Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Have kids today changed"?

On November the 19th Patrick and I had the huge honor of hearing the legend Bobby Bowden speak at an FCA event here in Hattiesburg.  For anyone reading this that doesn't know who Bobby is read here  Although he has an impressive history as a long time football coach to Florida State(Master P's favorite team) his biggest accomplishment as been his passion for Christ.  When I heard the advertisement that he was coming I knew that would be Patrick's Christmas present from me.  They had a ticket available for purchase that allowed you to come in early, get your book signed and have a picture made with Coach Bowden.  That was it, this was huge, Patrick had never met him and here was a chance in our home town! I was so excited for him.  He was an excellent story teller and is full of wisdom!  He tells stories like no other, he would bounce from one story to another sometimes not even finishing the first story but you never "got lost".   He said a lot of things that stood out to me, one thing he said with a very serious look on his face, "If you don't know Jesus, you better get to learning him"! :) But something he said that has stuck with me, something I have thought of almost daily since I heard him say it, something so simple yet so profound, something that if I tell the truth, rocked me to my core was this.  He told how once in an interview he was asked, "Coach you have been coaching for a lot of years, you have seen a lot of kids come through here.  Have kids today changed"?  His answer, "No kids today haven't changed, they are the same as they have always been, the parents have changed".  Wow! He went on to say that their appearances have changed of course but they are still the same, the parents are the ones that are to busy, to much to do.  HOW COULD I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!  There is a huge epidemic of bad parenting going on, it is evident all around us.  I have strong opinions about this.  I am by no means the perfect parent but I do try to be an aware parent.  I am raising toddlers and a teenager, I have to be aware.  I choose to do things that may be questionable to other parents but I do it out of love and concern.  I don't believe that teenagers should be "turned loose" with cell phones, they have the world at their fingertips with those smart phones and they are not old enough to always make wise decisions when left to their own vices.  Alese has to put her cell phone on the kitchen counter every night at 7:30.  That doesn't mean she can't use it after that it just means she won't be laying in her bed surfing the web or texting at midnight.  I know this is just one of the small things and I may discover it helped nothing but I want to protect her, not control, protect.  I could go on and on about little things that I try to do or try not to do but I won't get on my soap box.  My prayer for myself is that I will never be so busy or so caught up that I will be the mother who just turns my kids loose, let's them "raise themselves", run around unsupervised etc....  Bobby Bowden nailed it, and it hit me in my gut, "kids haven't changed, the parents have changed".  PLEASE Lord Jesus, slap me in my face if I am ever becoming the parent that has changed.  I want my children to be responsible, caring, loving, contributing members of Your work and our society! Amen.

One thing I forgot to mention, there was a silent and live auction at the FCA event.  One of the items up for grabs in the live auction was an FSU helmet signed by Coach Bowden.  I told Patrick, "we are bidding on that". He laughed and said we could but we would never go home  with it. Well we did.  We had a little discussion during the bidding and I really wanted him to get it so the last and final bid was mine! :) It is proudly displayed at Patrick's office. 

Coach personalizing Patrick's helmet

It was such an honor to meet this man