Do it now or later

I’ll be the first one to admit that I have a tendency to procrastinate and like to stay on the lazier side of things.  Today it felt like though I was just going from one thing to the next and I was just looking forward to a little time to sit down and get somethings done.  Then the drain backed up again…  For half a second I did think about just letting it sit and just tell the kids no more bathroom visits until we leave.  But thought better of it.  Anyway, managed to get the hairball out plus some roots, oh drat!  Now I can’t put off the root killing routine.

Anyway, after coming inside and cleaning up the mess, I really wanted to get some nice icy cold drink and just relax but then the sink and dishwasher glared at me.  Oh why!  I wanted to yell at the kids because they hadn’t put things away, but remembered that I’m at my worst with words when I’m tired and upset.  This is the frustrating thing about trying to be the adult around the house and needing to set the example.  Do I put things off too?  I do have somewhat of a legitimate excuse.  It’s not easy clearing the drain.  My back hurts.  I’ve got things that I want to get done.  But no, they are mostly excuses and I know it and I think to some level the kids knows it too.

Decision.  Fine, zip my mouth so nothing bad comes out of it.  Grid my teeth and get things cleared out and hope that nothing more comes up before we leave the house.  I’ve actually got a few minutes to relax now and I’m glad that I had gotten everything done.  I’m glad that dinner was already in the crockpot before much happened.  And best of all, I’m glad that I was not a bad example today for my kids.  Especially when we are around each other almost 24/7, they are learning constantly about how to deal with life.

Be a good example to others today.

Loving our children

Boy was it depressing to have read an email today.


As I look around our society, I see parents who love their kids in theory, but not in actions. Everything they ARE DOING, actually says they DON’T love their kids.

They buy them everything they want…

They don’t put strong boundaries…

They have terrible marriages…

They repeat their parent’s mistakes with their own kids…

They don’t properly guide them and train them for life…

They don’t take time to teach them manners and character…

and they live in the middle of an emotional and sometimes physical chaos.

Unfortunately, their emotions fail them and their evidence for love is what they imagine in their head and not the plain results in front of them. Most children don’t feel loved. Period.

Parents are falling short of the 5 Love Languages and neither quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts or physical touch are being met. The suicide rate for children proves me right…

Unfortunately, 89% of parents can’t define what unconditional love is and an additional 10% don’t know how to make sure their children feel loved. Even with their best intentions, they fall short.

We have entered an era where the survival of your children and their avoidance of drugs, sex and alcohol is dependent on how loved and accepted they feel and if this is not an easy area for you and your spouse, it better become a priority real fast.


Granted this email was from someone offering counseling for parents.  But looking around me, I think the statistics is not too far off.  I was just commenting today on many parents’ attitudes towards summer and other breaks and then looking forward to the kids being back in school so they don’t need to be bothered with the kids.  I don’t blame kids for not feeling loved if their parents’ attitudes are wanting to throw them out the door.

Few years back, I was talking to a friend contemplating about having kids.  The problem is that everyone at work all regretted having kids.  Wow, I’d hate to be their kids.

If you have kids, I hope that you would really love them not just in your mind.  And if you grew up with parents who didn’t know how to love you, I pray that you will forgive them and find healing in Christ.

Amazing hearing abilities

Our dog has an amazing hearing ability when it comes to food.  There can be barely a rustling of bag and she’s there in a shot.  However at other times, we can be shouting her name and she just ignores us.  Come to think of it, our kids are like that too.  When it’s something of interest to them, like ice cream, it seems like we can just whisper and they will hear us, but when it comes to chores or school work, it seems like we can use a megaphone and they still won’t hear us.

I suppose I can’t complain too much about our kids now.  They are pretty good about responding to me.  But there are still times especially with the boys when I’m not sure if they’ve heard me or just chose to ignore me so it’s hard to figure out if it’s a discipline issue.

Then again, don’t we as adults still do the same thing.  One time a friend of mine was answering a survey concerning her husband’s health.  One of the question was if he was having problem hearing her.  Boy was that begging for some snide remarks.  Yes he does have a problem hearing her, but no he does not have any apparent hearing problems.

We all to a certain extent choose to only hear what we want and ignore or reinterpret the things we don’t like.  I think that’s why sometimes it’s so hard to be objective because I’m not even sure if I’ve understood the right thing in the first place.  The Bible is so true when it says in James to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  I know it’s easier said than done, but will you join me and try to resolve to be a better listener (even when food is not involved… no I have not forgotten about my dog).

