Sunday, December 11, 2011


I think mission trips always bring you home with so many ways to evaluate yourself. I mean, how could it not leave you with a sense of "am I living how I need to be living"? (hmm... I wonder if that is the right way to write that question...)

You come back questioning everything. For me, it has mostly been how I parent my children (teach them gratitude and how to serve others), my personality struggles and anxiety, and what changes I need to make in my life to be a abolitionist.

It just seems that there are no easy answers in our culture on how to raise children who are thankful and who genuinely care for others. My two boys are like that now and I pray they continue to grow and learn to be like that. But we need to be very intentional in how we lead them.

It is always interesting when I think of my family as "poor". I know how ridiculous that is compared to the poverty I have experienced in Mexico and Africa. It is almost laughable actually. We are poor based on income but there is very little poverty in the US. Go ahead and challenge me on that one. I speak the truth. My children do not know they are poor. They do not go without clean water, food, shelter, clothes, education, healthcare and let's be honest... most people here, the vast majority of people in the US don't experience 3rd world poverty. So I want Kolt and Kenton to be absolutely aware of how blessed they are to live in a country where poor doesn't mean death. Where poor doesn't mean sick. Where poor doesn't necessarily equate to homeless. Where poor doesn't mean people sell their children to feed their other children. They are among the world's privileged not among the world's impoverished. And they need to know the distinction between the two. And that is our responsibility to teach them. 

It is also our responsibility as parents to teach them that because we are among the world's privileged, we have big responsibility to help others. To give to others and to serve others. It is not an option. It is a responsibility. It is how you show love to others. A pastor told me once that love is not a feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is an action. An action you can do no matter how you feel. I hope we can teach our children how to love (verb). 

There are also many personality and anxiety issues I really see myself needing to focus on. It isn't something I can explain in depth and I don't want to beat myself up over things. So I won't. I will just say I have some areas to focus on that will help me become a better servant to others. Which is something I want desperately. I don't want past hurt and anxiety to keep building walls between me and others.

And then focusing on what I need to do to walk the walk. I have a passion for children and helping them that can't accurately be expressed by words. It is a deep feeling that pushes me to pursue many goals that I have. It is compelling and complex. I just can't get complacent and let myself fall into doing things that I know somehow harm the children I love so deeply and hope to help. 

So I need your help. I need ideas and encouragement from anyone who can pass it along. What steps do you take to address these issues?  

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