Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
-
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, December 18, 2009

When it rains, it pours

We've all heard the saying that I used as my post title. "When it rains it pours"....people usually say this when they are talking about the problems in their lives, whether it's medical issues, rebellious teenagers, financial issues, etc. Things don't just come one at a time in life. During those tough times, we need a place to go. Sometimes physically, often mentally, and always spiritually.

It's been raining here, this is the third day I think. Strangely, as much as I always hated the thunderstorms when we lived in Florida before, it's been kind of nice to experience the rain....it's still warm outside so the rain is actually refreshing versus freezing and uncomfortable like it is in NY when it rains in the winter. Plus, there really has been no thunder or lightening in our area, so that helps immensely. ;)

I recently wrote a note on Facebook about the word shelter. Many people think it is wrong to 'shelter' our children. I disagree. Here is a copy of what I wrote there:

A recent conversation has me thinking about this word. I see the word shelter as a good thing...it means protection, something or Someone to keep you safe, out of the storm. God is described as our strong shelter in the Bible.

Psalm 31:20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.

Psalm 31:20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Isaiah 4:6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

There are many more verses, those are just a few. But they all speak of it as protection, not as if it will do harm to us to be sheltered. As parents, we provide shelter for ourselves (homes) and for our kids (keeping them from harm, housing, providing good influences vs. bad), and for others who may visit with us. We offer a safe place to stay, someplace comfortable....so, my difficulty is the 'bad rap' that this word has. The world today tells us not to 'shelter' our kids. Call me naive, and some do, but I WANT to shelter my kids because I just don't see it as a bad thing. I want someone to provide shelter for me when and if I need it....I don't want to be 'left out in the rain' so to speak, be it literally or otherwise. Here are the definitions that are found at www.dictionary.com.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shelter

I agree that as our kids get older we need to let them experience more things, and that they need to be prepared to enter the world and know how to deal with people, temptations, etc. when they do. However, I do not agree that letting them experience some of those 'things' and 'people', etc. at a young age will have a good influence on them. Quite the contrary. I know from experience that if we are not diligent in providing shelter for our children, even ourselves, it is that much easier to make the wrong choice.....and those choices can and do have a life-long impact. I want my kids to have a strong foundation, and I see shelter as just one of many things that are necessary to meet that goal. What do you all think? I am sure we all have widely varying opinions, and I see no harm in voicing those here. However, let's be nice. No attacks on others, please.

As we've been experiencing these days of rain, and as my parents, kids, cousins, and uncles have been dealing with pouring rain in Alabama, I've been pondering this word shelter. I am so thankful that my family has always had a safe place to live, that God has always provided appropriate shelter for us. He's provided my husband a great job that takes care of us financially and we have been blessed beyond measure. Where do we go in the midst of a storm? Inside a shelter....whether it be our home, under a tent, into our cars....we seek protection from the rain, the lightening, the wind. Why? We don't want to get wet....it makes us cold and uncomfortable. We don't want to get struck by lightening, as we all know the dangers in that. The wind blows us around, keeps us off course and from reaching our destination. A shelter keeps us comfortable, safe, and on course. Physically, we all see the value in that.

Why is it that when we begin to speak of 'sheltering our children' people get offended? It means protection! How is it wrong to offer protection for our children? I find it is necessary physically, spiritually, and mentally. I am glad that I shelter my children. They are naive and I have no problem with that. Why do they need to be so mature and grow up too fast? As a mother I teach them what I think they can handle, that which will help them and not harm them. Whether it be academically, physically, or spiritually. We are fast approaching a time, at least in my older two kids' lives, where they will no longer be innocent. I am not going to rush it. I am doing what I feel God has called me to do as a parent, and I cannot ignore His direction. He wants us also to run to Him for shelter, protection, so He can wrap us in His arms and keep us safe from all that life throws at us. Would anyone refuse protection if they needed it? Unfortunately, some would, but I'm not going to. And I'm not going to refuse to offer the same protection, shelter, to my children as it's needed.

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