Saturday, August 5, 2017

Let Them Be Children

What was your childhood like? I remember mine being filled with days of running around the yard, using my imagination and toys to create adventures with my siblings and our friend who lived around the corner from us. I probably spent 8 hours a day outside, playing and enjoying the sunshine during the summer. During winter, I spent my days playing dolls, making crafts or reading after school hours were over. It was a great childhood.

My mom did a great job raising my siblings and me. Our childhood was filled with encouragement in the right places, and careful discouragement in areas that would harm us if we went down those paths. Our TV shows were monitored, and if you got caught trying to watch something that was trash, you had better be prepared for a week of no TV privileges. Music was carefully selected, and there were even Veggie Tales songs we didn't listen to! Certain toys weren't allowed to cross the threshold of our home, because they were (and still are, in my opinion) trash. We had a bedtime and chores. The girls weren't allowed to pierce their ears until we were 12, and no makeup until 15- we were taught we were beautiful as God created us and didn't need artificial beauty. Didn't need a curfew because my mom had enough common sense to know that children shouldn't be allowed to go out on their own!

Things you would never find in our home were:
Bratz dolls and fashion dolls that dressed indecently (Which I'm still trying to understand why any parent would allow their daughter to have these, I mean, what kind of impression do they make on young girls about their appearance?!)
Anything that had to do with Halloween.
Harry Potter, or any kind of magic (And yes, we watched Disney movies but had to fast forward the magic parts when watching our video cassettes. And this is something that still goes for my young siblings)
90% of TV shows and movies that were for 'kids' (especially when we had satellite TV for a brief time). Most of them would be considered clean compared to the shows now days, but they were no good back then and still aren't.
Games and movies that encouraged excessive violence and destruction. The worst you could have found as far as violence was my brother had a cap gun, a GI Joe (which he threw away because we girls made him marry our Barbie dolls, and, as you know, girl toys have cooties) and he watched the old Ninja Turtles.
Pop music. Still a no and for good reason.
Anything that encouraged the need for boyfriends/girlfriends at young ages. I remember there was this one board game with a phone and had something to do with crushes or whatever? Yeah, that was a no.

You might be thinking, well, your family was probably Amish or something, that's so strict. Eh, no. We are Independent Baptist, and conservative, but we're not so strict we couldn't have or do anything.

See, my family believes childhood should be just that: childhood. Not 'getting ready to be a teenager'-hood. We were encouraged to play and use our imagination and have toys for as long as we wanted to, because we were children. It's bad enough that you only have about 15-16 years of being a child. Why would we make that time any shorter?

Nothing makes me more upset or sick than to see parents allowing their children be bombarded by the world during their childhood. Not just allowed, but it is encouraged.

Young girls are put in bikini's and skimpy clothes as soon as they are born now days (Babies in bikinis?!?!?! No one should be in one, but certainly not anyone under the age of 18)
They're encouraged to dress in styles that would be indecent on adults, and is perverted for children when they're only 8 years old.
By the time they hit 10, they are taught they need makeup and allowed to go out with faces painted.
By 13 they think they need to look like every model out there to be considered pretty, with as much skin showing as possible, and the tighter the clothes the better.
They're given fashion dolls that dress, in a word, trashy and encouraged to try to look like them.
They're taught to look up to singers like Arianna Grande and Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber who are some of the most ungodly role models a child could find, and walk around singing lyrics to songs that an adult should be ashamed to sing- all when they're under 15 years old!
Boys are taught that they need to dress like a gang member, and walk around eying every girl they come across in a vulgar way.
They're given violent video games and encouraged to spend all their time playing them (and then parents wonder why they are violent!)
Children are allowed to watch movies of kids and teens 'falling in love' and worrying so much about their crushes/boyfriend/girlfriend instead of their education, and the idea that if you don't have a relationship by the time you're 16, you are an outcast is pushed on children.

