Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Things This Mama Does

Dearest Elijah and John,

What an adventure we are on this coming summer!  Aren't you so glad you have a Dad who seeks out fun (I use that term loosely) new things for us to do?

Last summer our adventure revolved around long car trips to Colorado.  Watching Dad race his heart out.  Hiking and seeing some amazing Creation.

This summer we all got roped in.  All. Of. Us.  When Dad proposed the idea of us doing a race together this summer it was Winter. There was snow and the prospect of careening down a mountain on two wheels was far away.  Now it is Spring.  Now we have a weekly ride schedule.  Now we have a weekly babysitter.  This. Is. Serious.

You boys have no idea how far out of my comfort zone mountain biking is.  It is dangerous.  I don't do dangerous.  It is hard work.  I try to avoid hard work.  Did I mention it is dangerous?

We joke that no one wants to ride behind me at Leader's Park because my descending speed is more like a crawl.  I don't see that changing any time soon.

But this Mama is willing to risk life and limb to be with you.  I'll take on dangerous to bond and have you think I am a "cool mom".  It is one of the many things this Mama does.

I love you two like no other!
I love you morer mostest.
With Joy,

Friday, January 22, 2016


My dearest boys,

We use the word "listen" a lot, don't we?  "John, listen to what I am saying."  "Mom, listen to this joke."  "Can we listen to that song again?!"

But we don't really listen, do we?  We keep reading.  We plan responses/arguments/jokes in our heads.  We answer before the other person is even done talking.  God put it on my heart that I really need to work on my listening in 2016.  It's my One Word for the year.

I have a terrible habit of planning my response while others are talking.  I have a terrible habit of half-listening when others are excitedly telling me about something that happened last year (or yesterday).  I have a terrible habit of tuning out what I don't want to hear.

God tells us in the Bible a couple of times to listen to his son, Jesus.  Listening is important; being heard is not.  I once heard someone say, "God gave you two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk."  Yikes!

So, I am listening.  I am listening to what you say, what you don't say, and what your behavior is saying.  I am listening to what God is trying to teach me through studying His word.  I am listening to other moms and ladies who are way wiser than me so I can better mom you.

I am listening.

With Joy, my loves,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Dearly loved sons,

Mama got a little (maybe a lot) off track on this blog.  I saw others garner attention, fame, and fortune from their little diatribes.  I feed a deep seeded need in my soul to be known, acknowledged, applauded.

My intention when I started this blog was to keep a record of thoughts and stuff (that's a technical word) for you to look back on when you are older.  I had no idea in 2007 that 7 years later there would be four of you but I am sure grateful there are.  I created it as a place to process my thoughts so that I could better teach you about life.  

But I haven't done that.  I have tried to be clever, cute and catchy.  Which has resulted in hurt feelings when the response was not what I expected.  Pride comes before the fall Solomon tells us in Proverbs 16:18.  God opposed the proud James tells us in James 4:6.  

All done!  I am sorry, boys, for getting off track.  For forgetting that you are my best audience.  I am rebranding (if I ever had a brand) this blog.  A collection of letters to you boys.  A collection you will hopefully cherish and learn from.

I love you all so dearly it nearly stifles me.
With Joy Always,

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Deep, Dark Secret Part 2

It is no secret that Daniel is darling.  It is no secret that he can charm the pants off teenage girls and blue haired ladies in the grocery store.  It is no secret he can do amazing things.

I shared my first deep, dark secret 3 years ago when this beyond strong willed child would not sleep through the night.  And now we have this.  The deepest, darkest kind of secret.  The kind that will garner chuckles and embarrassment when he is older.  Daniel is not potty trained.  This would not be a deep, dark secret if he were 2 or 3 but he is 4.  4!!

Not for lack of trying, coercing, and cajoling.  I have tried sticker charts, treat jars, grand prizes, cool underwear, and any other trick I can find.  No dice!

After a successful day two weeks ago when he went the whole day staying dry I thought we finally had it.  To no avail.  The next day he peed through seven pairs of undies and pants.  7 pairs!  I thought I might have a nervous breakdown.

I tried paying his older brother $100 to do the job but he gave up quickly, "It's impossible!"  Yes, a mission impossible.  When kind-hearted teachers mention that no kindergartners still wear diapers I reply, "They haven't met Daniel!"

I know the secret is tied to my pride.  My sense of success as a mom.  I am failing.  I cannot make this precious boy give up diapers and tackle the big kid world.  "I just don't want to," he declared one day.  "Maybe when I am 7."

We did eventually get the sleeping thing figured out.  He sleeps like a champ 3 years later.

He is a charmer though....isn't he?


Monday, November 30, 2015

Lessons Learned from the Dishwasher

1.  Sometimes things don't do their job.

2.  Things might look clean but beneath the surface there is gross gunk.

3.  A little prevention goes a long way.

4.  More soap doesn't mean cleaner dishes.

5. Deep cleaning requires effort.

6.  Running the machine doesn't get things clean; it just wastes water.

Strange things rattle around in my head.  Like, how my relationship with Jesus is often reflected in the woes of my dishwasher.  Perhaps it is the Divine speaking to me.  Perhaps it is the spicy avocado hummus keeping me awake to think too much.

I don't often do my "job"; my part of the relationship.  I still expect the blessing and the favor but neglect the praise, the seeking, the sanctifying.  

I often appear put together and okay but beneath the surface my heart is just as full of sin as the drain of my dishwasher was full of sticky, grossness.

Seeking the Lord each morning, praying thoughout my day, praising God in the hard and sweet moments goes a long way to preventing a full on break down.

Too much soap clogs a dishwasher just like too much culture, America, the good life clogs my relationship with Emmanuel - God with us.

A pin, a sink full of vinegar water and 3 hours is what it took to clear the solid build up of gunk from the drain basket of the dishwasher. I know the effort to clear out the sin takes longer; a lifetime really. It is a constant effort of prayer, asking for light to shine in the dark spots and effort.

Going through the motions isn't what I am called to in my relationship with Jesus.  It's just a waste of  time to fake it.  Jesus says in Matthew 15:7-8, "“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…’”   But," let us press on to know the Lordhis going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers,as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3.