Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Daughter Said the "H" Word...Again!


You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ~Franklin P. Jones

It started a month ago. My daughter again became fascinated with it and since then I have heard this word at least once a day, more often most days, and it makes me cringe every single time she says it. I have explained how horrible it is, how it cannot be pleasing to God, and certainly is not pleasing to her mother! I have given all the reasons she should put it out of her mind. I have tried to not make a big deal of it thinking that she will give up, that it is a phase...but it appears to be bigger than the both of us.

I truly despise...Halloween!

If you are new to reading my blog, here are some thoughts I wrote down last year on this subject:
October's Thorn
Are We Standing Firm?

The Princess begins tactfully telling me she is not trying to upset me and that she is just curious, but day after day from the first of September the name of this unholy-day has been voiced. I thought it would be a bit easier this year because we have our TV service turned off, so no commercials about horror movies—I cannot tell you what a blessing it is not to have any invitation available to that ghastly invasion that normally crashes into my living room and stays unwelcomed for weeks upon weeks this year!—but apparently it seeps in anyway. First it was in a magazine that she gets regularly. Then the catalogs with costumes began coming. Then the stores had easily recognized black and orange items and scary green faces and cracking laughs, screams, hollow footsteps, heartbeats, or moans set off unexpectedly when you walk near those hi-tech motion sensor decorations. I am tired of it already and we still have the entire month of October to go through!

Finally, I said it. I said it in complete frustration of not being able to stop it from ruining another beautiful autumn season for me, from stealing my peace, from coming into my home, and from going into my child's mind and heart. I said we would celebrate Halloween. I was just as shocked that my lips formed the words with my tongue cooperating as I am seeing the words appear as my fingers are typing it out right now. I felt a wretched twist inside of myself, that warning that you have done something terribly harmful and wicked that you will never be able to take back. It was as if I betrayed someone by breaking a solemn oath, as if I cursed out loud in front of my daughter, as if I had spit on my Lord. I was immediately sick and in tears, but I hid this from my daughter thinking the next words I would hear: "Really? You mean it? I would like to be a princess!"

Then my daughter said, "Mama, no!"

Usually, she is not allowed to say no to me, but these were sweet sounds...ones that I will cherish, because in those words she gave me peace again.

I am not sure if she is just trying to please me, because she does do that sometimes, when she knows I am strongly against something. I am hoping she understands what we have explained as to why her father and I are against anything to do with it, even some church alternatives borrowing some of the traditions that seem fun and innocent.

We had planned to watch a movie and make popcorn balls and caramel apples, but we had not looked at the calendar. This year October 31st falls on Sunday and our church will be having a potluck dinner and games. There has been no mention of a trunk and treat kind of thing and I am hoping it stays that way. We can do the movie thing another day and I am sure the Princess will remind us.

~ My Lord, help us worship You daily in all we do. ~

14 comments:

  1. Awww.... what a darling little thing your daughter is♥ (
    (she must take after her mama...mhhmm. yup)

    I hear you with the horror of Halloween thing. I hate all of the gruesome-ness. It just seems inexcusable to me to package that sort of stuff up as "fun" and "pleasure" and "celebration." Such things are horrible and should evoke revulsion rather than laughter. That said, I am not completely opposed to the celebration of Halloween, even for Christians. Now before you brand me a heretic or lacking in discernment, hear me out...

    I think children have a natural desire to dress up in costume, to play at being someone exciting or beautiful or just plain fun. Kids have always loved to do that. Sadly, these days the only time many of them will get a chance to do this is at Halloween. I think this (coupled with all of that candy, lol) is what drives children in their love for Halloween. Certainly moreso than any interest in the occult. I think that desire to dress up is fine, healthy even, and I don't begrudge my children the opportunity. In fact, I love making costumes for them and do it every year. They talk all year long about what kind of costume they want- it is a huge deal in this house. Our church has a Harvest Celebration where everyone (kids and adults alike) come dressed up and it is good innocent fun. It really is... no gruesome or scary costumes are allowed. Many unchurched families attend. And most importantly the Word of God is preached.

