Archive for April, 2013

On Angels and Devils

April 13, 2013

Little Princess is 2 years 4 months

I have grown up quite comfortable with the spirit world around me, as I understand it.  I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in The Communion of Saints.

I personally have, on occasion, seen angels, or had visits from dead relatives, but only on occasion.  One memorable time as a child I had an interaction with someone a whole lot less savoury.

Despite my limited personal experience I was always quite comfortable with the idea.  I believe my Dad was touched with The Gift.  He didn’t talk about it, but sometimes his guard would slip.

So I believe my children when they tell me about the people they see.  (I firmly believe that children, in their innocence and closer connection to God, can see more of His world). 

Tonight was … well, I don’t know what it was.  I am just glad that our wonderful pastor has talked to me about battles of the spirit and the insidious work of the devil.

Little Princess and I were here alone, playing on the floor near the door.  She pointed at the door, ‘Man’, she said.

At first I missed what she had said, so she did it again.
‘Is there a man there?’
‘Mmm hmm’
Then she looked at me at little unsure.  ‘Where is the man?’
‘There’
‘Is he a good man or a bad man?’
‘Bad  man’ she shuddered and snuggled into me, not scared, totally sure of her safety with me.  I blessed us both (Important to make visible signs or pray out loud for the devil can put thoughts in our heads, but is not actually in our heads).
She ran to the lounge.
‘Is the bad man still here?’
‘Yes, bad man inside’

Well that frightened me.  I was right at the door.  I pulled myself up and commanded, ‘Go back to where you belong.  Leave us alone now.  God and the Lord Jesus protect me and my family.  You do not belong here.’. It was strange.  The words came to me and I said them, but I had no feeling at all of anyone being there.

Little Princess smiled at me from the lounge. bad man gone now.’

What is so disturbing is what is the devil doing here now?  We were just playing quietly, not something fraught with temptation.  It is true and frightening that spiritual danger is everywhere.

How wonderful that my God is even so much greater.  AND He loves me personally.

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Pirates

April 2, 2013

Possum is 6 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 6 years 8 months

Little Possum is 2 years 2 months

I really don’t understand the pirate phenomenon.  Pirates are bad.  They are really bad.  They do really bad things.

I have no desire for my children to role play “terrorists”.  I don’t want them to play “rape and kill”.  Why would I want them to play pirates?

And yet, pirates are everywhere in children’s entertainment these days.  Regularly my kids are invited to “pirate parties”.  Almost every boat toy you see has to have a skull and cross-bones emblazoned on it.  Why is that?  Why can’t they just be sailors?

Pirates are not cute.  Pirates are not fun.  Pirates are not romantic. Pirate treasure does not belong to them… it is stolen goods.  (I don’t want my kids to be thieves or trade in stolen goods, either.)

DH and I feel very strongly about this.

Whenever pirate things arrive in our house they disappear.  We explain to our kids why pirates are not acceptable role models, even for pretending.

And then the boys caught a QANTAS flight to Adelaide.

Thank you, QANTAS for feeling Disney’s, “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” was suitable entertainment for our kids.

The boys fell in love.  They told us about it in great length.  They had really enjoyed the adventure and Captain Hook, whilst Disneyed, was the baddy.  Okay, so it is a glossed up kids’ show, but you still wouldn’t want to be on Captain Hook’s team.

They have begged and begged, and this weekend, in the supermarket, we finally relented and bought them a “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” DVD (it was on special).

I thought I knew “Peter Pan”.  Not fully, I am – looking forward to reading it again soon – but some idea of the story.  Apparently not.  At least, not this version.

The kids are pirates!  The kids are pirates?  Really?  Barrie must be turning in his grave!  I know I am having a turn.

I can’t see anything in the story line that actually requires them to be pirates.  The kids don’t seem to behave like pirates.  The story would work just as well if they were sailors or adventureurs.  But no.  That is not acceptable these days.  Everything must be pirates.

I am so bitterly disappointed in you, Disney.  I am so bitterly disappointed.

Unconditional Love

April 2, 2013

Dear God,

Please help me to love my children today… not for what they might become tomorrow or in the future.  Help me to like them even if they never master a certain skill that I want them to master.  Let me love them unconditionally, never withholding my love or approval from them based on their performance.  Let me see the good in them and make me blind to their shortcomings.  Forgive me because I know that I have been forgiven so much and yet I hold my children’s failures against them.

Amen.

Possum is 6 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 8 months

Little Princess is 2 years 2 months

 

I am struggling with Possum just now.  He is, once again, very highly strung, angry and well PRICKLY.  Although, when I say angry, I realised today he isn’t really.  He is acting angry; behaving angry.  If he slips up you can see that it is a cover, that he isn’t really angry.  This continuous nastiness is just the behaviour that is working for him right now.

And work it does.  It gets him attention.  It gives him control of the family (Eldest kids! *sheesh*  DH and I are much more easy going and have spent our lives chorkling in our sleeves about such neediness.)  We know that we are being played, and that he is (currently) winning, but short of leaving him in danger (oh, he is smart about when he does it) we haven’t worked out what to do.  Yet.

*~~~*

I am reading this book:  “Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe” by Todd Wilson.  I so wish it was available as a hard copy!  It is aimed at homeschoolers, as you might have guessed, but so much of it is relevant to all of my parenting experience.  (But then, that is the thing about homeschooling, isn’t it?  It isn’t compartmentalised like sending your child to school, it is a complete lifestyle.)

After yesterday reaching the point where I really did not like Possum because of his behaviour – I mean really.  REALLY.  I got upset at DH for not driving off and leaving him behind – I stumbled upon this prayer.

I prayed it.

Twice.

And again this morning.

Help me to like them even if they never master a certain skill that I want them to master. 

Help me to like him even if he never learns to control his emotions and temper.

Let me love them unconditionally, never withholding my love or approval from them based on their performance. 

Help me NOT to make the mistakes my Mum and Dad did that hurt me so much.

Let me see the good in them and make me blind to their shortcomings.

Let me see the real little Possum, not just the angry ball of emotion.

And you know what?  Today was much better!  Oh yes, we went out and yes, he did the flip from sweet and fun kid to obnoxious toe-rag, but this time it was different.

For a start, this time it wasn’t about me.  It wasn’t about me being a failure as a Mum.  It wasn’t about me not coping or not being good enough.  It wasn’t about him being a terrible person.

This time I loved him as he is today.

Even if he never grows out of it.

Even if we don’t learn to control it.

Even if we don’t ever help him to manage it better, despite our efforts.

Ever.

I didn’t loathe him.  Or me.  I loved him; my dear, obnoxious, angry, 6 year old, struggling to find his place in the world.

Which got me thinking.  Maybe our role as parents isn’t to solve all the problems with our kids.  Maybe it isn’t to fix them.  Maybe it isn’t to make them perfect little people.  Maybe our role is not so much to lead them through it, maybe it is simply to love them through it.

Yes, it is important to be a guide, but it is more important to be their support, surely – to love them unconditionally.

I know that is all I ever craved as a kid.

And still now, when I face life’s muddles and make them worse, that is what I need.