My parents have given my lots of gifts over the years, some big and some little. Some gifts have been tangible, others not so easy to see. I have been thinking lately about how one of the greatest gifts I think they gave me was the courage to not just do things because that is what has always been done. I am not sure if they consciously did this or just allowed certain behaviors or feelings to stand in our house that they could have easily discouraged. I am sure looking back, as a parent, it would have been easier to curb certain behaviors in us. We are three strong willed sisters and somehow they created a sense of “courage” in all us girls. I won’t lie, we were a handful! My dad once wrote this just in case you were thinking how fun it would be to have a daughter like me!
“First, I know some of you pastors wonder about your kids and the effects from the stress of being a PK. Kasey is my middle daughter and she went through her time of rebellion. There were times when I took her car away, cancelled her insurance, and put our house on lockdown. Some days, I didn’t think we would make it. My friend Michael Catt’s favorite church story is about Kasey. When Kasey was three, she told the church day care workers that if they didn’t get under the table and play with her she would have her daddy fire them. I think by reading this you will realize that her strong will has given over to His will. The pain of rebellion has turned into the pleasure of obedience.” Charles Lowery, taken from SBC LIFE
As you can see we weren’t allowed inappropriate behavior (at least when they were around) but we were allowed to speak our minds. Our rebellion of God is never good, our rebellion of this world – YES! We were allowed to question certain things that we didn’t understand or didn’t make sense to us. It wasn’t that anything necessarily changed based off our feelings but we were given the freedom to say what we thought on most occasions.
I specifically remember when I was in elementary and my older sister was in high school. We both went to the same private school and an unfortunate event had happened. One of the teachers had had an affair with another teacher and the other spouse worked at the school too. Needless to say it was a mess and many heated discussions came from that. No details needed but that we both saw two different sides to the story and felt passionate about each side. I still remember us all sitting around our beds talking about it. Our parents allowed us to hash it out!
My dad was one who went to a church and rocked the boat a little :)) HA HA! I have to laugh now but each of us saw the hurt and pain that came from not just doing church a certain way BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT! That is a story I won’t go into here but we saw our dad take a stand for things that didn’t make him win the pastor of the year award! We knew it and we felt it and we learned that like the country song says, “you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
I think they taught us how to stand for something. I am not saying I always get this right or that I don’t mouth off things that I am thinking way before I should. But I was given a gift from them and I will treasure it always. I will take that gift given and in the place where God has put us – and use it. I love the bumper sticker that says “well behaved women never make history.” Now, I am not saying that we go out and unnecessarily cause a ruckus. I am saying, God has placed us here for a reason and that reason is to glorify Him in all we do. Let’s not be satisfied with status quo, let’s go out and make “history” (HIS STORY) known!