Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mouse in the Warehouse

When we moved to Portland nine years ago, it was such an adventure.  I had so much fun figuring out how to maneuver around the area, where to find the necessities of life.  Fast forward to the present.  It has been eight months since we moved and I still feel lost, and I hate that feeling.
It may seem strange, but I haven't the slightest idea where the best place to buy a wall calendar is.  I used to have a few favorite places I would look until I found just the right one:  functional and beautiful.  Now, that small, seemingly insignificant detail eludes me and I feel lost.
I know, you're thinking, A calendar?  Really?  You're upset because you can't find a wall calendar?
No, not exactly, but then, in a way, yes.  The fact that I don't have a special place to go (not just an ordinary Staples box store) and browse through calendars makes me feel very lost, and small.  Southern California is huge.  If you've never been here, it's like going to a huge wholesale warehouse and staring at everything around you, not knowing where to start;  knowing it will take you hours to see everything, and even after you've been through all the aisles, you can't remember what you just saw or where it was.  In a word, it's overwhelming.  The vastness of SoCal is just unimaginable unless you've experienced it.
So, yes, I can't find a calendar and that fact makes me feel insignificant.  You realize, of course, that this is just like the straw that broke the camel's back.  Lots of little things add up to one big, overwhelming, insignificant, insurmountable plight.
I am a little mouse trying to find my way around the warehouse.  I'm trying to make my little corner a cozy home, but sometimes the outside still seems overwhelming.  I know it takes time, and I'll get there.  I'm just being honest here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Love and Discipline

Why is it so hard to discipline our kids?
The other day, I watched as a mom friend told her son to stop doing something.  He didn't stop, and it was obvious to me that action was required on her part.  I am pretty sure that she realized that she needed to discipline her son as well, but she decided that it was just easier to ignore the behavior.  Now, maybe her reasoning was that she had company and didn't want to ruin the fun; I don't know, and I'm not judging her - I've done the same thing many a time.  It made me wonder how many times I have chosen to ignore an undesirable behavior instead of taking time to address it right away.
So often I would rather just ignore the behavior of my kids.  It isn't really hurting anyone, right?  Wrong.  It is hurting my kids.   By ignoring misbehavior, I am telling my kids that it is okay to misbehave.  I have seen my daughter look at me as she does something she thinks might be wrong.  She is wanting to know if I'm going to stop her, or if I'm going to let her continue.
Ignoring bad behavior is the same as condoning it.   Plato said, "I shall assume your silence gives consent."  If we teach our children to ignore bad behavior now, will they speak up as adults when they see wrongs done?  By addressing bad behavior in our children now, we are also teaching them to address wrongs when they see them.
As hard as it is to discipline our kids right away, we do them a huge disservice when we don't.  The Bible says a few times that the Lord disciplines those he loves.  If we love our children, we will discipline them when they are doing wrong, when they are sinning.  My job as a mom is to raise my children to be responsible adults, and responsible adults speak up when something is amiss.
I love my kids dearly.  Yet, sometimes it is so hard to do the right thing and discipline them when they need it.  I am going to challenge myself to address the issues right away with my kids.  Will you join me on that challenge?