Thursday, October 4, 2012


A few weeks ago, the referees for the NFL decided to strike. The team owners felt the refs were replaceable, so they did just that. After bringing in the secondaries who had several missed calls, the sub-refs were removed and the owners decided they better negotiate with the professional officials.

I sometimes want to call in the sub-mom...I want to go on strike and wouldn't mind if somebody locked me out!! I've felt like that several times lately. But, a sub-mom wouldn't be mom. In my frustration, I can look at my friends and name several who would be better than me. But, even though I think somebody else would be more capable, they aren't the professional in my home. I am. I know the rules; not just the disciplinary ones, but the talk rules - when everyone listens and talks best, the love rules - how each one feels loved, the logistical things like "what time to get up," which uniform needs to be clean on which day, and who likes apple, grape or strawberry jelly!

On one particularly "down day," while struggling with where to set the boundaries and what was okay to allow, this verse came to mind, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." Ps. 42:11(NIV) Another version says: "Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He is my God."

Hearing those words, I was able to look at my situation differently. It doesn't say there will be no trouble, but that "in" the trouble we put our hope in Him. I moved on from being down in the dumps to looking at what God was wanting me to do, not only with this one child, but with my life as well. I had been so consumed by the issues we were facing, that I just wanted a break from it. How sweet of God to give me a break in the middle of the troubles by reminding me my hope was in Him and that He has a plan for my life.

Maybe you're feeling like you need a sub-mom today. Instead of subbing a mom, borrow this attitude from Psalm 42.  When you are crying the blues, put your hope in Him, not your kids, spouse, home, job, money...The Head Official made you the mom in your family and He never makes a bad call.

Lord, we get tired. Our kids can wear us out. So, I pray that you will help us fix our eyes on your so that we find our hope, strength and comfort in You. We praise You, our Savior and our God.

Just thinking:
When I was a kid, my parents read the bible to me. I read on my own when I was older and still do. Memorizing has never been easy for me, but I still work at it. When I was struggling in the story above and needed His word to comfort me and get me back on track, it was in there in my head ready to be used. Take some time to read God's word to your kids. You will be equipping them and yourself with what lasts. You never know when a scripture you've read or memorized may come back at just the right time to send you or your children down the best road.keep you or your children on course.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tough Times Can Be Good Times Too...

As hard as my kids have tried to ignore it, school has started again. I really should have videoed them walking into Walmart in July, both girls guarding their eyes to avoid the school supplies. They despised the Target commercials starring a dancing teacher. How dare someone try to make school look appealing by making a  guitar out of pencils! (Pretty cute if you ask me!)

But, here we go again. It doesn't seem so long since we did this last year. Time is flying...I must be having fun. Actually I am...for the most part. The warp speed of time has made me realize I have to freeze frame some of this and enjoy or make the best of all the rest. My choice. No parent can avoid the struggles of a teen trying to become their own, or worrying about the one that's struggling socially; dealing with the awkwardness of a middleschooler who just says the odd thing; trying to keep them clothed in something you can both like. I'm realizing that the freezeframes don't all have to be the "kodak" moments. If I wait for those, I'm likely to be so whiny of a mom that I miss them when they come!
Sounds great...but how do you enjoy the trials? Here are some thoughts:
1. Start your day as you wake up acknowledging that you need help from God. "This is the day the Lord has made..." so ask for help in this day that He's made.
2. Spend some time reading His word...Psalms, Philippians, Matt, Mark Luke or John are some of my favorites.
3. If a deep breath can clear the thoughts of a professional baseball pitcher, it can also help me when I'm dealing with a cranky two, 10 or 15 yr. old. A long inhale of oxygen helps prevent crazy things from slipping out of my mouth. 
4. In the moment, if I ever stop to think, "Does this really matter? or Am I taking this too seriously" sometimes the answer can alter my attitude and my response is calmer just from realizing the temporary nature of the situation. 
As the school year begins, 
  • if you're kids aren't old enough for school yet, enjoy the calmer pace (I know it can feel almost boring at times, but this time goes away).  
  • do what you can to make it fun for them (write them a silly note in their spirals that they'll find throughout the year) and in the process you'll have fun, too.  
  • at the end of the day, as you fall asleep, think back over the day so you can remember it instead of just getting through it. 
My kids and your kids are great gifts. Deciding to take all that comes your way instead of just the good stuff will give us opportunities to see the tough times as good times, too. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where Are You Living?

