Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Child rearing.. the RIGHT way

My parents raised me with "strict" rules. Naturally, as a child I hated them.. I was often "left-out" from the movies my friends were watching or clothes they were wearing. Looking back, I'm grateful for the decisions they made and the way they raised me.

Even after moving out I found myself getting home at the same time my parents had my curfew set when I was under their roof or following other rules they had set and I lived by.

I've been thinking a lot lately with me being pregnant- and I've decided (as my parents did) I will be choosing the "not-so-popular" path. One that sometimes makes you seem like the bad guy- but ultimately protects your children and teaches them responsibility.

My children will have a curfew, dress-code, they will be expected to use manners and complete chores.. I will monitor their internet usage and pay attention to the movies they're asking to watch.

I'm sure it won't always be welcomed by many that are "in the world" but it's a simple step that every parent can take to ensure that they don't become "OF the world" which we are told not to be by our maker.
Sadly, I know MANY Christian parents, even some who are in my close circle who are too busy trying to be their child's "friend" rather than their parent. Letting them wear immodest clothing, date at a very young age, watch and listen to whatever they want.. and get caught up in the wrong crowd. Things such as these can severely damage your witness as a Christian.

We are often looked to for answers- or observed for some sort of difference from the rest of the world. If your child is doing just as everyone elses; what is there to set them apart and make them different from their un-saved peers?  

So, as my husband and I make the decision to be different from others.. I only hope someday my children will have the "AH-HA" moment- as I did. One where you realize your parents don't hate you, they aren't trying to ruin your life and all they've done up to this point and from now on- was and is in your best interest!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dreams of a little girl, VS the reality of the world..

From a young age I have always had clear ideas of what I wanted for myself. Sometimes they weren't the most practical- all the same I wanted them with every fiber of my being.. whether it was a reporter or a stay-at-home mommy, I would "practice" at home in order to reach that goal. Carrying a notepad with me everyday jotting down scribbles of whatever event the Payne house had to offer that day- or recording unwilling siblings and trying to get an interview out of the deal. I had dozens of journals filled with this "practice" and was so sure someday it would be published or at least read and appreciated by someone with appreciation for my "work"

Obviously, my dreams of being a journalist haven't exactly "come to be" but I have dabbled in the arts of writing.. taking a journalism class through DLC (Distance Learning Classes) and writing for an EZine. And really, I think I've come to peace with that.
When I was younger- all journalism consisted of in my mind was writing, being on TV every once and awhile, asking people questions and taking pictures. It wasn't until I was writing for someone elses standards and critiquing that I realized there is much more to it- the deadlines, constant editing, research..etc. It's all exciting at first but like many other things, it loses it's luster. I quickly decided writing for my pleasure or to express feelings/thoughts would be much less stressful. Sometimes hobbies are meant to be just that, a hobby.

I still haven't outgrown some of my other visions for myself; having a nice house, a nice car (though my idea of that may be much different than many others.. I'm not after anything extremely costly or sporty.. my idea of nice is: practical, reliable and good mileage!) a loving husband and beautiful, respectful children.

I always knew I wanted to move out young.. start my own life and be independent. That did "come true" I moved out last September, on the 13th. I was only 18! I didn't move too far, mind you.. (my siblings came to see me more after I moved out than when I lived with them) I did buy my own food, pay my electric bill, and continued to buy my own clothes, pay my insurance, phone bill, gas..etc.

I did marry, not too long after I moved out. November 9th. I was a few days shy of 19. And once again, reality came along to rain down on my dreams. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for the place I have to live and the man I have to share it with.. But, as we are building on- making room for our little one that's on the way.. it seems my ideas of "nice things" have shifted to "affordable things" there won't be any sheetrock or hardwood flooring, a room dedicated to my crafty things or my awesome kitchen.. And while it does frustrate me a bit, I've come to terms with it.

My parents raised me in a "house that Howard built" sort of situation. Made from the cheapest materials they could find and LOTS of hard work. It isn't anything like my friends houses.. and after I got over the initial embarrassment, I learned to appreciate it. Thinking of all the time my dad put into it- every weekend away from work was spent working even harder on his house. Every accident that occurred, leaving him with scars. Or sometimes it was just appreciating the fact that it was warm, dry and safe.
I did share a room.. with one or two siblings at-a-time.. and when they were still "bed-wetters" I'll quickly admit that I detested it.. but overall I know that it has all contributed to who I am.

In building his house, my dad not only showed me great dedication and what you can do with a plan/hard work.. he also taught me, and my siblings what it meant to save your money AND then put it to good use. To have a budget, making room for the things you need and preparing for the ones you don't know you'll need until you do.
Above all, my dad showed me that looks are sometimes just an "extra" his house isn't the most ascetically pleasing (it's jokingly been called "Howard's Lab") but, as I said it has kept us warm, dry and safe. That's what counts.

So.. when I look at this addition to our house- I am trying to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. Ones that see not just the incomplete project- or how it isn't exactly as I planned.. But the purpose in it (to give us more room) the hard work (from Dylan, his dad and mine) and the budget we are keeping too (choosing practicality over the nicest things)

While this mountain may have been the place I dreamt of leaving for years.. Or, the house I'm in now may not be the one I've seen myself in- I am incredibly grateful for all that I have.. and I realize that everyone has to start somewhere. I may get my house someday- but I'm sure it will be down the road, after much work and saving. Because as dad taught me- that's where all good things come from.