Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Psalm 145

Today I woke up with Shane & Shane's rendition of Psalm 145 in my head. That was good background music for my jog down Overland Trail to Southwest Community Park / Inspiration Playground. The sun was coming up (yes it was early; I heard one of my roomies waking up rather early) and the sunrise against the clouds & mountains was amazing!

My quiet time consisted of meditating on the verses, "The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made.
." Ps 145:8-9.

He has made these amazing foothills that I, and all of Fort Collins sees every day, and the even more majestic mountains behind these hills that reflect His power and greatness. He is faithful to make the sun rise every morning, and reveal His beauty through the sunrises. He gives food to every creature. Even people who are starving, they still eat at least something. He provides shelter to us, and in Fort Collins, most people have fairly nice houses / apartments. He has provided open spaces within the city for us to enjoy, and for children to play in. He has allowed workers with talent to built playgrounds, especially Inspiration Playground to be accessible for children of all physical abilities.

For Israel, since I have been reading Deuteronomy and Isaiah, God pulled them out of slavery and out of captivity numerous times. He has brought forth the Savior from the nation of Israel, He has stopped 1 nation from eliminating the Jewish race from Europe, He has recently given them parts of the original promised land back, and for now, He has allowed relative peace to be in the region.

For myself, God has allowed me to return to Fort Collins, earn a Master's degree, influence students while in grad school, and influence the next generation of Christians in Children's Ministry / AWANA. He has grown me through two Infusion programs, and given me numerous sunsets/sunrises, friends, flowers, provided for my needs every day, allowed me to climb a 14er, and recently allowed me to live with 11 amazing Christian women :) :) :) among all little blessings that I might not even be aware of!

Focusing on God's blessings have helped me wait on the Lord for a job. I believe He has called me into academia (again), and I am waiting on that. Knowing He is good and knowing He grants desires to all things for His glory assures me that whatever He has in store for me is for my good and ultimately for His glory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The hardest parenting class ever

In undergrad, I slacked off during my HDFS parenting class in because I had the MCAT to study for. In graduate school, I took classes on parenting interventions and learned how parents (and society) can screw things up for kids, and how us interventionists were sent to fix them. Then during Infusion, I learned from amazing Christian parents how Christ can be their perfect interventionist so He flows out of their parenting in an imperfect world.

God decided that He would add a lab component to my "parenting classes." One of the single parents at church needed a nanny for 2 weeks before her two children (boy & girl, 6 & 5) went to school. My HDFS side began to start labelling them by socioeconimic status (SES), high or low risk, and began looking for possible defecits in the kids. This isn't necessarily wrong, but God reminded me to look at more than what my HDFS side could see, and view them not as 'cases' but as children in need of His care.

Thus has followed nearly 2 weeks of being their stand-in mom. I know I'm not perfect. More importantly, it's showing me how far my degree can go, and how much I need God's grace to cover the rest. For instance, today, the kids were tired and they wante to swim, and I wanted to wait until it was warmer outside. Thus tantruming more than usual ensued, and somewhat 'climaxed' into both kids getting sent to their room. I asked God what was the deal. What did He want to teach the kids and myself, and was I being power-hungry or really in the kids' best interest for not giving in. God revealed that they were learning patience and I was learning that even though I had to discipline and seemed mean, I could then give grace and repair the relationship. God gave me the verse from Hosea 6:1-2 where it basically says that God does tear down and injure temporarily, but in love because He is love (1 John 4:8) and that He repairs the relationship when His children come back. That is what happened. After the kids were done with time-out, I was able, through Christ, to love these kids and enjoy their company. I then prayed that the relationship was repaired.

However, the most important thing I have learned was that, unlike what the HDFS department teaches, I am not above the moms I serve. In fact, I still have a lot to learn. Just by serving me even though she can't pay for my services is teaching me about being creative with gratitude. And she has taught me that it's ok to be transparent about not having life or the Christian walk together, because it shows that God is truly active at the present. God has used the conversations before and after my hours to encourage me, and I pray to encourage her.

From this, I'm learning that parenting is rough. Laying in bed knowing another day is ahead of me, making the choice to parent in my flesh and HDFS knowledge or in Christ is one of the roughest decisions to make. However, God has shown me that loving the children through the love and grace He has first lavished on me and wishes to show these children is the best way. His love and grace will cover any of my mistakes, their times of disobedience, and hurts these children may experience in this world.