Tag Archives: children

Winners and Losers; Character building

There are so many things that I am thinking about, yet for some reason putting them on paper (computer) seems to be an issue.  Not sure why, other than I think I am overwhelmed with thought.

Perhaps it’s because our family is going through transition, or perhaps it’s because we once again have been traveling to much, or maybe, just maybe it’s because I find myself trying to explain to my children how to deal with inconsistencies and unfairness in a fallen world.  Our lifestyle has us spending a great amount of time with so many who are not what we would call “ideal” role models.  My mind swirls in thought on how to parent in a way that glorifies the Lord.  Teaching them not to spite, not to be rude, to be the light.  In then end, I’m finding these are lessons I too can glean insight.

Let me explain.  We just returned from a weekend out of town where the kids competed in the North American Championship.  We’ve attended this event for 4 years now, and with great excitement our daughter once again placed, receiving a second place for the fourth year in a row in Amateur for all of North America.  Clearly, this is an accomplishment worth being excited about and not something to frown over.

The difficulties come in when, as a parent, you watch your child stressed over such an upcoming event that she isn’t sleeping, she’s practicing for months, spending hours with both of her instructors and confident that this is the year she will take first.  With great hopes of moving up to compete next year in the Gold.  After her competition, she was given a thumbs up by one of the judges, while many more, including the president of the event told her it was a gold medal winning performance.  All day we had to hear that “she swept away the other competitors.”  Yet, in the end, it was a fourth second place.  Disappointment…yes!  Tears…yes!  Bewilderment…yes!  Were we alone in our disbelief…NO!

In times like these, we sit back and wonder, is it worth it?  Okay, I shouldn’t use the word “we”… I wonder if it’s worth it.  I’ve spent the last 5 days considering my words to my daughter and how to continue to reassure her that her natural talent and her ability to pull off a win were there.  After all, she did meet with all three of the judges the next day and together the four of them discussed how she could better her performance next year and she was able to learn what they were looking for.  She also learned that she basically tied for first and they “split hairs” to choose a winner.

Through this I have been pondering the lessons we teach our children when they are in competitive sports or competitive situations.  As well as how we as parents respond to any injustice or defeat our children are forced to accept.

There are winners, and there are losers.  This doesn’t mean that the loser is insignificant.  It just means that at that performance, the winner had a great day and they did well.  We should be happy for them, cheer them on and just try harder next time.  Who knows, next time you may be the winner and it would be nice to have others happy for you.

Life isn’t always fair.  Learning to live in a society where there are favorites is something we all have to live with.  Learning as a child that contentment in a life serving the Lord is more important and will help you to gain perspective, strength, confidence and endurance to get through ANYTHING in this world.

How you feel you played is what counts.  If putting your best foot forward was what you gave in a performance, then you have done your job well.  Especially when you are being affirmed by others that you are their inspiration and that they enjoy watching you perform.  That should be worth more than the blue.  

Spite and bitterness are nothing more than the devils path to destruction.

Hebrews 12:15  (ESV)  15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

Is it hard to not look at the obvious evidence that there is some bias at times?  Of course it’s hard.  However, no one said that life was going to be easy and if we are going to participate in activities that many of the “lost” are participating in, then we have to remember that we cannot expect moral uprightness.

Accept the things we cannot change. 

God’s plan is not our plan and His timing is not our timing.  Teaching patience to our children can be and is so difficult.  After all, we too struggle with patience.  It’s good to teach our children that prayer for the willingness to wait upon the Lord is important.  

Success is not measured in numbers or colors.  Blue, Red, White, Gold, Silver, Bronze…1st, 2nd, 3rd… How should we measure success?

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”  George S. Patton

Winter Storm 2015 KS
Winter Storm 2015 KS

In our book, she’s a winner.  Her perseverance shows success and character.  Her ability to perform in such a way is far more than her own mother could take on.  And, she is excited that even though she thought there were age limits, she is able to move up to compete in the gold next year… even though she took second.  The judges told her that it was her choice and that if she chose to stay in Amateur then she would likely take the gold but if she wanted to move up to Professional, she may not place and she will have to pay her dues (in being at that level of course.  After all, in their book, she’s just an amateur).  Her response… “I want to move up to compete for the gold next year.  I want the challenge, and I want the competition as well as the experience.”   I call that success!

