Posts tagged ‘Church’

November 27, 2011

Do whatcha can.

The holiday season is fun and beautiful and it’s also stressful and not without a certain pressure of its own. Because we’re Christians, we want our boys to take more from the holiday than just a list of toys they want and a sugar-soaked parade of treats.

Last year I saw this thing going around all the Christian mom-blogs called a Jesse Tree. It’s like an advent tree and has been around forever. It’s for counting down to Christmas with little stories connected to symbols you hang each day on a small tree. It’s called a Jesse Tree in reference to the tracing of the lineage of Jesus. Isaiah, 11:1 is: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”

Last year I tried to do a big, poetic, fancy version of the Jesse Tree. I collected little things. Stuffed camels, crowns, hearts, jewels and all kinds of gew-gaws. It got overwhelming before I even got started, and my boys were only flippin’ 2 and 4 at the time. The bag of stuff is still in the closet, so I suppose there is some chance that one day there will be a super fancy super mom super Christian tree.

This year I found a printable online of Jesse ornaments that the kids just color in each day. We’ll glue them on a square of cardstock with a hole for a string and call it good. Coloring with a very brief story & verse, this I can handle.

Silly Faces- these we can do.


So the short story long, I have come up with some advice for moms of young kids. Only read the blogs that inspire you because you can actually take something from them and only read them as long as they inspire you. I get like my boys in the Lego shop: I want to do everything artsy and deep to bring my boys closer to Christ. Then I realize I can’t do it and I decide not to start. Pretty soon I feel like each amazing mom post is making me feel like a short order chef next to Julia Childs.

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May 14, 2011

Mellowship

Today I attended a teacher training for a curriculum for teaching children to read. It’s primarily used for homeschool kids, and my fellow students today were Christian homeschooling parents from all varieties of life.

Huddled around the plastic tables were ten students, including a homeschooling 10 year-old dressed in gingham and braids, a couple who had themselves been homeschooled dressed in flannel and claiming to raise goats for a living and a couple of former teachers with whom I kept getting into trouble for chatting our way out of confusion. Then there was the trainer herself who told me all about her water barrels thoughtfully stockpiled in the backyard by her husband for the coming apocalypse. I found myself, as you can see by the details provided, fighting the urge to stereotype these fine folks as… well, as oh so many things.

It’s a funny thing being part of the family that is the church. People decide they know things about me, and I them, based on our doofy perceptions. We forget not only their status as image-bearers made for the glory of the creator, but our obligation to love them as members of a family. Without this membership, I see no way to reconcile myself to, let alone work with these people for the cause of Christ. I can barely imagine agreeing on a radio station or a take-out order.

I wish I could say I was able to encourage and learn from each of the folks at class. The truth is that even with all the break time in the world I’m sure I would have failed. I get busy thinking of my own agenda, my interests, my opinions, my image.

This opportunity to homeschool has already forced me to broaden my perception. I didn’t think of myself as a homeschooler, and had definite ideas about what “those people” were like. I’m excited to see what other developments come our way as we refuse to accept the assumptions we have held.

Here’s to phonograms and faux perceptions. May one take root even as the other dies with one more small layer of my immaturity.