Thursday, March 30, 2017

Openness and Honesty

We have never tried to hide B's autism from anyone.  In fact, the diagnosis was such a relief that I wanted to shout it to the mountain tops.

I spend a good amount of time trying to predict how things will go for B and then planning accordingly. This way, I'm able to help him better.  But I'm not his only caregiver.  I bring others into the loop and work together to create a plan for B. Eventually, B will be a part of this planning.

We want B to be proud of who God made him to be.  If we openly discuss his autism, it helps remove some of the stigma.  Last week, I showed him a clip from Sesame Street with their new character Julia, who has autism.  When I told him she was autistic, he said "Cool! Like me!"  That's the response we're going for!

Last fall B wanted to play football. Ryan volunteered to coach the team.  B hung in there for a few practices.  He had plans to dress out for the first game.  Ryan and I decided to send an email to the other parents explaining the situation.  We didn't want them to think that we were playing "daddy ball" by not making B practice but then letting him dress out for games.  We explained the challenges B was facing and how much he wanted to be a part of the team.  We gave them language to use with their sons to help them understand B.  Everyoen was very understanding and supportive.  I don' tknow if they talked to their sons or not but the boys were, and still are, awesome with B.  Very accepting.

I mentioned yesterday that B attended a birthday party last week.  My sister in law introduced us to the family.  My neice and their daughter are in the same grade and play basketball together.  During the season, B would go to the games with his Aunt Laura and play with the birthday boy and another team mate's brother.  My sister in law was able to talk to the moms about B and they may have talked to their sons.  I don't know for sure.  What I do know is that one day B got frustrated at school and hit one of the boys.  The next day, that boy came to school with a stress ball for B!

One of my favorite byproducts of openness and honesty about B is that other moms feel comfortable opening up to me about their kiddo's struggles.  In this be perfect, airbrushed, my kid's an honor student world, it's hard to admit that your kid is struggling.  Hopefully, I am a safe person other moms can share with because they know my kid is struggling.  Some times I try to help, if that's what they want.  Other times I just listen.  That can't be underestimated.  To have some one listen and say "I get it", "I've been there", "I'm with you sister" or "I have no idea but can I pray with you?"  It is my pleasure to listen, to help if I can. I'm honored every time I'm given the opportunity to do so.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I have two siblings.  They are both older than me by 10 and 6 years.  When I was little, the age gap seemed huge.  My brother had his first child when I was in 6th grade.  When I told my teacher I had a niece, she corrected me "I think you probably have a cousin."  No ma'am, my brother's wife had a baby, I have a niece.  There were people in high school who thought I was an only child.  I love my siblings but the age gap makes it hard for us to be close.

Before I had kids, I wanted them to have a close relationships.  I wanted them to be friends.  Ryan and his siblings are close in age and they are good friends as well. Once I started having kids, I kinda forgot about the age gap thing. The first two boys are about 3 years apart.  But there is 5 and 8 years between B and his brothers.

But, as God is wont to do, it is working out pretty well.

Sam and Zac are getting to that friendship place.  Slowly but surely.  They can share the wireless headphones peacably with each other and that's a win.

This past weekend Zac played in a baseball tournament.  He's in a slump and Sunday was rough for him.  Sam was there all day Sunday.  He's not one to yell and cheer but he supported Zac in his own way.  The championship game was particularly rough for Zac.  On the way to the truck, I noticed that Sam had Zac's bag.  Sam saw his brother hurting and tried to lighten his load.

Before the tournament, on Friday night, B had been invited to a birthday party.  We didn't know the family very well but have other friends who do know them well.  B and the little boy get along and the mom knows about B's autism.  I was excited for B to get to go!

Then I checked our calendar.  I had committed to helping with cheer tryouts and Sam had a baseball game.  We don't like the boys to play a game without one of us there if we can help it.  So neither Ryan nor I were available to take B to the party and stay with him.

I approached Zac and asked if he'd be willing to go to the party with B.  He did not hesitate.  Yes ma'am!  The party was a nerf war at our local park.  I bought B his first nerf gun and new camo shirt for the event.  Zac gave him some pointers.  B was super pumped.

