Tuesday, November 17, 2015

When you're just not sure

When the world seems to be spinning out of control and you don't know what to think, remember these simple words:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 
(Mt 22:37)

Love you neighbour as yourself.
(Mt 22:38)

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.
(Ja 4:17)

And go from there.

You are responsible for the choices you make and the actions you take. Take these verses to heart and make good decisions.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Because I want to remember the silliness, too

7:30 am

The girl: "I think it's one of those days where I just want to make a lot of noise all the time."
She's singing random syllables to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey" now.
It's going to be an interesting morning.

8:45 am

More from the girl...
She: Propaganda!
Me: Did you just say, "Propaganda!"
She: Yep!
Me: Why?
She: I don't know... It just came into my head, and I was pretty sure it was a real word, so I said it.
Now she's singing, "Wise men say only fools rush in..."

It's not even 9:00 am, people.

11:15 am

As I'm getting leftover pizza out to put in the oven...
The girl sniffs: I love today! It smells so good.

11:50 am

To herself: Thank you.
To herself: Thank you for thanking me.
To herself: Thank you for thanking me for thanking you.
To herself: Thank you for thanking me for thanking you for thanking me for thanking you for thanking me for thanking you.
To herself: Ahh, I'm so confused.


I'm sure this will be continued...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

No time

This is the most challenging idea that I've confronted myself with lately.

I've been mulling it over for a few weeks and I'm writing about it now so that I will remember it. This *new concept will likely challenge you, too.

*Okay, it's not really that new. But it's kind of rocked my world, so bear with me in my use of superlatives.

I must warn you though:
If you like telling people how busy you are and that you just can't make time to do other things, please don't read this. You can't unread this once it's read.

There's no turning back.

Okay, you asked for it.


Lately I've been telling people that the biggest lie on the internet is, "Yes; I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions..." Ever since I realized this, I make an effort to read the terms and conditions of whatever it is I'm agreeing to, or at least look to see what changes have been made from last time. My guess is that we all do it, without even realizing that we are lying.

Well, I've got another one for you. One that matters a little more.

Yesterday, another oft-told lie sneaked up and punched me in the face.

"I just don't have time..."

How many times have you uttered that phrase? Once? Once a day? Five times a day? I have caught myself saying that more than once recently, to explain why something didn't get done. And it's a LIE!

Before I explain, I think it's important to re-introduce myself to you (just in case you've forgotten):

I'm a middle-aged, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of three pre-teen/teens. My husband sacrifices his time by working a challenging, and at times stressful, job so that we can all enjoy the luxury that a stay-at-home parent affords. Therefore, I generally try to stay on top of household chores, keeping the house moderately presentable while also teaching the children and taxiing them around to different activities. I also volunteer in several capacities through church and homeschool groups. In short, I have a good excuse for saying I'm too busy to do something or to say that something didn't get done because I didn't have the time. But to say so would be a LIE.

When my husband comes home and asks if I called to schedule the oil change, I might answer, "Oh shoot, I was too busy," or "Nope; I just didn't have time today." But that's a LIE.

I have 24 hours in a day just the same as you. I can choose to spend that time eating candy or chopping veggies or reading a school book to the kids or making phone calls or lesson planning or sleeping or cleaning or playing games or raking leaves or making lists or marking tests or updating computer files... The possibilities are nearly endless. So when I say that I didn't have time, what I really mean, and what I need to start saying, is that I didn't MAKE the time.

Let me reiterate - If I don't get something done, it's not that I don't have the time to do it; it's that I didn't choose to make the time to do it. I am, in effect, saying that what I DIDN'T do wasn't as important as all the other things I did do today.

Can we agree to stare our own laziness in the face? Let's try to stop saying, "I didn't have time," and start saying, "I didn't make the time." It really is the more honest way of expressing ourselves and taking ownership of the choices that we make, whether done with full awareness or merely subconsciously.

And with that I need to log off... I still need to schedule that oil change.


P.S.  I'm adding this a few hours later to mention that saying, "No" is a very good thing sometimes. We just need to understand that when we say "No, I don't have time" "we are really saying, "No, I choose not to make time for that because I have other priorities at the moment."  Sometimes we have to choose not to make time for really good things.

Time and money are both precious commodities. Just like we can't give our money to every good cause, we also can't give our time to every good cause. We have to choose which cause is most important to us.  And just like money is used to purchase items that fuel us, our time is also spent on refueling ourselves.

Monday, September 14, 2015

On procrastinating

Mom: Have you guys studied for your tests yet?

Girl: Yes

Boy: Yes

Other Boy: *silence*

Mom to other boy: Are you procrastinating?

Other boy: I haven't yet, but I'm going to!

As the rest of us giggle: Wait, what does "procrastinate" mean?

