Category Archives: a. Mothering Monday

Mothering Monday: Gym class

You got to know when to hold them…

Know when to fold them…

Know when to walk away…

Know when to run.

Those lyrics keep going through my mind as I’m debating and praying about a situation with son #1.

He. Hates. School.  Hates it.  But he goes and he does what he has to do and is actually an honor student.  But all the while making sure everyone knows how much he hates it.  It breaks my heart to think of him going through his young life so miserable all the time.  It truly is a school thing, because at home for the most part he’s a really happy guy.

I’ve debated pulling him out and homeschooling him again.  But it isn’t just being at school that he hates, it’s the work.  And I really do not enjoy being the one to take the role of teacher with him.  I don’t like fighting that battle and being that “enemy” so he continues to go to school.

Anyway, with his hatred of school, a new issue developed mid year last year.  He hates, despises, abhors, loathes, detests, can’t stand gym class.  He hates the uniform.  He hates changing in front of the other kids.  He hates that the activities.  I’m pretty sure he hates the teachers.

To be honest, I don’t really blame him.

I know he just needs to get over having to wear the gym uniform thing.  I don’t like changing in front of people either.  He’s had some issues with the other boys in the locker room.  Some their fault, and some his fault.  We’ve asked if he can change elsewhere, but his only option is the nurse’s office that isn’t too convenient.  And he doesn’t want to do that.

As far as the gym aspect.  He’s not in the best shape.  We’re working on that with him.  He can’t do a sit up or a push up.  His coordination isn’t the best, I still haven’t seen him do a jumping jack correctly.  He’s not very good at throwing or catching.  And basically he feels lousy about himself in there.

Here’s our problem.  We don’t know how much of it is the autism and how much is his laziness.  Many autistic kids have difficulty with the physical exercises.  Does this mean we excuse him from some aspects of it or do we push him harder?

With his IEP, I know we can pull him out of gym and say that we will provide a gym experience for him, through walking, running, swimming and such.  We would just have to keep an exercise log and sign it.

Do we make him press on despite his dislike, or do we rescue him from something that may be, in essence, causing more damage than good?

Do we hold them, fold them, walk away, or run?

I don’t know.

So I’m praying for guidance and wisdom and hoping that today my son will surprise us and put on his uniform and do what they say and have a good gym class.

Pressing on together,


Mothering Monday: The punishment

“This is torture!”

“I would rather be without any screen time for an entire week!”

What punishment could possibly be so bad that my 7-year-old would rather be without any screen time for a whole week (including TV, computer, kindle fire, 3DS, Wii, PS3, iPod … hmmm, I’m thinking we have too many screens!)?????

I didn’t take away any toys, any screen, prevent them from playing.  The catch?  The 3 boys were not allowed within 5 feet of each other and they were not allowed to talk to each other – all day!

What would bring me to such drastic measures?  Riding in a car with 3 boys who couldn’t seem to hold a conversation longer than 30 seconds without arguing.  I couldn’t take it anymore … I said things I wish I wouldn’t have said, “Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have kids!”  I apologized, “I’m so glad that I have each of you, and I love you, and I couldn’t imagine my life without you … but the arguing is driving me crazy!”

So they were miserable all day.  Not playing together or talking was “torture”.  But, my day was so peaceful and quiet that I kept lengthening their punishment.  I never had told them for how long they couldn’t play together or talk.  I was thinking an hour.  But I enjoyed that hour so much that I extended it, and then extended it a little more.

Granted, I have to let them talk and play together again.  Hopefully this made an impression and they will be nicer to each other … but if not, I know the punishment that makes my life a little more peaceful!

The boys ...
The boys … trying to get a picture of them happy and liking each other can be tough!
...but sometimes we get one ...
…but sometimes we get one …
or two.

Just a little disclaimer … today’s post is not a “here’s what you should do to be a great mother” post, rather just a snippet into the day of my imperfect mothering life 🙂

Pressing on together,


Mothering Monday: Nothing in common

My youngest son loves the Phillies!  In the spring, he started really watching the games.  We thought he was using it as an excuse to stay up late.  But then he began turning on Comcast Sports Network first thing in the morning to see updates on the Phils or to see how a game turned out if he had to go to bed before it was over.

