Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Narnia, Middle Earth and other children's fairy tales...

Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books as bedtime stories for his children? And that quite a bit of his muses were his wife and kids? While his books are serious but with touches of wonder and beauty, I have to wonder what kinds of dreams his kids had falling asleep hearing him tell these stories.

The same with The Chronicles of Narnia. And most of the stories written by the Grim brothers. They can be a little bit... intense. Sometimes scary.

I've been researching lately on how to improve my kids' reading skills and often, I find suggestions that reading actual books, like book books and not just picture books, to the kids will help them. It'll help their language skills as well as their ability to understand and follow in depth stories. The Chronicles of Narnia was suggested over and over. I LOVED these books as a kid. I can't remember how old I was when I started reading them but I know it was in elementary school. I can even remember the box set my parents bought me. Same with The Lord of the Rings. I got them for my birthday the summer between my 4th and 5th grade year. I still have them. Except The Hobbit. I read it so many times that it fell apart. But my parents bought me a whole new beautiful hard cover boxed set a couple years ago. Along with the box set of the movies. I love love love those books. In high school, we had to do a British author report in our English class and I chose Tolkien. He was a fascinating man. Most of his colleagues thought he was nuts when he wrote the books and they were pretty unpopular at first. If only they knew what it would turn into... Anyway...

My kids are 4, almost 3 and 1. Part of me wonders if they're too young for me to be reading these kinds of books to them. I read the Grim Brothers' fairy tales to them. Stories that are filled with pain and monsters and tragedy. Seriously. Have you ever really paid attention to the stories? REALLY thought about them? How could stories about Narnia or Middle Earth be worse? I think the stories are longer and more detailed but I think I'm going to give it a try. Added bonus that Lewis and Tolkien were Christians. My dad used to tell us stories when we were little and I only discovered later, that those stories were from The LOTR books. I loved hearing the stories he told. Loved them. And was thrilled when I got to read them for myself. I am so very thankful that he introduced me to these books.

I think that it's just as important to cultivate a child's imagination as it is their language and social and reading and math, science, etc, skills. With out an imagination, creativity is lacking and as far as I'm concerned, where creativity is lacking, robots are formed. I want my children to grow up to be happy, successful people. Not robots.

Tomorrow, at the library, I'll be picking up the first of the Narnia books (which is The Magician's Nephew... NOT The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe). I will introduce my kids' to a whole new exciting world and pray that they understand the meaning to its fullest when the time comes. They'll never know how totally excited I am to start reading these books to them...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Life as We Know It

Situations like the recent massacre in Colorado make me wonder what I was thinking by bringing kids into a screwed up world. I'm not trying to make light of the tragedy (my prayers go out for those poor people and their families) but it's not like this is the first time that evil has reared its ugly head. Evil has been working its slimy ways into the hearts of man since the beginning of the world. Thinking about all this, I found myself wondering how long the world was perfect. How long until Satan tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit? How long after that first week of creation did he wait to make his move? Did he wait until God rested on the 7th day because he was foolish and prideful enough to think that God wouldn't be looking because he was resting... waiting, like a coward, until he believed the Creator wasn't present. Or did he sit and study for a while? Watching, calculating, scheming, plotting...  I mean, maybe Adam and Eve were chillin for a while before they came face to face with evil itself. Shoot... Satan sure got Eve in woman's week spot. I wonder if the fruit was covered in chocolate...

My point is that evil always has been and always will be until God comes back, executing justice in a way that will put everything straight for the rest of eternity. I can not wait for that day. However, one of the first commands that God gave to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. I'm not going to lie. As a wife who adores her husband and who loves her children, this is one of my favorite commands. "Prosper and have kids." Sounds good to me. So was it foolish of me to have kids, knowing that horrible things could happen to them? Was I wrong to bring babies into a world full of pain and tragedy? How could I have brought them into an existence that will be stricken with grief and heartache? Easy. God told me to. And on top of it, God now has three more beings that will grow in His love and glorify Him with their lives. Three more additions in the Kingdom of God. There is nothing wrong with adding to a family that will one day sit at His feet, at His throne, in worship and wonder.

God knew how things were going to turn out and He still commanded Adam and Eve to have kids. It was His design. And who am I to contend with that.

As I sit here typing away, my three children are roaming my office, touching things they shouldn't be touching, laughing and peering up at me over the edge of my desk asking if they can play with the rubber band ball and the box of staples... I have said "No" to both requests. But I do not regret bringing my children into this world. I enjoy them. God has blessed me so greatly through them. I am thankful that He commanded that man and wife come together and bring life into the world.

The best way I can think to protect my children from the pain and trials and evil running rampant in the world is to teach them of God's love, enrich their lives with His Word and to constantly pray for them. Always praying.

I don't mean to be so heavy this morning but sometimes, that's just life as we know it. Being aware of the other forces in this world help me appreciate God's power and glory all the more. And it helps me understand how to best prepare and equip my children.

Being a mother (or a father) is serious business. And we need to act accordingly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Makin A Comeback

And I'm back.

I don't feel the need to apologize for leaving abruptly. Sometimes life gets in the way of the things we want or enjoy. The only thing you can do is to keep moving, try to keep your chin up and focus on the goal. The time I spent blogging months ago took me away from my family at a time that I was needed in ways I'd never been needed before. But that's how life goes. Motherhood isn't predictable. It isn't easy. Neither is being a wife. And sometimes, most of the time, my husband and children need me more than the handful of people who were reading my posts.

My inability to find a balance between family and blogging is one of the many things that secures my "wannabe" title. I envy the women who are able to make a living with their blogs and be super creative and change the lives of others through their writings while taking great care of their husbands and children and homes. Blows my mind. I look at these women and I think, "Did I miss the line where superhero powers were being handed out?" I musta been having a classic "Abby Moment" where I was in my own little world and didn't even notice the eternity long line of women receiving these powers.

When I really sit and think about it though, most of these women that I thuroughly admire are Christian women. Women who live out the description of the Proverbs 31 woman in their every day lives. Oh, the Proverbs 31 woman... The woman who set the standard so high. So very high. That's God for ya, though. Not allowing us to be mediocre. Pushing us to be more, to love more, to aspire for more. To reach higher and higher until all we can see is Him. It's hard trying to hold to that standard. But it's fun. Really. When you think about it, what's not enjoyable about loving and being loved by your family. About having a clean home and making it special. About creatively expressing yourself in a way that benefits your family. About being so awesome that your husband brags about you and your kids want all their friends to meet their mom. I see no bad here.

I'm back. The chapter of my family's life where I was needed elsewhere has finished and we're starting a new one. I don't plan on trying to write every day like I did before. It got to the point where I had no idea what to say, I was just saying something for the sake of having something to say. No more. I've got a lot of learning to do still and a lot of living to do. I don't know how long this chapter will last though. We're planning for the next chapter already and it will demand a lot of my time. For now though, I'm back and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on motherhood, my journey with my own three munchkins and what I've learned from other mothers.

A Wannabe Supermom

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