Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Now a teenager, my son is following his job description to a “T.” He pushes the boundaries, and pushes, until he breaks me. Between that, my raised expectations now that he’s older, and hormones (his and mine), I seem to be yelling at him a whole lot more than ever before. There are days when the tension in my house is pretty thick.
Unknowingly, he gave me a knife to cut it with the other day. Continue reading
Published on CatholicMom.com
You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song of Songs 4:7
A new family came into church the other day. It was just the mom and her three young children. My best guess is the kids were one, three, and five-years-old.
The layout of our church is almost theatre-in-the-round. When the mom chose a bench opposite ours, I had a direct view of this family for the entire Mass.
Her kids were dressed immaculately, right down to the completely straight part that divided the 3-year-old’s pigtails. But that’s where the “immaculate” part ended.
The mom looked a wreck. Her hair was thrown into a lopsided ponytail that was falling out. Her clothes were leggings and a long, rumpled t-shirt that may have been slept in.
She was too far away for me to see her facial expressions, but her body language said it all. Exhaustion and exasperation exuded from her as, time after time, she got up and down and in and out of the pew to grab her kids. Either they were climbing over the bench or running up and down the aisles for practically the whole Mass.
As I knelt at the Consecration, and glanced left and right to be sure my own kids were kneeling and praying for that miraculous moment, I finally understood why I was so fixated with this young family: We were them, and I was her years ago … Continue reading
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted. Isaiah 49:13
The other day, I escaped to my refuge: Panera Bread. While there, I saw a young, twenty-something girl with a broken ankle. Instead of having crutches, she had one of those scooters where you rest your cast on the seat and push yourself along with your good foot.
Clearly she had a challenge she was dealing with. However, she was handling it with such style! She had adorned the basket of her scooter with vibrant, silk sunflowers and blinged-out the rim of her cast with big, stick-on jewels. Every time I passed her to refill my water, she and her scooter caught my eye. Every single time, the flowers and jewels made me smile.
It got me thinking about how I handle my own struggles. Continue reading
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
Last summer, I tutored a rising freshman in writing. He was your average fourteen-year-old boy who wanted nothing to do with the rules of grammar or the mechanics of writing. He could have cared less why you sometimes use a semi-colon instead of a coma. What he did care about, I learned, was sugar.
So I worked that angle and bought a bag of Skittles. Continue reading
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He saves them. Psalm 34:8
I recently found out that Zack got some kids to walk the Prayer Path at the Youth Group camp-out this summer. He just shrugged it off when I commended him for inspiring some teens to get closer to God. Despite him being a kid of few words, I needed more details. I had to dig deeper. Continue reading
“No one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'” Luke 5:39
“When can I get a cell phone?” my son had asked constantly over the course of his Middle School career. “When you’re in High School,” had always been my go-to response.
I knew I was the one parent in his peer group that had held out the longest. But, just like Jesus wasn’t phased by his disciples’ behavior being compared to that of John’s and the pharisees’, I wasn’t phased by mine being compared to that of other parents. I knew my teenage son getting a cell phone would change everything. Continue reading
Published on CatholicMom.com
Offer praise as your sacrifice to God… Psalm 50:14
One of the Kindness Projects my kids did this summer was to appreciate my husband. They rotated weeks focusing on how hard he works to provide us with the life we lead. Then, in gratitude for all he does, they carried out small, secret acts of kindness for him: writing him little thank you notes, leaving candy on his desk, etc.
Initially, I was having them do this so my husband could get the recognition he deserves. But, as it played out, I could see a dual purpose: My kids slowly recognized, for themselves, all my husband does behind the scenes. They also learned to be grateful for all of it. Even more surprising was what I learned. Continue reading