    Now, usually I don't go to the Harvest Celebration... the kids' father takes them and it is one of the very very few church activities he attends these days. I'm happy to have him take the kids, and thrilled to have him back inside of a church for any reason! Me... I stay home. I sit out on my front porch with the lights blazing and some cute little (non-scary) jack-o-lanterns lit and greet every one who comes to my door. I buy the best, most lavish treats I can afford and rave over how wonderful the kids look. I make conversation with the parents... and if they are interested, I hand out fliers to the party over at our church. Someone once challenged me on this... she said that she could "never do anything that would shame her if Jesus came back at that very minute- on Halloween night." And that got me to thinking: what could I do that would most please the Lord on this night when it seems that evil is being glorified in this world? What would He have me do when sinners and the lost are coming to my very door and knocking? Would I like to be found ignoring them and hiding away in the inner recesses of my house? I decided that- for me- my place is right out there greeting them, giving to them what I am able and showing the love of God as best I can. I sit there in my long dress and my headcovering- often with my Bible open in my lap and chat with anyone who wants to chat with me. (I'm weird that way;-}) You really wouldn't believe the people I am able to interact with and the things I am able to say to them. It truly is wonderful.

    And lastly... every single day belongs to the Lord. Not a single one belongs to the enemy, no matter what he would try to deceive us into thinking. Halloween is just another day; it belongs to God just like every single other day. And I'll be hornswaggled if I am going to be cowed by the enemy. If he is foolish enough to claim ownership of a holiday that sends sinners and lost folk right up to my very door and allows me to minister to them, well then I am going to take full advantage of it! Jesus wasn't above interacting and loving tax collectors and prostitutes, so I guess I can't be above interacting with and loving the witches and gouls and princesses and superheroes that He allows to cross my path;-}

    Just my 2 cents♥ (and worth just about what you spent for 'em, lol!)

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  2. You know how I feel about halloween ~ & nope, not about to sit out on the porch I don't have welcoming evil across the threshold of my property. lol People do all sorts of things in innocence but still don't make it right.

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  3. I think I'm with Persauded here ... Don't complain Mummy ... You raised me to have my own opinions ... :)

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  4. I'm not complaining ~ you're not celebrating ~ your evangalizing. Difference. Your gift, not mine.

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  5. Persuaded, you are truly gracious and I can find no fault with the love you have for the Lord and people and giving children joy. I do understand your perspective and it is a highly controversial subject among Christians, causing strife, which is reason alone to question its true purpose.

    Since you have made some significant changes in your diet, moving towards organic foods and less junk foods, I think you will understand that the candy-made-of-deceivingly-tasty-chemicals aspect alone is not appealing to me. And my daughter is quite against eating genetically modified organism (GMO) food of which most of the sugar from sugar beets now is. Frankenfood-Fears

    Now, I think we have some other things in common in that our children have more freedom to express themselves through acting. In my home, my daughter can (and often does) dress up nearly anytime she likes. I enjoy costumes, play acting, performing, masks, face painting (obviously), etc, and I am sitting here typing this out after I spent a day of face painting with a bright design and glitter still on my own face. The Princess gets that expressive creativity (with all the dramatics that go with it) from me and my side of the family. I guess could say I simply do not feel that Halloween should be the yearly pinnacle of such fun activities and I am very sad that it has become just that.

    There is this the one thing that means more to me than all the rest, however. When Christians explain their reasons for celebrating Halloween or any variation of it or alternative they plan to do, I have yet to hear that they felt God told them to do it, but if God had, then it makes no difference what I think about it...the Lord's word on the subject should be the last word on it. On the other hand, I feel I was given a very clear message from the Lord that my family is not to participate in it at all. Although we did try the trunk and treat thing with our church last year, I still saw the very element to which we were, supposedly, offering the alternative there and God reminded me that just because my church does something, does not mean He has given His blessing to it. So, I pray that I will continue in my struggle of seeking His blessing rather than to compromise it and for all to desire the same.

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  6. *sigh* I understand your frustration! I personally have had quite enough with people telling me I am depriving my children of their childhood by not allowing them to dress up and beg strangers for candy.

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  7. I am right there with you! I hate that that dreaded "holiday" comes during my favorite season.

    I've never had a problem with my older 4 children. They always saw it for the evil it is. However, we now attend a different church and a number of the families celebrate it. My youngest child was born while we attend this church and he's always thought it looks fun. But, a few Sundays ago while it was being discussed during Sunday School he was telling one of the other little boys that it was BAD. HURRAY!

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  8. I just wanted to say welcome to my blog Larry & Amanda and thank you for your comment.

