Thursday, April 24, 2008

Big News

I'm knocked up!!


For those of you that hadn't heard this yet from me personally, don't be offended. I'm a tired Mommy of two kids and I hate the phone. I still love you. Very much.

Anyhow...BAAAABY! We're so excited! Due Novemberish.

In the meantime we'll be looking to possibly buy a house...and possibly planning a homebirth. Lots to do.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Why I Love Jesus (*caution - vulgar humor and potential swearing*)

The other day at the playground my children and I and our friends encountered an evil, chauvinistic, ignorant, loud, obnoxious man. You can read my friend's account on her rockin' blog here, on the April 18th post. My daughter is the shoeless three year old she describes and my friend dubs me "Feistymom," which I snorted with laughter over.

Anyhow...onto why I love Jesus. All night long I tossed and turned, thinking about ways I could embarass this man. I have a verbal gift - I could stand atop the tallest playground structure with a megaphone and delineate for all my mommy acquaintances exactly how this man's ignorance is affecting us all. I could, as my dear friend Kathy and I discussed on the phone tonight, round up the mommies, slip out of our bras, fill them with wood chips and pelt him, slingshot style, while chanting, "You have a small penis!", until he runs away sobbing. Or the more base response, "You fucked with the wrong fucking Mommy, asshole!" I think I may enjoy all of these options. So while I was plotting my revenge, I said to myself, "This man is my enemy." And then of course JESUS pops into my mind with the whole, "Love your enemies" thing. NOT NOW, LORD!!! I haven't loathed anyone this much since Kyle Cappello in 7th grade used to walk by my desk in Social Studies and whisper to me how ugly I was.

So here I am, thinking, "Well, crap. Now that I've admitted he's my enemy, I now have to love him." Being a Christian is haaaaaarrrd! But let's think about what kind of God we serve, and how radical Christ is! Love my enemy?!?! LOVE my enemy? Love my ENEMY?!?! He hurt my daughter's feelings!! The point is, people, the stuff Christ said is so radical, it blows my mind. We're not talking about loving in a vague, ohwell, I'll just not completely hate him way. Nope. Look at the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

When Jesus said, "Love your enemies", he didn't mean just ignore them and maybe they'll go away. God help me! If I go through each line of the above definition of love, how do I measure up? I'm just as much of a rude asshole as he is. Sigh. The way that I will love this man is to hope for him, and for his boys. I will pray that whatever childhood teachings or trauma that made him who he is will be healed, and fast, before more of his rhetoric is taught to his sons. I'm not sure what else to think at this point because this feels like a struggle.

Jesus is so worth following. His teachings bring me beyond my ugly little self in ways I never would have imagined. Peace to you and your precious families.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Because they're cute

Funnyboy crouching over some toys he set up on the floor. I know its dark but I just love his quiet, unusually serious mood, the dark pajamas, his shock of blonde hair and the toesies. Don't try to separate a girl from her harmonica.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why I Don't Hit People to Make Them Do What I Want

Do you believe that your children are people? Do you believe that they are just as human as you are, or are they more like untamed donkeys that need to be whipped into domestication? I'm not saying this to be funny. I'm going to be brutally honest and stop pussyfooting around about this issue. I believe that some of you will be angry with me, or hurt that I disagree with your methods. Well, I'm sorry, but you're big, and they're little, and they need more protection, not less.

I do not hit, beat, spank, slap or grab my children by the arms because I believe for them to remain truly compassionate humans (anyone who has observed young children see they are the models of compassion, vulnerability, and even Christ said that "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these), they need to be respected for the human beings they already are, complete with gifts to give us and talents to share with the world. I want my children to be internally motivated. This is a huge difference between those that practice gentle, mindful parenting and those that injure their children into "obedience". I want my children to make decisions with their minds and their desires to be like Christ, not because in the past, or looming ahead of them at the moment, a much larger or more authoritative person than themselves is threatening to injure their bodies if they don't choose correctly. Fear-based obedience scares the crap out of me. It conjures up images of Hitler.

If you hit your children, you need to know that if they are under the age of five, they still don't quite have the developmental concept down yet of cause and effect. So in addition to not taking into account their blooming ability to learn to perceive how their actions will affect themselves and others, you are also preempting it with the most basic primitive animal emotion - fear. They better obey, or they will be hurt.

Gentle discipline takes a lot longer than punitive discipline. It may take years for your son or daughter to finally understand what you have been trying to teach them, rather than having them obey your command immediately, that moment, that day. Punitive discipline through threats of violence or isolation also CAUSES children to sin, rather than preventing them from it. If they are threatened with being punished, they will lie, because they are afraid. We are so blessed that our almost four year old daughter continues to come right up to us and tell us that she thinks she did something wrong, because instead of punishing her, we talk, at length, about it and learn together about how to help her be more successful.

I could say volumes and volumes and volumes more on this, and I am by no means the perfect parent, but now that I've opened up Pandora's box, lemme have it. Email me, flood the comments with descriptions of what a bad Christian I must be. Tell me all about how children are little brats, will never learn unless there's a consequence (and by the way, I also don't agree with timeouts/isolation tactics). Tell me all about how THE LORD says in the Bible to beat the crap out of your children, the rod verses, God punishes those He loves, etc. And I will show you a merciful Jesus who said, with a child next to him , "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:5

I don't hit children because I believe all people are born with the right to be free from physical injury, and I believe children are people. If you don't believe children are people, then I guess you can disregard my comments.