#1 Man Makes His Plans, But the Lord Determines His Steps
My life verse has always been Proverbs 16:9, "A man's heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps." I knew from the time I was a little girl that I wanted two things more than anything; to be a mommy of a big family and to be a writer.
Life didn't quite go as planned. I spent six years trying to get pregnant, before I was given the great privilege of raising my oldest daughter, whom also happened to be my cousin's daughter, who passed away. (We were blessed in being able to adopt her 8 years ago today, on my 29th birthday!)
I then gave up the idea of naturally conceiving and we decided to adopt. Along the way I met 8 more beautiful children, 2 lifelong friends (two of their moms), and I wouldn't change a moment of it. Yet, God didn't choose adoption again for me. We tried IVF, only to learn my eggs were not suitable for procreation. Then after several more tries, my youngest babe was conceived through IVF (donated eggs). I planned to be a mom... God chose how I would get there.
Review of the Book by Candace Cameron Bure
Recently a friend of mine and I took my oldest to meet Candace Cameron Bure. I was a fan of Full House and have seen a couple episodes of Fuller House, but honestly I was no more of a fan of Candace Cameron Bure than anyone else. My friend on the other hand saw something beautiful in her and strongly encouraged me to join her. I agreed because I love to read, and I heard it was a Christian book. I enjoyed myself immensely and she was truly kind.
Despite the great time, I did not have high hopes for the book. I bought one anyway, because why go to a book signing, if you are not going to purchase the book.
Candace Cameron Bure Displays Strong Christian Values
Now, I knew that she was a Christian. Since I watch very little TV and rarely read about celebrities, I assumed she had a watered down faith. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that her book promotes having a strong relationship with God, reading the Bible, and praying continuously. From the beginning to the end, she discusses how her faith has directed life in every area whether she is working, being a mom, or even working out. Her faith in God rivals other Christian speakers and writers. She is definitely a person worthy to look up to, in order to grow as a Christian.
Have you ever thought about how people seem to have become more polarized in their views? Today I was listening to a guy who knows a lot about security and technology speak in The Edge series from Life Leadership. He pointed out the dangers of social media. This one was unlike any danger I had ever heard. He said that social media is narrowing our political/spiritual/social view on life. We only "like" what we like. We only "follow" certain people. The advertisements are geared towards our personal computer/search habits. We are putting ourselves in a bubble, but so are search engines.
A Dangerous Cycle of Reaffirmation
Basically what we are doing is reaffirming to ourselves that we are right. Few people reach out and look for varying views. Most choose to find things that either affirm their own belief, or are so kooky that they make those with varying beliefs seem ridiculous.
This made me think about a few days ago when I went on YouTube. I intentionally wanted to see what people felt about a particular hot topic. I have a certain leaning, and YouTube has gathered this due to my searches. The problem is, I could only find things that I particularly agreed with. When I did find things that appeared to support the opposite point of view, it mocked that point of view.
How Can We Ever Learn Others Perspective?
The problem is, I sincerely wanted to hear what others are saying. I ended up giving up, turning off my computer, and going to bed. I didn't think too much of why this happened at the time. Instead I thought it was odd, since I knew there had to be hundreds, possibly thousands of videos that opposed my point of view. I just accepted it an didn't question it.
Then as this man spoke, I was struck at why that had happened. I had trained my computer to only see that point of view, because it's something I am passionate about. Then I got to think about how since the internet learns our behaviors, it has not allowed for true healthy conversation on the topics. I then realized, two people can search the same thing, and based on tendencies, searches will come up that support what that person would typically want to hear. Had many of my friends typed the same search in YouTube, it is likely different videos would have shown up.
Maybe We Shouldn't Be So Eager for Tech Advancements
On a deeper side of this, it is making me realize that our technology, though very great and helpful, has many very far-reaching issues that should cause us to be hesitant even when typing in a search or looking up "facts." I love technology, but we definitely need to use with caution.
I am at the upper end of being a millennial and my daughter is just shy of being one. Too often I hear that millennials are lazy and irresponsible. That is not the legacy neither of us want to leave behind. This belief has gotten so strong that many articles have been written on how to make your child more responsible. I am proud to say that my daughter is a responsible fourteen year old. Whether I can credit myself for instilling these ethics or my daughters own tenacity, I do feel that there were five key things that I will continue to do with her little sister in hopes she earns the same work ethic.
#1 Give Daily Chores
I have been astounded by the many parents who have said to me, "that's a lot of chores for a ____ year old." Honestly, it takes her anywhere between fifteen minutes to a half hour to complete her chores. Whether your child is five or eighteen, I do not think that fifteen minutes of chores is too much. They have a lifetime of responsibilities ahead of them, and they need to learn while they are young what it takes to have a successful household.
Having had many foster kids in my house, I have had several babysitters throughout the years. I have been astounded at the number of teenagers who were unable to make macaroni and cheese. It is because of this that it does not surprise me the number of kids dropping out of college and living back at home.
Our household did not stop with daily chores, she was also expected to do weekly chores, such as take the garbage to the road every Tuesday and give the dogs a bath on Friday.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.