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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sunday Night Service

I was on my way home from the store the other night. On the corner of the main street and the street I turn to go to my house is a huge church. I slowed down to let a family cross the street to go to the Sunday Night Service. Why this thought came too me, I do not know. People have gotten so caught up in going through the motions. You go to church and you see a bunch of people you know, tell the pastor what a good sermon he preached and then go home, just to do it again the next time the church doors open.

When I was little I remember our pastor saying that if you wake up on Sunday morning and you don't feel like getting up and going to church, it's the devil trying to make you stay home. I don't think that the purpose of pastors are to see how many people you can get to come to church. Yes, he was right. Even the days I didn't feel like going and I went anyway, I came home feeling good and thought I'd beat the devil. After singing hymns or songs, listening to the pastor say how much you are loved and seeing your friends, of course you're going to feel good leaving church.

Did you know the word sing is mentioned in the Bible 119 times? My oldest daughter has a beautiful voice, but she won't sing in front of anyone by herself. I remember that I was the same way when I was younger. As I was growing up, someone would catch me singing or hear just my voice when I was singing with other people and tell me how well I sang. After a while it gave me enough confidence to even try out for Star Search. Of course I'm not a famous singer today, but it did teach me to sing for my girls.

Up until today, I would have probably paid someone to tell me how to make my youngest daughter stop singing. Every time I turned around she was bursting out with a song out of the blue. Her favorite one is Give My Regards To Broadway. It occurred to me that I haven't heard her sing for almost a week now. However, I did notice that her mood had drastically declined. She had gone from being a child who thought everything was funny, to a red faced, crying and angry teenager.

I've read several books on how to make your child behave. You'd think between that and all the advice I've gotten from family and friends, I should know how to make my children behave. It finally hit me so hard I laughed out loud. Raising kids is so damn hard sometimes. We're so eager to find a "quick fix" or so frustrated we're willing to try anything. The number one thing you hear is consistency, consistency, consistency and make sure the punishment is harsh enough. I got so wrapped up in trying to being consistent and punish her for singing at the wrong times, that I didn't even think about the possibility of her quitting for good. Where's the book on getting my child to behave badly again? Of course their instructions don't come with an undo option.

Peer pressure is a horrible thing that continues on way past our teenage years. Only when we become adults, we're blind to it. We see it as being "normal", because that's what we're being told. If you were my customer, would hearing my child singing in the background bother you if you knew that if I made her stop just to take your call that she would never sing again? God gave me enough patience to take care of 5 screaming babies, it wouldn't bother me. What bothers me, is that it might bother you.


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