Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Rules

The personalities emerging from these two boys are wildly entertaining.

On Sunday, we were driving home from church and the following conversation had me stifling laughs.

Ben and I were talking and after the sixth polite, but insistent, "Excuse meeeeeeeeeeeee" from Ty, Ben asked, "What is it, son?"

"I need to talk to you about something."

I say, "Okay, Ty, it's your turn. What do you need to talk about."

Ty: "No, I need to talk to, daddy. It's important."

Ben: "Okay, Ty, I'm listening, now. What do you want to talk about?"

Ty: "I want to talk about smoking."

We swallowed our smiles and allowed Ty to ask his questions. The background story here is that the boys saw someone smoking the other day and wanted to know why "steam was coming out of that man's head". I told the boys about smoking and how we don't smoke in our family because it's not God's best, etc, etc. Well, a couple of days later, we saw another man smoking outside of the restaurant we were about to eat at. Ty made a scene by pointing passionately, saying, "Mom, that man is not being healthy to his body!!"

We, then, had to have a conversation around the corner about how rude it is to point and make people feel bad about their choices. (I had no idea I would be having the just-because-it's-right-for-another-family conversation already!) I explained to the boys that when we are in the car or at home with our family, we can talk about anything and answer all of their questions, but in public, we need to respect people who act differently than our family.

Ever since that day, every time we get in the van, the boys want to talk about smoking.

Watching the boys discover their identities, within our family, is really fun to be a part of. We were playing in their room and I heard a very matter-of-fact Ty say, "In this family, we eat our crust and we don't smoke!" LJ chimed in with, "We don't smoke and we go to church!"

Their thought combinations can be silly, but their convictions are right on.

I am, constantly, amazed at how influential our role as parent is. Ty and LJ believe everything we tell them. And they're shocked when they see standards in the world that don't align with ours. In their minds, everyone should dip their cucumbers in ranch and pray before bed and hold doors open for their moms....it's the only experience they have; therefore it's right.

Last night, I was praying over the boys and thinking about their interpretation of our family rules - not smoking, going to church, and eating crust...It hit me. We are creating mini versions of ourselves. While we all have four very distinct personalities, there is a strong family current connecting us. We think, believe, and express ourselves in the same ways.

It's a sobering thought.

I love that the men in my life are, consistently, pushing me to be BETTER...to be more like the Father. I need to be a direct reflection...because I want my boys to be the same.

This week we tackled smoking and Halloween. Maybe next week we'll talk about sex and drugs? That's a joke. We mostly focus on God's simple promises in our life and use every day scenarios to educate our boys on what it means to honor God in all we do.

I'm pretty excited to let my little flashlights into the world. I have every confidence that as they start preschool, next week, their lights will shine, as their minds expand.

I love this job.


  1. This post made me smile from ear to ear. I love reading about your sweet boys and the wonderful job you and Ben are doing making your "flashlights shine!"

  2. love this...love hearing my kids say "in our family we...". it makes my heart smile.

  3. Wow! Such simplicity, yet so inspiring the role you are playing in two of Gods precious children. May God bless you on the journey he has chosen for you and your husband.

  4. I love love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your story with us! LJ is such a perfect fit for your family and i too, love to read about the wonderful job you and Ben are doing at raising your boys! They are lucky to have you as their momma!

  5. It's the best job in the world and you very good at it.

  6. You brought tears in my eyes and smile on my face at the same time. Mothers are best.