Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

You Talkin’ to Me?

Remember the understood you? That parenthetical, unwritten word reigns supreme here in my house, and not just when we’re diagramming sentences. When I say, “Stop!” TD knows just who I’m talking about. He stops lapping up his milk like Oscar or hopping down the stairs or doing whatever it is he shouldn’t. If I say, “Take out the trash,” everyone looks at Think Tank. They know it’s his job (even though he tries to forget). “You” will moan after dinner because she knows it’s her dish week. If I say, “Outside!” Oscar runs for the door. When Hubby lectures about leaving the basement refrigerator door open, the first thing a little person says is “It wasn’t me!” or “I didn’t do it.” Hubby’s response? “Then I wasn’t talking to you.” On the other hand, I can call Maven by every name but hers—and you know I’ve got seven to choose from, eight including the dog (believe me, I’ve done it)—but she knows exactly who I’m talking to. Get the picture? It’s understood. Now, there’s another teeny word that’s understood around here, and it’s now. I’ve told the little people when I say something, assume there’s a “now” in parentheses. In other words, “Sit down (now),” “Do your work (now),” “Stop running! (now),” “Turn off the television (now).” That “now” means immediately or as soon as possible—not after the episode goes off or when you finish playing Clash of Clans or after you’ve hit Lone Ranger. Who knows, maybe there’s a truck barreling down on you? Again, it’s understood. But we’re all somebody’s child. He has something for us all to understand....

The Gift of the Magi…Revisited

Four tickets to a college basketball tournament fell into our laps at the last minute. Hubby and I thought about it for a moment, trying to reason through who would go. Both he and I love college ball, so ✔️️ and ✔️️ . Then we thought, “Who else has college in the blood?” Crusader,✔️️ , and Songbird,✔️️. We knew the girls would rather have movie night at home and whither they goeth, TD followeth. So, we were all set. But not so fast…What about Think Tank? He’s not a basketball fan, and college isn’t on his radar, but spending time with Crusader is always within his sights. There was no storybook ending here. The best option for this mom? Giving up my ticket and sending Think Tank in my place. But Songbird couldn’t bear the thought of crashing my “date night” with Hubby, especially since she’s not really a basketball fan and she didn’t like either of the colleges represented. So, Songbird opted to stay and send me in her place. But the love story doesn’t end there. Think Tank hated to unseat someone, and so he refused to go. We stood there looking at each other, at an impasse, until Songbird and I prayed about it. And after much hemming and hawing and sacrifice we worked it out, and we four Cinderellas—Hubby, Crusader, Think Tank, and I—laced up our glass slippers, hopped into our coach, and headed to the ball…game. Now, if this really was a Disney story, it would have ended with Hubby finding a fifth ticket and my best friend stopping by on a whim to invite the younger ones over for a...

Eyes on His Prize

Yesterday, TD stood there sobbing, looking out the back door. “They’re already swinging!” Sure enough, Brown Sugar and Lone Ranger were churning away. We’ve dismantled part of the playset, so at the moment, we have just two working seats. TD was late to the party and had missed the opportunity to nab a swing. “Why don’t you go out anyway? I’m sure you’ll get a turn.” As I encouraged him, I prayed that that would be the case. While God might extend goodness and mercy, it’s not guaranteed to flow from the little people. But out he went, and I watched from the window as he stood there in the yard in all his hopeless misery while Brown Sugar and Lone Ranger pumped harder and higher. Please, Lord, touch their hearts. A minute later, Lone Ranger leaped to the ground in mid-swing and skipped over. She wrapped her arm around TD and guided him over to one of the now-empty swings—with only one glance at the window where I happened to stand. For good measure, Brown Sugar hopped from hers, too. All was right with the world, at least for a minute. Now, the jaded among us would say Lone Ranger only sacrificed her seat because she knew I was watching. Maybe so. But don’t we choose certain paths because we know God our Father has His eyes and hands on us? I mean…really. It’s not out of my inner sainthood that I once gave up my Prince concert tickets because of missing choir rehearsal. It’s not out of the goodness of my heart that I walk farther to return...

Walking Wounded

Maven twisted her foot right after Christmas. After watching her limp around for about twelve hours we saw the pediatrician who sent her straightaway to get it x-rayed. Results? Negative. Fast forward about five weeks (and soccer tryouts, traipsing up and down three flights of stairs, running about like the athlete she is), and my sweet girl was still hobbling about and complaining, if only a wee bit. To the orthopedist we went for another x-ray. Results? Broken, in two places on the growth plate, no less. So, for five weeks she sported a purple cast until today, when she got upgraded to a boot. Her x-rays amazed the doctor, Hubby, and me, then and now. It was hard to believe those bones belonged to the smiling girl who’d hopped up on the crinkly paper on the table—the boots she wore were definitely made for walking…and running…and kicking. By the looks of things Maven should’ve been crying, whimpering, or even uttering ouch! with each step. Our girl was itching for her sneakers so she could play salao soccer and run winter track, not a cast for five weeks or a boot for two more. But God wasn’t surprised. He already knew about Maven’s infirmity—certainly not Hubby or me, not even the first radiologist. God saw the real injury she only acknowledged with a twinge. It was Maven’s body that cried out for help rather than Maven herself: seeing the swelling and redness, we took her to a specialist. Secret hurts, private burdens, crushed spirits We all have private pain. We hide our wounded spirits, weariness, broken hearts, and worry, and...

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