Pumpkins & Suicide

Carving pumpkins? Talk to your kids while you’re at it.

In today’s culture when almost ALL of our kids have seen at least some of the episodes of the series Thirteen Reasons Why, we need to talk about self image, depression, suicide, bullying, and social media. Their ideas and opinions are coming from somewhere. Why not us? Since our family is so busy, I try to find teachable moments in our everyday life to open up communication. It’s that easy folks. Let’s start talking.

Here are some prompts to use pumpkin carving to talk about self image:

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes.

We choose a variety of large pumpkins of different shapes to display on our porches. We wouldn’t send a huge pumpkin to send a college kid for her dorm room, though. We’d choose those cute teeny tiny ones. Short and round or tall and skinny…they are all great but for different uses. Are you happy with your shape? What’s good about your unique design?

At some point, the pumpkin is either going to have its guts ripped out, or it’s going to rot.

In our lives, there is some gut ripping that’s going to happen. The question is not whether hard times will come; it’s when they’ll come and how we’ll deal with them. Are you going to be the one that stands up under pressure to become something new and beautiful? Are you going to be the one that breaks down and lays flat at the first sign of trouble? Will you let me help when you feel like your insides are being ripped out?

Pumpkins have rough edges. 

Have you ever carved a pumpkin and thought it was perfect? No, all pumpkins have some rough edges. That’s what makes them beautiful and unique. Perfection is not the goal. Enjoying the process is the goal. We learn in the process. We are never finished. How are your rough edges showing right now?

Smiling and happy? Scary and frowning? 

It’s OUR choice. Unlike the pumpkins we carve, our lives are not the result of what is done to us. We decide how to respond to situations, how we’ll grow from mistakes, and how we will move on with positive attitudes. We have the power to choose. Which choice will you make today?

Pumpkins are lanterns. 

Whether the light inside is electric or a lit candle, jack-o’-lanterns shine bright. How can we light up the darkness around us this week?

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father,” (Matthew 5:15-16, NLT).

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