Parents think it's funny and cute that their 10 year old has a crush or a boyfriend/girlfriend. It's NOT! This is a child we are talking about! The farthest thing from their minds should be crushes and relationships, people! Teach them to focus on their education and relationship with God!

It's time to stop taking baby dolls out of little girls' hands and cramming a cellphone in them.
It's time to stop taking toy cars from little boys' and putting a video game in them.
It's time to stop pumping music that You should be ashamed to listen to into young ears and minds.
It's time to stop dressing children like adults, in clothes that even adults shouldn't be wearing.
It's time to stop encouraging children to have crushes and have boyfriends/girlfriends.
It's time to stop letting our kids look to the world for their guidance in how they look, act and think.
It's time to stop cramming the influences of the world into children's minds.

Why can't children be children anymore? Why can't they have toys that don't require a charger or batteries? Why can't they play outside and use their imagination instead of sitting in front of a computer playing on Facebook? Why can't they spend time playing games with friends instead of watching shows that will do thing but encourage them to act in a worldly manner? Why can't we teach them that while they are growing up, there's no need for boyfriends and girlfriends and crushes? Why can't we teach our kids to be proud of their appearance enough to keep themselves well kept, and teach them to rejoice in how God created them to look without artificial beauty? Why can't we teach them to respect the Bible and the commands God has given us regarding our separation from the way the world lives?

They only get to be children once, and then they have the difficult task of being an adult for the rest of their lives. Don't take that time of childhood away from their prematurely, and don't let the world steal it either.

I know all this isn't something that can be fixed in a day. But godly men and women who are raising children should see what is going on and stop their children from having their childhood ruined by what the world says children should be.
God gave parents the responsibility of raising their children according to His Word, and it's something they need to take seriously because what they teach and allow is what the next generation will believe and teach. Childhood seems to be growing shorter and shorter with each generation, and that breaks my heart.

I wish every child could have the simple, uncomplicated childhood I had. I was allowed to be a child until I grew up at the proper time.

Yes, I am a bit passionate about this topic. I love working with children and so it breaks my heart when I see the world stealing away what should be the happiest time of their lives. I don't care to see parents let their children's lives be molded by the world and then hear the complaints when the kids fall into sin that they were encouraged to go towards while they were growing up.

So, I beg you...

Let them be children.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Not Desperate, Single and Serving Contentedly!

Why is it that when a girl is single and of marriageable age, everyone thinks she is desperate for a relationship?

Okay, so some girls are.

But not all girls.

Believe it or not, some of us have come to the point where we grew up and realized we don't have to have a boyfriend or husband to be happy. We can be happy and live our lives without a man in them for the time being.

It's not that we don't look forward to the day when God gives us a relationship, if He does. It's just that we know there are more important things to do with our lives than sit around and pine for a relationship!

It doesn't mean that we don't have hopes for 'one day'. It doesn't mean that we ignore all men, believe we are too good for them and have no need for them. It doesn't mean we can't have a hope chest or collect things for our future homes, for our future families.

It simply means we are living life now how God has called us.

Yes, with all my heart, I want a husband and family of my own. But I know that those will come in God's time, if He so wills for my life, and I'm more than willing to wait on His timing.

But I refuse to get jealous each time one of my friends starts a relationship. I refuse to sit around with my life on hold until I have a wedding ring on my hand. I don't want my life to be dependent on whether or not I get married.

In short, my happiness is not dependent on a man, on another human being.

I have my family. I have my friends. I have my shop. I have my Sunday school class. I have my church. I have all that I could ask for.

Most importantly, I have my relationship with Jesus. I have all that I need in Him.

My happiness and my joy, my peace and my hope are secured in Him because He is the only unchanging anchor in my life.

And the place in life He has chosen for me right now? I like it. I like my life the way it is right now.

If I get married one day, that is wonderful. I'll be happy and rejoice.

If I don't, I will still be happy.

