Friday, March 27, 2015


These days, I live my life mostly for my kids.  I serve them, I help them, I motivate them, I instruct them.  Primarily, I love them!  Fundamentally, I believe in them. 

I think that until about the age of 12, kids reciprocate that belief.  There is a small window of time when my kids have thought that I could move mountains.  The truth of my humanity and fallibility as a mom is kept hidden from them for a time, and they mirror my faith in them.  But then,  one day, the curtain is pulled back revealing the truth: That I am imperfect, human, sometimes wrong, other times right.  With this reveal comes the realization that I might not know exactly what I am doing.  

To be fair, none of my kids came with a manual.  There wasn't ever a how-to guide to refer to when I was in certain situations, facing certain challenges.  And so, I  sometimes wing it.  I look to Scripture and books for guidance.  I ask advice of others and pray to the Lord to show me the right decisions to make. 

I hate feeling like I don't know what I'm doing.  I strive to educate myself, to prepare myself.  I observe my kiddos and learn from them.   Often I get it right, but there are also times when I get it wrong; when the situation I'm in is too confusing and too difficult or  the result I want isn't within my reach. 

Tonight, my 10 year old gave me a point in the win column on my Mom score card.   Not only did she believe in me with this note, she trusted that I had the capability of fulfilling what she wanted.    

Her note was sincere, and laced with confidence that I could complete this task.  There was no doubt in her mind that I would come through for her.  To know that she believes in me, that I could actually do what she wanted me to, gave me all the motivation that I needed to start working on her necklaces.  (Even though I got the note at 10:30 pm.)
It was my joy and my delight to make Meredith's necklaces for her.   
It truly lifts the spirit when someone believes in you.  It bolsters your self-esteem,  re-energizes your spirit.  It makes you want to take those super hero boots and fill them with your very own feet. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

To live or not to live

I've decided that the opposite of living isn't dying.  Rather, the opposite of living is...  not living.  Simple as that.  And truthfully, there are days when I "don't live".  Days when I choose to sink deeper into a pit of frustration or disappointment.  There are moments that I could choose to see the good and I don't; times when I focus on what's wrong instead of what's right.  After a few days of not living, I'm so sick of myself that I wouldn't want to be around myself if I wasn't me!  HA!  And so, I do an about face and head in the opposite direction of not living, and I head right for living.

Did you know its a choice?  Every. Single. Time.  I choose it, it never chooses me.  Nobody clears the schedule of turmoil and frustration and presents me with a perfect day for living.  Nope.  I have to get knee deep in the training and instruction of my children, the disappointments in myself and others, the limitations of time, money. and energy.  And I have to choose.  Some days, choosing to live has to be faked at first.  Because, let's be honest.  It's not always easy to make this choice. So I ACT like I want to LIVE and do you know what eventually happens? After about 10 minutes, the role I'm playing loses it's fake-ness , and instead turns into a part that feels familiar and good.

It's peculiar to me. all of this pretending.  And what do I ever gain from it?  The answer is nothing. Nothing but more not living.  That's not beneficial for any of us.   I just want to have real conversations with real people about real things.  I want to cry when life hurts and laugh when it doesn't.   I want to try to face hard things even when I feel like faking it.  I want to share rather than keep quiet.  I want to to ask for help and support when I'm in need.

When you choose to live, you choose to feel pain, you risk bruising and bleeding.  But that's what bandages are for.  The bandages of good friends, making memories, laughter, sharing great food, joining together in joy-filled family activities.  All of these things will help to bind up any wounds that living causes.  And I would exchange all of these for one moment spent not living.  Wouldn't you?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Happy Saturday!

The sun is shining through the windows, and my house is QUIET... This is NEVER the case, especially on a Saturday!!  All 4 kiddies were asked to spend the night at a friend's house last night.  The funny thing is that the 2 youngest kids are together at one house, and the 2 older girls are together at one house.  Patrick and I had a wonderful, needed Friday night all to ourselves!!  It was a spectacular gift of ABUNDANCE!!!

What are YOU doing with this weekend?  It's DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!!  I love it when we spring forward with the clocks.  The days are lighter longer which is such a delight.

Last week brought so many great times to our family.  Maddie got the news that she got a spot in the middle school honor choir for the school district, Meredith sang at her honor choir concert, Marky got offered a regular babysitting job for the summer, Michael had a soccer game which they won 11-1.  It was a week of blessing for all of the kiddos!!  Most of them spent the week doing some standardized testing at school. This isn't their favorite thing, but at least they didn't have regular homework during the week.

It was a good family week.  Good doesn't mean perfect.  We had plenty of times where some necks needed to be wrung!!  But, here's the thing.  Around here we forgive, we love, we keep forgiving, we keep loving.  Even when there are rocky days and hard moments, we stay and we fight for each other.  Nobody runs away.  Nobody gets cut loose. We are family and we're all in this together. And whenever I feel lost and wonder what God's will for our family is I go to this verse...  

"Be joyful always; Pray continually; Give thanks in all circumstances for THIS is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18