"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the good, the bad, and the ugly

Yesterday's post continued...

We've been attending this Memorial Day weekend conference for the past 7 years.  So many wonderful things have come from our times here, the very best being a husband for my oldest daughter!  Erin and Audrey always had a wonderful time running with the littles, Larry and I were edified by the teaching and met some dear people.   But always, the teen thing was if-y.  We were first invited to the conference by a couple that we know through home schooling and we had no other affiliation with the churches that attended (some from Oregon and Washington), about 200 - 250 people.  I won't bore you with long details but just suffice it to say that last year wasn't quite as free and easy for Erin and Audrey and there were some rough moments when we had to pull them back to our sides, sometimes to rein them in and sometimes to comfort hurt feelings... teen stuff.

This year we were immediately concerned because once we got settled in it became apparent that there was a ringleader already sitting on a self appointed teen throne and the groupies were gathering.  After a day of this, the girls began sharing little snippets of actions and conversations with my husband and I and we became even more concerned.  The moment of decision came when I witnessed an exact replay from the previous year, an action that I knew hurt down deep.  We had an ah-ha moment realizing that it was time to be done.  The bad outweighed the good and we want our girls to grow up kind and trusting too in the kindness of others.  There are situations that require us to tough up and press through but this just wasn't one of them.  We could leave.

The part that was truly difficult was leaving my son, daughter and son-in-law, and my daughter's in-laws with whom we don't get to spend enough time.  We enjoy their friendship and the girls too are friends with their children.  

So, we spent a couple of hours with the adult kiddos and left at 9:00 at night.  At 2:00 a.m. we pulled back up the drive that had sent us off the day before.  As I mentioned before, there were tears (some of them pretty serious) for the first twenty minutes or so after taking to the highway.  But shortly after, as we discussed the whys of staying or leaving we had found things to giggle about and everyone began to breathe easier.  We've only been home for a week and the girls are showing more confidence in their friendships and their opportunities to reach out to others.  I remember being younger and how confusing it was when people were unkind, I want them to have the courage to walk away from unhealthy situations and to recognize opportunities where they can be Jesus to people in need.  So that's it... the good, the bad and the ugly. Thankfully, God is always good.  The bad and the ugly seem to creep in where you least expect them, therefore we must be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Blessings, Debbie  



  1. I am so sorry to read this. As a mom, I have been in your position and I respect and applaud your choice. For us, the situation was occurring at the Christian School where the girls went. I won't go into detail, but just know that I get it.

    A result is that the daughter in question is one of the most "friend growing" people I've ever met. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with a better godly quality of BEING a friend. I'm convinced it was planted in her through that experience.

  2. You are SMART. The narrow road is often SO less traveled, as we know. The wiser I get (trying!) the more I'm convinced: walk away from mean people.

  3. Hard yes, but so wise! I wish we had made this kind of decision a few times for my oldest son's sake - too often we gave in because he wanted to stay inspite of the situations...sigh.

    Thank you for sharing this hard thing. I know that it is going to give courage to someone to do what is needful....


  4. I'm not a momma, but I have seen this kind of thing in school for years....starting young. I had to try to manage it as best I could....leaving wasn't an option....
    Teaching the offender and protecting the attacked....hard.

    So glad you got to take your girls and love them and protect them. Life is hard sometimes, but like you said, God is always good.

  5. You did the right thing...I am sure it was a really tough decision and excruciating to execute at the initial break point - but it was a clean break and will heal clean rather than leave a jagged scar where things were pulled apart.

    Donna is right - it starts incredibly young in schools anymore. Both girls had it at Christian school and the 3-4-5's even had it this year in Sunday School. Kim (my fellow teacher) and I struggled with how to handle it - we've never had it before. What was appalling is how mean they were!!

  6. Life is so hard! I could never understand the reason behind cliques. Why not the more the merrier? Unfortunately, this behavior continues on into adulthood. Well, I guess there's a lesson in this. Too bad you couldn't spend more time with your adult children.

  7. There's very little which needs to said after this - except, you did the right thing and you all know it.

  8. I would have done the same thing! I'll remember what you said here -"The bad and the ugly seem to creep in where you least expect them, therefore we must be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves"..
    Hi dear friend I am back in the USA - lost you email so I could not let you know that I am back from Cabo..
    Good to read up on your past post - my a lot have continued to more forward - isn't that the truth.. busy lives we all have..
    I'll be back like nothing ever changed.. wink!I did miss reading your blog!

  9. So, so sorry....we have had some situations like that also...one son was so wounded from a Christian, home school camp that today he still doesn't trust Christians, and what is sad is that we thought the camp would be a life changing experience...it was, for the bad. My comfort is in knowing God's truth that what satan meant for evil He will use for my son's good...and one day we will see that truth in his life.

    So, so sorry...and glad the balm of Gilead is bringing healing to your daughters. Glad you had the courage to do what was right for your family.

    Do you have two daughter-in-laws? I thought you only had one son married.

    1. Actually, my son is not married. I have one married daughter so one son in-law! :)

  10. Kudos to you and yours. So much is caught by our children (rather than taught), so I'm sure your girls indeed learned by your example that it's ok to change plans when the bad and the ugly show up at the party. Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. I'm so sorry. People are so hard. On another note...love the ducky picture! :)

  12. "The bad and the ugly seem to creep in where you least expect them, therefore we must be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Amen to that. This post brought tears to my eyes. Such a difficult...and yet easy decision. Much love to you.

  13. Seems like a lot of people are going through "bad & ugly" right now. Good for you mama, for standing up for your girls! I remember a lot of times in my childhood where it would have been good for a parent to step in, and I have been dealing with the pain of those times ever since. It is hard going through it, but it is better to deal with a bit of sadness now instead of intense pain later in life.

  14. Wow Debbie, We made one of those decisions when our teenagers were that age. Now that they are almost grown and I see the fruit in what we chose to do which wasn't the norm. I see Meg's above comment and it breaks my heart because I know what she went through and wasn't protected like she should have been. When she came into our lives and she became my daughter before she became my son's wife and I did what I could do and I am still doing, it is better to keep a close watch.
    I would say, that the fruit now is worth the pulling away and protecting every time. Even in churches and home school groups there can be such pain. But we live in a fallen world but we are the ones accountable for our children to God.
    Good for you,

  15. Good parents choose to do what they believe to be the best, regardless of whether other people understand, or even if their children understand. I firmly believe, however, that children (including teens here too) know when we are making a choice with their ultimate good as our goal. Such a hard thing, but I believe that you will see the rewards of a hard-but-right decision. I wish I could be there to hug you and cheer you on!

    (I finally won the battle with Blogger...although I think I have some battle scars. ;-)

  16. Debbie, you are such a wise mother. And, you are teaching your children necessary lessons... even to the ones you were sad to leave behind. I'm sending big hugs to all of you today... blessings ~ tanna

  17. Wow sorry about this experience ....but a great teaching moment. We have instilled this in our children as well sometimes it is ok to walkaway. I think it is a very important step to learn. I appreciate with homeschooling my children they do not need to go through some of the things my husband and I had to endure in high school. Good Job to Mom and Dad for making a hard decision!! xx Heather

  18. I am so happy that you all were... be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. What a huge job it is to be a parent and you two are doing great! (((HUGS))) I pray that you all will have more chances to talk about that event and continue to sort out all the heart lessons.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))

  19. They sound like good reasons to me! I think I just read your last sentence you typed today in scripture?? :)

    I love the photos! :) Very sweet!

    Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work mom!


  20. I'm sorry that you had to change plans for bad reasons and yet, all things God puts in our paths can be a learning experience, a teaching moment and we can grow spiritually from them. Little and big bumps in the road...although I think I'd selfishly rather have neither. Glad that you are able to talk it out and have peace in your family again.


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