Neglecting The Basics

We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience are inheriting the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

5 11 17 with word overlayKnock on wood, my kids are rarely sick. I chalk it up to good genetics on my mother’s side, and a very basic two step combination.

The first step involves Market Basket’s generic mint mouth wash. Each morning I make my kids rinse with it. The stuff is like lighter fluid: no germs can survive the burn of that high alcohol content.

The second step is hand washing. I’m not one of those moms who makes her kids constantly wash their hands. In fact, the only time I require it is when they get home. We all know that school is the #1 way our kids get exposed to illnesses. So, immediately after emptying their backpacks, I make my kids head straight to the bathroom sink.

Despite my two-step fight against germs, Zack has gotten sick more this year than all the other years combined. I started wondering if maybe the school was one of those sick buildings with mold in the ceiling tiles or something. Then I remembered that this is his second year in middle school. He never got sick last year; so it couldn’t be the building.

I put on my detective hat to get to the root of the problem.
Continue reading

We All Get Afraid

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”    Matthew 17:6-7

5 4 17 with word overlayJocelyn has two older brothers who are into Five Nights at Freddy’s and other video games that have scary looking characters. No matter how much I try to keep her from them, she manages to get exposed nonetheless. The images weave their way into her dreams, and she wakes up frightened.

I talk to her constantly about not watching the boys when their on their iPads, focusing on things that bring her joy, praying to God for sweet dreams, etc. That may work for a while, but inevitably, she’s drawn right back into a place of worry.

She’s not the only one…

Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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