He started learning all the players and their stats.  He became opinionated about when relief pitchers were put into the games, yelling at Papelbon.  He started arguing (through the TV) with the umps over “unfair” calls.

He began playing my husband’s MLB game for the PS3 more than he was playing Pokemon, Mario, and Minecraft.  As his birthday rolled around in July, he asked for MLB13 since the one he was playing was from 2009 and didn’t have the current players on it.

As he’s played MLB and from watching the Phils, he’s also learned the players on the other teams.  He can hold an intelligent, informed conversation with adults about the season.  My mom gets tickets from work and so he’s gotten to go to 4 games this year.

And my husband LOVES it!  Jeff is a sports guy.  He loves all the Philadelphia teams and Penn State.  When he became a father of sons, I’m sure he pictured himself having catches, spending Saturdays watching Penn State football together, spending Sundays watching the Eagles together and of course watching the Phillies together all summer long.

My oldest doesn’t have much of an interest in sports.  He’ll get into it at the game, but other than that not so much.  My middle son loves sports, but would rather play than watch.  Jeff loves getting out back and playing with him.  My youngest likes to play too, but like I said this year, it’s all about watching the Phils.  And it has really brought him much closer to my husband.

He can’t wait for Jeff to get home from work to tell him about a trade or some other Phillies news.  They play MLB13 together.  And they have a great time going to the games, just the 2 of them.

My husband and son at the Phillies game (top left corner).  Yes, I'm the nerd that takes a picture of the TV screen!
My husband and son at the Phillies game (top left corner). Yes, I’m the nerd that takes a picture of the TV screen!

But what happens when you don’t have any shared interests with your kids?  My oldest is all about Minecraft … that’s all he wants to talk about.  And Jeff and I really have no interest in talking about it with him!  I really could care less about mining for gold or diamonds, or creeping, or which server to go on.  I don’t want to sing or listen to all the Minecraft parodies … really I don’t.  Actually, all 3 love Minecraft, but the other 2 will at least talk about other things as well.

So what do we do?  Do we just not talk with our son because that’s all he wants to talk about?  Do we force him to talk about other things?  Or do we join in on the conversation?

I remember back when Jeff and I were first married.  Remember I said he’s a sports guy?  That’s what he likes to talk about.  So on my way home from work, I’d listen to sports radio.  Not because I cared about the latest trades or rumors of trades or injuries or whatever.  But because my husband cared, and I loved him.  I wanted to be able to talk with him about things he loved.  So I would listen on the way home and at dinner we’d talk sports.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing that, and I’ll be honest, I often now tune him out as he talks sports.  Perhaps, I need to start listening again so he knows I care about him and love him!

But also perhaps I need to start playing Minecraft, or at least reading up on it, and actually listening to my oldest when he talks about it.  Because I love him and I care about him and I want him to know it.  And, I love that he talks to me at all … I don’t want him to stop.  I’m reminded of something I heard once from Catherine Wallace (I don’t know Ms. Wallace or anything she stands for, so I’m not endorsing her … but I agree with this):

The little stuff


In an ideal world, my sons and I would love the same things.  They would love sitting around the table doing crafts with me.  They would enjoy going clothes shopping.  They would read the books I love and want to talk about them.  I would always enjoy being around them and we’d have fun doing things together that we all love.  But it’s not an ideal world, and I suppose that means I need to make some sacrifices to build the relationships that I want to have with my boys … even if it means talking about Minecraft~

Pressing on Together (& enduring enjoying endless conversations about Minecraft),




Mothering Monday: The stitches

It was 4:00 Saturday afternoon.  I was packing up the Chick-fil-A truck at the end of a community day.  I had been working since 7 am and still had to go back to the store to unload before I could finally head home.  My phone rang, I glanced at the caller ID.  I saw that it was my mom.  Normally, I’d ignore it and call her later since I was working.  But she had my youngest and knew I was working, so I figured I should answer it.

