The Silver Lining

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good…  Romans 8:28

4 27 17 with word overlay (2)For years, the after school hours in my house have been a disaster. I often share my complaint with other moms, hoping they have the same problem (Misery loves company.). When they look at me with confusion, I feel like a failure.

When someone tells a story that falls flat, they default to the phrase, “I guess you had to be there.” When I try to explain our after school chaos, I default to, “I guess you have to live in my house to understand.” Continue reading

Sabbath Skip Days

Then God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.    Genesis 1:11

4 20 17 with word overlayI’ve often said I don’t suffer much from mother’s guilt. On the one hand, that’s good: I don’t needlessly beat myself up for things that roll off my kids’ backs. On the other hand, some mother’s guilt is healthy; it creates very important checks and balances.

An appropriate amount of guilt makes us routinely question whether our approach with our kids is working. If it’s not, hopefully that guilt motivates us to make the necessary changes. That’s how we’ll successfully raise well rounded kids.

Ironically enough, I’ve been suffering from some mother’s guilt lately. Continue reading

The Love Of Friends

He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end.  John 13:1

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESZack’s good friend moved to Texas last year. Fortunately, Zack has made some new friends since; but that hole is still there. I know how he feels.

I too have made some wonderful friends over the years, several of whom have been soulmates. But inevitably, life has taken a few of them elsewhere. My consolation has been letter writing. Believe it or not, I still have several old-school pen pals. I LOVE getting their handwritten letters in my mailbox, catching me up on their lives. But at the end of the day, there is no substitute for time spent in the physical company of good friends.
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Seeking A Reward

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.   Colossians 3:23-24

DSC00350Zack’s school recently changed marking periods from quarters to trimesters. His report card came home on Friday.

Although he has missed an assignment here and there, his overall grades were great! I congratulated him and hung the report card on the refrigerator for all to see. Then he asked if there was a reward. He reminded me that when he was younger, I’d give him money for good grades. He asked if we could go back to that system.

I explained that I only did that when he was younger to help him understand that getting good grades was important. But now, as a seventh grader, he should be getting good grades because it’s the right thing to do, not for the reward. He took it well enough, but his disappointment was clear to see.

I thought I’d let it go at that, but the issue continued to nag at me. I think it’s because I feel his pain.

It’s All In How You Look At It

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles…      2 Corinthians 4: 16-17

 Claire's Blog 039My daughter Jocelyn is beautiful in every way, except for one. When she was about three, she fell and bashed her front teeth on our kitchen floor. Fortunately, she was okay, but the injury to her teeth turned one of them yellow.

I know this is shallow of me, but every time she smiles, my eyes are drawn to that yellow tooth. I’ve been waiting for her to lose it for years,  so excited that her one physical flaw will eventually be gone.

I nearly jumped for joy two weeks ago when she got off the bus with that cute little treasure chest the nurse gives kids when they lose a tooth at school. I got even more excited when Jocelyn said, “It’s my front tooth!” But when she smiled, I saw the yellow tooth was still there. It was the white one that had fallen out.

 “Oh,” I said.  “I thought you lost the other one.” She answered, “No. I still have my golden tooth,” and smiled again.

Wow! All these years I have been seeing that tooth as yellow and rotting, but Jocelyn was seeing it as “golden:” a special treasure that she was lucky to have. Why couldn’t I have seen it that way? What else have I been seeing as negative that could, in fact, be a special treasure I’m lucky to have?  Continue reading

Unconditional Support

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do. 1Thessalonians 5:11

Claire's Blog 036During a recent snow day, I had my kids watch the movie Greater with me. Based on a true story, it’s about the pudgy and uncoordinated Brandon Burlsworth who dreams of becoming a football player for the Arakansas Razorbacks. With intense focus, extreme dedication, and really, really hard work, Brandon defies the odds and becomes one of the best walk-on players in college history. He also ends up getting drafted by a professional football team.

Sometimes I worry that my kids are becoming lazy and entitled. Like I saw on a billboard recently, I want them to understand that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. My hope was that Brandon’s hard work ethic would inspire them, maybe rub off on them.

As is usual, I think I learned more from the mom in the movie than my kids learned from Brandon. Continue reading

What We Take For Granted

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.     Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NLT)


Claire's Blog 013A blizzard was predicted for this past Tuesday. That meant high winds, with the likelihood of losing power. Having a house well, powered by electricity, meant a possible loss of running water too.

Having that advanced notice had me prioritizing Tuesday differently. It became all about filling the bathtub, running the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, having everyone shower in the morning instead of at night, etc. It really showed me just how much we rely on electricity and running water, two things I forget to appreciate until they’re gone

It also made me realize what else I take for granted.
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