Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Recent emails still smoking...

Ok, that part about remaining emotionally separated and all....I lied. Or at least, I misrepresented myself somewhat. It's hard to be emotionally separated when it's your family having issues. But, I must have sounded rather flip and off-hand with it all because I've received a couple of rather hot emails over the whole thing.

So, I am not emotionally separated at all.

There. I admit it.

Honestly, you all figured I was lying anyway, right? My few emailers this afternoon did. While I will say I appreciate the where-with-all and presence of mind (and yes, I am sarcastic and that term is being used in the very loosest of sense there...presence of mind my aunt fanny...) concerning my "bare my life" post regarding our current trial and issue here on the homestead being sent directly to my email vs left here as a comment, I would probably have to say that you have quite the audacity (want the dictionary...?) in writing to debate my methods of parenting. Yet, I am the one being judgmental. Yeah, well, my bad.

Did I sound to you as though I was playing a holier-than-thou approach to all of this? I suppose someone with rather shallow thinking, and someone who has no idea what I'm all about, could read that in my post. I am rather quick-mouthed and lacking in tact and grace. You aren't going to find many who would argue that fact at all. On the other hand, if you, dear emailers, did more than simply hit-and-run my blog, you'd know that while yes, I am rather outspoken when it comes to what I think and feel about any given thing, I am also rather 'reserved' when it comes to airing my dirty laundry as it were.

I would much rather everyone here think I am got-it-all-together-and-then-some kind of mom. I'm my children's best friend, the absolute best teacher they could have in the world, giver of extremely profound wisdom and soother of all ills and troubles. I never share a cross moment with my children and a just plain ol' Betty Crocker and Julia Childs with a bit of Curtis Stone thrown in, made over in the flesh. No one can match, let alone surpass, my level of intelligence and spirituality, so don't even try.

And once the hysterical laughter has subsided over reading that paragraph, you all pick yourselves up from the floor, and all the tea, coffee and cokes that were just spit across computer screens everywhere has been cleaned up, I will continue and try to explain myself.

First off, give me a blessed break here. I am running my children off in a rush. I cannot police their every action, their every moment. I am not here to hold their hands through every step of life. By being so cut and dried, I will destroy any future I may have had with my daughter, and certainly place trauma on the younger siblings.

Whhhaaaatttt? I know you were probably being serious because a couple of you actually took the time to send that psycho-babble, New Age garbage to me, but for real -- are you serious?!

I'm just not into that whole worldly I'm Ok, You're Ok psycho analysis mumbo-jumbo. It flat out flies in the face of anything I've ever read in my Bible. Perhaps I need one of those new bibles, like the Psychiatrists Guide to Quoting Scripture? How to be your Child's Best Friend 101? How to Win Friends and Influence People via The King James?

Let me see if I can maintain some level of tact here -- gosh, this is gonna be hard. I'm really gonna struggle with this one. I should probalby just hit delete and chalk it all up to by-gones and all that, but man oh man, I'm just ME folks. I can only maintain grace so long and I just have to voice my opinion (yes, being opinionated was on that list of the characteristics of a fool. I do pay attention to what I write you know). I'm just all over the sarcasm and snippy remarks here. I'm like flies on honey...a dog with a bone...a big mouthed, conservative-thinking Northern girl with this...her own blog. Tact, I'm just not good at that at all. I could just say, they are my children and I'll raise them or mess up their lives as I see fit, thank you very much. But obviously that lacks in tact. I should at least put some effort into being of some tact I suppose. It truly is a rather serious stage I'm walking in right now. Can't make light of it all the time. Not to mention is proves to be a very poor testimony of my Christianity. I need work, I know, but I do have some growth in this Walk. I should try to show it now and again.

I'm running my children off in a rush. Hmmm....well, I suppose 16 years could be considered a rush job there on the end of parenting. I think it takes a lot longer to parent, myself, but that's just me. Throwing them at the world at 10...no wait, public school sucks them out of the home full time around 6 now, don't they?...and unprepared is definitely worse than throwing them there at 16. Still, I think it should wait even longer if at all possible.

I cannot police their every action, their every moment. Yes, actually I can, let me share how. First, we believe in children being children. Danged if I understand it, but some folks want their 16 year olds to be totally independent from the family and they toss them the keys to the family car -- or one of their very own -- and wave goodbye every morning, not really knowing what's going on, where they will be or who they will be with. They come and go as they please. But, that's just good parenting in today's world. I'm kind of hoping for something a bit more long-term -- you know, like Eternity in The Kingdom. I'm not interested in life in this world.