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  9. Liddy.. girl, I could just hug you! I think you are the first person who's ever agreed with me on this- or at least the first person who was willing to admit it;-D

    Ganeida... Hmm... well, I think my use of the word "celebrate" was unfortunate. I don't celebrate Halloween so much as refuse to hide away in fear just because the enemy insists on calling it his day. I refuse to believe his lies in any form they take, especially when they are so blatant, lol. I can't honestly say that I (like dear Liddy) am evangelizing per se, but I most definitely am ministering. And in the name of Jesus Christ, to the best of my ability anyway.♥

    Linda... you wrote: "When Christians explain their reasons for celebrating Halloween or any variation of it or alternative they plan to do, I have yet to hear that they felt God told them to do it,"
    Well, you've heard one now! :-D
    Back when I first heard wind of this controversy, I was influenced to completely reject anything that hinted of participation in Halloween. There were folks at my church who were extremely vocal about their thoughts, and I couldn't help but agree with so much of what they said. I hate the gruesomeness, the occult-ish trappings, the glorification of evil- hate it. But I suppose where I part company with many other believers is how I choose to react to that which I (and the Lord) hates.
    For so many years I vacillated; one year I'd hand out treats (and thereby irritate and infuriate many of my friends, lol) and the next I'd have all of my lights out and be in bed super early or hiding away or whatever to avoid the trick-or-treaters. I mentioned in my previous comment a challenge from an acquaintance to guide my choices by the thought of "how would I feel if the Lord came back just at this moment and saw me." I know she thought her challenge would instantly and irrevocably make me agree with her and never participate in any type of Halloween activities again. But the more I thought of it and prayed about it, the more I realized that- for me, my place is out there on the porch. I'd be ashamed.. so ashamed to have the Lord return to see me hiding away in self-righteousness and fear, ignoring the lost families that are coming right up to my very door and knocking. I know my view is controversial and I know that few will agree with me... but I simply cannot ignore lost and unsaved folk who the Lord brings across my path- right to the very spot where I am. I simply cannot do it- not without feeling blatantly disobedient to the Lord anyway. I absolutely feel that out on my front porch is exactly where He would have me to be. I feel His presence there, and I feel the love He has for each one of the folks I talk to. I really do♥

    You also wrote: "it is a highly controversial subject among Christians, causing strife, which is reason alone to question its true purpose." Oh yes girl, I am in complete agreement with you here! I almost dread this time of year because of the division this subject causes. Everyone is so vehement, discussions can become so heated, so many hurtful and offensive things are said. It seems like everyone is so set in their opinion that they are ready to brand as a heretic anyone who thinks differently. I'm certain the enemy revels in every fractured relationship and hurt feeling too. I very very very rarely enter into these discussions just for that reason. I know my thoughts on this subject are unusual and likely to annoy the folks on both sides of the fence, lol. I knew you'd be big enough and your spirit gracious enough to really hear what I was saying and not condemn me and the path I feel called to. Thanks for proving me right♥☺♥

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  10. Diane, you are beautiful in the sight of the Lord ~ How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things

    I don't agree ~ but culturally there is a huge divide & I would never try & disuade someone who has got such a clear directive from the Lord on which way they are to jump. ♥

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  11. Diane, actually you have given me something to think about and pray about. I truly appreciated and even enjoyed with a giggle you sharing your perspective, which is always welcomed here:

    If he is foolish enough to claim ownership of a holiday that sends sinners and lost folk right up to my very door and allows me to minister to them, well then I am going to take full advantage of it!

    That is certainly a twist on it said in that spunky Diane style that delights me. You know, my husband has a very similar opinion about how to handle Halloween, but not when our child was younger and would be scared of the costumes.

    Everything has its season. Perhaps now or in the future, as the Princess has understanding of acting as a missionary to people who are celebrating Halloween, while not celebrating it ourselves, we will be out on our own front porch. I will be praying about the if and when as the Lord wills.

    You have reminded me that our Lord does have differing tasks for different people and there is also timing, what was not to be done yesterday may be something to be done today or tomorrow.

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  12. 'If he is foolish enough to claim ownership of a holiday that sends sinners and lost folk right up to my very door and allows me to minister to them, well then I am going to take full advantage of it!'

    I also loved this and it nails it for me... It's not about the celebrating, it's about being a voice for Christ to the lost souls! :)

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  13. I can't disagree at all with Diane's points. The difference for us is that we live down a gravel lane out in the country ~ we don't get people coming up to our porch. I wouldn't turn them away if they did. But, we do not participate by dressing up & taking our children out and about. That's where my disagreements lay, not with welcoming people who would show up at my house.

    And, thanks for the welcome. I often read here, from the link on Diane's site, but have never commented before. :)

    ~Amanda

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  14. Amanda, thank you for your thoughts. I am still praying about this myself.

    I actually wish we lived in the country for many other reasons but this would definitely be an added plus! My cousin has a big bonfire party with over a hundred family and friends at his place, which is surrounded by cornfields. I think I would prefer to do that kind of thing, if I lived far out like that.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.