Do I wonder if I’m doing okay with my “motherly” advice to my children?  Of course!  Am I always on target with my response to their heartache?  No!  Do I pray for the wisdom and the the courage to overcome, for them as well as myself?  Absolutely!  Am I encouraged in leading them when I see them persevere and continue on even through persecution, in justice, heartache and criticism?  Most definitely!  Do I still have work to do on my own reaction?  The fact I am even writing about it shows that YES…I find this is also character building for myself!  With the help of the Lord, we will all persevere and next year, I’m hoping she places in the top 5 in the professional… Or… Takes Gold altogether!  ha ha


Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving… a time of the year when the smell of the food tantalizes the memory bank of years gone by.  From childhood memories of family Thanksgivings at a grandparents house, with cousins, aunts and uncles and laughter sprouting from every corner to the memories that we are making today.  From the turkey that baked all day to the traditional recipes passed down for generations.  The potato dumplings dance in the pot and the whipped cream salad chills out in the freezer just waiting for their hour to be presented to the mouth watering family patiently waiting for their once a year feast.  Our days are quieter than they once were, yet the joy and laughter still roars though the house bouncing off  of the walls, reminding us that what’s more important than anything is the things that we can be thankful for.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

With times of uncertainty, we do ourselves great disservice if we cannot be grateful for the blessings that we have been given by the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Some of the things I am thankful for are:  (in no particular order)

  1.  A husband who has always provided for our needs and who continues to do so with every morsel of his being.  For a man who trusts the Lord in everything he does and who loves me and cares for me ’til death do us part’.

  2.  I am thankful for my children who are growing up making the Lord a first priority in their lives and whose laughter warms their mother heart.

  3.  For family and friends who stand by us when we need them the most.

  4.  For a loving God who saved me out of the ashes to call me one of His own.  Praise God… For once I was lost, and now am found.

  5.  I am thankful for the years we have been able to enjoy a cottage, where we could hang our hats and relax while the world went on without us.  (Even though the realtor is coming tomorrow… sigh)

  6.  For the roof over our heads and the food that we enjoy at the giving of the Lord.  (Even though we had a day of cold showers due to the hot water heater having issues and the fact that the kitchen sink is broken.)

  7.  For the gift of safety when traveling.  (And for the nice police officer that did NOT give me a ticket even though I was speeding to get here…)

  8.  For the snow that reminds me of the changing over of seasons.  (Even though I got stuck in the ditch going down the driveway and then got stuck half way up the driveway due to the great amount of snow.)

  9.  For the healing in my body and movement.   (Even though I’m tired and achy…)

  10.  For the many friends that I have met through this blog.  You keep me smiling and keep me going.  🙂

The last few days have been spent working to get the cottage ready to sell.  Cleaning out closets, cleaning up after mice that thought they would take up residency since we haven’t been here in a few months, cooking and preparing for today.  Now that today is here, I find myself relaxing in front of a fire watching the snow fall gently from the sky and trees while also smelling the turkey that warms itself in the oven.  How could one not be grateful.  We are blessed and there is no question about it and no reason to complain…. about anything!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  It is with great hope that your day is filled with thoughts of thankfulness, no matter where you are or what you are doing, that you will find something to be grateful for.


A Mothers Joyful Heart

Psalm 127:3 (ESV)   Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

I can still remember the feeling of my children when I was pregnant for them.  I remember the movement they would make, the hiccups that kept them jostling around in  consecutive rhythm, and the elbow or knee that would poke out under my rib that kept me from being able to bend forward.  I remember the glorious feeling that God had chosen me to be their mom on this earth.  That he chose me to carry two of His children so that I could raise them up in His word and teach them what I know of Him.    What a blessing, what an honor.  

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

My daughter and I had the opportunity to spend some time together a week ago leaving the boys home to meander doing “boy stuff”.  The true test of how much I am healing.  From not being able to drive at all, to driving the 8 hours one way to our home away from home.  The drive back home 4 days later was more of a challenge, yet we made it safely and the memories of our time together will be a blessing for many years.

We cooked, shopped, took apart old watches and made bracelets out of the gears, and began working on quilts from the material we found at the quilt store.  We also drove around one day with our cameras and took some photographs of nature and the beauty that God provides.  I think many people go through their days not noticing what is around them.  Not us, we embraced the moment with two lenses, one lens being the eyes of youth and the other being the eyes of age.  We laughed and discussed how glorious God is that he has found favor in us to have given us the ability to see beauty in the things around us.   From the flowers blooming in the garden of a older woman, to the trees in the forest lining the road way.  We saw deer, a skunk, an eagle, and the black squirrels jumping from limb to limb playing tag.  Our weekend was not short of excitement.

