Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am sitting here trying to decide why I blog- it is quite possibly the most narcissistic thing in which I participate. To think that anyone out there in the world really gives a darn about the thoughts that come out of my head is rather arrogant, isn't it? And yet, look at how many people out there in the world participate along with me. I read somewhere on the Internet that narcissism is the new up and coming diagnosis in mental health for us Gen-Xers and all those that have come since we reared our "me" attitudes on the world. So, my question is where did this new trend in "me, me, me" come from?

I think my age group was among the last to receive trophies only for winning, if you didn't win- you watched the other team get them. It made us want to try harder to win the next time. Now, everyone gets one just for participating, so it doesn't matter if you win. Does this lend itself to the delusion that we are all "winners" and that thought that everyone out there must really be interested in my every thought? This false sense of a level playing field, this ridiculous notion that everyone will always have the ability to be heard, the desire for instant-gratification and the utter selfishness of pursuing only "my own happiness" - all these I believe are a by-product of our new socialization in America.

We've been fed lies to appease our mentality which has been dumbed down again and again to account for our lack of good education, strong families, engaged parents, involved churches, and responsibility in government. We are now taught that it doesn't matter who wins, that somehow just by default of being American that we're entitled to everyone having the "same" of everything...because, that is what is FAIR; that its okay to want everything NOW and if you don't have the money then just use that plastic. But, the truth is there are people who win out, there are people that are going to be better than we are at making money, finding career success and raising their family to be olympians and astromauts. We are not all the same so we cannot not expect what we receive to be the same- can we? I see people out there in the world doing what they have to do make themselves happy, paying little mind to the homeless man sitting panhandling on the corner or the single Mom weighing out whether she should buy food to feed the family or pay her electric bill.

The narcissism is pervasive now in our culture. When you see these faux stars reading about themselves in the latest issue of the trash mag, that is the definition of being self-absorbed. Or absolutely anything on reality TV- I can't bear it. How does someone on a reality TV show become a "star"? Heidi and Spencer....need I say more? So, we're not only narcissists but also voyeurs? Ugh. I was talking to my Dad about how much has changed in his lifetime (73 years) and it astounds me daily to even think about the fact that he lived without electricity, running water, TV, cell phones, facebook...he was blaming my generation for voting in Obama. It was an interesting conversation because I can really only point to my Mom's generation for the spiral we have taken as a culture. As she burned her bra and stuck it to "the man" everything started to change. My generation was parented by the originators of Woodstock and acid trips and pot-laced brownies and then as they converted and became soccer Moms and gray-headed accountants we were left to navigate through the mazes of life with parents that needed their kids to be the ones to change the world because they had not. So, they started planting the seeds of Stuart Smalley theology and telling us all we are "winners."

So, where has our winner generation taken us? The defining moments of 2000-2010 were tragic, amazing, blessed, shameful and everything in between. But, as we look at that decade and what came to rise what do we have to show for all our "self-confidence"? A nation in debt, a country that cannot take care of itself, and now a new generation of our kids that are righteously immune to any sort of real instruction or criticism or correction of any kind. I refuse to parent this way. My kids will be raised to know that they will have to work hard, they will have to earn their successes, small or great. My boys will learn that happiness comes from within and God will always be there to provide that even when the world cannot. Most importantly they will learn that it isn't always about them...there is a big world out there and they need to see their part in it- not what the world owes them...but what they can do for our world. My parents instilled me a deep faith in God and that has seen me through the fads of my generation...that being said, I have fallen prey here and there to the things of the world. Hello, I am blogging...prey. I only hope that my children are able to change the world to see beyond themselves cause I think a lot of us Americans live in our own bubbles.

But, hey- what the heck do I know? I just want my voice to be heard, cause I know it, a blog rant- that's a first.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Best Foot Forward

We've stirred things up here at the Beatty ranch and the last few weeks have left us spinning-
My big kid started "real school" at a private Christian school that came very highly recommended from one of our closest friends here in OK and it has been a blessing to him in many ways...I cried the first few times I dropped him off and J is still stomping his feet all the way back to the car crying for his "Bubba" to come back home with us. I knew that someday this moment would come and he was ready, Mommy on the other hand wasn't quite so sure about letting her baby go.

