I don't know how it's been a month since I've put anything up on here. We are still living, but that's the reason I guess. We've been busy trying to keep up with life. Trying to get stuff done, keep up with everything around here, and make the days count for something more than just stuff.
This week was kindergarten round-up at Elizabeth's elementary school. So, Dave, Elizabeth and I went up on Wednesday morning with a completed registration packet and turned it in. And then took a short tour of the school. It's been an interesting week for me. It's been a week of thinking about what we do as parents and what our job is. I've been thinking about it with Elizabeth and talking about it with Steph. What can we protect them from, what should we? I think we have the power to protect them from a lot more than we actually should protect them from. Don't get me wrong, we protect our kids from a lot - overall I think we're fairly overprotective. But we also think it's important to let them make decisions (that are age appropriate) and allow them to be affected by the consequences of those decisions. For an example: If Elizabeth wants to wear a dress without pants underneath when it's a little chilly, I tell her that I think she's going to be cold and I think she should wear pants, but that it's her decision. Sometimes she listens to me and changes what she's wearing, sometimes she doesn't. And if she doesn't, sometimes she's cold. We feel like if we don't let them make these kind of decisions when they're little, how will they know how to make the big decisions when they get older. But sometimes it's hard. I don't like to let any of my kids suffer consequences. Sometimes I want to make the decisions for them, because then they won't be cold. But then they don't learn - how to make good decisions, how to handle discomfort brought about by a decision they made, how to rely on God to give them what they need when they're in a tough spot.
And isn't this how God teaches us? We have free will and the choice to make the decisions that we want to make. Sometimes we make the right ones and sometimes we don't. But when we don't, we can always turn to him. He doesn't necessarily rescue us from the situation that we're in, but he always loves us through it. And often it's in those tough times that we become more like Christ. And ultimately, that's my goal for each of my kids - that they become more like Christ.
So, as they continue to grow, we'll continue to protect them from some things (they don't have the choice of whether they play in the street or not), and we'll continue to let them make some decisions and handle the consequences. But, we will always be there, loving them, caring for them, making sure they know that no matter what the world says to them or how the world hurts them, they have a safe place to come home to where they are loved unconditionally - most of all by the God of the universe, but also by their parents.