Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused


I had my blood drawn Monday morning—and no, it wasn’t quite the way I wanted to start my school week. But as usual God got there ahead of me to prepare my lesson for the day. (I’m re-taking Faith 101.) So, I’m talking to the technician and she described how tough working at the lab can be. People fuss about the wait. Some patients prefer other technicians because of her race. Others complain about the process. Just dealing with one unkind person can change how she behaves toward the next ten patients. To take it down a notch, she smokes during her break. “Everybody’s gotta have one vice. I pray, but…” During her pause I pulled out the soapbox I keep handy for such opportunities and hastily climbed on it. “But you can’t let one person kill you. Jesus is big enough to make up for that one rude person, so don’t let one thing ruin your day.” But as soon as I huffed and I puffed, my wise words got blown right back in my face. This is why you don’t spit in the wind. Really, all it takes is one Lego on the stairs, one cross word between the Lone Ranger and Maven, one rejection letter, one neglected set of math problems, one sassy mouth, one of Hubby’s business trips, one looming deadline, one messy kitchen…just one person, place, or thing can ruin the rest of my day or make it hard for everybody else that crosses my path. My little people know when I start handing our chores and pointing out crimes and misdemeanors, it’s best...

Out of the Blue

Running late…again. And it’s not like I can blame the little people because I’ve been trying to catch up with myself my entire life. This time, I was driving Songbird to the airport, and missing the flight was not an option. We’d dealt with delay after delay—dropping off her younger siblings, missing an exit, an emergency stop for gas, and now, having to circle the airport because for the life of me, I just couldn’t figure out where to enter the parking garage for Terminal A. I refused to give up or let on to Songbird how worried I was, so I murmured, “Okay, Lord, You have to show me where to go” and applied my lipstick. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I had to be ready once I got there. A few moments later, flashing lights appeared out of nowhere. Frustrated with the unknown lawbreaker who was causing yet another delay, I pulled over to let the police car pass. Imagine my shock when lo and behold, the officer followed me to the breakdown lane! I pictured Songbird’s airplane pushing away from the gate as I watched him get out of his car and stride purposely toward us. I parted my newly glossed lips in a smile and asked innocently, “Yes, officer?” “Ma’am, I saw you put on your lipstick while you were driving and you made chills creep up my spine. Next time, please pull over to the side before you fix your face.” Eager to continue my frantic circling, grateful he hadn’t ticketed me for reckless driving, relieved I wouldn’t be the subject of the latest viral video,...

In His Hands

Whenever I come across fuzzy pink slippers tucked away on a bookshelf or a Calico Critter stowed in a night table drawer, I think, “Lone Ranger.” She puts special things in out-of-the-way places to either protect them from M&M or to save them for moments she can tip away to play on her own. Yet, I know when I need time to write, I can trust the Lone Ranger to whip out that same Calico Critter or a Littlest Pet to distract her little brother—as she’s doing at this very moment. You won’t often find her curled up with a book because she’s busy sight reading new piano music or singing in that lovely sky-high voice of hers. She’ll obediently do the dishes or keep her room ship shape, but she’ll give you the stinky face about vacuuming. Yes, I can read my family like all those books Maven loves. And I know them like the back of my hand that M&M uses to swing up the stairs. When I see them it’s like looking in a mirror Songbird uses to apply her new Mary Kay eyeliner. Just how is it that I love them? I can count the ways because I put the time in, building the relationship that began the moment I merely suspected they were growing in my tummy. And to think…God knows us even more intimately and loves us even more deeply. When it’s Brown Sugar’s reading time I pull her into my lap so I can hear that precious little “s” she adds to all her words (think Mara Wilson from Mrs. Doubtfire). When...

Running on Empty

My little people love to compete with each other. The Lone Ranger, Maven, Brown Sugar, and Think Tank use the first-floor hallway as an indoor soccer arena and the doorways at either end as their goals. At the playground’s open field, they kick off their shoes, mark a starting point, and sprint for the “finish line”: a tree stump, an anthill, or Hubby. These are spirited match-ups—definitely more lighthearted than their race for the seat next to mine at the table—and they’re fun (and noisy) to watch. They’re also nail biters, because it’s often a photo finish between Maven and Think Tank, with Maven winning by a nose. During winter soccer Think Tank pointed out that while his sister is faster on shorter distances, she gives out during longer soccer matches and races. Maven is a great sprinter, but Think Tank has better endurance. Does your faith give out? Sometimes mine does. When my faith has to run cross country it gets winded; it runs out of gas. Long stretches of waiting, testing, and suffering wear me out spiritually. I want to give up, question God, and mourn my circumstances. But if I exercise my faith and give my salvation a workout, I can increase my endurance, keeping in mind that “the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Instead of crying “Uncle!” I need to call on Jesus and rely on His mercy to press on—through lessons on math facts, dealing with toddlers, worries over SAT scores, long drives with seven little people, paying for college, menu planning, aging parents, and other bumps...

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