Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Truth About Dating, Love & Just Being Friends...

"I was looking online at some incredible photos of some of nature's most scenic places.  A ."waterfall in Africa, the ocean vie in the morning, peaks of mountains at sunset, lovey dove, blah, blah,blah, neato pictures, right?  But after a little while, I kind of felt deceived.  Here's why.  One of those picures was of a place that I had actually been to...So up on this mountain ridge, it was great.  Amazing views!  Unbelievable scenery!  And I'm glad I did it.  But seriously - and I'm not kidding here - it was some of the grossest and nastiest back country you could ever step foot in...The pictures look great... But in reality it was one of the most unnerving places that planet Earth could offer you...Dating can be like one of those pictures.  It can be great.  It can offer great views, a fun journey, and great memories.  But if done without care, intelligenc, and planning, it can also be treacherous."
And so it goes throughout Chad Eastham's book entitled "The Truth About Dating, Love & Just Being Friends."  In his conversational, witty style, Eastham covers the good, bad and ugly about relationships for teens.  It is salt and peppered with references to God, with no real Scripture mixed in and so would be a great read for those who are non-Christians and Christians alike.  Case in point, "It's good to be aware of other people and how they see us.  But it's not good to live our lives for them.  There is a huge difference.  I hope you will consider God the person that you perform and live your life for.  He is there to encourage you, not simply give you a score.  He's your number one fan."  - page 166.
 As a Jesus-following parent, I would probably select a different book on the subject of love and dating when my children get to 'that' age.

I received this book free from Tommy Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze Book Review program.  I was not paid to write a favorable review.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The 'Olden' Days

I absolutely love the 'olden' days.... you know what I'm talking about... the days beautifully painted for us in the tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Jane Austen, or Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Little Men.  I dream about those days and have often thought & joked that I was born in the wrong era.  Of course, the Lord created me for 'such a time as this,' and has not mistakenly put me in the latter 20th-21st centuries.  But I still long for days of a simpler, more classical nature.  In my mind, I would be the wife and mother who never wearied of serving her family-even though she was maybe physically tired, who never was impatient with her children-even though they may give her 'reason' to be, who never turned away someone who needed an ear to listen, or a warm meal- even though time and food were scarce... I could go on and on, but I won't.  You get the picture.  When I visualize the atmosphere of our home and family, it always reflects the warmth of that era...  Happy children, patient, loving Mother, strong but gentle Father...  Mother patiently and lovingly educating the children in matters of Faith as well as academics, seeing well to the ways of her home, the family gathered around the fire after dinner and evening play time, Daddy leading evening Bible study w/ the family whilst the children are gathered in his lap w/ Mother sewing/crocheting/knitting in her chair... (notice the lack of intense media input here?)  Honestly, the atmosphere painted in the book Little Men is exactly what I've always envsioned my life to look like, right down to the scads of boys sliding down the bannister on Saturday evenings and the keeping of the Sabbath... Unrealistic?  Perhaps in total... but a set-apart life must reflect in part a little of that peaceful picture.  The Lord is the center of it, for without Him as the Rock, this bright, vivid, peaceful portrait would wither away as quickly as a sun-scorched flower and become nothing more than a greyscale sketch of hustle and bustle... I will struggle against that greyscale sketch all the days of my life, I think, as the pressure to succumb to all the busyness around me tries to crowd in...through it all I will cling to the Words of my Lord,
"I have said these things to you, that in m you may have peace.  In the world you will have tibultion.  But take heart, I have overcome the world."  John 16:33
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil 4:7

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blessed Week...

Aaahhhh.... Thank You O Lord for this beautiful week!  This has been the best school week that we've had so far this year- and it's only Wednesday!  Thank You, Lord, for giving me a vision for what You want for our school days, and for what is best for each of our boys-they are so different.  I'm so in awe of You and Your love and tenderness for your children!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I was wondering how long it would last...

It was great at the beginning... I've never really known what it was like being included, but it felt really nice.  I actually felt like I was liked a little bit, worth something... but I wondered just how long it would last.  It was nice while it did, I had that warm fuzzy feeling - you know the one I'm talking about.  And actually, it lasted longer than I thought it would.  I tried to, in my way, contribute what I thought you wanted or needed, never really knowing if it was right, but trying anyway without trying too hard (I mean, if I tried hard, then it would be even more painful when it was over).  It seemed to me as if you searched me out because you thought I was 'somebody' and therefore had an expectation of what you could get from me/I could contribute... I'm sorry to disappoint.... I'm just me, plain and simple (or not so simple as the case may be).  Now you've grown weary of that plainness & simplicity with all it's issues and have moved on... maybe I shouldn't have let down my guard quite so much, and tried to be the 'somebody' you thought I was... but probably not.  I was created by our heavenly Father uniquely, and though I don't say things in a way that truly expresses my heart- well, actally, I guess it does- it expresses my fear of people & their judgment/expectations of me...
Well, anyway, even though you've moved on, and I've felt badly about that, I thank you, Dear One, for teaching me to guard my heart, even when with trusted brothers and sisters in Christ, to not let my guard down for even a second no matter how comfortable I am, but to seek giving Him glory every moment, for teaching me to just be who God created me to be, and not seek to please man, but please Him and not succumb to my natural, fleshly fears of man.....  for all this I thank you.... I still love you and will continue in prayer for you and maybe someday the Lord will bless me with what I am seeking in His perfect time...