It has only been a week since the peak of Hurricane Harvey, but for those of us in and around Houston it already seems like much longer. Now that more of the roads are passable and we can begin to take in the full impact, it is surreal.
The summer before I turned 6 years old, I moved from West Texas to Houston, and it was a little rough at first. Where I used to live, there were lots of kids to play with who lived on my street. We just walked to each other’s houses and ran around all day. At my new house, I knew nobody; and because it was summer, there was no way to meet anyone at school. I got super bored and lonely very quickly… like I said, it was rough !I used to ride my bike through the neighborhood looking for kids to play with; and even if I saw some, I was too embarrassed to just walk up and say, “Hi.”
As I sat across the counseling room from Diana, who had lost her daughter in a tragic accident four months prior, she said something I’ve heard from so many others in the midst of pain. She said, “If I just knew why; if God would just show me how He could possibly use this for good so that I could be confident my daughter didn’t die in vain, then I could move forward.” I believe that her pain and grief are completely justified and I could certainly identify with the question. Who hasn’t shouted “Why?!” in the midst of despair?
Several years ago, I moved to St. Louis for a three-year grad program. Having lived my whole life in the great state of Texas, I had been exposed to only two types of weather up to that point: warm and blazingly hot. In St. Louis, I gained my first experience with that mythical season that I had read about in books and seen in movies – winter.
Burdens. That’s what I see most of the time in my office – people carrying heavy burdens desperate to find rest and peace. This is my work, and what I have done for the past 10+ years is meet hurting people in their dark moments and support them to a place of strength. I’ve been doing this for over ten years, but I have to say that the last six months or so have been different.I’ve seen a new burden and have been hesitant to speak to it, and when I say what it is you’ll know exactly why I’ve been reluctant.
WHAT: age-appropriate dialogue about sex with your kids
WHEN: sooner than you think— on an ongoing basis
HOW: with plenty of preparation, patience and prayer
WHY: to point to the amazing work of our Creator, and for your kids’ protection!
Sex. It’s one of the top three things that couples fight about within marriage. Why? I can think of at least two major contributing factors. The first is that sex is deeply personal and vulnerable. And the second is that very few people are actually taught how to talk about this sensitive topic in a healthy manner. If the couple happens to be Christian, then the chances are even slimmer that they’ve learned how to communicate their sexual desires or concerns to one another.
Holidays are stressful – this is not news. The demands on our time and finances this time of year are exponentially greater than the rest of the year. There are obligations everywhere! Gift buying for family, co-workers, teachers, various service providers - the list goes on… We spend our time going to our kids’ Christmas programs, work parties, theater productions, watching traditional movies, etc. Between our hopes and expectations and everyone else’s, emotions run high. It’s a lot! All of these obligations can take away our joy in this season. Well, I say – let’s take that joy back!
Do you consider any of the following to be innocuous? Human-trafficking, objectification of women, violence, rape, incest, infidelity. I’m guessing the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “NO!” So why do so many people still believe that pornography, a behavior that often precipitates, accompanies, or fuels these atrocities is “harmless” or “okay in moderation?”
Are you protecting your kids from Internet predators? How are you preparing their developing brains to deal with content beyond their capacity when they do encounter it?In today’s tech-based culture, Internet skills are learned early on; so parents need to be vigilant about implementing protective measures regarding Internet safety.