Category Archives: May 2017

Sad heart

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So, I’ve posted before on the mixed feelings I have about facebook. Suffice it to say we have a love/hate relationship. While I enjoy and appreciate perusing through pictures of friends of mine with their families, celebrations such as graduation, weddings, birthdays and the like, I do not enjoy all the bragocious, mean-spirited, derogatory postings. Long before internet was around, I vividly remember a conversation between my Mom and me in our kitchen. This was back in the days of hand-written communication. My Mom was cautioning me about being careful what I put in writing because once it’s out there, it’s there forever. I was a big letter writer and while I cannot recall the issue for the conversation, her point was well taken. All the more her wisdom is applicable in the age of email, facebook, and all the rest.

Imagine my angst this morning as I’m quickly scrolling through the posts on our town’s facebook page when I came across someone claiming to be agnostic. His post was asking if there were any others like him in our town. Upon reading the initial post, my heart was sad for someone who seemingly is lost and doesn’t know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I don’t know the gentleman who stated his claim, but my heart was heavy nonetheless. What really stirred me up were the comments made in reply to his post. So many rude, ugly opinions mocking the Lord. I had a knee-jerk reaction to post my thoughts and why I am a believer in Jesus Christ, but thought better of it. While I want to defend my beliefs, I am reminded that the majority of the naysayers are non-believers, acting out of their disbelief. Whatever I may say in defense of my faith isn’t going to convert them, at least not in that (facebook) setting. In fact, any comment I make will most likely only turn them off even more. I concluded that I will list their names and add them to my prayer list asking God to open their eyes to His truth, no longer blinded by disbelief. He may choose to use me in some way at some point in these folks’ lives, or not.

It was then that I was reminded of my kitchen conversation with my Mom all those years ago, cautioning me to be mindful of what I write, say, and how I respond. In whatever form it is communicated, it is out there forever. God’s Word teaches that we should guard our tongues, measure our words, and be aware of the condition of our heart. There is life and death in our words therefore, we should be take seriously what comes out of our mouths.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.(Proverbs 18:21, HCSB)

A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. (Luke 6:45, HCSB)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, HSCB)

Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.    (Proverbs 16:24, HCSB)

The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27, HCSB)

Obviously, watching what we say (write, text, post), can be a teachable moment with our children. I’m astounded when I see posts, even pictures, that people make (children, young people, and adults too!) which will stay around forever. I often think how mortified I’d be if I saw my mother wear, speak, post, even blog such things; some details are meant to remain private. It is as if these folks are oblivious to the repercussions these postings will have on them, not to mention their own children one day. Our modern day social media doesn’t allow for enough editing, in my opinion. We tend to press “post” before we really realize what we’ve done. With children, even young people, they lack discernment.  Utilize opportunities to teach younger folks how careful we must be to prevent compromising character, even making regrettable mistakes that could very possibly haunt them forever. Philippians 4:8 is an excellent reminder of how to handle ourselves and possibly protect our reputation:

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

Oh, what a night!

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We were looking forward to a fun date night together, my son and me. His Daddy had plans with the guys, so me and my sidekick had big plans! Not so much for me, but for him. He loves McDonald’s Playland and he needed some new kicks, so out we went on this beautiful May evening.

We headed out to “Wally World,” as I call it for his shoes. You know, get the big thing outta the way. Before heading into the store, I pulled my son to me and told him how it was going to be: “you’ll be riding in a cart,” I said, “so that we can more easily try on your shoes”. The main reason for the cart: to keep him WITH me. I always try to break down the rules for him so he knows what to expect so we don’t have an emotional breakdown once I find a cart to put him in. Once explained, he didn’t like the “rules” but agreed to the plan. I was happy he obliged. Off we headed to the shoe department….