Status Quo

I was reminded today how much I don’t care for status quo.  Maybe it’s because I’m too independent and don’t follow instructions well.  If I don’t like something or care for how something is done, I often go off and look for another solution or create my own version.

Maybe that’s why I homeschool my kids.  I started off looking for the perfect curriculum and realized that there’s no such thing out there.  Even with the things that I’ve created or modified, I’m not completely satisfied and in the end they may be inferior to what’s out there, but oh well, at least I have the satisfaction of having done something about it.

To be honest, I am extremely grateful for all the things that are available for homeschooling.  Especially some of the parent created materials which are far more understandable and kid friendly than many textbooks.  But I think that is what I’ve liked about living in the US.  There’s room for being different, there is room for each individual to improve on what they perceive to be insufficient and create.  Unfortunately I see that spirit waning.  People expect others to solve their problems.  And even in the homeschool community, there’s the tendency to follow trends and expect the right curriculum to be the answer.

Life will always throw those curve balls at us, what will we do when things don’t work?  I remember when I talked to my mom years ago about homeschooling our kids, she acknowledged that there are a number of bad teachers and they can have very negative impact on the kids (after working with them first hand in the public school), but she said I should just put our kids in school and pray really hard that they will get good teachers.  I’m not satisfied with that solution.  Let’s resolve to look for and/or create the satisfactory solutions rather than expect others to solve our problems.  Don’t be satisfied with the status quo.

Cell phones at dinner tables

I’m sure we’ve all seen those pictures where everyone’s on their phone at the dinner table.

I’m glad that most of my friends are not like that.  We do have plenty of face to face meals.  But what got me the other day was that there was a cell phone at every spot and everyone was ready to break away from the conversation at anytime at least to check on what was on their phone.

I realize that there are times when checking is somewhat important.  It’s like when my kids were young and I needed to check up on them periodically to make sure that they are okay and not getting into trouble.  Or there are times when we may be awaiting for some important information.  But the everyday stuff didn’t use to vie for our attention nearly as much.

The other day I was talking to the youth in Sunday school about the marshmallow experiment.  One kid said he knew what it was and his whole class passed it with flying colors.  Somehow I don’t think it’s an issue for 11 year old’s to wait a few minutes for an extra marshmallow.  But I ask the whole class, what if the test is now with their cell phones.  What if they are in a room with with phones in front of them facing down.  Have people text them, call them, etc.  Will they pass?  I’m not sure many adults can pass the test.

So, next time at meal time.  Don’t even bring the temptation with you.  Just leave it and enjoy your time with your friends and family.

Stress

Stress is something that all of us experience.  At least for me, sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m under stress while my girls see it as clear as the light of day.  But I guess I’ve also have learned to compartmentalize and manage it pretty well so most people see me as very even keeled, except with those closest to me.

Recently with Vacation Bible School, organizing couple of other events, black belt testing coming up, getting ready for school, and other things in life, I guess I’ve been a bit more stressed.  Last night I was snappy over the stupidest things.  I had to apologize but ended up having a good conversation with Glorianna.  It didn’t resolve any of the issues that still needs to be taken care of, but it did help me take ownership of the stress and I believe it did help strengthen our relationship.

I don’t have the answer to how to deal with stress. and I believe that the answer is different for different situations and personalities and you need to find what works for you.  But one thing I know is that as an adult, I need to take ownership of my stress and my actions and not to succumb to the people or events that are causing the stress and blame my actions and reactions on others.  And especially not to injure innocent bystanders who just happen to come across my path at the wrong time.  And if I do inadvertently say something wrong or do something wrong, I need to repent and apologize to the person.  A little humility from time to time is good for each of us.

UFC Cormier vs Jones

We got together with friends on Saturday to watch the UFC fight between Cormier and Jones.  I don’t care about the nastiness of the build up but often times that’s entertainment and you are not really sure what the person is like in real life.  I am by no means a defender of Jon Jones especially with his messed up life, in fact leading up to the fight we were wondering if he can stay out of trouble.  But several of my friends have met him in person in casual settings and each have said that he seems like a nice guy.  Unfortunately it is often difficult dealing with being in the spotlight and people often do dumb things.  Again, not excusing his actions, but honestly most us would never find out what we would have done if we were in his place.

