Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you ever have people in your life and you just know God put them there to keep you humble? Well, I do and they are my neighbors.
They moved onto the acreage behind us probably two years ago and honestly, we don’t know them all that well. We see each other in passing and they are very nice Christian people, but they have this gift of always stopping by when I’m at my worst. You know how it is, right? They stop by to visit and the house is a wreck, or they walk past the yard when you’re running out to get the paper with “bed hair”...

Well in order to understand today’s humiliation, you must first know a little background. We have two beautiful and energetic golden retrievers. Recently I saw an ad on TV for a new training system called, THE PERFECT DOG. It promised great results quickly and like a sucker I bought it! Now, I’m actually very happy with it and am eagerly going out to work with my dogs each day, imagining in my minds eye these well behaved dogs from the commercials. My dogs however don’t tend to react just like the dogs on TV, so although we are seeing some success we also have our moments of frustration. One of the new techniques we are practicing is for the dog to come up to an open door, but not to cross the threshold until you have given them permission. If they do you pull them back to the “line” they crossed and give them a firm wack on the chest while telling them to wait. So I’m in my garage practicing with them to not come in from their pen without my permission, (now in my defense....I was outnumbered two to one and I’d just hit my head on the garage door)!

One more small piece of information that you need to know, our doorbell doesn’t work!

Here enters the neighbor lady, their phones aren’t working and she has come over to ask if she can use mine. Knock, knock, knock on the door.....followed by a voice from the garage....”wait”..........knock, knock, knock.....(a little louder voice from the garage)”WAIT”.................knock, knock, knock........(much louder voice,)”WAIT!!!!”

Do you get the picture here?????

She’s probably like, “Ok, I’m waiting” and meanwhile I’m in the garage and can’t even hear her knocking!

Eventually I come into the house and hear a gentle knock, she gets to use the phone and I’m “the crazy neighbor” again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Parent's Influence

(It has been ages since I posted last. My excuse is that I’m earning my Executive MBA and making free time to blog isn’t a priority. I have never been a frequent blogger but going to school full-time makes it even harder.)

I took special pride in my older kids today. Their actions re-assured me that my place of influence as a parent is not dead. Without any prompting from me, they held their own “See you at the pole” day at their small middle-school. My son and daughter walked past the open door to stop and pray for their school and community before class.

As a parent I often fear the challenges facing my children in modern society. My knee-jerk reaction is to want to protect them. Just by shear number of minutes I fear I will lose the battle to influence my kids. As they grow older I try to teach by influence rather than control, to discuss rather than command. A philosophy of gradual independence, the more they mature, the more freedom they earn and the less we command. Today they showed me they can make good, even noble choices. I am proud of them.

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