My highlight was spending time with my daughter, and watching the doe with her fawns that visited our yard each day.  Sometimes more than once.  At one point I opened the upstairs window to capture a clear shot and I heard one of the fawns honk as he/she communicated with his/her mom.  I nearly cried.  I watched as mom looked in all directions before she led her babes across the street, and watched as she led them to the greenery teaching them to forage for food.  I also watched the babes chase one another around the yard jumping and running at full speed.  It was beautiful and for a moment I felt a connection with the doe.  We were both teaching and spending time with the blessing of our womb.

I hope that you find favor in the site of the Lord and that you can see the beauty that is around you.  No matter where you are, what you are doing, what affliction tries to carry you away, I pray that you can and will cry out for the eyesight to notice the creations of the Lord.  Enjoy the pics, we sure enjoyed taking them.


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And the surprise out my bedroom window at 5:30 a.m.


Big, fluffy white coat and a tail that swirled and swayed as he ran into the woods (when I tried to take the screen out to get a better picture) … If only it didn’t smell!   🙂


Graduation Day

A blessing that will be remembered for many years to come.  Celebrated with our closest friends, church family and a few of our immediate family members.

I remember our sons first day of school and I also remember his first day of homeschooling.  We both were excited at the new adventure, yet we were also a bit nervous over what the years would bring.  It wasn’t always easy as I not only prepared lesson plans for one class, but all of them.  At times I felt like I had lived under a rock over my 40+ years.  We learned together in most subjects and I wondered if I was doing a good job.   There was always worry….  There were a few years that we put almost 100 miles a week on the car driving from sports activities, volunteering opportunities,  to music lessons.   I used to tell my husband that being a stay at home mom is not easy and I will not know how well I’ve done my job until our children turned 18 and I see the end result of who they become.  After all, there is no evaluation at the end of each year, there is no paycheck handed to you and there are no promotions.

At this point, I weep with joy over the end of our adventure as I see a once little boy become a young man.  He is first and foremost a Godly individual who wants to serve the Lord in all he does.  He is polite, happy, easy going (most of the time) and he is incredibly smart.  He graduated last weekend with a near 4. GPA, and he is also at a sophomore level in college.   Well, I can praise God for leading us through this part of our journey between mother and son and thank Him for His glory that saw us through the difficulties.  We could only have done it with the power of prayer and strength from Him whom we trust.

photo 5A

A selfie with mom!




Random thoughts of youth…

Teenager… The word for youth between the ages of 13-18. A word that made it’s debut in 1941 in Popular Science Monthly. Although, as early as the 1920’s parents were already beginning to allow their children more time to enjoy their youth before they experienced the challenges of adulthood, yet the word was first used in print in 1941. Honestly, I think there should be more time to be a child before you have the face the challenges of the “teen-age” years. Things change from one generation to the next so significantly that I’m just not sure how society keeps up with itself. Does that make sense? Not sure it does, yet for those over 40 I’m sure you can relate and understand where I’m coming from.

Since I spend a great deal of time with my “teenagers”, I am astounded at how old I feel. I seem to be in a constant state of disbelief at the things they know and the things I don’t. I mean, when in the last 20 years did red stop matching blue, brown shoes not match blue jeans, belts go out of fashion and jeans not fit around the waste. Who are the bands that my children download onto the family iTunes ap? For that matter, what makes it an ap? What is LOL? Is it “lots of love”, “lots of laugh”, “laugh out loud” or “lots of luck”? I just don’t remember things being so difficult to keep straight. Funnier yet is that my teenagers seem to be “in the know” since they understand each LOL. Really????

In November, I learned a new word and thought it was such a fun word with such a fun concept that for about 4 hours I dragged my daughter around Disney acting upon what I had learned. It was all fun & games until she decided her mother was becoming an embarrassment and told me she was done. What was the word? Selfies…taking a picture of yourself with your cell phone. Although, in my case, we did it with a Canon camera. At least most of them. I was shocked at how many people actually knew the word and laughed when we asked them to be in the picture or when we were setting the stage for our next picture perfect moment. What made our 4 hours challenging was the fact that I was in the wheelchair for most of them, so getting the right angle with a Canon was quite time consuming.

