Thursday, April 29, 2010


I remember the days of my little family at home all cozy and tucked in our little house. I never tired of the continual demand placed upon me. It was what I was made for and it was a perfect fit. It warms my heart to think of the simplicity of those days. Bundled up, rosy cheek faces, excited with stories of their winter adventure outside, coming in for hot chocolate and a spritz of whipped cream. Or every night baths after summer hikes in a nearby field, soaking off the muddy feet and hands that held slippery frogs. But they are all but gone. 

Change. Transition. We all face it at some point in our lives.

It wasn't fun to face the changes. It wasn't easy making the transition. Partly because we have to come face to face with some things in order to adjust. One thing I had to come to terms with was letting go. Not just my kids but my lifestyle. It felt safe. 

Family is good. It's God's design and it is meant to be wonderful. Enjoy every minute without reserve! Yet, I realized that much of my contentment came with this lifestyle and when it changed, it revealed where my contentment came from. Not such a bad thing but at the end of the day, our contentment must come in God no matter what the circumstances are. Didn't I dedicate my child to the Lord to do as He wishes? My Christian faith values this. And so, while a mom and dad are the best guidance counselors, there comes a time when our kids embark upon a journey that is their own. Mom's position changes. And so it should.

I dare not cling to them. I cannot interfere with what God's will is for their life. I do not advise as to make my life better.  I release them and entrust them to God's guidance.

To everything, there is a season. And when one season ends, another begins!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

teach your children well.

I didn't grow up in a home where we attended church. There was a brief time when my father took us when I was little. I remember one night when he read us a Bible story. It must have been very important to me because I never forgot it.

The Bible story? No. My father reading to me.

I think our kids are wired for that closeness of mother and/or father. The culture we live in can depict otherwise. Even though family is still valued, it's taken some major blows, too, in defining what family is. Whole generations have left much up to the "professionals" and have abdicated not only their authority, but somehow have come to believe that they don't have what it takes to be their child's best influence.

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that parents can't use some help. Yet, we should be careful how far we let "it takes a community to raise a child" mindset to influence us. 

The simpleness of a parent taking the time to read to a child makes all the difference. For me, it wasn't regularly or consistent. Yet, that one or two times my father read to us and how it made me feel then and how it makes me feel today makes me take the time with my 8 year old. 

Don't underestimate your God-given authority, influence, and wisdom for your own child. Be teachable and learn from others but the buck stops with you! 

Monday, April 26, 2010

mom stuff - the book.

I am in the process of writing the book, Mom Stuff. My goal is to complete the manuscript by the end of this summer and then proceed with step #2: submitting it for publication and hopefully receiving an acceptance letter.

From time to time I will post snippets from my book:

"Our world is fast-paced and complicated with lots of bells and whistles. We check our Facebook while our cell phones uploads a new ringtone as the microwave defrosts chicken for dinner while our nails are drying. There are lots of opportunities and distractions in our 21st centrury lives but one thing remains: moms are shelters and anchors that keeps the family from blowing off course. And if perchance that happens, she has the ability within to get everyone back to familiar waters".

Friday, April 23, 2010

bull head fishing.

"Mom, can you take me fishing?"


"Mom. You can watch the sunset."

"There is no sun!"

"Well, you can take pictures and have a nice time and you can cast with my pole."

(Hmm. Is this the part when I say, "Goody, goody! I can take pictures and you will let me fish with your pole?")

"Ask Dad."

"Dad said no. He has to get his license plates."

"License. He needs a fishing license."

"I don't quite understand why you can't bring us."

"Will talk about it tomorrow."

When in doubt, moms can always fall back on "tomorrow"!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

still on the vine.

Our kids aren't perfect. Sometimes, I think we expect them to be. Especially those of us who are followers of Christ and the Bible is our guide. We have an understanding of how to raise our children since the scripture has much to say about parenting.

Yet, I think we can look for results too soon. There's nothing more wonderful than to have our homes working like a well-oiled machine, with everyone doing what they are supposed to be doing. Input - output. Chores done, schoolwork done, bed made, teeth brushed... until a monkey wrench is thrown in the whole production with a chore done poorly, cheating in schoolwork, a messy bedroom, and teeth forgotten for about 3 days. 

Now we know that such things will happen but yet we react very differently, don't we! I wish I had a nickel for everytime I've said, "How many times have I told you...." I figured with all my instructing that certainly it would "stick" and because we are a Christian family, child "B" would certainly get that all that I have taught him should be carried out quickly and efficiently!

Hmm. Are we trying to have them take ownership of their heart apart from the Lord? How can a 6 year old care about responsibility the way a 17 year old? Or a 50 year old?

In other words, are we looking for the "fruit" of our investment too soon?

Think of how patient God is with us. When I look back and think about some of the doozies of choices I've made, I can't believe that God didn't ditch me. But that's not how God is. That's how we are. One, two, three strikes and you're out!

Somewhere along the line I readjusted myself. Because I found that a tender heart toward my children (and everyone else in the world) is the way to go. Isn't God's heart tender? 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those that fear Him. - Psalm 103:13

Our hearts should always reflect the Lord's heart toward humanity. If you are true to your faith, you will see that this is at the core of who we are. If we want others to know of the wonderful benefits of knowing God, we must be expressions of that to our children and to the world.

And so, compassion, patience, mercy... will be developed within your own heart as you learn right along with your kids. If you let it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

look what they've done to my song, ma.

When a mother loses her child, it feels like a piece of her heart has been torn away. It never fully recovers.

Why should we wonder at this? Someone who has a physical injury often feels pain for the rest of their lives. While it lessens in intensity, it's often an area of weakness or is tender to the touch. The pain of death is not so visible, yet, it's there. We would never think of telling someone to run a mile if they limped because of a previous injury, no matter how old it was. But expectations are often placed upon those who's injury is in their heart. 

We smile to make others feel comfortable.

We continue to live because we must. 

Always aware of our wounded heart...

in the midst of the smiling and continuing.

Am I going to tell you God makes it all go away? No. I will not tell you that because to do so would be a lie. God would have to remove your child from your memory. Time eases the intensity of sorrow. One day...then the next day...then the next. Life goes on and we live it. Thinking of other's pain in knowing what happened to us takes precedence over ourselves. No one should hurt this badly. Not even the onlookers. 

There are no pat answers here. No simple words of encouragement. Will you tell an amputee to get up and walk? 

Tragedy cannot be tempered. Sorrow has no solution. Comfort is found in trusting. And smiling will come once again.

It is not wrong to see the scar. 

It is not wrong to remember.

Faith isn't ignoring the pain.

It's saying it exists.

And still faces tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My friend asked me to come to Florida with her to visit dear friends of ours.

She didn't need to coax me.

And that's what you get to do when you are on the homestretch of doing the mom thing. A week of a writing retreat, helping with gardening, swimming in the indoor pool, eating wonderful ribs and home-made pie. 

Being a mom 24/7 is great. But so is a week away!  

Friday, April 09, 2010

I got a rock.

Do you remember "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown"? Charlie Brown and all his friends would go to each house and trick or treat. Each one peeked into their sack telling what they got. Poor Charlie Brown would say, "I got a rock."

Is that how you feel? Never mind Little House on the Prairie, your life seemed to turn out like Charlie Brown's Halloween disappointment. Maybe you are divorced. Maybe your little (or big) family isn't doing so well. Maybe you are embarrassed or afraid.

Does it feel like you missed out in what you hoped your family would look like? Do you have some personal disappointments no one knows about? Does it feel sometimes like "I got a rock?"

People make their observations and you may feel judged. Don't. God isn't like that.  And the only thing that matters is that God is good no matter how many struggles we face. There is a day coming when He promises to wipe away every tear. You can take comfort in that.

Whatever you have gone through, whatever you are going through, be sure that God knows all about it. Why didn't He stop it then? Why did it turn out like this? I don't know. All I know is that things happen in our lives and every one has their story. You can be sure that if your story is very painful, God is keeping close watch on you.

There's lots of challenges, disappointments and difficulties that brings stress and heartache. If your family has fallen apart, God knows all about it. If you are disappointed in some things that did not turn out the way you had planned, God knows all about that, too. 

But what now? you ask. You make the best of it. See, all around you are wonderful opportunities to be discovered and experienced. This morning I heard a bird cheerfully singing outside my window and felt the warm sun through the window. I'm 53 years old and I still smile with such things. They speak to us of hope and newness. It's God's daily love note to the world. 

Be thankful for what you do have and enjoy the good parts of life. Often, God uses some of our situations to show the world that He can do wonderful things. He shapes us through the disappointments that come and always surprises us with something wonderful that we weren't expecting. In other words, God gets it that life on earth is difficult. 

The last chapter of your life has yet to be written. You might as well enjoy it until it is.

Take heart. Carry on.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

KID Find

THIS is a wonderful book for the 2 - 6 yr old crowd!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

little house on the busy suburban street.

When I started having children, the Little House on the Prairie life was appealing. I mean, we lived on a dairy farm with 50 holsteins and a maple syrup operation. At age 16 my father decided to move from suburban New Jersey and plop us all on a farm. I say "plop" because I hated it. In a few short months I acclimated well (out of necessity - being the sink or swim kinda gal I am!) and at age 20 I married someone I swore I would never marry: a farmer.

Kids and farms go together. I feel very fortunate to have been able to raise my kids here. Yet, in my desire to live a simple life without many distractions and with a "live off the land" kind of thinking, I could have found my fulfillment in a lifestyle.

I had a garden and I canned and I hung my cloth diapers outside and I did a lot of things that made me feel pioneer-ish. None of that is wrong but if we're not careful we can make our lifestyle a kind of idol if you know what I mean. In other words, I had adjusted quite nicely with my little brood under my watchful eye. It was very fulfilling to see them come in from being outside playing or working with Dad and to have them sit down to a home-cooked meal with pickles I canned and home-made bread. But what if that is not your life?

Let me get this straight. I am not saying your lifestyle cannot be fulfilling. I am saying that trying hard at creating something may be worth not over-analyzing ... but perhaps a second look.

I think somehow I thought it was more Godly to do all those things I was doing.

There is a desire for us to return to tried and true methods. This is good. Yet, the return should always be what the roles are in a family. Respect, honor, integrity, responsibility, kindness... all kinds of good stuff. Maybe God doesn't care if you make your own bread. I mean, if trying to fit that in makes you an irritable mom then it isn't worth it. 

No matter who you are or where you live, your family will not look like someone else's. More importantly, you as a mom won't look like another mom. Don't compare. And don't assume that others are judging you. Both are a complete waste of time because it is very likely that neither is happening!

Just get on with it and be who you were meant to be so your kids will be who they were meant to be.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

don't worry, be happy.

Remember that catchy tune? There's truth to it. As a rule, children don't worry. That's because we're worrying for them! Seriously, they rest in mom or dad taking care of them.

What if something happens? you ask. Worrying about it isn't going to help. When you have utmost trust in your Heavenly Father, you know that whatever does or does not happen, He's watching over you and your family. 

Yet, trust cannot be learned in a book or even through you reading this. The truth of it settles in your heart and mind because it is truth if you believe in God. We're wired for certain things to make the "connection". Sorta like when I plugged my camera in my laptop port and ... success! Our hearts and minds are like that laptop port and when a word like "God's truth" gets plugged in, we connect.

Sometimes the connection may take some time to be fully realized in it's fullness. Like my pictures took more time to load on the laptop than the desktop. The process of trusting is acquired through your daily life. You may not realize it, but all of the details of your life,(yup, the toddler with the fever and the flat tire and the bounced check) are worked out somehow for your good. God sees the inconveniences and the mistakes we make and is so loving that He works it out for our good. 

Trusting is one of those things. As our earthly relationships take time so will our relationship with God. As you go through the difficulties and challenges of life, you will soon find you are trusting God as you see Him work all the hard stuff out. And the best trust comes when you've blown it...and it was bad...and God comes along and makes it right for you. That is when you  realize how much He loves you.

Worry consumes. Even when you are not aware of it, its program is always running in the background. When worry lessens you live happier. You are not weighed down with the "what ifs". Because you have settled it that whatever happens or does not happen in your life - you will trust God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will direct your paths