Why I Dropped the Idea of PC Parenting

The most honest thing I can tell you about parenting is that it is mostly a self-struggle.

What will people think of me?

How will I mess up my kids?

How do I handle it when my dreams for my child have died?

Why have I failed miserably?

It’s all my fault.

These are just a few of the running conversations we have in our head, as parents. It’s little wonder we are constantly exhausted, and not just because of all the crazy hours we put in doing the actual parenting.

In this struggle, there’s a copious amount of fear. Nuclear level, actually, and good thing you can’t unscrew our heads or open our chests to our heart to see just how much.

On the high end of the fearful parenting scale is PC (politically correct) parenting. In the PC way, we have to do it right and acceptable so no one will judge us. And as you may know, the fear of being judged sits chief among all parents. (I rarely say all, because all is too broad. But I think all here. I mean to say all.)

So I dropped the idea a while ago. I have a million things to mourn as a parent, and I don’t need to add my constant self-struggle with the fear of being judged as one of them.

The truth is, one day I suspect we will have an epidemic of mournful PC parents saying these 2 things:

I just wanted my kids to like me.

 I just wanted to respect the way my kids felt.

Because at the core, PC parenting is mostly about letting the kids lead the way. To this day, every time I’m tempted to buy into one of the two above trains of thought, I remember why I dropped the idea of PC parenting in the first place.

  • It doesn’t work. PC parenting sounds good but it doesn’t actually work. It’s not hard to see the results of this, I think. Children without boundaries, not respecting themselves or others, not understanding the precious value of absolutes and guardrails of yes and no, operating from the mistaken belief system that whatever they feel they can say, do and build they life choices upon – this is what we have walking around because parents just want to be liked and put too much stock into feelings. Even in general society, we are seeing the results of this – poor customer service, entitlement culture, etc. — and will even more in the days and years to come.
  • It isn’t actual parenting. We didn’t sign on for easy when we became parents. We didn’t sign on to make friends and have companions in life. If we did, we chose parenting for the wrong reason(s), and we can still make it right. When we choose PC parenting, we choose to put our needs over the needs of our kids (even letting them lead the way is a need of ours, not theirs, because kids want guidance despite what they say and how strongly they try to take over), and this isn’t the description of parenting, according to Scripture. (Eph., Prov., I Cor. and many other places speak to this.) The Bible talks about commitment and choice over feelings (see Deut.30), and never does it say that parenting requires us to bend to the feelings of our children, but in fact, talks about the opposite. Yes, we treat them tenderly, listen and love, caring for the way they feel. But we guide them to understand that feelings not only shouldn’t rule and dictate behavior, but they lie to us and lead us down dangerous roads many times in our life.
  • It doesn’t honor God. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but anytime we parent to keep up with society or be politically correct in order to stay in step with the world rather than the Word, we dishonor our God who blessed us with our children in the first place. It’s not being judgmental to say that the world’s way is wrong and God’s way is right: it’s what a Jesus follower must believe to our core and exercise in every area of our life – including parenting. As the line becomes more clearly drawn in the sand by society, we will have to decide how deeply we intend to honor God with our parenting and do whatever it takes to live what we say in a very tangible way.

Look, we all have hearts soft as mush for our kids. We adore them. But to be a parent is to let God take the natural and strain the self out of it until all that’s left is what’s best. All parents need His straining. Many times, I could have used even more but I was too stubborn to let Him.

Parents, I love us. I believe in us. God wants to use us in our kid’s lives, to grow them into the warriors they are meant to be. There’s never been a more important time to get on board with what God wants to do in the next generation – many of whom we are parenting under our same roof.

We can’t do that if we are trying to be PC parents.

Despite our mistakes and things we wish we would have done better, I want us to look back one day and say, I parented well. I did things God’s way.

We can. We really can.

With you in the parenting trenches.

Love you.

Love Jesus most.

Always His,

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

Dear Parents: Hand Over the File

A Quick Note…

Hi friends! I welcome us all back from the July break to a parenting series I’m doing for the month of August – one I pray will be meaningful and encouraging to your soul, if you come here as a parent, yourself. Even if not, may there be a nugget you can take away, as parenting parallels so much of life.

Please know: it is not from any pedestal I share, but from deep in the trenches with you.

God, help us all as we seek to guide young lives to become great warriors for the Kingdom! 

Find me at church a few weeks ago, not singing during worship.

