Chasing Money

 My first week with both boys in school has passed. I’ve entertained many thoughts and found out a lot about myself – yes, in just a week. I’ve been able to hear myself think and also hear that soft voice of God that sounds like a whisper. Speak up, God. What did you say?

I’ve been offered a few jobs that are willing to pay me for my time. One was a job to teach children reading a few hours a week. All the job offers were appealing, but I turned each one down. I realized it was the money that was appealing…not the job. I was following the money and not that whispering voice. For the last ten years, I’ve poured myself into homeschooling my children. I promised God I would pour myself into Him and ‘step back’ and wait for His move. It wasn’t easy turning those jobs down because who can’t use extra money?

I told hubby I was proud of myself for turning the jobs down. This is a time for me to be still and wait for my next assignment…from God. I’m notorious, as most women are, for jumping from one project to another and creating things to do. No wonder we’re always tired! There is a difference in being busy and being productive…for Him. I refuse to fill my calendar up with side jobs and special projects. In the end, will any of this matter? When I follow God’s leading with my gifts, He blesses my family beyond my imagination. I don’t have to chase money, I just have to follow Him. I want my time to be orchestrated by God. After all, it's His time anyway! 

Only what you do for Christ will last

I've heard this phrase so many times, but couldn't find it in the Bible. Not sure if it's scripture, but if you know, let me know!

The Black June Cleaver

 If you know anything about me, you know I HATE the labels mothers use to identify themselves. Working mom, stay at home mom, part-time mom, work at home mom...what a bunch of baloney! We're all mothers and we all work. Isn't this enough?

Anyway, to live in this society, you can bet if you're a mother, you'll have a label slapped on your forehead. I guess I'm a stay at home mom since I'm at home, right? It doesn't matter that I'm an aspiring author. Both boys are gone to school and I'm left at the house to....stay at home?

Everyone is asking what I intend to do with all my time. Hmmm..what will I do with my time? Well, what did June Cleaver do with her time? You remember her, don't you? The mother on the Leave it to Beaver television show? Some of you may be too young to remember. Well, this woman sent her husband and two sons out the door with a full stomach and lunch bags and greeted them at the door with a smile when they returned. I'm not sure what she did in between those times because the show was built around her taking care of the family. I must have missed the episode where she volunteered at school and in the community. Oh, don't forget her church ministry. I'm sure she was quite busy there also.

Well, whatever June Cleaver did, I'm doing it and I'm loving every minute of it. I'm embracing my new season of life and proudly wearing the title of The Black June Cleaver. 

No Parent Pressure!

   Secondborn will be joining Firstborn in the public school world this morning. Yes, my formal homeschooling days have ended. I say formal because as a mother, the teaching and training never ends. Not only is today the first day of school, but also the first day of new trials, tests, and temptations for the boys. All school aged children are faced with difficult decisions that seem simple to adults. Just say no!  Confusing choices will fill their minds and cloud their thinking. I must trust the training both boys have been given – not academics, but character, morals, and values. I learned from Firstborn’s first year of public school to not set any expectations, however, I must admit; I do have one – just one. I will expect them to act like children. This realistic expectation will prepare me for…whatever. Expecting the boys to act like mature adults is my desire, but I’d be deceiving myself to think they would act like anyone besides who they are – children. My simple expectation does not excuse them from discipline, but excuses them from constant parent pressure. Peer pressure is more than enough! Children are bound to do some foolish things, so it shouldn’t surprise us. After all, they are children, right? Our children will definitely have some experiences this new school year, but it’s the mother’s reaction to the experiences that will determine their failure or success.

May you have a peaceful and productive new school year!

Proverbs 22:15 (NKJV)
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

Get Out Of My Way!

I was out of town Saturday, but awoke early with an urge to exercise. I found a walking trail and started my walk.  While enjoying the scenery and early morning breeze, I noticed huge dirt mounds and parked tractors ahead of me – the trail was under construction. I slowed down contemplating whether to turn around or press forward. There were no construction men around to stop me, so I kept going. Yep, I went right through those dirt mounds and tractor trailers and continued my walk. I get so tired of excuses for not doing what I’m led to do.
It’s one thing to have a simple notion cross my mind, but when a strong urge from deep within is strongly leading me to move, I need to move.  I joyfully completed my walk while praying to press forward in my life and be all God wants me to be. I need to stay in a place of peace to hear His soft voice and not allow the voices of friends, family, or self to get in my way. Keeping my eyes on God and not the obstacles around me  keeps my focus on His calling.  Even the daily calls to act and make decisions regarding the boys, friends, finances, health, a new endeavor, or loving hubby when I don’t feel like it are important.

