Archive for the ‘Parentings’ Category

snowdiamonds_edited-1For the last three years, I’ve gone to work on snow days. The boys stayed home. Little enough time to make Blue Cotton Hot Chocolate, no scrumptious scones,  sitting long, talking much at the kitchen counter left me feeling unnaturally stretched – well, because that’s where the soul conversations seemed to happen – and working from 8 to 4:30 narrowed not just the time for big and little soul things, but the energy left over to live those pursue them rightly. Add soccer schedules, school events, and all the unplanned events – and time narrowed even more, leaving scant little room for the so very important little things that make such a difference in the big things.

“I was pushed back and about to fall,
But the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation”(Psalm 118: 13-14).

I realized in the last three years, that I’m not as good at multi-tasking the mom-spouse-me roles as I thought. I realized, also, that I need buffer time scheduled in my day to make room for the unexpected. I also need time to let my mind run down, pursue thoughts and ideas like rabbits through warrens. Not having that time left me feeling empty of myself. I already knew I wasn’t Super-Woman. I have peace to just be this blue cotton woman. Mostly, I knew that home needed more of the mama and the sweetheart.

“The Lord is gracious and righteous;
Our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the simple-hearted;
When I was in great need, he saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
For the Lord has been good to you”
(Psalm 116:5-7).

snowbudsc_edited-1Compressed time depressed the spilling of heart things – and these boys-to-men of mine need time to spill those things – in their own way, in their own growing-up-kind-of time. Boys need time for the words to ooze out, un-rushed, mostly unprompted. Trying to speed up communication pauperized conversation.

Time and energy – to also pick up on word cues, thrown out, trying to catch this mama’s attention, word cues that are nonchalant idea bait, indirectly saying, “A bit of help required.”

“He restores my soul” (Psalm 23: 3).

This mom needed time for those little things – time to sit long, talk much, time to think, time to match socks and wipe the counter down, time to soak in His word, time to love in all the love languages, time to not rush things that shouldn’t be rushed.

During the past two weeks, I’ve cooked a beef stew with mushrooms and carrots, scones and hot chocolate. There’ve been veggies, grilled cheese, cinnamon rolls at breakfast and homemade chocolate chip cookies after school – and a Soli Deo Gloria Homecoming cake.


This has been a God-In-It homecoming – a homecoming that I didn’t realize would be so important to me or to my family about 28 years ago.

My thoughts have chased ideas the rabbit warrens of my soul. There were 10 a.m. chess matches at the counter when my son’s friends dog-piled at out house for the snowstorm. The snow? A gift from God for this heart of mine.

“In my anguish I cried to the Lord,
and he answered by setting me free”
(Psalm 118:5).

Soli Deo Gloria – Glory to you God alone for this homecoming. Thank you, Shaddai for setting me free – not because I’m somebody – because we know I’m just a simple, blue cotton woman. Thank you for setting me free because I’m yours.

Read Full Post »

“If they don’t let us in, you’ll talk to them, won’t you mom?” My son asked. “Like you did before.”

This was summer; we’d just moved back “home” after our 2 year journey some-other-place. During our tenure away, the school board had redistricted so that many families who lived 2 minutes away from their schools would drive 15 minutes away – and those 15 minutes away would pass us on the way to our “old” school. And this son, who had so missed his friends, his teachers, his home  – this son was scared . . . scared he really wouldn’t be home.

This son remembered the embarrassing battles I’d fought – embarrassing to him.

He remembered being in Wal-Mart with me after Christmas. My mom had sent the boys a game that just needed exchanging for an equal priced game. However, because I didn’t have a receipt, it rang up with a $5 deficit. When I asked to speak to the manager, my boys sighed, “Are you going to embarrass us?”

“No! I’m just standing up for what is right. I just want an equal exchange,” I answered. And they watched me parle that fair, equal exchange of one priced product for another.

He remembered a back-to-school battle in Wal-Mart’s check-out aisle – 3 of the boys and me, school supplies filling the cart – I asked to speak to the manager. My boys asked, “Are you going to embarrass us?” The teen just stood stoic, knowing his mama.

Out of ear-shot of my sons, I talked to the manager: “Do you see my sons? Do you see my school supplies? Why would you have sexually explicit material easily readable, easily available in a family friendly store, where you want us to come and spend our money on back-to-school products – and yet have a magazine with sex directions where my kids can read – ’cause my kids can read. I taught them,” I explained to the manager.

“You guys are such hypocrites, taking our family friendly money for school supplies and then dis-respecting our values by placing those magazines uncovered for my kids to read. You guys need to decided who you are – Family Friendly or Porn-Friendly,” I argued, trying to persuade them to place Cosmopolitan and Glamour under sleeves. Today, those magazines are under sleeves.

He remembered when we’d first moved into the school district, being dragged with 3 of his brothers to the superintendent’s office. The older boys knew: “Mom’s going to embarrass us.”

We had moved into this particular district so the boys could attend this school. His district school, however, was going to bus him to another school due to over-crowding. This was the one son who would have dissembled if he were separated from his brothers. This would also put 3 sons at 3 different schools. The next year would have 4 sons at 4 different schools.

I didn’t know who I was going to talk to, but we were told we could wait but it could be hours. I will admit that when 4 or 5 of my sons are with me anywhere – it is not a sight easily over-looked – one of the perks of 1( a large family and 2) all of them being boys.

Twenty minutes later, a man stopped by, saw us sitting in chairs waiting for someone who wasn’t there and invited us into his office. He was the superintendent. He pulled in chairs for all 4 boys, heard my calm, impassioned plea, called the school and squared things away.

To my boys, I’m just mom. Managers and Superintendents are important people – who am I to question or fight for right with such important people – me a mere mama.

And here was my son, asking me to fight for him – if his “home” school wouldn’t let him go there.

I don’t think he doubted for a moment that I would fight for him. He needed assurance that I would bring out my mama-mojo, the same one that “embarrassed” them in Wal-Mart, in the Superintendent’s office, well, just probably everywhere.

He just needed assurance – because I am his champion. I am his provider. I supply all his needs. I believe in him. I would go to the mat for him.

I wonder, for a moment, how he doubts it.

Then I realize – I’m that way with God sometimes. I forget when I’m in the midst of a challenge, when I’m overcome, when I’m trying to handle it all myself, that He wants to fight for me. I just need to step out of the way.

” The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 14).

I need to trust him – to remember all the times He has fought for me before – before my very eyes!

“The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes” (Deut 1:30).

My boys don’t always see the battles my husband and I fight for them – just like I don’t always see the battles the Father fights for me. There is goodness in that. I’m sure that if I actually knew all the battles and why – I’d be a mess, scared to put a toe out the door of my home.

However, I need to know about some of those battles, to see that He does fight for me – because it builds trust, faith, and relationship. Those battles He has fought for more taught me that He just isn’t words in a book – He is real and He loves me. I am important to Him, not because I am worthy but because He loves me.

Having seen me fight battles that affect him both directly and indirectly, my son understands that I can and will fight for him.

“You yourselves have seen everything the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the LORD your God who fought for you” (Joshua 23:3)

God fights for us. Sometimes we ask because, like my son, we need that confirmation. God does it more gracefully than mamas – I don’t ever recall being embarrassed when He fought for me!

Do you remember the ways He has fought for you?


Read Full Post »