Friday, October 17, 2008

Even Vanity can be an Entry Point

Last night I happened to catch two fashion shows on Bravo...Project Runway and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. So yes, I'm as superficial as everyone else.
But what was most interesting to me was not the fashion or clothes, but the attitudes of the people on the shows. The first of the Project Runway finalists to be 'out' after the shows at Bryant park was a young woman, Kenley who had quite an attitude throughout the season. Her critical and cutting comments of the other designers and judges finally caught up with her despite her designs.
On Tim Gunn's show their latest client was a 'tough nut to crack' with her attitudes and resistence to advice and help that was only trying to help her look and feel better. Eventually though Ali has the breakthrough she needs to listen to and work with Tim and Gretta.
No matter what we do, all of us are open to criticism at some point. Often the criticism we hear most is from the people close to us who may know us well, but may not be 'experts' in the areas they are being critical of.
That said...why, if you've volunteered to participate in either one of these two shows, would you challenge judges or leaders in the industry and think that you know better? I guess it makes for good TV.
Thankfully for Ali, she appeared to have a breakthrough and realize that her self-worth did not rest in designer labels, but in her acceptance of self. It may be superficial for now, but I hope it can become an entry point for finding the sacred self, and the temple of God that is inside of her.
I've had several revelations myself this week, but if I were lucky enough to have Tim Gunn take me shopping...I'd sure listen and be grateful for the help!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I've Really Changed, or I'm Getting Old

I heard this story on NPR this evening on my way to pick up my kids from school. Interesting how the McCain supporters were portrayed as angry and scared. From the one gentleman who did express his anger I would agree with the piece, but I actually watched part of the town hall meeting and that was not the overwhelming attitude I saw there. People were asking about many of the issues that were affecting, health care, the environment, the economy, fuel prices and dependency. Sounds like what most all people are concerned or republican. So why are people so passionately attacking one another on both sides of the political machine? Yes people disagree about what to do about those issues and how to approach them. But it worth getting that upset and emotional about? Really?

Again I'm amazed at how wrapped up people are in this. But then I was there once too. I used to have an appetite for politics. I used to watch much more news and political spinning as if it were a sport. I used to enjoy the banter, the clever quips, the 'in-depth' analysis.
But I don't anymore. My heart has changed...actually it is the Spirit that has taken over my spirit not my heart. I get emotional now about my walk with Christ...sounds silly to many I know, but it's true. I'm passionate about following Jesus, not the news. I get upset about issues of injustice I see during the day in my own community, or the ways I see people treating one another around me. I have little appetite for news, political bantering (which is mostly negative and attacking), and much of what goes on in the world. I'm not becoming a hermit, but I am reducing the 'distractions' and the 'noise' so that I can do whatever Christ asks me to do at every turn. I'm seeing the idolatry and greed and selfishness around me with new eyes. And I care much less now about what the world seems to care, political leaders, entertainment, self.

What if more people were as passionate about Christ as they are about 'their' political candidate or party? What if people spread emails about God as much as they did about their politics? What if more people cared more about Christ than anything else in their lives?

I'm sure a good majority of voters consider themselves believers of some sort and many of them claim to be Christian. But if that's the case, where does it show up in their words and their actions? Are Christians supposed talk that way? (The answer is no.) Are Christians supposed to act that way? (Again, no.)
I'll be voting come November, but not because I'm such a staunch party supporter...I'll vote for a host of other reasons including my heritage, my legacy, and my faith in the only leader of my world...Christ.
So...either I've really changed, or I'm just plain getting old. Probably both!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teens abandoned by parents

This video from The Today show this morning shocked me. I know adolescence is an extremely difficult time for parents and teens. I've been working with teens and their families for 15 years now. The mood swings, the hormone changes, the identity questions, the experimentation, the difficulties of friendships and relationships and so much more make being a teen overwhelming and stressful. I understand how tired and frustrated parents can get...there are inumerable demands on parents from all angles and dealing with a teen at home can be the proverbial straw. But just as I cannot imagine giving up an infant by leaving it at a hospital, I can't imagine leaving your teenager there either.

Dropping off an infant is much different than dropping off a teenager. An infant needs total care and if the parent is not capable of giving that care and safety, then a hospital may be the only alternative for that child to survive. But a teen is capable of survival on his or her own. If a parent is afraid of abusing the teen, there are other resources available for help rather than just abandoning a child completely.

A quick Google search on 'parent and teen resources' yielded a wealth of good resources that you can also find locally.

If you are struggling with your teen here are some other good sources of help.

  • Read the "Love and Logic" books starting with the teens edition which will give you easy and practicle solutions that will work. Pick one up at your local library (for free) or buy a copy.
  • Visit for more practical tips and information about all ages and parenting tips plus resources.
  • Contact your county social services office to get connected to their counseling resources...they have individual and family counselors available for all ages, income levels, and situations.
  • Contact a local church or school. Your child's school has counselors on staff and if you don't want to talk to your child's counselor, ask for someone else they can refer you to (at another school or in the county).
  • The bottom line is do not give up!
God does not give up on any one of us, or abandon any one of us no matter what.

Yes, there are teens who suffer from debilatating conditions and addictions that make it impossible for them to stay in a home, but there is help in those situations too. In the end, if it is best for your teenager not to live at home there are resources available to help you through that as a parent. But making an informed and supported decision with the help of professionals to send your teen away from home is very different than dropping them off at a hospital somewhere.
I know families who have been through incredible heartbreak because of the choices their teens made. But in every case, when those parents reached out for help they found the support and resources they needed to handle whatever situation came their way. But in every case (even the worst ones) the parents never just gave up on their child. And even through the tremendous heartbreak, God never abandoned anyone...the child or the parents.

No matter what you are facing with your child(ren), remember that God will never give up on you, and as a parent you can never give up on your child.

Pray today for all the parents who feel like giving up. And pray today for all the children who feel abandoned.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Autumn!

Homemade chicken pot pie, apple crisp and ice cream with coffee after a good fall day. Nuff said!