Monday, July 25, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

So, What's it About?

A friend asked me the other day if the listening retreat I'm hosting in October is "for mothers".
She wanted to know - what is going to be the subject of the messages I'll be sharing?

Actually, her first question could best be answered, "Yes, and."
That is, it is for mothers - as I trust God will be speaking to every mother in attendance.
And it is for women who are not mothers - as I trust HE will be speaking to the heart of every woman who comes, whether or not she has children.

Regarding her second query, over the course of our 24 hours together I will be speaking three times. The text I will be using is Matthew 14:22-33. However, while I have in mind an outline of what I'll say, the focus of the weekend is going to be listening to God - not to me. And so, while the subject of the messages will be that passage, the content of the messages will be unique between each woman and the Holy Spirit.
Because HE knows each heart.
HE knows every woman's circumstance.
HE sees tomorrow.
And HE knows what to say.

So, what's it about?
It's about listening to God and trusting Him to speak the words we need to hear.
I cannot wait to witness what HE will do!

If you would like to register for this retreat or find out about the details, please visit my website.

Karen

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Get a Kid Off His Play Station

It's simple, really.

Just give him a gun!

OK. Wondering how many readers have flipped out and are ready to send me hate mail.
*wink*
But, honestly, that's what just happened in my home.
My mom and dad are getting ready to move, and are giving away all the things they don't want to take with them to Florida. Which includes a few guns my dad has had since who knows when. Which included a Remington something-or-other - like the ones that were standard-issue in World War II.
Full disclosure: I am not a fan of guns, but Matthew is intrigued by them. Talks about them all the time. And, while I didn't really see the value of this "gift," he was thrilled.
And can I tell you? I don't think Matthew has been on his Play Station since we've gotten home with those guns. Granted he's been at work some of the time (Did I mention he's working at Arby's now? Yep. My baby has a job!) but usually if he's home for more than 20 minutes, he's sitting in front of the TV - ridding the (virtual)world of zombies and other bad things.
Ahhhh, but not the past few days. Nope. His every spare moment has been spent researching the guns, learning about when and how they were used, and even some studying about how they're made.
In his braver moments he has started taking them apart. And I - though I am not terribly interested in the ins and outs of a gun - absolutely love seeing his young mind so engaged. He's all about discovering the mechanics of the gun - figuring out how it works, why this lever goes this way and that one does that, etc.
Matthew is like a sponge, eager to soak up information and knowledge about his new finds.
And I am delighted to see it.
Because I get tired of the constant battle we have over screen time.
Soooooo, fellow moms, if you're looking for a way to have your kiddos participate in mind-expanding discoveries - rather than mind-numbing games - might I suggest you let them get into something which really interests them? Even if it means you have to stretch your comfort zone?

And, to put any restless hearts at ease - know that everything is secure.
Matthew has been through gun safety training.
We don't even have ammunition for the guns in the house.
No need to worry.

Edited to add: *insert eye roll* Not even five hours after I finished writing this post, Matthew was playing on the Play Station. But we had a good conversation about how great it's been for him to be involved in using his mind to learn the past few days. And, he did ask me to leave the tabs open on my computer which he is using to research the guns. So I am confident he'll be back at it soon. *wink*

Karen

Monday, July 18, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

TLC at GLC

Oh, what's a girl to do with someone who drives her a little batty?

Especially if the one who does the driving is rather irrational at times. (By no fault of her own, that is. Rather, because her mind isn't what it once was.)

What if the driver is down-right hostile on occasion?

Ah, yes. Such is the scenario I had to handle at GLC this week.
There was an argument in the kitchen when my back was turned, and when I approached the table to discuss the problem - one of the involved parties fled the scene. I was very aware of what had happened, and I knew it really wasn't a big deal. So I approached the flee-er and asked if everything was OK.
She bemoaned the behavior of "the driver," noting that this wasn't the first time such a demeanor had been displayed. And she went on to say she knew the reason "the driver" was so unkind. She said, "Because I am a Christian!" And she shared an anecdote to prove her point.
At which point I looked at my angry friend and I said, "Then you know what we need to do, don't you? We need to love her!"
My friend shared another anecdote, and I responded with, "See? We need to love her. We need to keep on loving her!"
And as I pleaded with my eyes, my friend agreed to the plan. Thus, we went back to the table to continue with our project.

Annnnd, who knows if tomorrow she'll remember our plan?
Ahhh, no worries. Sometimes I think these lessons-learned are more for me than the parties involved in the struggle.
How about you? Is there a "driver" in your life to whom you can apply this TLC?

Karen

Thursday, July 14, 2016

You're Gonna Miss These Days

Oh, how many times I rolled my eyes when an "older woman" said things like that to me in years gone by.
Because at the time I was so tired of the endless questions, and the constant need to pick up after little hands made big messes.
My lap wanted a few minutes to just be mine - not somebody's chair.
And I really thought I would be content to never hear a small voice beckoning, MOOOOOOMMMMMY! ever, ever again.
I was ready to change my title. (To something, ANYthing, besides "Mom".)
Several times.
Yep. Those were some rough days. And I believed anyone who thought I'd miss them someday - was crazy.

OK. So, fast-forward to a few days ago - and a phone conversation I had with my daughter. Yeah. The one who's in South Dakota for the summer - studying and having a great experience. The same one who graced us with her presence for a short month before going to SD, after she'd spent a semester in Mexico - studying and having a great experience. Of course, I am talking about the very daughter who has spent the majority of the past two years away at school and a summer job - making me feel very lucky to see her face in person on rare occasions.
Yeah. That's my girl!
So we're talking on the phone the other day, and I'm all excited because she's coming home in a few weeks. And we'll get to spend a few weeks with her before she's off to school again. And then she informs me that, Oh, by the way, she won't be coming home much next semester. Because she's probably going to her roommate's home in Colorado for Thanksgiving. And she and her roomie have decided to stay on campus to just hang out and have fun during Fall Break. BUT, she will be home for Christmas.
I shook my head and thought, Gee. I guess this is what it means to miss those days. Because my girl is almost all grown up. And she's out in the world learning stuff and experiencing great things. She has a beautiful heart and love for the Lord, and she is spreading His love everywhere she goes.
She's pretty much smarter than I am.
She cleans up after herself.
My lap really isn't adequate to serve as a sitting place for her anymore.
And I absolutely LOVE IT that she still calls me, "Mommy".

Ah, yes. This is as it should be.
My girl growing up, living the life God has called her to live.
But I sure do miss her!

*sigh*

Karen

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

At the CROSS

I know I am not the only one who is heart-broken over the shootings which took place last week.
And I doubt I am the only one who keeps asking questions like, WHY? What's happening to this world? How will we ever heal???

Our nation seems to be stuck in a quagmire of Us vs. Them.
Each group feeling like the other has it in for them.
Allowing anger and fear to build up - and express itself in unthinkable ways.
We seem to only see each other as an enemy.
And it is literally killing us.

WHY? What's happening to this world? How will we ever heal???

So I took my broken heart and I knelt at the feet of JESUS.
I asked Him, WHY? What's happening to this world? How will we ever heal???
And the image which came to my mind is one I will never forget.
It was all of us - broken, angry, afraid, hurting, unsure - standing at the foot of the Cross.
At the Cross, we were not different. That is, our differences weren't evident.
Because at the Cross we recognized our same-ness. That is, our common need for help and healing and whole-ness.
At the cross we are all broken and in need of a Savior.
His Name is JESUS.
And only HE can heal our land.

Come, JESUS. Have mercy on us all!

Karen