I wasn’t really rooting for either.  It was a good and clean fight.  It did look like Cormier was rather cocky taunting Jones on several occassions.  It was a sad scene to see Cormier just walking away from the ref just before Jones was declared the winner.  If there was unsportsmanlike conduct that would have been it.  I realize that it’s hard to have such rivalry, prep for so long, feel like you are doing well and perhaps even winning and then being knocked out, but it was also sad to see that kind of attitude.  But I think what got me was what Jones said and did afterwards.  He thanked all his supporters and all his detractors and also complemented Cormier for who he is as a person.  That is class that I did not expect from most UFC fighters especially with the hype leading up to the fight.  I hope this is a new Jon Jones who’s learned his lessons and ready to move on with a better life.

I couldn’t believe that they ended up interviewing Cormier as well after talking with Jones.  Cormier was crying.  I know the fight was very disappointing to him and the loss very hard to accept but I almost sense that the tears were not just for the loss but perhaps for regret of his disdain  for Jones.  Maybe I’m just an optimist that Cormier too learned a life lesson about misjudging others.

I sure hope that Jones has won Cormier’s opinion of him, not just as a fighter, but as a person.  But it really was a reminder of doing good to those who hate you and not hating them back.  Even your arch rival that perhaps you can win their hearts over by your good attitudes towards them.

Postpone the work

Am I a proponent of procrastination?  Nope!  But there comes a time when it’s better to postpone something.  There has been plenty of examples now with people’s quick unthinking Tweets to help us learn this point.  There comes a time when delaying what we need to do is better.

I learned this the hard way through the days when I used to write more computer codes.  There are times when I’m so tired or frazzled that even though the deadline was looming that it was not a good idea to continue without first taking a break.  Otherwise, I’d have to come back and take even more time to fix the mistakes that I would have for sure introduced.  The wisdom is to know how long of a break and not to let “tiredness” become an excuse for procrastination.  Now that I’m home and have no task master (like Bree in Horse and His Boy) I need even more discipline to not let “tiredness” become an excuse but at the same time not to push beyond certain stress level.

As a homeschool mom, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of finishing the work that we end up stressing out our kids instead of teaching them to learn how to balance life.  And sometimes I can become so stressed that I believe I was doing more damage to my kids by being a bad role model even though I may have finished the task at hand.  Wisdom to balance everything, I think it’s one of the hardest thing to achieve in life.

 

Real Responsibilities

I’m a proponent of giving kids real responsibilities as soon as possible.  And when I’m evaluating what my kids should choose to do, I’m less concerned about what it’ll look line on a resume than what it will do to grow my kids.

One thing that I really appreciate about the Martial Arts school that we train at is that opportunities exists to teach for people (even kids) with higher belts.  In fact when I first started in a class that consisted of all parents, the three main assistants were teenagers.  Their confidence and poise were amazing.  My girls are now both teaching as well.  In fact one of the class is run entirely by teenagers.  There has been several special needs kids in that class.  It was so great that my daughter got a complement for her patience from the mom of one of the girl with special needs.  I’ve seen my girls develop their people skills, leadership skills, patience and many other important life skills through their volunteering time with teaching.

Give the kids real responsibilities and watch them flourish.  If you get a chance to check out Do Hard Things, or This Changes Everything.  Kids need real challenges and real responsibilities.

 

 

who’s texting?

It’s just amazing to me that we live in an electronic culture where sometimes we don’t even know who we are talking to.  With face to face, there may be mistaken identify but often you can pick up the cue that you are talking to the wrong person by their expressions.  Then with telephone, it became easier to misidentify people’s voices but since it’s near instant feedback usually the mistake is quickly cleared up.  But now, it’s a whole different story.

Last week my daughter used my phone to text someone so now the lady (who’s a pastor’s wife) thinks my phone belongs to my daughter.  Today I got a text from her and because it’s a subject that my daughters and I have been talking about I just mindlessly replied.  Good thing I didn’t sass too much (time to actually put a name to that phone number).  Saturday, a friend of ours had the same issue because two of the names on his phone were very similar so he ended up replying with the wrong person in mind.

It is a really sad statement about how our culture interacts with one another.  Of course I’m glad that we do have phones and texts and emails and various ways of communication.  But how sad it is that sometimes we don’t even realize who we are talking to.