Am I Alone in this Crazy Battle? August 11, 2017 By Bekki Leave a Comment This content may contain affiliate links.Inside: 5 Things Parents Should Pass On To Thier Kids Look for the ray of hope… The year was 2010, and our oldest son was excitedly describing a new novel series he stumbled upon at the library. “Mom, don’t freak out.” Those words sent a shiver through my spine, but I bit my tongue really hard so my ears would stay open. “Oh, mom, the story is hard to explain but so good.” photo by Joao Silas He continued, “Imagine a place where everyone is divided into towns (called districts) but they are controlled by a ruling class. In this story, that class is called The Capital. Basically, the Capital is worried that their citizens will rebel against them. To hold off rebellion they have a sick plan to remind the districts “who’s in charge”. The Capital randomly selects one boy and girl from each of the districts and then sends them to The Hunger Games. It’s awful. These 24 kids are required to fight in a battle to the death and everyone is forced to watch the games I know it sounds awful, but it is so well written and alarmingly plausible- I can’t put it down.” Alarmingly plausible? My teenager could see this type of reality playing out in real life… Well, I did freak out. Then a few years later I picked up the book to see if it was as bad as I thought it was. My fears were confirmed and yet I was hooked before I finished the first page. I remember smirking at the memory of his remark about plausibility as I read the story. “No way this could really happen.” Flash forward to This Year Photo by Blair Fraser I was sitting in the dentist’s office waiting for my husband, flipping through magazines. I never read magazines anymore. Not because I am against the printed word, but because I don’t have the time or patience to filter out all the crud, lies and propaganda from my mind. The problem for parents like me: The world basically looks the same from day to day– people shopping for milk at the grocery store, families enjoying the sun on a beautiful day, kids spending too much time staring at screens, and parents worrying about whether they are failing their kids… This information does not match what we see with “day-to-day” eyes. There is a flash flood of information pouring into the minds of our children and is programming them to believe that centuries old “normal” is no longer relevant for an advanced society like ours. But this day, I had time to sit, time to flip, time to ponder… I live a pretty sheltered life. As a homeschool mom, I find myself surrounded by like minded people most of the time. I don’t isolate myself or bury my head in the sand. Like you, I carefully choose who I hang out with and who can influence my kids- especially during their formative years. I consider myself a traditionalist, pretty straight forward and simple. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the magazines. Nope. Not even close. When did everything take such a twisted turn? Have you flipped through a teen magazine lately? Trust me, it’s nothing compared to what our kids see when browsing the internet. I sat there, almost shaking, as I dared to crack open the next magazine. I am a pretty sheltered girl with a household of young men I am raising with my wonderful husband. I’m too busy feeding teenage boys to look through magazines or flip through the junk in available on my touch screens. Why would I torture myself anyway? Can’t I simply hide my head in the sand and pretend the world is on the same page as me? No. I can’t, you can’t, we can’t. We have to stand firm on our own convictions in a world that’s contrary, and yet hold firmly to love, grace and mercy. The magazines almost killed me, so I opted to scroll through Facebook instead. Ah, Facebook. I usually am on a mission when I scroll: Check in on my older sons, connect with friends, or read an interesting article. In one 5-minute span- I saw multiple articles, quizzes and images that beckoned me to embrace the new normal. I am completely overwhelmed, underprepared, and confused for this new benchmark of normalcy. If we are confused, it’s no wonder our kids are confused. There are no black and white answers, no parameters, no absolutes anymore. How do we prepare our kids to navigate this life when there are no safe, reliable, absolute borders? Why is it so terrible to speak the truth? And who gets to decide truth anyway but God? Me, you, media, professors? My 18-year-old son recently had shared about the gender education at the college where he earned his Associates Degree. “Non-gender conditioning and safe-places are just the tips of the iceberg,” he tells me. This world wants to suck the joy out of our kids’ childhood and redefine what defines our culture, our family, our kids… [leadpages_leadbox leadbox_id=1401b6846639c5] [/leadpages_leadbox] I am desperately clinging to the truths of the Word of God and struggling against the flow of culture. Am I alone? I am the 48-year-old mother of 5 sons. Photo by Jonathan Weiss That means I am old enough to have: run in the streets until the streetlights came on in the evening. played in the woods with the neighbor kids without dying or having my mother watch over my shoulder. made my own awesome mix cassette tape to listen to music. That’s right. Vinyl records, cassette tapes, Walkman’s, CDs, VCRs. It was great. Rejected the idea that everyone should carry a cell phone until almost 2000. I still hate the idea of people thinking that “Because they call me, I should stop what I am doing to answer.” We have lives to live people! Witnessed the progression of PG-13 movies from safe for kids to questionable for prison inmates. Let’s not talk about the “R” and almost “X” commercials that grace the television shows I would love to watch with