Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Few Tidbits I've Learned From Mothering Boys

Because I'm a boy-mom, I'm often the only fully clothed person in our house.  I'm also the only one who thinks that a new school year calls for new clothes.  Or underwear.

Once a pair of tennis shoes gets wet, there is little hope that it will ever smell non-toxic again.

Someone should invent glow-in-the-dark Legos.

Generally speaking, my boys' days were "fine," "good," or "OK."  Nothing more.  Apparently the only thing that happened the whole school day worth talking about was lunch. And what they ate.  And how much they ate.  And how good it was. I would consider this to be an excellent amount of communication...if I hadn't packed their lunches.

I have found that it takes less than 24 hours for a boy to wear a hole in the knee of his jeans, outgrow his shoes or eat an entire package of Oreos.  It takes forever for a boy to clean out a toy box.

Grubby and tired is better than clean and bored.

I do not unload groceries.

When a boy asks "What's for dinner?" before he eats breakfast, he's going through a growth spurt. 
Also, boys believe after-school snacks are absolutely necessary.  Showers are not.

I've learned that if you can beat them at playing anything - hide & seek, Clue, tossing a ball in a trash can, eating ice cream the fastest - they will revere you.  Boys respect skills.

Farting is funny.

Boys thrive on praise.  Days, months, even years later my boys have unexpectedly quoted a compliment they received. Their bodies may be in constant motion, but their minds - and hearts - hear every word.

Wrestling is a form of affection.

If you accidentally bump their momma's cheek and give her a black eye, they will threaten to "smash in your face."  This is also affection.

The difference between a good day and a bad day is one good buddy.

Bedtime is the best. Bravado is gone, they smell like Axe body wash, and they're unashamed to hug their mom extra tight before rolling over to dream of conquering the world.

I just love being a boy-mom.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Warriors in Training

My son,

You are strong.  You are mighty.  You are capable.

Your shoulders aren't ready to bear the weight of a family and its finances and its worries.  Not yet, anyway.  But you're learning.

Remember when you told me how hurt you were that your best friend didn't like you anymore?  That boy still won't talk to you and yet you pray for him every night.  You're learning faithfulness.

Remember when you used the last of your craft supplies to make a bracelet for me?  You're learning thoughtfulness.

Remember when you had to carry your books and lunch to school in a grocery bag because you forgot your backpack at school?  You remembered that backpack the next day.  And every day after.  You're learning responsibility.

Remember when you held open the door at the doctor's office for every. single. person?  You're learning respect.

Remember when you were coughing late in the night?  When I came in to check on you, you said, "Momma pray."  You're learning to rely on the Source of life.

Remember when you befriended the new boy in your class because you know what it's like to be the new kid?  You're learning kindness.

Remember how you  played with the toddler at church so her momma could have an adult conversation for a few minutes?  You're learning gentleness.

Remember when we were driving and you pointed out the stunning sunset and told me that "God must be an artist"?  You're learning to appreciate beauty.

And in these ways, and thousands more, you are teaching me each day of God's great love and grace and faithfulness.

When the world tries to crush your spirit, demolish your joy and make you doubt your worth,


You are strong.  You are mighty.  You are capable.
And you are loved.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Psalm for Today

My mind is reeling, heart is aching.  All day long the television tells me of destruction and manhunts and explosions.  Evil struts boldly down the street.  Terror stalks and devours peace.  The enemy of my soul horrifies me with his unthinkable, vile acts.  Will the next ambush be worse than the last?  From where will it come?  How can I protect myself from an adversary I can't see?  And what about my precious children?!?

Come, all you people that I love, and we will hide out!  We will arm ourselves and stockpile supplies and dare anyone to threaten us here.  My two-story cul-de-sac fortress can shelter us from the darkness that lurks outside my door.  Well it can, can't it?  No, even here, protection is only physical and temporary at best.  I need a more permanent solution. 
And then I remember - YOU, Lord.  I turn to You, battered and shattered again.  My spirit is bruised and I need someplace to heal, to process. 
You are the God who was, and is, and is to come.  None of this world's craziness is a surprise to You.  I trust Your all-knowing goodness.  When I think about Your power, it's like my spirit takes a deep breath.  YOU are my security.  You are worthy of my belief.  All of my confidence is in You. 
And even when my newsfeed blows up with the next appalling act, I know that You are still in control.  Oh Lord, help me not to let my life be dictated by my 24-hour streaming, tweeting, live reporting, late breaking news culture.  Either I trust You or I don't.  And I do.
Your Word is true.  Your character is holy.  Your motivation is love.  You are unshakable, steady.  You are the foundation on which I build my life and to which I point my kids.  Thank you, thank you, thank you that because of who You are, I can live free from fear.  Free.  From.  Fear.  Truly blessed assurance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In a Year, or Two

As this blog has suffered neglect, time has marched on.  My love and I celebrated 12 years of marriage.  We have purchased a house.  Our baby (baby!) started kindergarten.  All three boys have become soccer players.  I have become a soccer taxi driver.