Turns out, when you have a bowling ball burden resting square on your chest, pending a big decision by one of your kids, discord, a conflict, a timing issue, and things that look a bit of a mess, sometimes the mouth is too overwhelmed to open.

We have a good family.

But the first mistake people sometimes make about good families is assuming that people who love their family hard, play hard and post fun pictures about it sometimes have nightly dinner like the Cleavers followed by Bible memory quoting before the 2 hour prayer sessions, capping off the night with Walton-esque goodnights.

The second mistake is to assume they never have problems.

I won’t spend the time here on why this is the craziest wrong assumption because I think deep down we all know just how crazy it is, but just please hear it again one more time, loud and clear:

No family is perfect. Every family has problems. Pictures are snapshots, the end.

But back to me at church, that Sunday a few weeks ago.

As I am there with worship music playing around me, heavy with the burdens, silent before the Lord with my mind going over and over all the many things, I want relief, release, resolution…all the issues to be solved immediately and perfectly and in the way I think. I am overcome with the sheer complication of several big issues at once and trying to process as I do in my typical intuitive, linear way of how all the things must become solved, one by one…with every thought, becoming more and more overcome by the totality of all the things I can’t fix or solve and my frustration over this.

And I sense God speaking to my heart: Hand over the file.

 It is an odd visual, but I let my mind go there – picturing a file with papers all stuffed in it, hanging out, an unorganized mess, much like my thoughts at the moment…shoving it into His hands and saying, “ok, here, have it. Do something with it. I can’t anymore.”

Standing there in the middle of church, it’s exactly what I do.

Hand over to Jesus my entire pretend file of all the parenting burdens and mentally walk away.

****************************************

I don’t know what are your parenting burdens.

I don’t know what conflicts you have in your home, where there is discord or complication or something that looks like a complete mess you aren’t sure how to ever sort out.

But what I can tell you is that Jesus wants the entire file, and He can handle whatever is in it.

So why not today – you take all the things, pile them in that file marked, “For Jesus”, give it to Him and walk away?

Parenting is a constant handing back to God the job that requires His management.

Sometimes we just forget and try to do the job, ourselves.

With you.

Love you.

Love Jesus most.

Always His,

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

The 1st Step to Becoming a Jesus Warrior

The drill is a familiar one.

Get up, do the day, go to bed, and start over, again.

If it weren’t for the human, life would be perfect.

But instead, the projects stay half done, the relationships remain fractured, the feelings of being overwhelmed and half-baked and over it simmer just beneath the surface to the point that sleep seems to be the only relief from the days that don’t go the way we have planned. Trouble is, lots of can’t even sleep anymore.

So we get clever and think things up to help ourselves get better.

  • I just need to learn to clean my house better. If I just do that, I’ll finally be ok.
  • If I could only learn to control my tongue. Yes, that’s the key to my happiness.
  • If I will learn how to finally say no to people, then I will finally be at the place where I can rest and have peace.

 We go on a quest to solve the certain things, only to find in the end that our human didn’t go away and neither did our daily struggle.

Turns out, smokescreen issues never solve the nagging God problems inside.

Before you bring out the protest posters, please hear this: yes, I think we should work on things that hinder us as a person, and maybe that includes becoming a better housekeeper. Certainly, if nothing else, it makes our housemates a whole lot happier and us better able to find something when it’s not buried beneath a pile.

But most surface things have hidden struggles at the core.

The truth is, many of us have wandered around for years, begging for scraps and glimpses of hope, in a stale relationship with God, filling our deep hunger pains with the wrong food, treating smokescreen issues as is they were the core problem.

Were we to choose, instead, to pursue a strong, passionate relationship with God, once and for all, a myriad of our problems would all fall away.

 

Because the priority of God brings order to the chaos of our lives.

I’ve watched it happen in my own life, heard testimony about it from the lives of others. Where once, relationships were in disarray and when trying to solve the relationship ourselves, it never worked. But once the relationship with God was pursued and aligned first, He put the other relationship, the seemingly unfixable one, back together, as only He can.

  • We can clean our house better, but if our relationship with God is in disarray, the clutter will show up, again, in another area, because the soul isn’t well.
  • We may learn the steps to control our tongue from the pages of a book, but if we don’t fall in love with Jesus and it becomes a deeper commitment, those steps will eventually be forgotten and we will default to the familiar.