Thowing them the keys at 16, that's not life here in our little patch of the world. My eldest got his driver's license after his 18th birthday, after he finished schooling, and only then because we were moving down here, out of state, and I simply didn't feel like dealing with any potential hassles over his driver's training, his schooling, etc. He wasn't given the option of a license until he graduated, period. We homeschool. There isn't any place he needed to be besides home and at work with the apple orchard about 1/2 mile down the road, and hey, a half-mile is what God gave young folks legs for. In this family, a driver's license is a privilege, not a right of passage.

Second, did I mention that we homeschool? We don't need to be separated during the day, under outside influences for 6-8 hours. We have no where to go, and a long time to get there. Our lives revolve around family, church, this homestead and homeschooling. And I'm the head police officer on the homestead right now. We go where I deem it necessary for us to go, and, well, I am the one doing the driving. But then, I've finished my 'formal education' and have earned the privilege of doing so.

Third, we live in the country. No, scratch that. We live in the boondocks. The sticks. The outside edge of nowhere and nothingness. I am the ruler of my own little world here right now, like it or not. I am not a country with a democratic government. I am a privatized government. I determine what time the wake-up call is, I determine when the bedtime bell rings. I plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and whatever might be eaten in-between. While I don't schedule bathroom breaks just yet, who knows what the future holds in that aspect. I have set up the routine here, I have planned out the assignments and the chore lists for each day and who is going to do what, and I get to see that it is all done in a timely, efficient manner. It's not always perfect, but it doesn't have to be. I can make whatever changes I need to without consulting the crew, and without taking a vote. I can, and I do, get the option of policing the crew here, and when there is a blatant show of immaturity and attitude over authority, I can even police the bathroom breaks and free time. Life is just plain good here, I think.

I am not here to hold their hands through every step of life. See, you haven't read the manual yet. I'm still working through it myself, but I am far enough along to know that I can hold their hands through life...and they can be happy and content enough to want and often let me do it. It's called family togetherness. It isn't that they won't stand on their own and remain straight or stumble one day, but for now, they are young, and I am their rock, their hand-railing, even their crutch, as they learn to navigate the garbage spread by folks in this world. At 16 years old, they need a hand to hold. They are not ready to be tossed out on their own. Maybe in your world, but I've seen your world, shoot honey, I grew up in your world -- teen pregnancies, STDs, and more going on every day in every schoolyard and just about every family living large in the world outside. Go ahead and thrust your child into that and just pray them on through it. I'd rather hold their hand and help them avoid the landmines waiting.

My mother had a bit of a lack of rules when I grew up. She was a single mom, worked more jobs and hours than I can count, and that was just how life was. I balked at authority every chance I got, and with her working away from home, I had plenty of chances. Oh sure, I can hear you now....oh (spoken in a condescending tone of pity) well then, that must be why you have gone to the other extreme and placed so many rules.
Yeah, well, who knows. Maybe 'tis and maybe 'tisn't. I only know what I know, and part of that is that children thrive with routine and with rules and direction. Clear rules, coherent rules, consistent rules. And consistent and known consequences.

I know this, but no, I have not always followed that basic tenant of parenting. I tried to do things in the way of the world. If it feels good, let 'em do it. Life is gonna be rough and tumble soon enough, give them soft and fluffy now and worry about them developing truth and honesty later on. Sounds alot like mainstream religion these days and we see how well that's working. Lot's of folks walking in a false sense of Salvation making a bee-line straight to Hell for the lack of serious and strong Truths being spoken from the weak pulpits of today. (Man, don't get me started...take away the soapbox quick!)
Wanna know how that fuzzy, friendship parenting works? Look at the young folks you know living it. It doesn't work. It produces teenagers who feel the world owes them something because they breath air...a car at 16, every game machine and what-not out there, cell phones, even credit cards. It produces 20-somethings who flitter back and forth from one job, one girlfriend/boyfriend to another without the slightest vision for their future, and college kids racking up debt hand over fist as though they are gonna make a million bucks on the lottery tomorrow. Sad part is, it just keeps going on and produces 30-something man-children who have no concept of maturity and responsibility, who play video games all day and night, drink away their paychecks instead of paying bills or saving money, or feeding their babies -- just ask my husband who has been plagued by childish 'grown men' this past year on this jobsite. The predictability of this all happening is astounding. Well, not really. My Bible says you reap what you sow. Should be rather obvious what the future will bring based on what you plant...or what you ignore planting.

I am not destroying a future with my daughter. My other children are far from traumatized by my response to outright lies and deceit. They would be, were I to turn some sort of blind eye and deaf ear and allow the mockery of our family standards to continue on. If "traumatized" at all, it is by the disrespectful actions of their sister, their older sister, whom they look to as one of the leading examples of how to do things and how to deal with life here in this family. Being lied to by your brother or sister leaves a far more lasting impression than a parent standing firm in what you have been taught day to day over your lifetime and your sister's angry emotions at being caught and made an example of for them. Some children like to be the trail-blazers for the younger generation. I'd rather we hack through the brush and over-growth together instead of blazing ill-planned trails.

