Friday, June 29, 2012

Dream Weavers

No, the title of this post has nothing to do with my family's surname.  And no, this post is not going to be about how dreamy my family members are.  Though they do have their moments.

It also does not refer to the Gary Wright song that haunts anyone with a '70's childhood. Great.  Now, it will be playing non-stop in my head for the next week.

Sitting in my cave, knowing I should work out, but wanting to bake cookies...I am thinking of dreams.

Not just mine or yours, but also those of our children.

I may be more focused than usual on dreams today because:  
1)  I have recently decided to full-on pursue my own dream of a big way.
2)  I had a dream last night that my friend, Peggy, and I were sitting in my car praying and eating donuts.  Seriously. And really, there's not much better than good friends, prayer and donuts.

Just last post, I referred to my middle son dreaming of being a soldier, but also...a ninja, a puppy or an Irish River Dancer.  As a 1st grader, my oldest dreamed of being a missionary artist to Texas who would spread the Gospel throughout the vast state via his purple Toyota Tacoma.  My youngest took the ninja dream one step further and 20 feet higher when he aspired to be a tree ninja.  Don't ask.

We all have dreams.  Or, had dreams.  Some of us started with dreams and let them fade away. Some of us had dreams crushed or stolen.  Some of you, like me, have experienced the birth of a dream, the death of a dream and then a resurrection of a dream.

This is where it all gets a little dicey. Dreams are really, really good.  Dreams motivate and elevate.  Dreamland is where most of our good life stuff starts.  But, then, one by one, we watch some of our dreams disappear...maybe with each passing year. I guess we simply grow up.

That's what we call it anyway. "Growing up."

Then, we get kids.  And with these kids, come more dreams. Theirs. Astronaut, archeologist, movie star, zoo keeper and even ninja.  "Cute," we tell ourselves.  Followed by, "She'll grow out of it."

A bit later on, kids' dreams change.  Evolve, if you will.  Teacher, business person, doctor, coach or mechanic.  "Good," we tell ourselves.  Followed by, "We'll see."

This is where the "weaver" comes in with the whole dream thing.  There are reasons dreams die.  Sometimes a reason is that it truly needs to.  Like in the case of tree ninja.  Trust me, that dream dying is a good thing.  Other times, though, dreams die for lack of a good weaver or two.

One definition of "weave" is this:  "Twist and turn from side to side while moving somewhere in order to avoid obstructions."

Isn't that awesome?  And isn't that what we should be helping our kids do in life?

I feel that I'm getting to live a dream just by writing something you might possibly stop to read during your busy day.  But, even in doing so, I need people to help me "avoid obstructions."  Obstructions like self-doubt, discouragement and distractions.  Same stinkin' obstructions that would love to throw our kids off.

That's why we need to weave, friends.  Don't be a dream crusher.  Be a dream weaver!

Oh, we have to use wisdom...I squashed that tree ninja dream like a bug.  But, too often we see the majority of our kids' aspirations (and maybe a few of our own) as tree ninja delusions instead of heart-felt dreams. And we squash them. 

I confess I have done that more than a time or two with my own boys. And myself.

Who knows? The Texas countryside might have really benefited from a nice, young man passing out paintings from a purple pick-up...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Kind of Parent Would...

Okay, nobody has come right out and said this to me exactly.  To my face, anyway. You know what I'm referring to...the, "What kind of parent would let their kid..." rhetorical question.

I call it rhetorical, because I laugh when I think of what anyone asking that would do if the parent "in question" actually came back with an answer.  Pass out or swallow teeth, I suppose.  This comment is uttered when one parent has come to conclusions regarding another parent's actions...minds are already made up.  No answer required.

We just had Memorial Day and 4th of July is right around the corner.  In my cave, the latter tended to get caught up in one thing at times...all-out firework extravaganza that would rattle the windows on the block.  My husband always liked to use the , "We're supporting the local youth groups raising money for their summer camps!" excuse to justify the purchasing of massive amounts of multi-colored explosives.  Whatever.

Oh, we are extremely patriotic in our cave.  Caveman served in the Air Force prior to our union, and took part in the '83 invasion of Grenada. One nephew is an officer in the Marines, and yet another currently serves in the Air Force.  But, back when little boys lived in my cave, fireworks took up a lot of our thinking and planning.

