Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

Lessons From the Edge

For years, everyone at Edgewood has been blessed to be in the company of a very precious couple. P and G have been married for 73 years and have lived at Edgewood for the past several. Yes - like so many others - P and G are my favorite residents!
P's health has been failing for some time, and a week ago Tuesday he passed on into the arms of Jesus. (He'd been yearning to go Home for so long!)
Monday was his funeral, and G asked me if I would sing. I'd gone up to their apartment last Tuesday to say goodbye to P, and at that time I knelt by his bed and sang Amazing Grace for him. She wanted me to sing it at the funeral, too.
And as I came to the last verse - singing about our eternity praising God in heaven - I was overjoyed to have nearly everyone in the church singing along with me.
The pastor closed with prayer, and then I sang one more time. Goodbye For Now, by Kathy Troccoli. It was a gift I wanted to give G and the rest of her wonderful family. To recognize their pain in the loss of P, but to remind them of the hope we have.

The hope of Forever.

It was a beautiful way to end P's service, and I was so happy with the peace God brought to people through it.
P was 96 years old. He and G have been husband and wife for 73 of them. Seventy-three and a half, actually. He will be missed tremendously.
But because of the gift of God through Jesus Christ, we know we're simply saying, Good-bye for now.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

This Time, I Didn't Laugh

I've seen this picture on Facebook often, and I chuckle each time it comes up.
I mean, how many of us mothers - if we're being honest - wouldn't say there have been days we've wished we really could...?

But I recently entered a home and saw this very quote on a picture hanging in the entry way. Initially, I was going to chuckle at the silliness of the idea. But then I thought, How do the children who live in this home feel when they see that picture?
I don't know. Maybe the kids in that home have an exceptional sense of self-worth, and are incredibly confident in their mother's love. I hope so!
Maybe they're mature enough to understand the humor behind the statement, and realize their mother would never really want to keep them out.
But what if they don't?
What if they aren't?
What if that funny quote actually causes those children to feel like their home would be a happier place if they weren't a part of it?

Those questions in my mind kept me from laughing at the picture this time. Made me consider the importance of the messages we send our kids. Even if unintentionally.

I'm all for us moms sharing a laugh with one another. We need to know we aren't alone in our struggles, and I think laughing at them (the struggles, that is!) is a healthy way to relieve stress.
But decorating our homes that way?
I think there are better options.

Am I over-reacting?


Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Monday night when we sat down to have family prayer time, Brian read from Hebrews 13.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have

Hebrews 13:5a
And we decided he could stop right there. Those 16 words gave us plenty about which we could think and talk!

We all agreed the "love of money" is not our personal struggle. But that "content with what you have" concept? Now, there's a challenge!
So we spent time talking about our greatest area of dis-content, and how we might be able to guard our hearts - so we might learn to always be content with what we have.
I recalled a statement I heard when I was in MOPS years ago. The speaker repeated over and over, "Comparison is the killer of contentment." It resonated with me then, and still rings true today.
Think about it:
*Your home is just fine - until you take a walk through that other neighborhood; where the houses are bigger, the yards are more manicured, and the fixtures are newer.
*Your wardrobe satisfies you - until you browse through several catalogs and see all the new items which marketing says you need.
*You're even happy with the quiet movie nights you spend with your husband - until your neighbor or co-worker tells you about the cruise she and her husband are taking again this year. Just like they did last year. And the year before that!

So we asked the question, If comparison is the killer of contentment, what can we do to keep contentment alive?
And the conclusion we reached was this: Give thanks for what we have.
Something very real happens in my heart when I start giving thanks. God brings me contentment, AND He opens my eyes to more things I have for which I can be thankful. It's a wonderful snow-ball effect of being content and thankful.
So, I've made a decision. The next time I start feeling discontent about working (because that was my "greatest area" in our discussion Monday night) I am going to give thanks to God. I'll start by thanking Him for providing me with a job I LOVE, and we'll see where HE takes me from there. I know it will be good. Because everything with Him is good!

Do you struggle with being content? What do you do to keep contentment alive?


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Twenty Things I Did Right

At this very moment, there are sheets sitting on the couch.
Matthew was supposed to put them away last night after we folded them.

In the kitchen is an empty cake box on the counter, and the mixer is sitting there, too.
Elizabeth forgot to take care of them after she did some baking last night.

Also in the kitchen there are a few pans in the dish rack, which Joshua didn't take care of when he unloaded the dishwasher.

Honestly? Part of me wants to rant and rave about their inability to do a complete job.
I mean, seriously! How many times do I need to tell them to do what I've already told them to do. A hundred times!
How many times do I need to tell them to do what they ALREADY know they're supposed to do?

But something happened at work recently which is changing the way I'm going to approach my kids on this oversight.
My boss came to me about something I'd neglected to do. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, and I was happy to take care of it right away. But the way she belabored the point of the task needing to be done made me want to *nicely* yell, Did you notice this and that which I did? Have you seen this other thing I took care of? And what about that? Did you see that thing over there? Oh, and by the way, I had a feeling you were going to want this other thing to be handled soon, so I took care of it yesterday.
You noticed this one thing I didn't do, but have you seen the twenty things I did right?

Now it's my turn.
Matthew took the sheets downstairs and put them through the washer and dryer, just like he's supposed to. He brought them upstairs and helped me fold them, just like he's supposed to. And he put his own sheets back on his bed.
Elizabeth didn't ask me to make the cake. She did it herself. She rinsed the bowls and utensils which were used in the process. Looks like she even wiped the counter!
Joshua put away all the dishes which were in the dishwasher. Every plate, bowl, cup, lid, container, fork, spoon, and knife. All of them! And he did it without being told.

When I consider the things my kids have done right - particularly when I list them - my attitude changes about the things they haven't done yet. And I am thankful. My reminder to them to finish their jobs is going to be a lot more gentle now.
*Thankful for the fact that God even uses my frustrations to grow me.*


Monday, December 03, 2012