Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God's Not Dead (and other quandaries)

All you KLove listeners out there have definitely heard this song by now, super catchy and super fun. . .

God's not dead

He's surely alive

Livin' on the inside

(roarin' like a lion)

and very very. . . ah. . .

puzzling to hear your seven year old belting out.

Daniel and I were exchanging nervous oh no we are becoming our parents  thoughtful glances as Peter Furler rock whispers He's surely alive and I was thinking oh my goodness of all the songs on the radio why do my kids have to love this one?

Jacob was sensing the awkward moment and impending radio dial switch and he leaned forward, straining on his seatbelt:  "You know, guys, this song is just such a good reminder.  You know, the words are."

Maybe he'll be a negotiator when he grows up.

Seriously, I wonder about decisions like this every day. 

When music is making my kids shake their little bon bons instead of praising the Lord, do I

a) turn it off with a click, because I am Mom Almighty

b) be happy that they like songs with words that are good reminders

c) lecture (endless lectures) (so much talking I do) (so tired of talking) now children, yes I like this song and yes these words are good reminders but this is so not producing the fruits of righteousness in your lives and I'm not sure I like the Newsboys as music choices for a five year old and seven year old although it would be very different if you were sixteen and wanting to listen to them while you were working out but the bottom line is that we want our actions to glorify God and sometimes I don't think this music does that. . .

Tonight I'm not convinced that a, b or c are the correct answers and I'm praying that God will show me d). 

Parenting is full of these daily hourly decisions.

This morning I left Bible Study and found Cambria in the gym, limply flopped over the basketball hoop base. I pretend that she's not pouting, but I know too well that she is.  I ask her what's wrong and get nowhere and it's not the place to have a heart to heart and her little friends are asking if she can go outside with them and she goes. 

I think.

I gather my stuff and my bags and my Eli David and head out to the parking lot, expecting to hunt her down from some little hideout on the church grounds;  she isn't there.

She's sitting on her little booster seat in our van, by herself, buckled and looking out the window. She lifts a sullen limp hand to wave at her friends as they clamor to say goodbye and I shut the door and look in the rearview mirror at her little blond head and her pink -t-shirted self.

a) discipline for the attitude; you cannot behave like this

b) assume guilt; you are too pouty and you did not treat your friends in a kind way

c) blame some other child;  what's the matter?  did someone hurt you?

d). . . . .

We talked.  She said she's bad at tag and always was "getting out."  She was frustrated with the others and with herself too.  I didn't cut her any slack and told her she just needed to run faster and that a bad attitude and being a poor sport during games was just not right.

Moments like those make me feel so inadequate as a mom.  I feel like there's probably some deep moment I'm missing or a huge psychological barrier that I'm glossing over and later in life when they sit on the proverbial therapist's couch I'm going to come up in the conversation about two million times.

But then, later that afternoon, she brought me a piece of paper and a pen so I could write down a letter.  She makes endless letters and cards, but can't spell yet and I'm very accustomed to writing down her little notes so that she can trot off and copy them down with pink and purple markers.  I sit on the couch and she dictates:

I had fun with you today when we left church and we talked in the van.  I love you Mom.

I look down at the words I've just written.

Maybe I make everything too complicated.

JD worked with Daniel this morning.  He was sick with excitement looking forward to it.  He came home at noon.  And now my choices begin:

a) let him revel in the joy of having helped his daddy and read all afternoon on the couch

b) let him do half of his school work

c) keep our noses to the grindstone and do the normal allotment of pages

I choose c) and we sweat and we struggled all afternoon on this beautiful first day of spring and we finished at 5:53 pm and I wonder if there was a d) answer to that issue as well.

Mom, are you frustrated with me?  he asks and I look over the counter at him.

No, I'm not frustrated with you, I'm frustrated with myself, I tell him. Parenting is full of tough decisions and sometimes I don't know if I'm making the right ones.  Like it hurts my heart to know you're tired and hot and don't wanna do school and I wonder if it's the best thing to make you do it today.  I don't know.  But I love you.

He is happy and reveling in much accomplishment today, headed out with fully charged batteries for his remote controlled Hummer, sweaty and all boy.  He grins. 

It's okay, Mom.  I know.  It's hard.  But guess what?  You won't have to make tough decisions on your birthday.  I've got stuff planned.

Oh that boy!  He's gone and I yell after him that he's making me cry happy tears but he doesn't hear over the rrrrreeeeeeeeeeerrrooooommmmm of his car.

These are the things that drive me to God these days, these questions and wonderings and deep desires to do my part to raise my children to walk with Jesus and love Him with all of their hearts. 


That said, do you turn the radio up or down for God's Not Dead?


  1. Your so good at writing out the frustrations and questions of motherhood without it sounding like its complaining or you hate it. When I try writing out the hard times I end up erasing it because it sounds like Im whining. Your not alone. I think parenting is a guessing game, a very hard guessing game.
    And no I dont turn that song up :o) I change the station :o)

  2. Why do you think I haven't blogged for a month?! As my mom would say, if you can't think of something nice to say, don't say anything at all. (ha ha)

    And good to know - your station changing. ;)

  3. I can't answer that last question, Hayley... but you are doing a wonderful job at parenting. I so admire you!

  4. I turn it up. I downloaded it and put it on my mp3 player a few weeks ago. I sing it with my boys - and maybe even dance to it in our kitchen. ;) Some mornings I start my morning with it, so that I can remember that HE is living inside of me roaring like a lion and ready to take on ANYTHING that the day can throw at me.

    Loved this post- and could relate so much. Wow do I feel the inadequacies and question at each battle I choose and do not choose. But I am constantly reminded that I am not doing this alone. I WILL mess up. I do every day, but somehow God takes my feeble striving and translates it to something beautiful.

  5. You're a good mother because you are striving to do what all good mothers do! Seek God and what He wants for your lives.

  6. Love your post- so encouraging! I have to say, though, I would also turn the station. Music is such an easy area to compromise in, and especially small children are so easily taken in by it. Hope you have an encouraging week!

  7. I truly admire you. And the way you are teaching your kids about God.

  8. The other day I was driving and this song started going around in my head... When I commented on this I thought your were talking about an annoying song I knew when I was little. Anyway, I didnt listen to the link before I commented. When the song was going around in my head I was like "Oh! I think this is the one Hayley was talking about!" And so the confession is, I actually DONT turn the station when it comes on :o)