Faith

Bad Things

None of us are without pain or regrets. This life really hurts at times. After a couple weeks of reading some pretty heavy stories about child abuse, this is very fresh in my mind.

When I was first married, I attended SUNY Cobleskill, taking some classes in Early Childhood. I had always loved babysitting as a teenager, and I knew I wanted to be a mother as quickly as I could. (As it turned out, I found out I was pregnant with our first child just a few weeks after starting those classes. This was after a couple of years with infertility and dealing with all those issues. So my college career was cut short after that semester.) Another reason I took those classes was to work for Headstart. I did some volunteer time there, and what an eye opener that was! This is not to say that it was a bad program, only that I observed different parenting than what I had seen before, and it wasn’t always good. I am sure any school teacher could say the same.

I want to use the words, fascinate or intrigue here, but maybe shock would fit better. I am, and will continually be shocked, fascinated, intrigued, and even physically nauseous at what a person may go through in their life.

And still grow up to be a person that is whole.

God has given our bodies and our minds, our souls an incredible ability to heal. And that’s what fascinates and intrigues me. That’s what I write about. Just as a tiny tree may be walked on, the leaves torn off, and the weather tortuous to it…only to stand tall once again…so we are as people.

I personally will never understand the awful things God allows in our lives, and especially the life of a child. They arrive in this world a tiny bundle of expectation and potential, only needing protection, love and training. And to some, this is not important, and not taken seriously. Some abuse this privilege of a child…horribly. But I do know that God does not observe this lightly.

Luke 17:2 King James Version (KJV)

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

No, I do not understand, and someday I will ask God “Why?” But I do know that these terrible, tough times build character, and make a person stronger. I’ve lived it in my own life.

It is very difficult to be thankful in the midst of adversity. It is sometimes more than we can stand to stay in a situation when we want to run. But just as the picture above says, the bad things can, and do put us on the path to the best things in our lives. The key is faith. Faith won’t take away the problem, and it won’t make it better. But it does keep you looking ahead, and striving for more. It gives you hope.

Boldness to Speak

When I sit down to read a book, especially in the summer, I want a light, happy read. I don’t know why this is more important to me in the warmer months, but it is. I desire to read stories about beaches, and warm days on the sand, children playing outside with the fireflies. The long days of summer were always a happy time for me. Hours of swim lessons, and neighborhood friends, riding bikes up and down the sidewalk. Times I thought would go on forever.

But as we all know, they do not.

As far as I can recall, I have not done a book review on here. I review almost everything I can. If I purchase something, I review it. This is important to me because I rely so heavily on reviews of a product before I make a purchase. Sometimes I watch reviews and investigate for months before I buy. I want to know what I’m getting for my money. And usually, the reviews are pretty right-on. Most of the reviews I write are on TripAdvisor and Amazon, and those two places are where I read the most reviews.

So when I read a book, I review it. If I was less-than thrilled with it, I will only give it a star rating. If it was really terrible, I will write my humble opinion, and if I enjoyed it, I will give the reasons why. Today, I read a collection of poems written by a woman that I have come to know through her blog, https://rhythminlife.net

This little book, which you may purchase or read for free if you have kindle unlimited right here: https://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Her-Making-Sense-What-ebook/dp/B07256W1Z3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498058670&sr=1-1&keywords=the+audacity+of+her was an emotional read. As someone that encountered abuse in my early teens, it really spoke to me. The author lets us into her soul, and that’s difficult to do. Only after much healing, physically as well as emotionally, can a person write with such pain and truth, but not bitterness. This book is a must-read for those that have dealt with abuse as children, or are trying to understand a person that has been abused.

No, this book is not a light, beach-read. But it is an excellent, easy read. Because even through the author’s pain as a child, you sense hope in what she has become today. And that makes me happy.

Thank you, Susan for your poems. For letting us see a glimpse of what has made you the strong woman you are today. Someday, I look forward to a collection of poems on the process of healing, because I know those words are there to share.

