Even "parenting" goes full circle.I'm in the thick of parenting right now, as I know many of you are, also. I've made it past the early years of feeding and bathing and training (Yeah. Like I'll EVER be finished with that!) and buckling and so many other monotonous duties. But I'm still in the middle of nurturing and guiding and shaping and instructing. Sometimes my children listen and I am delighted that they've heard me, and other times? Not so much. But I know they're learning - whether it's by following my instruction, or by experiencing the consequences of their own actions. And, while I love being a mom and am thankful to God for my children, some days it wears me down and the drudgery feels like it will never end. Know what I mean? Well, this week at Edgewood I got a peek at the other side. I was on the phone with the son of a woman who lives at Edgewood, and we were making "plans" for her. This man and his siblings had been talking about what they thought their mother should be doing, and he was enlisting my help to get her down to exercise class two days a week. He also suggested I could drop his name if necessary to get her to come. You know, "Your son wants you to do this..." And the thing is? It worked! Although her first response was, "Oh, I don't know. I'm a little tired this morning." When I mentioned her son's name and reminded her that her children wanted her to come to exercise class, she agreed right away. And I realized, this dear woman is now being "parented" by her children. Her mind doesn't work as well as it used to, such that now - her children know what's best for her more than she does. So they are parenting her - nurturing, guiding, shaping and instructing. It's a beautiful thing. This whole realization motivates me even more to pour love into my own children. Because there will likely come a day when they will be parenting me. Even "parenting" goes full circle. Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Recently, we sat down to dinner as *almost* a whole family. Elizabeth was gone, so it was just Brian and I and the boys. As we prayed before dinner, I asked God to bless our time at the table. I was imagining significant conversations and sharing about deep things. Often times, as soon as everyone is finished eating someone wants to jump up from the table and move on to other activities. But on this particular night, lingering around with each other seemed to be the desire of all parties. Ahh, here it comes, I thought. And I was ready for the profound discussions to begin.Brian and the boys have been watching episodes from The Walking Dead, so they were engrossed in a conversation about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. (My guys are going to be soooooo ready if this happens, I tell ya. *wink*) We talked about ice fishing and listened to Josh's explanation of the best weather conditions for ideal ice. Stories were told of what it's like to sleep with our dog, and I'm sure a few jokes were thrown around about poop or farting. As we decided to clear the table and move on with the evening's activities, I realized our after-dinner discussion hadn't touched on even one significant topic. Not one! And, yet, I was delighted with the time we'd spent together. Unhurried, just enjoying being with one another. The conversations may not have been significant, but the time together was very worthwhile. What is one of your favorite family memories? ********************************************************************************* Lest you get the wrong impression about our family, and begin to think we're in the running for "Family of the Year", let me assure you: Not all dinners are like the one illustrated here. I could tell you about the one from earlier this week during which we spent quite a bit of time arguing about respectful behavior, and which resulted in one of our kids being grounded. But, I won't. *wink*
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
...when I wrote this statement for last Friday's post:"Can you even fathom the immensity of your reach? From the cashier at the grocery store..."I wrote that statement Thursday afternoon, choosing rather "randomly" examples of people with whom we might come into contact every day. But even as I sat at my kitchen table tapping on my computer, God saw me Friday afternoon at the grocery store. And that's why I'm sure HE must have been smiling when I wrote about the cashier. Friday afternoon I was shopping and, as I stood in the check-out lane, I overheard part of the conversation happening between the cashier and the woman who was in line in front of me. I heard him say, "I'm having a very bad day and I don't feel like talking to anyone." He went on to mention that he'd dropped out of school, was quitting his job, and didn't know what he was going to do with his life. Then I heard the woman say something about God, and the cashier responded that he didn't believe in God. Next. When it was my turn, the cashier said, "Hi. How are you today?" I responded by saying, "I think I'm doing better than you are..." And our conversation continued along these lines: Me: Sorry to hear about your bad day. Him: Yeah. What were you studying in school? I didn't have a major. I never had any interests growing up. So I didn't know what I wanted to do. (He had been in college for five years. Never thought he'd use an education, but went because his parents made him.) Hey, I'll give you a dollar off on your groceries if you can give me tips on being happy. Wellllll, I heard you tell the customer before me that you don't believe in God. And that would be my main tip. HE changed my life when I was in college. Mmmmm. Maybe you should consider Him. Well, maybe I don't really NOT believe, but... So, what do you like to do? I don't have any interests. OK. What do you do when you aren't here? I sit at home and watch my roommates do stuff. I think what you should do is visit a church and meet some new people, and maybe you would find things with them which would interest you. I can't remember the last time I met a new person. See? You should give it a try. Do you have suggestions? Suggestions? For a church. I don't know where to go. So, I told him about the church where I am a member, and about a new service for 20-somethings which I thought he should check out. And he indicated that maybe he would. By this time, he had finished with my groceries and he said, "I gave you the dollar off on your groceries as I promised." Then I dug through my wallet to find my card. I gave it to him and said, "My email address is on here. If you visit that service at my church, I want you to email me and tell me about it. AND, I'm making you a promise. I promise I'm going to pray for you." Yes. When I wrote that line, I know God could already see me talking with "C" the next day, and I'm sure HE must have been smiling. Now I'm smiling, as I pray for C and anticipate his Father drawing him close. I'd love it if you would pray with me!