Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Not Being the Cool Mom

I have no idea why this thought keeps agitating around in my brain today. Maybe just a combination of things I've read/seen/heard lately that worry me.

The thought is this:  I have no desire to be "the cool Mom", which I suppose could be defined a million different ways, but for the purpose of this post, let's assume it's the one who tells her children to follow their hearts and do whatever makes them happy. God help me (and those around me) if I had always been allowed to do whatever made me happy throughout my life. I probably wouldn't be alive to tell about it.

By definition, my job and purpose as a Mom is to teach my children that their hearts will not always be right (and often times even wicked) and that sometimes the choice that makes them happy in the moment could cause serious negative consequences in the future.

I do hope my children will love me and respect me and yes, even ENJOY me. But since they are children, and God gave them to me to love and protect and TEACH, I have to assume we will disagree many times throughout the years. In these moments, I hope many things, none of which include being "cool" enough to encourage them to do whatever they want.

I hope to impart wisdom.

I hope to disagree (when needed) graciously, patiently, and always with the Gospel as my foundation.

I hope to never leave my children wondering where I stand on matters of truth or from where I draw these positions (hopefully always from Scripture).

I hope to have the strength and courage to allow them to make their own decisions, but I pray for their openness in seeking my input even when they don't act on my advice.

I hope to never say "I told you so," but to always be holding my arms open wide when their decisions lead to difficulty.

I hope to be truthful but never judgmental.

I hope to be welcoming but never enabling.

I hope to represent the Gospel well in the way I handle differences of opinion.

I hope to be quick to listen and slow to react.

I hope to be joyful and whimsical and energetic enough to be fun to spend time with, but firm enough in my convictions to stand for truth over "coolness."

That's what I got for now. Don't know why this is buggin' me today, but I felt like I needed to put it out there. For what it's worth. . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Good List 2-27-13

This list is brought to you by my recent birthday.

10. A visit to HomeGoods, one of my favorite stores that I haven't been into in years, 'cause they're all so far away up here. It was fun to walk around in there, but it made me realize I don't really *need* anything there. 
9. A Robert Frost biography we picked up in one of the sweet little book shops on Church Street. I'm sure it will make me feel very Vermont-y to read all about his life and work. ;-)
8. A treat from our hotel in Burlington. This is a huge shout out to Hilton Hotels. When we checked in, the lady at the desk asked us what brought us to Burlington. Jared told her it was my birthday. She wished me Happy Birthday, and we thought that was the extent of the conversation. We went upstairs to put our things away and then left again for some sightseeing, etc. When we got back later that evening, this is what we found:

This was completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Way above and beyond normal customer service. Thank you, Hilton! And specifically, Mari!

7. Our very first Champ sighting!!!!  Ok, it was actually a tiny little baby Champ.  

OK! It was actually a river otter. But you can't tell me that long neck and humpy back wouldn't look like a tiny Champ from a distance. Come on!!! 

Anyway, it made for a pretty fun and funny sightseeing adventure while we were in Burlington.
6. Notes and messages coming in all day long from so many amazing friends and family members. God gave me the best people in the world to share life with.
5. My card from Jared. No further explanation needed. Take a look:

4. The time and thought Macy and Grace put into my birthday gifts. Macy knows I love it when she is creative, and her origami is one of my favorite things she does. She made me two little origami baskets and filled them with my favorite treats--roasted cashews and almonds. Love it!

Gracie made me 40 treats. 40!!! One for each year. ;-) A whole big box full of poems, stories, crafts and preciousness. She spent weeks on this. How could I not feel special?

3. A couple days away with Jared. It was a sweet and fun time. He took me to Burlington, because he knows I love the combination of mountains and water. So gorgeous!

2. Grace's Napoleon Dynamite dance. OH MY! A few weeks ago, I told her all I wanted for my birthday was for her to learn this dance. I fully expected that she would roll her eyes and blow me off, but much to my surprise and delight, she was dead serious about it. Here is the result. You're welcome. ;-)

1. Realizing 40 is not so bad. I'm more in love with my husband than I've ever been before. I have the BEST JOB I could ever ask for. And God has given me some of the sweetest, most precious relationships in the world. I guess all of that takes time, but it's totally worth it. Also, my age is finally starting to match my freakishly white hair. So bonus! :-D

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Prayer Time 2-26-13

Today I'm praying for my friend, David, because it's his birthday, and he's on my mind a lot, so why not? ;-)

Today I'm praying for one of the strongest, most amazing ladies I know, who is facing an extremely difficult situation within her family.

