The Mom Behind the Machine

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I used to go to my room to cry.

I would hold it together until I fixed a snack for one child, pulled down a toy for another, and assigned math pages to two more. Finally, with trembling lip, I’d hustle down the hallway to the privacy of my bedroom.

There, my God and my pillow absorbed the tears. Because someone called with bad news. Or I didn’t get my way in marriage. Because it was the wrong time of the month. Or mothering and homeschooling four kids was just plain lonely and hard. Continue reading

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The God of Water

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Water, like a wild Love that’s constrained

By dams of fear and levees of hate,

Builds a fierce current, black and white and jealous.

Until it overtakes its boundaries, and levels everything in its path.

Continue reading

In Defense of the Helicopter Parent

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Have you read the articles about helicopter parenting, lately? “Too many of us do some combination of overdirecting, overprotecting or over-involving ourselves in our kids’ lives. ” says Julie Lythcott-Haims in her Huffington post article, “Helicopter Parenting is a Trap“.

And I get it. I don’t want my children to become wimps. I want them to grow in character. I want them to be skilled and successful.

But I also study statistics of kids who suffered greatly because they needed their parents to offer more affection, love, guidance, and direction.

So what to do? As a mom of four, I tend to straddle the helicopter and the jet plane. I often play the hard-nosed, tough parent, flying high to create the free-range childhood that everyone applauds. And then, I slip them a little overprotective, micro-managed baby care when no one’s looking. Continue reading

Rise

It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write freely on a one-word prompt. Then we link up at the amazing Kate Motaung’s site. It’s a flash mob of writers- having fun and sharing their take on one word. This week’s prompt is RISE.

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When the morning alarm sounds, sometimes I think I’d seriously sell my soul to just stay under the covers.

Where it’s warm, dark, and quiet. Where I don’t have to face the demands of the day. Where I can block out the pressure, the stress. Where life can’t reach me and I can just be. Continue reading

When Jesus Meets the Addict

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We whisper about it in church hallways. We turn our head away from it at the parks and we hide it in our homes. We warn our kids about it and hate it in ourselves.

Addiction.

It’s nothing new. From tobacco to technology. From crack to caffeine. From over-working to binge-watching. From generation to generation, we’ve traded one addiction for another.

It’s an effect of the fall, we say. We shake our fists at the devil and hang our heads. Come, Lord Jesus, we say, and dream of the day when we can be free. Continue reading

Solo Performance

198475_1720986784587_7340023_nIt was that heavy time of day. You know, that time when you realize that another day is slipping away and all you have to show for it is a bigger pile of dishes, more laundry, and the same stagnant set of worries from the days before.

You know, that time of day when everyone’s tired, but restless. Hungry, but fed-up. Fragile, but rock-hard. When school is over, but homework is looming. After friends have disappointed, but before siblings are appreciated.

You know, that time of motherhood when the problems are too big to wrap in a blanket and conflicts don’t end with a time-out. When a pacifier or teddy bear just won’t cut it. When being a mom just isn’t enough. Continue reading

Survival Mode

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Once, when I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and in the midst of a family crisis, a good friend took one look at me and gave me some very welcome advice:

You are dealing with a lot. Step back and take a break. Allow yourself to be in survival mode for a while.”

She gestured to my work piled on the table, some cleaning supplies waiting on the counter, our jammed calendar on the fridge, and the cookbooks scattered on the couch.

Her words were like a lifesaver for my spirit. They gave me permission to put aside anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary, and allowed this sinking girl a chance to catch her breath and float. Continue reading