My Books

Friday, July 31, 2015

What to Do When Kids Mess Up

I witnessed some good parenting this past weekend while attending a sporting event. A man and his four-year-old daughter sat in the row behind us. Apparently, the little girl had accidently hit the head of a man in front of her. Her aunt, who she was sitting by when the incident occurred, said she needed to apologize to the man. The girl refused. After a bit of prodding, she still wouldn't do it. That's when the dad stepped in.

"Hey," he said to his daughter. "Come here."
She moved down the two seats toward him, head down, arms crossed, grouchy-pouty face full on.
"What's going on? Tell me what happened." 
If she responded, I couldn't hear her.
"Did you hit the man in the head?"
I assume she nodded.
"Did Auntie ask you to say you're sorry?"
Probably another nod.
"Did you do it?"
"Then go do it."
Again she refused.  
"Listen, baby. No one cares if you messed up. Everyone messes up and it's OK. But when you mess up, you have to say you're sorry. That's what big people do. Okay? Now go tell him."

Reluctantly, she made her way back to the man. I couldn't hear if she apologized. But I saw her dad help her lift her arm to high-five him, which is pretty much the same thing. And then Dad asked her if she wanted to go walking around the ball park with him. All was forgiven. She'd done the right thing and her daddy loved her. 

I was so taken by this interaction. That dad got it right and he taught his girl some important lessons. Obeying is mandatory. Apologies are necessary. She wasn't in trouble because she hit the guy. She just needed to make it right. Dad's love was never in question. He never got mad or even raised his voice. He explained the situation calmly and told her what needed to be done. 

A simple explanation to a child goes so much further than anger. And it models respect, which will be returned as the child grows. I wish I could say I got it right all the time when I was raising my kids. I didn't. I'm lucky if I got it right half the time. But I love seeing parents doing a good job. May this example inspire you to keep at the often exhausting task of disciplining your children. Or as Galatians 6:9 says, "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up" (NLT). 

That blessing just might be well-behaved, thoughtful children living for the Lord.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gratitude Pillow

This quote from Maya Angelou rings true in my heart. When I turn my focus to gratitude, the whole world looks so much better. When I end my day thinking about all my blessings and the things that went right, rather than wrong that day, I sleep more peacefully. Gratitude is a soft place to live, to sleep, even to cry. Because even in the midst of sadness, there are always things to be thankful for. Blessing and hardship often come hand in hand. Hardship yells. Blessing whispers. But both are present. And an outpouring of thanksgiving and gratitude transforms the quiet blessing into a raucous praise song. I'm thankful for God's constant faithfulness. What about you? List one of your life blessings in the comments.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jellyfish Have No Brains

This meme gives hope to many. But let's be honest, some days that brainless one is me. Other days it may be you. So let's be gentle with each other and cut each other some slack. Then let's pray we locate our brains before we do any great damage. Our world is damaged enough without our contribution!  :)  Have a good story about when your mind went AWOL? Share it in the comments below. Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sunshine and Fresh Air

Today, raise your face to the sun and breathe deeply. Thank God for the blessing of the warmth on your skin and the air filling your lungs, things we usually take for granted, but wouldn't survive without. God gives such good gifts! Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, July 27, 2015

I Hate to Cook

It's Me Monday where I share a tidbit about myself. It may be something you never knew about me or not. I hope you'll share a little something about yourself, too, in the comments so we can get to know each other.

Here I am pretending to be happy in my
kitchen. A dish towel is my most
common fashion accessory. 
So, yeah. I hate to cook. It isn't that I can't cook. I can! But it isn't something I truly enjoy. I do it because I have to. Or sometimes from guilt that I should make meals for my family, which mostly consists of just me and my dear husband, Rollin, now. Sometimes our 19-year-old daughter will eat with us, but usually it's just the two of us these days. I do, however, love having large family gatherings where I cook up a storm and everyone brings food to help out. But that's more about the love of family than the love of cooking.

Here's the problem. I love to eat. So in order for me to do that I have to cook. Or at least figure out an easy pull-from-the-fridge-or-pantry type of meal. I wouldn't mind living in the Jetson's age, where a person just pushes a button and a complete, nutritious meal pops out for them ready to eat.

I spent 30-plus years making healthy meals for my family when my children were young. We rarely ate out and we all survived my cooking. It seems like that many years of doing something I don't even like should be enough, right? So these days, we eat out more. It's way less expensive now that there's only two of us. And we usually bring home enough food for another meal or two, which is almost as economical as eating at home.

And God bless my dear husband, Rollin, who eats anything I put in front of him and never complains about my lack of culinary skills. And also, thank God that one of his favorite meals is a tuna sandwich.

How about you? Do you like cooking? Love it? Hate it? Refuse to do it? Sound off in the comments.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Epic Blog Fail and What I Intend to Do About It

Really? Have I really only posted four times in 2015 even though the year is already more than half over? This is why I wasn't sure I should start a blog in the first place. Would I be able to keep up with it? Would my faithful readers (all 2 or 3 of them) be disappointed if I didn't post as regularly as I planned? Or worse, would they not even notice if I failed to post?

I want my writing life to look like this. 

But it often feels more like this as I try to keep up with deadlines, family, and church responsibilities. 

It's not like I haven't been writing. That would be even more of an epic fail. Truth is, I blog almost every week. Every second and fourth Thursday on Christian Children's Authors and every third Friday on Doing LifeTogether. Plus I'm working on rewriting a juvenile fiction book. Which is why I struggle to post here. But I'm hoping to change that.

My friend, Andrea, recently started her own blog called ARHtistic License. Check it out if you're creative in any way. And who isn't? She encouraged me to come up with a schedule of what I'd like to post each week. So here's my plan.

Me Monday - This will be a post that will help you get to know me better. I'll share something about myself that you may not have known. In return, I hope you'll share something about yourself in the comments so I can get to know you, too!

Timeless Tuesday - Some things never go out of style. Like kindness, faith, love, laughter. I'll share a tidbit about something I deem to be timeless.

Wacky Wednesday - About halfway through the week we just might need a laugh. I'll share something that's crazy, weird, funny, or hard to believe.

Thoughtful Thursday - Things that make me think, meditate, look within, and the like will be my focus. Might be a scripture, a quote, or a short story.

Finally Friday - Let's talk about our weekend plans. What will you do? Or what do you wish you could do?

Now you may be thinking what does any of this have to do with parenting, as the title of this blog suggests? But really, doesn't parenting involve almost every aspect of life? Isn't it sort of all-encompassing? Yeah. That's what I think, too. What doesn't have to do with parenting if you're a parent? After all, your whole life is an example to your kids. So, I reserve the right to preempt any of the theme days above to post an article about parenting (or anything else that comes to mind). My goal is to be more intentional and regular with my posts. I'll still try to make a lot of them about parenting. But the content will be more well-rounded, like a good parent should be.

So wish me luck, send up a prayer for me, cross your fingers, or do whatever you think will help me stay on track with this. A two-by-four over the head, anyone? Just as in parenting, I need all the help I can get. And while you're at it, go ahead and become a regular member of this blog and add your email address, too, so you can get these posts dropped right in your inbox.