When we answer His calls without hesitation or doubt, our lives are more productive and fulfilling. How about you? Have you felt an urge to act on something that just won't leave your mind?

Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Thursday's Thought - Sleeping Teens

  Firstborn could sleep all day....if I allowed him to. When he first started hibernating, I almost made a doctor's appointment for him because I thought he was sick! Instead, I did some research and was thankful to find out that Firstborn's sleeping habits were normal - for teenagers.

During the summer, I let him sleep, and sleep, and sleep, but I couldn't deal with knowing someone was sleeping in the house past 10 a.m. - wrong mama!  I woke him up to do a few chores, read, cut grass, and participate in life. Of course, when he finished his list of tasks, he dived right back into bed until football practice. On the way home from practice, he'd say how he couldn't wait to go to sleep. Good grief, boy!

With the new school year quickly approaching, I'm directing his sleep cycle back to that of a normal human being. Sorry son, no sleeping past 8 a.m., and bedtime will draw closer to 10:30 p.m. Is he happy about it? Of course not, but he'll thank me later - maybe.  Not only is proper sleep important to succeed in school studies, but it's crucial to prevent those mood swings the rest of the family has to deal with.

What about you? Do you allow your teenager to sleep all day? Is there a bedtime for your teen? How do you deal with your sleeping teen?

For more information on teen sleep habits, visit the below link.
Sleeping Teens

Do You Have Time?

A mother mentioned she needed to scrape a few things off her plate to make herself more available to her daughter. With a new school year quickly approaching, getting home late in the evenings doesn't always mix with homework and extracurricular activities. Another mother recently watched her last baby go off to college. College? Already? I also attended a college graduation party over the weekend and it was hard to believe how much this young lady had matured; I was having a conversation with a little girl all grown up!

Time does fly by and it's the quality time we spend with our children that will matter in the end. Making ourselves available is crucial and although everyone wants our time, our children need our time. We must take advantage of the passing moments as they fly by. There won't be a second chance - this is it.

My toddler is now a teen and it seemed to happen over night. Sigh...

I thank God for the mothers who've allowed me to participate in their child's life. Watching these mothers prepare their babies for life and say goodbye to them has truly been a difficult life lesson for me, yet extremely beneficial. Watching their children mature before my eyes has stressed the limited time I have with my own.

Our children must eventually leave our laps, but knowing that precious lap time was spent wisely offers a mother comfort - comfort in knowing we did our part and grasped every available moment to make ourselves more available to them.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...

Thursday's Thought -TMI

How much information is too much information in regard to introducing children to sickness and death? How young is too young to introduce a child to funerals, hospitals, and death?

My sons were introduced to death by the passing of their half brother. They attended the funeral, viewed his body and went to the cemetery. Yes, it was a lot to digest, but in my opinion, death is a part of life.

Another mother had ill parents and spent much of her time in the hospital caring for them. Her young children were right there helping her. She thought it was important for her children to participate in the care of their ill grandparents.

On the other hand, some parents choose not to expose their children to death and sickness until they are at an appropriate age to understand and handle pain and grief. After all, if it's hard for adults, it's got to be more difficult for children.

What are your thoughts?

Bookmark and Share

My Birthday Glass

Every weekday morning, shortly after 5 a.m., my telephone rings and a voice on the other ends says, “Happy Birthday!” The voice is my prayer partner and we recognize each new day as a day of new beginnings, new birth, and a reason to celebrate. She recently gave me a birthday gift, which was a beautiful goblet decorated with colorful birthday wishes, balloons, and candles. I cherish my glass and decided to use it each morning as I thanked God for a new day, new opportunities, new possibilities, new mercies, and a new beginning.

Well, the first day I used my glass, it was accidentally broken. As I picked up the broken pieces, my Life Lesson for LaVender was pieced together. Just as my cherished glass was broken, I too, must be broken. To be created and sit pretty is not God’s will for me, but to go through the fire of life with some struggles, tears, and brokenness is. How beneficial am I without a story – without a testimony?

Only the foundation of my beautiful, celebration glass broke, so it can still be used – just as my life is more effective after being broken. I used my glass this morning and realized I value it even more. Not only does it have a powerful story, but it reminds me that I wasn’t promised a rose garden. Joy comes with pain and rainbows come only after some rain. Although everyday may not go as I desire, each new day should be cherished and celebrated! My prayer partner had no idea her birthday glass would have such significance! I thank God for her and my broken glass. Happy Birthday!

Psalm 51:17 (NLT)
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.