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Showing posts from 2014

Professional Motherhood - Day 31

I'll always know the touch of my Momma's hands.  They feel different to me than any other hands in the world.  I was surprised to find out as a grown up that they still brought me the same comfort they had when I was little.  When Mom entered the hospital room in which I was laboring for our first baby, she laid her hand on my head and did more for me than any pain reliever.  I didn't need her words or actions for comfort, I just needed the touch of the hands that felt like Mom and carried with them a lifetime of knowledge and connection.

The mother child bond is a pretty exclusive thing.  There's only one of you and only one of them. Forever and always you will be the person they call Mom.  Your connection will outlive you.  Long after you are gone, your sweet children will still be hearing echoes of your voice in their heads and your body language will be mimicked by their muscles.

There is a power just in the name.  Even the Mom who dies giving birth keeps the inf…

How to Walk Through the Wilderness and Not Get Stuck - Day 30

When my boys were little I developed a  thing called "Mom's Off Duty."  I would sit down with a book, journal or my Bible and remind the kids of the rules.  When Mommy's "Off Duty" no talking to her until the timer goes off.  None....unless there's danger or blood.  After the first couple times I had to add to the instructions and tell them they couldn't make eye contact with me...or mouth words... or act things out.  "Mommy will not communicate with you in any way unless there is an emergency".  I may or may not have put a blanket over my head so I couldn't see what they were doing a time or two.

 It was really more of a survival skill than a parenting technique.  Once my kids began to talk, I started to feel the ability to focus slipping away.  I knew that if I didn't do something drastic I might never again put two adult thoughts together.  That would mean no reading, no writing and no Bible study.

I felt the stakes on my spiri…

Two Wings Every Kid Needs as They Leave the Nest - Day 29

My parents were professional fans.  My Dad enjoys sports, but more than teams or hobbies, my Mom and he were fans of ME!  If I was doing it, they were interested.  I have countless memories of my Dad, in his suit and tie, having left work early, sitting in the bleachers to watch a JV cheerleader with his last name on her sweater.  I know now and I knew then, my Dad's not into cheerleading.  He didn't schedule his day to be free of late afternoon meetings in order to answer back, "We've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how 'bout you??!!"  My parents were, and still are, into me.

Along with the cheering, my parents gave me two juxtaposed confidences.  They seemed in opposition to each other.  If I hadn't lived it, I might not think these two things can happen at the same time, but I know they can, because they did.  I'm not sure how they did it, but I grew up certain of these two things:

1.  My parents were irrationally positive about my ab…

When Following God's Call Costs Your Kids - Day 28

There are a lot of parts of being a Mom that are way harder than I thought they would be.  You can only understand so much until you're actually in the thick of it, experiencing it.  My very hardest life lessons have come connected to some part of parenting.   I know that everything I do affects those around me.  We all understand this to one degree or another and it motivates us.  We love our kids, love them more intensely than we thought could come out of us.

Elizabeth Stone said it perfectly:

There are so many times that I've done the right thing or gone the extra mile, more because I knew it was good for my kids than because it was good for me.  There's this thing that happens inside, a willingness to sacrifice for them like you would for no one else.

Here's the thing though.....sometimes my choices of obedience and sacrifice are a direct benefit to my kids....but other times my choices of obedience and sacrifice force them to join my pain without giving them a c…

Lessons Your Kids Need to be Able to Live Outside the Bubble - Day 27

The real world is harsh.  There are people in it who don't care who you are or how you feel.  There are black and white rules about cause and effect that apply to you no matter how much you cry or call foul.  Responsibility and achievement are hard work, for everyone.

I'm worried that the parenting pendulum has swung a little too far into a child-centered magical bubble philosophy.  We think that it's possible to create a bubble around our children durable enough to protect them from hard knocks and bad feelings.  In an effort to avoid pain, we're setting our kids up for some serious pain when they leave our homes.   It takes concentrated thought and planning from parents these days to launch their kids into "The Real World" without the backlash of the bubble burst leaving them with serious welts.

Now let me also say that I am for protecting childhood, stardust and fairy's, daydreams and long summer days.  I want to be serious about sending my kids off i…

Hormonal - Day 26

There are times when I feel like the whole world has been doused in hot sauce.  Everything looks red.  Doesn't matter what the situation, I'm gritting my teeth and mad.  There are other days when blue is the color of life.  I'm sad, sad, sad.  Nothing feels right and I can't shake the feeling that I just need to go to bed and start over tomorrow.

These days can creep up with a general feeling of unease every four weeks or so.  Other times they rage in unexpected as you're holding a precious newborn.  Remember my freak-out with baby Trevor in my arms?  I had another full blown "moment" as I rocked twin baby girls.  Tears then, defied reason.  Miscarriages, a cancer scare and then early pregnancy trouble had been the path we had just walked.  Here I was, holding two dreams come true dressed in pink.....with tears streaming down my face.  Why??  Because I wasn't pregnant anymore!  I wouldn't feel these babies kicking in my belly ever again!  They we…

I Wish That I Could Be Like the Cool Moms - Day 25

If you're stuck in preschool land you may not have listened to anything more current than "The Wheels on the Bus" lately, but if you also have teenagers you've probably found yourself humming about wishing you could be like the cool kids courtesy of Echosmith.  Radio stations are giving it lots of play time because everyone remembers that feeling from their school days.....and adults might even secretly admit to themselves that they still feel it....especially Moms.....especially near the days of the Halloween pressure-cooker.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the lyics of the beginning of the song....

She sees them walking in a straight line, that's not really her style.
And they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind.
Nothing in this world could ever bring them down.
Yeah, they're invincible, and she's just in the background.
And she says,

"I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
'Cause all the cool kids, th…

Teach Your Child to Look Fear in the Eye - Day 24

When's the last time you felt the metallic taste of fear in your mouth?  Are you achingly familiar with the feeling of putting one heavy foot in front of the other when every step is painful?  If you're an adult I think I can predict with 99% certainty that you just had memories come flooding.  Dealing with fear and pain are important markers of adulthood that define our character and chart our courses.

Yet, we're too timid as parents, to teach these skills, head-on, to our children.  It's a well-intention-ed omission, but a dangerous one.  As we spend our energy creating magical childhood memories inside a bubble free of fear and pain we set our kids up for it to hit them like a speeding semi they didn't see coming as they're skipping across the street to the ice cream truck.
 That is not the welcome to adult-hood any of us mean to craft for our children.  We want kids who know what it takes to lock their knees, grit their teeth and rub some dirt on it.

We wa…

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Child - Day 23

The deer in the headlights look?  That was me when the doctor told me baby #2 was on the way.  Don't get me wrong!  I wanted baby #2, desperately, but baby #1 was only 8 months old!  My master plan included a bit more breathing space between the two.

I was in love with being a Mom, and I was super in love with my precious man-cub, Riley.  He made me a Momma and I felt like I was living my dream!  He and I had spent the last 8 months talking and singing, taking daily walks through the neighborhood, learning about each other and finding out that we were great together.  Mom and baby boy - we were rockin' it.

We found out that another little man-cub was on the way, a brother.  Dreams of little boy world with brothers exploring life together ousted my worries.  While my belly grew, so did another fierce love for a yet un-met sidekick.  He was born and he was amazing.

Then we came home, the hub-up died down, and I realized how life had changed.  We were back at square one.  I fel…