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My bed gets made *almost* every day. "My" bed, in which my husband also sleeps. And often times that makes sense to me, because he gets up before I do - to go work out. I'm the last one out of bed, so I make it. But that isn't always the case. Sometimes I'm up and out of the house before Brian, and when I get home the bed looks just like it did when I left. Minus my husband's hunk of studly body, that is. *wink* And so I confess, there has been more than one occasion when I have been making the bed after a long day of work (OK, I know - at that point there are only hours until it will be time for me to go to bed again and mess it all up. But I like a made bed. Don't judge.) and I have grumbled in my heart something like, Really? Why can't Brian ever make the bed? Is it written somewhere that bed-making is MY job? He sleeps in it, too, after all. Typically, my grumbling gives in to a self-righteous mental rant of all the things I always do around the house and for the family. *cue the woe-is-me music*As HE so often does, God gave me pause during one of those grumbling episodes for a brief perspective check. I'm not sure how it happened. (It certainly wasn't anything of MY doing, so I can only attribute it to the power of the Holy Spirit.) All I know is suddenly I was thinking about all the things Brian does do around here. We just got new windows, and Brian took care of coordinating, ordering, and paying for that whole ordeal. He put up the Christmas lights outside. Whenever we have issues with the car or van, he always takes care of it. He's also my go-to guy whenever I'm having computer problems. These are not "every day" things like making the bed is, but they're bigger things - and I simply don't want to deal with them. In as much time as it took for me to list off the things Brian does - which I DON'T do - God stopped my grumbling and changed my heart. HE gave me the ability to be thankful for all the things Brian does, rather than to focus on the things he doesn't. And then, the funniest thing happened. Last Friday I noticed the brakes on the van making a terrible noise. (I usually drive with music on, so I have no idea how long I'd been missing whatever was happening with the brakes.) I told Brian there was a problem and left the van home on Saturday so he could "look at it". And Saturday afternoon he told me, "I fixed the brakes." Just like that. It was that easy! All I had to do was mention the problem, and it was fixed. Sunday morning as I was making the bed again, instead of grumbling I thought about how thankful I am for my husband. He does so much for me! Being thankful is a much better place to be than grumbling. What are the things you have to be thankful for today?
Monday, December 09, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
Make the most of every opportunity.Colossians says it this way: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (4:5-6) A couple of years ago, I had several stories in this Lessons From the Edge series which had to do with a man I referred to as "D". He moved into Edgewood shortly after I began working there, and lived almost across the hall from the Activity Room. I saw him frequently by virtue of our proximity, and he came to lots of activities, too. It didn't take long for him to win my heart. He was a delightful man and I was blessed to be part of his life. D and I spoke often about Jesus, and even prayed together for D's salvation. He struggled with accepting God's love, but over and over I reminded him of that Truth. In time, D was in need of more care than was available at Edgewood, so he moved. And not too long after that, he moved again. To live with his daughter in another state. I was privileged to see him last Christmas when he came back to Michigan. (One of his daughters lives near to me, so I went to her house for a visit.) But that was my final opportunity. This week I received an email from one of his daughters telling me he had passed away that morning. So, I've been thinking a lot this week about the brief opportunities I have to be part of a person's life. At Edgewood, and otherwise. Can you even fathom the immensity of your reach? From the cashier at the grocery store, to your next-door neighbor, to your great-aunt and your cousin "Louey", and the colleague down the hall at work. We come into contact with so many people. It may be for a moment, for a season, or for a lifetime. But whatever the length of the interaction, we can be used by God to make some eternal differences. If we watch for the opportunity and obey His promptings. Who are the people you're seeing today? Make the most of every opportunity. Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
And the winners of the Kathy Troccoli Christmas CDs are...Jennifer and Tamrah! Are you ready for this? I asked my kids to help by drawing the names. Elizabeth picked Jennifer's paper, then Josh drew one out and - put it in his mouth. He chewed on it and acted like he was eating the paper. Ha, ha. Funny guy. But before I knew what had happened, he opened his mouth and - the paper was gone. "Did you seriously EAT that?" I shrieked. Josh just smiled. And said, "Now we'll need to wait until tomorrow to see who won!" You know, when he uses the bathroom. *ahem* But, have no fear! I figured a way to get around his trickery. I just looked at the remaining names and deduced the winner was the one whose name was missing. I'm brilliant. And that's how I knew Tamrah was the other winner. Came to that conclusion through a process of elimination. *wink*
Posted by Karen Hossink at 6:00 AM