Home Alone

If stacking up gifts under the tree means racking up debt that will consign us to overtime labor in the coming year, it’s not worth it. Deep down, our kids don’t want to be home alone with things while we slave away at the office just to pay it all off.


Photo Credit: Free photo: House, Home, Structure – Free Image on Pixabay – 2595330

Our Greatest Opportunity


If in pursuit of making our kids happy we rob them of our presence in their lives, we’ve missed our greatest opportunity. What they need is relationship—not with a screen, a gadget, or a piece of plastic, but with the people most important in their lives.


Photo Credit: Free photo: Christmas, Star, Winter, Family – Free Image on …

These Thorns


Answered prayers are most often wrought in pain and tears.

Source: The Thorns of Motherhood

Photo Credit: Free stock photo: Thorns, Spur, Close, Thorn – Free Image on …

Important Things: A Tribute

Blog_KidHoldingFlowersI’ve heard horror stories of families broken up over material possessions when it came time for their parents to move on and let go of their stuff. Sibling relationships, irreparably damaged, because they could not agree upon who should get what thing. Once treasured bonds permanently broken on account of greed and selfishness.

My parents recently moved from their home to a small apartment. In the process, they released many things that had been in the family for years. Over the weeks following, my sisters and I worked together to sort through furniture, décor, and other items. We donated many things to charity, sold others at a garage sale, and kept the most treasured things among ourselves. I can say with gratitude that not once did we fight over who should get what. And that says a lot about my parents.

DSCN7538_2055The most sentimental of items were a decorative plate with the phrase “love is the little things you do” etched beneath a picture of a girl passing a flower to her sister, and a plastic bowl with a picture of a mama bunny tucking her baby bunny in bed. These treasures symbolize what I most value about my mom. They remind me of those things in her character I want to emulate.

My mom has always been quiet and gentle. When I was little, my favorite thing was cuddling in her lap and listening to her heartbeat. She’s a person who loves deeply, and it’s always been evident in her actions. Kind words, thoughtful gifts, and tender hugs have always been her way of communicating her love to us. She’s always been selfless and generous, and she’s passed that on to us.

DSCN7541_2056Among the many things I’ve learned from my mom is that life is not measured in the amount of things we possess, but in the degree of love we offer. Her life has been an offering to us. That’s why a simple piece of art depicting true love and a little bowl representing the nurturing heart of a mother so accurately represent who my mom is. Love is the little things you do. It’s the only worthy investment. It’s the only thing that will outlast us. And it will outlive every earthly possession.

P.S. Mom, if you’re reading this…I hope there aren’t any typos because good “grammer” is something else you passed down to us.

Photo Credit: Hand, Giving – Free images on Pixabay

The Thorns of Motherhood

Blog_ThornsAndRoseFor many years I prayed for the gift of motherhood. Yes, my prayers were answered in due season. Abundantly answered. And I think God is laughing about it.

You see, he knew, way back when I was on my knees, that there would be a time when I’d be too tired to get on my knees after a day of chasing my super-active children. He knew that with my answered prayers would come piles of diapers and dishes and diapers and laundry, and did I mention diapers? And he knew that the journal I used to pour out my prayers would become home to haphazard scribble marks penned by the very ones I prayed into my family.

It’s possible his heart was heavy, too. He knew that once the waiting ended and prayers were answered on one end, a new season of waiting and praying would begin. He knew that with my children would come countless trips to the hospital and multiple therapy appointments. He knew I’d be up nights in the emergency room begging for a miracle when no medicine and no doctor could cure my son.

And he knew I’d be up reading the latest headlines, grieving that my preciously innocent and peaceful children have to grow up in such a hostile world. He knew I’d have to release them again and again into his hands, entrusting to him what he entrusted to me. He knew I’d have to believe against all odds that they have a future and a hope in this war-torn world.

Motherhood is a gift. And yet it bears thorns. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, was told a sword would pierce through her own soul. Her own precious child would bear the sins of the world, carry them to the cross, and die that we could be free.

Something about the years of praying and waiting has made me all the more grateful for being a mother. I see the beauty, and yet I also feel the thorns. And these thorns help me to treasure my gift that much more deeply, knowing my answered prayers were wrought in pain and tears.


Photo Credit: Red rose among the thorns | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Eye Level

I never imagined there’d be so many work-related hazards involved in motherhood. It’s for good reason I sit with caution when playing with my son on the floor. He doesn’t realize how strong he is. I’m usually not prepared for his impromptu body-slams and NFL-worthy tackle-hugs, not to mention all the times he’s nailed me smack between the eyes with a whiffle ball or some other unidentified flying plastic object.

Sometimes, I think it would be easier just to keep my distance. Sitting in the corner on a tall kitchen stool would be safer. Locking myself behind a child safety gate might offer some protection. Or maybe I should just invest in some football gear. A good helmet and some thick padding might lessen the potential for severe injury.

As much as I might want to shelter myself from my son’s innocent though dangerous playtime antics, I’m learning how important it is to play on his level. Sitting eye to eye with him is one small way of expressing my love. It requires humbling myself—even at the risk of getting hurt. Most often, when I engage him in this way, I’m rewarded with at least one of those tackle-hugs and a few ugga-muggas.

As I sit on the floor, eye-level with my son, I think of how God humbled himself for us. He didn’t spin the world in to motion only to leave us as orphans. He came and lived among us, dwelling among the outcasts of society—loving those the world had rejected and touching those others refused to touch. He understands our sufferings because he suffered as we do, and more—humbling himself to the point of death. And all so he could be eye-level with us…all so he could show us what true love is.

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)

Source: Eye Level

Time, Precious Time

beyond_meltingsnowIt’s easy to take things for granted—like snow in the wintertime. Out here, it’s as expected as the turning of the calendar from December to January, to February. Expected, but not guaranteed. Just like the precious time we have with our children. The more I realize how quickly the snow melts away, the more I want to treasure each moment before it, too, melts away.


Photo Credit: File:Звуки тающего снега.jpg – Wikimedia Commons