Obviously, God has a reason why He wants me to serve Him as single right now. I may not understand the why or for how long, but I don't need to. As long as I'm serving God, I know I will be happy because I'll be in the center of His Will for my life.

While I know most people mean well, I do wish they'd stop viewing single people as desperate. It makes those of us who aren't racing for the altar feel like we are outcasts or something.

Just because I am single does not mean I am desperate.

To my friends out there who have came to the point where they can happily say they are single but serving contentedly, isn't this better than wasting our time searching for what only God can bring? We can do so much more if we are willing to serve Him joyfully as singles than to waste our time whining and complaining that He hasn't given us a spouse.

To those of you who haven't reached that point, can I tell you something? If your happiness resides solely in your relationship status, you will never be happy. You can never know true happiness and contentment until you understand that God is the source of true joy and peace and happiness. Please stop putting such emphasis on finding someone. Instead, find your happiness in God and where He has called you for now.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Introductions to More Friends!

I thought I'd take a moment to say something about some other friends of mine who mean a great deal to me!

First off I'll start with one of my fellow writers. She's the best poet I know. She's a published author. She makes the best flavored sugars you'll ever taste. She had a vast knowledge of just about anything you ask her about. She is surrounded by books, kitties, and majestic floofs (aka her bunny). I met her a while back on a crochet and knitting website, followed each other on Pinterest and Instagram, and she quickly became one of my best friends.

Her name is Annie, and she is Awesome. And if you argue with that fact, I will probably never speak to you again.

I can be assured that if I need advice of any nature, Annie will have a common sense answer for me. Writer issues like thinking up a name or new country? She's got that too. Just need to vent? Yep, she is amazing at listening and not judging when I'm being whiney or ranting over something trivial. In short, she's the kind of friend everyone needs, because she's everything in one cute, awesome and very brilliant person. Also, she makes paper butterflies.

The next friend I want to introduce y'all to is one who is very dear to my heart. She comes from a very similar life as I do, and she's always there to provide encouragement and help when I need it. She's probably my most faithful reader of this blog too, a fact which doesn't go unnoticed to this writer! And when it comes to knowledge of home remedies, she's an encyclopedia of wisdom. When I want to discuss my brother's corny puns, annoying habits or greatly admired overprotectiveness, I know who will always understand because her brother and mine are almost twins. When it comes to friends who I can rely on for prayer requests, she is at the top of the list. We might not get to speak to each other often, but she is truly my sister in heart!

May I introduce, Taz, one of the best adopted sisters a girl can have.

Did I also mention Taz can, without fail, make me laugh until my sides hurt? And her brother is just as awesome as she is! I can't thank the Lord enough for bringing this wonderful friend into my life, and for letting us meet thru the same crochet/knitting website! When I need a heart to heart talk about what is bothering me, Taz understands better than anyone else and always helps keep me straightened out when I get angry and upset.

The next friend, or should I say friends, I want to introduce I haven't known for the longest time, but they are truly some of the sweetest girls you could ever know. They sing, they sew, they have survived having a bunch of brothers. And they are two of the few people in the world who won't judge when I tell them I spent my life savings on yarn and fabric. In fact, they might even encourage me to do so, just a little ;)

Danielle and Laura, you two are the best!

And finally I want to introduce one of the sweetest ladies I've had the privilege to know thru social media. She's strong, she is loving, and she is the best first-time grandma I know (Her grandbaby is ADORABLE!). She's also one of the best mothers I know. And when it comes to Snapchat filters, she is the master! She's been an encouragement to me and without fail makes me smile each time I hear from her!

Mrs. Connie is one of the most wonderful examples of what a truly loving mom and grandma should be. The world needs more Snapchatting, encouraging and godly grandmas like you!

So, those are just a few of my very special friends I wanted to introduce to y'all. If you have the privilege to know these special ladies, know that you are blessed beyond belief. I know I am! The best part about these friends of mine are they aren't just friends. They're my sisters in Christ.