So many of us are weary, to the bone, of the daily grind…of trying, striving, making steps, going back, again, feeling like we can’t make the true progress we want…

So many of us say we want to walk strong and effective through this life instead of walking scared and Kingdom ineffective…

It may seem like a helpless, stale, hard place to be but it is actually the place of hope because when we come to the end of our efforts and human brave, Jesus can do what He does best and save us.

To walk Jesus Strong through this life is going to mean we are going to have to be honest with ourselves about the smokescreen issues we keep throwing up to avoid the real problem. (see Declaration 3 in Put Your Warrior Boots On: I Will Tell the Truth to Myself and Others)

Our first step to becoming a Jesus warrior? Deal with the nagging God problem within so He can make us into the warriors we are meant to be.

I’m in. How about you?

 

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

I Was Wrong about Love: A Tribute

I interrupt my scheduled, planned, all things upcoming Put Your Warrior Boots On
to post maybe the words closest to my heart in years. Thanks for understanding.

My father went to be with Jesus on April 2 at 9:53 am, where I witnessed with my own eyes his earthly departure. I could write many things about this – about holding people you love while they are here and saying what you need to say and they would all be true and maybe someday I will. I could write a tribute to my daddy — about how much I love this man, my longest, dearest love…in some ways I already have (read my book {w}hole) and maybe someday I will, again. But for now I most need to tell you this.

When my daddy first starting walking towards heaven, we didn’t know it. We just knew he had a shuffle, and that was different from his normal fast gait.

We misunderstood it. Maybe it’s because he’s a little overweight we said in whispers. He didn’t walk enough after that hip surgery. I wish he had walked more because I’m sure that’s what did it. We loved him so deep, we just wanted the reason why.

Sometimes we judge things we don’t understand.

Mostly because of that crazy fear. If we see things that scare us we just figure out a way to judge it and that makes the fear easier because then the opinion and pride protects us like a superman cape. It’s easier to judge than to feel. It’s easier to judge than to sort through the time and healing to understand.

When I was little, about the time my daddy wore the superman cape speaking of, I lived a simple country life of family and church. I loved no one more than church people, except for my family and God. But one day, and I honestly can’t remember which one, I realized the church people wore human clothes when I overheard a woman whisper something not nice about my daddy one Sunday in a pew behind me. It was then a part of my brain that wasn’t full grown said, “people don’t really love you. How could they, if they don’t love your favorite person in the world?”

I brushed the thought off but it stayed, nagging, for years. I still giggled at my favorite deacon and twirled my dress in the church but the thought never left and then years later I overheard more hard grown up church people things and the “people don’t love you” seeped even deeper. Ever loved people so deep and not liked them at all at the same darn time? It’s downright confusing. Add religion to the mix and it gets nuclear level messy.

The pain decided, then, as most bad decisions are made, to say to friends as an adult with the teasing voice “I don’t like people” – part introvert problems, but mostly, too, that easy way to avoid the scary. If I didn’t like people they couldn’t disappoint me. I couldn’t disappoint them. It was a perfect, emotionless marriage.

But God has a way of turning the tables on all that – our early junk and Satan’s ugly whispers and the mess, doesn’t He, now?

Ok so you want me to say it out loud, something I’ve never said before? I’ve always secretly just wanted people to love me. Especially church people, since I loved them from the start so pure and deep. I just wasn’t sure they ever would, for real, and if they did, if I could take them back, after how they rejected me before. Funny how we hold on to those not yet grown childhood perceptions…how even years later we ask people who never did anything to pay for their sins.

But Jesus has been plowing this field in my heart for years, convincing me over and over through graciousness and lavish love that when that thing happened in my brain as a little girl that one day I can’t remember the exact date of so very long ago, I was wrong.

I was wrong about people not loving me.

I was wrong about me not being able to love people back.

I think maybe someone reading thinks wrong about these things, too.

Most of us are just scared we will get hurt or do the hurting or become disappointed or disappoint so we judge or hold back or say we don’t like people because it’s easier that way. But it’s really not. Because we don’t mean it, not at all.

What we really mean is please love me deep. I need it.

************************************

And then one day when I’m not little anymore, my daddy walks all the way to heaven.

And people start loving me so tight I can’t breathe. Cards, flowers, food, texts, hugs, eyes that look into mine and I see tears falling down their face, too, like they loved him as much as me. Plowing, plowing, plowing, some more.

And I remember that little girl. And I whisper to her, we were wrong.

They loved us all along.

************************************

My friends, though I can’t personally thank every one of you for every act of kindness you’ve shown to me in the days since my beloved father went to heaven, please accept this blog post as a love letter to you. 