Soapbox Post

We’ve all done it…taken our thinking or opinion about a topic or person to the extreme, and lumped it or them into one big melting pot and stirred vigorously. In our world today, this is reaching epic proportions, and it’s rather scary.

I have my hackles raised a bit about this because of an article that was shared about a child that was being home-schooled, and that child ultimately died because of abuse suffered at the hands of the child’s parent. The child’s grandmother is very upset about this, and rightly so. But the grandmother is making the case that if the child had been in public school, this abuse would have been seen and reported, rather than hidden behind closed doors because the child was home-schooled. So now the grandmother wants more rules and laws imposed on home-schooling parents so this does not happen again. This is kind of stated in a nutshell to get to the heart of what is bothering me about this.

I have home-schooled our children over the years, and our children have been in public school, as well as enrolled in a day school with some curriculum I have used. We have moved several times during our children’s school years. I have obeyed the rules and laws of each state regarding home-schooling. Some states were more regulated, others not so much.

What bothered me about the article was that the grandmother was making the case about home-schooling, not about the abuse her grandchild had suffered at the hands of the child’s parent. We as people, tend to strike out when we are hurt, misjudged, maligned, angry or grieving. We all do it, but when we cross over and make other people’s lives miserable because of it, that is wrong.

I believe very strongly that parents are responsible for their children. It is their job and duty to raise that child, to protect them, to feed, clothe and house them. It is their responsibility to teach them right from wrong, and to train them to be upstanding citizens. I personally used God’s Word, the Bible as my guide in this, and that is what has formed my view. But I do not push that on other people, and tell them my way was or is the only way. Each person has to decide their way, each parent needs to decide and carry out what is best for their child. God has given us this freedom, and the government should as well.

This freedom should extend to many areas in life in my humble opinion. If you are a parent, it should be your choice where your child attends school, your choice to vaccinate or not, your choice of where to worship, your choice of what doctor to use, your choice of what to feed your child. More laws don’t make better parents.

We have all seen the news reports of the child abuse in the Catholic church. That does not mean every priest is a child molester. We have heard of Fred Phelps and the very tragic things he did while he was alive. But that does not make every conservative, Baptist preacher the same mindset and way of doing things as Fred Phelps. If you home-school your children, you aren’t hiding behind closed doors to physically and mentally abuse your children. Yes, there are priests, pastors, teachers and parents that have abused children…but not all do. Yes, there are pastors that act crazy, but that doesn’t mean all pastors conduct themselves or their lives in the same manner. Some people are vegetarians, but that doesn’t mean all vegetarians walk around with braids in their hair, wearing jeans with daisies on them and Birkenstocks. And yes, I can remember when this was a thought pattern back in the 1970’s! My mother was very much into the health food scene and we shopped weekly with people that looked like that.

My point…don’t lump everyone or one mode of thinking into one big mess. Yes, we can use general observations in most areas. But when our thinking and observations cross over and take away someone else’s freedom and rights, then it’s wrong.

Unfortunately, children are being abused every day. It’s not a poor or rich man’s problem. It’s not about whether you home-school or public school your child. It’s about the abuse taking place. A parent doesn’t have the right to abuse a child. When a parent does this in the form of physical or emotional abuse, which can be manifested in many different ways, that parent has crossed over into the child’s right to have love, protection, food, clothing and shelter. And that is wrong.

Imposing more rules and laws doesn’t make for a more law-abiding citizen. The law-breakers still won’t care, and the law-abiding will just get more and more frustrated. Hard-working people, and common sense thinking seems to be at a premium these days. And that’s where the problem lies.

I grieve for the grandmother and the loss of her grandchild. But it wasn’t about and shouldn’t be made into the issue of why home-schooling is wrong. The focus needs to remain on the abusive parent. If I go to the grocery store and purchase a food item, and then let it set until it’s out of date, and then eat it, and then get sick…that is not the grocery store’s fault. It’s mine for being an idiot. I can’t go and demand that the grocery store never sells that product because I made a bad decision. Well, I can, and then I would be even more of an idiot! And we see this type of stuff everyday. We as a society need to stop making excuses and address the real issues at hand.

Now I will jump off my soap box!