We had just arrived to said aisle when I was quickly trying to locate his size. The boy’s foot grows so quickly that I’m constantly trying to keep him properly fit. That, and the fact that he scuffs the toe. Boys! Out of the blue, he proclaims he has to go potty. I didn’t believe him (we’ve talked consistently about “the boy who cried wolf”) because he’d already gone potty 3 times before we left for the store. He persisted, so I screeched to a hault my shoe size hunt and we made a bee-line to the bathrooms in the back of the store. As soon as I park the cart and explain to him “the rules” before we head in, he jumps out of the cart and makes his fore-planned getaway!

Needless to say, this Momma wasn’t laughing. Once again, my Houdini disappeared. My panic always sets in rather quickly because I never know where he’ll go. Once when he was on a child harness, I was quickly trying on a shoe while standing up (always ready to sprint) he wriggled himself free and as soon as I could get my shoe on, I took off after him. I searched high and low to no avail. No, he wasn’t hiding amidst the clothes on the rack, in the bathroom, or in the toys…much to my horror, he ran out into the parking lot! I was mortified! This was at the height of his “if you come after me, I’m running further in the opposite direction” days. From then on, I knew he had to be in tight reign and threatened within an inch of his life!

No, he didn’t need to go potty, just as I’d thought. Tricked again. I hate to mess with the potty thing though in case it’s the one time he fills his britches right there in the middle of the store. I digress. Off I run heading up and down the store’s aisles calling his name. I make my first stop to the toy department and there he is, riding a tricycle like a madman up one of the aisles outside of the toy area! I promptly scolded him, instructed him to return the trike and come with me to the shoe area which is why we came to Wally World in the first place. I don’t have to tell you that by this time, it had already been a lonnnnnnggggggg day with the boy. Momma was t.i.r.e.d! I waited and waited and waited on him until I finally shouted, “I’m headed back to the shoe department, son, c’mon!” I suppose that’s when what happened next transpired. Houdini struck again! Yeah, he bolted to who knows all where. I looked, searched up and down, all around for this child when all at once I hear on the store’s intercom: “Will _____  ______ come to the fitting room, please?” Now here’s the funny part. My son gave the clerk my first name and his first name; put together, it becomes the name of a rather famous local singer. I’m sure when I showed up to collect my son, the onlookers waiting on a fitting room were disappointed to find that I was not who they expected. I can laugh about it now.

I collected my child who was red-faced, sobbing, and anxiously awaiting my appearance. My heart melted as he ran to me, calling “Mommy!” I immediately grabbed him into my arms, picked him up, held him, kissed him, assuring him that I would never, ever leave him. It took awhile to console him; he was so worked up. Once we found his shoes, purchased them and headed out to the car, he asked to go to the Playland to which I quickly replied “no”. He sobbed some more and it was then that I explained to him that I cannot reward him with a treat when he was being naughty by not listening to me and running away.

It seems more and more, I’m finding teachable moments to help him understand why his behavior is not acceptable. Ugh, parenting is definitely trying at times. I’m not gonna lie, once we returned home, this Momma was done for the day. I love and cherish the good times of laughing, playing, acting silly, and snuggle times. I find myself praying extra hard for endurance and wisdom to muscle up for the trying times. As hard as some days might be, I’m reminded that in comparison, at his young age, I’m still in control as his parent. I can still mold, shape, and guide his way. As he grows older, into his teens and beyond, I can only hope and pray that he’ll maintain respect for his parents and seek to please and honor us, but more than that, Jesus.

 

 

 

Conflicted

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From time to time, I ponder whether or not to remain on facebook. I feel like some of you will get me, while others may shut me down. That’s why I’m in a real quandary.

There are so many things I love about connecting with people I’ve not seen or heard from in a zillion years! When I happen upon a newsworthy post, it is a good thing making me happy for my connection. However, if you’re like me, you are growing rather tired of only seeing the ‘highlight reel’ of everyone’s lives. This is where I struggle. I think it causes others to feel discontent with where they are in life, what they have, who they have, where they’re not traveling to. Y’know? This then leads to the almighty comparison trap. What really gets me in a jerk though is when people are hurt because of being left out of an event they weren’t included in. It’s like those who have excluded others tend to forget that for a moment and go all out posting pictures of all the fun they experienced while those left out are seeing it blasted all over social media. This especially sticks in my craw when it involves my child. Never mind that he’s “just four” and that he doesn’t have his own social media accounts to see for himself. What matters is that I, as his Momma see it. I get it that we have limits to how many can be invited to a party…makes total sense. But don’t go and blast it all over facebook with pictures galore of the fun that my child is not included in. It hurts my heart.

