Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

Bathed in Love

Hubby finally forced me into the tub tonight. Now, don’t go running with visions of Pig Pen in your head. I just prefer showers. Tonight, he insisted I take a hot bath to soothe my aches and pains and just relax for longer than a drive-through shower. As is often the case, he was right. By helping me in, he was helping me out. Now, my troubles didn’t go down the drain or evaporate with the bubbles, but that hot soak gave me proper perspective—and not just of my unpolished toes. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, writer, editor, and teacher. It’s my job to assist. And I think I’m good at it. I can pray for you, compliment you, correct your grammar, comb your hair, and babysit your little people. I will cook you a meal, grace you with a smile, bless you with a kind word, or tell you a thing or two. I can lead, guide, steer, and discipline. I will snuggle, cuddle, pat, hug, and kiss you, change your television channel, read to you, teach you piano, or help you solve a math equation. Though I may not call you very often, I will text, e-mail, “like” your posts, and love you dearly from afar. I’ll travel hundreds of miles to see about you or help you cross the street. But what I try my hardest not to do is ask you for help. Well, today, I’m sad to say I needed plenty of that four-letter word, and I literally got more than I asked for. I tried to rebuff all this goodwill, to mark...

April 9, 2017

I’m not a pancake person, but I’ll take Hubby’s creations over Cracker Barrel’s or IHOP’s any day. He has perfected the combination of light and fluffy middles and crispy edges. I found the recipe years ago in a book I permanently “borrowed” from a library and the little people love them plain or filled with blueberries or chocolate chips. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1, 2 While he worked the griddle, Songbird talked about a different type of creation in Sunday School. She introduced the lesson by asking the other little people, “If you could create something out of nothing, what would you do?” They named everything from a private sweet shop to piles of money and toys they could share. However sweet to the taste and generous of spirit, these desires pale next to God’s hopes and plans for us, including His gift of the world that He spoke into existence—and the power to overcome this same world in His gift of salvation. And God continues giving to His creation. Palm Sunday honors Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and marks the last seven days of His life on Earth, but today’s sermon focused on the Spirit of fellowship, one of God’s great gifts that continues to give. In “Let’s Eat” we heard how Jesus spent His time on Earth nourishing hungry bodies and souls, as our prayers and pancakes feed the little people during...

Getting My Duckies All in a Row

Did you know that Peg in “Peg + Cat” doesn’t have a nose? Or that a giant magnet can unleash the stuck zipper of an invisibility suit? Well, thanks to TD I know these facts, and so much more. For instance… There are several dead ladybugs in Think Tank’s window, and that he likes to open it and play his keyboard for passersby. It only takes a single stick of chewing gum to bribe Songbird into taking the little people on a walk. Brown Sugar understands when to strategically play the Reverse, Skip, and Wild Cards in Uno—and she ain’t afraid to use ’em against her mama. Maven knows what allegro and andante mean, but she doesn’t get that “never the tempos shall meet.” It breaks Lone Ranger’s heart to “grow out of” and “pass along” her things, especially her purple bicycle. Yes, the little people and I covered a lot of ground today—and not necessarily what I set out to learn or teach. I resisted these lessons at first. When TD asked me to sit on the couch and hold him so we could watch television together, I explained, “TD, I have things I need to do.” “You have things you want to do, not things you need to do,” he responded. Sassiness aside, it was true. I wanted to check stuff off my list—history lessons, a review of perpendicular angles, a vocabulary test, dinner planning, another chapter on my book—but those weren’t needs. What I needed to do was listen, cuddle, comfort, laugh, and learn. As far as I’m concerned, there is always so much to be done, and...

Father, May I?

TD peered over the counter and eyed the last slice of quiche—which just happened to be on my plate. “Can I have it?” Before I could hand it over, albeit grudgingly, Hubby stepped in. “You really have to start telling TD ‘No.’ Just ‘No,’ with no explanation.” Saying “no.” As if I needed help with that phrase in this, my “Year of the No.” Well…I guess a little reminder won’t hurt. As you know, I don’t do resolutions, but this year, I did make a decision to downsize my commitments, to deliberately say “no” more than I say “yes” so that I can rest more, write more, and invest more quality time in my family. I wanted to be more intentional about my commitments, to prayerfully consider requests for and usage of my time. But it’s hard to say no—not necessarily to TD’s request for quiche. My little people can attest to my ability to sing “No” in several keys and languages. It’s the world outside my door that I find hard to resist. How do you say no to play dates, lunch dates, and your friends’ requests for help? How do you withdraw from ministry, classes, and leadership opportunities? Sometimes I feel like I’m slapping the well-meaning hands that feed me and binding my own helpful hands that want to return the favor. There are so many good things. Yet I know they aren’t all good for me. And I also know I’m not the only one who struggles handling too much of a good thing. There’s a passel of beleaguered moms and dads, ministers, and well-intentioned believers who think...

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