Just act natural

leather-768230_1920One of the things I find fascinating about this whole thing about allowing boys that identify as girls into girls’ locker rooms, and vice versa is this: The experts tell the students that it is natural to do this. There is no reason to be uncomfortable. It is only your upbringing that has made you uncomfortable.

As a parent of both a boy and a girl, I can tell you that both reached a point, on their own, without coaching from me, that they were no longer comfortable being unclothed in front of anyone, even someone of the same gender. So it is not normal or natural, as the experts say, to be ok with being undressed in front of someone of the opposite physical gender, let alone someone of your own gender.

The Bible shows pretty clearly that when humans were first created it was perfectly normal for people to hang out together unclothed. But as soon as we decided to stop following God’s rules for us, we immediately became embarrassed about being naked. Fascinatingly enough, Adam and Eve were embarrassed even though it was only the two of them, and they were married. In most societies, that is the only situation in which people should feel comfortable being unclothed around each other, and yet, they weren’t.

Because none of us are perfect any longer, it is not natural to be unclothed in front of someone else in a locker room. We learn to tolerate it when all are the same gender, though it is still uncomfortable. It is not in the least natural to be changing in front of the opposite physical gender.

You know its true when even God helps out:

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Genesis 3: 21

Here’s to a safe environment for all!


A Little Bit of Interest

I am working on a “surprise” Christmas present for my daughter. Well, I had dreamed that it would be a surprise. But reality dictated that she know – there was no way I was going to be able to create it in secret – she stays up as late as me now, and I can’t spend her whole school day working on it, as much as I would like to.

So she knows that I am knitting her a blanket for Christmas. I saw one like it at Ikea and thought, “Hey, I could make that.” It is a simple beige stockinette stitch with several basic cables running down its length. I love the look of cable knit and thought it would be fun to try making it myself.

I had to start over five or six times, each time learning something I didn’t know I didn’t know. Finally, I was able to continue. However, a twin size blanket is a lot bigger than the scarves and baby blankets I have knit in the past. And Christmas is not moving for me, or anyone, this year, so there is a bit of pressure to keep the blanket growing. At first it would have made a cute snake blanket, but now it would do fine for a very large cat or a medium-sized dog. So I still have a ways to go.

The time crunch has introduced something that I generally don’t accept in my creations – obvious errors. Sometimes I realize right away, or within 20 or so stitches that I messed something up. I go back and fix that right away. But other times I don’t realize I have done something wrong until it becomes noticeable several rows later. I hate seeing the error, but with a deadline looming, I can’t afford to keep going back. I console myself by saying, “The blanket will be so big and will usually be folded up or snuggled around someone, so people won’t notice the mistakes too much.”

I also know that my daughter isn’t a perfectionist so won’t mind. She hasn’t met a blanket she doesn’t love, so I have that going for me, too. And because I am making it for her, she will cut me some slack just because that’s who she is.

Finally, I noticed that, while the errors are quite obvious if you look at the wrong side of the knitting, they are hardly even noticeable when looking at the right side.

All of these things made me think of how God sees our mistakes and how he covers them over with his love so that they don’t ruin our lives, just add a bit of interest – something that draws people closer to find out what’s up, giving us an opportunity to tell them about how God loves and heals us.

Do I purposely knit mistakes into the blanket? Absolutely not. But it is nice to know that a little goof up here or there isn’t the end.


Be the Change

Ok, so this saying has gotten to be a bit cliche, no, very cliche. But things usually become cliche because they really are true, and why reinvent the wheel when there is a perfectly good phrase out there that describes your point.

Another good cliche for today would be, Monkey see, monkey do.

Kids will mimic what you do more than what you tell them to do. Oh, I so wish that weren’t true sometimes! I see certain behaviors in my teens that I really wished they didn’t have, but know that they learned those bad habits from my poor example, despite my words encouraging them to be otherwise.

Several weeks ago I was crying out to God, asking him what I could do to help help my kids through some typical teenage challenges. His immediate word, “Be the example.”

Be the example of peace, joy and perseverance in trials, rather than the example of fussing and fuming and depression.

Ok, so I was convicted. Here’s to being a better example!

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

Titus 2:7a

I pray that we can all be the change we want to see in the world – not so much in the big things, but in the little things, that make up the big things.

Blessings on your day, week and year!

Teach them Diligently

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

The number one thing I would encourage all of us parents to do is to teach our kids to love, trust and obey God. That is the only thing that will get them through anything in this life, and into the next.

Someday I won’t be around to help them. Someone might do something terrible to them that no one could have stopped. They might fail in some way. But God will never fail.

Teach them all you know, and even those things that you haven’t yet totally come to grips with yourself, but know that the Bible says are true – teach them those things, too. And teach them how to stop and talk to God for themselves. Teach them how to recall Bible verses for the tough situations they encounter – and for the good situations too.

Never stop teaching.

Push them, and hug them

Now that my son with autism is 16 years old, and is doing pretty well, not only for a kid with autism, but for any 16-year-old boy, I feel like I can finally add a few more parenting tips. So here’s tip #1:

Push your kids to be their very best. They will throw huge fits, there will be many tears and you will be up some nights wondering if you pushed them too far. There will be times when you will have to say sorry. But most of all, let them know that you are pushing them because you love them, because you want life to be easier for them down the road if they can just learn that one more skill.

There will be days, make that years, when you feel like what you are doing isn’t making a difference. You will want to give up because the gain just doesn’t seem to outweigh the pain.

There will be days when you cave and let them watch too much TV or play too many computer games (or whatever their obsession is). You will then have to pay the price of reigning them back in. But I am telling you, all of this struggle, as tiring and fruitless as it may sometimes seem, is worth it.

Don’t let their stubborn clinging to unhealthy habits daunt you.

As long as you also make it very clear that you love them, through whatever means works for them – maybe a hug, maybe a little extra computer time, or a visit to an amusement park, all of your pushing will pay off.

Will they be perfect? Are you or I perfect? But they will be stronger, better people, more able to function in the world around them.

Proverbs 22:6  Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.