{adverse Advent}

I have multiple journals.

One is green and I carry it in my purse.  It’s purpose is prayer and devotional thoughts.

One is small and brown and I also carry it with me.  I use it to jot down writing ideas, mainly for my blog.  It’s also handy if I come across a good quote. 

I have a journal on my nightstand, in which I write the more diary type stuff:  personal rants, how I’m feeling, why I should be the first female president [not really].

Having multiple might seem odd to some, but I desire to keep things separate.  The nightstand journal absolutely could not travel around with me.  It’s too private, and to be honest, I don’t use very good penmanship in it.  The green journal is nice to have around, especially if I catch a spiritual thought while at work I want to jot down, or if I feel the need to write out a prayer.  The little brownie is not neat.  It’s mainly used for brainstorming.  It gives me that Hemingway vibe.

Anyway, the point of all this……I looked in my green journal earlier this week and realized I haven’t written anything in quite some time.  The last entry was a prayer I copied, most likely from Common Prayer:

Lord, you have brought them in safety to this new day.  Preserve them by your mighty power that they may not fall into sin nor be overcome by adversity and in all that they do, direct them to the fulfilling of your purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Above the prayer, I’d written:
Prayer for husband and kids

My kids have not really faced extreme adversity; nothing life shattering has ever, thank goodness, happened to them.  But I’m a firm believer that much in life is relative to your circumstances, so when they do face what is difficult for them, it is, in reality, difficult.

It’s easy to gloss over the adversity of the Christmas story.  Yet, so much of it is stark and not so pretty.  Yes, it’s the most beautiful story ever.  But at the same time it’s a young girl put in an unfamiliar, risky situation.  It’s a young man trying to do the right thing even though it would be easier not to.  It’s life in an occupied country, where the adversary is very real and powerful and dangerous.  When I imagine my young daughter put in the situation Mary was in, it’s overwhelming to comprehend.

Our kids face decisions that have consequences.  Not just the drugs and sex and uber serious stuff.  But the “should I be in the percussion ensemble?” and “should I try out for the school play?” questions do have the ability to take one down a certain path.  And while they might not be life altering, even a little change during one’s freshman year of high school can be BIG.

I’m finding one of the hardest aspects of parenting is helping our kids through their difficulties and decisions.  It’s fairly easy to tell them what to do.  But letting them make the call…..  that can be hard.

Jean Vanier’s quote was part of my morning devotional today:

“To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude:  ‘You are beautiful.  You are important.  I trust you.  You can trust yourself.’ We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves.  To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.”

That’s a great goal, to reveal the light that is shining in my kids.  I hope I’m getting there.

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