While we were watching war movie marathons and making firework shopping lists, we noticed that one of our little guys was quite taken with it all.  Lots of questions about different conflicts throughout our nation's history, with interest in everything from land mapping to specific battles down through the years.

If a young man we knew joined a branch of the Armed Services, our curious child would try to get a copy of the recruit's first picture in uniform.  We watched an old cave movie the other day, and there in our boy's the background of the shenanigan's being could see those pictures.  Proudly on display for all of his 5th grade buddies to see.

He wrote to those servicemen and prayed for them.  At the time, I just thought he was a sweet kid.

Oh, sure.  He talked about being in the military from third grade on. But, he also talked about being a ninja, a puppy and an Irish River, we didn't really pay close attention in those early days.

By the second half of high school, we knew.  We knew he wouldn't be happy doing anything else.  We knew he wanted to serve his country.

Over the years, I've heard the "question."  Overheard (double meaning intended), I should say.  "How can they let him (or 'her,' thank you very much, ladies!) join the military?!  What kind of parent would be okay with that?"

"What kind of parent would support putting their child in harm's way? Don't they care more than that?  I don't understand!  I love my kids too much to go for something like that!"

We remembered last month.  We celebrate next month.  My kid (an Army officer-in-training) is in Africa this month.  I'm emotional every month (and day.)

Thank you to all of the men and women serving in our Armed Forces.  Thank you to all of the spouses and children who also sacrifice so much.

Thank you to all of the parents who have gone before me and set the most incredible example of selflessness.

You don't just care about your family being care about an entire nation being safe.

You don't think solely of your own wants and desires...but, also those of your children.

You don't put having everyone home for Christmas before having a country we can actually say "Christmas" in.

What kind of parent...would I like to be?

(That's definitely rhetorical.)

Friday, June 22, 2012


This is how the boys clean the kitchen, when they're all back at our cave. It's not pretty, and typically involves a lot of slurping up leftovers, smacking one another on the backside with a dish towel and more often than not... one brother doing the majority of the work. However, it gets done.

Believe me, their methods are different than mine.  And believe me, if I had my way back when the wise husband said it was time for them to start pitching in - when they were small - I would have corrected their methods right away.  Every time. Translation:  done it all for way.  The best way.  Or, at least the best way, as I saw it.

I'm not saying I didn't initially spend time showing them a proper way of doing things. I did.  But, one day, Caveman caught me "perfecting" a chore one of the boys had just the best of his little Kindergarten ability.  "Honey, if you're always 'fixing' things, after he's done a great job for a six-year-old... well, think how defeated he must feel.  He's going to start asking 'why bother?'"

I thought about that.  I couldn't expect my three, little guys to fold towels like Martha Stewart. But, I could expect them to pitch in as best they could around the house.  We are a family, we all chip in. We just all chip in differently, in different ways with different abilities.

One boy was great with yard work, another could organize the pantry better than your grandma.  Yet another didn't have to be told to take the trash out.  More than once or twice a day, anyway.

Did I mention towels? Starting when the boys were two, four and six, I would dump the clean towels on the couch where the youngest folded the wash cloths, the middle folded the hand towels and the oldest folded the bath towels.  It was quite a sight to watch them, their little tongues hanging out and pressed down to one side, working hard to accomplish the task.

The oldest would have a fairly nice pile of somewhat folded linens.  The middle, well, his were at least "stacked."  But, the baby...he pretty much just made a new pile of wash cloths that looked like the original pile of wash cloths dumped from the basket.  And you know what?  With the wisdom of my hubby wringing in my ears, I learned to overcome the urge to "fix" and cheered, "Good job, guys!" and put them in the linen closet.  Exactly as they were handed to me.

That baby is now 18, and my mother says he produces a folded towel better than those found in luxury hotels.  It's true.  He's like a towel-folding guru.

This is just a simple admonishment for all of you out there holding your tongue as you painfully watch a child, his or her own tongue pressed, working hard to accomplish a task. Big task, small task, silly task, life-changing task.

You do what you can.  You model.  You love.  You pray.

In the blink of an eye, you have nicely folded towels.

Enjoy the wadded up wash cloths while they last. My almost empty cave has a linen closet full of perfection.  And it makes me about as sad as kitchen clean-up without a little tomfoolery.

It all gets done, cave friends.

Much sooner than you think.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What They Don't Know...

