Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from August 1, 2008 - September 1, 2008

Entries from August 1, 2008 - September 1, 2008


Parenting Teens: Good Parents: Difficult Kids: Part One

One of my sisters suggested a post on good parents and bad kids. There are bad parents out there. They provide everything or nothing for their kids. They do not allow them to experience any struggle or they don’t protect their kids from what is truly dangerous to the kids’ bodies, minds or souls. They are very bad parents not because of all they do but because they do not do the one most important thing: develop character in their child. A friend recently told me of the experience she had of seeing a parent confronted with proof that his child was cheating and the parent denying even the possibility (in the face of the evidence) that his child was cheating because the child was being raise in a Christian home. That parent at that point in time because he chose not to see the nature of his child’s heart was a very bad parent.

There are good parents who raise very good kids. There are bad parents who raise bad kids. This makes sense. Garbage in, garbage out is truism in our computer centric society. What is seemly inexplicable is people with poor parenting skills raising good kids. Inexplicable but in its odd way delightful, the triumph of nature over nurture.

What is heartbreaking to any parent is when you try your best and the kids choose self- will over good. The kids don’t see their behavior as self-willed. They want freedom, adventure, privilege, acceptance, whatever. The heart wants what the heart wants and they don’t care the cost to themselves or anyone else. The Bible calls this self-willfulness our sin nature.

I wrote, “Try our best” as parents because being willful beings ourselves (we parents also have a sin nature, hard to believe but true) we will not parent perfectly. We will get angry, jump to conclusions, not care, not understand, misunderstand, miss the important play or ballgame, are tired, are self-absorbed, etc. As parents rising our children in a Christian home, I have come to see over two decades of parenting, that while we have poured time, pray and effort into raising our children, it is ultimately God’s grace in their lives that drawing them to Himself .That relationship effects the choices they make now as teens and semi-adults. We have been fortunate as parents.

Does that mean non-Christian parents can’t raise good kids? Of course not. I am writing from my own experience as a parent in particular, not of parents in general. Does this mean Christian parent raise perfect kids…? Have you not been reading A Second Cup? If my kids were perfect, I would have nothing to write about.

Reality is some times (I don’t mean to scare the bejeebers out of parent of younger kids) you are a good parent and your child will be difficult in the teen years. The choice lies at that point, not so much in what you do, but in the heart of your child.

I changed the wording from bad kids to difficult kids for a specific reason. One of the unexpected insights that comes from being active in a faith community (our church) is learning people’s histories. I’ve worked with, gotten to know and raised my kid with tons of amazing woman over the years. A small but significant percentage of those women were wild, wayward, troubled young women. Some of them were the kind of teens parents despair of. Yet here they are strong marriages, good mothers, some with careers outside their homes, some not. Difficult teens can mature over time into good adults.

Good parents can find themselves struggling to finish rising difficult children. What then is a parent to do?


Going, Going, Gone

I have gone to see my family from August 7th to the 18th. I will be away from my compute so I don't think I will be posting any new material. If you miss me, I have a couple of the "Best of A Second Cup" posts linked below. If any one wants to leave a comment (see the post below this one)on what you would ask your 17 year old if she would answer any question you have, I would love it!

Imperfectly Perfect

Mama Always Knows Best

Time For a Second Cup

Teens and Freedom

I Gave Birth To My Sister's Child

Too Much Future


My Unique Birthday Gift

I am not a demanding mother. I do however expect to get birthday presents from my kids on my birthday. (Some might consider that to be demanding but I beg to differ.) My birthday is the last in our family and I was being left out of the birthday fun so I trained my kids to get me presents on my birthday. I don't expect much. For many years I received chocolate bars, cans of diet soda, homemade gifts, dollar store treasures or pretty smelly candle.(If the candles where from the dollar store then they were smelly pretty candles). One year my oldest wrote me a poem. Speaking of the oldest, you used your one lifetime pass on a gift for mom’s birthday . I still love poems.

This year my 17 year old showed up for cake and ice cream empty handed. We gave him cake and ice cream anyway. I may be demanding but I am not cruel. However, the kid gave me the most unique gift a 17 could give his mommy: lunch and questions answered. Yes, he would feed me and answer honestly any and all personal questions about himself I wanted to ask!

This was an exceptionally insightful present for a 17 year old male child.

If you could ask you child anything and he/she promised to answer honestly what would you ask?



