Monday, April 11, 2011

Positive Discipline meets postive religion

I've been reading parenting books quit a bit lately. Reading more than I need to about a subject is how I approach life. So, several articles, books, blog posts, etc later I think I have a parenting philosophy that I can get behind for a week or two. Yeah, yeah, my own kid will teach me more than reading will. I get that, and I even follow that in lots of ways. I just like research and investigating. I also know about most of the school choices out there and we don't need to make that choice for years. This is entertainment for me.

Anyway, before I get too sidetracked by justifying my strange hobby, I should get to the point of this post. One camp in the child rearing world says that you should love your child and provide good examples to live by and then let them be. Don't punish. Don't coerce. Don't manipulate with rewards, praise or punishment. When they see you acting a certain way they will learn that is how it is done. It will take time. Your 8 year old won't have the manners an adult has, but they will be acting genuine and not just repeating words. (someone call me out if I ever say "say the magic word" without irony)

As I was reading the book I couldn't help but think this is how our relationship with God is. Life punishes us for not acting a certain way, but God just loves us. We are called to respond to that love by loving others but God's love comes first. It is a Because, therefore relationship not an If, then relationship. Because God loves us, therefore we live out our lives by loving others. Not if we do the right thing, believe the right thing, say the right thing, then God will love us or save us.
You might be able to tell I'm not into decision theology.

So whatever parenting ideas I'm reading, I will always be loving my daughter first. That much I don't need to read a book about.

Hope you always feel loved, Sweatpea.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stuff the Pinto

When I was a camp counselor we had 50's night. We played various 50's themed games, one of which was stuff the Pinto. Ok, I know there wasn't Pinto's in the 50s, but it was the smallest car at camp. It was also my car.

I like my Mini much better than my Pinto. Maybe I just feel cooler driving it.

I miss being able to put all my stuff into the Pinto. I loaded that thing up, and off to school or camp I went. Everything fit. No one could ride with me, but I could still see out.

There is no way I could fit all my stuff into the Mini. Even if you disregard all the furniture.

I'm finding it difficult to figure out what to let go of.

Am I the rich man who wasn't willing to sell all his stuff and follow Jesus?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sorting throught the stuff

I am almost done going through the boxes. We moved into this house over a year ago, but I was pregnant at the time and certain boxes never got dealt with. Only a few items left and it will all be sorted: keep, give-away, trash, sell. Very little trash and only some to give away, but it feels good to have things in place. When all of the boxes are done, then it will be time to start posting on craigslist the items that may be worth selling. I plan on going through most of the house and selling off what we don't need. This little bit of cash will be set aside for the new roof which will be one step closer to travel - the real goal.

Travel itself isn't really the goal, but travel leads to exploring and learning and meeting new people and changing ideas and having new experiences and those are the real goals. I have been thinking about what my life goals are and thinking about what my goals are as a parent.

My parent goal is simple: help my daughter discover who God created her to be and help her become the best Herself she can be. Yep, simple. Theirs other goals my husband and I have talked about as well like help her develop critical thinking and creativity and a sense of adventure.

I have the same goals for my own life, so I purge my stuff. I'm trying to free myself from all the stuff and help me re-prioritize my life. I'm hoping I will purge my mind at the same time and become more focused.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I was listening to Rick Steves today on NPR. Great inspiration for travel. I mentioned I wanted to do some traveling to my husband and he said I didn't want it bad enough. First I was offended. What! That is one of my favorite things. Then I took a moment and thought about it and realized he was right. I could be doing things to make it more possible for us to travel.

The first thing I thought of was to pare down our stuff. Ok, may not seem directly related, but I think it is. I'm living in a house that is too big for our current needs, and filling it with stuff. I think we need to pare down the stuff and think more about what we need for the life we want to live.

I think I'm going to start by selling and giving away a good portion of my books. I really enjoyed many of them, but there is no reason to keep them for that sometime in the future when I want to read them again. That is what the library is for. And if I want to share these great stories with my daughter, again, the library. This won't make a ton of money, but every little bit helps and it may lead to something else. Meanwhile I'll be reducing clutter from my life.

Santa #2

Ok, I totally intended to have a bunch of posts on Santa, but I failed. Now it is the New Year and I'm feeling less like talking about Santa. My husband and I are still negotiating what we will do for our daughter. She just had her first Christmas, but at 7months she is too young to really understand that she got lots of stuff. So, I'm letting go of my Santa issues for now. He's a little creepy, but also a little fun.

Merry Christmas