Breaking Up With Blockbuster Online

Dear B.O.,
I feel the need for us to go our separate ways. Maybe in the beginning of our relationship I thought it would work out, but I am realizing now that to be with you requires too much commitment, and I can’t do that right now. I find myself under pressure to be with you all the time, and I just can’t. Remember when you said we should give it two weeks, and then if I wasn’t happy, we could call things off, no strings? Well, I think that is what we need to do. I will always have fond memories of those evenings spent in your blue light. You paid every time we got together, and I appreciate that. But I feel to continue this relationship, I’d only be using you, and would be unable to focus on the other things in my life that need my attention. I’m really glad your brother, InStore, hooked us up, even if it was for such a short time. As it turns out, he is much better at giving me the freedom and space I need; I will probably stop by his place sometime soon and renew our acquaintance.
I wish you all the best. Here’s hoping you find someone who needs you as much as you need them.
Sincerely,
Valerie

What Brings God Pleasure

I’m reading The Mommy Survival Guide, by Barbara Curtis, right now. Chapter nine is all about figuring out your child’s potential, and encouraging them on in ways they excel. This subject has been on my mind a lot lately, anyway. I was pretty aimless starting out in life, and am quite baffled how things turned out so well for me in spite of that. I want to be more proactive and intentional when it comes to helping my kids figure out what God has planned for their life.
I went through high school like so many, just doing what came easily academically and getting by with decent grades, with no real goals for my future. I was good at math, and I was good at drawing and painting, and I loved theatre production, so that kept me busy enough in school to not get into too much trouble. It was assumed that I should go to college after high school, so I went. When I first got to Liberty, I sat there with an admissions counselor, and literally scanned a paper with the list of available majors- hmmm, no Fine Arts? Okay, I’ll do Math. It was that flippant of a decision for me. As it turns out, I did fantastic and never regretted my time spent studying in college. But it could just as easily have turned out disastrous, if I hadn’t had enough ability, or motivation in my studies, to see it through. I’m thinking now, as a parent, that this isn’t the way I want my kids figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. College is an expensive place to play ‘choose your own adventure’.
Back to the book- Barbara mentions the movie Chariots of Fire, in which the main character, a runner, Eric Liddel, makes the statement, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Barbara encourages us as parents to look for and encourage the gifts and abilities our children have, so that they, too, can say, ” when I __________, I feel His pleasure.”
There is an aspect of this that needs addressed first- what if the parent is still trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up? I see this a lot. At times, it is going to be difficult to still pursue my dreams, if I am to be focused on my child’s. In cases like this, my decision has been to let go of whatever it is I am pursuing, if it stands in conflict with what needs to be happening in the life of my child at the moment. This kind of decision would be harder to make if we were a family with our education not done, or the need to move to a better-paying job. Thanks be to God that Luke and I both came into our marriage done with school, and capable of raising (and affording:) children. That way, we could be focused on what was best for our family, from the beginning.
I say all of that, because, based on what I see going on in some married couples, I’m going to have a hard time letting any of my children marry before they are capable of providing what is needed for their children. No, they don’t have to be financially wealthy, but I hope that they are done figuring themselves out before they join with another and make a new life. Once that happens, they should be free to parent their child, not still need parenting themselves.
This is the fun part, I imagine, of parenting, if we can let go of our own ambitions- Barbara refers to it as each child being like a gift we have been given to open and discover the wonder in each one.