Be a Cheerleader Mom!

dianecheer2I came across this photo the other day, from my college days. Yes, believe it or not, I was a cheerleader for most of my undergrad career! It cracks my kids up. To be honest, it sort of cracks me up too!

I got to thinking…I’m still a cheerleader. My “team” now is my family. I started thinking of all the ways we moms can cheer our team on. These are some things I want to be more faithful in doing:

  • The first and best thing I can do for my kids is to be in the Word daily. Meditating, reading, memorizing, internalizing it so that it changes me and helps me think more like God does and less like I am prone to be. When I was a cheerleader, we had lots of practices. When knew the words, the steps, the drills, so that in the middle of the game we could function as a unit, and choose the correct cheer for the appropriate time. It became rote. Oh, how I want my ability to apply God’s Word practically to our family life to become rote!
  • Hugs-I’m big on hugs…and they are good medicine! (it’s been scientifically proven-lol)
  • Smiles and laughing together (ask my kids…periodically, my reply to their eye-rolls is, “One day you’ll look back and be thankful you had a mom who was a nut.”)
  • Grabbing that special little something on a tough day. Whatever it is. A cool shirt on clearance at Wally World, Cake Pops from Starbucks, or a “sweet nothing” that catches your eye at Dollar Tree (even if you know it won’t last a day once you bring it home). Just something that says “I was thinking of you”.
  • Cutting some slack. We can be drill sergeants sometimes. We forget what it was like to be a kid, and how BIG those now-comparatively-small problems could be. So when that kiddo is a “little black rain cloud”, how about looking inward. Our stormy days still come around too. Are we demonstrating how to navigate them biblically?
  • Showing grace. I remember one particular time when all the kids were immensely crabby, picking at each other and complaining in the car on the way to shop. I pulled off in the TCBY parking lot and told everyone we were going in. With enthusiasm, the kids all ordered their favorites, and when we found our way back to the car, I asked, “So…do you think you deserve this treat?” They all agreed they didn’t. We had a good discussion on grace that day, and how our loving Father gives us good gifts because He is good, not because we are in any way meriting them.
  • Encouraging the impossible. Instead of being Rebecca Realist whenever the kids bring their pie-in-the-sky ideas to me, I try (not always successfully) to be open minded and convey that I believe in them.
  • Acknowledging achievement. This is another one where I need to think back on my childhood and the times when I wish someone had said, “Great job!” or “Proud of you!”  That’s not to say that we celebrate every accomplishment with fanfare…otherwise it starts to be meaningless. But the times when they applied themselves, really tried their best with every ounce of sweat-equity they could muster, when they really doubted their ability but they pulled through (even if it wasn’t stellar)…those occasions need a big Mom Nod.
  • Little pokes. When Facebook had that “poke” feature and “Pieces of Flair”, I used to send them to our two oldest…just because. Now, even if I am not surfing the web very much, I still make sure to drop by and see what they are posting on social media. “Liking” and plugging in cute emojis and stickers here and there.
  • Reminders that God is big, and Christianity is more than on Sunday mornings. This is just looking for those teachable moments throughout the day when you sense that the scope of their thought processes is getting too narrow, and consequently stunting their viewpoint of God. It’s showing them that when stuff “goes down”, and hearts are breaking, we pray because it’s the first and right course of action to take. Applying scripture to every day issues to show them it really is alive and powerful. Showing them by what we do, say, read, listen to, and how we react…that Mom isn’t great, but God is…that’s important.
  • Making home a haven. Being a kid is tough. I remember the things I experienced growing up. Hard things. Hurtful things. That kid stuff that is unfortunately all too common. Home needs to be not only a physically safe place, but a place of welcome and understanding. A place of comfort and stability.  Even today, our oldest told me of her rough day yesterday and how she had told a friend, “After a day like this, I need home.”

cheer

So, you may be thinking, “Well, what about your husband? Aren’t you his cheerleader too? What does that look like?”

I am my husband’s teammate. More than a cheerleader. That’s material for a future post. 😉

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“Becoming Mom Strong” Launch!

momstrongbookcoverI’m beyond excited about this opportunity to help launch Heidi St. John’s new book, “Becoming Mom Strong”! This is a timely, biblically-based perspective on today’s parenting…because what we are facing ain’t your mama’s motherhood experience. I love what Heidi has said in our launch group (don’t worry…I won’t be sharing anything of a personal nature from this private group):

I truly believe that you are part of a very special generation of mothers—tasked with raising kids in a culture that is rapidly moving toward moral relativism and away from the things that God says bring life. We’re going to be talking about the very real struggles we are facing right now—but we’re also going to laugh (a lot) pray for each other and learn to see ourselves the way God sees us… as women who have been set apart “for such a time as this,” capable, loved, chosen. In other words, “MomStrong!”

Do you have days (sometimes weeks?) when you feel like you’re just not doing this thing right? It’s time for some empowerment, ladies. Lasting, rock-solid, uplifting words from our Almighty Creator God!

Pre-order the book here!