Look at 'em!  Crazy kids!  So excited at the thought of new life coming into their cave!

Those of you with children remember your initial excitement, too.  I remember mine quite well.  And as many first-time parents are, I was really awesome at documenting everything from pregnancy until my first child was...let's see...oh, I remember...until he was a big brother. At age two. Two years out of twenty-three that are recorded in detail.  Way to go, me!

With the inaugural son, I actually "wrote" to him while he was yet in the womb.  Oh, man. That child, the one who is now old enough to be in another country on his own for six weeks, and I laugh when we read the pastel, cloud-covered "pregnancy journal." Whoever he marries will probably think it's sweet.  But, Firstborn and I think I was a dork. What I didn't know then, that I know now. 

What I know now, is that if you plan on having more than one child and aren't extremely organized -  or at least a bit OCD - you will not have completed baby books for each of your off-spring, let alone "write" to each of them while pregnant.  Try communicating with the one confined to your tummy while the others, who are already fully mobile on the planet, are off playing in another part of the house...well, let's just say you are going to have some things to clean up.

Another thing I didn't know then, when I was waiting for the first, blessed arrival, was that there would very soon be a day when I wouldn't do things on "my" time anymore.  Or even experience "my" time anymore.  Merely trying to bathe myself became something I would have to carefully slip in between feedings or poopings. Or cryings.  Often my own cryings.

Something else I didn't know then, is that I would not be able to go on any kind of outing with my incredible husband for over two decades without doing a bit of the Freaky Fret.  "Honey, I don't know.  He's really little and the babysitter is only, like, I don't know, 42?"  "Babe, let's just call and see how they're doing.  I know we talked to them 20 minutes ago, but a lot can happen in 20 minutes."  "Kev, just text the boy (age 18) one more time and make sure he locked all of the doors. Please?"

I could go on for hours making a "What I didn't know then..." list.  But, I won't.  Since we all have lives outside of blog-land, I'll wrap this up quickly today.

I didn't know, when I was dorkily writing in that journal in the late 80's, that I would be (still a bit dorkily) writing a blog in the 21st Century with even more love and intensity about the wonders of family.

I didn't know, when I wasn't carefully documenting everything my kids were doing, that it would be okay. That the memories we were making would forever be imprinted in our hearts and minds anyway...with or without a camera. Or a journal.

I didn't know, when I wasn't getting "me" time, that when I finally did get back to having "me" time...well, it just wouldn't be nearly as magical as "we" time.

Congratulations to my middle son and his beautiful wife.

At this very moment, their hearts are growing to make room for a love that they truly can't even begin to fathom.

That is what they don't know. Yet.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clown Proud

For all of you out there with a fear of clowns...don't worry. There are no clowns like that here.  I mean, there are clowns here, but not the kind you're thinking of.  Not those guys...with their rainbow wigs and large knives.

No, not those guys. Not them. No, sir. Nope.

Be back in a minute, need to go make sure the doors are locked...

Back!  And no sign of Rainbow Wig Chucky anywhere. Phew!

The picture on this post is of my baby.  Not the adorable child on the right...mine would be the somewhat creepy-looking, but still handsome, clown-kid on the left.

This picture just came to me via bro-mail, as one of my brothers is on a missions' trip in Central America with my youngest child.  Thank goodness for picture people in the family!  I still have a roll from '92 to develop.  (I know, I know..."good luck with that!")

When I saw this image, and a few others of my boy dancing around making small children happy, I mused, "I need to share this."  Not because everyone needs to see how cute I think my kid is.  Or, to show an aunt how much he's grown since the last time she saw him.  Not even to show grandparents that he is safe.

I was simply overcome by the thought that we "brag" on a lot of things we see kids do, but rarely on things that really matter.

Hey, don't get me wrong.  When this same clown-baby was on local TV news for having a great baseball game a while can bet I shared the link with others to view. I'm still a human mother, for crying out loud.  And I very much enjoy "liking" the precious pictures of friends' children doing everything from graduating preschool to dancing in their first recital to picking their noses. Seriously, cute. If they're under the age of 10 and picking their noses, that is.

But, what if...and hang with me here for a minute...what if, every once in a while...well, what if we just bragged on the often unacknowledged acts of goodness in the lives of the youngsters around us? The random acts of kindness.
More like intentional acts of Christ-likeness.
Sounds a bit strange, doesn't it? I know, but it shouldn't.

