Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Passions and pursuits

Yesterday my child came to me with a request to reverse a healthy food change I have made in the home.  Angry, but controlled, my child had a well-thought out appeal, complete with written notes. Disagreement aside, I was impressed with the maturity of the argument.  For a child who struggles with calm and kind dialog when angry, this was a big step. We discussed.  I asked for time to think about it.  The Good Doctor and I chatted.  In the end, this child has been given the assignment to research the reasons why I have made this particular decision.  When finished, I'd like to hear a list of pros and cons from the perspective of this child. I am hoping for intelligent, mature dialog and that we can come to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

I could have immediately disagreed.  I could have argued that I have done my own research and it's a done deal.  But I try so hard not to allow food choices to become an idol and insisting on my way, without discussion, possibly negatively and permanently affecting a parent-child relationship, seemed to border on idolatry.

There is no lack of passion in today's mothers.  We want the best for our children, for our families, and for ourselves.  Knowledge, on every side of every argument, is just a few finger taps away.  There is so much passion that mommy wars are declared and fought daily, often hourly, so easily, on the battlegrounds of social media.  Passion fuels research and research takes time. And all of this time spent in passionate research and battle leads to neglect first of all in our relationship with God, the One who should determine where our passions lie, where our time is spent, upon which hills we will post the most.  Second, it takes us from our families, the ones we say we're fighting to save. It can create rifts with the ones we most want to protect. Third, it divides friendships and unwittingly or purposefully heaps guilt on the best of relationships. Finally, if we're busy at our keyboards and pouring through books, we are kept from being the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting around us.

This morning I was convicted. Like any other idol, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these motherly pursuits. But I do need to constantly check myself. Where does my pursuit of God fit into my schedule? If it's not first, if it's not the pursuit driving all of my other pursuits, if I don't spend at least as much time with Him as I do with all of these other pursuits, then it is all a resounding, clanging idol. I pray my passions come from God. I recommit myself to seeking God first and to spending more time with Him than I do researching any number of helpful topics.  May God direct my minutes, my thoughts, my passions, and my actions.

If I speak in the tongues of gluten free diets, essential oils and natural cleansers, but have not love, I am only a one-minded Facebook poster or annoying soapbox standing blogger. If I have the gift of exercise and can fathom homeschool curriculum, and if I have faith in my ability to find and feed my family the most organic fresh fruits and vegetables, but have not first pursued the love of my Father, it is nothing. If I give all my time to researching vaccinations and surrender my sleep to read the latest opinions and posts on adoption, but have not time or love to pursue God, to give time to my family, or to share with those in need, I gain nothing and I will be nothing.

I was made for so much more than this.

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