Parenting Can Be Problematic

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Problematic

1. Of the nature of a problem; doubtful; uncertain; questionable.

2. The uncertainties or difficulties inherent in a situation or plan.

If you’ve never had a major fear, or been uncertain about anything become a parent, that will change overnight.

Unfortunately because of the inherent issues that come with parenting many parents approach it like the Elephant to the mouse with utter terror.

Parenting can be problematic there is no doubt. As a parent there have been many times I’ve felt I’ll equipped. Numerous times I’ve been uncertain as to what my next move was. Countless times I’ve been just plain fearful because I can’t control circumstances where my children are away from me.

However problematic parenting is though, if we are to be effective parents we can’t approach it in fear.

Now let me say even if we approach parenting in the right way it will not change the problematic nature of parenting, but approaching it the right way will make us better parents.

Luke 2:42-52 tells the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus going with their family to Jerusalem for the census and on their way home Joseph and Mary realize Jesus is not with them. Jesus was 12 years old and He was not with them. They had gone 1 1/2 days journey and their son was gone.

Have you ever lost a child? One of the most terrifying moments in parenting is if your child gets detached from you and you have no idea where they are.

It happened to Janae and I when Taylor was only 4 years old. We were in a local mall. We had taken a couple of our friends kids with us. Janae had the little girl in the store and I had her brother and Taylor outside the store on a bench. We were just talking.

Taylor got bored sitting there with us and ask if she could go to mommy. I could see mommy right inside the store, I pointed to her and made sure Taylor could see her. Then I said, go to mommy.

She began to walk in the store, her mother couldn’t have been more than 20 feet from us. As she begin to walk to her mommy I went back to my conversation.

At least 20 minutes later Janae is through with that store and comes out where we were. She asked me, where’s Taylor? To which I replied with the same question. Then it immediately dawned on us she was gone. We started trying to figure out where she could have gone. As the realization becomes more clear i start hearing this thought in my head that you hear when children are missing. “The longer they’re gone the less chance you will find them.”

Needless to say panic gripped us. To make matters worse we were in Norman Oklahoma and the college football game just let out and the mall was filling up with people.

It’s amazing how all decorum and polite behavior goes out the window when your kids in danger. We started yelling, and asking every person we saw if they had seen her. I was turning racks over in stores, Janae was bawling and grabbing people to help. People all over the mall stopped what they were doing saw our desperation and started looking for Taylor. After what seemed an eternity the mall police walked up to us and had Taylor with them. Somehow she turned and instead of going in the store she went to the complete other end of the mall. She was headed outside when a clerk saw her and ask where her parents were she said, “I think their lost.” Although I can laugh about it now there was no humor in it then. It truly scared us.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to really lose your child and my heart sincerely goes out to those who have lost children to death or abduction. It’s like your heart is being ripped from your chest.

Can you imagine Joseph and Mary’s shear panic when they realized they had gone a day and a half’s journey and their son was not with them. When they returned they found him in the temple, debating with the religious scholars. When they asked what every parent asks, “why did you scare us like that?” his answer was clear and concise. “did you not know I must be about my fathers business?”

The bible said Mary did not fully understand what he meant but she pondered these things in her heart.

The truth is parenting is problematic. It can be so uncertain. When your kids are sick and there is nothing you can do. When you need to make a decision on behalf of your kids and you truly don’t know the best move to make. When you see the pitfalls and you’ve trained and disciplined, and encouraged and taught them but they have to make the decision and it’s beyond your control. When you go through the seasons and have to let it happen. They grow up right in front of your eyes and you make sure you participate in everything they do but it went so fast that you feel like you missed something anyway. When they mature and become independent and prepare to leave your house and it feels like they are being stolen. These are the problematic times of parenting along with so many more.

Parenting can be problematic but it is also immeasurably wonderful.

When Mary found Jesus, she realized she couldn’t control everything, but that this boy had purpose.

The wrong approach to parenting is to try to do it by fear. It will stymie your children’s life and force them into an unhealthy relationship with you.

I remember constantly saying they are growing up to fast and in prayer God rebuked me and said if you spend all this time regretting their growing up you are going to miss the beauty of it.

Don’t let fear cripple you as a parent or make you a manipulator trying to control. But let your love for God and your love for your kids rule your approach to parenting them. Train them, teach them, discipline them and most importantly believe in them and the purpose given to them by God.

How?

Pray, enjoy, participate, love and believe in them

Don’t let the problematic nature of parenting make it a nightmare, but allow the purpose and plan of God to have its complete work and let parenting be the sweet dream it can be.

One Thing

I was recently asked by a young leader who considers me a mentor, “what is the one piece of advice you would give me as a leader?”

I responded with, “wow, that’s a daunting task, by narrowing it to one it creates a sense of priority, if there was one thing I could tell you then it better be the most important thing.”

