Prayer vs. Pills


In this time of progressive medicine and experimental therapy, prayer often takes a backseat to healing.  Issues of the heart, mind and body (whether you are speaking in spiritual terms or physical terms) can be “fixed” with BOTH science and faith.  I have had the privilege of going through difficult periods through out my life and without those my faith and knowledge would not be where they are today.  When it comes to my children and their salvation and well being I can become protective and, yes, defensive at times.  There are so many splinters that can come from a discussion such as this so I will keep within one direction…medication versus trust in God alone.

I have prayed many a prayer since accepting Christ into my life at the age of thirteen but I seldom call on Him when it comes to physical healing.  I’m a very literal and scientific thinker so to completely humble myself, regarding faith, is something that I need more practice with.  My true belief is that God created us to glorify Him and help each other; in order to do so He blessed us with the minds and know-how to produce technology and substances to help us further give Him praise.  This does not mean that we should take what we can and run, rather we should learn, be thankful, grow, share and never turn from God.  In one instant everything that we hold dear and view as important can be taken away, but God’s love and guidance (what we SHOULD hold dear and view as important) will never be taken from us.

My children are extremely different when it comes to age, attitude, approach, triumphs, obstacles and belief.  My daughter is a “typical” teen: pushing the limits set for her, lying, hiding, self conscience, hasty, silly, nieve- but assumes that she knows it all, smart, curious and wants to believe in everything.  She has a good heart underneath the wall that she has constructed. She has developed an entitled self image that has been damaging to her in the past but will hopefully turn into a positive here shortly.  If she felt “entitled” to God’s love more than she felt “entitled” to worldly things then I would have nothing to worry about!  She would be the most Christ-centered teen on the block; but that is not the case.  I take responsibility for her entitled outlook and plan to work harder and smarter to show her the correct view to have on life. She has battled with bouts of depression and prayer along with counseling have been my “medicine cabinet” for her.  Suggestions of anti-depressants and tough love have been offered to me and were never given a second thought but recently I have implemented both in hopes of setting my first born on track.  I’m a mom that performs random room checks, is “all up in their business” and really listens to my gut (God’s voice) so when it came time to revisit the pill (anti-depressant) option, I weighed it heavily with God’s help.

My son is a boy of wonder: of elementary age and full of energy- never ending energy, he is smart, funny, loving, too curious for his own good, a selective listener with an amazing memory, a cranky non-morning person that proceeds with caution in every situation. My boy has struggled with various learning disabilities but has always been willing to try a little harder.  After years of therapy without medication, testing to no end, teaching accommodations, reports and suggestions I have opted to try the medicine route.  Reaching this conclusion was difficult and took some time as I awaited an approval from the Lord.  Awaiting a “sign” from God can try your patience and frustrate you beyond belief when you are watching your child suffer educationally and socially.  I do not agree with medicating children to calm them down but I do believe in medicating them to help them better focus.  Getting a glimpse (byway of science and technology) into how my son’s brain works was enough to spin my thoughts out of control.  If my brain functioned the same way his does I would be exhausted on a minute by minute basis!

As a mother, I want to make sure my children have the best opportunities so choosing to medicate with extreme supervision was no easy option.  The first night of dosing was a long one…I spent most of the night running back and forth between their beds to check their breathing all while praying frantically to God for peace, patience and trust.  I reviewed CPR steps in my mind while keeping my cell phone at my hip- just in case anything went wrong.  So, are pills better than prayer or vise versa?  My thought is that if you keep prayer as the base to any decision then you can’t go wrong.  God will never lead us into something destructive- only we can do that.  If you are a parent, have you struggled with complete faith in any area concerning your children?



Teachable Moments


During the recipe collecting, shopping, packing, wrapping, greeting, and catching up everything can feel like a giant scavenger hunt!  I may not be as close to my extended family as others but I do pay attention.  Teaching my children how to recognize differences, accept and appreciate while understanding “the reason for the season” can be a bit tricky.  Due to a relationship of divorce, holidays are shared and family time can be limited but keeping what’s important at the forefront is my goal.

The education aspect of the holidays can be lost easily as everyone is in “vacation” mode- but things like creating To-Do lists can teach prioritizing and hand writing practice, cooking can teach reading and math, cleaning can teach, well, the obvious!  Writing holiday cards to friends and family encourages thoughtfulness, wrapping gifts helps with fine motor skills and keeping a few worksheets handy never hurts.

Pointing out differences when they are presented can be super helpful when it comes to teaching your kids how to be graceful.  I’ve always told my children that it is OK to disagree with someone and it’s even OK to not like what they are doing or what they may represent but it’s not OK to be disrespectful.  Sarcasm and rudeness can rear their ugly heads when you’re surrounded by loved ones and it’s a struggle for me, at times, to recognize those traits immediately when they show up but keeping what’s important at the forefront remains my goal.

So what’s my reason for the season?  God.  No question.  What do I want my kids to remember and take away from EVERY holiday?  Treat others as you’d want to be treated.  This basic, age old, rule can come in handy during ANY situation and doesn’t have to be reserved just for the holidays.  As a human female, I work on this daily and, yes, I fail often but if there is one thing that I want my children to keep in mind as they grow older- it’s this: Treat others as you’d want to be treated…Happy Holidays!!