She called to tell me that my son was playing in the living room and fell and hit his chin on the coffee table.  She thought he might need stitches.  Thankfully she had called an urgent care center and discovered that they would see him without Jeff or I present.  I agreed they should take him there.

When I got back to Chick-fil-A.  I got the phone call from the receptionist asking me to fax over my insurance card and to give verbal consent to treat.  I then had to talk to the nurse.  Finally after a little bit while I was driving home, the doctor called to tell me that he was going to need 3 stitches and that she was going to have to give a shot to numb the chin first.  I gave my consent and the doctor handed the phone back to my mom.

Showing off his battle wound - 3 stitches
Showing off his battle wound – 3 stitches

Unknowingly, my mom didn’t hang up the phone, so I could hear what was going on.  As I was driving, I listened.  And the tears came.  Tears of exhaustion.  Tears of guilt.  I should be with my baby when a doctor is stitching him up.  It was only 3 stitches, so really not a big deal, but still, I should be there.

It might not have hit me so hard, except that these past few weeks, my job has taken me away from my family more than I wanted.  I missed soccer games.  I had to work some nights after the kids were in school all day.  After being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years, it’s difficult to now miss things.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job (Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A).  The job description describes me completely.  I am thankful for the extra income, the great people to work with, and the overall flexibility of the position.  I am proud to be work for this company.  My kids think I’m a rock star for working there.  (Well, maybe that’s overstating things, but they think it’s cool.)  Have I mentioned that I love my job?

But since school has started, it has been difficult to maintain the balance and give my family the attention they deserve.  So on Saturday into Sunday my heart was heavy with the guilt.  I felt as if I couldn’t continue with my job and be a mom to my boys.  But I didn’t feel right quitting my job either.  And as I typed this (on Sunday night) I wasn’t sure what to write because I had no peace only stress, anxiety, and guilt.

But then I heard that voice of God whispering to me a verse I clung to while my children were younger.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:11)

I would cling to the idea that God was carrying me close to his heart and that he was gently leading me (those that have young).  Being a mom, we are constantly filled with uncertainty.  And it starts from pregnancy:

  • Do you do the pregnancy screening tests?
  • Natural childbirth or epidural?
  • Circumcision or not?
  • Breast or bottle?
  • Co-sleep or cry it out?
  • Paci, thumb, or nothing?
  • To spank or not to spank?
  • Work or stay home?
  • Public school, private school, or home school?
  • Oreos or something more natural?
  • Can they go to  a friend’s house without you?
  • Are video games OK?
  • How much TV is too much TV?
  • Should they be in more or less organized activities?
  • Is that person safe to have as a babysitter?
  • Do I let them get away with ____ or do I discipline?

Through all that uncertainty, God promises to gently lead us, even though that leading may be different for each of us.  And as I look back these past 13 years, I see his leading throughout my mothering.

He also promises that if we seek wisdom, he will give it to us.  So now as I type, I’m starting to feel my burden lifting.  I am beginning to trust God that he chose me to be the mom for my boys.  That he loves me and my boys like crazy.  And that he wants to lead me now in my uncertainty and give me wisdom in how to be their mom.

And so this week, I’ll get up each day and continue to send my boys off to school and head out to the job that I love.  And I trust God to lead me in finding that balance.

How about you?  Is there something you are uncertain in?  Will you trust God to carry you close to his heart and to gently lead you?

Pressing on together,


Mothering Monday: Holding the door

The other day I walked into a Wawa right behind a 20 something man.  We approached the door at pretty much the same time.  He walked in first, held the door behind him until I grabbed it.  But he never looked at me.  At the second door, he didn’t even hold the door for me.  Perhaps I was too slow at the first one?

This made me think about my boys and how we are training them.  Holding doors for women is one of my things that I try to impress upon them.  I’ve been known to stand outside and wait for them to come back to the door to hold it for me.  I don’t know why, but it’s one of those things that matter to me.  I guess that’s why I noticed the way the young man ignored me.

Some of the other things I am a stickler for are:

Waiting until everyone is seated and we pray before you start eating.

Asking to be excused and clearing your plate.

Not interrupting.