So I thought for a moment, and replied, “lead from your source.”. I can hear someone saying “what the heck does that mean?”

Some say it this way, “lead from your overflow.” It means, lead others out of your own growth. The best way to lead is to model growth and the best way to teach is to teach what you’re learning.

I see so many leaders today who are stale, reactionary, digging solutions up from the past for today problems, when what is needed is fresh, thought out answers.

It even goes deeper than that for me, when I say lead from your source I mean lead out of your on going development and growth in your relationship with God. Not depending on your own talent but leaning on Gods ability. Leaders are readers, and prayers and it’s out of that growth and connection that we should be leading. You can’t lead from someone else’s conviction or passion, it must be your own. You can’t lead from someone else’s understanding it must be your own! You can’t lead from someone else’s revelation in prayer it must be your own.

So lead from your source and that is the foundation for real, effective leadership.

If someone ask you what is your “one thing” what would you say?

If You’re Smart You’ll Take it to Heart

Proverbs 2:1 (msg) Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life.

I find it interesting that the writer here starts by calling the listener or reader “good friend.” For, in fact anyone who is giving you good advice, or wisdom is a good friend.

A good friend to you will advise you of truth no matter how hard it may be to hear it or act on it. It’s a good friend indeed who will give you wisdom. We find out later that this good friend is wisdom itself.

Take it to heart he says. As a pastor, a leader, a life coach to many. I completely understand why he would write this. You may think it’s understood but you would be incorrect to think that. It’s amazing to me how many people ask for counsel, and guidance, coaching, or leadership, whatever you want to call it, and listen to you but don’t take you’re wisdom to heart.

They listen, but don’t embrace it. There are many motivations not to. Fear, arrogance, pride, being unteachable, selfish desires, passivity, unwillingness to confront and so much more.

Bottom line however is if you need wisdom and it’s been made available to you, embrace it, change accordingly, move on and make progress.

John Maxwell says “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results.”

So my advice to you is listen to the wisdom God has placed around you and let it work in you. Wisdom and the people who dispense it are your friends.

Any Counselors, Pastors, Teachers, and Leaders who can identify say amen!

Power in Parenting-seasons

Romans 8:28. All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

In life we go through seasons. Some hard, some easy. Some complicated, some simple. Some tumultuous, some peaceful.

It does no good to obsess over seasons. When we do we get stuck. Our growth is stunted. We may not always like the season we are in, but God takes all things and works them together for our good.

We need a big picture vision, not a small picture vision. Most people like apple pie or some kind of pie. If I were to offer you pie and you came to get it, and I gave you a bowl of flour, you would be frustrated, flour is in apple pie, but by itself it does not taste like apple pie. You will have flour moments but if you combine it with sugar, salt, crisco, and apples it’s all good.

Don’t obsess over seasons that are mere ingredients to the finish product. Wait and trust that all the ingredients put together will make a great finished product.

For example, the birth of your child is incredible, everyone is there, and so excited. Not long after you have to go home. The full responsibility is on you. The baby keeps you awake all night, you feel unqualified.

How about the wonderful times when your baby starts talking and walking, it’s so much fun, then all of a sudden they have a mind of their own and are almost impossible to keep up with, and you wish they would just be quiet.

I love that fun elementary age, they’re learning and think you know everything, then they become an adolescent, and they know everything and you know nothing.

As our kids grow, there are some great things that happen, some very painful things that happen. What we should never do is obsess over a season. Get hung up in a season that is so good we refuse to release and move on, or allow a bitter season to make us bitter, and everyone else moves on and we are stuck.

Remember ALL things work together for good! Live in the moment, and let your faith and trust in God help you realize, that at some point, your gonna have a fantastic tasting pie, and maybe a little ice cream.

Here we come Africa

I’m a bit disappointed in myself, about how long its been sense i’ve blogged. Truthfully however, its been a time of real focus, and moving in a good direction. So now I am getting ready to leave for Africa in Just about 15 days. Its going to be a memorable trip, and we have a great team. 14 men and women who are trained and ready to go. Excited about the chance to make a difference in the lives of African Men, women, and Children.

Be looking for more blogs and vlogs in the next few days leading up to the trip and through the trip. I think you will be inspired by what you see. We can’t do everything, but we can do something, and we refuse to do nothing. Global Reach for Justice. God help us to make a difference.

David

Global Reach for Justice Banquet huge success!

The Global Reach for Justice Missions Banquet was a tremendous success. Over 400 people gathered for this powerful cause. It was an excellent and fun atmosphere. The food was great, the fellowship even better, but the definite highlight of the night was the 45 minute concert by the Watoto Children’s Choir! I find it hard to describe with words the impact these children had on all of us. As they sang, told their stories, and worshipped God, we all set in amazement by the resilliance of Children who have come through the hardest of circumstances, and the power of God to bring them through. Last night they modeled for us the spirit of Gratitude. I had the privilege of sharing what we’ve done the last four years, and setting the vision for the Future, and Pastor Kirk shared with us the urgency of the matter. Families, children, nations need us to act now.

