Sunday, June 14, 2009


It's so easy to become weary in the raising of small children. And the reason only party has to do with the diapers and spills. Most of the parental discipline required must go into the area of consistency. If we want children to grow in maturity and independence, then they must make their bed EVERYDAY, clean their rooms/playroom EVERYDAY, put their dirty clothes in the hamper EVERYDAY. They must take care of the library's belongings EVERYDAY, water their garden EVERYDAY, and put the outside toys away EVERY TIME. This means that Mom and Dad can't rest. Following through on all these child-rearing disciplines is a must, if our children are truly ready for the world when they leave our safe-haven homes. It can be so grueling, but when we take days off, we almost start from scratch again. And our children receive the wrong message--that responsibility is an on-again, off-again sort of thing.

This morning I read this article below about discipline from The HighCalling Blog Site. It was such a blessing to me! So convicting. We've been remiss lately in consistently requiring the children to do some of these chores. It can seem so much easier to go out back after they are in bed and clear the lawn of toys ourselves. Or water the garden ourselves, so there's no danger of drowning the plants. Or put away the dirty clothes ourselves, so they make it into the right hamper compartment. After all, we have to pick our battles. Don't we, now? Well, yes, but we can't skip the battle to raise responsible, capable citizens. An extra cookie now and then? No problem. But skipping chores because Mom and Dad have other things on their minds? Not so good. The battle is to first work on discipline in our own adult lives, so that we can effectively teach it to our children without trying to fake it. Effective parenting always requires going to God--for conviction first--and then for help.

Hebrews 12:11
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Acedia, Rehearsals, and Me


Acedia, Rehearsals, and Me

When we open a new show at the Rockbox Theater, the professional theater where I work, I thoroughly enjoy the audiences' reactions to the hours and hours of practice put in by our cast and crew.

What I do NOT enjoy is the rehearsal process itself. I've been involved in singing and acting for most of my life, and I still abhor rehearsals.

It's just so much work.

I admit it—I'm lazy. While I love the spotlight and the actual performance aspect of live theater, the long hours spent away from my kids, hobbies, friends, and home frustrate me. I have to keep reminding myself that without the "boring-ness" of repeated rehearsals, our crew of singers and musicians wouldn't be successful. Self, I say, God wants you to be a good steward of your talents. That means putting in gobs of time . . . mostly in obscurity. And I continually tell myself that excellence of any sort takes hard work and discipline.

The irony is, I abhor acedia when I see it in other people. Kathleen Norris has talked about this idea of spiritual apathy in her recent memoir, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life.

A few years ago, an aspiring actress who worked at a burger joint asked my hubby how to break into the arts. He suggested she audition for her local theater and take acting lessons. But she waved off his advice, saying, "I'm good enough already. I just need someone to notice me."

I was appalled at her attitude. And I have a feeling she's still selling burgers.

But I see the same tendency in my kids—especially regarding chores and schoolworkand I know they're probably getting it from dear old Mom. I hate this bent towards laziness in myself, and I truly am praying about it.

After all, acedia is most definitely a spiritual problem. Proverbs is full of scriptures touting the blessings that follow discipline, and the hardship that results when it's absent. Hebrews 12:11

In our media-drenched society, a governor-turned-presidential candidate or aspiring singer can go from obscurity to fame in seconds. Hard work and discipline are no longer the only ways to achieve lasting success (Paris Hilton, anyone?). But in the spiritual realm and the other areas that really matter—parenting, marriage, friendship—the things that last are those that take the most time and effort.

I long for the harvest of righteousness and peace mentioned in Hebrews. But that harvest won't come if we're lazy, sitting around and hoping for it. Each day, we have to rehearse the truths God has given us. We must sit with the Word and meditate on (and with) our Savior. As we continually surrender to God's work in and through us, he will produce holiness.

This high calling takes hard work.

It takes my time.

It takes my discipline.

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