When passion becomes compassion

In my 30's I was passionate. Still am, but my passion for issues is morphing as I approach my 40th birthday.

Where I once had only passion for the issue, I am growing a heart of compassion for people on the other side of whatever my position is. It's like seeing people for the first time. 

I met a 16 yr. old boy today. In two brief exchanges I saw such pain in him. He was at the abortion clinic with his 14 yr. old girlfriend. While she was having her abortion, he made a point to come out where we prayed. He tried to engage and explain, but the people he chose only talked, they never listened. They didn't ask about him, or her, or help him think about what was happening. He actually threw his hands up and walked away. I was behind him at that point and I was praying Missy could get a word in edgewise. She is amazing with young people. She is a youth minister and really a fabulous woman. The people were very well meaning and didn't say anything wrong or mean. He just couldn't hear those words.

It's my greatest prayer, to get out of the way and let God give me the right words. I'm learning when I get in there, it can go sideways. Must keep me out of it if at all possible.

One other girl that broke my heart just cried and cried. She didn't want to do it. She told me she changed her mind but she drove around and came back.

My heart breaks for the babies but breaks for those women too. Passion for a cause can never burn so hot that it burns the hearts of the very people who need God's compassion in that moment. 

When did I become this woman? If this is what 40 is going to look like I don't know if I can wait another month. I want much more of this. There is peace in this! There is a freedom from anxiety and anger I have never known not for a moment. I want more of it. 

There are many more areas God is working on to mellow me, grown me in love and compassion. I am liking His handiwork :)

Peace, Robin

No patience for it

Can't argue about things I don't care about. Tried, but nah, just don't care about that subject, or those particular people's opinions. Weird though, not long ago I would have kept arguing just to be arguing. I would have gone for the throat. I really think I am mellowing :)

Facebook. You can just unfriend people, block people. Think about it tomorrow.

Spent the morning trying to get people to let their babies live. Long day.

Pep talk to myself - check

Is it ever too late with our children? A good friend raised the question this week and we agreed, well of course not! In conversations subsequently about faith and family. Teens and raising them I got to thinking. I was thinking about adults I know and how bad choices in their youth became lifestyles and habits. It's not too late for them either, in theory. In reality though the odds are not in their favor. Practically speaking however, do people really change? When they do it is usually because the pain of living their life becomes unbearable, or the consequences of their actions leave them little choice.

Like learning a foreign language is a cake walk for young people and like speaking Greek for older folk. Better to tackle this when they are young and more flexible. Better to shape their brain while it's still growing.

How far does a parents' reach really extend though? Into their teens, twenties? Yes.

My feeling is the reach is much broader than parents may think. Too often we are reluctant to exercise our influence and authority. We don't want to rock the boat, we don't want them to be angry with us, stop talking to us, disrupt the peace of the home, or possible worse. Maybe they will be destructive, violent, depressed, lash out. All of these reactions are temper tantrums, potentially dangerous ones but still temper tantrums nonetheless. From a teen they are not terribly different than those of a toddler, they can hurt themselves, you, damage things. It's all about manipulation, frustration and power. They want their way but you are the parent. BAM! Swords cross.

No different than enforcing standards and rules for a toddler because it's for their own good, we must enforce standards on teenagers and young adults. We are derelict in our responsibilities to them if we do not. For that, we answer to our Father in heaven who will discipline us in turn. We can't wash our hands of them, we can't choose other things to do because this parenting job is unpleasant. The faster we get involved, the closer a new day is dawning.

This post isn't how the "how." It's a call to action. There is no time in their lives they need more hands on supervision than when they are toddler and teens. Boundaries, standards, and expectations keep them safe and shape who they are.

It never gets too late, but every time the sun sets and you haven't stepped up to the task, it becomes harder, the stakes raise and your ability to influence them is diminished.

As for the how -

Parenting with Love and Logic
Positive Discipline
Tough Love
Dr. Dobson

are some suggestions, whatever method - work it. Do not be afraid, do not be manipulated and remember it's your job. (pep talk to myself - check)

Night

I finished unpacking but the last frontier to truly get organized (inside the house) was our classroom. It was put up on shelves but not organized. I always have to have some time to live in the classroom to know how it will work best. Today I made great strides in the room and if I stay up tonight a bit late I know I can finish it.

My great joy is knowing for now we are continuing to homeschool. I'm open to where God leads us in this area and I am rejoicing in the possibilities!

We have such a solid curriculum plan in place and now if we can remain consistent, I know the gaps I have been working on will close very quickly.

Confession tomorrow, I love it so much.

Night

Free is bad

Ever go to a job fair, health fair, school fair, women's expo or some other such event with vendors and tables and freebies?

Everybody is giving away pens, pencils, hand fans, t-shirts, plastic bags, and samples. People gobble up the freebies like a starving man with a cracker. Then what?

For me it clutters my car, it clutters my house and ultimately it is filed in the trash can. But I started wondering about it yesterday, why do we take them? I have literally dozens of pens. I buy a pack of pens for $1. If it's free you almost feel foolish or wasteful if you don't take it.

The larger point is that things that are free really do not have value to us. No investment = no value.

Imagine if I gave you a plastic credit card and on it was written the word, "FOOD" and any food you want would be free. Fast food, groceries, any food ever. How would you spend it? Would you be careful? Would you budget? Would you consider price? Would you be wasteful? Would you over-indulge? Would it be good for you?

Entitlement programs may not allow you to eat fast food and there are limits but Food Stamps are rarely used wisely. Healthcare. Free healthcare is no different. No consideration for the cost, wasteful, over-indulge and let someone else pay for it.

We live in a country where you can eat yourself into chronic illness. We live in a country where after you've eaten yourself into a chronic disease you can get surgery for free, to fix it.

Free is bad for you. Freebies are bad for this country. If people are not invested in their own lives they will not run their lives with care and purpose.