Tag Archives: focus

The Together Shirt …. Raising Up Parents

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My boys would not stop arguing this morning. I’d had enough. They are normally very sweet, considerate and get along well. But alas, it was one of those mornings. Out of patience, I decided to get creative with a solution. I stuck them together … literally … by wearing a huge Together Shirt.

They balked at first. Even cried, lol. Ah, I have a winner here. I grabbed one of my big shirts, squished the boys in, and voila, Together Shirt. I went back to work, pleased with myself.

A funny thing happened. They came up to me ten minutes later, asking if they could wear the shirt all day! It was fun, they said. They were reading, doing activities, and were pretending to be one big monster!  No fussing on my part, no yelling, no additional punishments – just teaching a valuable lesson to learn to work together.

How is this raising up parents? I read an article today about the rise in Kindergarten suspensions – Kindergarteners!!! For throwing chairs, bullying other kids, drugs, even lewd conduct. Sad. Disheartening. Also angering. And preventable.

Parents – where are you? What are you doing? Raising children is not a pastime or hobby. You don’t do it when you feel like it. You don’t get to decide when to pay attention and when to ignore. It involves time, effort, diligence, energy and patience! It also involves love, caring, sacrifice, and as you can see by my example, a little creativity. What is your “together shirt”? How do you reach your children? No answer? Then that is your answer. Get busy doing it. Now. Don’t know what to do? Get help from books, resources. Put in the time and effort.

In raising up your little ones,  you’ll find yourself growing, too.

Someday

Loved this so much I had to share . . .

 

what I tell myself on those really really really long tiring motherhood days….

Someday my house will stay clean.

Someday the dishes will be done and cereal not spilled on the floor.

Someday the juice box straw wrappers won’t be stuck to the counter.

Someday there won’t be swings to push.

Continue to read at: “Someday” – Finding Joy

Things I’m Thankful For . . .

Thankful November 30

The older (and wiser) I get, the more my perspective changes.  I get what really matters.  It’s funny, when I was younger I was all about climbing that career ladder, getting my big break, being on my hustle and my grind, and making it happen – whatever it was.  I still have goals and aspirations.  Now, however, they take a back seat to things a thriving career, and a networking connection can’t get for you.  In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday I was so blessed to celebrate with friends and family dear to me, here’s a look at some things I’m thankful for.

  • A husband who cooks, cleans, is humble, and selfless. He’s an amazing daddy and an incredible marriage partner.
  • Two beautiful boys who are my heartbeat. Their smiles, their unconditional love, and their innocent acceptance make me want to continue to do all that I can for them.  My heart melts when they laugh.
  • Parents who are living, love me and are an integral part of my life.
  • Siblings who are now dear friends.
  • Inlaws who I genuinely love and appreciate.
  • The privilege to homeschool my boys. Yes, I am sacrificing much, but boy, is it worth the sacrifice.
  • A place to lay my head, clothes to put on each day and food to eat. Truly things we usually take for granted.  Truly things to be grateful for.
  • My health. So very precious to be healthy.
  • Joy! The joy of the Lord is truly my strength.
  • Peace of mind. I could write for days on this one ……
  • And last, but certainly not least, the love of Jesus that permeates my being and makes me who I am today.

 

I am grateful.

Breathe Again

Breathe Again -photo

I was busy. Who isn’t, you’re probably saying? But I was the type of busy that it truly took too much time and energy to consider taking a rest. Between working a job, freelance work, homeschooling my kids, volunteer work, and being a wife and mother, I was stretched way too thin. And signs of wear were starting to show. I felt in a constant state of stress. I was barely sleeping at night, and snapping at my family during the day. There just weren’t enough hours to get everything done. I was sinking. Fast.

– See more at:  Gospel Today – Breathe Again

What’s Stopping Me?

Have you ever been in your own way?

There is something burning in you …. something you want to do, be or achieve. Yet for various reasons … sometimes excuses you try to find … you’re not doing it?

I found myself there the past few days. And to be fair, my main reasons for not moving forward are valid, and even wise. However, it’s time to throw a little caution to the wind. And shake some things up.

After all, what’s stopping me?

 