Asking for things instead of stating a need.  “Can you please get me a drink?” instead of “I’m thirsty.”

Being patient when I can’t get to that need right away.

Using Mr. & Mrs. instead of first names for grown-ups.

Saying “Thank you”.

Saying “I forgive you” instead of “That’s OK”.

Not saying “Sorry” unless you mean it.

Ordering your own meal at a restaurant.

Some of these things may not matter to you, and truly that’s fine with me.  I don’t care if your kids call me Becki.   I recognize as parents there are certain things that matter more to us than other things.

There are also some things that I know I need to do a better job at training my boys in.  We’ve talked about these things.  They are important to me.  But, I am simply inconsistent in my enforcing of them:

Writing Thank You notes.  I am terrible at this, and to date, I’ve passed that along to my boys.

Looking adults in the eye and responding to them when spoken to.

Using Sir or Ma’am or Mr. ____ or Mrs. ____ when talking to adults.  As in, “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Mr. Smith”.  It’s just one more way of children respecting adults and I am always impressed when  a child addresses me in that way.  I know, some of you hate being called Ma’am or Mrs. _____.  But, I truly believe that many children view adults as equals, and I’m not OK with that.  I understand that there are many children who respect adults and yet still call them by their first name.  I’m not trying to make a blanket statement.  But I think it’s an easy way to set adults apart from children.  OK, <<<stepping off soapbox>>>   🙂

Obeying adults immediately without asking “Why?”.  I tell them they need to obey first and then later they can ask why they were told to do or not do something.  But if they ask why before obeying it is defiance.  (I have made sure to let them know they never need to obey an adult who asks them to do something that is illegal, goes against the Bible, or will hurt or harm them or someone else.)

Table manners during the meal.  My guys don’t always sit up nicely, eating over their plate.  Rather they slouch, sit back in their chair, food dropping on laps (that have no napkin on them) and the floor.  Sometimes they eat food with their fingers that should be eaten with a fork.  I don’t need them to look like they passed a class on manners, but I’d like it to at least look like they know what they are!

I also know there are many things that bother other adults, that I don’t worry about with my kids. I’m sure that just like the young man at Wawa bothered me, adults get bothered by my boys’ actions or lack of actions.  I going blank on examples right now, but I’ve seen adults correct kids, sometimes my kids, about things that I could care less about.

~And who knows, perhaps someone is blogging about my boys right now and their lack of training~

So, what matters to you.  What are your nonnegotiables?  What do you wish you were better at?  What do you not care about?  I’d love to hear!

Pressing on together,



Mothering Monday: The night before school.

It’s 8:16 pm, and school starts tomorrow.  My soon to be second and fourth graders are excited.  They’ve showered.  They are chatting away in bed before we tuck them in and give the “Lights out, no more talking” command.   The Phillies backpacks are packed with new and recycled school supplies.  Sure, they LOVE summer.  But they also LOVE school. So for them, tonight is a good night.

For my soon to be seventh grader, not so much!  We’ve had several rounds of tears this past week.  We’ve heard all about the evils of school and why he hates it so much.  We’ve battled the summer math packet, but ignored the summer reading list.  (He loves to read, just not what he’s told to read.)  He’s in the shower right now, and neither he, nor Jeff and I, are looking forward to bed time for him.  Because in his mind, the sooner he falls asleep, the sooner he has to wake up and go to school.

Because my younger two thrive academically, socially, and behaviorally at school, I understand the parents who say they can’t wait for summer to end and school to begin.  I understand craving the routine, and not hearing, “I’m bored.”  I get it, really I do.

But, unless you have a child with school issues, you may not understand the knot that forms in a mom’s stomach when she thinks of school.  You may not understand the tears wept and the prayers prayed that hopefully this will be a good year.  You may not understand the fear felt when the phone rings and caller ID tells you it is the school calling … and not because you are worried that your child is sick or hurt, but because you really do not want to hear what he did now.