No, destroying the future would be in allowing my 16 year old daughter to run amok without a care and do as she pleased, not seeing any consequences for her lies, her deceit, her disrespect. Sure, she could have had a 'suffered consequence' had I let it keep on...she could have joined the statistic list of pregnant teens without a future ahead of them (and it's rather high here in Mississippi and The South, in general). If that's the consequence you prefer for your children, one of those deal with it yourself, real-world consequences, you are welcome to it. In my little patch of the world, we prefer to extract more immediate, more lasting family types of consequences...

such as, you have lied (repeatedly and blatantly) to your mother, your father and even your siblings. You have proven your irreverance to our rules and our authority, you have shown a deep disrespect and lack of love to your family by being deceitful and covert. You have laid out your lack of maturity for all to see.
The consequences of those actions follow the same suit. An eye for an eye sort of old world justice. And they are swift and long-term, at least until a serious change of heart is seen clearly. There are no privileges to be had until such time as repentance over the actions occurs, and apologies are made in an honest and sincere manner (I just don't do lip-service very well at all). By 'no privileges', we are talking absolutely zero 'alone time'. Someone, or some group of someone's will accompany dear daughter on every single step of her day for the forseeable future. She can take a shower alone, obviously, but really, that's about it at this point. She wakes with a shadow, she goes through her duties with a shadow, and she heads to bed at night with a shadow. And not only her shadow is to have a cheerful outlook, but there had best be a bit of a shine to her attitude as well. (I also don't do sour moods well). Of course, she doesn't like it one bit and has decided sulky and sullen with a bit of pouty is her approach so far. All I have to say is get over it and stop sharing the sour mood with the rest of us. It's not like this was something destined to happen. It was planned. It was completely premeditated. I didn't do it, I don't need to deal with the sour face all day. Smile your best fake smile and eventually it will soften up and become the real deal.

I don't like using Bible lessons as 'punishment' but I know that's what she's thinking I'm doing. The lesson today on the folly of a fool, the previous ones on lack of wisdom and the company of corrupt friends....they are all lessons from Proverbs and they are all seen as jabs at her young man and his reputation or whatever. (I also don't have time for feigned teenager abuse and all that oh, poor pityful me, no one understands me, you're just so mean, so on and so forth). We are picking on him all the time it seems. No, we really aren't, but goodness, he has no motivation, no job nor the inclination to get one, no vision for his future, his choice in friends aside from our daughter are very questionable but maybe I'm biased on that one, and he showed just as great, if not moreso, lack of respect for authority (ours and his own family) and the known rules of our family here, that there just isn't a future here on this front. He needs to keep stepping along.

Blunt and judgmental as that sounds, I'm sure, it's just the plain cold truth of the matter. If you have no job and aren't even actively seeking one or at least furthering your education, you have no finances to support yourself let alone anyone else, you have seemingly no motivation to acquire either of those, and you aren't saved, or at the very least, walking a right path and attending church with an open heart leading to your Salvation one day, you just don't fit the future plan for this family.

Yes, I'm blunt. Yes, I'm judgmental. I said it out loud and in print. Happy now? You already knew enough to know I lack tact in a great many areas. Man, too many folks live in a fairy tale bubble in this world. This isn't some sitcom where the parents are dweebs and totally out of touch with reality. This isn't some love-struck, teenager vampire/werewolf, love you forever heartbreak Twilight movie (don't get me started on that garbage either...it won't be nice and it won't be pretty) There isn't some scripted out happy future just because you are in love. Love is nice and all, and love comes totally through time spent sharing deeply with one another, but it don't pay the bills, and it don't feed the family. Love is grand and all, but you'd better be looking for a job as well. And you need to be planning your own future before you come sneaking around here thinking you can plan for someone else. I'm terrible, I know, but honestly, the boy has no reason for even talking to my daughter and that's just the fact. He stole the trust he was given, he spit in the face of our rules and direction here, and he doesn't care one whip about any of it. And you think The Lord is all over this? Snap back to reality. Keep to steppin' and let's both just shake the dust off our feet.

What if this young man is the one The Lord has chosen for our daughter?