Exactly Where I Should Be

Where I should Be September 7 2015
I am truly blessed to have a lot of talents, abilities and gifts.  I know a lot of us are.  Sometimes, it can be hard to choose which gift you will focus on, and where you will direct your energy.  I used to struggle incredibly in this arena.  I felt guilty for not agreeing to things, not taking on tasks, not doing what someone else wanted me to do.  Then … inspiration.  It’s not about what anyone else wants me to do.  It’s not even about what I want to do.  It’s about what God desires for me to do.
God wants me to be a whole person.  Yes, absolutely, He wants me to selflessly serve my gifts to His glory and to benefit His people and His purpose.  But I am also one of those people.  So that means to be whole, I need to be sure I am served.  So I serve myself with … rest … times of refreshing …. and by guarding my time.  It sounds easier than it is, but with focus and determination, it can be done.
First, pray.  Filter EVERYTHING through what God has called you to do right now.  Pray and ask Him is this in line with my purpose and focus at this time?  If you’re in a season of purging and simplifying, do you really think you’re meant to take on additional projects?  Or if you know it’s your time to really focus and pour into your family because you’ve been a bit neglectful, should you be running off to further your career or volunteer for another project?
Next, don’t be moved by people.  Don’t be moved by people.  Do not be moved by people.  Others will gladly tell you what you should be doing with your time, or how they think your time should be spent.  There’s just one problem with that.  They are not you.  They don’t hear from God for you.  Don’t let their disappointment or their desires overshadow what God is speaking to you to do.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to shift.  An opportunity may come along that is perfect and what you should do.  Or perhaps you have one plan and focus in mind and this latest offering takes you in a different direction.  Go back to what I said first – pray.  If this shifting is in line with what you should do now, go for it.  If you told me before kids that I would end up homeschooling or loving being a stay-at-home mom/freelancer/visionary, I would have laughed in your face.  But right now this is my calling.  It’s exactly where I should be.

Freeze A Feeling

Freeze a Feeling

I wish I could freeze the feeling of …

A 4 year old hugging me around the neck
How I feel when my son says “yes ma’am” and shows respect.
My joy at hearing my children laugh,
The relaxation of a soothing warm bath.
A tender touch, my husband’s kiss
A first day of school I dare not miss.
Just a few family moments on my mind tonight … feelings I wish I could freeze and feel forever.

It All Comes Down to the Money … Or Does It?

This is worth another share ….

September Blog - Money

“Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money.”
Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Revisited.

It’s so easy to get caught up in making everything about money. “Look at me I can buy this,” or “We don’t have enough for that.” Or how about “I’m gonna buy this because I can,” or “I won’t be happy until I can afford that.” Chances are, you’re in one of those statements. I read those punctuating words listed above, in Dave’s book, and paused. How refreshing for a book about finances … to talk about measuring wealth by standards other than finances.

Just a little reminder as you start your week. Maybe you’re headed to a job you hate. Maybe you wish you could be doing something, anything, other than what you’re doing. Maybe you feel like you have so little and times are so tough, that sitting to cry is a welcome release. Maybe, just maybe, you have plenty of money … but not the peace or happiness to go with it. Well, here’s a reminder of the things for which you would not take money.

• Your health (you’re able-bodied enough to read this blog)
• Your sight (again, you’re able to read this blog)
• Family and friends
• A place to lay down your head at night
• A mind to think of new ways to do and be more
• The ability to draw the breath of life

I guess it really doesn’t all come down to money. Does it?

Not On The Court, Mom

Not on the Court 2

It finally happened. I embarrassed my son. He was incredible on the basketball court – as incredible as an 8-year old can be. He’d actually made two shots to help his team win the game! I was so proud. I shouted – a lot – during the game. During one of my “let’s go” moments, I let a nickname slip. It’s not a “cutey” name or doesn’t contain the words “sweetie, honey or precious”, so I thought I was in good shape. After his face morphed into a deer caught in headlights, he frantically waved his hands “nooooo!” from the court. I thought I was just too loud, lol. Turns out, after the game, he explained that I could only call him “Andrew” on the court. My face fell. I was crushed. Really? Yes, really.

And the list has grown. I also am not supposed to randomly kiss him in public, and I can’t be too silly, lest any of his friends are around. Plus, I can’t mention certain TV shows he watches or fun things he does at home, in case it’s too silly. I mean, really, how am I supposed to remember all this?!

I can’t believe the regulations from my 8 year old. Sniff sniff. Not on the court, indeed ….

Say Cheese ….

Missing two front teeth

My son sang “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,” from October through Christmas. As anxious as he was to lose his teeth, he was equally anxious that new ones weren’t coming back in. It was taking too long, he lamented. Had he pulled them out too hard for anything to come back, he wondered. Was something wrong with the adult teeth, he asked. And on and on he persisted. He’d finally gotten what he wanted, and instead of being happy and satisfied, he immediately starting worrying about what should happen next.

My son’s only 8 years old, but already he’s exhibiting this unattractive adult trait. Aren’t we often like that? We pray for and work towards something, and then it finally happens. Instead of being happy, or grateful, or just resting in our victory, we start worrying. What’s next? What else do I have to do? How will the following steps take place? And so on and so forth.

Well, just as I saw this behavior in my son, I learned an important lesson from him. We discussed the situation, and he decided to just be thankful for what he was expecting – a new tooth to come in. He decided not to worry and wonder, and instead enjoy the present moment. And guess what … that new tooth started peeking through.

He’s now glad he took those moments to relish his two front teeth missing. And he’s excited to show off his burgeoning smile.

Say cheese ….