I’ll be honest, I wish just as much as he does that I could tell him he didn’t have to worry about school.  I hate it for him just as much as he hates it.  But for the next 6 years, he still has to go.  And so I pray:

God, please be with my son this year.  Please help him to find joy in his days at school and not to be angry.  Please help him to be surrounded by students that will encourage him and build him up and drown out the voices of any students who may want to tear him down.  Please help his new support teacher “get” him and know the best ways to help him.  Please give the teachers an extra dose of patience and love for him.  Please give him an extra dose of kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control for them.  Please help him to find his words and his voice when he needs it, and help him to keep his mouth closed when he needs to.

God I am worried.  I am trying to trust in you with my son.  But still I worry.  Help me to trust you.  Help him to trust you.  Help us both to cast all of our fears, anxieties, and worries on you, so that you can fill us with your peace.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Are you worried about your child and school?  Do you know that knot in your stomach?  Have you shed more than your share of tears?  Know that I understand.  I stand with you.  I am praying now for you.  And together we will press on!

And thankfully, I get to share the journey with a wonderful, wise man.  Here are the words he wrote about the start of school:

As we are on the eve of another new school year… here’s what I (Jeff Kerchner) want my own children and my students to know:

1. Be kind and respectful… treat the other students and adults who work at the school the way you want them to treat you.

2. Try your best.

3. If you remember and put into practice #1 and #2, I will be incredibly proud of you no matter what grades you receive, and you can be proud of yourself.

4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; instead learn from them and move on.

5. Don’t be afraid to try new things; use those opportunities to find out what you like.

6. Being popular is over-rated, and many people you think are popular often feel just as unsure about themselves as you do.

7. Don’t compare yourself to others.

8. Don’t give up if you aren’t good at something right away.

9. Practice getting along with others; this skill is a much better predictor of your future success than any test score.

10. If you need help with anything please ask for it, and don’t feel embarrassed… everyone needs help, and every school has people who truly want to help you.

11. You are not alone.

12. There are other people who can and do understand how you are feeling.

13. This time of your life will not last for long, and you will make it through…

14. … and as you go, remember that you are loved…

Pressing on Together,


P.S.  I know it’s been a crazy long time since I posted anything.  I’m not sure if I still have any readers, it’s been so long.  But as part of my new year’s resolution (because we all know that the start of the school year is really the new year), I plan on writing again.  If you’ll read, I’d love to meet you here Monday through Friday.

Mothering Monday: Holiday shop

This week is the Holiday Shop at school.  So of course, my boys will be asking me to give them money.  The night before they’ll list out who they will be shopping for.  I’ll give them the money.  They’ll take the money to school and pick out presents for each person on the list.  They then bring them home and hide them until Christmas.  At that time, they are so proud and delighted to give their gifts.  Of course that means we all receive dollar store junk inexpensive presents lovingly picked out for us.  And I am delighted to receive them.

Thinking of this always reminds me of an excerpt from C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.

Click here to see the book on Amazon

Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like.

It is like a small child going to its father and saying, “Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.” Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child’s present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction.  When a man has made these two discoveries (For the first discovery, C.S. Lewis talked about no one being good enough.) God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins.

(Taken from Mere Christianity, Book 3 “Christian Behaviour”, Chapter 11 “Faith”)

Just as I give my boys the ability to buy me presents, God gives me the ability to serve and love him, and he will give me everything I need to do so.  Since the boys are using my money to get me gifts, I’m not any richer.  And since everything I am and everything I have comes from God, He’s not necessarily any richer either by my acts.  But just as I am delighted by the dollar store mugs and ornaments and brushes that they pick out for me, God is delighted when I choose to use what he has given me to do anything or give anything to him.

Anyway, that’s what I always think about when my boys ask for money to do their shopping.  It’s been awhile (probably at least 17 years) since I read Mere Christianity … as I was looking for the quote, I found myself being drawn in.  I’m thinking I should check it out again.  But as good as C.S. Lewis’ writing is, I have to really pay attention when reading it, and lately, I find myself falling asleep whenever I read.  So, perhaps I’ll wait.

By the way, remember the song, “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer?  It was popular several years back.  Anyway, the band got their name from this passage.  Sixpence was one of my favorite bands in college.  I especially loved the song, “Trust”.  (Click here to go to YouTube to see an old performance of Leigh Nash from Sixpence singing Trust.) Just a little random trivia for your Monday!