"Therefore anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had it's foundation on the rock. But. everyone who hears...and doesn't put into...practice is like a foolish man who build his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against aht house, and it fell with a great crash." Matt. 7:24-27

What a simple picture, but how easy to miss in the busyness of our days. We would never build our houses on sand. How foolish. But, in everyday decisions, it's easy to put our hopes on things that are sandy...shifty. When my kids and I talked about this, it was one of those "light-bulb" moments when we all realized that the stupidity of building a house on sand is the same stupidity that makes us build our lives on what people think of us or that money could really buy us what we want or that our families will really offer all we need.

All of those situations are shaky. Let a few friends decide you are lame, buy everything you can trying to fill your needs and put all your dreams in your spouse or how your children will "turn out" and watch as the walls of your life begin to come down like sand castles in the rising tide.

Everything changes. Look around you. Everything you are looking at will change. The trees drop their leaves and eventually fall down, your computer will become obsolete, food will ruin, businesses will close, your house will eventually crumble, your hands will get wrinkly, one day you'll die. It all changes. Except for one thing. And it turns out, that one thing is what the foundation of our life can and should be built upon to last. The one who created the ocean, streams, rain, wind, rock and even sand...He is the only one worthy of our lives. And when we build our lives, our homes, our work on the foundation of Jesus Christ, our changing, uncertain lives will count for more than just us. They will be a part of the big picture that has been going on since the beginning of time.

In our world where everything around us changes, it's comforting to know we can build our lives on the one who never changes. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)Ahhh, what a nice place to live.

IDEA: Share this passage with your kids, family or even your kids can spark a great discussion. I first asked my kids, "What are the storms, rivers, and winds that blow against us." But, then I realized, that's the wrong question. What is important is our foundation. "Who do you want to please? Where do you find hope? Who are you trusting?" Those are the better questions to answer, because when the foundation is right, it won't matter what the storms and winds throw at us: we will not be shaken.

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken." Ps. 62:1-2
*If you have questions about how to begin your foundation with Christ, please feel free to email us. We would love to share the Hope we have found in Him. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Breaking Down...

The New Year Resolution - Break Down
I have a sweet friend who has gone through a myriad of changes in her life this past year. With that in mind, she has decided that rather than making new years resolutions she would break down her goals and have short term goals that change each month. Her January goals include: leaving work 30 min. earlier and cooking at home more (and healthier meals). Small steps toward a happier new year.

When she told me about this, I was relieved! I had decided that I would exercise everyday this year, but on Jan. 2, I had to rationalize that moving some boxes was exercising! But, thinking about exercising every day the remaining days in January, seems like something I might be able to accomplish.

 I'm thinking that for January I'm going to add to my exercise goal - encouraging my husband everyday. He beams when I brag on him. Maybe if I compliment him for the 25 days that are left, it will become a habit. I hope so. So what are you're goals for this year?

The Christmas Breakdown
Breaking down our Christmas decor is quite the sad few days at our house. My Christmas tree is still up, garland is hanging outside...We love Christmas which makes it a drudge to take our decorations down! Some of you are wondering what is wrong with me because you moved on to the new year on the 26th of December! But for those of you who feel my pain, here are a couple of ideas to make "undecorating" a little more fun:

1. Play "I Spy" with your tree. We have a bazillion (I don't  think I'm exaggerating!) ornaments. So I started saying, "Find the ornament that we got in Gatlinburg. Find all the ornaments with pictures in them. Find all the drums. I sat on the floor and wrapped everything like I wanted, and my 9 and 11 yr. olds had fun playing "Find the Ornament."

2. I've shared this before, but I think it is worth sharing again. This was our mom's tactic to get us to eagerly help with putting away the decorations. She always saved three presents (one for me, Laurie and our brother) that could only be opened when the decorations were stored. Talk about some eager helpers! I have no idea what was in those gifts, but rather than just having one more present that we opened on Christmas morning, these sat there waiting on us. It helped take away the sting that Christmas had come and gone.

As we start this new year, I pray that we, moms, will see God in the everyday things and that we won't miss when He is working in our lives. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Happy January!