Saturday, October 27, 2007

Life is Precious!

There are some days that I am blessed to be taken back to the important things in life. This week I had one of those days.
I met with a client who thought that aborting her baby was the only option she had. She was living a life of desperation and sadness.

We talked and she cried. I got the opportunity to show her the baby inside of her via ultrasound. There was no manipulation - no magic answers - no problems solved. There was only life - a tiny baby - doing somersaults inside the safety of its mother's womb - a beating heart that in reality is smaller than the eraser on a pencil.

These are the things that are really important - the miracle of a life created - a life that only God can create.

This young woman left with a resolve to give life to the baby inside of her. She did not leave with a plan for her future. She knew that survival would only be possible one day at a time.

We will be there for her. We will help her determine how to relieve some of the issues that have caused the desperation in her life.

Please remember these young women - they need love - they need Jesus - they need a community that will surround them and encourage them to become the woman God has designed them to be.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Kissed Dating Goodbye?

I need to start this by saying that if you are not already praying for your child’s future spouse, you need to begin now. There is no greater reward than spending years praying for God’s perfect choice of a mate for your child and then seeing that become a reality. God is big enough to bring your child and HIS choice of a mate together regardless of any circumstances – dating or no dating! I am four down and one more to go!

What good comes from dating? Teenage/High School relationships are taken way too seriously and there is now, seemingly, an automatic expectation for sex. Remember, I see teenage girls everyday and I hear way too much. I used to ask girls if they were single - meaning "not married". I have learned that single now means "I am not currently in a relationship". This may seem trivial but it is no longer okay with girls to be "single". I found this to be an important new trend in the teenage culture. When I ask girls if they are single they are almost always offended and quickly respond as if their very existence depends on that answer.

I spend time talking to these girls about learning to love and respect themselves and understanding that they do not NEED a relationship. The culture today tells them they are a “nobody” unless they have a boyfriend. What they need is God!

Because most dating now includes an expectation to have sex, there is less thought given to the decision of whether a teen will have sex with someone. Sex is casual for these kids. They don't even have to have a "relationship" to have sex with someone. They will have sex with "friends".

What all this means is that the culture has changed since my older kids started dating. Sex is casual, free, and found in many different settings - relationships, friends, groups, parties. Our teenagers today have lost all modesty - absolutely no inhibitions. They will have sex just about any place.

I’m sure this is way more info than you really wanted. But I believe that we have to begin to come face to face with reality and what the world is saying to our kids.

Christian kids are just as likely now to have sex than a non-Christian. The stats are pretty scary – there is virtually no difference between Christian and non-Christians as they make decisions to become involved in sexual activity. This does not just mean sexual intercourse. Oral sex is rampant now and has even been seen in kids as young as fourth grade. This is happening with younger kids because they are exposed to sex so much earlier.

I don’t mean to scare you but it is time to not only teach our kids the truth – the details – but more importantly, we must shepherd our kids hearts toward God so they will have hearts that will help them make decisions that are God-honoring.

We cannot protect our kids forever but we can prepare them for what they will face in the world.

I believe that we may have to take extreme measures to protect our kids and eliminating traditional dating may be one of those measures.
I loved watching my kids in their teenage years hang out with groups of friends. They had so much fun together and they learned a lot about male/female dynamics and relationship issues without the pressures and temptations of being alone. Alone is no longer okay. I’m not sure it ever was okay.

I use to tell my kids when confronted with questions about their curfew – “nothing good happens after midnight!”. That still holds true today but it probably can be taken a step further to say “there is little good that happens when you are alone”.

I am praying for you Moms as you find ways to prepare your kids for these issues without taking away the fact that sex is a gift from God for marriage.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jess!

My baby is 19 today! As for most moms, this creates a moment of pause. Can it be that so many years have passed so quickly? I know that many moms of small children tire of hearing some of us older moms telling them to enjoy the moment because their children will be grown before they know it. But it is so true!

This morning I am wondering how it is possible that the years have passed so quickly and I don't feel a day older (okay, maybe a day or two). This morning I am not doing the traditional french toast breakfast, instead I am calling her at college before she goes to her 8 a.m. class.

Jess came to us late on a Saturday night January 14, 1989. She was 3 months old and it didn't take long for all of us to fall in love with her. She was with us until Oct. 16 (a week after her first birthday) and then because of legal issues she left us for 8 months. It was the worst and longest time for our whole family. Together we prayed for this child - we committed to protect her and love her as long as God would allow - we stood together at court hearings every month for 8 months and we stopped everything in our lives when we were told that we could have visits with her. For this child we prayed!

God heard our prayer and allowed us to be the ones to open our family to her - to love her - to see Him work out a special plan for her - to make her our daughter forever!

Today she is 19 - she is a college freshman - she loves the Lord and she loves her family - she is growing a heart that has a passion for children and for people who are hurting.

Today I thank God for the woman that she is becoming and for grafting her into our family.

We love you Jess!

Happy Birthday!