By all accounts, Zac was great with him.  The birthday boy's mom had wonderful things to say.  B was happy.  Zac even remembered to snap a picture.

I know this all sounds like a big momma brag but really it's a big ol' God brag.  We don't have to try to engineer everything ourselves.  We have to give it to God and let him handle it.  I pray for my boys' relationships with each other.  God's got it, He's handling it.  I'm so grateful!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Another Tuesday, another post about our sermon series Grace.  Can you tell that I am loving this series!?!  

As a recap, our church is in the midst of a 6 week sermon series called Grace.  The series focuses on the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2.  This week we kinda parked on verse 10.  

  At our campus, Pastor Paul McDill spoke to us about God's purpose for our lives.  He shared 3 truths that come from the verses.  They were so spot on and spoke to me that I took out my phone and snapped a picture.  I can testify to these truths!

this is a picture of the slide at church
I have felt for many years that God wanted to use me but I had no idea how.  I had a great idea of how I wanted me life to go.  I knew my end game and I knew all the steps I needed to take to get there.  Then, God showed me that I had the wrong end game.  It was heartbreaking.  I thought I had known exactly what I was going to be when I grew up and after one 20 minute meeting I was back to square one.  

The next year was miserable.  I was depressed and floundering.  I sought advice but it all fell flat.  When nothing worked, I finally called out to God.  I asked Him to show me what to do.  I had been a Christian many many years by this point but I was in the habit of deciding what I wanted to do then asking God to bless it.  

I began to spend time with God and in His word.  I asked for guidance.  I worked hard to listen.  I sensed God moving me in a different direction.  About 9 months in, I committed to obedience.  I would do what God lead me to do.  

Right now, I spending a lot of time on truth 3.  Lots of things don't make sense.  I struggle.  I have a good sense of what God is calling me to do but I don't know how to make it happen.  So I just do the next thing I'm asked.  I'm so not good at waiting and not knowing.  This can be a daily, hourly struggle to trust the LORD.  

I know that my purpose is to take what I'm learning about God and use it to make much of Him.  Actually, I think that's your purpose too, if you're a believer.  God has use do these things in different ways.  Your purpose may involve selling cars while making much of Him.  

I believe that God wants me to take what I'm learning about Him and educate others. I believe that He wants me speak into the lives of moms and encourage them. I believe that He wants to use B to bring acceptace of Autism and increase the faith of autistic people and their families. I believe He wants me to write and speak on these topics.

I have no idea how God is going to accomplish all this.  But that's not my part.  That's God's part.  And He is God and I am not.  My part is to be obedient.  

Pastor Paul closed with this 4 reasons we don't walk in our purpose. They all spoke to me as well.  Especially number 4.  Satan can do a number on me. 

"Only x number of people read that post.  How do you think God is going to use your writing. No one reads it."

"You really stink at mothering.  God will never be able to use your testamony to encourage other moms."

"No one will ever want you to speak to their group."

When that happens I run back to the LORD.  He is the truth.  This is His plan, not mine.  So I take the next step.  I write another post and hit publish.  I read another book.  I pray again.  I ask for guidance and the strength to be obedient.  

What's your purpose? How has God asked to further His work?  What's keeping you from it?  How can we help and encourage each other?

You can get the cLife app here so you'll have access to videos of the entire Grace series.  iOS or  Google Play

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Don't Wanna

It's that time of year.  Spring.  The days are longer.  It's nice outside.  And, for us, life is super busy.  Church, school, track, baseball, soccer, therapy, the list goes on and on.  So much to do!  What to do you do when you just don't wanna do something?

To start with you have to figure out how important is the thing that you don't want to do is.  Going to work is pretty essential to feeding our family.  Church is similarly important.  But some things are not required.  People will keep asking you to do things until you say no.  You have to figure out what are the most important things to you and your family and stick to those.

Suck It Up
Let's just be honest, sometimes you have to do something you don't want to do.  It's part of being a grown up.  It stinks.  Why were we so anxious to grown up anyway?  Being a grown up means you have to pay your bills, take care of yourself and do things you don't want to do.

