To my son on your last night at home….

Clayton and MomTomorrow you will be leaving my nest forever. We’ve had a trial run. You came back. But this time is for good. You are building your own nest for you and your bride. In twenty-four days, you will pledge your life and love to Anna forever, and a new family legacy will begin.

We told you tonight, in the middle of another one of our long talks, that it is hard to send you off with so little. We wish that we could bless you monetarily in ways that we cannot.  But as we send you off with the stockpile of hand-me-down furniture and dishes we’ve been saving for you, there are several things on my mind.

It is true that you were our guinea pig. You have the privilege of being our first born. We have tested all of our parenting practices on you. Sometimes we failed. You will leave here not knowing everything you need to know. We know that there are so many things that we probably haven’t taught you. Some things we just haven’t thought about teaching. Some we didn’t know how. Some things you weren’t interested in learning, and we didn’t force it.

But there are a few things we hope you leave home having unshakeable confidence in: 

What You Should Know About Pokemon Go

pokemon goPre-teen years are hard. Brains are re-wiring. The appeal of toys is going away, but the ability to go wherever and do whatever has not yet arrived. Every year, as we enter summer, we do a massive room cleaning with the boys. This year, our twelve year old decided he was ready to sell all the Nerf guns. Sigh. I’ve watched his hobbies become increasingly more screen dependent, so I began to encourage finding a hobby.

What about fishing?

Fishing’s lame.

What about building stuff with wood?

That’s dumb.

You could read more!

I hate to read.

Christmas Aftermath

Christmas aftermathLike most of you, I’ve spent most of this week cleaning up after Christmas! It’s like a puzzle. Cleaning out old things, finding places to put the new, rearranging furniture, washing countless piles of bedding and towels, taking down the tree… You get the picture.

It got me to thinking. When you read the Christmas story, it ends with Mary and Joseph moving back to Nazareth with little Jesus, after they had fled to Egypt. Next verse: “…when He was twelve years old…”

The Mom Cave

I’ve heard that some homes have a “man cave.”…you know that place where the man can go to escape  with his remote, his recliner, and whatever else he thinks he needs.

Well, at my house, we don’t need a man cave. The whole house is a man cave. For goodness sake, even our dog and our lizard are boys.

Who Do Your Kids Belong To?

We’ve had a bit of a reality check around here the last few days.

On Friday, a stranger tried to pick up one of my children from the elementary school.

Yesterday, there was a bomb threat and evacuation at my son’s high school.

Some would say, “That’s why we home school.”

But God hasn’t told me to home school. In fact, He’s told me NOT to home school. I know it surprises some that you can have your kids exactly where He wants them and scary things can still happen. But this is the real world…..where scary things happen even when you are right where you belong.

In the end, my sons were both safe. The schools were caring and followed protocol.

It was still about more emotion than one mama bear can handle in a week, though.

That is where the reality check came in.

Who do my kids belong to?

Do I really believe He’s big enough to care for them?

Do I really believe He’s got them covered?

Do I really believe that God has a plan for their life, and I can trust Him with it?

Easier said than done sometimes. I’m sure the mama in Yakima whose eleven year old boy was hit and killed on the same day my eleven year old boy escaped kidnapping, is asking herself lots of hard questions that I can’t answer. I’m sure the mama of the young man in our church who was killed on a motorcycle this weekend is asking God lots of hard questions that I can’t answer.

Our power only goes so far.

I could call the news station and tell them something was happening, but I couldn’t force them to produce news.

I could stand outside the fence at school and stare at my son, but I couldn’t remove him from lock-down.

I could file a police report regarding the mysterious driver, but I couldn’t capture him.

Mamas have to ask themselves hard questions sometimes.

What does it really mean to release your children to the Lord? What does it mean to trust Him?

….and then when you think you truly have it down – there’s a pop quiz!

Chosen Families

I have been so blessed by a new website that was referred to me by Beth Moore’s (Living Proof) blog. It is called Chosen Families and is designed to support, minister to, and provide resources for families with “hidden disabilities”….you know those disabilities that simply make your family look like one big discipline issue?  – like ADHD, Autism, Tourette’s, etc., etc., etc.

Let me just tell you right now, the Giffords are just one big regular funny farm around here – if there is such thing as a regular funny farm. I want to be more open about real issues, but my family members each have a reputation and care about what is said about them in permanent web history. So I often find it difficult to be too specific. What about you?

Anyway, I’ve cried and cried reading the pages of Chosen Families; and if you share some of our hidden disabilities, I’m pretty sure you’ll be blessed too!