Today I'm praying for my friend Mike, who has been tossed around quite a bit over the last 3 years in his job situation. He is currently unemployed, but certainly not for lack of trying. Earnestly praying for him as he eagerly seeks employment.

Today I'm praying for my friend Richard, who faces a meeting with his doctors to determine if his cancer treatment has been working. We're told what they're doing currently is basically the last option, so big prayers here.

And so much more. Grateful that God loves to hear from me about these things.

What about you? Is there anything I can add to the conversation on your behalf? Feel free to leave requests in the comments section, and as always, comments on this post will not be published publicly for the sake of those concerned with privacy.

Blessings to you in the Gospel today!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Good List 2-20-13

10. Bill Cosby. I forget how funny he is until we stumble upon The Cosby Show reruns or something like that. Still cracks me up.
9. Homemade pizzookie (sorta). Yummy.

8. Stumbling upon Jared's name in conversations of encouragement between people I don't even know. Pretty cool.

7. Winter break! A whole week of no alarm clock and a very loose schedule. Love it!
6. Being unhurried. I didn't even realize it was what my heart was crying out for for so many years, and I'm still not sure I'm fully understanding how to embrace it, but I sure do love being able to be "in the moment" so much more often than I used to. Such a gift!
5. A sweet and fun Valentine dinner with area pastors and their wives hosted by Dave and Dawn Lind at Calvary Bible Church in Rutland, VT. So grateful for them and their investment in other pastors and their families.
4. Family Valentine dinner. Good times.

3. Another manuscript off to the publisher. This one is called "The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables." Always exciting!
2. Amazing NECAP scores for Macy and Grace. Both "proficient with distinction" and well above average in all categories. Further proof I'm no longer smart enough for this family. ;-) So proud of them!
1. Being married to a man who not only loves me but delights in me. I'm overwhelmed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Good List 2-13-13

10. Last night Jared went to a meeting at the West Rutland town hall for a presentation on "Monsters of the Northeast," mostly focused on Sasquatch. I giggled about this all day yesterday, and I'm still giggling about it today. He came home and said, "There were some strange people there." Uh. . . ya think? ;-)
9. After fearing a pretty big oversight regarding our taxes this year (to the tune of several thousand dollars), we realized we actually did a pretty good job getting our ducks in a row last year. WHEW!!! :-D
8. Packages from Grandmom. Always fun!
7. I've been getting some extra workout time in over the last couple weeks, so that means I can eat whatever I want tomorrow for Valentine's Day. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Just move on and leave me to enjoy my ignorant bliss. K? Nothin' to see here. . .
6. Baby giggles. All of them. Every single one I've ever heard makes me giggle right along.
5. A box of ESV Story Bibles arrived yesterday, with contributions by my favorite guy. He wrote the introductions to Habakkuk, Malachi and Galatians.

4. The gift of coffee to go with Bibles. So appropriate. Two of my very favorite things, especially when enjoyed together. :-D

3. The way Macy glows when she knows she gets to spend time with little ones. On Monday night, we had the Hewitts over for dinner. (They have a baby boy and a toddler girl.) Macy asked me at least 10 times in the 24 hours before their visit, "So Mom, the Hewitts are coming over tomorrow (tonight), right?" She could not wait. So sweet.

2. Precious Baby Lilly. My new niece! I very much want to bite her, but I'm trying to refrain.

1. My amazing sister Jody and her pure gold husband Jon for taking in this sweet baby and treating her as their very own. I'm so proud of them and so grateful to be an aunt again!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Hope for my Daughters. . .

. . . that they will be truth seekers rather than just information gatherers.

. . . that they will believe me every single time I tell them I love them, even during seasons we don't fully agree with each other.

. . . that if they choose to marry, they will find men who love to make them laugh but are just as eager to hold them when they need to cry.

. . . that they will be confident in who they are because of Whose they are.

. . . that they will surround themselves with friends who challenge them to remain true to their faith but reach out to others as well.

. . . that they will run to the cross when they fail.

. . . that they will be addicted to grace and learn how to give it lavishly and receive it gratefully.

. . . that Scripture will come alive inside their hearts during moments when they need it most.

. . . that they will never question for one moment whether or not their parents love each other.