Fake It Till Ya Make It
Sometimes you don't want to do something but you know you need to do it so you drag yourself there.  I find that I don't have my best attitude in those situations.  But I don't want to go around grumpy so, sometimes, I fake it till I make it.  I put on a happy face and act super glad to be where every I am.  Most times when I get there, I'm glad I'm there and I become genuinely happy.

Don't Do It
Sometimes you just have to skip something.  You have my permission.  I accept your permission.  For your own mental health, you just say "I can't make it." and you stay home.  The key to properly skipping something is to not fill in that time with something else.  You aren't deciding what's more important, activity A or activity B, here.  That's prioritizing.  This is saying "Today we are supposed to do activity A but my wagon is dragging and the boys look like zombies.  We're staying home."

If you find that your skipping, or wanting to skip, a certain activity a lot, it's time to rethink that activity.  Why are you doing it?  Go back to prioritizing.  Is it really important in the first place?  What is it about the activity that's making you not want to go?  Is it at a bad time? Can that time be changed?  Are you, or your kids, really not interested in it in the first place? Can you bow out gracefully?  Make some decisions to protect what you want and need.  Make some decisions to protect your kids' time.

If you are feeling like you don't wanna do anything, that could be a sign of depression. If the feeling persists, please seek Godly counsel. Talk to your doctor. Get help if things are consistently overwhelming. Take care of yourself. We need you!!

I hope this helps.  What do you want to do when you just plain don't wanna?  Share in the comments.
And remember, Spring always turns to Summer. Hopefully, life slows down for you in the Summer.   I get the most rest in the Summer.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Numbers Game

I'm a fan of social media.  I enjoy connecting with friends through Facebook.  I love getting news and learning from others on Twitter.

But, I approach social media with a weary side eye at times.  In my role as a middle school tech specialist, I've seen social media go terribly awry. When things go wrong it's because kids (and adults) don't realize the reach of their words.  They think they are talking to just one person, they forget how many people can actually see what's happening.   They forget about the numbers.

Kids are, by nature, collectors.  Just pop into any kindergarten room and ask about collections!  That's why games like Pokemon are so popular.  They tap into that collector instinct.  So, kids carry that collector mindset onto social media.  They collect followers without much thought as to who they are letting into their world.

{I'll pause here to say, that's why kids don't need social media too early.  They aren't mature enough for some of this stuff.  Most platforms require kids to be 13 for a reason.}

Personally, I have different standards for friends and followers.  Facebook peeps should be my actual friends.  People I'd like to talk to in public.  Twitter, at times for me, is a little less personal so I cast a wider net.  I follow people I don't know personally.  On Twitter, I follow people I want to learn from as well as friends I want to hear from.

All of this brings me to our B-man and his YouTube page.  B is a huge YouTube fan.  He subscribes to lots of channels and loves to watch a wide variety of videos.  We do restrict him to YouTube kids in an effort to filter what he sees.  You may recall that last week B made some stop motion animation videos and put them on his YouTube channel.

He was so proud of his work and wanted people to see the videos.  So, I took to Facebook and asked my friends to check out his videos, like them, comment on them and subscribe to his channel.  Oh my goodness! He was so excited as the comments, likes and subscribers flowed in.

Actually, he became a little obsessed.  "Momma! We have 11 likes, no dislikes and 10 subscribers!"

"Momma! How many subscribers do we have now?"

Last night from the bathtub, "Sam, can you look on my YouTube page and tell me how many subscribers I have now?"

This has led to a discussion about the numbers game.  And it's a tricky one when you a putting something you have created on social media.  It's a little different from the collecting followers race at times.

When you create something, it's almost always for an audience.  I write this blog to share my thoughts with you. If I didn't want you to read it, I'd keep it in my head. I like it when people read the blog, comment on social media and share it with their friends.  It shows me that my words touched someone's life.  Same for B's videos.  He enjoys making them so much that he wants people to enjoy watching them.  It's part of the joy of creating - getting to 'see' people enjoy your creation.

