Thursday, January 11, 2007
Days of your Youth
Until a few weeks ago, 'Aunt' was just an honorary title. However, on my travels, I have appear to have collected a few adopted neices and nephews so I enjoyed Carolyn McCulley's recent articles on Tradition and Tea Parties and Creating Aunt Traditions. A fellow Christian single, she said:
One of the aspects of parenthood that I've most envied are the "memory-making" events--the little traditions that create a special family intimacy. Last year, I decided to test the water with my oldest niece to see if she would respond to an aunt-bonding activity.
As you can see in the photo, my oldest honorary neice is only little, but I also seem to have adopted honorary little sisters along the way. Sometimes they are girls I've met and become friends with through the youth group. Sometimes they are girls who don't have a big sister and want someone a bit older to speak to who is not a relative and who perhaps is a bit more neutral. (It is sometimes easier to 'take advice' from a friend than it is to be told what to do by a parent, even when they are saying exactly the same thing!)

(As an aside, I've found that MSN Messenger has been so important for teen ministry. They all spend time chatting to each other on the internet and want to be able to chat with their leaders. Because they can't see you, they then will really start pouring their hearts out and bearing their souls on all sorts of issues.)

I see it as part of the Titus 2 relationship except, this time, we are the older women doing the teaching. We can use these special times to invest in these young lives, supporting them through difficult teenager years with all the changes and trials that brings, guiding them in their faith and life decisions. It is such a privilege to be in their confidence so it is important to be able to consistently spend time and energy with them and praying for them, so that they know their importance in our lives.

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, "I have no pleasure in them".
Ecclesiastes 12:1

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  posted at 06:16  

At 11 January, 2007 13:04, Blogger Jonny said...

The Famous Grouse... I'm an uncle and enjoy doing things with the kids, hopefully forming memories. Emily said I was her favorite uncle once, that is special I guess.

At 11 January, 2007 14:26, Blogger Ashley said...

I always wished more women would reach out to me when I was a teen. I had a great relationship with my mom, but there's some things you just don't want to talk about! I dealt a lot with depression in high school, and was just craving for someone to talk to. My senior year, one of my teachers let me open up to her and I am eternally indebted! When I was in college, I still struggled with depression, except then I didn't even have my mom to talk to. I was always jealous of girls who would have a "mentor" - I always wondered how one goes about getting a mentor. So I congratulate you on making an effort to do this! I know many teen girls will be blessed by your desire to listen to them and take an interest in them! (Hmm, perhaps I should take your advice too! I still see myself as one of the young ones, but I guess if I'm old enough to be married then I'm not "little" anymore. *grin*)

At 11 January, 2007 22:30, Blogger Keziah said...

Jonny - are you her only uncle? ;-)

Ashley - I really would commend it to you! I have grown so much myself through their friendship. Sometimes they want to ask questions about their faith that they have never asked their parents so I have had to make sure that I had proper answers! It spurs me on to trying to be more godly too knowing that there are people looking up to me. I have learnt so much through the older women taking an interest in me, so it seems natural to want to return the favour to others.

At 12 January, 2007 14:34, Blogger Jonny said...

Emily has many uncles, including my two brothers. But I call Emily my favorite neice sometimes, and she is the only one.

At 20 January, 2007 05:28, Blogger Jessie said...

You made a point that I've never thought of before: That while I normally have considered myself in the "younger women" category (and I think that's where I primarily fall)- that I am in the "older women" category, compared to some. I have tended to view myself as being mostly on the receiving end of the instruction about girl-issues, and haven't seriously considered in what ways I might be able to be on the giving-of-instruction side... Thanks for making me think! I have two younger sisters (14 and 5 y.o.) and there are several young girls at my church... *hmmm*
Another thing I need to change about my thinking, is that I tend to expect people older than me to accept me as an equal- I consider myself (perhaps wrongly?? I dunno) equal to other women in their mid- to late-twenties, 3 to 8 years older than me; yet I tend to shy away from making real acquaintances of girls who are that much younger than me. I need to realize that maybe they would like to think of themselves as my equal!! In other words, I shouldn't "hang out" only with people who are older than myself. Anyway, just my thoughts there. *shrugs* : )
That's an adorable picture of you and your "niece," btw. It's nice to see a picture of you too! I like knowing what everyone looks like.
I also wanted to thank you for the offer of borrowing the book you're reading! It was kind of you to think of sharing it with me. Really the idea is rather fun! But as I've thought on it and prayed about it, I think I better give the reading of this book a "no" for now, as I'm not sure that I in particular will be helped along by it in my quest for finding my sole satisfaction in my Christ and His love... At least at present I don't think I ought to read it. I struggle enough with my own thoughts lately that I don't think I should add more that I know I will have to wrestle through! But again, I really thank you for the offer! It was very kind of you. Where exactly does your friend live, btw? If you don't mind sharing, that is. It would be fun if she ended up being my "neighbor!"
I hope 2007 is a Happy New Year for you!

At 22 January, 2007 17:29, Blogger Keziah said...

Jessie - I hope you have fun hanging out with younger girls. Have them round to do some baking or crafting. I think if you are "doing something", it is easier to open up than if you are just sitting face to face. I love my role as an honorary big sister and auntie. I know how much I have appreciated those older women who have taken me under their wings, particularly when I first became a Christian. (Just let me know if there are any of my books that you do fancy!)


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