Sunday, December 14, 2008

Notes While Waiting

Sunday night. Children in bed. Paul over the mountain with Emily. Peyton the cat safely in back hall. And outside it is snowing and blowing. Yes, here in the Willamette Valley, it is blowing snow like it's Minnesota. Amazing.

And I got the bright idea to sign up for YouTube (yes, YouTube; yes, me) and upload (wait, this is as bad as jumper cables--uploading is when it goes from my computer out the wire and into the plug in the wall and down the road and off somewhere else, right?) the little video Amy took of the Joyful Noise concert and Ben's solo, the one that makes me feel like my children have been freed from the curse of their mother's unmusicality. It is now 11:14 and this has been going on since 10:41 so I have a sneaking suspicion something is going wrong but meanwhile I'll post again while I wait.

How can two people have such different reactions to the same person?

So there's a certain person who I obviously will not name who sets my teeth on edge and has for years, but they don't know it. I feel this way for good reason of course, like how they treat people, tsk tsk, and that attitude. And then one of my beautiful daughters meets this same person, and Hits It Off, and they laugh and joke over lunch like old friends.

Today I again taught the youth girls' Sunday school class. First they practiced a song with the youth guys, for the program, and sounded wonderful, and I thought to myself what a marvelous bunch of youth we have. And then we had our class, and I once again was amazed at this bunch of girls and how much potential is around this table and do they realize how they can go out and change the world.

On the way home from church we got to talking about the people, both in the church and vaguely connected to it, who buttonhole us now and then to tell how they are deeply concerned about our youth group, usually in very vague terms and shaken heads and ominous insinuations, mmm-mmm-mmm, these young people, and did you hear so-and-so got a call from a minister from another church wondering what is with our youth, and we should all be deeply concerned.

Me: So what's with that? How can we have two such different views of the same people? Or do I just as always not know what's going on?
Amy: Maybe older people just always feel that way about younger people.
Me: I don't think so [and I was thinking about Ralph and Mildred Myers who at 90-plus made everybody think they were wonderful, young or old]
Amy: I don't understand it.
Me: I think we have an amazing bunch of young people. They talk, they get involved, they're really seeking God, they care about people... And they think!
Amy: Maybe that's the trouble.

Ok, let me scramble to say I am not trying to minimize legitimate concerns, in case any of the concerned are reading this. I certainly don't know everything that goes on and no doubt might be more worried if I did. I just know these girls are a sight more insightful and mature than I was at 18, and they challenge me, and encourage me, and I am honored to know them. And if they need a little extra grace extended to them now and then, well, don't we all need grace from our elders when we're 18. And when we're 46.

AAAAAAAAhhhhh! I think the video actually uploaded! (Downloaded??) Ok, let's try it. Click here. Ben sings the solo. Steven is two guys to the left of Ben.


  1. When I taught that youth class.. they inspired me and encouraged me!! ~AC

  2. Posts like this one have long fascinated me, so thanks for fascinating me this morning.

    As a father, I've often wondered: How far apart should I have the goal posts for my children? How high the bar?

  3. Those who carry the capacity to do great good also carry the same capacity to do an equal amount of evil. Perhaps this is what we see in people. The potential for tremendous good and also the same capacity for tremendous evil that becomes actuality as age solidifies choices. It makes me wonder what kind of good Hitler was supposed to accomplish but didn't.

  4. Thank you for what you wrote. As a Mennonite youth in America I really appreciate it. :) I know we (the youth) are not not perfect, but I cannnot begin to describe how much it means to me when an older person in our church says something positive about us (to us or to someone else), and how much they appreciate what we add to the church. Because it seems like most of the time all I hear is what we do wrong.
    So I say all that to say -- it's just nice to know not everyone thinks we are all about ready to "fall off the cliff." :)

  5. thanks for posting that. it was a great encouragement to me as a member of the youth group.

  6. Hi, I just discovered your blog through a friend, and she was right.. we have much in common. I am waiting for the arrival of my 13th child any day (baby is a week overdue) and I live in a 100 year old farmhouse in Tangent. I am not Mennonite, but I am a Christian and my husband and I minister in our Church in Lebanon. I have two children out of the house who are 18 and 19, one 17 living at home going to college at LBCC and nine that I home school. Your recent comments on empty nest really hit home. Letting go is so stretching and painful, and still feels empty, though I'm sure not many could understand why, when our home is still bursting at the seams.
    Your honesty is refreshing.
    I have looked forward to "writing someday" ever since I penned poetry as a kid and served as a columnist for the school paper in high school. This blog and your column inspire me that there is an audience for such a counter-culture message... love Jesus, my husband and children and make a home with them. Who'd have thought?
    The youth choir was quite good. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  7. Thanks for the link to hear Ben and the rest of the choir. I enjoyed it! You're very brave and smart for finding your way around youtube!

  8. So what should you do if you happen to know that quite a lot of youth are living private lives which might just slightly shock the elders in their church? Not to say that none of the youth are wonderful and all.

  9. WOAH!!! That was cold! And I doubt it, that they are not wonderful at all.

  10. That's impressive, both the solo and singing, and that you uploaded (downloaded?) you tube, yourself! It feels good not to always rely on our kids for computer help, right?