I’ve been meaning to start posting a series of life with little kids in the great frozen North. I mean, seriously, this place is weird enough but with kids? Well, it just becomes comical. So, for installment one, here is a video from last January. Adelaide was helping me pull in the groceries. On a sled. I am probably 34 weeks pregnant here, so you can see the zipper of my coat in part of the video because my coat did not fit over my belly. I just tucked a blanket over the belly and snapped the coat over my bust.
Luckily, my daughter is a good helper, and she was (and is) happy to help me pull in the groceries.
Well, this is the tree this year. Felt. Felt tee, felt ornaments, felt lights, felt stars (not pictured). We have our real lights and real ornaments strung around the room far out of the reach of excited, exploring hands.
“I’m glad we have child labor laws, but it’s harder to teach kids a good work ethic now.”
I’m not kidding you, that’s what I heard on the Christian radio station on Monday. Honestly, I should really stop listening to that station, the DJs are always saying something stupid/horrific/mean.
Because really, should anyone ever follow ‘I’m glad we have child labor laws’ with ‘but’? There is no but! Child labor laws are wholly and completely good. There is no downside to keeping 4 year olds out of factory jobs. A work ethic isn’t learned from slave labor.
You know where a work ethic is learned? From parents. Kids learn what their parents model for them. If you are lazy and calling in to work and trying to avoid every task and chore you can, your kids learn to have no work ethic. If you get done what needs to get done with a happy heart and without complaining – guess what your kids will learn?
That’s what kills me when my parents generation talk about how terribly lazy my generation is (and this conversation is not new, every generation thinks that the next one is sooooo lazy and sooooo spoiled). If you think that your kids’ generation is lazy, you really have no one to blame but yourself. Who do you think raised that generation? Where did they learn their laziness? Did they learn it listening to you complain about work? Did they learn it watching you sit around the house while pinning housework on them?
I’m not saying kids shouldn’t have chores, or that parents can’t take a break once in a while. Obviously they can. And should. But a parent’s overall attitude toward work will teach a child how to view all tasks.
Are you teaching your kids what they need to know? Are you modeling for them the ethic they should have?
Matthew 5;11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil agains you because of me. “
I wonder if this verse is solely meant for the persecution some Christians experience at the hands of non-Christians. We as Christians persecute each other too. For things that those ‘other’ believers are doing out of their own love for Christ. Sometimes it’s an overt attack or expulsion, more frequently it’s in the mutterings from one person to another, or the condescending arrogance of a self-appointed teacher.
But we also have an obligation to each other. To share the things we know. Do you love someone by holding helpful information from them? Really? We want to help people. We want to just tell them the lessons that we worked so hard for. To save them form that anguish. that’s a noble intention. It just has to be done so carefully. with an honestly pure intention. And, as a rule of thumb, my intention is probably measured by the number of questions I ask. Am I searching with someone, helping them find the answers that are right and true? Or am I just pushing my stale truths onto them? If I’m not asking questions, I run the risk of just pontificating. [Which is pretty much the point of a blog, or Facebook, but not face to face conversations.]
That also keeps us from being the persecutors. I had intended to write a condemnation of ‘those Christians’ that persecute, but I find myself noticing my own role. I do this too. Especially in response to the reaction some of my beliefs have provoked. I don’t spank, so ‘more experienced’ mothers give me that look like I’m some idealist youth. (Which I am, and hope to always be.) I breastfed, and feel passionately that breastmilk is what God designed and intended for babies, so some moms consider me arrogant. Look, I don’t think you’re uneducated or dumb because you feed formula. I don’t know your story. I know what pain breastfeeding can cause. I’ve surprised many a lactation consultant and La Leche League leader by continuing to breastfeed through pain that seemed unreasonable and unnecessary to them. I know that we all do our best with what we have. But I do forget that people don’t have the information that I do. After a while, I find myself unconsciously expecting anyone who knows me to know how and why I feel the way that I do. And honestly, if you’re my friend on Facebook (referencing my personal account here – I’m still trying to get better about using my blog page more regularly) then you only don’t know my positions if you don’t want to know. I talk. A lot.
But it’s not ok for me to forget and assume that people know what I know. I do it, and I’m working on it. But I do need to be apologizing for the times I mess up. That’s what moves me from ‘persecutor’ to ‘sister’. I don’t know if that verse is referencing Christians who act like I do. I suspect it’s referencing those with a bit more intentional malice than I generally wield, but I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want you to be blessed because of that. Let God bless you through a whole host of ways, but not because I was a jerk to you. I’m aiming for behavior a little better than that.
To repeatedly demand payment where payment has already been paid (on our behalf through Jesus Christ) is to negate the message of the Gospel.
via The Hippie Housewife: The Rod Verses: What are they really saying?.
Yes. This. If spanking my child is the way to teach him right from wrong, if there are still penalties to be paid, someone owes Jesus an apology. I don’t want to live my life like Jesus’s death was for nothing. I don’t want to subtly imply to my children that their sins aren’t forgiven.
The Hippie Housewife has two previous posts in this series and I highly recommend them. If you are at all on the fence about the theology of parenting gently, these posts are a great read.
Apparently door locks are only tested to -20* F. Of course they are.
Today is the sixth day of record lows here in Fairbanks. The temperature has remained -20 or colder (-38 this morning!) since November 15. Which means that our door is extremely difficult to open. A friend of mine recently got locked out of her place. When she came home from grocery shopping, her lock was frozen. Her normal trick of using a lighter to heat the key wasn’t thawing the lock enough for her to unlock the door. She and her 3 month old infant had to wait until a locksmith could come and drill through her door to get her in. Welcome to winter in Alaska, little one.