solutions. The point is not to sacrifice the mother (or father) for the sake of the baby, but it is also not to sacrifice the needs of the baby for those of the parents. I dearly hope to spare some other mother the heart ache I personally feel now, looking back at my decisions and wondering if I what I did was harmful to my child.
I do not have the kind of testimony that most Christians like to hear; in fact it really used to frustrate me. The problem with my testimony is that God was there from the beginning. Now, I personally truly appreciate the hurt and the depths of pain and sorrow that God took me through but it tends to make other Christians uncomfortable; we as a group like things nice and neat and tidy. It’s one thing to trust God through an illness, disaster, or even tragedy outside of your own will, many people will shout Hallelujah to a story of a Christian who is faithful through adversity. That is not my story though.
See, I was born into a Christian family. In fact, my father was a pastor and my mother’s father was a pastor and well, you get the drift. Being a Christian was not just in my family, it was a legacy-it was my heritage. I can praise God for the faith that was instilled into me in those early days, it was such a gift! But life is messy, and along with a legacy of faith, I was also bequeathed a legacy of pain that had also been passed down generation to generation. Without going into specifics, I will say that my mother’s family gave to her a legacy of abuse and silence; and my father’s family gave to him a legacy of anger and bitterness. My early years were tumultuous in various forms because of those things. Even after life appeared to settle down for me, the pain and long lasting effects of those early years lived on. As a teenager I was hurting and confused and desperately needing something, I sought solace in the love of a boy, and even that turned into one of the most painful experiences of my life.
Looking back, I really want to say that I had a time of drifting from God, but I never did. Even having Christ in me, I was broken and hurting and making all the choices typical of an angry, hurting, broken girl. That’s why my testimony makes people so uncomfortable, it’s not that things happened but that my response, even though I had Christ through that time, was the same as any other person who has been through what I have. I never stopped loving God, so it has been hard for me to reconcile the two aspects of my life. How can a person who is truly a Christian react in such sinful ways to pain?
The key comes here, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” I am a person, broken and imperfect in all the not nice ways a Christian is not supposed to be. We like stories of broken people being fixed, their lives turning around and suddenly all is better. And praise God for those stories! The thing is, sin IS brokenness, it is not about evil or malice or being “bad”, sin is about being broken. Of course a broken person reacts in a sinful way, it’s why Christ had to die on the cross, not as a punishment but as redemption.
So here I am, learning to heal one step at a time, and the beautiful thing is, I AM LIVING! Sure, it may not look very perfect, but hey the point is not that I look better, or prettier than someone else, but that each and every day I become more like God. That Christ is in the middle of the brokenness is the biggest mercy ever, because is IS. I don’t have to worry about being Christian enough and neither does anyone else. A heart for God is number one. There is no Christian struggle beyond Christ, focusing on the struggle itself is the wrong focus. With our focus on Christ we can live victoriously despite being broken.
First, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this page, it’s well worth a read! <3 But second, this particular giveaway totally exciting to me! I’ve been wanting to read this book since it first came out! Excellent job April!
Submission is a topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. More specifically the role of a wife to submit in her marriage and how that really looks. The church I grew up in didn’t talk much about it that I remember, in reality the whole church works together as one family regardless of who is male or female, it’s really not something people worry too much about with regards to the church at whole.
Therefore, I was kind of surprised when I left that church to come across other communities of believers for whom the topic of male and female roles in the church and within marriage is given more importance. It was really confusing to see and hear what I was, and see the way the Scripture was used to back it up, and yet reconcile that with what I know to be true. I think all Scripture must be interpreted within the context of the entirety of itself, so to see women taking passenger seat roles in church and in their families when there are so many powerful woman in the Bible just didn’t add up to me. So I’ve been searching and learning and this is what I’ve come up with so far.
I asked myself WHAT are we supposed to submit to our husbands? Isn’t that the question at the crux of the whole thing? Because I think often the way it’s taught is that the wife submits her “will” to her husband, placing the husband in the place of “ruling” the wife. But is that accurate translation? The Bible says: submit yourself, and you know what? It’s the same in Greek too. Submit yourself, your whole self. Not your “will” but WHO YOU ARE, give ALL of the to your husband! It’s not about you in what you do, it’s about putting your husband first, and putting all of who you are into your marriage. This fits so much more to me then with what is said to the husbands: “Love your wives as Christ loved the church”.
If I try to put that into social context, we have a society in which wives were basically seen as property, woman had really no rights of their own. I can see that being a source of contention, and woman taking whatever power they could (in their homes etc…) sort of as a self protective measure, and Paul is saying don’t do that. Give yourself wholly to your husband. And to the husband’s he tells them to LOVE their wives, in other words: DON’T treat them like property love them and care for them even as Christ loved the Church (powerful!).
In that context, a woman who, in an effort to submit, keeps herself silent on important matters or attempts to take a passenger seat role in the marriage, is actually doing the opposite of submit, she is withholding herself from her husband.
It also makes so much more sense to say that Paul is not referring to “will” in the context of “all believers submit to each other” because if everyone is going to submit their “will” to everyone else…well…nothing would really ever happen. But if we are all giving of ourselves to others, and using who we are and the people God made us to love and to benefit other Christians, then all the parts of the Body of Christ come together in unity.
