So...it's been forever since I sat down and "blogged"- so sorry, May in the teacher world is CRAZY! But, alas, summer has arrived! And for this Kindergarten teacher, summer is here indefinitely! I turned in my "teaching hat" and have decided after lots of praying and letting go to be a stay at home Mommy to my brown eyed boy! I had the choice to return to teaching full-time, and to be honest, I was not willing to give up time with my favorite little guy...they're only little once- and teaching will always be there! We've had a great summer so far- vacation with out best friends in St. Simons for the 2nd year was a blast!
...And we are just in awe of all God is doing in our lives and the lives of our family! We are learning that sometimes the waiting on God for what the future will hold can be quite a challenge, you know that He's brought you through the past, and the right now is, well pretty darn good...so, we are just hangin' on to His hand and trying to enjoy the ride! There's lots more I could say here- but, that will come later! The thing I really wanted to share (and what I titled my post about) is a chapter I read in my devo. this a.m. I'm reading "Out of the Spin Cycle- Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load", by Jen Hatmaker. AMAZING applications, with some pretty entertaining stories and humor- would highly recommend it to all you Momma's out there! Anyway, the chapter that I read today was call "Nacho Average Bunny". Hatmaker tells a story of a little Hispanic boy in a street VBS program that draws a picture of a cuddly bunny rabbit holding a knife- go figure! She paralleled this to a passage in Matthew 10:16...
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be
as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
Jesus said this to his disciples while He was commissioning them to go out into the world. Hatmaker goes on to say that "shrewd" in the original Greek meant "wise and prudent"- constant awareness, discernment, saying the right thing at the right time. She goes on to compare and apply that to how we should be as Mommy's ....
"It's the opposite of clueless. It's the mom who sizes up a situation and watches for social cues and red flags...It's the Mom who realizes she's parenting in an ever-changing world full of landmines and trapdoors. Shrewd parenting is ever diligent, never allowing apathy or naivete' to blind us while the enemy claims our children."
Wow! That was so powerful to me- I've been learning a lot about specifically praying for William, for his future plans, his health, growth and protection. But this made is very black/white to me that even the smallest of our children are a target of the enemy! Hatmaker then addressed the next part of the verse that refers to "being as innocent as doves". The meaning of this passage can be misconstrued and used in making the decision to, "avoid the landmines, raise their children in innocence and choose to be "shrewd" by simply sequestering them from the world. If we create a Utopian environment, bubble-wrapped in Christian sub-culture, then perhaps our kids will emerge as Jesus Juniors."
Ouch! Isn't this often times what a lot of us try to do with our children, only socializing with our safe church friends, at church pre-school, church play groups...This seems like the right thing to do, right? This paragraph caused me to look back over relationships I've had in the past- some of these were "bubble wrapped" children, and unfortuately, because they were not exposed to what Jesus intended for the rest of this commissioning purposed, when they tore off their bubble wrap and entered in to the real world, they became everything but "Jesus Juniors". They were devoured by the enemy through things that were unfamiliar and interesting to them. The innocence mentioned in this passage refers not to all the things we as Christians do or do not do, but that we are "inoffensive".
As the devotion reads on the author points to the very first passage of scripture that very explicitly states that He is sending the disciples OUT! Not to the church next door, or to a different Christian school (although there are definite needs there). He was sending His disciples (which we now have the privilege of being) out into the places were He went. She goes on to say, "Jesus sent us into this broken world not to defend him, but to represent him. We are to talked to those he talked to, say the kinds of things he said, and love those he loved- without polluting our message with judgment and offensiveness. We have missed the point if our worldview involves fighting against culture as our enemy; we imitate our Savior when we fight for culture as loved people who have yet come to know their Creator."...that statement got to me big time. It's just so much easier to live our separate lives away from things we don't understand or agree with. But, Jesus sees these people as broken and lonely and desperate for Him.
Okay, so I realize I have not actually written the majority of this post myself, but just felt led to put it out there! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and reactions to it- I will close with the most impacting part of the chapter for me- this is the kind of Mama I want to be, so that William with be a man of God that sees the "God-shaped" hole in the hearts of people, before the differences in the way they choose to live.
"We do our children a tragic disservice to raise them in a seclusion, falsely detaching them from the world they've been sent to help redeem (that's why our kids are here!). What kind of disciples are we making when our children enter the real world as shocked and clueless young adults, ill-equipped to connect with the spiritually disoriented and unable to make sense of their environment? In an effort to protect their innocence, we send them out naive and unprepared: bunnies without knives, vulnerable, defenseless. Your kids should be praying regularly for the kids in the school and neighborhood. They should learn to befriend the loner, the loser, the lost. They need to hear from you, "we don't judge. We love." Be the happy home where people apart from God feel welcomed. They will learn innocent shrewdness-or not- from you. It is not your responsibility to raise perfect prototypes of holiness, fir to set on a pedestal and admire. Your job is to send your children into this world as disciples who understand their mission and who will contend for God's glory!"
Whew! Can I get am amen!