Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Paying with Children

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:29 PM 1 comments
One of the ways that we don't realize that we have to pay now or pay more later is in raising our children. As a counselor I saw it time and time again that parents let their children get away with small acts of disobedience and disrespect when they were younger because they were little things. Then they came to counseling because their child was "out of control." The heartache and struggle that parents went through because they had no authority over thier child was hard to watch. Walking step by step as parents attempted to regain authority over a rebellious teenager was hard work for everyone. It is much harder to regain authority and enforce discipline that hasn't been kept in place than it is to maintain it. As hard as it feels sometimes to keep on my children and work to make them obey (and it is often WORK), I try to keep in mind (and tell them) that obedience is essential for their safety and well-being. One day they're going to need to mind me when I tell them not to run out in the street or not put themselves in a situation where they'll be tempted to sin, or any number of other possibilities. As laborious as it is sometimes to discipline my children and stop what I'm doing to enforce a rule, the pay off in obedience is well worth it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pay Now or Pay More Later

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:26 PM 0 comments
We live in a society of having the option to pay now or pay later for most things. Generally, we are encouraged to pay later – use your credit card, it’s so much easier; buy now, pay nothing until 2020 (okay, may not that far away), etc, etc, etc. Although the concept of getting what we want and not paying for it until later sounds great, what many people don’t realize is that when you eventually do pay, you will pay much more than the original cost of whatever it was you just couldn’t have to wait. At an interest rate of 18% or 36% it doesn’t take long for $300 to become $1000. And the larger the purchase, the greater the interest you’ll end up paying. But because we pay just a little at a time, it doesn’t seem that bad. Or, we’ve already made that choice, so we just have to suck it up and deal with it.

It’s usually taking the easy route that gets us into a big mess. It makes us feel good or makes things a little bit easier for us. This philosophy of pay now or pay later also works in many other areas of our lives. The cost, however, is often much higher than we want to pay. If we pay attention to the small print up front, we would never take the easy route. But like the small print on a contract or a credit agreement, we often choose to ignore it. That’s how we get ourselves into unhealthy, unbearable, and ungodly situations. In finances, in parenting, in health, in relationships and in spiritual growth we will pay now or we will pay later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Bourne Mommy

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 5:04 AM 2 comments
I don't know if you've ever seen the Bourne movies (Bourne Identity, Supremecy, and Ultimatum), but I recently watched them for the second time. You may be thinking, "I can't believe she watched that", but I'll admit I may just watch them again (before I return them to their owner - they really are coming home Melissa.) Besides being a huge Matt Daman fan, there's just something about these movies that draw me in. Part of it is the incredible, unlikely feats that the hero (I guess he can be called that) accomplishes. This time around I started thinking of this character in comparison to Mommies. And I realized that we often expect ourselves to function similarly.
First - we are expected to keep on going, no matter what. No matter if we've been shot and fallen into the sea, if we've been in three car crashes in as many days, if we've just lost the love of our life. We don't literally face these challenges, but moms definately face some real challenges that affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. No matter what we have going on, we are expected (usually by ourselves more than anyone else) to just keep going.
There's also the phenomenon of holding everything together emotionally despite our world's falling apart. This is a result of the "have it all" myth that has come out of the women's lib movement. We're not supposed to let it show that we are stressed and maybe need someone to lean on and let us cry for a little bit. Not necessarily over anything big, but just because it all adds up.
We're also supposed to be able to evaluate and react immediately to situations. We expect ourselves to be able to handle any situation at a moments notice and without flaw. We have all of the information to deal with whatever comes up and have the sense of mind to use that information instinctively.
Although good movies, they are highly unrealistic, as are our expectations of ourselves sometimes. So take a break, watch a movie, and cut yourself a little slack.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Contentment

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 4:03 AM 0 comments
What is contentment? It's not settling, not accepting the best, not striving for better. Contentment doesn't mean that that we don't reach for goals or acknowledge that we might like some things to be different. Contentment means that we enjoy where we are. I look forward to the days when my children are more self-sufficient,when I have a book published, when I can stay home full time, but that doesn't mean that I'm not content right now. I love the developmental stages my children are in. They are so fun and still love to climb in my lap for snuggles. I am enjoying the working stage of my book and the small successes of getting one chapter completed at a time. I am grateful that I found a part time job that is a good job, in a good environment, and pays decently. I am content. It's not based on my circumstances (although I have to admit, they are good, if not my ideal), but based on the fact that I can focus on the positive. I also work diligently at keeping my focus on God and the fact that I can do everything through him, which Paul tells us is the secret to contentment. "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances...I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11b, 13. People with really good circumstances according to the world are often not content, yet many with difficult circumstances are able to live in a state of contenment. It's not a matter of what's going on or where you are, but rather a matter of where you focus.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Paying with Children

