Tag Archives: Family

Backing Up

I’ve received a great honor recently – most favored auntie status by my 2 year old niece. I’m not sure what I did, but Kayleigh has selected me to be her cuddling aunt. She told her mother she wanted to sit in my lap for family time. I was surprised, but nonetheless delighted as all of my children are past this stage.

The entire family, all 15 of us gathered for the holidays, have managed to carve out time each day for family worship. Kayleigh selects me to sit with during this special time. Again, I am delighted.

Then there was the day she gave the universal sign. She had her precious blankie in front of her and slowly backed up closer and closer to me. I knew what this meant, I was supposed to pick her up and set her on my lap for cuddle time, which I did. It reminded me of the times my own children had a special book, toy or blanket, held closely in front of them before they began backing up to be picked up and set on the lap.

All kids seem to be born with this skill. It is truly a phenomenon of the development of children that they universally use this little tactic – for very special time. You can read to kids. Then there is the time they back up into your lap with their favorite book. That is special time.

I think this is something I would like to put on my “when I get to heaven” list. I will pick a favorite thing, back up toward my Father and let Him set me on His lap for very special time.

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Same

Today I am counting my blessings.

Three children, all from the same father.

A son who turned 17 and has always known a two parent family and will take this with him into his future.

An opportunity to share with others that an incredible marriage is possible and it is fun!

I am truly blessed. Thanks, many thanks, God.

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Filed under Family, Marriage

Unashamed

I’ve been accused of many things in my life, but I must admit, one of my favorites is being called a newlywed – after being married for 16 years! Karl and I don’t have all the answers, not by any means, but we’ve been greatly blessed and we are so thankful! But it wasn’t always easy and sometimes there was a lot of tears and misunderstandings along the way.

By the time we reached our 16th anniversary, we truly felt like newlyweds again, because of some amazing changes in our relationship. Those changes had to do with the various connections in our lives. We are a lot more related to the things around us than we like to admit. We had a few things that we considered to be non-negotiable. One of those was attending church together as a family. My husband wasn’t pastoring at the time, and the church we had as our home base was sucking the life out of me. The people weren’t bad. The people weren’t mean, but it wasn’t a good fit for me and my needs (and our family’s as well). I had to take a stand. I felt my salvation was at stake.

It was a difficult step, to tell my husband that the kids and I would visit another church and he could get a ride to go to the same one we’d attended for years (we only had one car), since it was the closest one. That was his wake up call. The family needed to stay together. Once this change was made, amazing things began to happen. I came alive. In so many areas in my life, I came alive. I started writing again, something I had always loved to do. Karl could see a difference in how I interacted with him and the children. His favorite benefit, however, was the fact that I was also coming alive in our marriage.

As the family soaked up the love, healing and nurturing that our new church family freely gave (it was a good fit for us and them), we in turn were more than willing to do our part and help in whatever way we could. The entire family came alive and my husband was finally able to reach a place where he could take that terrifying step of saying yes. You see, God had been after him to be a pastor for years, but it wasn’t until the entire family came alive that he was in a position to surrender to that task.

So many things changed for our family, when we committed to making one change that was desperately needed. With that one change, I began writing again. I interacted with my children in a much healthier way. I became a better lover to my husband. Karl was able to see that taking the time to help his wife who had been with three children all day long and desperately needed some adult conversation, had amazing results. Agreeing to God’s plan for his life is a step that might not have happened were it not for this one change.

So when friends accused us of being newlyweds, I smiled. When coworkers complimented me on the way I treated my husband respectfully instead of picking him apart like many of the girls at work did; I was grateful they could see the blessings of a thriving and happy marriage. It led Karl and I to joining the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage team and also helped us to launch a facebook page together – Unashamed Marriage.

You have many connections in your life. Take the time to make sure they are healthy ones. You have great potential – live up to it!

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Filed under Family, Marriage, Spirituality

She’s Having Fun!

Watching the Olympics and seeing the athletes struggle and fight for the victory after years of training is not unlike parenting. For years my husband and I have struggled with, trained and even argued with our boys about understanding their little sister’s personality. She is who she is. She happens to register off the charts from “Fun Country.” Her main motivations in life are to be enjoying it with wild abandon and making sure that everyone else is also having fun, because who wants to have fun alone? We are grateful for the Kids’ Flag Page system for giving us a clearer picture of our daughter’s personality contrasted with her brothers’ more methodical and logical personalities. Last night, we won the gold medal!

The problem with people from fun country is they can leave a mess. Of course you have to get messy if you are really and truly having fun, right? Of course Greta never sees the messes she leaves behind. Anything left is nothing more than the evidence of great amounts of fun. The boys, however, love being her judges. “Quick! Look! Greta is about to make a mess. She should be disqualified from this heat because she left toys in the living room (we are still working on that with Greta). But last night, something amazing happened. Greta requested cups to do some color experiments with. Yes, all the red flags stood up and did the stadium wave to get my attention, but the former home schooling mom in me wanted to encourage her own style of learning. Matthew, only a year older but obviously so much wiser, was quick to grab the bottles of food coloring away from her and scream out a last desperate warning to his parents in the other room. “Greta is going to make a mess!”

“She’s having fun!” My husband and I couldn’t speak. We just stared at each other, wondering who could pick up their jaw and regain their composure first. Had Michael, our oldest, really said that? Was all this trying to help Greta understand her brothers and the boys to understand their sister finally getting through? Had all of those discussions about The Flag Page finally paid off?  No podiums to stand on or flags coming down with music playing as we received medals and honors, but we knew in our hearts we had won! Perhaps there is hope that these three will someday be friends when they are adults.

I wonder what would happen if we all tried to understand each others’ personalities? Even if Peace Country seems to never be in the limelight, where would we be without their faithful and steady contributions? If Perfect Country never got involved, we would never get it right. We would get absolutely nowhere if it weren’t for Control Country keeping the pace and urging us on. And Fun Country? It would all be work and meaningless without this special group of people that remind us to have fun and make sure everyone gets involved, no one left out. Who knows? Maybe when you try to be a little more understanding of your boss and coworkers, you’ll also win the gold medal!

 

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Filed under Community, Family, Parenting