Sunday, August 29, 2010

MIssion Minded Conversations with Kids

It's been an interesting weekend of emotions around the house varying from normal teenage and pre-teen emotions, to toddler discipline and training, to discussions about what it means to follow Jesus and the gospel. On Friday it started with the oldest feeling down about high school, not making the squad of the activity she had her heart set on, and watching said group preparing for the first game of the season. This obviously brought back a lot of emotions from this past Spring regarding disappointment and the feeling of defeat. This quickly morphed into general conversations regarding us selling our house to move into a smaller one, what's "fair", and change in general. Earlier on Friday I had run across this moving reminder of how blessed we are and where our focus should be as it relates to our culture around us and what Jesus would have us do with the resources we have, and how we should be responding to those times when we don't get the things we want.

At some point Friday night the two oldest watched this and needless to say it put just about all of the things they had been whining about in check. I didn't show it to them to shut them up, but it was a good visual of what we had begun talking about as part of what we deserve versus what we actually have and whether what they were emotionally struggling with was founded in anything other than self pity and selfishness. C told me tonight I should just bust out this video anytime they start whining about stupid stuff as a reminder, hmmm. Nah, couldn't parent out of that much guilt, at least not all of the time anyway.

Later that night I also showed the girls some really cool mission trip opportunities through Adventures in Missions. Before long some really animated discussions broke out regarding the pros and cons of going on the various trips coming up next year; that place is too humid, i can't go into the Amazon jungle, I think ministering in the Amazon jungle would be the bomb!, we wouldn't want to go to Guatemala because if we go there we HAVE to be going to work with Jose and Erin at Hope, Ireland would be a tough place to minister, etc... While we certainly don't encourage arguing, this was some really great "debate" on the merits of who would potentially attempt to go where on one of these mission trips in the future and why.

On a side note, C recently said she thought the house we're hopefully downsizing into was painted a boring color and she wished we could have it painted something fun, like turquoise. Melissa of course attempted to point out the inherent issues this might cause in our ultra conservative, well to do area of Birmingham (sometimes referred to as Vestopia), why it wouldn't be prudent, respectful of the neighbors, blah, blah, blah. To which C responded incredulously by stating, it wouldn't be an issue where she would be living one day. Puzzled, Melissa asked if she had plans to live at the beach? Again with much consternation as if to say, Mom, duh, Guatemala, doing mission work! What ya going to say to that? Keep dreaming big sweetie!! 

The rest of the weekend was sprinkled with eternal facing discussions, attempting to weave the gospel into various disciplinary opportunities (including the one going on behind me right now about disobeying your mother), and a discussion at the dinner table about the sermon we heard this morning about Isaiah getting his lips seared with a lump of coal by an angel and promptly raising his hand to go on a mission for God. This might translate into E's rear end getting seared by his mother in a few minutes in hopes he'll raise his hand to be the first to obey next time.

Whew, trying to lay gospel centered decisions and instruction across all that we do with our children can be exhausting some days. It's so much easier to simply say because I said so! I even asked Melissa at one point today, what is the gospel centered response/correction to pain in the a#@?! I'll let you know if we ever figure that one out.

Just glad some of these stories we are attempting to be involved in are taking some roots and hopefully will keep us mission minded where possible.

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