Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Parent Eye

Sometimes people get "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes". This is when someone else's child or grandchild does something it's wrong, but if my own child or grandchild does it, it's okay. This can be something seemingly simple, but it can be something glaringly big. It can be something innocent, but it can be something sinful. It can be something against God's word, yet if it's MY child or grandchild, my "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" easily overlooks it because I don't want to believe that what my child or grandchild is doing is wrong.

Let's just look at some of the things that can cause "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes":

#1: In sports, MY child walks with the ball. "Parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" yell, "He/she did not walk!" Everyone else clearly say that he/she did walk, yet the parent can't believe it; however if someone else's child walks you can hear murmuring, "That's the third time he/she has walked!" See the problem? Yes. And the child didn't offend God. It's an innocent mistake. No big deal, really. The parent and grandparent could be offending Him, though, just by their attitude.

#2: In life, YOUR child is living with their boyfriend/girlfriend. "Parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" will see YOUR child and think (rightfully so), "That is wrong! (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18...Ephesians 5:5) Sexual relations outside of marriage is sinful in God's eyes! It's listed with murder in the Bible! (Revelation 21:8)" And it is! Yet a few years down the road and those same parents and grandparents will have a child that moves in with their boyfriend/girlfriend and seem to not have a problem with it. Maybe they do deep down, and of course they wouldn't shout their disdain to the world or on social media (hopefully), but seemingly act as if it's okay. Nothing is said, even to close friends who are around them all of the time. And oftentimes the child/grandchild is posting on social media what is blatantly against God's Word, be it sexual immorality, drunkenness, mocking God or Jesus, etc. They're not only doing it, but flaunting it in the eyes of friends and family and strangers.

The point is that we all do sin and do wrong, of course, but as parents and grandparents, we must learn to see what is real. We can't excuse things in our lives and the lives of our children/grandchildren, yet condemn those around us who do the very same thing. If it's wrong, it's wrong.

Christian's are under different guidelines than those in the world in regards to sin. If a lost person does wrong, they are no more lost than they were before. They are separated from God because of sin. When a faithful Christian does wrong, it's sin, but the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us and make us spotless again when we confess our sins and ask God to forgive them. He is a graceful and merciful Heavenly Father and aren't we thankful that He is?!

If we are Christians we have an obligation and commandment with instructions to follow when someone is wrong, as in the example of sexual immorality given above. We find this in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, where Paul says:

"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world (Note from Parent's After God's Own Heart: This was written to Christians and for Christians, not for this 'of the world' who are not Christians), or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”"

That is God's instruction, whether we're looking through "parent eyes" and "grandparent eyes" or not. Our eyes can change. We can put on dark shades or rose colored glasses that distort what is true and right. God's Word never, ever changes. He is the same. The Bible is the same. And wrong is wrong, no matter what.

What eyes are you looking through today? Are they seeing what's real? Are they seeing what is right? Or are they seeing through "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes"?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Take Time For What Matters Most

Many years ago I had a friend who was always cleaning her house. If we talked on the phone, she couldn't talk long because she had to clean. If we were volunteering for something at our children's school, she couldn't help long because she had to clean. I would tease and say her house must have been the cleanest house in town! I loved that sweet friend and the times we shared.

One day that sweet friend found out she had cancer. From then on, any phone call we had revolved around spiritual matters, family matters, important matters....not about cleaning the house. That friend passed away after a hard-fought battle of treatments that eventually didn't work. She would say how that clean house she always kept didn't matter any more and that her family and God was was mattered. Oh, I miss that sweet friend! But I remember her attitude. It was always positive.

As I was washing dishes a few days ago (that had been on the counter and in the sink for 24 hours), I was thinking about how for many, that would be horrible. To have dishes sit overnight wouldn't ever happen. I'll admit that it happens quite often in our home. For the most part I wash them in the morning after the younger two leave for school, but sometimes do wash them at night.

I could have washed those dishes during the previous afternoon and missed out on time with my husband's family at our Christmas get-together. I could have washed all of those dishes late that night instead of playing dominos with my family.  I could have gotten up earlier on the last "sleep later" day and washed them. I could have washed them that next morning instead of watching the Rose Parade with a few of my children. But I didn't. I waited until we ate our late lunch and cleaned it all up then.

Here's the deal....dishes will always be there to wash. These children, these family times, the family time we had with extended family members yesterday will not always be there. I've come to realize that there are work-focused people and people-focused people. There's a time to work - absolutely! But when it comes to people, think about the fact that special times won't always be there. This moment when our two college kids and two younger ones are home will not be here much longer. In fact, this was probably the very last one since our daughter will graduate from college in May.

Will that pile of dishes matter to me when I think back on memories of this recent break or will the people who I spent it with matter? It's an easy answer. The dishes can wait a while. People can't. Spend time on what matters....on WHO matters. Be available for people.

When I think of Jesus, he worked. He served. But he took the time to love people. He should be our example in all things.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Oklahoma Class "C" State Football Champions!

Going to the state tournament in football is always exciting!  This year was no exception!  The cold rain didn't keep hundreds of fans - both young and old - away from cheering on the Tipton Tigers.  Fans, friends and relatives from all over came to cheer on the team and their family members. It was so much fun!  So much so that I would like to relive it all over again!
Family picture after the game.  Such a great memory of a great night!
Team picture minus a few.
Jacob and his girlfriend.  :)
Everyone wanted their picture with the gold ball! Who wouldn't?
A great ending to Jacob's Senior year in football!  In his three years playing (9th, 10th, and 12th, the team won silver, gold, and gold!)  Quite a record!