And Christ is King.

We have been through a difficult time at church.  And finally came to a resolution!  The trials of my dear husband working in a cutthroat, secular environment have worn us down.

But Christ is King.

We have celebrated birthdays.  Our oldest became a Christ follower and was baptized by his Poppa (my father.)  We have prayed over, been prayed over, studied, taught, rested in and claimed the Word of God.

Oh, how Christ is King.

Our nation has gone through a presidential election.  And storms.  And shootings.  And Olympics.  And war.

Christ, be King.

We have made new friends.  And served countless bowls of salsa.  We've played games together and prayed together.  And watched our children form friendships while wearing superhero costumes and running around like their capes were on fire.

Our Christ is King.

And I have thought and contemplated and examined and considered.  I have doubted and feared and grappled and resisted.  I have rejoiced and comforted and triumphed and encouraged.

And through it all, Christ has been King.  King of my days.  King of my years. 

King Jesus.  My King.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Daddy's Words

He said, "You are my delight." I heard, "You are accepted."
He said, "You'll never get too big to sit on my lap." I heard, "You are adored."
He said, "Jesus is the way, the truth and the life." I heard, "You can trust Him."
He said, "You are beautiful because of who you are on the inside." I heard, "Your heart is lovely."
He said, "Help me stack the firewood." I heard, "You are strong."
He said, "You will be a good driver one day." I heard, "You are capable."
He said, "Call me when you get there." I heard, "You are precious to me."
He said, "Never settle for someone who mistreats you." I heard, "You are worthy."
He said, "I give you my blessing." I heard, "You are safe with him."
He said, "You're doing a good job with those boys." I heard his approval.
And once again, my heart sang at the words my daddy said.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

To Be a Little Boy

What must it be like to be a little boy?
To have unidentified substances under your fingernails.
To make things with boxes and paper and tape and feathers.
To devour an afternoon snack with great gusto.
To slay imaginary dragons with sticks and plungers and wrapping paper rolls and brooms.
What must it be like to be a little boy?
To always smell faintly of puppy.
To take such delight in rocks.
To glow at the praise of your daddy.
To want to be just like him.
What must it be like to be a little boy?
To flex bony arm muscles.
To dig.
To long to be in charge of something.
To be allergic to baths. And homework. And girls.
What must it be like to be a little boy?
To be fascinated with trucks and rockets and robots and airplanes.
To climb.
To practice whistling for hours.
To practice spitting every time you go outside.
And what must it be like to be a man?
To bear the weight of your responsibility on your bended knees.
To slay the dragons that try to devour your family's unity and faith and finances.
To glow at the praise of your spouse.
To still be fascinated with trucks and rockets and robots and airplanes.
And to tell your little boy how very proud of him you are.
Because you know exactly what it's like
To be a little boy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

do not open intil mothers day

I just love surprises, so when our 8-year-old handed me this gift yesterday, I felt so special! It is a piece of copier paper that has been folded over and over and taped closed. When I shake it, I'm pretty sure there are two quarters inside. Or maybe they're nickels. Either way, how precious is that?!?

The only income sources for this kid are the couch cushions, birthday gifts, and the tooth fairy. So for him to give me two coins is so very sweet. It speaks of his generous heart. And it reveals what he treasures - me!

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." If heart follows treasure, where's mine? I can proclaim my heart's devotion, but to really reveal the truth of the matter, I need to do a treasure hunt. Aarrrrgh, mateys.

What (who) do I think of most? In what do I invest my money? How do I spend my free time? Would those people who know me best see love in my actions? What about my motivation? If I looked into a golden chest containing the most important thing in the world to me, what would I see? My husband and boys? My home or friends? Jesus?

It strikes me that Jesus knows how my heart works. The question is not whether I will have treasure, but rather what it will be. The things that I value the most have my devotion. They receive my attention. They get my quarters. Nickels?

So this Mother's Day I will enjoy the surprise of opening my son's gift. I will bask in the blessing of being someone's treasure. And I will try to figure out what I can buy for 50 cents. Or is it 10 cents? Hmmm.