Thank You to Janice at Midlife Misfits for the Kick(Bleep) blogger award. (Kick Bleep is not exactly how the actual award is titled). Janice is one of the first over 40 bloggers I met on the web. I knew there were other female blogger over 40 out there but I didn’t know where.

Thank you to Peapod Squad Stuff for a G rated way to accept the award!

I get to pass this on to other blogs I enjoy. These are all blogs I read as I make my e-card rounds. If Midlife Misfits hadn’t pass the Kick (Bleep) award to me Janice’s blog would be first on my list.

Stay at Home Mom and Military Wife I enjoy her writing and this blog has the best header I have ever seen

Whiney Momma Fun writing and topics

Work At Home Revolution Interesting and informative

Frugal Shopping with Julie I have saved money at Walgreens and Kohl’s because of Julie’s blog

Small World Reads I enjoy reading the book reviews and have tried a couple of new (to me) author’s I wouldn't have other wise looked at. My only complain, no mysteries reviews….sigh

The rules include passing it on by. . . .

* Choosing 5 other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Donkey Bloggers” Donkey is not the word on the award either. The 17year old suggested subbing donkey instead.
* Let ‘em know via : - your post. b) an email c) Twitter d) blog comments. e) e-card
* Link back to both the person who awarded you and also
* Visit the Kick Donkey Blogger Club HQ , to get codes click on the button below which will take you to KABC HQ sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!


Aging with Grace: Death

We have a good friend who is dying. Most people in our circle of friends and acquaintances have lost either one or both parents. Some have had young children die, either by late term miscarriages or shortly after birth. Barring a fatal accident or traumatic health event (after Tim Russert's death, no one in our age group is complacent about heart attacks), this friend will be the first of us to die.

As a group, we Americans prepare for later life, retirement savings, look after our health, activity seek out and participate in meaningful volunteer work. We desire and expect life to have some purpose. Whether we are preparing adequately for retirement, doing enough to protecting our future health or if older people have a place of purpose in a youth worshipping society is all open to debate.

However, our friend is dying and he will shortly die. Death comes. We Americans are blessed with advantages in older age other generations could not begin to conceive of. Yet death comes … a part of aging with grace and adventure is considering life beyond this one.

Our friend is facing his death with a peace that is literally beyond comprehension. He has this peace because he knows (not imagines, thinks, opines or is deluded) that his death is not the end for or of himself. At some point in the past, he realized he was a sinner. Might have been during the time he was studying for the priesthood. The Bible makes it tragically clear that our good works will not earn us a place in God’s presence after death because our good works do not make up for our sin. Our goodness means nothing compared to His holiness and our sin incurs a penalty in violation of His just character.

I remember listening with the kids to an Adventure in Odyssey tape where Whit challenged someone who though she was good enough to earn a place in heaven to try to be perfectly good by her own standards for a week. No excuses allowed. Little lies, little unkindness, small acts of selfishness count against perfect goodness. God is not just good, as we understand it, He is holy.

Even knowing that perfect holiness is the standard for being in God’s presence after death, and our friend knows he is not perfect (if he doubted this is so, he has wise and loving wife to remove his doubts. Never did finish with his priestly studies) he is at peace.

He knows he will be in God’s presence, in heaven, after death because he as placed his trust that Jesus’ death on the cross has paid the penalty for sin that he could not repay himself. He is at peace.

Some people find the above statements to be arrogant. I would suggest to you what in my mind is true arrogance. One is to assume that my readers are so mentally frail that when presented with information to consider bout the nature of God and what the Bible has to say about the afterlife they are to immature to consider the possibility and examine the Scriptures for themselves if they chose to do so. That would be arrogant. Also arrogant is if I were hunt my readers down and burn at the stake those who choose not agreeing with me. That would be arrogant also.

Not that it is about agreeing with me. My opinion is not worth a hill of beans. However I humbly suggest reading through the Gospel of John to examine for yourself what God has to say about the afterlife not a bad use of a couple of hours of time.

Our friend is dying. He is at peace. We are in awe of how God is working in this man’s life.

We will all die……do you know (not imagine, think, opine or are deluded) that after you die there will be Sonrise?

If you have comment, you are more than welcome to leave it. The only steaks I am planning to burn are beef ones. Just don’t be crude…I have an edit mode on the comments section and I am not afraid to learn to use it if I have to!

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