The Hazards of Over Complimenting

“Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?” Luke 17:9

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I read an interesting article the other day about how supportive parenting can be a detriment to our kids if we take it too far. As I read on, I realized I’m guilty of almost every bullet point in the article. The one that resonated the most was over complimenting my kids.

I was curious what my kids thought. So I asked them, point blank, as we were driving in the car the other day. It was such an interesting conversation. Continue reading

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A Dollar Store Valentine’s Day

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.    Romans 12:10

2.14.18 with word overlayMy kids come up with the craziest ideas. Although I nod my head and say, “Hmmm… maybe…,” I know it’s not feasible to box up their dinners and send them to the starving children in Africa. I also presume Taylor Swift is never going to come to a birthday party, no matter how much we want her to. And, despite appreciating their creativity, I’m positive that building a water slide from their bedroom window to a pool we don’t even have just isn’t feasible.

But every now and then, my kids come up with a great idea that’s actually doable. Jocelyn did just that for Valentine’s Day this year. Continue reading

Persistence Pays Off

Published on CatholicMom.com

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Photo by Christopher Bruno via Freeimages.com (2003)

Despite enrolling my son in just about every sport, club, and after-school activity I could find over the years, Zack just wasn’t interested in any of them. I began to worry. I didn’t want him just hanging around watching TV and playing video games. I desperately wanted to help him discover his passion so he could feel challenged and a part of something. Just like every other parent out there, I wanted him reaching his full potential.

When he was younger, I would sign him up for things, take him, and force him to participate. But as the years went by, and he developed a mind of his own, it got more challenging. That’s when the arguments started: me demanding he get involved in something, him putting his foot down and refusing.

It was wearing me down. It didn’t seem worth it anymore: throwing money out the window in enrollment fees, wasting time and energy dragging him around, the headaches from arguing and worrying, and most of all, Zack being miserable and distancing himself. It all seemed counterproductive. I was ready to play it Zack’s way and give up. Continue reading

What Defines Us

“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.”   Mark 7:20

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outlineI live in an affluent town ​where a ​lot of women put great emphasis on outward appearances: looking fit and slim, wearing the right clothes, ​driving the right car​, etc​​. One of these women is arrogant and mean. ​I​n subtle, passive-aggressive ways, she tries to make me feel inferior so she can feel superior.

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Shake It Off

Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.     Mark 6:11

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outlineMy friend Jess always makes the best mixed CD’s for her kids’ birthday party favors. That’s how Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off” made it’s way into our lives. Although my boys cringe when it comes on, my daughter and I sing together at the top of our lungs.

I love the message behind it: Despite the mean things people think or say, shake it off. Unkind people try to drag us down. It’s a power play: a game created by them, with their rules, with them in charge. Why would we expend any time and energy on a game we’ll never win? If we even let them engage us, we hand over our power.  Continue reading

Transferable Lessons

See to it that no one takes you captive… according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  Colossians 2:8

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By total coincidence, I had the DVD “Ruby Bridges” to watch with my kids on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last year. Based on a true story, it’s a movie about one of the first African-American students to attended an all white school in Louisiana in 1960. Ruby was all of six-years-old.

As the angry white people spat at poor little Ruby, and threatened to kill her, my kids were squirming in their seats. Mason, especially, kept saying how much he hated the movie. I explained that there was a big difference between a poorly written movie with awful acting, and a well done movie that made you feel bad. The first was a waste of time. The second was very necessary if that bad feeling had a good lesson in its hands. Continue reading

Finally Finding The Right Prayer

May the God of peace… equip you with all that is good, that you may do His will. Hebrews 13:20-21

1.18.18 with word overlayZack had some friends over to play Dungeons and Dragons over the weekend. None of the kids he invited had ever played before, but Zack was soooo excited to teach them. With his expectations so high, I knew he would be crushed if the game didn’t go over well.

So the day before, and that morning, we talked endlessly about identifying the cues that told him whether his friends were appreciating the game or not, and being flexible enough to switch gears if they weren’t. I thought Zack was good to go. Continue reading