Random thoughts about sin and grace.

by April on September 16, 2014 · 0 comments

IMG_0860.JPGCharles Spurgeon once said, “If your sin is small, your savior will be small also. But if your sin is great, then your savior must be great.” (Paraphrased by Derek Webb)

The more I am confronted with my Savior, the more I am stricken with my own sinfulness.

And it hurts.

I consider myself to be a good person. I try to use nice language, good manners, and I don’t expose myself to a lot of crude things as a rule. I try to adhere to the “whatever is good, lovely, admirable…” philosophy.

The problem is, that too quickly secures me into self-righteousness. I begin to believe that because I am a good person, I am somehow exempt from bad feelings and emotions. Or when I feel something negative, I give myself a free pass on my behavior because it doesn’t overbalance the mental scale I have constructed in my mind.

The truth is, there is no such scale.

There is Grace, yes, and how thankful I am for it! Still, the sin that hinders is still there if I don’t confront it.

I’m learning that I struggle with jealousy in certain areas of my life, and I never considered myself a particularly jealous person. I also struggle with anger. Yesterday, a lady and I both stopped at a stop sign today and we both thought we had the right-away. I could have punched her in the face (not really, but in my imagination I say that to people). These were simply things I didn’t know I really struggle with, because I’ve always been able to reason with them in the past.

We don’t like to talk about sin, do we? I know I don’t. It’s incredibly easy for me to look at a person and see nothing but the good in them, and I do that as a rule. I don’t want to judge (it’s not my place) or make anyone feel excluded so I won’t say a single thing negative about a behavior. What I’ve been confronted with, however, is the fact that my reluctance to address sin does not in any way erase the fact that sin does, indeed, exist.

So where do we go from here?

For me, it comes down to acknowledging the fact that I fall short. I fail, but I’m not a failure. I make mistakes and I am so wrong in so many ways, but that’s not the end of my story. Grace is what keeps us going. Forgiveness is how we can move on.

I can only learn how to give grace when I accept grace. I’m a person that needs a whole lot of grace.

I’m so thankful for it.

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My four year old is not sexy.

by April on September 5, 2014 · 0 comments

My daughter is four and she is currently obsessed with princesses.

I’ve tried to encourage her to branch out, but I’m all too aware that this is common and I simply try to include strong and non-princessy lessons in along the way. It’s okay. I know that this obsession will end all too soon and she will grow up much faster than I would like. At least at four years old, she still loves me like crazy and I get to be an example of what it means to be a girl. I love teaching her that makeup is for FUN and that mommy can both wear it or go without and still be just right. I love letting her be herself, even if that means she wears a polka dot party hat to church and a glittery dress to school. She is only four, and children don’t keep.

Yesterday, we made a rare trip to Walmart to pick up some motor oil (I’m learning to change my own) and some groceries. We stumbled upon the Halloween section, and naturally Bluebelle wanted to look at the costumes and the glitter pumpkins. As we browsed the princess aisle, I stumbled upon these costumes:

photo 1 photo 2

When I saw these dresses, these dresses that are explicitly designed to attract my daughter (because it’s DISNEY PRINCESSES and totally in her size), I was upset. No, I was livid. I mean, what is the point of this skirt? I realize that high/low hemlines are currently popular. I get that. Can someone tell me where in any of the Disney stories a princess wore a dress that ended at her thighs? Furthermore, as a mother of a preschooler, I can tell you that little children are meant to move. Is there any possible way that a little girl can wear this dress without the need of shorts/leggings/tights to cover the underwear? We have both full-length and cropped Disney princess dresses, but none of them cut quite this high. I feel like this little girl is one twirl away from a crotch shot and that breaks my heart. So, I can only assume that Walmart/Disney/Disguise made this to save money on fabric and to push the sexy boundary just a little.

I think sex is wonderful, but I do not believe it is ever appropriate for a child to be viewed as sexy. PERIOD. I’ll fight for my children’s right to remain children as long as I am breathing. I know we can’t stop sick individuals from being sick and there will always be people who do and view deplorable things. Seriously though, can’t we just leave the princess dresses alone? So I don’t have to explain to my daughter that we will not buy that dress because it’s inappropriate?

