Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mean girl's

So, there is a lot of talk about bullying these day's. Bullying is a terrible feeling. I have been bullied as a child and sadly a few times as an adult in the work place. I have made an effort to talk to my children about bullying.  I realize it most likely will happen at some point in their lives.  I can honestly say early experiences of bullying have shaped me in to who I am today.  I developed unnecessary fears, a poor self image, self doubt, and low self esteem due to bullying.  I have thought of several of the instances over the years, however, couldn't put my finger on it until recently.  I was bullied.

 As a mother of 2 girl's I pray that they NEVER have to endure some of the situations I encountered.  One specific example would be in 7th grade.  I was new to a school.  A small Christian school at that. Perfect target. My only friend's when starting there were boy's. Not good. The girl's at this school had attended for several years and already had their groups established. I was not about to be included. It was quite obvious.  I can remember purposely not being invited to a birthday party that pretty much every other girl was invited to.  To make matter's worse several mom's found out and attempted to include me.  At this point I was not about to attend.  Although they had good intentions I knew it was out of pity.  Needless to say I stopped attending that school by Christmas, and eventually moved back to my home state of California to finish middle school.  Long story short we returned in 9th grade.  Only with God on my side did I have the courage to go back to the same school, with the same girl's.  I was blessed with a new friend on the first day and we became inseparable for the rest of our high school year's.  The same girl's were actually nicer, more mature, and more accepting.  I often wonder if they had/have any idea how that impacted me?  For years I doubted and avoided relationships due to this one experience.  Praise God I finally believed that others were including me because they actually DID want me there, it was not just out of pity.

As I have matured I have learned that these experiences have shaped me in to who I am, even though it was "the end of the world" while I was going through it. I also know it broke my mother's heart! I am dreading these days for my daughter's, and of course my son.  To my surprise he has mostly mentioned a girl that he thinks is a bully... even to the boy's.  I have also tried to make sure he is not the one bullying.

I believe that some people may be getting irritated with all the talk and media coverage regarding bullying.  I believe it is necessary and so important. It's about time!!!

Mostly what I am trying to convey is that we as parents should be probing and making sure our children are not being bullied.  If we feel like they might be it is important not to minimize it.  I promise it can have long lasting effects.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Next stop... Amish Cheese House!

Over Fall break our family spent a few days at a resort at Grand Lake.  We were able to enjoy the hot tub and the kids loved having a few cable channels, since we do not have cable at home.  My 12 year old would have preferred to watch T.V. the entire time we were there.  Sorry, no can do.  Since there really wasn't much to do I had a grand idea! "Let's drive over to Chouteau to the Amish Cheese House to their anniversary celebration!" Davis was not thrilled, David was unbiased and Sophie was siding with Davis.  I was a little worried because it poured down rain the entire 45 min. drive.  I had no idea what we were going to experience.  I was really worried that it was gong to be a big flop.  Much to my surprise, several other people had the same idea.  I was so happy to see the parking lot full.  We were able to enjoy sandwiches w/ homemade bread, homemade chicken noodle soup, and homemade ice cream.  We also got to ride in a horse drawn Amish buggy because the ran stopped for about 30 minutes.  It was a great experience for the whole family.  We even read a small book about the differences between the Amish and Mennonite's.  There were several of both around the store/restaurant working or shopping.  One neat thing I learned about was the different families that will welcome you in to their home for a traditional Amish dinner.  I can't wait to go back and do this one.  If you get a chance stop by the Chouteau Amish Cheese House!

What does it mean to live simple?

This is such a broad topic! The first thing that comes to mind is simplifying my home. Less stuff to be exact.  Less clutter. Being a good steward of money.  Making use of what we can. Minimizing waste.  Yes, it borders on the movement of  "Being Green".  I believe it is important to be mindful of all the things I've listed.

But before all of these things I have learned that "living simple" can, if I choose, afford me the opportunity and privilege to lead a more Christ centered life.  I am guilty of always rushing around, especially rushing my kids. That is not simple.  I have been working really hard to minimize distractions or in my eyes "living simply" so that I can praise God, pray, study the Bible, and share these things with my family.  I have had to remind myself that: my children do not have to be involved in a sport each season, it is OK to make a mess... a big mess to do a craft with my daughter,  I should sit to nurse instead of trying to multitask and wash dishes while doing so, it's OK to take a nap, the laundry can wait- as long as we have clean underwear :) , and the list can go on.  Letting go of these things or better yet succumbing to some of them has helped me to have a clearer mind.  So for me "living simple" means not over commiting, learning to say no, and consuming and buying less therefore I have less to take care of.  It takes effort! 

What does it mean to you to "live simple"?