It's the most scary time of the year and I'm not talking about the elections!!
I used to dread this time of year...it would always put my convictions to the test. I always loved the weather and autumn itself, but as a mother I dreaded what the majority celebrated this season.
For starters, I battle every day of my life trying to defeat fear. Fear of a lot of things. But mostly fear of all things scary, especially supernatural. I've always had a problem with fear. I never had any negative supernatural experiences myself, but I feared having them! Just hearing people in my family or church talk about it or seeing scary things on tv did me in. I had such a paralyzing fear of all things devilish, that my mom wrote down "Perfect love casts out all fear" and would have me carry it with me and make me repeat it whenever I started to panic. I know that God is greater, but I have to remind myself of that every day.
The other issue is growing up my mom always wanted to educate us to make the right decisions. I have watched so many films, had to read so many books & articles about how pagan and non-Christian so many of our holidays really were. She constantly lectured about them ALL of the time. And it wasn't just to me and my brother, it was to everyone. It was squashed inside of me and I had no choice but to follow.
So when my first child was born, I felt this enormous pressure from not only myself but from my mom on how we would celebrate holidays. I was intimidated and so the easiest thing for me to do was to do nothing. I would only decorate for Christmas and be careful about that. She always had her opinion of what I did or she made sure to say it before I even had the chance to do something or not.
So now she's gone and I still find myself dreading this month. But I've learned to be accountable for my own beliefs and convictions. I love the color of the changing leaves and pumpkins. There is nothing sinister in that. The kids love to dress up and play pretend, but I let them do it all year long so they don't feel odd or strange not going out at the end of the month like every other kid they know. And as for the candy, that's a treat any time of the year!
We read the Bible and Bible stories to our kids, pray every day and teach them to love God. But I don't want to bully them into it. I know this will have affect every area of their life where they will have to make decisions and I want them to be accountable for what they chose, not just because it's what their mom told them.
So, I still don't promote anything scary or wicked (would that make God be glorified??) and I don't cram it down other people's throats if they choose to do things differently. I don't totally keep the kids away from all things associated with this time of year either. But above all, I am still searching for the right way to live and raise my kids and if God wants things done a different way, I'm all for change! Happy Fall :)