Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

Little Things Mean a Lot

  Okay. I birthed seven children with barely a stick to bite on. I broke my pinky toe and shed a few tears. I got hit by a car as a child and walked away with six stitches and a Mountain Dew. But oh, the pain of this thorn in my index finger! It’s a wonder how such a tiny thing can affect so much—pin curling my hair (I know it’s not the 1960s, y’all, but I still do that); texting, (yes, Songbird, my one-finger “mommy texting”); and just breathing…It hurts. All I want to do is cradle my finger. Having Hubby poke and prick it was so painful—and fruitless—because it is way deep and it refuses to budge. I remember that day when I couldn’t have been more than four years old, and mama had styled my hair. Oh, how I hated it. So, as my sister and I headed across the street to visit a neighbor I asked her to redo it. Well, mamas see everything, and before we knew it, we both got called home, spanked, and sent to our room. Again, such a little thing that led to painful consequences. Tiny details make all the difference. Yesterday, we all oohed and ahhed as a cute yellow ladybug crawled over Think Tank’s arm. Now, if that had been a spider….! We could’ve charged the neighbors admission because we’d have certainly entertained them. Two tiny legs mean the world in our book. That’s how sin is. I tell my peeps, it’s never a little lie, or a little disobedience. We must diligently dig out these inclinations and temptations,...

Dearly Beloved

I was alright until Maven told me, “I hope they didn’t end up in the trash can.” “They”…my wedding rings. Until that moment I’d undertaken a casual search, starting with the usual places: the pockets of my pink robe, my yellow robe, and the gray shorts I’d worn the day before; my jewelry box I never use, in the dust balls under the bathroom cabinet. Then I moved on to the bottom of the clothes hamper, the green dish on the kitchen island, the top of the chest, and the bowls on the bookcase. After that, I started gently interrogating folks and working my way through each room in the house, leaving no stone or little person unturned. I even offered get-out-of-jail free cards to possible offenders. I still didn’t panic until Maven shook her head and used the words “trash can” and “rings” in the same breath. That’s when I prayed, “Lord, only You know where they are. And only You can tell me where to find them.” I continued looking and hoping and praying, writing a mental blog about the whole thing, until finally, at 1 a.m., I resigned myself to a morning hunt through used Kleenex, last week’s pork loin, soured milk cartons, and other scary goodies from our kitchen trash. In other words, I was at a loss. So I gave up. I recognized this sense of hopelessness all dressed up in faith and resignation. I felt it during each miscarriage. I’ve felt it when seeking healing in broken relationships. I’ve felt it in little things like losing my keys. I’ve felt it regarding my publication efforts. So many...

Son Days

This week we did something different. I tried not to teach anything or plan anything or run the little people around thither and yon like a crazy person. Simply put: we had a summer break the way I used to back in the day. We did have a Chick-Fil-A day because I couldn’t bring myself to prepare lunch and dinner (cows, I hope you felt my deepest appreciation). They had a library afternoon so we could catch up on my library mortgage (um, fines). They had a couple play dates with friends (and I got to play, too). But otherwise, there was no formal instruction other than our continued study of the Old Testament and my shouting “Is that how Jesus would have you treat your sister?” and “Love and blessing.” and “Practice the piano!” We didn’t even utter that dreaded four-letter word: math. And what did I do? Well, as a family we enjoyed a “Jurassic Park” marathon, critiqued kids cooking on “Chopped Junior,” toppled dominoes, ate ice cream, and slept in and stayed up late. Then, while the peeps played Minecraft, read for hours, played with Littlest Pets, frolicked in the sprinklers, fought over the swings, fought over the controllers, fought over toy furniture, watched movies, talked on the phone, talked to each other, ignored each other, whined about being bored, whined about washing dishes, whined about putting away laundry, and tried to stay out of my way, I wrote and read and cooked and tried to stay out of theirs. Who knew how beautiful the second floor looked from the chaise lounge in my bedroom? So,...

Meet Me at the Altar

I really missed Songbird this Friday. She usually sprawls across our bed after the family movie to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” with me. Sometimes Maven catches an episode with us if the brides aren’t too over the top. Watching these brides prepare for their trip to the altar leads to much debate. Maven wants to be Cinderella. Songbird prefers sweetheart necklines. Hubby votes for my gown because he’s thinking of his  daddy-of-the-bride budget. I suggest teeny wedding parties and receptions (code word: intimate) so they can enjoy more than one bite of wedding cake. Songbird wants 200+ guests. We discuss arranged marriages, marrying someone older or younger, and how to know it’s love in the first place. Really, I’m just grateful we get to delay the fight over guest lists for another decade (or until they escape from their ivory tower, whichever comes first). Now, it’s not all fun and games because in my world, everything’s a teachable moment. At some point I pause the show and stress the bottom line: It is so much easier to get married than to stay married, so while they’re meeting at the altar to say “I do” please say “Yes.” Not to the dress. To Jesus. We’ve explained to the little people that saying “yes” doesn’t mean they won’t experience heartache, but they will have fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11) Saying “yes” ensures them that God will always find them fearfully and wonderfully made years later, when the wedding gown doesn’t fit (Psalm 139:15). Even when they go to bed mad as fire, it means they can trust that His love never sleeps or fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). It means they’ll...

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