Could the Problem Be Me?

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24

3.21.19 Could the Problem Be Me Pixabay

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I’ve been using my Lenten devotional, “With Our Savior,”  with my kids each night at dinner. It’s generated some amazing conversations, some on topic, some not. In the process, my kids have revealed some things about themselves they’ve never put into words before. That’s God for you: He works wonders whenever we turn to Him, especially when we do so as a family.

One conversation had Mason revealing he cares too much about what other people think. It’s effecting him, and he’s buckling under the weight of it. Zack, on the other hand, admitted other people’s opinion of him doesn’t matter at all. After years of kids being unkind to him, he’s pulled back that part of himself that cares, slammed the door, locked it, and threw away the key.

It’s pretty amazing when you have two kids, raised in the same house, by the same parents, who end up on complete opposite ends of any given issue. That’s where we parents have to come in, gently guiding each of them back to center. I started with Zack the next day. Continue reading

Casting Out Our Nets

Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”    Luke 5:5

3.14.19 Casting Out Our Nets

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“Seriously?!!!” I texted my teen back. “You left your clarinet at home again? Sorry. But I’m not bringing it to you at school this time.”

We’ve all had this conversation with our kids a million times – just substitute whatever your recurring issues are, and the venue, be it in person, on the phone, or via text. It’s the most exasperating thing to have spent years and years and years teaching our kids certain things, to find out they go in one ear and out the other. It’s like the movie “Ground Hog Day” where the same story line plays out over and over again. We eventually hit a wall, and can’t muster the energy to repeat ourselves one more time.

These are the days we just want to wave the white flag of motherhood, and walk away from the battle forever. Continue reading

Boat Time with Jesus

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People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.     (Mark 6:32-33)

3.6.19 Boat Time with Jesus

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When I had to get a job last November, I tried to find one within a few miles of my house. If I was going to be away from my family for 30 to 40 hours a week, I didn’t want to extend that by adding a long commute. Lo and behold, I ended up at a job 25 miles from home. Depending on the traffic, that adds an extra hour each day.

But you know what they say: Who’s to say what’s bad or good?

Continue reading

Real and True Relationship

Your presence, O Lord, I seek!      Psalm 27:8

IMG_0508Jocelyn and I took a parent-child cooking class together a couple weeks ago. Now that I’m back to work and have less time to be with her, I was so excited about the quality one-on-one time we were going to have.

We did have a wonderful time, but it wasn’t the magical mother-daughter experience I’d hoped it would be. She got distracted by the other little girls, and was more focused on how they were rolling out their pasta dough, than on her and me bonding. For my part, I was too focused on capturing it all in photos so we’d remember the night forever. I wasn’t as present as I’d hoped to be.

It was just another reminder of the trap of expectations, and recognizing what real relationship is all about. Continue reading

Honoring Who They Are

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.     Proverbs 11:29

DSC04702I had this Monday off from work for Presidents’ Day. Naturally, I assumed my kids had the holiday off too. I couldn’t wait to have all that time together, and had excitedly planned how we’d spend it. It felt like Christmas!

That morning, when my husband came back from his run, he told me about all the kids he’d passed at the different bus stops on his route. I quickly jumped on the school website to discover it wasn’t a school holiday after all.

Feeling our time together slip away, I declared it a “Hooky Day!” Zack and Jocelyn cheered and hollered. Mason had a completely different reaction. Continue reading