I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Education and Creativity

Going a different route with today’s blog post.  A new school year is getting ready to start which means I’m revisiting some favorite educational TED talks as a motivation for the new year.  This is a long one but it’s worth the watch!  So click the link, save it as a favorite or bookmark it so you don’t have to watch it all in one sitting!

Tell Me

Tell me teenagers are lazy and I’ll point to the FDSH band kids who have completed two days of band camp, putting 14 pages of their drill on the field and working hard to build strong marching technique.  Or maybe I’ll acknowledge the cheer squads from FDSH that performed really well-done routines at cheer camp.

Tell me teenagers don’t care about the quality of their work and I will ask you to listen to the amazing sound of the band which has been playing together for a total of a couple of days.  They give me chills already and the season has barely begun.  Or, again, the cheerleaders who worked hard to be in sync with each other so their routines were tight and the stunts flew.

Tell me teenagers have attitude and won’t work and I’ll start listing for you the names of band kids who have reviewed the drill and music without uttering one word of complaint.

Tell me that teenagers aren’t responsible and I’ll point to a number of section leaders within the FDSH band who run sectionals – both music and marching – as well as drum majors who move around the field helping rookies read drill charts.  These student leaders hold their sections and one another accountable and the band is better for it. And did I mention the alum that come back to help each year?!

On second thought, don’t tell me any of those things.  I am lucky enough to work with a number of motivated hard-working students at FDSH who are willing to be pushed, who will push themselves, and who want to be amazing.  If you don’t understand how I can enjoy sweating my way through band camp and “dealing with teenagers” there is probably nothing I can say that will help you understand because your mind is made up.

Yes, I am tired.  Yes, I am sunburned.  My feet hurt and I got more than 11,000 steps in before 4:30 today (for those of you who are into counting steps!).  And I can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow morning!  The FDSH marching band members are funny, talented, hard-working, and very “coachable.”  It is such a thrill each season to see the growth from day 1 of band camp and I count myself lucky to get to work with them.

 

Another one from “back in the day”.

For the Ladies

What I’m going to say here isn’t new.  It’s all been said before.  Many times before, actually.  By many voices.

But so many people still don’t get it.  So I’m going to say it again.

Ladies – until we learn to support one another even when the decisions we make differ, we cannot expect men to have our backs.  Period.  When they see us picking at each other, going after the weakest in the herd, belittling, bashing, taking cheap shots . . . why should men hold themselves to a higher standard?!

My oldest duckling gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in early May.  It is such an amazing experience, watching her navigate the waters of motherhood.  And little Henry – yes, my granddaughter’s name is Henry – is an absolute gem.  Being a grandmother is a pretty sweet gig!

All throughout her pregnancy and these first few months of motherhood, my oldest has often lamented how vicious other mothers can be.  No matter the choice, someone will tell you it’s wrong.  This. Has. To. Stop.

If you breastfed, great.  But you better have the back of every mom who uses a bottle.  And you bottle mamas?  You need to stand with our breastfeeding sisters who are STILL fighting for the right to nourish their precious little ones without having to hide in a bathroom.

If you gave birth naturally, I have MAD amounts of respect for you!  But I’m asking you to cheer on others who used pain medication to get through the process.  And PLEASE understand that for some of us – myself included – the only way to safely deliver our little ones was to undergo surgery.  How the baby got here matters less than getting that little one here safely.  So let’s just end the argument over what type of delivery is best and agree that any time a baby arrives healthy and loved, how he or she arrived really doesn’t matter much.

Home school, public school, or private school?  Or maybe even “unschooling” (at least I think that’s what it’s called!)?  I have to be honest, that decision wasn’t easy years ago when my kiddos were little and it doesn’t appear to have gotten any easier today.  What matters most is parents who care and are willing to do their part to help their children get the most out of their education regardless of where they are getting the education.

The list could on for quite some time –

Do you supervise your children during their play or do you adopt a more “free-range” philosophy?

Organic food or boxed mix mac and cheese?

Homemade baby food or store bought?

Do you let children explore all sorts of activities – sports, dance, martial arts, etc. – or do you make them select just one thing and focus on that?

Have you chosen not to have children at all?  Awesome.  But could you please love on a kid or two as an aunt/friend/surrogate mom?  The more positive influences kiddos encounter, the better the odds that they will be fantastic adults!

You get the idea.

And my request is simple – have each other’s backs!  If another mom asks you for advice, let her know what worked for you and then cheer her on REGARDLESS of whether she does it exactly like you or not.  Just as each of us is unique in our personalities and preferences, the ways we approach mothering will vary from one woman to the next.

I’m so very tired of watching women shred each other for the choices we make.  We can do better.  And I’m hoping we will choose to do just that.

 

 

This one is a day late – apparently, the schedule got away from me but I figured better late than never!

Hubby got a chance to preach at 2nd Baptist this past Sunday.  It was a treat to get to hear him preach again!  But I learned something new from a passage I’ve read numerous times.  Hubby’s text was Matthew 17:24-27.  In this particular passage, Jesus and all of the disciples are in Capernaum. Peter is approached by those who collect the temple tax.  They want to know if Jesus pays his temple tax.  His immediate answer is yes but Peter asks Jesus about it later.  Jesus has a conversation with Peter in which he makes about being the son of God and should he really have to pay the tax to maintain God’s temple . . . but that wasn’t the “new thing”.  Jesus gives Peter an instruction in verse 27 – “However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel.  Take that and give it to them for you and me.”

The temple tax was established in Leviticus.  Those men 20 years of age and up were to pay a half shekel to the temple.  Jesus and all 12 of his disciples were in Capernaum.  Jesus tells Peter how he will get a shekel to pay the temple tax for Peter and Jesus.  Only Peter and Jesus.  The implication of this act is that the other 11 disciples are not yet 20.  Somehow, in all my years growing up in the church and the Bible courses I took in college, I missed this.  During Jesus’ 3 years of active ministry, he was surrounded by 12 young men.  Possibly even teenagers.

Here’s the “take away”.  If Jesus entrusted the establishing of the early church to men not yet – or barely – old enough to pay the temple tax, we can certainly trust teenagers to make good choices and impact their world in positive ways.  I’ve always been a big advocate of seeing the best in young people and setting high expectations for them.  And it would seem I have the best of all role models in doing so.  Just didn’t realize it till now.

Back to my college years for this one!

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