Category Archives: Parenting

Parenting the bigs

I was listening to one of my podcasts**  on my way to work, Girlfriends by Danielle Bean and one of the feedback messages she had was on the limited amount of blogs for the parents of the bigs…..teens and young adults and it got me to thinking.  So much thinking.  I don’t even think I can fit it ALL in on one post, because my head just doesn’t release my thoughts sometimes….but I’ll give it a try.

Here is where I date myself and on the same hand don’t even care.  (The blessings of the backside of 40, ladies….it is a gift!!)  The advent of technology has me absolutely feeling like an old lady though.  For example,   “back in my day we made friends at the park and playgroups, cell phones were a luxury and if you were dealing with parenting issues you reached out to your group of real life friends.”  You see, internet was sparse back in the old days.  Dial up.  Sloooooooow.  And it was so new that it was just weird–because it was different.  The thought that you could make a community of friends on the internet was just well….a thought best kept to yourself.

Fast forward 15 years and my GOODNESS how times have changed!!

There are amazing communities of faith filled women, Mamas who have been there and done that for advice and Mamas who are trudging through it in solidarity.  We have the double edged sword of social media with all it’s pretty pictures, real life messes, fun videos and videos of what’s really going down in the kitchen at the arsenic hour.  What an amazing and challenging time to be a parent, especially of littles.  The world of evangelization just leveled up, BIG TIME!  And it is a club that I’m not sure if I will ever feel feel comfortable in..trul:   I only snapchat my real life friends, barely instastory and keep my grams pretty tame…facebook, you are mostly dead to me.  True story.

And then you get into the season of the bigs.  At first, I thought that perhaps just not “coming of age” with the combination of internets and parenting makes me a little leary of all things world wide–the discomfort and unfamiliarity of it all.  However, I also found upon further reflection that these babies are now growing into young adults who want the internet on THEIR terms and not of their blogging mother.  And so I resist.  And then, I hear the feedback that reminded me there are so many ways to bless others with this technology and we can all use this to encourage and build up (even though we often see it turn on honesty and genuineness).  So, it’s a balance of protecting the privacy of your growing people and sharing in the gift and challenge of parenting—what works for others, tips and life hacks to grow in faith and realize that we AREN’T THE ONLY ONES dealing with x,  y, and z.

In the past, I have shared some of our trials in this season and have even written on the very painful time of our  son’s episodic struggle with anorexia-type issues and likely I will very soon write about our daughter’s recent depression recurrence.  The fear of being so transparent in a world wide arena holds me back though.  This past week, however, reminded me that we are NOT alone and if blogging helps me process and encourages someone else in the same battle then I will do it.  But first…..Imma gonna pray on the next post.

In the meantime, if you have a second, minute, hour, pray for Leticia Adams  and family whose son ended his battle with depression this week.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

**Adventures in imperfect living by Greg and Jennifer Willets

Among Women by Pat Gohn

Ask, seek, knock

With growing kids, I truly want with every fiber of my being to wrap them in bubble wrap and orchestrate their every move, always keeping them close to Jesus and to mama.  However, although I want to do EVERYTHING for them, I know that in doing EVERYTHING for them, I do them an enormous disservice, and so frequently, we step back.  Way back.  Let them go and watch them fail.  Watch them struggle.  It is a painful process to watch sometimes and an internal struggle for the Hubby and I on WHEN to step in.

It is so hard to watch your kids grow through the tough stuff. Sometimes repeatedly.  They do grow though.  So do we.

When they DO succeed, it is with immense joy and celebration and sometimes even awe that we can rejoice with them as they taste the fruits of their labor and perseverance.

I imagine that is how God views us; He lets us go and do our thing, hanging back in case we need Him.  He encourages us through our struggles and cheers our victories.

Yet, He wants us to come to Him in our struggles, to seek His guidance and wisdom to receive His strength to power us through those times of trial.  The times we seek Him out, our struggles seem less lengthy, more manageable; when we try and and tough it out and “do it ourselves”, we often have a long and weary road and our troubles persist long beyond their term.