Sending your children off and knowing that there is no way you can protect their heart while they are not with you- it's almost more than this Mommy could bear. I prayed for weeks about this decision and even as I walked him in for his first day I was weary.

I counseled him on how to approach his very first day by saying, "Honey, the best thing you can do is to always put your best foot forward."

He looked at me and replied, "is my best foot this one (pointing to his right foot) or this one (pointing to the other)?" I couldn't help but look at my son and want to hug his neck- I laughed out loud and tried to explain what that expression meant to no avail; for now he had me laughing and once you've made Mom laugh, it's over. Now, each day as he departs my hand-help grasp he points to a foot and says, "this one is my best foot today..." he smiles with glee at his joke and walks away with confidence and assurance that today will be a good day at school.

Do I miss homeschooling him? ABSOLUTELY!! Do I miss my kid? His silliness? His antics? YES!! However, he was was the right time to make the switch. I will always hold on to the memories that we made while I watched those "A-HA" moments occur...I am blessed to carry those with me always. I pray he will look back at that time and keep some of those same moments in his heart. He still amazes me everyday with his kindness, with his heart...we were having our daily prayer time while driving him to school one morning and he stops and says,"And thank you GOD for making me your child and help me to stay in your command." I sat there stunned at his depth, his sincerity and the faith exuding out of this little boy and all at once I knew that any doubts I had about school, how we've raised him, where his heart was....all was answered. He is right where God would have him be and we send up praises everyday for this child we have been given.

On the flipside of this decision there is the fact that now I have J all to myself most days. He is an energetic, lively, and silly little boy who's smile could warm a room. His passion for EVERYTHING is amazing and is intense in ways I never thought a 3 year old could conjure up, but he does all with great fervor. His anger and his love, his hugs and his slugs...its always 150% with J. The world "stubborn" doesn't even touch his determination to do things his way, to fight for what's right, to stand in the face of opposition and make his point. He still struggles with his speech delay and the frustration resulting from having to tell someone three or four times his point of view before they can translate what he's trying to communicate. God love his little heart, he is spitfire and spunk wrapped up in too-big-for-him hand-me-downs. He melts my heart with impromptu hugs and "Mommy, I love you so much" or "Mommy you're so pretty!" He knows how to work his Mommy, that is for sure.

The hub keeps plugging along at work and makes so many sacrifices everyday for this family, I am constantly amazed at how much he gives to us. I know there are days when he would rather stay in bed then be at work at 3 am - who wouldn't? But, in his desire to support our family and provide us with the luxuries we enjoy- he keeps on doing what I could not. For that and many other reasons he is our hero!

We have started a new group study at our church and it has been very beneficial to our marriage. Anyone out there that is looking for a transformation in their marriage should look into this study... "The Power of the Praying Wife" and "The Power of the Praying Husband" In just a few short weeks God has used this study and our prayers for each other to rekindle a love for God and for each other that we had lost somewhere along our journey.

I still battle daily with my back injury and the resulting pain; there are days when it gets the better of me and takes me down a road of sadness and despair. Those are the days when my family and friends pray for God to save me from my moments where I forget to let God take my hand and lead me through the pain. I struggle with my faith during my moments of pain that are so intense that I just want to give up...and I am so blessed to have family and friends that see me through those times. Please pray for healing and an end to the pain. Prayer can bring miracles and I would love one of those for me! And for Patrick, John Henry, Alicia and all those out there that keep fighting the good fight.

Truly, in our life, God has continued to graciously bestow upon the Beatty family the blessings of His love and grace through His Word, through the friends he has given to us in life, through each other, through our families. We remain forever in his loving care and pray you do the same.

Blessings abound everywhere you look, just don't be too busy to notice.

Love to all.