If you’re close to tuning me out because you’re thinking, “she just needs to get over it!” then hold the phone a minute. Why is it that so many adult women are feeling left out and alone from social events? Honestly, it almost feels like high school sometimes with the invention of facebook, only the cliques are broadcast all over your broadband. If social media was designed to bring us all together, then why is it making people feel so alone? Why are there more marriages coming to an end? Why is there cyber bullying? Why are more and more people feeling less and less content?

I truly want to believe that so-called “posters” on social media don’t mean any harm. They just want to share their pics with all their zillions of “friends”. Or, the wife who always receives the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers “just because”. Or, the proud Mommas and Daddies who post pics of their darling who made it on the cheerleading squad; received a ginormous full-ride scholarship to their dream school; had the dreamiest prom; made the best grades; went on the most awesome senior trip…..and on and on it goes. I haven’t even gone into the lavish vacation pictures we all see plastered everywhere, never mind this may just be “so and so’s” second trip to Disney and third cruise within six months. Seriously? What about those who can barely make ends meet? What about those who are lonely singles or struggling to hold their marriage together?

Lest you think I’ve not participated in any facebook faux pas, I have. Sure, I’ve posted pictures of a trip to the beach or my child’s birthday party, even flowers my husband brought me “just because”. I, too, am guilty as charged. Does that make this any less of a problem though? I don’t think so.

Whether I decide to remain on social media or not is still unknown. My husband reminds me that it all depends on what you do with facebook. I don’t mean to pick on facebook per se; it’s really all social media. I have learned many important events such as weddings, engagements, illnesses, deaths, new jobs, baby announcements, and connected with many long lost friends through social media. I’ve been encouraged by its posts, convicted by its posts, felt left out by its posts, envious by its posts and all the rest. I have a girlfriend who is not on facebook for all these reasons and more, challenge me to give it up for a week. a month. two months, and on and on, as a test to see if I really need it in my life.  Something to ponder for sure.

I’m really curious what you, my followers, think of the glorious invention of social media. Sure, there are pros and cons. However, do the cons outweigh the pros? Do we really need to be connected in every way imaginable to know what’s going on, or can we survive going back to being in real fellowship with our friends… in person….. catching up on all the news? Is it possible we might even be more productive if we we weren’t linked to the social feeds? Something to ponder for sure, which is why I battle with to leave or to stay. Let me hear from you!

Breathe

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Breathe

We’ve all heard and scene this word used in a myriad of ways. For now, I’d like to focus on just one.

breathe: to pause and rest before continuing

I rather like this definition of the word. Simple, yet packs a punch. How many times do we burst forth in our day without breathing? In fact, I’d like to suggest that oftentimes we believe the age-old saying “the early bird gets the worm” so much so, that it’s almost as if we’re shot out of a cannon from the moment we awake to the moment we close our eyes at the end of the day. We pump ourselves full of caffeine just to propel us through the day. It’s not that I’m against accomplishing  tasks, I just think it’s beneficial to take a deep breath before jumping into them. Focus is often the missing ingredient, which is where breathing comes in to play.

Stopping to breathe is beneficial to the mind as it helps us to focus on what’s really important, sometimes even re-grouping or changing plans. For me, it’s important to seek God and His wisdom before jumping into anything. An over-zealous task master may skip right on over this crucial part, in an effort to make the most of every last second. Sometimes, there are divine appointments, even divine interruptions to the day. If we are too focused on the ever-growing “to do list,” we may very possibly miss out on what just may be the most important event of the day!

What do you have to lose? Try it! See if you don’t have a better, clearer, more effective picture of your day after stopping to breathe.