Missing the Whole Point

Enjoy this Flashback post from August 2017 while we’re away on vacation.

“I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain and to be sent on my way there by you, after I have enjoyed being with you for a time.” Romans 15:24

8 18 17 with word overlayEvery Friday in summer, our family gathers together on our back deck at 5 p.m. for pina colada smoothies. Despite all the fun adventures we go on throughout the week, I think we all cherish this time the most. It’s a chance to chill out, and just be together.

Zack just got a new game for his birthday. It’s all about quests and imagination. He and Mason asked asked if we could play it as a family during pina colada time. We said yes.

Half-way through the game, I lost sight of the whole point of our gathering. Thank goodness my kids set me straight.
Zack had made up the story line of the game: one character’s wallet got stolen. The rest of our characters were banding together to track down the robber and get the wallet back.

I was completely into it, and ready to have my character help save the day. I was all about the forward momentum to achieve the end goal. Zack and Mason were not.

Twenty minutes later, they were still going on and on about the intricate details of a battle they came up with in the first three seconds of the game. The battle had NOTHING to do with catching the robber. I was losing my mind! How were we going to catch the criminal if his trail was growing cold?

In my frustration, I voiced my concerns. I asked them how we were ever going to meet our objective if the journey was taking so long. Why weren’t we staying focused? When were we going to make progress?

Mason turned to me and said, matter-of-factly, “Mommy, you’re missing the whole point. The fun of the game is the journey.”

Wow!! He’s 100% right. The journey IS the point. Whether it’s a game, a Friday afternoon, or the span of all our days combined, it’s all about touching the lives of other, and being in the moment enough so others can touch our lives. How do I keep forgetting this?

Even St. Paul, who had the vital task of spreading the faith in the early church, knew that God wanted him to “enjoy being with others for a time.” I’m sure it’s what fed him, rejuvenated him, and made his work more meaningful.

So, yes, there are things in our days that need to get done. Yes, we do need forward progression to make them happen. But God has wrapped up surprise after surprise for us in every moment of every day. If we’re only focused on the end product, we miss unwrapping all those gifts God wants to offer us along the way.

Questions For Reflection:

     * Am I too focused on the end game to enjoy the journey?

     * If so, what changes can I make to be more in the moment so I can enjoy God’s gifts along the way?

Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe
4 1/2 cups ice
2 – 6 oz. cans of pineapple juice
2 – 5.2 oz. containers of So Delicious vanilla coconut yogurt
3/4 cup Coco Lopez cream of coconut
1 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk ice cream
Put ice cubes in first, then everything else. Blend well. Garnish with whip cream and cherries. Makes 5 glasses.

Holding My Kids Close

Enjoy this Flashback post from June 2016 while we’re on vacation. 

There is an appointed time for everything,… a time to embrace… Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 5

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe school year is jam packed for us with band practice, karate, track, Drama Club, dance, floor hockey, Game Club, CCD, Daisy Girl Scouts, etc. I may be the one driving and picking up for it all, but I don’t participate in any of it. That is hours and hours of the week that I am not in the company of my kids. The only time I get to spend with them is during homework, where I am constantly riding them to stay focused, or at dinner, where I am pushing them to eat faster so we can get to the next activity. How sad is that?

So when summer comes, I get so excited, I plan all these great adventures where we can be together. Then I invite my kids’ friends to come along. It’s completely counterproductive: when their friends are there, my kids choose to talk to them, over me, every time. I can’t blame them: when the moms come along, I talk with the moms more than my own kids every time too.

So I decided I wanted last Wednesday to be different. Continue reading

Lessons from Our Bathtub

Enjoy this Flashback post from the Summer of 2017

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

The Risk of Being Unavailable

Published on CatholicMom.com

8.7.19 The Risk of Being Unavailable (2)Back before Christmas, my friend, Pam, texted me to ask if there was a day and time when all five members of my little family would be home. Her family had something to drop off for us.

Between my kids’ extra-curriculars, my new job, and Christmas prep, there sadly wasn’t a day I could find when we’d be all together. Defeated, I texted back saying, “Don’t worry about it. Thank you for whatever it is. Can we catch up after the holidays?”

Fortunately, Pam was flexible, committed and resourceful. A few nights later, after carpooling kids back from some event, I came home to find two phenomenal corn hole boards on my family room rug. Pam and her husband had custom made them for us! They’re spectacular!

The whole exchange made me realize how much we limit ourselves by being unavailable. Continue reading

Expanding the Network

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

8.2.19 Expanding the Network

Picture Courtesy of Pixabay.com

As we were about to leave the house to go pick up a friend of my boys, Zack and Mason began arguing about who would sit in the back seat with the friend. I had something to do, so I let them have at it. The result was an angry stalemate: Zack refused to get in the car, and Mason was a thunder cloud. I had to finish what I was doing so I continued to ignore them.

When I finally made my way down to the garage, lo and behold, they were both in the car already and back to their usual happy selves. In my confusion, I asked where the change happened. Continue reading

Dropping Out of the Game

…He gave them what they had craved. But while they still wanted more…         Psalm 29b-30a

7.25.19 Dropping Out of the Game Pixabay.com

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Last week, I reached a breaking point with my kids. Their selfishness and ingratitude for my effort in giving them a fun summer was off the charts. We seem to reach this place every summer, but now that I’m working while coordinating it all, I hit that breaking point much faster, and with far more fury. Continue reading

Reject or Receive

Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.     Matt. 10:40

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outline-400x400Last year, at a parent-teacher conference for one of my boys, the teacher was slamming my son. The more she complained about his messy work and work space, the more I realized she just did not understand or accept how adolescent boys are. Continue reading