Category Archives: a. Mothering Monday

Mothering Monday: Back seat driver

“Mom, the sign says 35.  How fast are you going?”

I have 3 back seat drivers, but my 5-year-old is definitely the worse!  He likes to read all the speed limit signs and verify that I am going the correct speed – not too fast or too slow.  But that’s not all…

“Mom, you were supposed to turn there.”

“Mom, why are you going so slow?”

“Mom, turn the wipers on.”

“Mom, the light is red.”

“Mom, where are we going?”

“Mom, there’s a stop sign.”

“Mom, this isn’t the way home.”

“Mom, the light is green.”

“Mom, why are you stopped?”

“Mom, the van needs gas.”

“Mom, you just went through a red light.”  OK, well maybe sometimes I need a back seat driver… but for the most part I have it under control.  Sometimes I find it amusing and I just chuckle, other times I want to scream, “Will you just let me drive??? I know what I’m doing!!!!  Trust me!!!!”

One day as I was getting annoyed I wondered if I do the same thing to God.  Am I a backseat driver?

“God, life was supposed to go that way.”

“God, why is this taking so long?”

“God, I can’t see what’s happening.”

“God, I want this to stop.”

“God, where am I going?”

“God, I really want this to stop.”

“God, this isn’t where I want to go .”

“God, let’s get moving.”

“God, why aren’t we moving?”

“God, I need ____.”

I wonder if God chuckles when I tell Him what to do, where to go, how fast to do it, like I sometimes chuckle with my 5-year-old.  Or does he want to scream (does God scream?  I don’t know) “Will you just let me drive??? I know what I’m doing!!!!  Trust me!!!!”  Perhaps it’s a combination of both…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways submit to him, 
and he will make your paths straight.

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

♥Becki, backseat driver


Mothering Monday: Best basketball ever

I am typically not the super gung-ho sports mom.  I enjoy watching my boys play, but in moderation.  I have no desire to sign my kids up for traveling teams.  I have no desire for my life to revolve around a 5, 7 and 11-year-olds’ game and practice schedule.  But on Saturday, as we do every Saturday for 8 weeks, we loaded the van up and drove 30 minutes to get to my 7-year-olds basketball game – passing several closer locations that he could play at, including the Y which is about 4 minutes away.  So why would I, not a gung-ho sports mom, drive 30 minutes to get to a game?  Because I love, love, love the league.

For the first time this year, we signed our 7-year-old up for basketball through Upward.  Upward is a Christian sports league that locally is run by churches.  Our league has 4 churches that participate.  (We are not a member of any of those churches.)  And in case you read “run by churches” as a small league that is not very well run, you are way off!  The teams are split up by grades.  There are 8 second grade teams.  They are well coached and super organized.

So what makes it different?  In addition to working on skills and learning how to play, they seem to be concerned about developing the players’ character and sportsmanship.  Probably the best way to explain is to walk you through a typical game.

When the players arrive, they first meet their team in a classroom for a team meeting.  The parents go to the gym and then the players come to the gym as a team.  They then individually run in while being introduced on a PA system.  (Click below to see a video of my guy running in… so cute!)

Upward basketball introduction

After the players are all introduced, the teams meet in the middle of the gym for an opening prayer.  One of the coaches prays with the 2 teams.  He doesn’t usually pray loud enough for me to hear what he’s praying, but I assume it’s along the lines of “Help us to play well, to play fair, and to have fun…”

The players are given color ties to attach to their jersey.  They then meet the player on the other team who has the same color tie so they know who they are guarding.  The coaches really try to make sure the players are all playing a 1-1 defense.  My poor guy, is one of the shortest players out there but he seems to always be matched up to a tall kid!  It’s so cute though watching him chase the player around, hold his arms up and jump up and down to prevent his opponent from making shots.

The time-keeper blows a whistle for subs and they do a good job of making sure everyone plays.  He then blows a whistle signaling half-time during which they bring all the players onto the floor and someone shares a 5 minute “devotion” with them.  During this time, they talk about things like smiling at others, loving others, being a good sport.  The players all sit quietly, listen, and seem eager to answer questions that are asked of the group.  It may seem odd to stop a game, have the players all sit down and then talk about a serious subject.  But it shows me that they care more about my son’s character than how good of a player he is.