Pressing on Together, one “sixpence” at a time,


Mothering Monday: Seeing invisible people

“What happened to your legs?”

Uh oh, there he goes again…

My oldest son has no social boundaries.  He pretty much says what he’s thinking.  We coach him, we practice with him, and think we’re doing a decent job.  But then, out of his mouth pops something, and we just want to hide and pretend he doesn’t belong with us.

I usually blame this on the fact that he has Asperger’s and think of it as something that we need to “work on”.  And yes it is because of that, and yes we do need to work on it.  But, I’m also learning that this is a special part of who he is and maybe I don’t want him to stop altogether.

When he walked right up to the legless man in a wheelchair and asked what happened to his legs, my husband apologized to the man.  But the man waved off the apology and said, “It’s nice actually.  Most people just act as if they don’t see me.”

Ever since the legless man said that, I started watching my son.  He says “Hi” to everyone he sees that’s in a wheelchair, that is dressed in dirty, tattered clothes, that has Down’s or some type of disability, and to the elderly.  He sees them and greets them.  It’s not usually just a quick hi as he passes by.  He stops to talk to them.  Usually it begins with, “What’s wrong with … ” and may not be politically correct or tactful but it’s real and genuine and compassionate.

My son sees the people who the rest of us turn our eyes away from.  He sees the invisible people we ignore.  And I see Jesus in my son.  Because Jesus sees them too.  The gospels are filled with stories of Jesus seeing the lowly and pausing to talk to them, to touch them, to heal them.

So, the Asperger’s may contribute to the fact that my son doesn’t have much tact when he’s talking to people, but it is Jesus that is moving in my son to see people – all people, to reach out to them, to have compassion on them, and to love them.

Now, I just need to figure out how to not dissuade him from talking to people, but to coach him on how to do it without offending.  Which, is what usually keeps me from talking to people in the first place.  So maybe, I just need to let Jesus be his coach and I should just watch and learn … 

Pressing on Together,


Mothering Monday: Picture day tears

The tears were rolling down his face, “I don’t want to go to school.”  His little body shook as he cried.  And my heart broke looking at him.

What happened to my little boy who said just 2 weeks ago, “First grade is awesome!”???  He came home from school happy every day last week.  What was going on here?

I sat down on the couch and pulled him onto my lap.  I held him as he cried, “Why, sweetie?”  I asked, “Why don’t you want to go to school?”

Between sobs he replied, “I don’t know what to do with my picture stuff.  Who am I supposed to give it to?  What if they won’t take it?”

Today is picture day.


(These are last year’s pics!)


Yesterday we went for haircuts.  Last night I went online to order the pictures.  I printed out the “Picture Day Pass” and showed it to the boys.  I wanted them to see it because it wasn’t the envelope they sent home that you can fill out and put a check in.  We put it in their folders in their backpacks.  We picked out clothes for the pictures and they went to bed.

This morning came, and C forgot about the clothes we picked out and came out dressed in something different.  If I was a little less of a control freak about certain things, I’m sure I could have let him keep the outfit on that he picked out.  But instead, I reminded him that it was picture day and sent him back to change.  He came out, sat on the couch, and that’s when the tears began.

When he told me why he was crying, I had to resist the urge to laugh off his concerns.  They really seemed so silly to me.  Seriously?  Crying, not just a few tears, but whole body-shaking sobs because you’re not sure what to do for picture day?  Come on!  But thankfully, God reminded me that this is a 6-year-old, who’s learning to navigate the world without his Mama by his side.  His fears may seem silly to me, but to him, they are huge.

I tried to explain what he would need to do, but that didn’t help.  His experienced, big, 3rd grade brother tried to explain what to do.  But that didn’t help.  Finally I said, “I know it must be a little scary to not know what to do.  Would it help if I emailed your teacher and let her know that you’re scared?  That way, she’ll know to help you.”  He agreed to that idea.

I wrote the email; he read it and said it looked good.  We sent it.  The tears disappeared.  We turned on some music and sang as the boys ate their cereal.  They went off to school as if it were any other morning.

