Being All In

Whatever your hand finds, do it with all your might….      Ecclesiastes 9:10

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThere’s a concert hall just one exit north of us called Tupelo Hall. It’s a funky little venue in a restored barn with BYOB and only 250 seats. I love the intimacy of it, and the musicians it draws. Usually they were big names once; now they’re on their way down in the fame game, but still just as amazing.

We went last Friday night. The opening act was the Jamie McLean Band. You have to figure that as the opening band, these musicians were looking to grow their audience, make a name for themselves. But as I watched the lead singer look around at all the gray hair in the room, I imagined him calculating the average age to be about fifty. Realizing that we weren’t the crowd that was going to catapult his career, he seemed to deflate a bit.

Then he started to play, and he transformed.
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The Know It All Phase

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.   Proverbs 16:18

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESZack is officially a “tweener.” He’s fulfilling that job description well by arguing with me over just about everything. It really rubs me the wrong way; I am the parent, after all.

Then I think about the mom I want to be. I want to be open minded and approachable. I want my kids to feel like they can talk to me about anything, ask me anything.

But that only lasts for so long, especially on the hectic days. I quickly revert to my litany of questions: Who went to college? Who has more life experience? Who is the parent? Who are you to question me? 
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Even When It’s Difficult

Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.        Colossians 3:21

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt took Mason forever to learn how to whistle. Now that he knows how, he’s making up for lost time. Being able to whistle both in and out, he whistles unceasingly, morning, noon, and night. He whistles while tying his shoes, doing his homework, making his bed, you name it.

To me, it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. It bores a hole in my skull, leaving behind a throbbing ache. I’d rather poke my eyeballs out than hear one more second of whistling!

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In Due Time

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.       1 Peter 5:6

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOne morning, back when my kids were probably seven, five and one, the stars magically aligned and I was able to make everyone’s bed before school. All day long, as I glimpsed those smooth surfaces, I felt a sense of peace and accomplishment. They were the only clear expanses in my otherwise messy and chaotic house. Wanting more of that, I set that as my daily goal.

Unfortunately, the stars never aligned again. Day after day, no matter how much I strove, I just couldn’t make it happen. Bed making was always trumped by lunch making, laundry folding, mess clean up, and bus chasing. Instead of peace and accomplishment, I felt only frustration and defeat.
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The Gift of Darkness

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shown.     Isaiah 9:2

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI love when the clocks fall back for daylight savings. I always thought it was because all that cold and darkness gives me a reason to hunker down and hibernate. It’s the time of year I don’t feel all the spring and summer pressure to get outside, create great adventures, and strive to “seize the day.”

But the passing of my sister-in-law, and the gloomy weather on Christmas Eve morning, helped me realize just exactly why I love all that darkness.
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Christmas Eyes

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.    Psalm 146:8

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESEvery year I try to make Advent sacred. While they color her printable ornaments, I read Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping The Greatest Gift aloud to my kids each day. I also encourage them to do kind deeds for others to earn pieces of yarn to line the crib for Baby Jesus. Each night, we light the candles on our Advent wreath, yearning for the light that will be born on Christmas morning.

But this year, things have been different. Not only has there been the usual chaos and busyness of the season, but my sister-in-law passed away down in Maryland. When my husband and I had to go there last week for her wake and funeral, I thought there was no way we’d be experiencing any Christmas magic this year. How very wrong I was.
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Another Lesson I Learned From Our Bunny

Whoever is lazy regarding his work is also a brother to the master of destruction.   Proverbs 18:9

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI hosted the Christmas gathering for my MOSAIC Moms Group’s last week. I love keeping company with such wonderful and like-minded women. In honor of the occasion, and with no need to drive, I was having my fair share of holiday drinks.

As I sat socializing in my family room, I saw Oreo, our indoor bunny who was supposed to be restricted to the bathroom, roaming free. I was so relaxed and comfortable. I couldn’t be bothered to set up barriers to keep him out of the carpeted living room and family room.

It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered the repercussion of my laziness.
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