We fill stadiums and auditoriums to cheer our kids on to victories and curtain calls.  I get this.  I've done this. And it's what we should do. Yet... I sit and look at the image of my clown-child, well, I just feel differently regarding what I want to get excited about in young people's lives.  Oh, you can bet your last chocolate bar that I'll be yelling from the stands this fall at football games, and whooping it up from my folding chair next spring when they start making chalk lines on the baseball field. His graduation (God willing!) next year from high school...of course I'll be excited.

I just want to make sure I’m prudently proud. I want my children, and those around me, to see that I value what God values. Like a teenage boy who would rather put his hard-earned money toward a trip to a place requiring a clown suit than toward a trip to a prom requiring a tux.  I'm sure tuxes are in his future, and I'll have my brother take a picture (remember: undeveloped roll of film from '92) of the charming boy in them. But right now, that clown suit looks great.

How about the 7th grade girl I know of who is taking care of younger siblings while her mother slowly loses a long-fought battle with cancer? Too heavy sounding coming from the cave? Albeit it true?  Well, then what about the child who may never sing in front of people, but makes sure the chairs are put away after the program?

In no way am I saying that these children displaying servant-hearts are somehow super superior.  I can promise you clown-boy has his moments of selfish non-greatness…just like his mama. I am just so challenged today to get my pom-poms and megaphone out for things we see in people not making the news or the honor roll or the Hall of Fame.

A kid scoring a touchdown is cheer-worthy, but so is a kid who is always kind to elderly people.

A kid who can draw amazing pictures is awe-inspiring, but so is a kid who can draw a bullied peer into a loving circle of friends.

A kid making a 4.0 is due praise, but so is a kid who truly always does his or her best...regardless of the outcome.

A teen wearing a varsity jacket covered in recognition patches can make a mom proud. And should.

So can a teen wearing a clown-suit covered in calico patches.

Look in and around your cave today.  Notice the unsung and unappreciated things those in our world are quietly doing.

You just might experience a little Clown Pride yourself...

Monday, June 11, 2012

What a Good Sport Looks Like

Fabulous, isn't it?  Thanks to my oldest BFF in the world, Carolyn, for capturing me in all of my glory.  We don't need no stinkin' hair and make-up people in the cave! (More on this lovely photo later...)

Today, I'm thinking about what it means to be a good sport.  I'm also thinking that our world doesn't have very many.  Good sports, that is.

I like to think I'm a good sport.  Take my history with Carolyn, for instance.  She was a great basketball player when we were in high school (like, nine or so years ago...cough!) and I was a mediocre basketball player. But, when she made a basket it was like I made a basket.  It was like, "Whoo-hoo, buddy!" As a matter a fact, I was even told that I was like a cheerleader trying to play basketball. I took that as a I was really happy for others and encouraging. Isn't that sweet?

(Rats! You know from all of the "likes" I just used in that last paragraph that I wasn't in high school nine years ago. It was really, like, the 80's and like, yes, it was, like, totally awesome!)

ANYWAY, the picture of me in a motorcycle helmet.  Well, that's me being a good sport, too.  I could tell you I love riding motorcycles.  Bugs in my teeth, rear going numb, hanging on for dear life.  But, this is not really the case.  In truth, I love my husband.  My husband loves bugs in his teeth, rear not going numb because he is riding in the cushier driver's seat and being in the cushier driver's seat, he is the one actually causing me to hang on for dear life with his need for speed.

Because I love my husband...I ride motorcycles.   Because my husband loves me...he takes me to Hobby Lobby, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1 and snores on my shoulder while I watch my Hallmark movies. We're both good sports like that.

I wish I could throw in a really cute story about my boys being good sports, too, and wrap up the blog for you right here.  (And my boys have been and can be really good sports...)

Unfortunately, I'm not always a good sport.  Neither is my husband.  Neither are my kids.  Neither is anyone else I know.  Sorry.

You see, there have been times I haven't been as happy for Carolyn as I should have been.  Like the time in fifth grade when Brad said he liked her and not me.  Or, the time she got an "A" on the Algebra test and I got a...well, not an "A."

And it's not all childhood-related stuff.  There have been times I have fought envy when I have seen others be extremely successful at something I'm struggling to accomplish myself.  I have sat at teachers' meetings and let my insecurities dampen my joy for the triumphs of those around me.