The players finish up the game and then return to their classroom for a closing team meeting.  (This may actually be my son’s favorite part of the day!)  At the meeting the players have a snack and are awarded different color iron-on stars.  The coach presents the star to the players with a description of why they earned the star.  Two weeks ago, my guy earned the “Best offense” star because even though he didn’t score a basket, he always made sure to get open and be ready.  The week before he earned the “Best defense” star and last week he earned “Best sportsmanship” star.  We take the stars home and iron-them on the sleeves of his shirt.  All week, my son will ask, “Did you put my stars on yet?”  (He also earns a green star for attending practice.)

In our rushed world, it is so nice to see them taking the time to really talk to the players. I love that the focus is on the child first and the sport second (don’t get me wrong – they are just as well coached and instructed as any of the other leagues we’ve been involved in).  Because, after all, why do we sign our young kids up to play sport?  Is it so they’ll be an amazing basketball player who will get a scholarship and eventually play in the NBA?  Or is it so they’ll learn the sport, learn about playing on a team, learn about being a good sport, and having fun?  For me, it’s the latter and I haven’t seen any league do it better than Upward!

By the way… they also have cheerleaders!  Unfortunately, the second grade teams all play at one church and there isn’t room for the cheerleaders at it, so we’ll have to wait for next year to get the cheerleaders!

If you have a child who plays sports (basketball, flag football, soccer, cheerleading)… definitely check out Upward at They have leagues all over the country and if your local league is anything like ours, you won’t be disappointed!  (And no, Upward has no idea I’m promoting them!)

♥Becki, basketball mom

Mothering Monday: Color blind

My 3 sons and I walked out of a classroom into a hallway, and standing there was an inter-racial couple.  My 11-year-old, who knows nothing about being discreet, was very obviously staring at them.  He then started kinda laughing and pointed them out to us.  “Look,” he said, oh too loudly, “They look so funny together.”  Of course I was horrified.  I knew the couple heard him.  Without really looking at the couple I wanted to usher him away as quickly as possible.  But I wasn’t fast enough.  He started talking to them.  “Oh, no!  Please, God, make him stop!”  I silently prayed.  But he didn’t stop…

“You look so funny together,” my son repeated to them.  Then looking at the man, he said, “I mean you are one of the tallest people I’ve ever seen.”  Then he pointed to the woman, “And you are even shorter than my mom.  It is so funny with you two standing together.”  Then he turned to his brothers, “Do you see how tall that guy is standing with the really short lady?  Doesn’t it look funny?”  The couple laughed.  And I was proud and ashamed at the same time…

When I looked at the couple, they stood out to me because the man was black and the woman was white.  Even though I have friends from all different races, and I don’t believe any race to be superior to any other, and I don’t have a problem with inter-racial marriages – in fact I think God usually blesses those with the most beautiful children ever, I still saw color, and I assumed that was what my son was looking at too.

But when my son looked at them, he didn’t care about the color, he saw height.  And I love that.  I love that seeing an inter-racial couple doesn’t phase him.  I love that when he talked about them in the van on the way home he didn’t say, “that black man” or even “that tall, black man” and “that white woman” or “that short, white woman” it was simply “that tall man and the short woman.”

God, help me, like my son, to be color blind.  May the color of a person’s skin matter no more to me than the color of their eyes or hair.  In fact, help me not to look at the outward appearance, but to look at people’s hearts as you do.  “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)


Mothering Monday: Kids receiving gifts

So what was Christmas morning like at your house?

Did your kids tear through opening packages, or did they open them slowly savoring each one?  Did they jump up and down with joy when they receive a gift high on their wish list while tossing others aside?  Did they show disappointment either verbally or visually when they received something they didn’t like?

Since my oldest son is autistic, I always am coaching him on social situations, and I’ve learned that receiving gifts is one of those situations that requires coaching.  Several years ago for his birthday someone gave him a Batman dvd.  When he opened it up, he started crying.  Uh oh… my eyes are darting between him and the giver of the gift.  How do I handle this?  Why is he crying?  I know he doesn’t like Batman, but crying seems a bit extreme.  I don’t remember what happened next, how we moved on from the crying… perhaps it was so traumatic that I blocked it out of my memory????  But I do remember the 2 of us talking about it later, and from what I deciphered he figured the person who gave him the gift was being mean – why else would you give a Batman movie to someone who doesn’t like Batman?  I explained how the giver didn’t know that he didn’t like Batman and most boys his age do so it was really a thoughtful gift.  He didn’t buy it… in his mind the giver was teasing him and being mean.