B, Ryan and I have had a few conversations over the past week about posting the videos for the right reasons.  Posting them because you enjoyed making them and you want people to enjoy them.  Not posting them purely for likes and comments.  Remembering that our identity is in God, not in the numbers of likes and comments.  God sets us apart, not the world.  I'm sure it's a conversation we'll continue to have.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Through God's Grace

As I mentioned last week, our church is in a 6 week sermon series on Grace.  The series has focused on Ephesians 2:1-10.  This week's sermon focused on verses 8 & 9.

This powerful verse reminds us that have not done anything to deserve God's gift of eternal life.  But he gave it freely.  We can not earn this gift by works.  Therefor, we can not boast of our actions.  We can only boast of God's grace and love towards us.

It was a powerful message and one that I need to hear over and over.  I can not do anything to earn God's love it.  It is a free gift.  Freely given.  Because of His awesome gift, I want to be in a relationship with Him.  I want to tell people what He's done in my life.  What He's doing in my life.

At the end of the sermon, Pastor David Griffin gave people the opportunity to publicly testify of God's grace in their lives.  It was awesome! People told of restored marriages, broken addictions, heath regained, lessons God has taught their families and on and on.

I felt the urge to speak but I couldn't put the words together.  Strange for a writer, I know.  But in my weakness, God is strong.

Instead of me, He gave the words to B.  Sweet B raised his hand several times.  Pastor David would look our way and I would put B's hand down.  Silly me! I should know by now that the boy knows what he's doing.  As does God.

Towards the end of the sharing time, we decided to let B speak.  David called on him. B ran down the aisle and gave this powerful testimony.
God is my guardian.  He listens to me when I pray at night with my momma.  He never leaves me.  In my soul, God is Batman and Jesus is Robin. 
(We saw the Lego Batman movie over Spring Break so I guess he had Batman and Robin on his mind too. )

His words brought me to tears.  They still do, I'm crying right now.

I have been so concerned that B would have a hard time learning to trust the LORD.  Unseen and abstract things can be difficult for people with autism.  But Sunday, God reminded me, again, that He has a plan.  And His plan is always greater than mine.

He has a plan to bring B, and each of us to Him.  And His work will not be thwarted.

Sunday afternoon, we worked in the yard and I had time to reflect on that morning.  God finally gave me the words I'd been searching for Sunday morning.

When we found out that B had autism, we had no idea what that would mean for our family.  But through God's grace, He has used that diagnosis to draw us near to Him.  He has let us be apart of His work at cLife through the Valuable ministry.   
My testimony continues this morning and every morning.

All those years ago, I would never had guessed that B would string that many words together or pronounce them clearly enough for others to understand.  And I could not image that B would understand God in such a way.  But through God's grace, I have come to understand that God speaks everyone's language.  He has a plan to bring everyone to Him.  That means everyone.  No matter if they can speak or not.  No matter if they respond in the way we think they should respond.  No matter if they compare God and Jesus to Batman and Robin.  He has a plan for each of us.  He is drawing us to Him. 

You can view the sermon here.  Because we have live preaching at all four of our campuses, this is not Pastor David but Pastor Casey.  It is essentially the same message. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Stopping {audience participation please}

Why is it so hard to stop doing things?  It's so easy to start.  Especially those bad habits, it's really easy to slip into those - eating sweets, spending too much time on your phone, sitting on the couch, gossipping.  To stop doing those things - that's a momumental effort!

Once upon a time, I wrote an edtech blog.  On that blog, I wrote about the idea of addition by subtraction. The basic idea that you have to take someting away so you can add something better.  I also subscribe to the idea of giving time to get time.  Spend some time upfront and it will save you time in the long run.

How can we apply those two concepts to stop doing things?

Addition by Subtraction 
The key to stopping something is really to replace it, I think.  Want to stop eating sweets?  Sub in a fruit for that cookie.  Replace one TV show with a short walk around the block.

Giving Time to Get Time
This one is easiest for me to apply to heathly eating.  I like to spend time on Sunday prepping meals for the week.  I make salads for our lunches on Sundays.  If I don't do it, Ryan and I  end up eating junk for lunch all week.

I also do this after our monthly trip to Sam's Club.  I brown all the ground turkey when we get home. Then I seperate it into freezer bags.  It makes meal prep so much quicker because I don't have to brown the meat.  I used to do freezer crock pot meals but I burned my family out on those.  But it was the same concept - prep a bunch of meals at one time and then freeze them.

I'm pretty good a bribing myself to do things.  Right now, I'm doing a 31 day yoga challenge.  If I do al 31 days in a row (I did give myself grace for the week I had strep), I'm buying myself some cutesy stickers from StudioAdorkable on Etsy.  Maybe I should bribe myself to stop doing things.

What do you think?  What ideas do you have for stopping? What can we replace our bad activities with?  Let's hear from you in the comments!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stop Motion with B {videos}

In mid-February B announced that we would be making a movie as a family over Spring Break.  The Bigs were less than thrilled.  Zac danced around the subject.  Sam just outright said no.  I, of course, promised we would make the movie.

But then B announced that our movie would be animated.  Good gravy! I have no idea how to animate anything. I can't even draw.  Monday morning B I went to the library.  He got a book on animatation. The book has a lot of great projects.  Unfortunately, B wasn't loving any of the projects.  Not only that, he was mad because the book didn't tell him to do exactly what he wanted to know how to do.  In the book's defense, B is not exactly sure what he wanted to learn to do.

Tuesday morning, my uncle was visiting and B hit him up "Do you know how to make movies?"  My uncle said he knew a little.  But then B revealed that he didn't have a plan for his movie.  "You gotta have a plan" my uncle told him.  Off he runs to his room to make a plan.  He emerges with a drawing about 5 minutes later.  Not so much a plan, though.  B's frustration was growing.

I've done stop motion animatation projects with my students in the past.  I explained the process to B but he wasn't so sure.  So I decided to show him.  Here's our first movie.

Once he saw the finished product, he got excited.  We got out some construction paper and got to work on our second masterpiece.

B did get frustrated through out the process.  But he kept working.  He was engaged right up to the time when it was taking forever to upload the pictures for the second movie.  He didn't want to "help" with the iMovie portion of the birthday movie until it was time for him to sing.

I loved getting to teach him something new.  He loved bossing me around.  It was a win-win.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


This past Sunday at church, a verse punched me in the face.

Jesus was visiting Mary, Martha and some friends.  Mary was sitting at her Savior's feet.  Martha was running around doing 'stuff'.  After a while Martha complained to Jesus - tell her to help me!  Jesus' response is not what Martha expected.

Over Christmas break, I had a mommy meltdown.  I spent the first week of the break running around getting ready for Christmas.  Then I spent the second week doing all the after Christmas chores.  I didn't rest.  I don't feel like I spent a lot of time with the boys.  Especially not that first week.

I asked Ryan, "How do you think the boys will remember me?  As a good momma or as someone who was just always running around doing stuff?"

Ryan was very sweet and tried to reassure me that I'm going this momma thing ok.  But I couldn't shake it.  I asked Sam about it.  He said, "well, you're doing stuff for us."  But did they want that 'stuff'? I still don't know.

I have been a momma for over 16 years.  I've worked that entire time.  I've never not worked.  I like working.  But this year has been hard.  This is the first year that I've felt guilty for working.

Teenage boys are tricky creatures. They don't want to talk when you're ready to talk.  They don't want to come in from football and spill their guts.  They wait until you're gathering dirty dishes from their room to start a big conversation.  Except it's disguised as a banal question.

I want to be ready for those questions.  I don't want to be Martha running around doing stuff and missing the moment.  I want to be Mary.  I want to be ready to listen and learn.

I've learned this in my walk with Christ.  I work really hard to not do Christian things.  I do work hard at being a Christian.  See the difference?  Christian things are things to mark off your to do list - read my Bible, pray, go to church.  Check. Check. Check.  Being a Christian means being in a relationship with Jesus.  When you're in a relationship, you want to learn more about the other person, you want to spend time with them.  It's not a checklist, it's part of your life.

I'm working on it in my momma-ing.  Letting things go so I can wait for the boys to be ready to talk.  Working on being really present with them.  Working on it.

You can see this past Sunday's sermon here.  We are in week 4 in a series on Grace.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


"I don't feel like being nice."

"I feel so undervalued."

"I don't feel like getting out of bed."

When was the last time you said something like this?  I know for sure I said something similar yesterday.  I'm pretty sure I thought that last statement this very morning.

We are encouraged to talk about our feelings.  We tell kids "follow you heart".  I've told kids "do what makes your heart happy".

"I just want to be happy."

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

I do want to feel happy.  I want to feel valued.  I want to get out of bed (most days).

But I don't have to wait for my feelings to catch up, I'm in control of my emotions. I get to boss them around.  I get to decide how I feel.

The heart is deceitful.  Wow!  But it's true.  It's part of our sin nature.  And it's all about how we focus our mind.  When I take my focus off the LORD, then I focus on my feelings.  I question His motives, "Why would you let me feel this way, LORD?  Why would you keep me in a situation where I feel this way?"

Wanna know why?

Because He wants to change my heart.  He wants my heart to reflect His heart.  He wants my truth to be His truth.

His truth says:

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them" Matthew 7:12

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Change my heart today, LORD. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

B's Concerns

Are you a worrier?  I'd say I'm a recovering worrier.   I try really hard not to worry.  I understand that when I am worrying, I'm not trusting God.  But sometimes it sneaks in.

Our boy B is another story.  Here's a $5 word for you today - perseverate.

Perseverating is what it's called when autistic kiddos (or adults) fix on one thing for a long time.  The word obsession comes to mind.  

B perservates on his worries.  

Lately, he's been very worried about wasps.  He saw a wasp on the bus and it has consumed him.  He's begged me not to make him ride the bus.  His time on the bus is actually very minimal.  I take him to before school care and he has to ride the bus to from there to his school.  Then in the afternoon he rides from his school to my school.  He probably spends less that 10 minutes a day on the school bus.  

And yet, it consumes him.  Last week he laid in bed crying "don't make me ride the bus!"  We have plans upon plans for what to do in the event of a wasp on the bus.  

A few mornings ago on the way to school B randomly says, "Momma will you ever leave me alone?"  There are a lot of ways to understand this question so I ask "What do you mean?  Like will I leave you home alone?  I might when you're older. What do you mean?"
"I mean will you ever take me in the woods and leave me there?"


I can not tell you the last time I was in the actual woods.  And I can not recall being in the woods with B-man.  And yet, here we are...worrying about being left alone in the woods.  He's not able to tell me, yet, where this worry is coming from but I suspect he's watched a video about being in the woods.  

At any rate, in these moments it's my job to reassure him.  Let him know he's safe, do my best to make sure he feels safe.  If he's able, we'll talk about a plan but the most important thing is that he feels safe.  

Then I turn my worries about B's worries to God.  It keeps me sane.  I mean, we both can't be wracked with worry.  One of us has to be calm.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Don't ya just love new things?  A new outfit changes the way you walk.  I recently cut my hair, and the new hair style still makes me smile and takes me by surprise when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Right now at our church, we are studying grace.  Specifically, we are looking at Ephesians 2:1-10.  This past Sunday we focused on verse 6.

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly paces with Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:6 ESV

Jesus raises us up to sit with him.  He makes us new.  I can't stay in my old nature and be seated in the heavenly places! This realization took us to 2nd Corinthians 5:17

I've been a Christian since I was a little girl.  That's a lot of years that Jesus has been revealing things to me.  But Sunday morning,  he knocked me back.  I. Am. New.

Lately, I've had the opportunity to do some writing for our KidsMin.  I wrote a large group outline a couple of weeks ago.  It did not freak me out. It was for kids.  It was right in my wheel house.  However, I was also asked to write a PrepTalk.  We use PrepTalks for to give our volunteers some insights into that week's lesson. We're coming up on Easter so I wrote about Jesus' crucifixion.  Oh mercy, that was intimidating. That's a biggie - the day our Lord gave himself for us.  It's hard. It's painful.  It's deep.

I'm not going to lie.  I was totally intimidated.  Who was I to write about this?  I have to theological background.  What if I mess this up?  I procrastinated writing it.  It was due Monday and at a meeting Sunday night I asked "what does due Monday mean?  Like close of business Monday or what?"  I did not feel worthy to write the talk.  "I'm so new at this writing business."

Did you catch it?  I didn't at first.  I was concerned about being new.  Bells went off in my head.  "Ding-a-ling! You are new.  You have been made new in Christ!"

What a gift!!  I am new. Nothing about the old has stayed. Christ has made everything new! He is making new every day! So even when my pride tells me I should have this all figured out, I am new.

What a relief!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Asking the Right Questions

God is teaching me lots of things as the mom of these three boys, especially my teenagers.  Over the past few weeks, He taught me the importance of asking the right questions.

This is a lesson God and I have been working on for a while.  When the Bigs were smaller I learned that asking one question could clarify all kinds of situations.
What happened right before that?
"Mom! He hit me with his shoe"
"What happened right before that?"
"I threw my shoe at him."

See? Now I know everyone is guilty, not just the one being tattled on.

Last weekend, Zac went to his first school dance.  He and his buddies were not that into it.  They actually didn't want to go at first.  Contrast this to Sam's group who started planning their outfits as soon as the dance was announced.

When they finally decided that they would go to the dance, I asked Zac what he wanted to wear.

"Khakis and a pullover."

A pullover to Zac is a quarter zip Under Armor sweatshirt.  Nope, try again.  How about one of the button downs your grandma bought you?  OK, he'd agree to that.

I found out from my mom friends that their boys were going to wear jeans.

"Zac, do you want to wear jeans?"

"My jeans don't fit."

"We can go get a new pair of jeans."

"No, I don't want to go shopping. I'll wear my khakis."

Fast forward to the day of the dance.  30 minutes before he's supposed to leave the house Prince Charming decides to get ready.

"Give me your khakis so I can iron them."

He hands me khaki shorts.  Khaki cargo shorts.  Khaki cargo shorts from 2 summers ago.

"Buddy, you handed me shorts. Where are your khaki pants?"

"My khaki pants don't fit.  I'm wearing those."

"Ummm, no you're not.  You are not wearing shorts to this dance!"

Frantic search for pants that fit ensues.  Thankfully, his daddy found his nice grey pants and off he went.  But I'm telling you it never occurred to me to ask him "What does khakis mean? Shorts or pants?"

This is just the least embarrassing incident! What is it about boys that makes them answer in the shortest, least detailed way?  I don't get it!  But, I'm learning to ask better follow up questions.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


One of the great joys of parenting is getting to be a part of who your child is becoming.  You invest so much time, blood, sweat and tears into raising them that sometimes you forget what you're doing.  You get caught up in the rush, rush, rush of life and you don't take time to step back and see the big picture.

Monday night the Bigs both had sporting events.  Sam played in his first high school junior varsity baseball game.  Zac participated in his first middle school track meet.  Of course we had to divide and conquer.  Ryan was with Sam while B and I were at the track meet.  We sent pictures and updates back and forth - isn't technology wonderful!?!

Both boys had good nights.  Zac runs the anchor leg for a four man relay team.  They placed in all 3 of their relays.  In the last race of the night, Zac fought hard and overcame 2 runners to win the race.  Sam played catcher.  He hasn't played baseball in 2 years and it was cool to see him get back in the swing of things.

I was talking to a friend Tuesday about the boys and I was struck by the changes they are undergoing.  They are becoming their own men.  Of course, all kids are doing this from the day they are born but there was just something about Monday night that really hit me.

Zac did something Monday night that none of us (in our immediate little family) have done before.  Ryan nor I ran track.

Sam did something Monday night that Ryan has spent a lifetime doing - catching a baseball game.

Both are equally amazing to me because they are both doing what they enjoy and are good at. They are both in the process of becoming their own person.

It's such a blessing that God lets us have a part of this becoming.  Some animal mommas take care of the babies for only a short time the they are on their own.  We human mommas (and daddies) get to take part in the process for 18 or more years.

I'm overwhelmed at the scope and responsibility of parenting at times.  It's such a big job.  But then a Monday night comes along and you get to glimpse who they are becoming.  And you, if you're lucky, you sit back in amazement of the work God has done in them and in you.  And you praise God for the blessing of parenting.

Thank you Lord for letting me be a part of shaping these boys.  Guide me.  I want them to be more like you every day. Amen.