my children. a solid understanding of the truth that God created men and women to be beautifully unique and absolutely different. Are you confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated that this young generation, your children, my children included, are being bombarded by the truths and lack of absolutes of “The Capital”? Don’t misunderstand me, please… I am not trying to force my beliefs of God, family, parenting, or life on anyone. We should all be free to choose and believe, that’s what makes our faith and lives authentic. You and I shouldn’t have to be bombarded with ideas and beliefs that are contrary to our own in such an intolerant way. Intolerant? Yes. Why should it be acceptable and “right” to parade things like gender issues and sexual identity in our classrooms, on the big screen, and in all media chains, and be intolerable to share about Biblical marriage and family? It doesn’t make sense. I need a reminder that #thebattleisreal. Oh, Lord, help us and our kids. My husband and I are too old to believe anything the media may try to convince us is normal. We were raised to question the source, do our own research and to protect our family at all cost. We run everything we do in our family through our own belief system, and that’s as it should be, right? But our kids are vulnerable. I am still sickened by the rise of “I will force-feed the “new Norm” in your face, on TV, on Facebook, and in your child’s school, and there isn’t a darn thing you can do about it” attitude that prevails our culture. A RAY of Hope. I was reminded that if we look for things that divide us, look for things to point our judgmental fingers at, or search for evidence that people are sinners- we are sure to find them. BUT, if we look for GOD, we are just as sure to find HIM too. Look for ways to discuss the issues you see around you with your kids that encourage them to look at others with love. We don’t need to believe the same things as the world to be kind, compassionate, helpful and loving. Actually, we are destined to be at odds. But we are called to love anyway. “They will know us by our love.” Yes, when you are out playing with your kids in the sun, buying milk, or helping your daughter with math, remember the Capital is watching, remember the flood of information is flowing faster than you can control. Remember that for every good, pure, and Holy thing you share with your kids, The Capital will share 713 deplorable things that they will call truth. But remember to look for God as well. In all things. In all situations In every moment. He is absolutely real and absolute with you. But be vigilant against the flood of information trying to indoctrinate your kids, my kids, our kids. But remember to focus on love. photo by song heajin We need to prepare our kids so that they’re not suddenly thrust into a fight to the death because they won’t go along with the world. Stand up for your kids. Share your convictions with them and teach them to stand up for what is right. I know we may not agree on what that means, that’s ok. Let’s agree to be loving toward one another anyway. To model that to our children. Share those convictions with your kids, but more importantly teach them to love those who believe differently- without compromising who they are. The social media world is like a huge gladiatorial arena. It’s a battle to the death. There isn’t a safe corner of the internet. I wish there was. Unfortunately, there are legions of faceless “friends” ready to confuse, discourage, and derail our kids. Equip your kids with an escape plan for when they stumble into things online that are horrific. [leadpages_leadbox leadbox_id=145c28746639c5] [/leadpages_leadbox] We need to teach our kids to know what they believe and to be able to give a defense for those beliefs. But we have a greater obligation. We need to teach them to love. “Love your neighbor,” the Bible says. Not “Pick a fight over a social issue” with your neighbor. Some of us need a daily reminder that the battle is real. We need to LOVE people. Even (and especially) those who look, dress, speak, act, and believe differently than we do. [leadpages_leadbox leadbox_id=1446f8546639c5] [/leadpages_leadbox] I’d rather be guilty of being loving and kind, than discriminatory, harsh and judgmental. 5 Things Parents Should Pass On To Thier Kids to Help them Stand against the Flood of Craziness Love: Everything they do, say, and believe should be bathed in love. It is how they will be known. Truth: There is Truth- And that’s not only ok but comforting. Independent Thinking: Question ideas that rub against the truth. Questions are good. What’s important is that the measuring stick of truth remains steady. The best news is that you are in charge of which measuring stick will be used for your family. Determination: Stand by their convictions, in love. No compromising of character to fit in. Character: Good, Strong, Biblically Based Character is still the measuring stick for morality. Truth, honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, strength, courage, chivalry, femininity, grace, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, goodness and self-control. Homeschool: When Life Doesn’t Cooperate The Beauty of the Perfect Picture Book at the Right Moment Print this free homeschool mom reminder. This post comes with a free printable reminder list to help keep your heart focused on the heart of homeschooling. I always have the hardest staying focused. This printable simplifies it! Here is a sneak preview… Download Your Free Printable Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable, plus join 9,000+ homeschool moms who receive my weekly parenting tips and ideas! Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal. Place it on your refrigerator as a helpful reminder.