Yep, I'm still amazed at how hard parenting is! And today, I realized it while shopping for my sweet girl. She is just growing like a weed and outgrowing so many of her clothes, so, while at Wal Mart today I decided to check the clearance aisle to see what I might find. It was then that I realized just how picky I am about my daughter's clothes. See, all I was wanting were just a few plain shirts, which I thought would be fairly easy to find, but, not so much! It seemed that most everything had some form of writing or pictures on them. You may be thinking, "Who cares?" That's probably what I would have been thinking about a year ago, too, but that's when God starting changing my heart and mind when it comes to my children, my home, and what I wanted my children to learn. And believe me, they learn even when we think they aren't. Today it seemed that every shirt either had a picture of some starlet or currently popular TV show or some pointless saying (like "Princess" or "Fashion Diva"). Now, I know, you're probably thinking, "Really? This is what you are having a problem with?" I know, it seems so silly and, admittedly, I feel a little silly saying it, but at the same time, it's my child's heart and soul that I am battling for here, right? Do I really want her role model to be Hannah Montana? Do I really want her displaying the attitude of a "fashion diva" and thinking that's what life is all about? Are these things the message I want to be sending to that sweet girl? Or, am I just going too far and being silly about it? Maybe, but I have to admit, I have seen a change in the attitude since we stopped the cable and stopped watching those Disney channel shows. Her little heart and attitude were becoming very "me" centered and she was really becoming absorbed in what she wore and if she'd ever have a boyfriend, etc. That was not what we wanted for our child, so we removed it from our home. Shouldn't it be the same with the clothes that represent that lifestyle and attitude? Now, please don't think I am telling everyone that they need to cancel the cable and toss half their child's wardrobe. There may be children out there who can watch those shows and none of this is ever a problem, my daughter just doesn't happen to be one of them! And, yes, it was hard this weekend while she was with her cousins and they wanted to watch a show that I wouldn't let her watch. Saying no to her and knowing that would either mean she would have to go somewhere else while her cousins watched this show, or her cousins would have to choose to watch/do something else so they could include her was difficult (I am proud to say that they choose to watch something different so she could still be with them). But, what was more important, keeping her heart and mind with a right attitude, or letting her feel part of the crowd? That's part of parenting. (Again, I am not saying that every parent should keep their kids from watching the shows we don't allow our kids to watch, it's about knowing your child and what they need to remove from their lives in order to have the heart and attitude you know they need to have.) Even more important, that's part of discipling.
I don't think there's much that scares me more than the thought of me discipling my children...unless it's leaving it up to someone else and me having no idea what is being put into my child's head! And really, if I choose not to do this in my child's life, then I am living and modeling disobedience to my child (Deut. 6:6-9). It's a scary thing! I am so thankful that I have such great friends and family who walk alongside me in this journey. I am so thankful to have amazing parents who walk alongside me, but refuse to do my job for me. They encourage me, correct me, lift me up in prayer, and serve as great examples of parents who refuse to let someone else take over the job of raising and discipling their children, even when it's hard and even when they mess up and have to correct what they've done. Lord, I am truly blessed! Help Kevin and I to make those tough calls. Help us to refuse to let the world take over our home and the hearts and minds of our children. Help us to do this even in the little things, what we'll wear, movies we'll watch or not watch, places we'll go or not go. Help us to not be legalistic as we seek these things, but rather to seek out what will truly give You the most honor and glory. Lord, give us strength to teach and train these sweet blessings in Your truth so that they will one day call You saviour and Lord and be willing to obey You, no matter the cost. Lord, give me the strength to say NO when I need to say NO regardless of how others may respond to that. Help Kevin and I to be models of living selfless lives full of faith and trust in You above all else. Lord, HELP!!!!!