Is Your Heart Peaceful?

peacefultreeLately I have chosen to do a more focused reading of various books of the Bible instead of reading through it “in a year”. It has helped me pay attention to things better, rather than just reading to get it done (because I like checking off lists).  I started reading through Colossians daily for the month of August and am accompanying that with scripture writing through that epistle with Heidi St. John’s plan.  It has been good for me to read books as a whole, instead of in installments. Continuity really helps in getting the meaning. I know that’s not a profound idea, but it translates into some pretty profound stuff when you do it!

This passage has been grabbing my attention:

 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ” Colossians 3:14-16

The word “rule” has me thinking. To rule means to restrain, control, direct or influence something or someone. According to Roberton’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, this word is an old verb, meaning to “act as an umpire”. An umpire makes the ultimate decision on all crucial calls in sports. He ascertains. He discerns. He decides.

Peace is supposed to do that for us. And the context of this word tells us how. Choosing to love as God does, unconditionally, unreservedly.  Choosing thankfulness “in everything”, even if it can’t be literally “for everything”. Choosing to immerse our wayward minds and hearts in the Word…richly.

Some of this is cyclical…we can’t love with agape unless we understand what it looks like through God’s Word. Our growing love for God means our trust also grows so that we can choose to have a thankful heart regardless of circumstances. Immersing our minds in scripture (Bible reading, good solid Christian books, scripturally-based music, and scripture memorization) changes our perspective on everything.

This is one of the reasons I really like the idea of scripture writing. It gets me to really meditate on what I’ve read. Try it! It’s free.  And have a peace-FULL heart.

If I Had a Tardis…

tardisblog

Our kids have enjoyed the many adventures of Dr. Who. One of the most intriguing things about that Blue Box is the possibility to go back (or forward) to any moment in time.  He witnessed Pompeii, conspired with Winston Churchill, engaged in a mystery with Agatha Christie, met Vincent Van Gogh, and saw the birth of the Universe.

I recently saw a meme on Facebook which asked, “If you could go back to any moment in time, what would it be?” And the memories began flooding in.

Our wedding day? The moment when I first looked into the eyes of each of our babies? The magical moment when our two oldest saw fireflies in the twilight for the first time?

I thought back to that one Christmas long ago when my brother Dave surprised us by traveling home on his motorcycle. I thought I would be the only kid at home that Christmas, and it just seemed so lonely. Seeing that old Maxwell House commercial always reminds me of it.

I remembered the mysterious night when my brother Tom (then in the Air Force) was stranded at the airport in Philly because of flooding and we waited in the parked car in the dark for what felt like days. Daddy slogged through the high water (who knows how far) to meet him…what a relief to finally see them both.

I think of more recent times when we were able to vacation in California and our kids got to play together on the beach for the first time in their lives. It was golden.

I find the most significant moments are not about stuff. They are about people.

It is so easy to become busy. It seems there is always something tugging at our sleeves, requiring our time.  Here I am in my mid-50’s, coming up on a 25-year anniversary with my husband. Our kids are growing up too fast. There is a reason that songs like Cats in the Cradle resonate with us. When we begin to see more years behind us than before us, we reflect. I suppose if my husband and I were to choose, Time in a Bottle would be “our song”.

Thoughts like these leave me wistful…a word not used much anymore. Longing for simpler times, lasting experiences. A bit of regret that so much of life is taken up with “planes to catch and bills to pay”.  So much of the book of Ecclesiastes has that feel to it too. I think there’s a reason that Solomon wrote, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

The 17th century English poet, Robert Herrick, put it this way:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

Shakespeare wrote:

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more.” Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

Life is a fleeting thing, a “vapor” as the Bible says. It may not feel like it today, while it is jammed with things-to-do-and-people-to-see; but one day in eternity we will look back and view things quite differently. We’ll ask ourselves how much of those years we had here resulted in wood, hay, and stubble, and how much of them yielded gold, silver, and precious stones. (1 Corinthians 3:12,13)

Amidst all the flurry today, let’s look for eternal dividends.

This poem by C. T. Studd is worth our time today.

 

Our Daughter, Injectagirl

injectagirlBecause traffic has picked up in a crazy way lately (nearly 1,500 visitors each day–which can be attributed to lots of things including wonky SEO…but I’ll take it!), I thought I’d use the opportunity to do a little promo.

I’ve written a couple things here about our youngest and her diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes. I thought I’d just throw a quick blurb up here right now, in case there are some new visitors for whom this could be an encouragement.

Last fall, our oldest daughter, who loves make up artistry, created a persona for Katie for Diabetes Awareness Month”. She became “Injectagirl, the Type 1 Superhero”, so that we could empower her, and encourage other families dealing with this challenging disease.

We took a little break from activity, but are now getting things running again. You can find videos, helpful and heart-full blog posts and more by visiting:

The Injectagirl Blog (mainly for parents)

Injectagirl YouTube Channel (with interviews, Q & A, how-to’s and more)

Injectagirl Facebook page (blog updates and video updates are posted here as well as simple day-in-the-life kinds of things)

I hope you’ll join us. Share the links with parents and kids who need some super power! 🙂