Ok, I know this is a picture of the current president, but I want to be clear that I’m not talking about him specifically. This is not a position piece, but more of a philosophical one.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that the moment someone comes to me telling me, “Look at how awesome I am,” my first reaction is a very suspicious distrust. It’s just the nature of how I’m wired. For that very reason, I have an automatic distrust of any and all politicians.
I’ve heard my fair share of “world is coming to an end” stories with each president since I’ve been old enough to hear them. The thing is, I’m not sure they’re all wrong, or bad. It’s not that I think that we are about to fall prey to a ruthless dictator, but that the office of the president does carry with it a tremendous amount of power, and that in and of itself is something that MUST be respected no matter who is in office. When we decide we trust someone, we allow them to take liberties we wouldn’t allow someone else to take, because we feel safe that they will not take undue advantage. In my opinion, we should never ever trust the President or our elected officials. Again, not out of any inherent evil of one individual, but because of the general personality type that will be attracted to that kind of job, the power that person has, and the type of friends that kind of position attracts.
I think that politics is corrupt because instead of it being about the position, it’s become about the person in that position. If that person can convince a country (or 50.000001% of it) that they are good or worthy of trust, they can get their vote. But what if it was assumed that each person was inherently untrustworthy, then it becomes less about the person and more about the position-the actual issues. Instead of us working for them, THEY are working for US. If they do something people don’t like, people-ALL people will hold them accountable and they won’t get re-elected or the support that they need. We’d also get to do away with the annoying smear campaigns each election cycle.
Anyway, those are just a few of my thoughts. I might be back with more later.
Over the years, I’ve spoken with many many mothers frustrated and overwhelmed with their child’s behavior, and the fact that no matter what they do, they just can’t get it to STOP. Heck, I’ve BEEN that parent many many times, desperately looking for a solution to make my child “act right”. That is, until I learned a valuable lesson.
Meet Samuel: my beautiful, funny, spunky, and snuggly 2yo. Samuel is my first child to be fully AP’d, or gently parented and so if very special to my heart. I think the wises parents learn from their children, and Samuel has taught me so much about how to gently parent, and what I’m really trying to do with my parenting. I will admit to a certain amount of pride over his actions a few months ago. He was quiet, calm, and remarkable obediant for a child this young. I felt that this was a wonderful testimony to how I’d finally gotten my parenting skills right. HA! Joke was on me!
After a winter of difficult illnesses with him,I found out that my poor baby was nearly deaf due to repeated ear infections. He needed ear tubes and speech therapy was recommeded, so we put in a call to Early Intervention and had evaluations done with a speech and occupational therapist. Imagine my shock to find out that Samuel’s “obedience” was a cause of major concern for the OT, to the point that he required special therapy for that as well as speech. The concern was the he wasn’t challenging the system, he wasn’t exploring his world, he wasn’t learning like he should; Samuel was not exhibiting age appropriate behavior-and that was worrisome. You see all of those frustrating and annoying phases our children go through, the getting into E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G, willfulness, determination, and even the temper tantrums are all very important parts of a child’s learning process. God designed our children to specifically go through these stages to help them learn how to grow and be a part of the world. Now this is something that I can (and have) applied to my older children as well. I will be clear, I am NOT saying that I allow my children to act in ways that aren’t ok. God may have designed our children this way, but part of that design is to give them us-parents!!! As parents our job in this area is to:
- Keep them safe,
- when the age appropriate behavior is not socially appropriate (tearing apart cabinet, hitting, etc…) to teach them appropriate behavior
- to provide opportunities for the child to exercise that skill, give them a time to say no, a time to explore, a cabinet of their own etc…
- and most importantly, to LOVE LOVE LOVE on them as the go through this often messy process of growing up.
This is why a child’s frustrating behavior doesn’t have to upset me anymore. I don’t have to worry about making it stop because eventually my child will grow out of it on their own. I just need to continue to respond appropriately and teach the child through the behavior, and enjoy it while it lasts because even in my short 5 years of parenting experience, I have learned that things pass way to quickly.
This is my little Clara! She was born on July 19, exactly 2 weeks before we expected her to come. I’m not certain that I can put into words the love and adoration I feel for this pretty little angel, even as I type she is sleeping in my arms and cuddled in so perfectly!
She may be my 4th, but this just never gets old. I think I could just have babies forever if my health, our finances, and dh’s patience were infinite quantities! Anyway, welcome to the world baby Clara! You are much loved and wonderfully celebrated!
I get to so and see my sister in law’s directorial debut tonight! She is directing Thoroughly Modern Millie for the Peter Quince Performing Arts Company. I am 100% enthusiastic about this company because it’s a theater group run entirely by kids and young adults between the ages of 12 and 22. They are entirely self reliant, maintaining contracts, and doing everything from technical/lighting/sound design, to building sets, to putting together and performing the show.
In an age where young adults are perpetually expecting less and less of themselves, this is a group of people who teach each other the needed skills not only for their art form, but important life skills as well.
Plus it’s always exciting to see a brand new show, which Millie will be to me. Hurray for theater!