Decisions, Homeschooling, Parenting

Thinking About Dropping Out?

Failing at something doesn’t make one a failure. It means you are learning.

Molly Siedel 2020 Olympic Bronze Medalist

September, October, and November are busy months for distance runners, including my husband. Not only does he run—while I wait at the finish line—but he also follows the stories of elite runners, which means I follow their stories.

Finish Line Reunion

If we can’t watch a race, we eagerly await its results. Sometimes, the results are disappointing and bring questions.

Why didn’t Galen Rupp finish the 2018 Boston Marathon?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish … due to having problems breathing and hypothermia … I am hopeful to race again.

Galen Rupp statement

Rupp won the 2018 Prague Marathon a month later.

Why didn’t Molly Seidel finish the 2022 Boston Marathon?

I gave it my all and it wasn’t good enough…. (mile) 16 it was clear there was no way I could keep running without really injuring myself … I can’t wait to eventually finish this dream.

Molly Seidel Instagram

Given the commitment and training that distance running requires, I admire runners who accept unforeseen events, and then, press on.

Overwhelmed? Injured? Dropping out to race another day?

Decisions, Family, Friendship

I Only Need One

I’d been wronged. Or misunderstood. I was frustrated with someone and wanted advice with an opportunity to complain as a side dish. In response, I sought solace among people I trusted.

However, when everything was resolved, we couldn’t move on in a satisfactory way. Why? I had given people information that they shouldn’t have. Therefore, some confidants were not willing or ready to forgive the offender.  

At times, we need Someone to understand our plight. Along the way, I learned that Someone was not the members of my Bible study. Someone was not the members of my book club. Someone was not my friends. Someone was not my neighbors. Someone was not my extended family. Someone was One.

During one hurtful situation, my friend Jacqueline summarized this principle with a quote her mother taught her: Least said, soonest mended.

I learned to pick carefully—not a person who would wallow with me—but someone with perspective and wisdom about the situation I faced.

Like a surgeon, friends cut you in order to heal you. 

Reverend Tim Keller, Pastor and Author

Have you been blessed with a trusted One?

Decisions, Homeschooling

Considering Homeschooling? Why?

During school shutdowns due to Covid-19, articles about the disruption to families’ lives abounded. Newscasts reported students falling behind.

Why? Each year, parents happily homeschool millions of children, and those families not only survive but also thrive.*

Although it should be obvious that homeschooling only works if you want to homeschool, along the way I learned that some parents miss that truth.

Before Covid-19, I met homeschoolers who pressured themselves or felt pressured by others to homeschool. One family homeschooled out of fear. Those parents were miserable. The children were barely surviving. Thankfully, the parents eventually chose other options.

Years later, I met families who successfully homeschooled some of their children but not all. Circumstances varied as to why certain children did not want to be homeschooled or why parents did not want to homeschool certain children. All thrived with their tailor-made options.

Just as I married because I wanted to marry—not due to pressure or fear—I needed to homeschool because I wanted to homeschool—which carried me through many challenges.

Considering homeschooling this year? Why?

*U.S. Department of Education estimated 1.69 million students were homeschooled in 2016.


What Do I Really Want?

Tomorrow I will be 65 years old. Many have asked what I want for this milestone.

Too many years ago, I clipped and saved a cake recipe. Until two days ago, I said that I wanted my family to make that cake for this 65th birthday. After examining the recipe, I decided what I really wanted with their time was help with a Christmas Stamp puzzle.

For one day, I said a locally-purchased blackberry pie would substitute for homemade cake—until I decided pie wasn’t what I really wanted. My husband offered mimosas for us to drink on the patio. (Months ago, I had declared I would spend this milestone sitting on my patio and gazing at my flowers and woods—now with a puzzle added.)

My Patio at Night

My husband bought mimosa ingredients and a box of nectarines. Better than cake and pie although not necessarily better than the birthday ice cream, which I have already sampled.

I want the Ukrainian War ended and all life respected and the ailments and brokenness that come from 65 years healed, but what do I really want among the little things I can control?

What do you really want?


Overwhelmed? Start with One

If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.

Andrew Mason

As a child, I thought clover was not only a flower, but the best kind. White clover covered our backyard, sprang back after each mowing, and made the best bracelets and necklaces. While purple clover was not best for adornment, its scarcity gave it value. It only grew near our back porch and chain-link fence.

Nostalgic Discovery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania June 2020

My husband thought otherwise. While my family mowed weeds, his family either pulled or poisoned them—including clover.

Along the way, I agreed that perhaps weeds needed more than mowing. The task was overwhelming so a few years ago, I chose one focus. Dandelions. I pulled dandelions each spring morning until our yard was almost dandelion free in 2020. That year, I joined my husband in pulling wild onions—but never clover.

It is obvious that any goal requires a first step. However, I marveled at the evidence of what I had accomplished in my yard with a small, singular focus for a few months each spring.

Any “weeds” in your “yard”?

PS Organic dandelions are nutritious.