Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

Jesus Took the Wheel

Do you think it’s possible to take both your common sense and your navigation program along for the ride? Sometimes, I wonder. Saturday night we packed up everybody and then some for a family movie night in the park. We had to take two cars because of the extra little people with us, so armed with my trusty Maps app and a truck filled with the nine-years-old-and-younger group, I led the way. Forty-five minutes and sixteen miles later… Now, only God knew where we were headed—and I mean that literally, because basically all I had was the name of the park. But after pressing a few buttons—voila!—I had an address and several routes to choose from. I opted for the shortest distance and rejected the shortest time, figuring I could make up minutes on the back roads and avoid possible traffic on the busier ones. Well, after almost an hour on the twisty-turniest route possible I was more than a little stressed. For one, Hubby had dubbed me fearless leader and I’d hoped to show off my navigation skills. Secondly, I was getting tired of questions like “When are we going to get there?” and “What time did it start?” and “Did we lose Daddy?” Finally, and most important, we were meeting new friends who hadn’t yet been exposed to my love-hate relationship with the clock. I wanted to make a good impression and also give our families time to connect before the movie. Brown Sugar and crew certainly had the right idea with their backseat rendition of “Open the Clouds,” because I definitely needed God to shine down...

The Rock in a Hard Place

The little people and I have been studying Numbers, and there’s been a lot of head shaking going on. We just want to reach back and take our spiritual brothers and sisters by the hand and—in the words of M&M—exclaim, “Seriously?” Over and over they doubt the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God Who kept Moses afloat on the Nile and safe in the desert; God Who plagued Pharaoh who enslaved them and parted the Red Sea that blocked them; God Who led them by pillar and cloud; God Who rained down manna and meat and fed them with His spoken Word. It’s hard to believe they would let a few tall people stand between them and the grapes, pomegranates, and milk and honey flourishing in the land that God promised them. But then again, maybe not. I stumbled over a mirror while wagging my finger and shaking my head. All I needed was a pair of dusty sandals and a staff; otherwise, I was quite indistinguishable from those unbelievers. I can hear myself now, sounding like Anne Baxter in The Ten Commandments: “Moses, Moses! Surely you didn’t give up all of Egypt only to face those giants!” Yes, I see giants everywhere in my life: at the doctor’s office, in my datebook, at work, on the scale, in the laundry room, on college applications, and in rejection letters. They attend my homeschool co-op, sign all my rejection letters, and utter, “What if..?” and “Maybe…” and “But…” in booming voices. When I’m in that moment my goal seems impossible, insurmountable, and unachievable because I’m not strong enough, fast enough, social...

Village People

The little people really threw me for a loop today. For about an hour, all I could do was shake my head and wave my hand. At a loss, I thought about seeking  feedback from the moms in my Facebook group because at that moment, I just needed a “Yeah, girl” and an “Mmm-hmmm.” But after considering it for a moment, I decided I’d do my usual: sit and stew and fuss. It’s funny. When I was tearing up my own mama’s house Mama would actually pick up the telephone, not the laptop. She’d commiserate with women who lived around the corner or across town; people she’d see at church, in the grocery store, or at work; friends she touched and talked to on a regular basis. They dropped by the house with potato salad or to borrow a hat for Sunday. These ladies knew each other by the names their own mamas and daddies gave them, not a user name they plucked from the Internet stratosphere to hide behind. Mama recognized her buddies when she saw them live and in person; she didn’t have random LinkedIn connections. Her children played at her friends’ houses, ate their food, and slept in their beds—we even got disciplined right alongside their own children because they knew us and loved us. So, when Mama told Alice what her daughter had done, Alice would offer more than an “Mmm-hmmm.” Alice would say, “I know exactly what you’re talking about because I saw her do that last week when she was here with so-and-so. This is what I told her.” Thing is, I’m not really of the...

A Banner Day

On our drive to the beach we passed a Jeep loaded with sun-soaked, smiling young men. And flapping in the breeze just as happily behind them were our nation’s Stars and Stripes and the Confederate flag. It truly baffles the mind. Even if you say it’s not about love and hatred, the two represent two totally different ideals. One stands for the Union; one for secession from that same Union. One interdependence, the other independence. One national pride, the other the pride of self-rule. How can you proudly support both? For me, it’s like…          ◊frying Songbird’s turkey bacon in bacon grease.          ◊watching Lone Ranger hide her Littlest Pets from Brown Sugar and then share them with friends.          ◊me posting about servanthood and whining about motherhood. Contradictory flags a-wavin’ in air. I don’t think today’s hot-button political issues boil down to North versus South, them versus us, Republican and Democrat, Liberal against Conservative. In God’s eyes we’re not opposites, separate, better, or less than. One label doesn’t save; the other doesn’t condemn. The answer is more black and white: we’re either for Him or against Him. As a believer, my battlefield is in the spiritual realm and not at a national convention. When I wave my red-stained cross high above, behind, and before me, there’s no room for other flags, colors, and allegiances. It blocks out issues that distract me from my important purpose as a faithful citizen of God’s kingdom. It helps me forgive past and present sins and focus on what’s eternal over what’s temporal. Heaven matters,...

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