I have watched my child be passed over for a part, or a spot or a kindness, then fought feelings of resentment when I saw other children go to the front of the stage, or the line or the whatever. This doesn't make me a completely worthless human being.  It makes me a flawed human being who needs to remember a perfect God Who became a human being Himself.

And a really, really good sport.

Whenever I feel bad sport girl coming on...I get to Philippians 2 as fast as I can.  Or, as I like to call it, "The Ultimate Cure for Poor Sportsmanship."

I'm going to share a few verses...but, you really should read the whole thing for yourself.  Stick it on your mirror.  Memorize it. Share it, in a version suited for their age level, with your kids.  Here are verses 4-7...

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant..."

THAT'S what a good sport looks like.  Kind of makes you want to go out and be the wind beneath someone's wings, doesn't it? 

Praying for all of your caves to be even more blessed than mine.  And I mean it.  And those last four words felt really good to type...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hindenburg Parenting

Welcome to Cave School, kids!  Two things you may need to know - or at least be reminded of - before understanding the ramblings of the Cavewoman today:

1)   HindenburgBig, blimp-like, flying contraption that exploded over Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937, tragically killing over 30 people in the air, as well as over 30 people on the ground.
2)   Helicopter Parenting21st Century term defining those who struggle with giving their children “space” in life.

I’m thinking today of the tendency many of us have to “hover,” or as my boys use to call it “Smother vs. Mother.”  (“Hey, Smother! You don’t need to tell me to wear my seat belt every time I get in the car!”) And even though my children are old enough to travel the globe (see last blog), and therefore cause my hovercraft to want to descend even lower…parents with children of any age can surely understand, if not relate to, the brand of parenting I refer to as, “Hindenburg Parenting.” 

This is not actually parenting any of us should aspire to emulate.  I pray to the Lord there will not be how-to seminars in our near future.  Hopefully, all we need to do to avoid this style is listen and look up.

“No date night for us, honey!  The baby is only two and unless it’s drive-through, I just think we would be gone too long.” Ka-boom!

“Oh. My. Gosh!  Sleepover?!  You’re only 12 and Aunt Judy lives like, I don’t know…five minutes away!” Ka-boom!

“What?!  What do you mean you want to go on a mission’s trip with the youth group?!  You’re only 16 and what if you come in contact with germs or people who don’t speak English, God forbid!” Ka-boom!

Now, I believe we are all the authorities on our own circumstances.  You on yours, and me on mine.  So, maybe one of the examples I just stated really could apply to you, and you would be completely justified.  Sickly toddler, Aunt Judy is certifiable or a mission’s trip to an area where teens from the States have recently been in grave danger. I get these things.  You may absolutely need to hover a bit in these instances.  But, most of us know…these are typically exceptional circumstances…not common ones.

My encouragement for any of you out there hovering over your child in the form of a large, dangerously flammable object is simply to let God help you let go.  Even if it’s just a little.  

For me, it was when the first child hit junior high and started facing things he only wanted to talk to his dad about. “What do you mean you want to wait until dad gets home?  What’s wrong?” I asked him.  “Mom, I just want to talk to Dad, okay?”  “Oh, my word!  What’s going on?  Is it something bad?  Are you alright?”  My blimp was near bursting level.  “Mom, it’s just…well, sometimes you…well, you freak.”

“What do you mean I freak?!  What are you talking about?!  You know I love you!  You know I’m always here for you!”  At this point I should have had a very big clue.  Always here for you…boy, that was an understatement.  Try always shadowing you like a big, creepy, flammable disaster waiting to happen should you try to grow up or something crazy like that. 

“Answer me!  What do you mean by ‘freak?’”

The boy in the front passenger seat of my car just looked straight ahead and smiled. 

And then I caught a glimpse of his thumb jabbing at the air in my direction. 

Ka. Boom.

Thankfully, my blimp has turned into more of a medium-sized, weather-type balloon over the years, as I’ve learned to let the Lord help me decipher healthy concern from unhealthy fear. I like to think of it as yellow in color with a happy face on it.

Our kids want us to be a presence in their lives...just not in the form of a gigantic, combustible zeppelin.