As I’ve replayed this morning in my mind, I thought about how originally in my mind his fears weren’t valid.  Because of that, I could have responded with, “Oh, don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine.  Stop crying.  Let’s get going.”  But later in life, when his fears are about “bigger” things, fears that are valid in my eyes, will he still trust me to tell me about them?  Or will he think I don’t care and that I’ll just say, “Oh, don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine.”

Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.
~Catherine M. Wallace~


I don’t know who Catherine M. Wallace is or anything she stands for, but recently I read this on Pinterest, and it really spoke to my heart.  This morning I was tested on it, and I can thankfully say, “I think I passed.”  That is not always the case!

So, thank you, God, for opening my eyes to the moment and helping me to see my child’s heart.  Thank you, God, for giving me the wisdom to take his fears seriously and to help calm his heart.  Help me to do that in the future as well.  Forgive me for the times when I’ve been flippant about my children’s thoughts, cares, and fears.  And help C to have a good day today, and to not be scared!  Oh, and is it too much to ask for the pictures to turn out really cute too????

Pressing on together,


Mothering Monday: First day of school, a mother’s prayer

The house is so quiet.  How I’ve often longed for quiet instead of the noise of rowdy boys. So why do I want to cry?  It’s a strange feeling having all of them gone.  Am I happy?  Not really.  Am I sad?  No, I don’t think so.  Well, maybe.  But I think it’s more of an unsettled feeling.

Have I done enough to prepare them for the world without me?  Will they feel sad, lonely, inadequate, scared?  Will their teachers build them up or unknowingly tear them down?  Will they pick friends that I would pick for them?  Will they have friends?  Will anyone tell them to wipe the jelly off their face after they eat lunch?  Will the work be too hard for them and leave them frustrated.  Will the work be too easy for them and not teach them to work their hardest?  Should I have done more?

Oh God, thank you for my boys.  Thank you for entrusting them to me.  Forgive me for not being a perfect mother.  Forgive me for how often I’ve yelled at them, when you’ve asked me to have patience and gentleness.  Forgive me for allowing them to watch too much TV and play too many video games when you’ve asked me to have discipline.  Forgive me for saying belittling things to them when you’ve asked me to have kindness and self-control.  Forgive me for wishing days away when you’ve asked me to have joy.  Forgive me for not reading the Bible with them when you’ve asked me to have faithfulness.  Forgive me for worrying about them when you’ve asked me to have peace.

Thank you God, that You have told me in 1 John 1:9, that You are faithful and just to forgive my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness including all my failures and shortcomings as a mom.  Thank you God, that you love my boys like crazy and will never leave them or forsake them.

God, I’m begging you, pleading to you for my boys.  Please, please, please, keep them safe.  Please, please, please give them joy if they feel sad.  Give them confidence when they feel inadequate.   Give them peace if they feel scared.  Allow them to feel your presence when they are lonely.  Please, please, please surround them with friends that will encourage them and walk with them on a path of righteousness.  Please, please, please help them to make good choices.  God, I know that problems and trials help us develop endurance and endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  (Romans 5:3-4)  But they are so young.  Everything in me wants to cry out asking for them to not have any problems and trials, but I know that is not best for them.  So, please, please, please be gentle and merciful with any problems and trials that you may allow in their lives.


Please help my 6th grader to not be swallowed up by the middle school, to find joy in his days, and to have at least one friend at school.



Please help my 3rd grader to not be too hard on himself when he’s not perfect and to make new friends (I can’t believe he doesn’t have any friends in his class!!!).



Please help my 1st grader to adjust easily to the long days of school and to not get overwhelmed in the cafeteria at lunch time.


And, please help me to trust them to your care.  Thank you God for hearing me and loving me and having compassion for me as a mom.

Pressing on together,


Oh, and God, if it’s not too much to ask, could my boys never complain when doing homework, and could they wake up each morning in a good mood and get ready for school without me rushing us all around, and could we never miss the bus… 🙂

P.S. Thank you for the first day of school printables used in my boys’ first day photos!