Ever since then, before any gift receiving opportunity (with any of my boys) I turn on the coaching mode.  “Wait until they give the gift to you, don’t grab it from them.” “Make sure to look them in the eyes and say thank you.”  “Tell them something you like about the gift.”  And then I start asking questions: “What do you do if you already have the present?”  “What do you do if you don’t like the present?”  Here’s what we’ve come up with:

If someone gives them a gift that they already have, they tell the giver, “Thank you so much.  You must know that I really like ____.  But, I already have it, so if you don’t mind, I’ll return it to get something else.  Thank you so much.”

If someone gives them a gift that they don’t like, “Thank you so much for getting me a gift.  It means a lot to me that you would get me something.”  I’ve coached them that they do not have to lie and tell the person that they like the gift.  But they need to remember that the person spent their time picking out a present for them and spent money on them because they care about them.  But sometimes the person happens to pick something that they don’t like.  They aren’t being mean.  They aren’t teasing.  They just didn’t know.  So if you ever give my children a gift and this is how they respond, what they are really saying is, “I don’t like it.” 🙂

So of course after all my coaching, we had perfectly gracious children through the Christmas season, pouring out their gratitude over each and every gift.   Well, ok maybe not… “I don’t think this is supposed to be for me” was still heard at our house when one of the boys was opening a present that was indeed for him.  But at least we didn’t have any tears…

What do your kids do when they receive something they don’t like?  I’d love to hear about it.


Mothering Monday: Christmas traditions

It has been a busy few weeks here and my computer time has been limited – so my posts have been pretty sporadic.   I chuckled when I read the first sentences of another blog writer’s post,  “One of my fans gently chastised me for not posting anything for over a month. Apparently she and my other fan have discussed the lack of posts and both have been disappointed.”   (Thanks Jennifer Thompson for the reminder to get back to posting!)  Anyway, if you enjoy reading my reflections of imperfection here, I am sorry to be so uncommitted lately – I guess it’s just a classic sign of my imperfection!

Have you been busy?  This is definitely a hectic time of year.  What do you do to make this an enjoyable time focused on “Christmas” and not focused on to do lists and shopping lists?  I thought I’d share some things we do in our home to make Christmas special.

1.  Our Christmas tree skirt.  Setting up the tree is always a little crazy.  As a mom, you have visions of how sweet it should be – christmas music playing in the background, cups of hot cocoa, everyone wearing a nice Christmas sweater, the nostalgic feeling as everyone gathers around and admires the ornaments before placing them on the tree – beautifully spaced of course.  Well that’s not what it looks like in my house.  Yes, there’s Christmas music in the background, but that’s the end of the vision.  With 3 boys, it becomes a competition of who has the most ornaments – which somehow my 5-year-old has more than my 7-year-old so that was a problem.  And of course, they all want their ornaments at the top of the tree, so they are all clumped together.  I try to get pictures – but they are not usually smiling – they are more determined.  But then it’s time for the skirt – and they slow down.

When my oldest was 1, I saw an idea in Parent’s magazine.  To take a plain tree skirt and put handprints on it.  Since my mother in law could sew and has made tree skirts before, I asked her to make me one.  So now we have a tree skirt with 10 years worth of handprints on them.  Each year, we put new ones on.

They love to find their old handprints and compare sizes.  It slows the boys down long enough to reflect on our family and how we have grown.  It really is a special time.  And then the paint comes out and being boys, it splatters all over.  The handprints usually turn out sloppy and messy and really it’s not a “pretty” skirt.  But we love it!

2.  Our Nativity – I love my Nativity set.  I forget who makes it, but my mom bought it for me before we had children.   Usually the boys help me set it out and we can talk about who all the “characters” are.  We don’t put the baby in the manger yet though.  I wrap it up like a present.  And then we set it out Christmas morning with a note to open that present first.  That way on Christmas morning, before everyone starts tearing into their gifts, we remember to take a moment and think on what Christmas is really about.

3.  Advent Tree – this year we are starting a new tradition.  At a friend’s house we made an advent tree.  Her family had one growing up and it was one of her favorite traditions, so she wanted to share it with others.  Basically, she cut out a large felt tree and we glued it on to a piece of fleece (she had pre-sewn the fleece edges and rolled the top so that it could be hung).  She created various shapes for the ornaments and drew them on paper.  She then wrote a number (1-25) on each shape along with a bible verse reference.  We cut the paper shapes out, glued them onto matching felt shapes and decorated them.

Now, each night at dinner, we take out the next ornament, read the Bible verse which goes through the Christmas story and then hang the ornament on the tree with safety pins.  I love that instead of getting a piece of chocolate from an advent calendar, they are hearing the Christmas story.  And again – it’s not necessarily the prettiest decoration we have, but they all helped make it.  I love it!