One of the ways that we don't realize that we have to pay now or pay more later is in raising our children. As a counselor I saw it time and time again that parents let their children get away with small acts of disobedience and disrespect when they were younger because they were little things. Then they came to counseling because their child was "out of control." The heartache and struggle that parents went through because they had no authority over thier child was hard to watch. Walking step by step as parents attempted to regain authority over a rebellious teenager was hard work for everyone. It is much harder to regain authority and enforce discipline that hasn't been kept in place than it is to maintain it. As hard as it feels sometimes to keep on my children and work to make them obey (and it is often WORK), I try to keep in mind (and tell them) that obedience is essential for their safety and well-being. One day they're going to need to mind me when I tell them not to run out in the street or not put themselves in a situation where they'll be tempted to sin, or any number of other possibilities. As laborious as it is sometimes to discipline my children and stop what I'm doing to enforce a rule, the pay off in obedience is well worth it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pay Now or Pay More Later

We live in a society of having the option to pay now or pay later for most things. Generally, we are encouraged to pay later – use your credit card, it’s so much easier; buy now, pay nothing until 2020 (okay, may not that far away), etc, etc, etc. Although the concept of getting what we want and not paying for it until later sounds great, what many people don’t realize is that when you eventually do pay, you will pay much more than the original cost of whatever it was you just couldn’t have to wait. At an interest rate of 18% or 36% it doesn’t take long for $300 to become $1000. And the larger the purchase, the greater the interest you’ll end up paying. But because we pay just a little at a time, it doesn’t seem that bad. Or, we’ve already made that choice, so we just have to suck it up and deal with it.

It’s usually taking the easy route that gets us into a big mess. It makes us feel good or makes things a little bit easier for us. This philosophy of pay now or pay later also works in many other areas of our lives. The cost, however, is often much higher than we want to pay. If we pay attention to the small print up front, we would never take the easy route. But like the small print on a contract or a credit agreement, we often choose to ignore it. That’s how we get ourselves into unhealthy, unbearable, and ungodly situations. In finances, in parenting, in health, in relationships and in spiritual growth we will pay now or we will pay later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Bourne Mommy

I don't know if you've ever seen the Bourne movies (Bourne Identity, Supremecy, and Ultimatum), but I recently watched them for the second time. You may be thinking, "I can't believe she watched that", but I'll admit I may just watch them again (before I return them to their owner - they really are coming home Melissa.) Besides being a huge Matt Daman fan, there's just something about these movies that draw me in. Part of it is the incredible, unlikely feats that the hero (I guess he can be called that) accomplishes. This time around I started thinking of this character in comparison to Mommies. And I realized that we often expect ourselves to function similarly.
First - we are expected to keep on going, no matter what. No matter if we've been shot and fallen into the sea, if we've been in three car crashes in as many days, if we've just lost the love of our life. We don't literally face these challenges, but moms definately face some real challenges that affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. No matter what we have going on, we are expected (usually by ourselves more than anyone else) to just keep going.
There's also the phenomenon of holding everything together emotionally despite our world's falling apart. This is a result of the "have it all" myth that has come out of the women's lib movement. We're not supposed to let it show that we are stressed and maybe need someone to lean on and let us cry for a little bit. Not necessarily over anything big, but just because it all adds up.
We're also supposed to be able to evaluate and react immediately to situations. We expect ourselves to be able to handle any situation at a moments notice and without flaw. We have all of the information to deal with whatever comes up and have the sense of mind to use that information instinctively.
Although good movies, they are highly unrealistic, as are our expectations of ourselves sometimes. So take a break, watch a movie, and cut yourself a little slack.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Contentment

What is contentment? It's not settling, not accepting the best, not striving for better. Contentment doesn't mean that that we don't reach for goals or acknowledge that we might like some things to be different. Contentment means that we enjoy where we are. I look forward to the days when my children are more self-sufficient,when I have a book published, when I can stay home full time, but that doesn't mean that I'm not content right now. I love the developmental stages my children are in. They are so fun and still love to climb in my lap for snuggles. I am enjoying the working stage of my book and the small successes of getting one chapter completed at a time. I am grateful that I found a part time job that is a good job, in a good environment, and pays decently. I am content. It's not based on my circumstances (although I have to admit, they are good, if not my ideal), but based on the fact that I can focus on the positive. I also work diligently at keeping my focus on God and the fact that I can do everything through him, which Paul tells us is the secret to contentment. "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances...I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11b, 13. People with really good circumstances according to the world are often not content, yet many with difficult circumstances are able to live in a state of contenment. It's not a matter of what's going on or where you are, but rather a matter of where you focus.
 

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