God's Faithfulness, Parenting

New Information, Please

You never know the kernels of wisdom you will learn when you attend a Bible study, I don’t remember the official topic, but I do remember the parenting advice I wish I had received years earlier.

Only bring new information in your pleas. Don’t tell me the same old stuff.

Children want parental decisions reversed, and wearing down the court is a familiar tactic. Karen gave the child a chance—with parameters for the battle. The child could only come back if he had information Karen didn’t know when she made her decision.

Even better, Karen made a spiritual application. “Doesn’t God think the same. Don’t keep confessing the same old sins. He has dealt with them. Bring him new information about your sins.”

God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, “No fishing.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Thank you, Karen.

Book Recommendations, Books

Better than A Valentine

With regard to February 14th celebrations, I choose Read to Your Child Day over Valentine’s Day.

But what if you don’t have a child?

In college, a friend read me her favorite lines from Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt. We were taking a Children’s Literature class. Last year, my friend Katie and I read The Lighthouse Family books aloud to each other. Love of family, friendship, and adventure ooze through the picture books by Cynthia Rylant.

Although my sons are in their thirties, I still search for the best children’s stories—and buy them. My time in bookstores and libraries is spent browsing the children’s section. Most books stacked by my reading chair weren’t written for adults.

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

C.S. Lewis

I love the permission I feel from Lewis’s quote. I remember when I didn’t admit I read children’s books. Now I belong to a book club where adults openly share the pleasure.

Do you have someone to read to?


Money is Just a Tool

Mom, money is just a tool in my toolbox.

Aging gives you adult children who teach you a new perspective. One night, a son told me about a costly repair. I don’t remember the details, but I remember his words. “Mom, money is just a tool in my toolbox. I take it out when I need to.”

That perspective may sound simplistic or naive or spoken like someone with plenty of money. I found it freeing.

I don’t resent opening my husband’s toolbox or our shed or my sewing basket when I need a tool. Considering my money a tool and my bank account a toolbox made withdrawals easier.

The money tool can be costly but so was our neighbor’s riding mower. Obviously, a used money tool is not put back in the shed, which means I must plan for restocking.

As I age and my physical limitations increase, I am learning to use more of the tools in my bank accounts.

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

jim Rohn

Choices Or Sacrifices?

We make choices. I hate to say sacrifices. If we truly love this sport and we have these goals and dreams in the sport, the classroom, or in life, they’re not sacrifices. They’re choices that we make to fulfill these goals and dreams.

Deena Kastor Bronze Medalist 2004 Olympics

Years before I heard Kastor speak, I was struck by a comment made by another Olympian. His perspective agreed with Kastor. He believed that athletes made choices, not sacrifices. However, he didn’t discount sacrifices; they were made by his family and friends rather than him.

Along the way, I learned that few—including myself—recognize the sacrifices imposed when dreams are followed. Or when day-to-day choices are made. I am learning to discern whether the decisions that I and others make are sacrifices or choices.

Choosing or sacrificing?

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

Stories I Share: My Neighbor

With each move, my husband and I pray specifically about many aspects. Not only have our prayers been answered, but we have also received more than we asked.

Thirty-two years ago this week, my husband and I signed the contract for our current house. While it was being built, one night I prayed, “If someone is supposed to be my neighbor and is about to buy another house, please stop them.” I don’t know why that came to mind.

Our next-door neighbors moved in seven weeks after we did. Weeks later, Terri asked if I would run a mile with her in the evenings. She was preparing for her Marine physical fitness test. I agreed. It gave us both exercise and good conversations.

During one run, we discussed choosing our neighborhood. She said, “We were ready to sign a contract on a house in another subdivision. We decided to sign it at home and told the builder we would be back. On the way home, we saw this new development. After we stopped and toured the model houses, we tore up the first contract.”

Thrilled, I told her she was the answer to my prayer.