When You Just Need A Little Honesty

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If you’re like me, you try hard to remain positive, look on the bright side, and count your blessings.

But some days, you just can’t  …

I’ll never forget one day during my student-teaching in a second grade classroom. Early in the year, one student, a stringy-haired boy with scabby knees, was having a bad day. He eventually crawled under a table and refused to come out. I was eager to prove myself to the lead teacher, so I rushed across the room to coax him.

None of my persuading was working:

“Come on out, you’re missing all the fun! Your friends are looking for you at the Craft Corner. You are so good at reading…!”  In fact, the more I talked, the further under the table he scooted.

Finally, the veteran teacher walked over, asked me to keep an eye on the rest of the class, and did something that changed me forever… (more…)

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The Leveling Place

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It’s flattering when someone asks you for advice.

It’s terrifying when you remember that you have none.

Not long ago, a friend invited me to coffee so I could share any wisdom I might have about teen anxiety and depression. It was a reasonable request, for she knows I have lived that roller coaster. I’ve also read books and tried strategies. “Surely, I can offer some help,” I thought.

So, as my friend’s question floated across the tops of our steamy mugs, “What do you think we should do about our son?”, we both expected more than what came out of my mouth… Continue reading

The Associative Property

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“Tell ’em about your blog, honey!” My husband waved his arm from me to our new friends with a proud gesture.

I could feel my face redden before the words were half-out of his mouth. I shot him a look, but it was too late. Their eyes were already glazing over. Continue reading

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

A Normal Day at the Pool

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There’s a drawer in my dresser that’s really hard to open. It takes all of my strength – and much prayer – to pull it.

It’s the second one from the bottom. It’s the first one with two brass handles instead of one. It’s my swimsuit drawer.

This year was especially difficult. Due to my newly diagnosed hypothyroidism, too little exercise, and maybe a few extra beers and burgers, I’ve gained some weight. My middle’s round and protruding, my breasts aren’t. The veins in my legs have risen to a whole new level of artistic expression. My thighs have gone from small curd to large curd. And my upper arms haven’t stopped flapping since I waved goodbye to last summer… Continue reading

When Your Dreams Don’t Fit You… Yet

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I entered the room and found her studying her reflection in the mirror, a girlish habit that sends up a maternal red-flag. “Do you like it, Mom?”

She was trying on a hand-me down dress given to her by an older friend. She tugged at the ill-fitting neckline and bodice; her body not yet the shape for its womanly cut.

I gotta give her credit. The girl dreams big.

And she’s a lot like me.

She pulled at the fabric and shifted her body until her reflection matched how she felt: bigger, older, and like someone else.

I’m honored to be featured at God Sized Dreams today. Please follow me there to read the rest of the story…

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Twenty Years

As of last month, it’s been twenty years since my first-born was placed into my arms. It seems like yesterday, and so long ago at the same time.

I look at his tiny body in the picture and can’t believe that he is now a man: strong, talented, intelligent, sensitive, and godly.

And I look into the face of the young version of myself and remember. She is clueless about being a mother, but Continue reading