Parental Guidance Is Suggested

I must say I am so glad to have my two kids back on American soil. They spent the last nearly two weeks in Peru. It was very hard to let them go but how can I hold them back. I remember when my church first announced the trip. My daughter was sitting beside me and immediately turned to me and said I want to go. It wasn’t too much of a surprise because she loves to travel and adventure. What was a shock was my son sought us out as soon as the service was over from where he was sitting with a friend. “Mom I want to go.”

My husband and I exchanged glances. The cost has to be huge and PERU. That is like, really, really far away. Just take a deep breath. I told myself.

My church does a number of mission trips every year so my kids see mission work as a part of the “show them Jesus” lifestyle we are trying to teach and do ourselves. They traveled a couple of years ago to Mexico without us for less than a week to work in an orphanage. Oddly, this trip also contained orphanage work. My husband and I did not go then and would not be able to go to this one either. The only thing harder, to me, than going is sending your children.

Do I trust the adults going? At the time of the announcement that Sunday morning we had no clue who was going. We agreed anyway that they could put their names in as interested. Even though they are not really kids at 18 and 15, those kind of answers mean yes to them and I knew that.

The process began, fund raising and bringing myself to the realization that this was going to happen. Personnel changed but they did not waver. Even when all the girls that showed interest dropped out my daughter did not flinch. Looks like this was going to happen. I did trust the team but they are human beings. To learn to share my kids with the world I have to trust Christ who is in them.

I remember struggling about 5 years ago with my letting go of my children. Allowing them to explore and learn even through mistakes as they grow is so difficult. I remember clearly praying about that and Christ saying trust me. I finally, by the end of the prayer told Him He could have them. That I surrender them to Him. I thought there would be this huge out pouring of Godly gratitude from Him but instead I get this emotional slap. This awakening of sorts. “They are already mine.” Next was the wow moment. I am only human. I will provide, protect, love, support…with all of my human abilities but if they are His, man. No person can provide more, protect more, love more, support more…than Christ. Why would I hold them back? You go, God! You do all those things.

So what is my role? Well, those things come through me, through my husband, through my family and friends. We supply the parental guidance. Just like the movies suggest, we steer our children and allow Christ to guide our hands as we help mold them.

So, with that memory to the conversation Jesus and I had I let them go. Sure it was difficult. I missed them immensely. My husband and I enjoyed a taste of the empty nest but we kept busy to keep our minds from straying us.  There were moments but there was an overall peace inside knowing Christ is always with them and that He’s got their back. All we have to do is provide the parental guidance.

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A Weed Or Not A Weed, That Is The Question

Tis the season of sunburns, allergies and poison ivy.  I love the great outdoors and I love hard labor.  I would trade it any day for my couch and TV even with the pain I endure as I over work my muscles and expose myself to the allergen plagues.  Just something about being with nature that makes it all worth it.  However, I recently questioned it when I had a terrible bout of poison ivy.  One week, a shot and a topical prescription, I seem to be improving.  Oh, I often wonder what purpose such a plant can have so I google it.

poison

Poison ivy and poison oak are major food sources.  They are food sources for more than 60 species of bird on the east coast alone as well as deer.  Cotton tails also enjoy munching on the juicy stems that are poisonous to other animals and people.  Some moths use it to conceal their larvae.  Not to mention it is actually a beautiful plant that is very hardy helping to prevent erosion.

Since I think like everything was created for mankind I still question the existence of this “thorn in my side”.  I mean, other plants serve the same purpose, right?  Why do we need this particular plant.  Well, it isn’t always about the mighty me.  And beside if I had spent time learning as much about its counterpart, the Jewelweed, all could have been avoided.  God has provided a compliment to the poison ivy/oak/sumac.

I failed to remember a popular survival show I watched and failed to think about the “leaflets of three leave it be”.  Nature has provided the cure, jewelweed.  It grows usually in the same location as poison ivy/oak.  It is also nature’s antidote for other of life’s itchy’s.  It is a little harder to identify without its orange trumpet shaped spotted blooms.  But it is well worth learning how to identify it as it’s juice will counteract the effects of poison ivy.  It will also cure or lessen reactions to mosquito bites, bee stings, athletes foot, ringworm, nettle stings and a variety of other skin irritations.

Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”  Look around you and choose to learn what God provides.  Not just about the bad because “everything” is a lot good stuff.

I Found A Masterpiece

As I move more toward a career in art I continue to struggle with the same problem over and over.  What to charge people for my work.  You never know if you should charge by the hour or the personal value or even how much you “need” the money.  I have read lots of articles on this subject but still question myself.  If I am too cheap people may not respect me, after all I am an educated professional.  If I am too expensive I may not make a sale not to mention I love to see people happy.  I am just not a good salesperson.

I also hate selling my originals.  Copies are not hard to part with but what is the true value of an original P H Younger art piece.  How can I part with something so important to me?  All the time, effort, thought and love that goes into each one.  I know every line, mark, and space that I slowly and methodically added.  Each one has its on importance, it’s own purpose.  Leaving out even the smallest spot would make the piece unfinished or incomplete.    The steps of creating them in my head long before they become a visually concrete piece of work can be exhilarating.

I have had some nice offers on the Thorned Guitar but I can’t place a value on it right now.  The joy and challenge of it I still feel so clearly.  It is a part of me.  As it’s creator, I am a part of it.  Like a finger print.

It is with these thoughts I see God as an artist.  The creativity that went into carving the World.  The intricacies and attention to detail amaze me.  I am not talking about the science of how things are put together, which is incredible as well, but the parts of Him that are all over me.  “He knows every hair on my head” because He placed them there.  Just as I  place every mark on my creations.  I am the masterpiece He can’t put a price on.  The artwork that is priceless.