The night was inspiring, and powerful. I want to say thanks to all those who worked to make the night successful and thanks to all those who bought tickets, and sponsored tables and gave to the vision to make a major difference in Uganda, Cambodia, and Rwanda. If you would like to be a part of funding the Spiritual and Humanitarian efforts in these three countries for 2010 you can do so by going to http://www.harvestokc.com. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. What we refuse to do is Nothing! Help us reach globally for JUSTICE!

Expectations…

I find in life, that much of the time we get what we expect. Especially in dealing with people. People have this uncanny way of responding to each others expectations.

I love the story of the teacher of the year, who was given average kids and told they were cream of the crop, and so she prepared in the summer and came to that classroom with the highest of expectations. She challenged them and pushed them to their limits, the limits of the cream of the crop.

The students responded by achieving great scores, better than any other class including the class of real overachievers. At the end of the year she was told that the kids were not overachievers but academically average, and she couldn’t believe it.

Great lesson to be learned here, we get what we expect. Our expectations cause us to behave in such a way that evokes a response. If our expectations are low, then the results will follow suit, but if we raise those expectations the results will be phenomenal. We get what we expect.

I’m expecting great things, what about you?

Next blog…”overcoming frustration..the difference between expectation and Reality.”

David

Leadership Lesson 4 while training for a marathon

Failure, beyond your control.

I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time. I believe we can learn leadership lessons in just about everything we do in life, especially challenges we face while working towards a goal. Failure is hard for a leader to contend with. We would like to believe that every goal we set will result in success. Yes we will face challenges, yes there will be obstacles but ultimately we will succeed. When failure comes at times we act as if we are shocked that we could fail. The question is not will we fail, its when will we fail? Our failures should not devastate us but teach and train us.

When I begin to train for a marathon, I had some definite thoughts about how I would succeed, and when. I did have some natural concerns. I realized I’ve never run this far, at that point I’d never run 10 miles, but definitely not 26.2. I had thoughts that maybe it would be to much for me, just not have the resolve to finish,not be disciplined to push back the pain, and had I been stumped by those things I would have said I failed because I couldn’t do it and gave up, but what do you do when you have no control of the reason for failure.

I had been training, and we reached the 15 mile mark, it was hard my body wanted to stop but I kept going, I pressed through, my friend Andrew pulled me through. At the end of the run however I got extremely sick. Not just normal, felt like I had a bad flue, I won’t go into the details too graphic, but it was bad. I marked it off as a single event and kept training. I made some adjustments to help the sensitivity of my stomach and kept going. When the next long run came I think we ran 13 and I felt pretty good till the end and then it happened again. If I ran up to 10 or 11 I would be fine but every time I would get in that 12-15 range it would happen again. The marathon date we were shooting for was getting closer and closer and we were not able to get more long runs in so we had to wait and we missed the mark.

I was very upset, I thought I could deal better with just not being able to cut it rather than being stopped by something I couldn’t control. So what do you do when you fail, because of something that’s not your fault, or out of your control.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned.

1. You are only a failure if you give up entirely.
I am going to a sports doctor after first of the year see why my body is reacting this way and what I can do about it.

2. Reset the goal, missing one goal is not the end of the world.
I said I was going to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 40, well 40 has come and gone, and I didn’t make the marathon, however, I’ve never been able to run 15 miles before in my life.

3. Celebrate the accomplishments on the way to the goal.
Even though I didn’t reach the marathon yet I have overcome weight barriers, fear barriers, and I can run over 10 miles consistently.

4. Be a learner.
Serious goals require you to learn about what it takes to reach them, and knowledge goes a long way towards success. Avoiding the hard questions only paralyzes you from future success.

5. Taking more time is not a crime.
Its funny the tricks that time plays on our minds. Sometimes we just need more time. Its ok to take it. How many people have not hit a goal in the time they thought they should and just quit all together, think of how ridiculous that is. What shame is there in pushing the time back in order to succeed.

6. If there is something you can do, do it, if there’s not move on and don’t obsess.
Failure can put your entire life on hold if you obsess over it. I read an article on Michael Jordan once and he said one reason players aren’t well rounded is because they obsess over failures. If they make a mistake on the offensive end then they are thinking about it on defensive end and make another. He said, “if I make a mistake, I say to myself, I won’t do that again, and then I forget about it.”. Do what you can, then move on.

So I am continuing to run and train, I am gaining knowledge about my situation, and I am taking the time and setting a new goal.

Hope this helps, failure is only final if you give up, its just the beginning if it becomes your teacher.

David