Apr 272010


John and I decided to take the kids to the beach for a few days, last summer.  On the way home, we noticed that between the 3 boys, they were wanting to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes.  What had planned to be a 6 hour trip home was taking 8, so I got a bright idea. And oh – was it Bright!

On the last pit stop, we became the proud owners of a Yoo Hoo bottle, so I grabbed it up, told the boys, (ages 3 to 7 years old) “The next time you have to pee . . . pee in this bottle, we’re not stopping anymore.”

They looked at me like I was crazy, but sure enough, within 10 minutes, somebody had to pee, which triggered a “me too” effect throughout the car.  So one by one, the kids (with seat belts on, 1/2 standing) pee-ed in the Yoo Hoo bottle.  It made me a little nervous, cause, by the time it got to the 2nd kid, the bottle was 3 quarters full.

He then passed it to the third kid, who started to pee in the bottle, when his own little Yoo hoo came out and squirted the ENTIRE car – us, the baby, the beach towels.  Poor fella, as everyone screamed and fought the spray, he reached out to hand me the bottle and accidentally dropped it . . . IN MY PURSE!

Oh Lord, words can’t describe . . . I could have hollered “Dear God, rolled my eyes, thrown my hands in the air, pitched a fit, ( Oh wait, I did!), but no matter what . . that bottle of pee was STILL sitting in my purse.

WHAT DID I DO To deserve this? I blamed the “little guy” for dropping the bottle.  It’s funny NOW, of course it wasn’t then.  We can try to decipher what we did to deserve such chaos in the car.  hmmm Probably the fact that I had the dumbest idea ever, attributed to the pande-LIRIUMl!  It would have been brilliant if it worked, but it didn’t, and so it goes.

Sometimes with all the running around, laundry, lunches, non-stop questions, homework and chaos in the car, we have to run our family like a “boot camp with love.”  As moms, we try to take on the world and look fabulous at the same time, but we’re not always right, we’re not always correct in our assessments and sometimes, just as we train our own kids, we need to apologize.

If you mess up, just tell ’em you messed up.  “I’m sorry.” WHAT?  They may look at you like you have two heads for a split second, but it will make a huge impact on your kids if they see parents apologize for mistakes made.    If we allow our children to see that we’re human, fallible creatures that make a mess of things sometimes, it will allow them to take risks and know that sometimes we’re gonna fail, sometimes we’ll succeed, but it’s always important to try.  And when we make mistakes, own it and move on.

So . . . The next time you have to apologize for something, just think of my “Brilliant Yoo Hoo Idea” and it should make you feel really good about yourself.  Happy travels!

James 5:16
Confess your sins to one other and pray for each other so that you may live together whole and healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Colossians 3:13
Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 Posted by at 11:06 am
Apr 022010


When you were a kid, did you ever dream of how your life would be?   Like the ending from a Disney movie: No bumps in the road or dark horse characters, just knights in shining armor, 2.5 kids, picket fences, adventure and a cute puppy that looked like you.

Well, life is not that simple.  It doesn’t come with a guidebook, though many an expert have tried to help us navigate it.  But nothing truly has a guarantee.  Webster’s defines a guarantee as a “sure thing”, a promise with a specific outcome.  But in real life, this is not the case.  There is no guarantee our children will be healthy, no guarantee that we’ll grow old with our spouse, no guarantee little Johnny isn’t going to skin his knee trying to ride his bike for the first time, or that our children won’t need counseling after we’ve given our “best shot” at raising them.

I pick my children up at the bus stop 5 days a week, 20 days a month, 180 days a year.  I’m on standby to give them the biggest hug of the day, if they choose to take it.  By accident, due to traffic or just not noticing the clock, I missed the bus twice last year and the other day my 8 year old son said:  “Mom, remember last year how you always forgot to pick us up at the bus stop?”  What?  There’s also no guarantee they’ll remember they had a great childhood, but we’ll keep our finger’s crossed.

Life is not like the Stepford Wives – where you tell Toby to keep his room clean and he just does it, no questions, no whining, just clean!  Or when you tell Ruby to drink her milk and no complaints there.  No, they’re gonna throw food, pitch a fit, mess up their room, skin their knee, fight with their siblings . . . but they’re also gonna surprise you with maturity, make responsible choices when you’re not around and help those in need when the moment presents itself.

They’re gonna come home from college with a broken heart, a bad grade or a bill they can’t pay, but they’re also gonna make lifelong friendships, give you a big hug and tell you how much they love you.

It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 9 children, they all have their own personality, their own ideas and each has to be treated, punished and rewarded differently.  Life is loud, complicated, fun, exhausting, rewarding, but how life turns out . . . it’s highs and lows, and how things go, is not guaranteed. But we choose to invest in life and love, as a risk, an adventure.

Life is not a bowl of cherries nor is it a bed of roses.  It’s more like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump carried around.  You never know what you’re gonna get, but it’s worth discovering.  It’s better to have lived and loved, right?

There are days when the kids are all talking to you at once, when the baby has a great (2 week phase) and is now 7 weeks into a bad one . . . just hold on.   When your loving child suddenly becomes embarrassed by you, in the school parking lot, hold on . . . in the quiet of the day, they’ll need advice, a hug or a pep talk that only you can give.

Life has no guarantees, except that it won’t be perfect.  But perfect would be boring.  That’s probably why this word only exists on paper and not in real life.  So throw out the bowl of cherries, toss out the bed of roses and grab the box of chocolates and head to the bus stop and enjoy the Fruits of Your Life!

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed!

 Posted by at 12:58 am