Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

Road Trippin’

So Songbird has her driver’s permit. Gray hairs abound. It’s not because she’s a bad driver; she’s an inexperienced one. And it’s not for her lack of trying to get more time behind the wheel. I just can’t pry my fearful fingers away from it long enough to give her access. When I teach the little people I realize just how hard it is to drive. Riding shotgun is like, well, staring down the barrel of one. Certain death. Perhaps it’s the sense of powerlessness that makes me long for the real brake instead of that imaginary one I press in the dashboard. Maybe teaching reveals all that’s involved in driving. Songbird thought she was going to climb in, sync her phone, slap on a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses, and yell, “Road trip!” Then we told her she’s got to check the rearview mirror, side mirrors, and keep her eyes on the road…simultaneously. She’s got to drive for herself and every other clueless teen with a permit, the distracted, the elderly, all the overworked mothers, and the pet owner cuddling his pooch. She’s got to stay in the middle of the lane unless she’s changing lanes and then go quickly yet not too fast and remember to turn off her signal and listen to dad—no, to mom—while ignoring her siblings arguing in the backseat. Then she’s got to pretend my eyes aren’t reflecting her own inner terror. This, that, and the other. Simultaneously. Okay. Deep breath. She’s not going to kill us all even though she almost clipped the parked car or gave us all whiplash when she stopped...

Love Letters

Inspired by a lesson from our week’s Bible study, we all took Sharpies and wrote in our palms: The Lord’s. To say I need the reminder is an understatement. You’d think I had other things scribbled there in the middle of my hand, however invisibly—The Bank’s, The House’s, The Children’s, The Husband’s, The Worry’s, Mine. And they don’t easily fade from red to pink like those six letters. They seem indelibly etched into my heart and mind, these cares of the world. They carry serious weight. Sure, some look like holy pursuits. Take my family. God gave me Hubby and the little people, so isn’t it okay to lose sleep, time, and even myself in them? Teaching them, raising them, loving them—they’re each a full-time job. Yet my palm attests, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13) They’re not mine, for we are all His. It’s fruitless and prideful to focus on my limitations as a mother and wife in the face of His unlimited love and power. I should seek His plans for their life. Then there’s my writing, what I see as my ministry. Shouldn’t I give it my all—well, all that’s left, mind you—by pursuing publication, encouraging others, spreading His Word? Yet, the letters on my hand tell me, “For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:4) This is His gift. I am His instrument. Worrying won’t get an agent’s attention; fasting and prayer will get His. God knows it all and gives me my all and all. All I can do is write...

The Word, to the Wise

During literature today, the little people looked up a few unfamiliar words. When Think Tank typed tilth, his autocorrect feature kept trying to change it to tilts. Maven chuckled at the pronunciation of puissant, while Think Tank wondered if we could call God “omnipuissant.” Funny guy. We like to read aloud. They enjoy hearing and “seeing” great literature come to life. We discuss a writer’s intentions and the direction of a storyline, debate about what counts or doesn’t count as classic literature, and relate themes and plot lines to the Bible and current events. It’s also helpful listening to the little people’s pronunciation from time to time, checking out how they wield their language swords. Mini-wordsmiths all, they still can mispronounce the dickens out of what I’ve considered simple vocabulary; I’ve learned there’s nothing simple about the queen’s English. As Crusader showed me years ago, misled is not MY-zled. Ah, the power of language. Thing is, we don’t have to get all fancy when we’re talking to God. We don’t have to call Him “Elohim” when we pray to our Abba Father. It doesn’t matter what language we use when we cry out, “Help!” “Save me!” “Here I am, Lord!” or just plain cry. Often, my silent obedience is all I have to offer, or a hand in the air—and not because I just don’t care. I do care…too much. My church mothers knew what they were talking about when they sang, “When I can’t say a word, I’ll just wave my hand.” So, wave your hands. Weep silently. Don’t worry about publishing your thoughts for various and sundry....

January 22, 2018

I hate drinking water. I don’t know why that is. I will walk around thirsty all day, in and out of the kitchen, but I won’t pour myself one glass. I’ll even share my thermos with TD (believe it or not) without taking a sip myself. Not so with my little people. They drink gallons daily; we’re constantly refilling the pitcher. And not only do they guzzle water, they consume every bit of juice, tea, milk, or soda we have in the house. Me? I will nurse my coffee until it’s time to take my meds before bed. Java makes my world go ’round. And that leads me to the woman at the well, the subject of our Sunday school lesson. John 4:1-30 describes how Jesus quenched her thirst—not the kind that you satisfy at the kitchen sink, but the soul-deep need that only the Savior can fulfill. He met that need, and she shared her news, leading others to run and learn about that living water. We should be running, too, sharing “the one thing we know,” what Pastor Livingston taught in church. That one thing is Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. This is Who and What the blind man professed when Jesus healed Him (John 9). The sermon reminded us to look beyond what we see and feel, to be encouraged, healed, and filled by the Living Word that lives within us, just as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for...

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