Good question. I do not know the Plans God has for my daughter, or any of my children, so no, i honestly cannot rule that out. Hey, The Lord works in mysterious ways. I just don't know that I see Him sending a 16 year old girl some 17 year old want-nothing-do-nothing young man to grab her heart. To steal pieces of it that rightfully belong to Him and to her future husband. I can see satan doing it. Tempting both of them to give away portions of their hearts so they are incomplete for their future intendeds. If I'm wrong, if this is totally of The Lord, He isn't going to keep it some long drawn out secret. Hearts will be changed, love will be challenged, and futures will be planned with vision beyond chatting at midnight in the barn after hiking 1/2 a mile in secrecy. When and if that happens, hey now, I'm all for it -- get in church and grow some visible good fruit, change that man-of-now into a Godly man-for-life, get a job and make a serious plan for the future. Then come back, in the daylight and not in the shadows, and come to the front door like a true man of valor and morals, and speak to her father about the proper steps for speaking to her on any level of propriety and maturity.

That is my world. That is how life runs here. It shouldn't have strayed, but lack of parenting, which I admitted shamefully enough already, will do that. Give satan an opening big enough for a gnat and he will rip it wide open and walk an elephant straight through. Well, I'm shutting down the elephant farm here as I should have done a long time ago. If those outside this life have issue with that all I can say is you go your way and we'll go ours. Take your elephants with you because my parenting methods are not open for discussion or debate

5 comments:

mrshester said...

I don't know you, but dear woman, "you rock". I am NOT trying to tell you what to do, but the best way to respond to those people is to select their email or comment, and hit "delete". From here on out they don't even deserve a reply. I love you for your strength and perseverance. God WILL bless your faithfulness.

Mrs. Trixi said...

Oh, Deanna, I have read these last few posts and just have not had time to comment, not that my comments really matter anyway.

However, do know that my heart aches for you. I know with your issues with your first born and now this you have to be beating yourself up tremendously. I am so sorry. I wish I could give you some great, Godly, motherly advice here but like every other decent mother, I am just doing the best I can.

I will say that I don't think it is the dress code or music that turns the heart of a child. It is the heart itself. We do not do the whole cape dress thing here but I have a 17 daughter that is the epitome of a Godly woman. I tell people often that I just wish I had one ounce of what she has. Then I have a 14 year old daughter who is not there yet. We have issues often (not the same but others) that reflect her lack of spiritual maturity. That's ok though, as we are all different. It took me a lot longer to get to where I am at and I have a ways to go, yet.

Now you know what areas you have to be watchful over with your daughter. Praise God that this was brought to light before it got completely out of hand. You are a great mother and I would just encourage you to continue to be vigilant and lift this sweet daughter's struggle before the Lord. He is the only one who can change our hearts. We can do nothing.

Dawn said...

Once again, WOW!
Let me just say that I appreciate your parenting style and applaud your set in stone desire to protect your childrens minds from the world. You are right!
The Bible speaks of the Choosen Few, not the mulitudes who just went with it.
Leading a Godly life is not always easy or popular, but then the right thing is never the most popular thing to do.
You are a Momma Bear right now protecting her young from a preditor. Satan is that preditor and he has piggy backed on the shoulders of this young man who isn't strong enough to kick him off. I am so glad that you are. That is why we are the parents and they are the children. You just keep kicking Satan out the door!
When this is over and done your daughter will understand. She is only going to be 16 for a while. I don't know about you, but I knew everthing that there was to know about anything at 16. If I could just remember what I did with all that knowledge I would be in great shape!
I also appreciate these peaks into the life of a Christian Mom. It helps to know that there are struggles and trials even in a Christian Home. That I am not alone and my beliefs are not that outdated.
Just keep doing what you are doing. Let those that think that this is extream deal with the problems that there own lax parenting gets them into.
I wish I lived in Misissippi sometimes. I could use a good kick in the butt when I start to give in to the younguns.


Praying
Dawn

Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna,
I read your blog everyday, but don't ever post comments, but YOU GO SISTER!!! Keep those children close and away from the snares of the devil. Adulthood brings enough pain and grief, so protect them and insulate them now. My daughter is 20, always been protected, has never dated and is an intelligent young lady. She's not stunted in any way having been protected from the evils of this world. Is she naive?? Not in the least. She knows right from wrong and we can only pray she will make wise decisions in her future. BTW, she lives at home with us. Keep up the good work and love your writings. Beverly

Blessedmom said...

Good for you! I am in spitting distance of my family who are raising my baby sister in all the ways a parent should not. They've taken on the attitude of just don't worry about it and see what happens, or the "it's just not worth the fight" attitude, well, what is happening is a 16 year old CHILD who is immature and making horrible decisions in her life, who talks to her elders like their not worth the dirt on her boots, and whom I would not be one bit surprised comes up pregnant or worse. I try to shed a light, but they've got their blinds closed on me, so all I can do is pray. I will be praying for you all as well.

BTW, this might interest you....

http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/

Love in Christ,
Sara

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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