Our twins start middle school in one week. When we were discussing the school supplies to be purchased, I asked whether their backpacks were still in good shape from last year. Tanner’s mind reeled and then his eyes widened and he said, “No way! I need a new backpack.” I was perplexed by what appeared to be a look of mortification and asked him, “Why? What’s wrong with your old one?” And then I remembered…. Last year in the 5th grade, he selected a teenage mutant ninja turtle backpack that resembled a turtle shell.
He loved that backpack when he picked it out. He even convinced me it was worth the extra buck$ to buy it for him. And now one year later, not even in middle school yet, he intuitively knows that a turtle shell backpack is too “childish” for middle school.
As a mom, I am both happy and sad. Happy that my young man understands what it is to mature and embrace new seasons in his life. After all, it would be odd to see a 35-yr old business man wearing a turtle shell backpack to work. A man needs to let go of things like that at some point in his life. So in that regard, I am proud of him and the young man that he is becoming. But as I stand here in happiness and pride, I also feel the tug of motherly lament. His season of little boyhood is dwindling. This puts a knot in my throat.
Every mother knows the feeling. It’s simply beyond words. It’s hard to keep the tears from welling up in my eyes as this season in life begins to turn. But in the tears, there is also joy and admiration. I pray he continues to mature and move through life in a healthy way as every strong and successful man should.
I joked with him and said,”Your backpack is in perfectly good shape. You really should use it.” We all giggled and imagined what that would look like on the first day of middle school. I guess that scared him a bit, because when I walked by the backpack hooks in the utility room, I noticed the space was void where that turtle shell backpack had hung all summer. I guess he hid it for fear I might not have been joking.
To all the moms this new school year, whether it be kindergarten, college, or something in between… You’re not alone. Look up and thank God for the healthy development of your child and know that we are all shedding a few tears of mixed emotions with you.
Every New Year I unsubscribe to anything and everything that inundates my email inbox unnecessarily. If it’s not about God, family or work…. I unsubscribe. Goodbye Khol’s, Walgreen’s, Fox News, CNN, Southwest Airlines, Wine Country Gifts, Sherries Berries, etc. Thank you for your services, but please stop trying to monopolize my life! The advertisements, promotional ads, and junk news that are cluttering up my email and newsfeeds…. Bye-Bye! I’m saving what little extra time and energy I have available in my day for what truly matters in my life. Our email and our newsfeeds act as a window for what we allow into our lives and a lens for how we see the world. Do you have the courage to UNSUBSCRIBE? Just do it!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
Christian Life Coach
If you’re a parent, you know what it is to hear great commotion accompanied with hysterical laughter in a nearby room. Whatever was happening, my kids were having a fabulous time. And then all of a sudden… deafening dead silence. So I drew in a deep breath and waited. My daughter entered the room where I was standing. Her eyes were cast downward and she held her hand to her mouth. I guess she was elected by her two brothers to deliver the “good news” or maybe she drew the short straw. She cautiously approached and says, “Momma?” Why is my name always presented in the form of an uncertain question when trouble lurks? “Ummm…. I think we wubbled the wubble bubble a little too hard because it kind of hit the kitchen light and it fell and the light might have broken a little.” Her description of wubbling the wubble bubble too hard softened the blow. I had to smile and remember one of my New Year’s resolutions to pick my battles and respond rather than react. Don’t we all have days when we’re just cruising along in life and suddenly realize we unintentionally wubbled our wubble bubble too hard?
Do you have a relationship in your life that is strained and driving you nuts? Maybe a spouse, child, co-worker or sibling is grating on your last nerve and just about everything they do is inconsiderate, wrong or incompetent. Do you find yourself being constantly critical of their words and actions? Do you watch them closely for the next screw-up?
One of the biggest mistakes we tend to make is making a big deal out of things that should remain small things. I guess it’s human nature to stand for what we think is “right” regardless of its significance (or insignificance) to the overall health and wellness of the relationship. In the wise words of Dr. Phil, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”
The solution: Be wise and selective about the issues you’re willing to fight for. If they are going to advance or protect the relationship, by all means, take a stand. On the other hand if you’re merely trying to protect your ego, follow the advice of Queen Elsa from Frozen and “Let it go!”
Everyone needs positive affirmations. So if it truly is someone you love or it is an important relationship in your life, be sure to dole out a positive and encouraging word for every criticism you dole out. No relationship can survive on constant criticism alone.
You reap what you sew in relationships. You can choose to speak affirmation and respect or you can be critical and constantly ready to pounce. But one will return a bountiful harvest of loving affections and the other will simply kill the crop.
Pick your battles!
Christian Life Coach
My 11-yr old daughter has learned about two societal norms this week that have really disturbed her. She heard the word abortion and asked what it meant. And she learned about legalized marijuana in some states. When I explained them to her, she had a visceral reaction with a crinkled brow face.
She apparently has been pondering these issues because tonight she asked out of the blue, “Mom, can a Christian not tell anyone they are Christian and run for Governor or President? I don’t mean lie, but just not say anything. And then when they get elected, do a lot of things with other Christians to help our country not be so bad?”
Such a profound statement from a young girl. It says a lot about a lot of things.
Comfort and unwavering love is waiting for you in your faith. Fear or Faith? No matter your circumstances, the decision is always yours.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15 NIV)
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15 NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
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Many people know and talk about Job’s hardships and sufferings. But did you know there is a happy ending?
JOB 42:12-17 NIV
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters… Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters [so he had to have a beautiful wife, right?] and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.
In order to have hope during times of difficulty, we must exercise our faith, pray, and look past our present circumstances. We must look forward to what the Lord has planned for our future.
JAMES 5:11 NIV
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
The enemy will try to steal your faith and suffocate your hope with hardships. But much like Job, the Lord will protect you and bring about blessings in your life if only you look to Him. After the enemy attacks, God may not restore only what you have lost, but like Job, give you twice what you had before.
All circumstances are temporary. Try to keep your focus on God. He is always working and things will change. Trust in Him! Even in hardship, rejoice in Him! Through your faith, have hope in knowing there will in deed be a better tomorrow.