Thursday, November 19, 2009


You know how some people say their pasts have caught up with them? Or their sins have come to revisit them? How do you put it when someone else's past has come to revisit YOU?

It's true beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are all connected. And whatever I do with my life - the choices I make and the actions I take - affects everyone I love. I know that my responsibility is not only to myself; it's also to my husband, my children, my family and friends. I also know that I have BEEN affected by many choices some family members have made, and that it sucks. I know, not the loveliest way to state the fact, but it is fact nonetheless.

I got home from church last night and my FIL told me I had had a visitor. I instantly tensed. Somehow before he even said it, I knew who had been there. I haven't seen this person in a long time. And from what I've heard from people who have seen this person, he's not who he used to be.

I was not sure whether I was disappointed or relieved that I missed seeing him. I can honestly say that at one time, he was the be-all and end-all for me. My favorite person, my rock. His approval and opinion meant the most to me in the world, and I loved him so very much. But situations, and people's choices that I had no power over, changed that. I was devastated when this person was not a part of my life any longer.

So now he shows up at my home. To see me. I called my sister today to talk to her. I needed her opinion on what to do. I know how to contact him, so do I? Needless to say, she is in the same predicament. He went to see her, too, at her work. She says he needs somebody to talk to and is reaching out for help, but she doesn't want to be that person. She encouraged me to contact him. But I still don't know what I want to do...I don't know if I'm strong enough to be that person for him. I have much more responsibility to other people in my life now, and I know all too well how choices affect even those who aren't directly involved. Most often the innocent.

I want to be the Christian example to this person, and to my children; but is it worth bringing this person in and chancing that something may hurt my kids? I am praying that the Lord will help me decide how to handle the situation and show me what He expects me to do. Again, not the loveliest way to say it, but this sucks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Whew! Okay, I'm better now. Sorry, it was a little overboard, but I had to do it. Now to explain my rant.

I went to dinner with my in-laws last night, and I agreed with what Pops had to say regarding this matter. We were talking about how so many kids in their 20's seem to have a sense of entitlement about them that is simply mind boggling. That they don't seem to want to strive for excellence, they just expect to be rewarded for mediocrity. I asked him why he thought that was, and he had many thoughts on the matter. :D

He and Nana both seemed to think a lot of it began when schools and sports started awarding participation trophies and completion certificates. As in, everyone who plays wins. Nobody keeps score. Everyone gets a ribbon for just being there. I was kind of unsure how I felt about it, thinking of my kids being so proud of their trophies/medals from soccer. But then I thought of how hard they worked in the game, and of the kids on their team who didn't put their best foot forward. Who didn't even want to play, but were probably made to. They got the same recognition my kids got. Is that completely fair?

There's a moment in the movie, "The Incredibles" when Helen tells Dash that everyone is special. His response: "That's just another way of saying that no one is." Something to ponder.

I really didn't get deep in the conversation, just dinner talk, nothing big. In fact, I didn't even think about it again until tonight at church. I'm in charge of putting together the kid's Christmas program this year. It was kind of a spur of the moment idea, which is pretty much how our children's pastor operates, Lord love him! :D He asked me if I'd take it on, and of course, I said sure. (Kelly hates this about me, and sometimes, I hate it, too!) Then I looked at a calendar and realized I had 5 weeks to find a program I liked, get it approved and teach it to the kids!! AAAAHHH!!!

Due to the time crunch, I assigned the speaking parts myself without holding auditions. Rian and I prayed about it and came up with some criteria on how I'd choose the kids. They had to be 8 years old; they had to be kids who are there on a consistent basis (meaning practically every Wednesday and Sunday); they had to have a good reputation with all of us who work with the children; and they had to be kids that I knew would be willing to put in the work and have their parents be willing to have them at all the practices. Not really hard criteria, but it did narrow the playing field significantly.

There were 4 parts in the book, but I revamped things to make 6. I wanted to use as many kids as I could. I also decided to make one song a girls ensemble (which I have decided to hold auditions for) to give a few more kids parts. I thought I was doing pretty good - till tonight.

Two of my girlfriends and I were talking about how the practice went tonight, and how cute the speaking parts were. One said I had casted the parts really well. I told her it was funny that when I was listening, I could actually see a couple of the kids being that character. We were laughing about it, and the other friend just kind of looked at me and said, "It sounds like you hand picked the speaking parts. That's not very nice." :( She then went on to say that there was going to be a real problem if her son didn't have SOMETHING to do in the program, that he would just be so upset.

I was pretty preturbed, but tried to handle it in a lighthearted manner. I told her, "Well, I know I'm going to have somebody mad at me before it's all over. It always ends up that way. But I have 5 weeks to get it together, and I did what I had to do to make it work. Besides, they all do have SOMETHING to do in the program - they are in the choir, and that's the most important thing in my opinion!"

She didn't seem to agree, so I just excused myself so I didn't have to discuss it any further. But the conversation I had with Pops and Nana came back to me in a rush. How many of us are setting our kids up for disappointment by making sure everything is always equal? Why should I have to bend over backwards to make sure everyone has a SPECIAL part? Isn't being part of the group, a part of the BODY, the important thing? We all have to work together for Christ, and I'm not always going to get the glory for the things I do. In fact, I SHOULDN'T get ANY of the glory - my Father should.

Why are we telling our kids they should have the best or most important things when we know that life will not always respond in kind? Sometimes there is a clear winner, so you know what that means - there will also be a clear loser. It's not fun, but it's true. It's how we handle the loss that proves our character. Being a team player and learning to share the spotlight are very important qualities that Christians should be striving for. It's fun to be the leader, to be the star sometimes. But it's not the ultimate reward. Christ tells us the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Shouldn't we be using these moments in our children's lives to point them to the cross?

I don't even know if this makes complete sense. All I know is that my kids will not always be the best at everything they try to do. Goodness knows I wasn't. But I don't want them to quit when they don't get what they want. I don't want them to expect to have everything handed to them just because they showed up. Hard work and a good reputation is something worth striving for in this world, and I have no problem rewarding those things.And I thoroughly believe in celebrating one's accomplishments and awarding excellence. So if it upsets some people, so be it. I think Jesus himself had people upset with him a few times, too...