Friday, May 27, 2011

Renig on The School Thing!

There are few times in my marriage where my husband and I sit together and are on the same page without convincing one another, or compromising. One time was when both our hearts were led to have a fourth child, regardless if it was another boy or a baby girl. I remember that vividly.
Just last week, we sat together and I found out he was unsettled about our school decision for the boys, just like me. Everything I posted about it is truth, and I know that we must have faith that God will take care of our kids. But what about Him taking care of our finances?
The whole thing showed us where we were lacking as Christian parents, and it reminded us of our how important our roles are in their lives. But whether it was God or coincidence, our boys came home each day after we made the decision to go public next year, singing praise songs, critically thinking about God in everyday life, and quoting scripture! Maybe they have done this before our decision, but the influence of a God-centered education was banging us in the heads these past few weeks!
I still believe that our kids need to be in diverse environments, around believers and non-believers, and I certainly don't want them in a bubble. And that again, goes to us as parents, giving them the opportunities they need to learn from.
Certainly, their hearts will ultimately be changed by God, not school, church, or us...but for now, our boys are going to continue to go to private school, with Mama and Daddy keeping our commitment to teach at home, and praying that God will continue to provide financially.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Society's Mouth

Have you seen the NBA commercial sponsored by GLSEN? Basically, it is geared to stop people using the word “gay” when they are cutting someone down on the basketball court. I always cringe when I hear that word used that way, and this group is trying to end it as a slang term in our culture.
There is another ill-used word in our culture that offends a greater amount of people...but nobody is trying to end it, no network would probably allow a commercial to air that says, “Don't use this, because it offends people”...
The term is “Jesus Christ” as a curse word. It's all over Hollywood movies, in our every day work lives, and used carelessly in front of Christians who actually revere the name. It is an offensive term to millions of people in this world, so why don't we have a commercial to end it?
We see minority organizations like GLSEN taking a stance to end biases in our society, but those of us who believe in the God of the Universe allow our doctrine and Savior to be exploited and spat out in anger every day.
Some might say, well saying "you're so gay" promotes bullying...and I agree, there is no excuse for bullying...and I think that has a lot to do with GLSEN's motivation.
Yet, Christians face much adversity, many being killed for their belief all over the world. So there is no excuse for our lack of proactive attempts to end offensive terms in everyday language.
And then we have Harold Camping, who took that doctrine and diluted it in the eyes of the world, making it seem false and ridiculous...and THAT makes big time headlines.
Is it the media, not allowing positive Christian influences to appear on our networks, or is it Christians, not making the effort to end society's biases against us?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Little Boy's Tears

My little boy broke my heart today...several times. And it wasn't something he did to me. He broke my heart by revealing how broken his own heart was, over and over.
Yesterday was his last day of preschool. His class of seven have become such good friends over the past months. And, you can't pull one over my four year old...he knew the last day of school meant bye bye friends!

So as he anticipated his "graduation" this evening, he would all of a sudden get really quiet and say, "Mom, I want stay with my class." and "I miss my teacher..." and "I don't want my friends to go to a different school" (some are going to kindergarten).
 And then...
                ...the worst part...
                                         ...big ol' crocodile tears poured down his face.
 They poured down as we got ready to go to graduation, they poured down as we walked through the parking lot to graduation, and then he got choked up walking down the hall to his class. And at the end, as he looked around his classroom, he broke down again!!!

And the normally happy, silly boy showed up during the songs, the ceremony...but then when he came and sat with us to watch the class DVD, he leaned into me, buried his face in my shirt, and mumbled, "I don't want to leave my class" and then a sob caught in his throat! He cried through the whole DVD.

My heart is in tiny little pieces in the pit of my stomach right now!

He even cried most of the way home, and then at bedtime.

Dramatic? Well, yes...but from the mouth and heart of a mostly happy four year old, it was just down right SAD.

I went to ten different schools growing up, and I remember the sadness I felt when I left my best friends my 6th grade year, and then my close buddies at my college graduation--just an overwhelming swell of resisting the inevitable goodbyes. I saw myself in my little boy can a four year old handle all that emotion?? UGH!

I finally got him to sleep by agreeing to have all his friends over for a playdate. Let's hope they can come! I know it's part of life and he'll probably be over it in a few days...well, a few weeks...but it's given me a deeper peek into his heart and character. He may not look anything like me, but he is as emotionally invested in his peeps as his mama, and he doesn't like change either!

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Uncomfortable Decision

What is on my heart right now? Hmm, I sometimes ask that question when my fingers itch to write. The past two weeks, my heart has been consumed with deciding on schools for my boys. Before we had children, I planned on taking the Christian education route, and now, we have enjoyed all that the boys have gained from private school. Some people have had bad experiences with private schools...I have not. I love the atmosphere of the boys' small Christian school, I love the hearts of the teachers.
When a parents' intentions are right, and they have the money to dedicate to it, then I think it is a great opportunity for a child to strive for excellence.

But for us, we have come to a crossroads.

9 years and 4 kids later, we had to re-evaluate that decision and it came down to this:

  1. Are we being wise with God's Private school a necessity or a luxury? Luxury
  2. And, are our intentions for Christian education Godly or not? Hmmmm....

First, I always said it wasn't, but I think I did consider private school as a necessity for our boys(and girl :) ) to be sheltered from the world. Jesus doesn't want us to be apart from the world, he wants us to use the fallen world to glorify Him. I am not saying that my children should be witnesses to the fallen world...they are too young and that's a lot of pressure for an 8 or 6 year old. But what I do think, is they need to step out of the shelter to learn HOW to make wise choices, to understand the difference between a Believer's choice and a non-Believer's decision. Giving them the opportunity to love the non-believer is such a great thing, it's Christ's great commandment...and to be honest, I don't know if they know anyone who doesn't believe right now.

This will take ALOT of faith in God's protection of our boys' hearts, but knowing that, makes it all the more necessary.

Also, being actively involved in a public school as a parent, gives me the great opportunity to not just point fingers as an outsider, but to show Christ's love and make differences as well.

Second, and most important in our decision, is that we were using private school as a crutch in our parenting. It was easy to be relaxed about their Biblical knowledge and Christian influence at home since we knew they were getting it five days a week at school. You know how public schools sometimes have to take up the parenting role for kids...well, we were letting the private school take up the Spiritual role model for our kids...and this is NOT biblical at all. In the end, all the knowledge and Bible verses that have been taught to my children, will only matter if there is a heart change.

 And no school, teacher, or Bible lesson can guarantee that, only God. And He entrusted the shaping of that heart to us, as parents alone.

We are responsible for our children's spiritual well-being, and although we have not completely let go of that responsibility with private school, we have caressed the edge of making it a lower priority on our part.

So, at first this decision spurred from a money-consciousness, but then, as we hashed it out, I realized all the good that can come out of this. Our pastor at church keeps talking about being uncomfortable...God wants us to be uncomfortable to do great things for Him...if we were comfortable in all we do, then we run the risk of a mediocre walk with Him, and missed opportunities to reach out in Christ's love. If anything is uncomfortable for this mama, it's changing to public school...but I can see how God's glory can come from this change, and I think I'm ready to give God the reigns on this one.