Are there areas of your parenting right not that God wants to help you let go in?  Are there any areas you need to really evaluate to make sure you are not stifling your child - or worse yet - hindering them from becoming the person God has made them to be?  Have you conquered in some areas of this battle and have good insight to share?  Cave people love encouragement! Bring it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina!

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it, but I did it anyway.  I made that stupid sound.  You know the sound.  The one people make right before they think another car is going to hit theirs.  The sound they make before they drop several stories on a roller coaster.  The sound they make before a small child goes down a slide for the first time.

As I tightly hugged my eldest son yesterday, that annoying sound escaped my inner being.  He was leaving for a six-week study abroad program in Argentina and… he was leaving without me. 

I would like to tell you that I patted his back and cheerfully exclaimed, “Have a great time!  See you later!”  And though I did speak pleasant words to the boy, on the inside I was pleading, “Always travel with a friend…don’t go anywhere unsavory looking…don’t talk to strangers…say your prayers…Skype me careful…be careful…come back to me…be careful…”

If you’re a human over the age of three, you’ve quite possibly made some form of the “sound” yourself at one time or another.  And regardless of a faith history you may have with the Creator, you probably still battle worry more than you care to admit. 

And it’s not just moms who worry.  Or even women in general.  In this economy, men are fretting more than ever about job security, financial provision for their families…the list goes on.  I teach in a public school, and I’m saddened by the worry I see even very young people saddled with. Worry is everywhere…eager to distract us and, if at all possible, render us useless.

My husband is constantly reminding me that worry is just the result of a deeper issue…lack of trust.  I hate when he’s right like that.  But, it’s so true.  I do have a faith history with my Creator, and I know He loves and cares for my South American-bound boy even more than I ever could.  But, still…

Sigh. I already have to buy two boxes of color each time I want to cover the gray in my hair.  I can’t afford the number of grays requiring three. 

Still, as long as there are cars, roller coasters, slides and children who have the nerve to grow up and get a life of his or her own…that sound is going to be waiting in the wings.

And to keep it in the wings and out of my lungs as much as possible, I try to remember this: “People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit.  Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.”  Isaiah 26:3-4 MSG

I have to “keep at it.”  I have to intentionally keep at trusting in the God I know is a sure thing. We all do.

What helps you “keep at it?” Feel free to share, because the more encouragement spoken in our caves, the better. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Time-Outs: Not Just for Toddlers!

Most remember their first introduction to the term “time-out.”  And it wasn’t at a sporting event.  Unless you call putting gum in another’s hair a sport.  I actually can’t speak from childhood experience here, as my folks weren’t ones to waste energy touring “Time-Out Island” on their way to visit “Spanking Mountain.” 

However, as a parent, I used time-out some with my boys.  It worked with Child Number 3, who would rather see his fingernails pulled off than miss any outdoor activity…including putting gum in another’s hair.  But, Child Number 1…well, let’s just say that when I finally remembered he was in time-out an hour after I had stuck him there for “just 10 minutes,” he was well into Act III of “Finger People Go to the Zoo.”  He asked if he could stay in “time-out” just a little bit longer.  You know, to finish the show, allow for curtain calls and such.  I obviously had to come up with another form of consequence for that child. 

Lately, I’ve been pondering other kinds of time-outs we humans may experience in our existence. Like, when we’re trying to finish college so we can get on with “real” life.  When we’re losing a job and anxiously wondering when the next one will come along.  How about waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right?  Big time-out for some, I know.  And there’s being patient for that child we may be longing for.  Or, maybe even feeling sidelined by the children we do have…like life is on hold until they get “bigger.” 

I’ve been in sort of a time-out myself for the past several months. Reevaluating my priorities and what I really want to spend my days accomplishing.  Taking the time to appreciate my family, and then taking the time to make sure they know I love them more than the other things that constantly vie for my affections. My time-out also caused me to take a break from sharing via blogger-land some of the cool truths God encourages me with here in my home.  The home I laughingly and lovingly refer to as my “cave.”  

Well, the whistle has been blown and this time-out for me is over.  And while I’m thankful to get back in the game, chewing gum and blogging…it was truly a good break.  One that made me realize my passion has never been stronger for encouraging others to see these things we call “time-outs” as quite often blessings in disguise.  Times to realize…or maybe just remember…who we are and what we should be doing.

Much like the outcome we expect when we stick a toddler in the corner of a room.