The Lord Your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love. Zephania 3:17
My daughter, Jocelyn, is very capable and EXTREMELY independent. So, when she had to set up her work space in her room yesterday and log in for her first day of fifth grade Remote Learning, I almost stayed behind, confident she’d be able to handle it.
At the last minute, I followed her up the stairs anyways. As she got everything, and herself, situated, I stood by, fully prepared to help if she asked. Turns out, she never did, but I was there nonetheless.
As I walked back down the stairs, the connection with God became perfectly clear.
So she (the Shunammite woman) said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him … so that when he comes to us he can stay here.” 2 Kings 4:9-10
We outgrew our first home in Massachusetts soon after having kids. Moving north over the border into New Hampshire got us double the square footage, but we quickly filled this home too by acquiring more stuff. There are days when I feel like there’s nowhere to go to escape the racket and chaos. That’s why it’s so important to copy the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4.
Years ago, my friend, Jess, created a Science Camp. In it, she taught my kids the cycle of water through hand motions and a little song: Precipitation, Accumulation, Evaporation, Condensation. It illustrated the circular pattern that water takes in a way that made it concrete for them.
Every morning I read Bob Goff’s Live in Grace, Walk in Love devotional. In several reflections, he talks about how we tend to gravitate toward people who are like us, and away from those who aren’t. He believes we miss so much by not exposing ourselves to, and learning from, those who think differently.
My kids are great at apologizing. “I’m sorry,” rolls off their tongue effortlessly, along with hugging me and saying they love me. I think it’s great they can admit they’re wrong, and use the words to say so. But it just isn’t enough. Continue reading →
My teen boys can be pretty sarcastic. It drives me nuts when, in response to one of my questions, they say the exact opposite of what they know I want to hear. It thrills their little teenage hearts to get me so annoyed.
So, I find it ironic that I love opposites in writing. I admire authors who can combine antonyms to illustrate their point. The smart wordplay is a great attention-getter.
Jocelyn is my most independent child, for sure. At just ten years of age, she tries to take on more than her fourteen and sixteen-year-old brothers combined. I want to foster that initiative and drive, but it’s a fine line. I can’t let her jump out of the nest altogether. Her wings aren’t strong enough to sustain her for the long haul.
He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. Matthew 12:19-20
I had been praying for a while for the grace to reorder my priorities, and get back to the mom I used to be. The old me used to be present and available to my kids, proactively leading them to grow in the ways I deemed important. Somewhere, somehow, that all got derailed.
So many of us realize our derailment only in hindsight. It takes 20/20 vision to see all the little, subtle ways our good intentions go astray. For me, it was a combination of my life and my kids’ lives getting busier, cell phones, and the learning curve of raising teens. I was all over the map with my rules and boundaries as I tried to maintain control, all while trying to give my boys more independence to mature.
Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? Isaiah 10:15
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com
Needing a place protected from the rain, with good air flow, I decided our garage, with the doors open, is the perfect COVID-19 hangout. If, however, your garage looks anything like mine did, you’d know it wasn’t the most sightly place to spend time. I decided to give it a DIY make-over, and used a lot of hand and power-tools in the process.
We all talk about being God’s hands and feet on earth. It’s a wonderful expression, and a beautiful concept, one that hopefully inspires us all to let God use us to make the world a better place. Yet, it wasn’t until I reflected more while using my hand and power-tools that I understood the concept in the reverse. Continue reading →
The older my kids get, the more I see the influence their peers have on them. They parrot their friends’ vocabulary, take on their mannerisms and behavior, and play video games based on their recommendations. For the most part, I’m okay with that because their friends are good people.
However, it does reinforce the fact that who and what we surround ourselves with has a direct impact on us, whether we realize it or not. Continue reading →