Sunday, October 19, 2008

Something's Missing

I had the chance to go to Girl Scout camp this summer. It was a beautiful camp with a lot of big tall pines and a pretty lake. But I felt like there was something missing or empty about it. It wasn't until we went to family camp a few months later that I realized what it was: It's Christ! I've never been at a camp that wasn't centered around God and the Bible.

The same thought hit me last week while I was at our Early Childhood Family Education parenting time. The issues that they are bringing up and discussing are all good, but they miss the mark if you don't connect it to Christ and his plan for us as parents.

I was reading an article in the magazine they give out free from class called Scholastic's Parent and Child. The article is "Toned Inside Out" by Sara Holliday and its in the October 2008 issue. It says you need to take time out for yourself - you deserve it! Here are some suggestions she offers. First, "visualize your best self". Hmmmmm. She encourages the readers to find a photo from a time when you looked and felt your best. Before going to bed, look at this special photo and close your eyes to visualize yourself in that place again. Also, be positive! Make statements like "I am beautiful" or "I am smart and intelligent". Repeat these statements every morning and night 5 times.

Seriously that is the craziest stuff I've heard in a long, long time. If I wanted to envision myself at some other happier stage, would that really help me feel better? I think I might just want to run back to my skinny, independent days. Why not seek Christ's contentment in what I have and where I am right now? I'm thankful for the things God has taught me over the years and wold never want to go back to being the selfish brat I used to be.What if you were never happy? I'd like to suggest before going to bed, I should close my eyes and thank God for the privilege and opportunity to have these precious kids. I should ask him for strength, wisdom and grace. Trying to parent with this new age, I'm good enough mentality is just a disaster!

If we are saved through Christ, we don't need to repeat how great we are, we just need to worship how great God is! All my self worth comes from his love and grace for me and he gives it to me freely and talks to me about it in his word. I don't have to convince myself through mind tricks that I'm smart or beautiful.

The article goes on to talk about exercising, eating right, and getting in some me-time which are important. However, my focus as a Christian Mom is to do those things so I can be healthy and used of God for His glory, not so I can focus more on me. I cringe when I read this stuff. And a lot of parents I know actually have to resort to this madness because they don't have Christ.

The truth is that it can be tempting to try this even when we do have Christ. It's so easy to let the ways of Oprah and other influences push into our world. We have to get our worth and encouragement from Christ alone. Don't let these fake and pathetic replacements in. I want to pass on a God-filled legacy to my kids, not the Stuart Smalley "you're good enough, you're smart enough and doggone it people like me". (that's an old Saturday Night Live sketch FYI for you young 'uns out there)

I Corinthians 1:30-31
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


Joel and Jenn said...

Michelle, My small group bible study is going through the Truth Project put out by Focus on the Family. It is so interesting. One of the sessions talked about the lies out there that tell people to only look inside "the box" for the answers of life. "The box" meaning looking at the things of this world or at ourselves. If and when people do that it is so depressing because the answers to life are not in ourselves or in the world. The answers only come from God.

Since that discussion we had a friend over for Luke's birthday who asked if we were "church people" and then went on to tell me that his mom told him never to go to church and he never has. He won't even go with his Grandma Carol! At first I thought well here's a kid Luke doesn't need to hang around with, but as I thought more about it I thought, "Wow - we could be the only Jesus this kid ever sees if he never goes to a church." How sad to be five years old and have your mom tell you not to go to church. Well we are going to ask him to come to the fall festival at our church on Halloween with us. I doubt he'll want to, but maybe it would open up the topic of church with his dad (his mom doesn't live around here).

As we watched one of the High School Musical movies with our kids last night one of the songs talked about how they were going to make all their dreams come true and they had to look inside to make it happen. I can't remember all the words, but basically saying you can get and do whatever you want if you "have faith" in yourself. After the song Joel paused the movie and asked Grace and Luke what they thought about that. Of course they had no clue so we discussed who you should have faith in, etc. and that our goal in life should center on what Christ has for us. I guess they're never too young to start try to get our kids to think critically.

Wow - I didn't mean to blab on, but I guess you bring up something that's been on my radar screen lately as well.

Love ya!

Michelle said...

That's awesome Jenn! See you have people in your life to share Christ with! I have a blog almost done on High School Musical - I'm working on it now. Same thoughts as you! Thanks for the good comments!