Basics, Friendship

Transparency Makes a Difference

Transparency takes courage, but it changes everything. I vividly remember a homeschool prayer breakfast where I learned this truth.

After listening to a beloved supporter of our group encourage us in raising our children in accordance with Scripture, our leader asked for prayer requests. Usually, we shared about children struggling with reading or learning math facts, wisdom in ordering our day, last minute curriculum decisions, dealing with those who opposed our homeschooling, or husbands’ work schedules.

Our speaker jumped in first. She poured out her heart about a matter that was deeply troubling her. She listed her questions, her fears, and her doubts. As an older and wiser woman, she had just given us advice, but she was not afraid of being transparent. She understood she had no merit apart from Christ’s sacrifice. She was equal to us in needing and relying on the grace of God alone.

Our speaker’s transparency—and vulnerability—changed the direction of our meeting. We eagerly followed her example and openly talked about—and then prayed for—the concerns that were most heavy on our hearts. We were different when we left.

Has someone’s transparency helped you?

PS Thank you J’aime.

Basics, Homeschooling, Parenting

Rest Is Not Optional: Guest Blog

Along the way, I learned not to ignore taking a break when the children—and I especially—needed to rest.

Below is an excerpt from Beth Sterne’s website Put Off Procrastination. Put on Peace. Here

Some years ago our son entered the front door and saw me sitting on the sofa reading a book. He stopped immediately and said, “I want to see more of that around here!”

He knew the path of my feet should take me to rest along the way. And he knew I most often ignored that truth.

Since “rest” is “to cease work in order to relax or refresh oneself,” we see rest as self- serving. Let’s realize it means being a good steward of the heart, mind, and body God has given us to use on earth.

What are two “rest busters” that steal our refreshment?

Viewing activities as requirements instead of opportunities. We don’t have to participate in every educational, church, business, or social function.

Not setting boundaries. Sometimes, by taking on every project or fetching whatever is wanted, we’ve “taught” colleagues and family we don’t need rest.

If appropriate, we can say, “No, not now. These are Mom’s Minutes to be quiet.”

Basics, Book Recommendations

Guitar Notes By Mary Amato

It is obvious that some kids are dying inside. Their anger, sour attitudes, and sloppy work are testimony.

What I learned along the way was that the child who is kind, complaint, and hardworking might be experiencing his or her own internal death.

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato beautifully portrays this dual reality. Tripp, a guitarist, and Lyla, a cellist, are dealing with very similar—yet, very different—painful circumstances. They are unable to communicate effectively with their caring parents.

One parent struggles to understand defiant behavior. The other has no clue that outward perfection hides intense pain.

If you have a tween or teen, I recommend you read Guitar Notes privately, and then, perhaps, with your child. It is a good conversation starter.

What methods do you have for discerning what is beneath the surface?


Wishing Goals (Reprise)

Pursue your wishing goals. (See Goals: Wishing, Practical, Backup Here)

Many of my wishing goals, such as this website, have been met. Some have taken far less effort and resources than I ever imagined. Some have taken more.

When I was in Brazil in 2013, I wished I could return with my husband. It seemed impossible. However, we did return in 2016, and—as a bonus—one son accompanied us. With the Zika virus in the news, airfares and hotel rates had dropped dramatically. We experienced more than was on my list and some items multiple times. A bonus was that we never saw a mosquito.

Ipanema Beach (April 2016)
Copacabana Beach (April 2016)

Do you have any wishing goals to start pursuing?

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 (ESV)