. . . that they will understand that being a strong woman doesn't always mean having the upper hand, getting their way, or having the loudest voice. Sometimes it means quite the opposite.

. . . that they will value relationships over things.

. . . that they will live below their means so that they might be generous givers.

. . . that they will pursue holiness with far more energy than they seek worldly things.

. . . that they will desire understanding far more than they value being right.

. . . that the fruits of the spirit will develop in them daily.

. . . that I will be a tremendous encourager in their lives, but always through the lens of truth.

. . . that they will know that Christ is beneath them as their foundation, within them as their strength, before them as their shepherd, surrounding them as their protector and provider. That this will not be just a "story" they've been told, but a truth they fully believe.

. . . that when they stray, conviction will happen quickly.

. . . that they will be smart, but always teachable.

. . . that they will be confident, but never arrogant.

. . . that they will be good stewards, but always generous.

. . . that they will wear out Bibles almost as quickly as they wear out shoes.

. . . that they will always be able to find joy in the "every day."

. . . that they will treasure Christ more than any earthly thing.

. . . that they will never lose their creativity and exuberance.

. . . that when I fail them, I will ask forgiveness quickly and sincerely.

. . . that I will daily learn better ways to love them well and point them to Christ.

. . . that they will run with endurance the race that is set before them, fixing their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith.

. . . that they will embrace "It is finished" rather than be burdened by "Get to work." (But that they will "get to work" because they know "it is finished.")

. . . that they will always be good at playing.

. . . that the joy of Christ will be evident in them even to those who don't treasure Christ.

. . . that when they read Hebrews 1:3, their hearts will overflow just like mine does.

. . . that they will be more excited about Habakkuk 2:14 than anything else they look forward to on this earth.

. . . that one day they will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Good List 2-6-13

10. Popcorn. I don't think we really need to elaborate on this. Am I right?
9. Prepping red beans and sausage for dinner and then enjoying a hot cup of Community coffee while the beans soak. It's all very Louisiana nostalgic.
8. This adorableness. Macy and Grace made me replay it about 6 times, and we all giggled the entire time. 

7. Cornbread baked in cast iron. Once you've had it this way, you'll be mad at every other option.
6. My new washing machine. The old one bit the dust, and the repairman told us it would cost as much to fix as a new one. So: new washer. We bought the plainest, cheapest one we could find that appeared to be *slightly* larger capacity than the old one. Turns out the basin is *significantly* larger. I can wash 3 sets of sheets in that bad boy all at once. Boom.
5. Grace's favorite new hobby. She likes to make clothes for her stuffed animals from her old things that are wearing out or don't fit her anymore. This outfit is made from a pair of tights that had a hole in them (the overalls), an old headband that was fraying (the orange shoulder straps), and the sleeves of an old stained shirt (the brown leg warmers). Pretty creative!

4. Excellent report cards again from both girls. My favorite comment came from Grace's Young Scholars teacher, who noted that Grace "adds a nice touch of humor to the classroom." :-D I can only imagine. . .
3. Macy got picked for the "record team" for Mathcounts. We're told this is quite an honor for a 6th grader since most teams are 7th-12th graders. They won 2nd place in their competition on Saturday and will move on to the state competition in March. Macy is WAY excited! So proud of that sweet girl and her many gifts.

2. Gracie's smooth, creamy white hands. We have been working so hard to develop a good routine for caring for her eczema-prone skin, and it is really working. She was so proud to come show me how clear and smooth and "hydrated" her hands were the other night. So thankful to finally feel like we have a handle on this.
1. Final proofs returned to publisher. Coming soon to a bookstore near you! So grateful. So, so grateful. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prayer Time 2-5-13

Today I'm praying for a family who lost their Mom/wife/Marmie/friend to cancer yesterday. Today she is in the presence of Christ, but I know hearts here on earth still hurt.

Today I'm praying for children who need a safe, loving, Christ-honoring place to grow up, whether that be through foster care or adoption (or a combination of the two.)

Today I'm praying for job searches near and far. For hard-working people who long to serve and support their families well and just need an opportunity.

Today I'm praying for homeowners all over the world who would love to no longer be homeowners. ;-) Praying for contracts and SOLD signs!

What may I add to my list on your behalf? Please let me know by leaving your requests in the comments section, and as always, comments on this post will not be published publicly for the sake of those concerned with privacy.