So, those are some things we do in our home to prepare for Christmas.  Some things to help us slow down, to not get all crazy and to really reflect on what this time of year is about: family, friends and most importantly God.  God, not being a distant, uncaring God.  But God, loving his creation so much, that He came to earth in the lowly form of a baby, to dwell with his creation, to be Emmanuel – God with us.  So, as you go through your to do lists and to buy lists in these remaining 2o days before Christmas, I’m praying that you will find time too, time to slow down with your family and friends and ponder the miracle of Christmas.

♥ Becki


Mothering Monday: Report cards

Friday was report card day for my boys.  They all did fine, and basically it was pretty uneventful.  I’m the mom of elementary school age kids, so really how eventful can it / should it be?  I used to be a teacher, and everything we did was ultimately about the grade – grades were important.  But as a mom, I’m finding I don’t really care so much about the grades.  I want my boys to be respectful, to do the work that is asked of them, but if they don’t get all A’s or O’s or 3’s (above grade level) does it really matter?  (Of course several years from now when I’m hoping they get accepted to the college of their choice, I may be singing a different tune…)

In the past year, I’ve taken a slightly different strategy towards their school work.  One day, I read something on a web site that really stuck out to me.  A friend had recommended a discipline method called “Love and Logic” to me.  So I swagbuck searched it.  (Remember I don’t google, I search through Swagbucks so I can earn Amazon gift cards for searching… click on the box below to find out more.)  Anyway, I searched for “Love and Logic” and went to where I found articles on many different topics.  For whatever reason, at the time, I was drawn to the articles about school, homework, and grades.  Something I read, really stuck out to me and since then, I’ve changed how I approach my boys’ work.  (I’m including the article at the end of my post.)

Now, when my boys show me a graded test or paper,  I no longer first look at what they got wrong.  I look at what they got right.  I point out a problem and say something like, “Oh, good job on that question – how did you know the answer?”  I make a big deal about how much they know.  Oftentimes, I don’t say anything about the wrong answers – I figure the teacher is working with them.   But if there are a lot of wrong answers, after I point out what was right, I might say something like, “It looks like there are several questions that gave you trouble.  Do you understand why they were marked wrong?  Would you like my help on understanding them?”  And if they say they don’t want my help, I say, “OK, just make sure to ask your teacher so you’ll know for next time.”

I’ve decided that academically I want to be their cheerleader on the sidelines doing dances and cheering instead of the coach teaching and training them and yelling at them when they mess up.  And so far, it seems to be working pretty well.  But I’ll humbly admit that I’m saying this while my oldest is only in 5th grade… I realize I may be singing an entirely different tune in a few years!  🙂


Here’s the original article that I read that put my thoughts in motion on this…


By Jim Fay  ©1998 Jim Fay
Permission granted for photocopy reproduction.
Please do not alter or modify contents.
For more information, call the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. at 800-338-4065.

You’re on your way home from work. You’re anxious for some encouraging talk and a little relaxation after a hard day. You need all the support you can get to recharge your batteries and feel strong enough to go back tomorrow and face another working day.

You are greeted with, “Hi, Honey. How was it today? Where are your papers? I want to see how you did all day.” “It was OK,” you reply. “I really don’t want to talk about it. I’m really beat.” “Well, no wonder you don’t want to talk about it. Look at these papers. You can do a lot better than this. Where was your mind today? You sit down right now and we’ll go over these proposals you wrote and get the spelling straightened out. And look at these paragraphs. You’ll never get promoted at this rate. I don’t understand this. You have so much more potential than this.”

How long would it be before you find a more comfortable place to go after work? “Who needs this?” you’ll say.”I can find someone who can show me a little more appreciation for my hard work!”

Many school–age children face this same situation daily. They are greeted after school with, “What did you learn today?” and “Where is your homework? You get on it right now!”

Children are also requested to bring home their papers so that the mistakes can be corrected. Even though this is done with love and caring, it trains them to focus on their weaknesses.

The problem faced by students is that they can’t choose to go somewhere else after school. They can’t avoid facing a replay of their daily failures. They must return home and listen to whatever their parents have to say. It is very difficult for a child to say,”Mother! Do you realize you are training me to keep my school progress a secret from you?” Soon they quit bringing home papers. They make excuses and blame it on their teachers. “She never gives me my papers to bring home.”

The next step is for the parent to go to school demanding that the teacher develop some sort of foolproof reporting method. Teachers are actually faced with writing daily and weekly reports for parents. This never provides a long-term solution because it addresses the wrong problem. It also robs teachers of valuable teaching and preparation time.