Let us remember, Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.

Practical application:  19 yo loses his truck key and reaches out to the parental units for assistance, from a random neighbor of a friend because his phone is dead.  Dad brings him his spare key.  An hour away.  On a Sunday night.  No hesitation.  No grumbling.  No guilt trip.  Because he asked.

Practical application:

  • any time
  • any where
  • any thing

One day, maybe I’ll grow up to be as patient as my Hubby.  Until then, I’ll just keep asking.



What is “busy”?

I find myself muttering frequently, “why are we all so effing BUSY?”  It’s ridiculous.  It takes 2 hours and 25 texts for 4 women to decide on a mutual night to celebrate a 50th birthday.  FOR.  THE.  LOVE.

I’ve been mulling it over lately and I realized that actually WE are not really busier, but our children are getting older.  All this “new” independence and ages and stages of childhood to adulthood brings entirely new agendas for each kiddo.  Truly it is more a matter of keeping up with all the different lives going on and slowly stepping back and letting them manage their own business.  Gone are the days of laying out clothes or choosing the blind eye to the ensemble hand-picked by independent young’uns and then off to whatever Mama and Papa had planned.  Period end.

Fast forward 18 years, now it is Mama and Papa with their activities and then each kiddo with their own activities.  Add it up and that’s a whole lotta colors on the calendar.  For us, at this point, some of those colors aren’t really our worry.  Some of the colors just involve a little bit of coordination and conversation but not true involvement on the parental unit’s behalf.  It is a strange new world.  One where I have finally decided that I will forego Open House because I have already been to High School, enjoyed it immensely and have ZERO desire to go back.  I do not want to re-live high school through my children’s activities.  This is where they begin to spread their own independent wings and start taking ownership of their business.  They dang sure don’t need me up in their grill stirring the pot of high school drama.  Sometimes that means they screw it up.  Sometimes we have to step back in and re-evaluate the way things are taking place and prioritize and time manage.  A few steps forward and a bunch more backward.  That’s how the baby bird learns to fly, right?  That’s also how we un-busy ourselves a little bit more.

And suddenly WE aren’t as busy, but our kids are starting to lead their own lives and it’s a little scary, a lot new and a whole bunch good.  I just need to keep repeating that to myself.

Big picture

I’m truly over hearing about Brock and his foolish speaking father.  I’m probably about to do an unpopular post here, but first do not misunderstand me:  that kid was wrong.  that dad was wrong.  that judge was wrong.  this entire thing is so.   so.   so.  wrong.  The only thing that is good is the two young men who intervened.

There are so many layers of wrong in this entire scenario we could dissect it for days.  Which has been done.  Over and over again.  I’ve stopped reading.  Maybe you have, too.   You might not even read this, and that’s ok.  I’m not reading anymore.  Here’s just some of my observations:

Here’s what I haven’t seen:

  • Accountability.  so much excuse-making in the Brock camp:  let’s just call a spade a spade, he did wrong.  period.  end.  Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility.
  • Remorse.  So much blah, blah, blah about alcohol, privilege and talent.  While I’m quite sure he is sorry now for what he did……it also seems certain that he’s likely not sorry for the right reasons.  I can’t help but wonder if this kid was truly, honestly, genuinely remorseful from the very beginning (without his paternal mouthpiece) would we have even seen this story?
  • Cause.  We live in a society that makes big money on exploiting women.  Human trafficking is so disgustingly large that we somehow can’t even get a small grip on it.  The seed of women-as-objects is so deeply planted in the minds of our boys (and girls) that while eyebrows are raised when a 14 year old wears a skin tight dress to 8th grade graduation, the parents won’t even see what’s wrong with that.  I bet they dang sure give the side-eye to any male who takes notice though.  Because modesty=prude.  This is apparently anytime I take my 5’9″ daughter dress shopping and it takes an act of congress to get a cute dress that actually covers her ass.