Congratulations to the Tipton Tigers!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy 14th Birthday, Tyler!

Today Tyler (Biscuit from the "Chronicles of Biscuit" stories) is 14 years old!  He's grown many inches over the past year, but has also grown in other ways.  He's more mature, becoming a young man rather than little boy.  He still gives me hugs, so I'm adjusting with his maturity. I tell him those can never stop! :)
I love having a child with a "winter" time birthday, and it's especially fun having one near Christmas. He didn't care what kind of party he had, just cared about the food!  He okayed a rustic theme, so it was fun decorating with red and black buffalo checks, wood-looking items, and his "tree stump" cake with a camping theme on top.
It's hard to see, but the cake has a red/black buffalo checkered tent, a little campfire, and marshmallows around the bottom, mostly just because I turned the cake board over for the cake to sit on and the greasy icing was making the board look bad. Marshmallows covered it up!
Tyler's next oldest brother and his girlfriend, Camry helped make the banner for me. They did a great job!
Blow out the candles! I didn't have 14 of them. Think I had 10 - oops!
Then this morning, Tyler got to have a non-typical breakfast of donuts!  Since our elf is a permanent fixture and always will be around here, I'm blaming him (Buddy) for the donuts! 

Happy birthday, Tyler!

You are such a blessing to our family. I can't imagine what it would be like without you in the family and wouldn't want to.  You bring joy, laughter, and special moments to our family by your personality.  You're a combination of your two brothers - a little "serious and clean cut" like Zachary and a little "crazy rough and tumble" like Jacob! Ha ha! You think that makes you perfect to be a little like both of them. I won't go so far as to say perfect, but it is pretty neat!  

Thank you for being YOU. Thank you for the example you are to those around you. I pray that you always keep God at front and center of your life, that you continue to walk in the steps of Jesus - striving to live your life always for Him, and that you continue to grow in Him and in your service of the church.  Never forget that THOSE THINGS are most important - not the things of the world.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and always. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

My pictures uploaded backwards, and for some reason I can't get them moved, so I'll start backwards on Thanksgiving week with our family! I also can't get the text to publish right, so sorry about that. It's mostly for my own personal record, so I'll just be confused someday as to why this is!

This picture is the State Semifinals game, which we won! We're headed, once again, to the State Championship!! It's so exciting and brings back lots of great memories from years past. This photo is our son, backup quarterback, who played several minutes at the end of the game. Since we were so much ahead, he was coached to just take a knew for the last few downs. I love this picture of him looking back at the coach, his cousin. :)

This picture below is of the cinnamon rolls our oldest son made for Thanksgiving week. He made the dough for these, as well as the hot roll dough. He did such a great job! They were delicious! This brings back memories of Thanksgivings past where my father-in-law and my husband's grandmother used to make the rolls. What a wonderful family tradition!

Next photo: The younger cousins' table keeps growing and growing! Second cousins and family guests make this photo even more special. We love welcoming new family members into the family :). The newest little family member attending was three months old. It was his first visit to Oklahoma!

Next: The annual pumpkin bash was lots of fun!  There weren't too many that splattered everywhere, but when they do, they are picture-perfect moments that are fun to capture!  One pumpkin was filled with whipped cream and water, making it a surprise splatter!  But at least it smelled better than a rotten pumpkin!

The annual "cousins" picture is always a big group, no matter who is missing or here. There's just a BUNCH of them, no matter what!  And what a blessing that is!

I captured a sweet picture of my husband coloring with a niece and great-nieces and nephews.  Love this one!

And back to the football game...A family picture with our immediate family...the next to last one we will have with this Senior.  So thankful for those memories and for those who came. We had lots of relatives who were able to be there, which was extra-special!

Our youngest son is the official team videographer. He got to be in the press box and wear the special press pass.  He felt pretty important - and was important for his cousin, the head coach! :)

The next picture is our nephew (the head coach), another nephew who plays on the team, our son who plays, and a niece who's a cheerleader.  On the end is our brother-in-law and uncle to these three in the middle...dad to the head coach.  He's the defensive coach.  What a special picture!

And back to Thanksgiving day!  The annual Turkey Trot, in its 10th year.  This nephew and his wife are newlyweds. They "ran" to the finish line dramatically making it seem like they were finishing the tedious run with tears and sweat. Ha ha! Not sure they ever broke a sweat, actually, but boy, did they have fun and make it look like a dramatic ending! Not surprising because he's in the photo/video industry and he knows exactly what it takes to have great photos captured!! :)

Last picture is the group Turkey Trot picture.  A big group in the great weather!

I designed this graphic for t-shirts, thinking it would be a neat family thing.  It didn't quite work out like I wanted it to, but I'm thankful we have them for the memories and traditions it represents.  Sometimes things don't work out like we want it, but for me it was important.  So it matters to me and is special to me. 

I am thankful for God's blessings in my life and in the life of my family.  I am thankful for this tradition and the memories that we have shared together. This is THANKSGIVING.  Thank you, God.
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