Weeping With Those Who Weep

And we urge you brothers to admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

I Thessalonians 5: 14 (ESV)

My usual response when friends and family struggled aligned with 1Thessalonians 5:14. I’m wired to encourage and help.

Along the way, I’m learning that a different response may be most beneficial.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:15 (ESV)

During the winter, I was devastated when people close to our family attempted to take advantage of us—with hugs and smiles thrown in for good measure. The most helpful words were “That was awful. I’m mad too,” followed by the reminder that it was their pattern.

This spring, when I experienced a serious health challenge, “You’ll heal and be fine” did not encourage. I did heal, and I am fine, but at the time, mourning and prayers were the balm I needed.

As a dear friend walks a difficult road, she needs help and encouragement, but now I understand how much she needs me to weep with her.

Are you in a season of rejoicing or weeping?

God's Faithfulness, Relationships

The Finish Line

July 4th used to be the day all my aunts and uncles called and sang Happy Birthday to me. Uncle Gene always told the same joke. He had called the White House and ordered fireworks for me.

Only one aunt remains to sing Happy Birthday, but the others left me with memories. Uncle Floyd also left me the contents of his house in Oklahoma. Except for a chandelier that I shipped, the items I kept needed to fit in checked airline bags or squeezed into spare space in my brother’s car.

Why did I choose the item below?

Precious Moments: The Finish Line

This figurine symbolized both God’s and Uncle Floyd’s faithfulness to the end of Uncle Floyd’s earthly Finish Line. It also reminded me that I was at the Finish Line with Uncle Floyd. Others had dropped out of his life—some due to pettiness, grudges, or greediness. Others were spectators and not participants.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Galations 6:7 (ESV)

When Uncle Floyd wrote his will, he would not be mocked either.

May we all finish well.


The Whole Truth

Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Oath for Sworn Testimony

I never thought deeply about what it meant to tell the whole truth until I heard a song from the movie A Man Called Otto.

I will tell you the whole truth … There is so much I want you to know.

Til You’re Home, Rita Wilson

There is so much I want people to know so why don’t I tell the whole truth? The more I have thought about it, I usually withhold the whole truth because I’m protecting others—both the guilty and my listeners. I have wondered if women are wired to protect others or if we’ve been taught.

A woman once said that she had been urged to seek counsel and to “not protect anyone.” I found that profound.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.

Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird

Truth is hard, I don’t take it lightly when people tell me their truth, even if it’s not the whole truth.

Telling? Protecting?



Homeschooling, Parenting, Relationships

None of My Business

The most important advice I would give my younger writer self is what I’d give my younger woman self: What other people think of you is none of your business.

Anne Lamott, author

I’ve read this quote multiple times, and it still hits me the same way. “Of course” followed by “No way.”

I eventually have to remember that seeking advice and seeking approval are not the same. While I may need counsel, if I don’t need approval, then I don’t need to know if I have obtained it.

In the past, other’s opinions have paralyzed me or led me off course. Realizing that another’s approval or disapproval—of my parenting or my homeschooling or other aspects of my lifestyle—is none of my business is freeing.

These days, if I suspect my writing or actions will upset someone, I try to remember “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Thank you, Anne.

Decisions, Relationships

I Don’t Want to Change the World

While prowling the internet for great children’s books, I noticed a trend. Our youngest are being encouraged to become “world changers.” I immediately became sad. I don’t want to change the world so why put that burden on our youngest?

I may want to change my husband or children or others who regularly cross my path. I just can’t be in charge of the world. I have a poor success rate with my small sphere—I can’t even change myself—so expanding my vision would not be helpful.

True world changers—Jesus being the best example—worked in increments. Situation by situation. Person by person. True world changers followed their interests and passions. Changing the world was a byproduct.

Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

Please don’t ask the world of me. It’s too much.