originally posted in May, 2012
Most of my readers are aware of the fact that I have six children. Those that weren’t aware, well, now you are Sometimes it makes things challenging, sometimes it is wonderful, there are times when it is stressful to my breaking point, and other times when I wouldn’t trade it for the world. One thing is for sure – all the time. Having a large family makes life interesting. All. The. Time.
This weekend is a great example of the variety of things that occur and it had me reflecting. On one end of the spectrum, I have my youngest son graduating from Preschool. It was precious. Such a cute ceremony the school put on. The kids from K-3, K-4, and K-5 were all bugs from the garden. My guy was part of a caterpillar. Here he is getting his “diploma”.
Then Thursday brought us my oldest son’s first ‘dating’ experience. I’m not sure what your thoughts on dating are – and I’m not really looking for advice – but in our home we decided that it was best to delay this for as long as possible. It is a huge desire to my husband and I that the children have the proper perspective on God’s design for our mates. They need to honor and respect the opposite sex. I think that the younger they start fooling around with the emotions of liking and/or pursuing a deeper relationship with someone, the more likely it is that they are going to cross a line that they could regret later on. So, my children know that they aren’t allowed to date until they are at least eighteen (may be longer than that – dependent upon the child).
The school that my children attend is an ultra-conservative school. They don’t have a traditional dance like a prom. However, the Junior and Seniors do have an end of the year Banquet that they all attend. They also bring dates. My oldest son is seventeen.
Well, he happens to have a good friend that attended that same school with him back in the fourth and fifth grade, so she would also know many of the people that would attend this banquet. We decided that it would be okay for him to ask her to go with him to this event. He did. She said yes. So, my oldest baby went on his first date. I drove them there and I picked them up. She was so sweet, I almost wished that they were more than friends. Here is a picture of them.
It was a pleasant experience for all. Well, maybe not for her father – who is very protective and careful. We told him that we would call him from the banquet hall with a phone number – and then we ALL forgot! Not the best first impression, I know.
Before you think that I must be over the top conservative, let me just tell you that I have gotten to this place after a very long road down a very dark path. My husband and I both led ungodly lives and, although I understood what salvation meant and asked Christ into my heart at a young age, I didn’t really start making Christ a part of my life until I because pregnant with our oldest. I thank God for that (and the subsequent) pregnancies because it really put my priorities back on track. It put my party brakes on and I started to consider what it is that was truly important. This isn’t my attempt to control their lives. Rather, this is my attempt to put forth my very best efforts to help them avoid the pitfalls and heartbreaks that their father and I know through much (regretted) personal experience. We simply seek out what is in the best interest for them and, with God’s grace, they will have much less knowledge of the world and much more knowledge of the importance of glorifying the Lord in all that they do.
While I still have very young hearts still in my care, it is also important for me to be instilling Life Essentials for the hearts that will soon belong to another. (sigh) I considered the things that I felt, and in some cases still feel, ill equipped to handle and I thought about putting together a post on each topic that would set someone leaving home for the first time’s feet on the right path. I’ve given a bit of thought on this and this blog series will consist of posts on the following important life topics:
- A relationship with God
- Managing your money
- Other key relationships
- Transportation (cars)
- Food and kitchen basics
- Staying healthy (or getting healthy if that is the case -me!)
- House cleaning
- Internet usage
- Active citizenship
- just to name a few. . . there may be others
So stay tuned as I embark on this blog tutorial on how to “do life”. I would appreciate you sharing any posts that you find useful. Who knows, I might even turn the series into an eBook (something I’m dying to learn how to do anyway!) and turn that experience into a blog series as well