I’m a person that believes in modesty, but not in the stereotypical kind of way. You’ll never see me preach some sermon about how “girls should cover up because boys are visual.” Most of these posts support rape culture (whether intentional or not) and I think that both parties should be taught responsibility. I want to teach BOTH of my children about respectful dress — because I believe we should dress in a way that commands respect. Period. I will not allow my daughter to dress in a way that objectifies her as a female, and I will not allow my son to dress in a way that gives him carte blanche to run wild, because all people are worth so much more than that. 

My daughter is more than the sum of her body parts. She brings more to the table than how she looks. My son is more than the proof of how “male” he is. His value lies in more than how brave/strong/fast he is. He will learn about care and compassion just as B learns about strength and bravery. As they become older and learn what it means to love other people in a more relational and intimate kind of way, they will be taught that sexy comes from who they are, not what they display.

I refuse, and I mean REFUSE, to allow visually sexy to come into play at 4 years old. The marketing teams that created this are not stupid. They are aware that they could have put the little girls into opaque tights. They may have even lengthened the legs of these girls with Photoshop. I don’t know. I do know this: that as a mother, if the first thing I see is an embarrassingly large expanse of leg, there is no way in hell I am ever purchasing that for my child. My child, whose favorite things are glitter, chocolate milk, and playing on the playground. Heaven help me if I ever put anything on my child that causes someone else to think, “Wow! She looks sexy!”

SHE’S FOUR, PEOPLE. FOUR.

I’m going to step off this soapbox now, as I need to pick up said ruffly girl from school. In the words of my friends on Facebook yesterday after I showed this photo:

SO IT BEGINS.

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Ramblings, Routines, and Life.

August 27, 2014

We’ve developed a routine in this household. It’s the first one that’s truly stuck in the last 8 years, the past years filled with travel and survival that comes along with child raising. For the first time in years, (since B was a toddler!) I’m actually leaving the end of the day with a couple […]

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First day of school!

August 21, 2014

Well, sister did it! We all woke up early this morning, too excited to sleep. I made pancakes and we got ready. I did fine, although I got a little choked up as I saw her wear her little backpack on the way to class. When we walked in, she went straight to her cubby, […]

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Bluebelle and the classroom.

August 16, 2014

This is the last Saturday of summer for this crew, as Bluebelle starts Pre-K this week. My baby, starting school. Hold me. Truth be told, I never intended to put her in Pre-K. I always assumed I would wait until Kindergarten to put her in, as school drags on forever and I want to keep […]

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The American Dream

August 13, 2014

Today I stood around talking with some women at the pool. We were there collectively, watching our little tots complete their swim lessons. We’ve become casual friends, finding common ground in early motherhood, a lack of sleep, our combined desire for a moment of adult companionship and the common everyday occurrences in our local area. […]

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Wordless Friday. Because I can.

August 8, 2014

I’m just in the mood to update this blog with a few photos from the last few weeks. Enjoy! These are from the month of July — our trip to Texas, the zoo, and the 4th of July! I love my family. The end.  Pin It

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VBS, looking foolish, and finding “home.”

July 28, 2014

(This post isn’t so much about my week at VBS, like the exact things we did, but some of my thoughts that came with it as the week progressed.) This past month I taught music to younger children at VBS. This was the first time I had been back to VBS in the last 5 […]

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On ETBU, and meeting up with an old friend.

July 26, 2014

I loved my college experience. Loved it. I know a private Christian university isn’t for everyone, and you wouldn’t think an 18 year old whom had never had a curfew and had very lenient parents would choose to attend a school where many policies were considered antiquated. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, […]

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A year of Squishy in pictures.

July 8, 2014

 Sunday, my sweet boy turned ONE. I’ve actually been working on this post for a few days — I still can’t believe it has been a year since I was in labor with him and the hospital stay that went with it! The days leading up to his birthday has been pretty emotional. The 4th of […]

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