Here’s what I have seen:

  • USA swimming taking the stance that the Judicial system should have taken.  BRAVO.  BRAV.  O.
  • Privilege and letters of recommendation apparently serve more of a purpose than job applications, or college apps.  It truly IS all about who you know.  Myth:  proven.
  • Alcohol.  Once again a factor. And when it is you can’t count on staying in control or your friends watching your back.  It’s a long history through the decades of impaired decisions on both sides and tragedy following.  And a whole lot of regret. And shame.
  • Great posts on the reminder of an ongoing teaching of our boys, girls, young men and young women on the importance of respecting others and standing up for what is right, in spite of what big advertising and society shove down our throats.  This conversation should NEVER end.  Despite the uncomfortable nature  of the topic.
  • Inconsistency in how a crime is treated.  Race.  Privilege.  Good, Lord.  Is it any wonder what a mess our country is in?  And with the two top running “candidates” for president, I don’t see any improvement any time soon.  Jesus, please come soon!
  • Mob mentality.

There’s my vent.

Beauty and the judge

At a football game for my daughter’s cheer squad I saw a young girl (maybe a mom, not sure) with the tiniest of tank tops (barely covering the important parts) and the shortest of shorts in white.  She sat with the football players.  I sat with my jaw to the ground.

At the produce store, a young girl in a barely there t-shirt and bikini bottoms prancing around.

At an interview and struggling to maintain eye contact as cleavage joins in the interview process. 

I have a confession to make.   I am incredibly judgemental.  I try not to be, but truth be told; I judge.  Hard.  It’s a struggle.  Sometimes, it’s because I care enough to point out the obvious, i.e. shorts too short/tight/ripped, etc.  Sometimes it’s within the limits of my own children and setting boundaries and sometimes I turn the ugly, judgemental eye….think along the lines of “What not to wear”.  The irony of it all, is I am no fashion maven and have had enough “what not to wear” moments that Stacey and Clinton should be here yesterday with their $5000 and help a sister out. But.  It’s not the fashion mishaps that concern me (mostly, I find THOSE highly entertaining and educational) it’s the blatant sexism in fashion and the lowering of the moral bar in what should be deemed acceptable. Starting in the toddler section and it doesn’t stop there.

Our girls have been blessed some truly awesome hand-me-downs in the past, however, a large portion of those clothes just kept on going out the door to the thrift store due to inappropriateness.  I mean, do we REALLY need to see ass-crease with every pair of shorts???  We’ve had several talks.  Together. One on one.  At the table.  In the car.  In the stores.  They know exactly where Dad and I stand in what’s allowable (basically school dress code=family dress codes for most things…but not flip-flops, I mean, c’mon…we live in Florida!).  For the most part, they abide by the rules.  In truth, they do each own a pair or two of hootchie shorts, however, they are mainly for the house or sleeping in.  Sometimes, they make it out though.  The point is, we and they are trying and trying hard.

Most importantly, I think they are receiving the message of modesty and the importance of what you wear and the message it sends.  Incredibly difficult is short shopping, dress shopping and back to school shopping (which sadly is upon us).  Challenging also in peer circles and learning to stand your ground and making your parent’s message yours.

Such a tough battle and a constant fight in staying modest.  We can’t advertise sex 24/7 from age toddler up and expect no problems.  Yes, I know that what you wear should be what you want to, but this is life and life isn’t fair.

So I judge.  And I use those judgements as teachable moments.  Mostly.  For the other times, well…..I’m working on that and I have this handy-dandy Matthew to keep me company.

Matthew 7: 1-3  (NASB)

7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and [a]by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-5 (The Message)

1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

**Bible verses from the Bible Gateway

And then…this video making ALL the noise.  And it really fits in.  With the immodest dressing.  Overmakeup.  Trying too hard.  I shared it with my girls and I want to work harder by leading by example, otherwise it’s just words, right?  So, thank you, Colbie!!