Sunday, June 24, 2012

Letting Children Go

Katie, our bride, lovely without and within.
Katie, precious woman, our beloved granddaughter got married this week.

The wedding inspires a memory trek to recall the births of our four children, their eventual marriages and now our legacy of seven grandchildren, four of whom are now grand adults. Katie is the first to be married. Can it be possible?  

I ponder how every child of our family is fruit of our flesh, blood born with ours, God-birthed.

God orchestrated birthplace, chose our unique family, and totally designed each wonder from the hand of God.

 God gifts us with the lives of children and grandchildren, but from day one they’re born to be released.

Aimed by Him through circumstances into a future only He sees.

Their commitment to God we proclaimed as they were baptized, streaked with oil and water poured or pool-dipped. And we inscribed it into their lives with our love that patterned the limitless love of God.

Our children’s childhoods passed with a growing chain of friends, educated year after year in schools and sports, pooled together with strangers, subject to apparently erratic events, yet God-purposed always. Wandering never, confused at times, but always ultimately God-purposed.

Parenting and grand parenting is such an act of contradictions: comfort, push, pull back, coax, send forth, challenge, reassure. All infused with praise and prayer. We impress into children’s brains by our words, and if we’re consistent by our deeds, lessons to be carried through the maze of life and imparted to generations to come.

Loving children is the easy part, showing it by withholding too-easy, too-comfortable pleasure is tough as tears. Speaking love through discipline that denies, correction that won’t accept disobedience or disrespect is hard.

Preparing them for adulthood has been doable only by grace. It requires supreme courage because each new victory moves a beloved child farther from the nest.

Oh the heart-wrenching agony mingled with joy that ensues when that occurs. Joy and pride that a child is ready to begin world-stepping independently, yet sorrow, too, that our closeness will never be completely the same.

But then what is parenting and grand parenting but a series of unfolding steps, sending children into new situations, urging confidence, offering a profusion of praise, instilling hope because we know each child is God-purposed and must be encouraged to grow in heart and mind as well as body.

The effort to parent well is worth persevering through, visible today as our bride wearing white walks into her future leaving behind every parental control. Choice-maker extraordinaire she and her new husband shall be co-designers with God of their unique world.

Letting go is all that’s required now from Katie's parents and grandparents, the love has been poured, the life has been set free.

And God says, "Fly."

All is very, very good.

Alex, the Groom, putting together floral bouquets.

Grandpa Wayne  helping while watching the golf tournament on TV.

Pam (Katie's Mom) and I filling Candy Favors
Jeremiah 29:11 I (God) knows the plans I have for you, plans to give a future and a hope.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pure Silly Fun

I've written lots of serious blogs lately. Since my blog is titled Thoughts on Fun, Faith and Family I believe it's time for a blog about pure, silly fun.

Creative movement is a delightful way to help develop children's imaginations and engage their physical energy. The ideas below I designed for toddlers and preschoolers, but they're absolutely wonderful to do as a family activity with children of all ages side by side with parents and grandparents, too. (They're from my book Parent's Treasurebox of Ideas for Preschoolers published by Tyndale.)

Be sure you're in an area with lots of room - out on the lawn or in the largest room in your home. An adult or older child can facilitate by calling out the next creative move. Do each movement a couple of minutes. Add more animals if you like, or machines, whatever. Get ready to laugh. God delights in families having fun together.

Psalm 126:2 " Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing."