Archive for the ‘Parenting Boys’ Category

Edmund_blair_leighton_accoladeA soul that doesn’t recognize that a relationship with Yahweh is as important to his development as his physical DNA, cannot grow into the man they were designed to be.

Before God was stripped out of our schools, off library bookshelves, community meetings, commencement addresses, curriculum, or our government, school shootings, from Columbine to the UC- Santa Barbara killings weren’t a thread in the tapestry of our history.

Please join me over at The Mom Initiative today for the rest of my post, for why our boys need to know they are God-Designed.

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“Celebrate,” he belted out, swinging his right arm in an arc, palm face forward
in a Wal-Mart aisle, walking beside his dad.

“Rejoice,” left arm, swinging in an arc, palm face forward.

Both arms held in a V – just waiting. . . waiting for the right count . . .
“Exalt the name of the Lord,” and his arms shimmied upward, reaching high, words to the rest of the song following.

Little boy singing uninhibited of His Lord, a song from his church musical – overflowing
in Wal-Mart.

My husband smiled, telling me about it – part proud, part sheepish about this boisterous, out-loud
singing of a little boys heart
celebrating the Father
throughout Wal-Mart
His dad didn’t tell him to stop, though – he let it just flow out –

an odd little smile on his face in the telling – an odd smile that I remember today, making me think it was a moment to be stored for days where faith needed remembering

little boy letting out his song
his faith song
planted something deep
with roots reaching
that wouldn’t be so hard to pull out
when the hard times came
the teen times

““For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
9 At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.” (Job 14: 7-9)

and something that once bloomed, was cut to the stump, like my hydrangea
when we transplanted last year
and it looked so lost, nothing but dry sticks through April, May, June, July –
“Just wait,” my husband said. “It will grow back.”
and so I waited, making myself hope, making myself believe
that we did it right
then one August evening, we saw a little green, pea-sized
on a dead-looking branch
Hundreds of days later, this Saturday morning, it stood under my kitchen window, stems and leaves growing tall, strong – not blooming yet but emerging with new life
My prayer to Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, is and has been that none will be lost – and he told me in His word, and all around me –
His creation showing me His promise –
whispering it in the stories of their roots, their leaves, their blooms
My transplanted hydrangea, the butterfly bush, the knock-out rose, the yellow flowering shrub without a name – they told me the story to encourage my belief. . . my hope. . .to trust

the story of the root of Jesse that was cut down by the world that sought to destroy it
and yet it survived – it was as though the trees, flowers and bushes were putting on a remembrance play in my yard, daily for hundreds of days.

I think really, it was a play going on long before I heard it, read it, watched it – since before I was born, even before Eve took the bite of the apple – the play, the chorus was in creation.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1)

God does not forget the roots planted deep in little boy hearts

His word tells of the salvation story of the root of Jesse who died on a tree so that we may live

that He came to die to save us
to save us from missing it
walking away from it
losing it
getting lost from it
but the root remembers
and wants to be found
Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd,
who pursues
lost lamb
who pursues to bring
every root back into the light
shoot through the darkness
into the light
to leaf
to bloom
to become as He designed


Looking at those sticks last year – it was a chorus in my yard – a message of hope
to rejoice in the pea-size
to do the dance of joy over that pea-size dot of green
and wait
because growing to bloom takes God time
and today – its leaves are bursting green

If you have a teen/young adult who is struggling with good choices – remember the seeds you’ve planted, the roots that have grown deep – God remembers – remind Him, stand in faith on them – just because you don’t see the evidence of them does not mean they are not there.

Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, though, is already pursuing, searching, working to restore – you might not see it – but He does.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

Little boy and little girl voices bursting in faith songs in Wal-Mart aisles are not forgotten by Him, the God who is my Shepherd.

Unconditional Love # 19

Unconditional Rule #10

Unconditional Love #26

Top 10 Unconditional Love Rules

The Runaway’s Hope in a God-Made Ladder

Still Counting Gifts with Ann at a Holy Experience:

    1. sharing Sfogliatelle over Friday lunch with my husband
    2. 6 a.m. Tues/Thurs workouts outside at my house with a friend
    3. compliments on the work-ethic of my sons
    4. 2 boys deciding to apply for phlebotomy training and the other radiologic technologist because they do not want to take the traditional route through college
    5. my second son and his girlfriend standing beside me in church
    6. and coming to the house to grill afterwards and sit talking over the table
    7. rain fall, rain drops on an at-home day where I can just be blessed – rain is like God saying to me, “Slow down. Relax. Just let it wash your spirit clean.”
    8. each random smile from each random son – at the top of the stairs, across the dinner table, laying across the porch settee, arms wrapped around the puppy – in the rear view mirror – each makes my heart smile right back!
    9. evidence of Jehovah-Raah pursuing each of my sons – evidence of the holy shepherd leading them home


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I don’t think there’s ever really been a time, I didn’t manage to change my clothes for a celebration event – or, like the new country song says, ‘get my shine on’ – well – this weekend, for the big event – I wasn’t able to get my outside shine on – but I really hope the inside shine driving everything came through and blessed – this team of women and this team of young men and women we were wanting to bless.
soccerb12bccThe senior has been playing district games, woven in with the middle school soccer games. We do our senior pictures right before Prom because I have it in my head they need a black and white tux to go with a black and white soccer ball. They also have lost their junior awkwardness and look like real men by then – and so we did that Thursday right before a soccer game they moved up an hour earlier that day.

Did I mention that I lose grace when I’m running behind? Though I apologize while stressing out because I become graceless?

The tux was too short – but that was o.k. for the photo shoot. However, Michael Jackson-short pants just won’t fly with a 6 ft-4-inch boy with a 29-inch waist who doesn’t like to dance – but is going to prom – so correcting that was added to Friday and Saturday’s schedule.

Much breathing in and breathing out, telling myself that I cannot change the schedule, that my car will arrive at the appropriate destination as is feasible going the speed limit over so many miles in a particular time span!

946566_526325184080244_786862382_nSaturday, with a group of moms, I hosted a Prom Dinner – missing the championship middle school soccer game because they’d moved the schedule to late in the afternoon – in the pouring rain.

Early Saturday, I made buttercream icing to decorate the 48 Buttermilk and Chocolate Celebration Cupcakes (made earlier in the week and frozen). Later in the morning, the moms of sons came over – and we trimmed candles, fitting them into bottles, dipped strawberries – and arranged, organized and prepared.

“Do you think they’re really having more fun than us,” I asked – these moms of sons about the moms of daughters – sitting in chairs watching their daughters get their hair and make-up done.

“Yes,” they said in unison – and we laughed. Moms of sons need this kind of gathering, to share these woman gifts we have with someone – because we don’t have daughters to pass them to, to share them with. Being a mom-of-sons-only risks being an isolating thing. It is a beautiful gift to be able to share words over kitchen tables with another girl, to work together to create a celebration with someone who gets it – which is another girl – a friend, a mom, and, if one is particularly blessed, a daughter-in-law who will join you – all because they want to create something that encourages and blesses.

IMG_6357Juggling a 2.5 month old puppy who went outside and came back with, ummmm, a rabbit head – can I say here, how utterly speechless I was, how I wanted to throw my hands up, jump on a chair and scream, “EEEOOOOWWWW” – but all the real men were gone to soccer – and that left just me at that particular moment, and so I did – handle it, dispose of it – wash my hands and put my puppy in her crate, called the 20 year old to come and fetch her for the evening (he promptly returned her at 8:30 – He’s not ready for full-time Sadie Duty!)

I was on schedule, until suddenly, I was behind schedule – so no change of clothes – no make-up – no chance to get my shine on – just live off my inside shine. How do I do that – have a time surplus – and then 1 hour later – have a time deficit?

I didn’t lose my grace, though – just my outside shine!

But these women and I, we created an evening of shine – because we just loved these young people so much:


The dinner, the photos, the Guessing-Game of how Many-Candies-in-a-Jar, photos of prom dates, moms/dads and their sons and daughters – and some sons and daughters didn’t have moms and dads to participate – and that is what community is all about – drawing people into home, treating them like sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters – friends – and just plain loving through serving plates, photos, gift cards for silly games.


The moms – we needed this – to smile, to laugh, to create celebration moments, to live through just pure good moments – because raising teens can be hard, can hurt – us and these offspring we love so much, that are growing tall and strong inside and out – and in the process, love the other teens they bring through the doors, that need to experience a God-kind of love that pulls them into home and welcomes.


Later that night, after I’d cleaned, put much away, I prepared a safe place for them to come and hang out after prom, when so many youth are torn between good and bad choices.


I did it because I love my son – and because God calls me to love every person they bring through the door – because the love He gives me isn’t just to be hoarded for my own – He didn’t hoard His love for just His son – He wants us to share it with everyone – like He does.

I can’t express what it meant to see smiles and hugs, evidence of His restoration, of faith parents with redeemed kids, of young people – having the courage to come someplace they haven’t been – and finding welcome, of works in progress trying to make good choices – outward shine and dazzle in tuxes and sparkle – but lots of beautiful inside stuff growing and going on.


I stayed up till 5 a.m., my husband till 2:30 – some went home at dawn, some went home at lunch time.


My 8th grader, who has missed my attention this past week – has been waiting patiently to go buy shorts that fit – we found time for that today.


It really bothers me that I didn’t get my shine on – I took photos of all the dates, the moms and sons, the moms and daughters – and the dads and daughters. Everyone had some shine on – but me. Someone took mine – not beautiful – not sparkly – but I did it anyway – mine shines just on the inside right now!


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Andrew CarnegieWhat made boys turn into men like Henry Ford, John D Rockerfeller, Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie and Audie Murphy?

Are child-labor laws that discourage most companies from under-18 hiring partially to blame? Think about it – if young men can’t start working until 18, it makes sense that they won’t leave the nest until 25. If they start working at 14, how many young men would be better equipped to make a fairly graceful leap out of the nest at high school graduation?

Yes, there is something to be said for giving our children what we didnt’ have . I don’t think being unprepared for independence at 18 is one of those things we meant to give.

“Young men have an in-born passion to take control of the reins of their destiny. They need to earn their money, balance their own spread-sheet of expenditures, learn to make choices – before they are sent off to college, responsible for a $10,000+ investment. Too many young men fail because of responsibility in-experience” – (Delayed Childhood Devastates Our Sons).

I was invited to guest post with Delayed Adulthood Devastates our Sons at Living Better at 50+: for women with Spirit. Please stop by for the complete article.

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