I was looking through pictures and thought you may enjoy seeing some of our selfies that we took that day… that is until the 14 year old stopped all the fun. Guess there are some things that don’t change from one generation to the next… Parents can and will embarrass their children! LOL..Just so you know, that means, Laugh out loud!

photo 1

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As the week wore on, under duress, brother and husband joined in the fun with mom.



Why Proverbs 31:10-31?


    10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
    11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
    12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
    13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
    14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
    15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
    16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
    17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
    18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
    19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
    20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
    21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
    22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
    23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
    24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
    25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
    26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
    27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
    28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
    29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
    30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
    31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Why is this important to me?

Oh, I remember when we were first married and how I would get up in the morning, make coffee, make breakfast and bring it to my new husband on a tray as my mother did for so many years for my father. I remember talking him into letting me do his laundry as I thought that it was important that I be the one to do it for him. I remember wanting to please him in so many ways whether it be helping him grow his business by handwriting mailers at night after our dinner, helping him with seminars or just supporting him when his days were long and uncertainty was great. I remember even taking up golf, which was important to him.

As the years slipped by and we became accustomed to one another and we were drawn into life as a married couple, it seems that the routine of breakfasts, laundry, golf, and so many other things became a thing of the past. We had children that needed our attention, my husbands career changed and I was needed in different ways to support him, and society convinced us that being a part of the community was more important. Time for our family unit was short, time for us was minimal and it seems that the once important process of pleasing one another as we once had became a thing of the past.

As I attended Community Bible Study one fall, we began the study of Proverbs. I was a core leader at the time and had a wonderful group of ladies that were Titus women, helping me as a facilitator to grow in my understanding of the Proverbs. We discussed many items in our discussions and I will never forget some of the wisdom passed down from several of them.

1. Community service is great, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the family first. We have limited time to be with our children, so use this time to raise them and help them to be seekers of the Word first. Charities can wait.

2. When doing housework, do we dread it or are we taking in the blessing that God has bestowed upon us. After all, we wouldn’t have mounds of laundry, piles of dishes, books and games sprawled upon the tables and floors if God had not allowed us to become wives and mothers. Perhaps we should enjoy every moment folding that laundry and cleaning up those toys.

3. When your husband comes home what does he come home to? Is he coming home to a house in chaos or a house of love that is joyful to return to when he opens the door. Taking a look at how our household runs makes an impact on our marriages and the life of our children.

4. And finally Proverbs 31:10-31. The view of husbands upon their wives. Keepers of the home, trustworthy, God fearing, God loving, trusting and hardworking that never ceases. One of the Titus women commented on even our appearance. Although we as Christian women know that our husbands love us for who we are without fanfare, we need to consider how they spend their days and the temptations that they are exposed to. If they spend their days at the office with women who are wearing clothing that is appealing, if they are made to feel more important by those who look up to them, or if they are with women who just plain want a life with them then as wives we put our families at risk when we allow our husbands to come home to frump city. We should consider taking a shower, making dinner and putting on clothes that represent the wonderful provider he is. We should perhaps put on some makeup or at least brush our hair and greet him with a loving nature that shows him how important he is.

I remember this woman looking at all of us in the room and her wonderful words of wisdom and I began to reflect upon the generations of past. One of my grandmother’s would do all of her cleaning, cooking and charity work during the day and by 3:00 p.m. it was time to clean up for my grandfather. My other grandmother raised 6 children, and I remember seeing a video of her on a sledding hill with her beautiful dress and winter coat helping her children get onto their sleds. My mother did much the same thing, having dinner ready when my dad came home and retreating to their room for their half hour of quiet time together before facing the children and the problems of the day.

I remember thinking also how I allowed life and society to interfere with my delight in taking care of my family. I posted Proverbs 31:10-31 on my kitchen refrigerator and pondered it daily until I began to truly feel those words on my heart. It took years, yet it worked. I now consider my life as a wife and mother to be the most joyful, most successful thing I have ever done and will ever do. Oh, it’s not perfect daily, and I could always do better, yet as I see how I viewed this blessing 10-15 years ago and compare it to now, I see growth.

That is why Proverbs 31:10-31. I know that it means different things to different women. I know that not all will agree with what my opinion is. That is fine. I am just giving an explanation of why it’s an important part of my life and why it’s at the top of my blog. I hope to pass it down to my daughter for generations yet to come to follow. I hope that the Lord Blesses us with generational strength to be Titus women teaching what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman.