All journeys have secret destinations, of which the traveler is unaware.

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am. Philippians 4:11b



I have always hated airlines’ baggage weight limits.  I weigh my bags at home but inevitably find out that my scales are, apparently, not accurate.  More than once I have found myself kneeling on the floor of the check-in shifting things from one bag to another trying to balance out the weight.  Once I even bought and entirely new suitcase at the airport because it was cheaper to pay for a single extra bag than to pay the fee for my two overweight bags.  Heavy baggage is something airlines don’t like...I can understand really, the workers that load baggage on and off of flights must move thousands upon thousands of bags every day.  The weight limit means that most of the bags they move are about the same weight.  Having relatively equal weights helps cut down on injuries to the employees.  I understand that an airplane has to have a specific weight limit in order to fly correctly.  I understand.  
In life, most everyone has baggage of some kind.  These days, my baggage is WAY overweight.  In the airport, when my bags are overweight sometimes I just have to take things out, forget about them and leave them behind.  I wish it was that easy with my life’s baggage.  There are things in my bags that are so heavy.  There are painful memories, disappointments, struggles and moments of doubt and fear that have been hanging around in my luggage for years.  I wish I could just open up my bags and say, “ok, I’m taking you out, leaving you here and forgetting you.”  Done. But it seems like every time I think I’ve dumped something out of my bags, it somehow jumps back in when I’m not looking.  
Reading a friend’s blog this week (Mama A strikes again) I’ve realized, again, that I don’t have to feel this way.  
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  take My yoke upon you and learn from    Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matt. 11: 28-30
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Jesus, is more than willing to take on my extra baggage.  And yours too, by the way.  He specifically asks us to let him have it.  No bag is too heavy or awkward for Him to handle.  And He doesn’t have a weight limit.  He can and will take ALL of our bags for us.  If I ask Him and trust Him, He’ll even get rid of all the bags that He knows I don’t need.  The bags that are just weighing me down.  

But here’s the smack in the face that Mama A’s blog frequently offers.  In order for Jesus to take my baggage for me, I have to STOP THINKING I DON’T NEED HELP.  I have to stop telling myself, “oh these bags aren’t that heavy.  I can handle it...”  Reality check, they ARE too heavy and I CANNOT handle it myself.  There is a reason professionals load baggage onto airplanes.  If the luggage doesn’t get loaded properly, bad things happen.  The bags shift around, things get broken, it can even crash the plane.  When I think I can handle my own baggage, bad things will happen.  Things will shift, get broken and I might even crash.    Once again, pride needs to take a backseat (actually, pride can just take a hike) and let humility take the lead.  I DO need His help.  So, I’m checking my bags.  This time I’m gonna leave the heavy lifting to Jesus.  He can handle it and He enjoys helping His little sister out.  



Not MY kid...

This post is somewhat inspired by the truly amazing “Mama A,” you can find her blog HERE always do what she says :-)
Thoughts on parenting by an unexperienced Mommy to be.....
Ya know, now that I’m going to actually BE a mom, I have a tendency to look at kids (and there parents too) a little differently.  
Now I know what you’re thinking, “who are you to judge parenting.  What do YOU know about raising a kid?!”  Ok, ok, hold up, wait a minute.  I’m not judging you or anyone else’s parenting.  I’ve just been making some observations about how I think we should raise our child (and future children).  No judging going on here.  Happy? 
I’m actually hoping this post will bring some helpful advice from people who DO know a thing or two about being parents.  Anyway, some observations, complaints, questions about parenting techniques and fumbles I’ve noticed. 
I will not let my kid be THAT kid that no one wants to babysit because Jr. behaves wonderfully for me but somehow has not learned that he needs to behave when someone other than mommy is caring for no no.
I will make sure my child learns how to listen when ANY adult is talking to him/her.  It’s so annoying to hear a parent speaking to their 5 year old and the kid responds with “huh?”  Not gonna work in our house.
If my child is mis-behaving I will not hesitate to to give them a spanking.  Now, I know a lot of people (especially 20-30 something Americans) don’t like spanking. But let me ask you this...Didn’t you get spankings when you were a kid?  No one that I know of personally, has suffered severe trauma from a spanking they got when they were a kid.  ‘Nuff said about that.  
If my child mis-behaves while at home with me, I will not say “You just wait until your father gets home.”  I will discipline then AND tell Eric when he gets home and let him discipline them again if he thinks it’s needed.  Kids need to know that Mommy’s got the moxie to discipline them and they need to know that Daddy won’t accept them disobeying Mommy just because they think she’s “soft.”  
Ok, this is kind of a big one to me....mostly because it really annoys and distracts me personally.  At church, my child will NOT be that kid that makes noise and doesn’t understand that this is NOT playtime.  If my child gets too noisy or playful during a church meeting, we will not just sit in the assembly and let them keep distracting others from the preaching/singing/teaching.  We will go outside and get a little bit of discipline or we will go to the nursery where they child CAN play and make a little more noise without distracting others.  Kids need to learn that Church assemblies are special and important.  
Now, I’m a southerner, though you might not notice it that much if you meet me now days.  I swear it’s in here y’all.  So, in honor of my heritage, my child will learn that “yes ma’am, no ma’am” and “yes sir, no sir” are good ways to respond to adults.  They will also learn “please, thank you” and all those other polite words that so many children’s vocabularies seem deprived of these days.  
Finally, an observation for those of you that are already parents.  Every parent (as far as I can tell) wants people to like their kid.  Guess what, if your kid is an indisciplined brat, PEOPLE WON’T LIKE THEM! And no, it won’t matter how cute they are.  Person A (no relation to Mama A) will say “Oh, Jr. so-and-so is such a cute kid.” and person B will say “yeah, but he is a real brat.”  to which person A will respond, “Ugh, I KNOW!” They won’t like your kid and they won’t respect you as a parent.  
One thing I’ve learned from observing different parents (some I think are great and some not so much) is that when it comes to discipline and children, we need to be consistent.  And our children will need us to be consistent too.  It’s almost painful to me when I see a child being disciplined by a parent when other people are around but I KNOW that they don’t get disciplined, for whatever it is, when they’re at home.  You can see the confusion on the child’s face.  If something isn’t acceptable for a child to do/say in public, they shouldn’t be allowed to do it at home either.  And if some particular behavior is unacceptable, then the child needs to be disciplined for it EVERY time they do it.  They will need to learn that they can’t fool Mommy and Daddy.  They can’t get away with it sometimes.  It’s really not fair to the child to be inconsistent.  
I do want people to like my child, but not because of how cute he/she is (because he/she will definitely be adorable.) I want them to notice how well my child behaves.  I’d rather have someone say “Wow! Jr Sarpong is such a good boy” than hear them say, “ya’know that Sarpong kid is really cute.”  Being cute won’t get my kids into heaven....but if they learn to listen and follow directions and do what is right, eventually they will be able to follow God’s direction and Listen to God’s word with understanding.  And frankly, I’d rather have them win the Crown of Life than win a thousand cute kid contests.