 

Daddy, this is also my love letter to you. You already know all the things, because we talked about them, didn’t we? With great joy, your LisaGirl.

 

From the beautiful home going celebration of my father, Dr. James Reimer…a special introduction from my mother, Kathie, of the speaker…my father, himself. How amazing it was for us to have found this jewel, my father’s last recorded preached message at a Sportsmen’s Event in Enid, Oklahoma, at his beloved former church, Emmanuel Baptist, where 50 men came to know Christ. We felt it most appropriate that the master orator preached his own home going message. I share it now, with you, because you are my friends and I love you. Praying it will mean something to you, as it did to us.

So You Want to Be Strong?

I see all these things on social media lately, saying do this to be strong or do that…memes that circulate cheering us for finally being heard women as if women with a voice were something new all of a sudden.

Just ask my momma- I have been speaking up for myself since I was little and wore exactly what I wanted, including those jean gauchos over and over, again. My cute Dorothy Hamill cut had them all underestimating. Dawn was never my middle name. Strong was.

But right ideas can come in wrong packages, and sometimes trying so hard to make a statement proves nothing but the hard trying and the desperation to prove what needs not be proven when it’s really there.

Please hear me clearly: I want us to be strong. I just want us to be the right kind so it will last and influence and draw people to Jesus rather than promote some burning need in self.

The truth is, we don’t have time for a manufactured strong. We need the real kind to deal with this world’s level of crazy.

The wrong strong says:

  • I must be brave. I must muster up some type of human awesome in a moment of fear or opposition.

The truth? Our human bursts of brave won’t be enough to cut it in this tough world. Anything in our strength has an expiration date attached to it. Eventually, we will need more than our brave can offer.

  • I must be loud. I must speak up, always say my piece, say what I feel without regard to consequence.

The truth? The book of James in the Bible says we are responsible for what we say and how we say it. Strength is a huge ship turned by its tiny rudder, not sailing into wild winds. (James 3)

  • I must be true to myself. I must focus on me as my greatest love, do what works for me, answer to myself.

The truth? This is humanism at its finest. Being true to ourselves is not strength, it is self worship. It is a paper tiger mindset, which can lead to endless roads of heartache. (It is also not the same as living a life of truth, setting healthy boundaries, accepting and loving ourselves, all of which I joyfully endorse.)

  • I must be unapologetic. I must never apologize for anything I want to do or act on and never give concern to the people who differ in belief from me.

The truth? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” (Phil. 2:3 NIV); “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14); “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

I know. Some of these things don’t feel wrong. They feel right. They feel good. They feel very now, very in, very earned, especially among we who have age to thank for bringing out some I’m grown and can now do what I want in us.

But we know by now that feelings can’t be the boss of us if we want to live well.

And if the point is to be truly strong and if this isn’t it, don’t we want to know?

I don’t want to miss true strength because a cheap substitute stole its identity. Then I go through life thinking I’m something I’m not only to find out it was all just awesome material for a meme.

No, I want the real strong. I want Jesus Strong.

 

Jesus strong is:

~a steadfastness…that cannot be moved by circumstance or popular opinion. When everyone else says yes, Jesus strong helps us say no. It’s a steadiness that people are drawn to because it offers stability in the midst of reactionary lives.

~a wisdom…that goes beyond education or IQ. Jesus strong people are wise. They have sage things to say and a consistent message that points in one direction — His.

~a depth…that understands and sees and gets the bigger picture and draws people in to that maturity.

~a boldness…that goes beyond natural personality or personal angst or vendetta and is driven by love and commitment to the Gospel.

~a passion…that catches on, inspires, sparks and ignites.

Friends, it’s not about memes or jean gauchos. It’s about what kind of strong do we want: the kind the world is selling that exhausts and expires…or the kind that comes from the real place, the life-giving place that will last?

 

I choose Jesus Strong.

**For much more on this, sign up for my FREE 5-day Study called Jesus Strong! Sign-up and info here: Study starts Monday, April 10 with 5 days of emails to your inbox and 3 days of Facebook lives to go with! Don’t miss this!

Free 5-Day Bible Study

Feeling like you aren’t sure how to be strong, truly strong in this day and time? Struggle with standing up for what you believe, having a strong mind, loving people, having discipline and being able to be strong in the midst of your trial? We will cover these things and how to walk Jesus Strong in them. During the 5 days, you can see replays of 3 Facebook live videos where I am joined by some amazing special guests!