Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Family That Changes The World

Abby and Will along with other children in the Marching Militia

Today was a wonderful day for our family.  We just visited Historic Williamsburg, Virginia.   Weeks before we left on our trip, Anne read the American Girl series to Will and Abby.  The story was about a young lady who lived in old Williamsburg during the time of the revolutionary war.  In following the American Girl series a young lady named Felicity from Williamsburg shared with the readers all about the adventures of being a young child during a time of great upheaval.  Even though the outside world was in turmoil and change, she as a young girl found an oasis of peace and protection within her family.  Felicity constantly found trials in her world, but her rock was that of a mother and father who loved her and protected her and were always there for her. 

 Abby and Will became so excited to visit the site where the story had taken place.  Before leaving on the trip, Anne had found a seamstress that made dresses from that time period and she ordered one for Abby, and had a vest and shirt made for William as well.  The cost was affordable so it wasn’t a tax on our savings. 

Flute and Drum Corp.
In our homeschool, we studied about Jamestown and Williamsburg.  Will especially loved reading about this time period.  During this past weekend, Williamsburg had events set up for home schooled children, we really enjoyed seeing other kids like Abby and Will all dressed up in the time period clothes and having so much fun.   When it came time to eat our dinner, we stopped at the “Kings Arms Tavern.”  It was a restaurant that was set in the original design of the period with table wear and rooms from the late 1700s.  We really enjoyed the food and when coming down the stairs to leave, we passed families waiting for table service.  A gentleman spoke to Abby when she was passing him.  He told her, “You sure are pretty in your dress!”  Abby thanked him and I did as well.  When outside I asked Anne if that man was who I thought he was, she said yes, it was Kurt Cameron.  Anne later told me that he has been doing research on the Christian heritage of our nation, starting in England and progressing to the early colonies here in the United States.  With the research completed, he made a movie called “Monumental.”  In reading the information about the movie, I discovered that he believes that our nation is losing its original purpose and goals and is becoming lost in its way.  He believes there is a need to return to our roots, and that real change starts not in Washington, but at the dinner table and at home.  I have to say; I have felt the same way for some time.

Marji (Grandma) Anne, Abby and Palace Greeter
Over the years my heart has been heavy for our nation’s children.  I have been writing extensively recently about the changes that have taken place in our society over the last 40 years.  When reading my thoughts to Anne the other day, her response was one of being kind and polite.  “You are a good writer that encourages others, but in what you have just written, it lacks the love in your words that you have for others.”   I had to say that she was right; I was critiquing society as if I were looking at the problem without hope. 

I have worked with “At-Risk” children for almost 20 years and I have seen so many issues in the schools that have pointed to the family as having the real need for change.  We as a society are trying to revolutionize our education process in the hope of making our children more prepared for the future.  We have counselors, social workers, administrators and teachers looking for ways to prepare, evaluate and improve our children, and yet, is this approach leading to the answers we seek?  Children are dropping out of school, running away, and or are being sent to other educational settings like Alternative Schools, Charter Schools, as well as Boys and Girls Ranches in growing numbers.  What is happening to our children?  Should our schools and government be held accountable for the needed changes?

In the years of education that I have spent working with students and families alike, my beliefs are not founded in our evolutionary educational changes.  They are discovered in finding Christ in our homes.  Putting Jesus first in our individual lives, in our marriages, and in leading our children.  Have we lost this as a nation?  I believe that the devil will not destroy our country first by a foreign power; he will not have go to such ends.  The devil will do away with our nation by destroying the family first.  I believe this to be so true.  In working with the growing number of “At-Risk” children, I have found that the origins of their difficulties can be traced, in many cases, to a family in crisis.  If the home is not based in Christ’s love and guidance, then education and all the other aspects of that child’s life will suffer.
Will in the Williamsburg Armory

 A motto expressed at a Boys Ranch that I taught at said this, “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”  Is the love in the family rapidly disappearing?  Once a student in crisis defiantly and angrily said to me,” What can you do to me that hasn’t been done already?”  His question echoed in my brain for days to come.  The answer I was looking for found me instead, it was to love him.  Our staff began looking for ways not to punish for misbehavior as much as to seek alternatives in rewarding and uplifting their efforts by helping them see and do well.  We found so much success in our renewed efforts, but that would soon come crashing down upon us.  Our love was not enough.  Christmas was fast approaching and with that, a vacation for our students.  Our pupils went home for long awaited time with family and friends, and with that, we expected our students to return with renewed vigor and a passion for continued progress toward a healthy lifestyle.  What awaited us would turn our worlds upside down.  When they came back, they were confused, angry and generally mixed up.  Their family life had not changed while they were gone and the love we gave them was not enough for them to survive with their own families.  So many times our efforts were nullified by a child’s home life.   What has happened that children in so many ways do not trust or look up to their elders anymore?  We now have children who are not looking to adults for guidance, but their peers instead.  One should ask why? 

It seems that so much of society today is dictating to our families what we need to do as parents to improve our children.  One day I called a father who was on the edge with life.  I had the unfortunate duty in having to tell him that his son was being suspended for inappropriate behavior.  He responded by saying that now the school is telling him that he is a failure as a dad, along with the juvenile court and social services.  He worked the day shift at a factory and his wife worked nights to make ends meet. Though I did not say anything bad about his parenting abilities, I did not offer him hope either.  I was only another person punishing his son and not offering him a way out, a path that he so desperately needed.  Where is this “hope” that we as parents so desperately seek?

Governor's Palace
Perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction.  Are the values we place in life the ones that God wants for us?  Are they in line with what Jesus would have us do? When counseling troubled parents I have found that they were desperate to find answers that might help them to be better fathers and mothers.  They wondered what went wrong and why did this happen to their family, to their child. 

Are we as a nation heading in this direction?  Are we lost and wondering what to do?  Saying Christ is the answer is not just a blanket statement made lightly.  Inviting him into our hearts and asking him to help us, it is the key to getting ourselves back in line with his desires for our lives, and that for our family.   The father is the leader of the family, as the mother is the heart.  Together they are whole, but separated they cannot stand.  God wants fathers to be loving, responsible caring men who are respected by their families.  Mothers are the love, generosity, and kindness that a family needs and cannot survive without.  God has made man and woman different with distinctive roles, but not separate from each other.  We each need the other and together we are complete.  Just as Jesus is the head of the family, men and fathers who are not submissive to God cannot be a good and loving husband and parent.

We as a families need to pray for God’s guidance.  When the family is seeking God and honoring him, the nation will follow.   Augie