Tomato Skills

This just happened between the 13 year old boy and 11 year old girl. Read with a faux British accent.


Do you have tomatoes skills?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how are your tomato skills?


That's impossible.

No, it's not. I have great tomato skills.

What kind of tomato skills do you have?

All of them.

Which skill are you best at?

All of them.

Do you know what tomato skills are?

Being skilled at tomatoes.

I don't think you know what tomato skills are. I'm very good at two of them.

I'm a master in three skills.  Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and yellow tomatoes.

That's not tomato skills.  That's naming tomatoes.  Well, I'm good at picking tomatoes and eating tomatoes.

I'm good at those AND at planting tomatoes, weeding tomatoes, and looking at tomatoes. I've named a tomato "Bob." Have you?


I've named a tomato "Joe." Have you?


I've named a tomato "Kevin." Have you?


I've named a tomato "Bacon." Have you?

No. But I've named a tomato "Stuart" because I'm very good at naming tomatoes. Did you know that Stuart has a magma gun?

A lava gun?

No a magma gun.

It's the same thing.

No, it's not.

No, you're wrong.

Nope, nope, nope...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Let justice roll

Image of a USA Stamp,
photo taken by Thomas E. Franklin
I have teared up twice today while telling the kids about the many people who died one day 14 years ago. It's so hard to remind children that things like this can happen. I followed it up by telling them that there is also so much good in this world, but we often don't hear about it. (Good people tend not to toot their own horns much.)

The hardest moment came minutes after the discussion was over, when my girl asked, "Wouldn't they have seen a plane near the building and been able stop it?" Like a sad movie ending, this one didn't make sense to her.

These moments make my heart hurt, but I am encouraged all the same. I will only become disheartened when we are no longer affected by such things.

One day, justice will roll.

Until then, we love as Jesus loved.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Acknowledging That ALL Lives Matter

(You may find something that you disagree with here.  If you do, it's fine to share your opinion, but please do so in a kind way that promotes conversation instead of shutting it down.)


Darren Goforth, a 47 year old man who had been a police officer for 10 years was killed this weekend. Reports say that it appears to have been an unprovoked attack, simply because Goforth was in a cop's uniform. Josh Feldman writes:

The sheriff said the attack “strikes at the heart of law enforcement” and noted the “very dangerous national rhetoric that’s out there today.” And when it gets to a point where cops are being assassinated, he said, this rhetoric is “out of control.” “We’ve heard black lives matter,” he said, “all lives matter, well, cops’ lives matter too. So why don’t we drop the qualifier and just say ‘lives matter’ and take that to the bank?”

Photo courtesy of Fox News

I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you why.

Black lives matter.
Women's lives matter.
Men's lives matter.
Cops' lives matter.
Babies' lives matter.
Indigenous people's lives matter.
All lives matter.

Saying any one of these things doesn't preclude the others; it merely speaks to a problem that the speaker sees in front of them.

Cancer is a horrible illness.
ALS is a horrible illness.
Parkinson's is a horrible illness.
MS is a horrible illness.
All illnesses are horrible illnesses.

Saying any one of these things doesn't preclude the others, it merely speaks to a problem the speaker sees in front of them.

If someone says to you, "Black lives matter," don't respond with "All lives matter." You wouldn't react that way to a cancer patient.  Imagine that conversation...


"Cancer is a horrible illness."

"Stop saying that! All illnesses are horrible. Can't we accept that ALS and MS are bad too? My Grandma has Parkinson's and Lewy Body Disease. Why are you going on and on about your cancer all the time? Can't you acknowledge my Grandma?"


No one says that. That would be incredible hurtful to the person walking through everything involved in dealing with cancer.

Cancer is horrible.
Dementia is horrible.
MS is horrible.
All illness is horrible

Black lives matter.
Cops' lives matter.
Babies' lives matter.
All lives matter.

When someone kills a police officer because of the "Black Lives Matter" campaign/rhetoric, that person clearly does not understand that ALL lives matter. It is good and important to remind the world that ALL lives matter. It is also good to tell our stories about why individual groups of people's lives matter. That's how we are able to understand the world around us. Asking us to remove the qualifier negates many conversations that could be had, conversations that would allow us to understand each other better.

So, yes, "Lives Matter." ALL lives matter.

There will always be evil around us. The way we discuss life, with its good and bad, forms the framework for how we act and react. The man who killed the police officer clearly did not understand that all lives matter.  Have that conversation with people if you haven't.  It's a good and important comversation to have.

And when someone tells you that a specific life matters, please listen. There just might be a reason they're feeling that way.

(Inspired by a June 20, 2015 Facebook post by Jamie-Grace Harper. Spurred on by a quotation from Sheriff Ron Hickman.)