Choosing Growth Over Bitterness

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.   James 1:2-4

7 20 17 with word overlayI took my kids out to lunch at a local restaurant last week. We sat in a big circular booth by the front window. As we played Story Cubes together, I saw car after car drop kids off in the parking lot, and drive away. Then the big group of boys and girls came in, and all squeezed into the circular booth right beside us.

I saw Zack whisper something to Mason. But other than that, the group had no impact on him at all. When it came time for him to tell a story he made up based on the pictures he rolled on the Story Cubes, he was his usual self, no awkwardness whatsoever.

When we got in the car, I asked Zack if he knew that group of kids. I was completely surprised when he said they were from his grade, and sometimes gave him a hard time.
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Peace Is The Greatest Gift

“As you enter a house, wish it peace.”     Matthew 10:12

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I am a problem solver. Nothing gives me more joy than fixing a difficult situation. It’s a very handy character trait when there’s a problem in my own life or household, or when someone asks me for help.

It wasn’t such a great quality when I couldn’t shut it off. That’s when I gave unsolicited advice, or took over completely when someone merely asked for my opinion (just ask my husband about that).

Before I got a handle on things, I used to meddle in other moms’ lives. I did so because I thought I was helping. Looking back I realize, who was I to judge what was right for them?  Continue reading

Role Reversal

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…  Hebrews 10:24

7 6 17 with word overlayMason’s baseball team made it to the Championships. But with all the rain and cancellations, the only slot they could get for the game was the last Wednesday of school, from 7 p.m. to 9 .m. That meant Jocelyn was up way too late during an already crazy-busy week. Add to that Zack’s occasional preteen attitude, mix, and shake. The result was Jocelyn and Zack going at each other while getting ready for bed that night.

Bedtime is my motherhood Achilles heel. That’s when my tank is on empty. All I want to do is punch my time card, and chill out. It is NOT the time I want to deal with squabbling kids. Continue reading

Lessons From Our Bathtub

And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.    1 John 5:14

6 29 17 with word overlayAs I washed Jocelyn’s hair in the bathtub the other morning, we chatted about random things. I’m not quite sure how, but we ended up talking about babies. Jocelyn said she wanted her first baby to be a girl. At just seven years of age, she had it all planned out. “When I’m pregnant,” she said, “I’ll pray to God for a girl. He’ll hear my prayer and give me one.”

I loved how trusting she was: she didn’t doubt for a second that God would hear her prayer, nor did she doubt that He’d answer it. But I knew there was a lesson to be taught. So I grabbed my chance and ran with it. Continue reading

Craving Summer

“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”    Matthew 5:8

6 22 17 with word overlayI have heard September called the “Mom Olympics” with all the obstacles we have to overcome to get our kids settled back at school. If September is the Olympics, June must be the Olympic Trials. As the school year winds down, our days wind up into a frenzied whirlwind of school concerts, field trips, field days, class parties, etc.

I’ve always believed, and experienced, that when I have a clean mother’s heart, I can see God in each of my children’s eyes. However, despite being with them through all this end-of-the-school-year chaos, I can’t remember the last time I had a moment to pause and really see them, make eye contact, and recognize that He is there.
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The Monday Morning Take Back

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.    Colossians 3:13

6 15 17 with word overlayThis past weekend was insane for everyone. Between high school graduation parties, baptisms, birthday parties and kids’ sporting events, there wasn’t a single mom I spoke with who wasn’t running from Friday afternoon, right up until Sunday evening. I was no exception.

We had six parties, a horse show, karate, and a baseball game. Believe it or not, the flow was fairly smooth, and we enjoyed it all. However, it left us completely exhausted, and my house a disaster.

After my kids got on the school bus Monday morning, I wandered from room to room filling my arms with the debris that needed to be put away: socks, pajamas, sports uniforms, shoes, blankets, swim goggles, etc. My arms were full before I even got three feet. It was a very slow process.

I couldn’t help but think of my friend Jean who has five kids and crazy weekends all the time. She made the comment once that Monday is her day to “take back” her home: calm the chaos and put things back in order. As I “took back” my home, I started to wonder what else I needed to take back from this weekend.
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