The real problem is that the child has learned that it is unsafe to discuss school with his or her parents. Rather than developing a reporting plan, it is much wiser to work on the real problem–helping children and parents learn to talk to each other in safe and supportive ways. This solution works, and it lasts a lifetime.

You can teach your child to discuss school with you. While you are doing this, you can also lay the foundation blocks that will build a true winner out of your youngster.

STEP ONE: Sit down with your children two to three times per week. Have them point out the best things they did on their papers.

STEP TWO: Make sure your child describes to you the reasons for his or her success. As they put these into words, the reasons for the success will be imprinted on their brain, never to be erased. They will start to believe they are in control of their success.

STEP THREE: Work with your children on their mistakes only when they ask for your help. Let the school work on deficiencies. Teachers have training to help with the deficiencies in effective ways.

STEP FOUR: Be patient. This is a real change in operation. It will take the child a period of time to believe that this is not just a new phase his parents are going through. Look for the real benefits to show up in several months or maybe during the next few years, depending upon the child’s past history.

Winners always think about how they are going to succeed. Losers always think about their possible failures.

Mothering Monday: Protecting my children

This past week has been a strange, emotional week for me.  My beloved alma mater and people I respected have made national news for “alleged” horrific acts by a man to innocent children and despite “alleged” knowledge of these acts, other men did not step up to protect these children and others.

In addition to that, last week, my oldest turned 11 – how did that happen so quickly?  At my MOPS group, we had a meeting about “Special Needs” and I shared some of the challenges about being his mom.  Of course in preparation for that, he timely had an “autistic meltdown” the day before.  Funny, I’m trying to remember what it was about and I have no clue… I just remember the emotions that went along with it.  Then again this morning, he had a meltdown at the doctor’s office during his well visit.  He was kicking and screaming that he didn’t want any shots.  I had to sit on top of him while one nurse held his arm and the other administered the shots.  But even before then, I had to physically hold him down on the table (he has gotten so strong) while the doctor had to check his “privates”.  He didn’t want to be touched there, and there I was holding him down so the doctor could touch him in a place that I’ve told him to never let anyone touch.  So ironic…

Also in the local news this week, was an incident on my friends’ street where a car pulled up to a 5-year-old child and tried to lure him into the car.  Thankfully the child ran to his house and told his parents.  But, a couple of months ago, there was a lost dog near us and people were hanging flyers up all over.  My oldest was out front when a car was driving by.  The driver stopped and called my son over.  Through our front window, my husband saw my son taking a paper from the car.  Thankfully it was truly someone looking for their dog… but no matter how many times we’ve quizzed our boys about what they are to do if someone approaches them, there he was going right up to a car.  It’s such a scary world for a mom.

Through all of this, I’ve been trying to make sense of how to protect my children.  Do I let them play outside by themselves?  Do I let them sleep over people’s houses.  Do I let them join organizations where they are in close contact with adults that I think I can trust… but really how do I know?  I want a bubble!  I want to live in a bubble where I can protect them from people and germs and whatever wants to rob them of their youth and innocence.

But I know that’s not reality.  So I’m praying extra hard for my boys right now.

The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear.  The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?  (Psalm 27:1)

The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  (Psalm 28:7)

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)

And those words give me peace and confidence… but not yet answers to my questions… and so I’m still trying to make sense of how to be a mom in this world, how to trust God while not necessarily trusting “man” and for now, all I know how to do is draw close to God and let him gently lead me as he has promised.


Mothering Monday: Bubbles, whistles, and snaps…

Blowing bubble gum bubbles, whistling, and snapping.  These are all things that my boys want to be able to do, but I have no idea how to teach them.  I’ve tried breaking them down into steps:  stick the gum behind your teeth, push your tongue through the gum and blow.

But no matter how many times they try, the result is usually a pathetic ball of gum hanging from their lips – no bubble.








In desperation, my 5-year-old will have me blow a bubble and then give him the gum to put in his mouth… then he pretends he blew the bubble.

We haven’t had any better luck with whistling or snapping.  Whistling results in more of a humming sound while snapping produces no sound at all.  My husband and I were talking about it, we don’t remember learning any of these… it just sort of happens and then you know how to do it forever.  Maybe you remember learning, but most likely you don’t.  You probably remember the joy of blowing those bubbles and whistling and snapping your fingers because it seems like at some point we all figured it out.  Although maybe you didn’t, I mean after all my 38-year-old husband still can’t properly shuffle a deck of cards.  (Sorry to throw you under the bus Jeff… you are amazing at so many things that I am in awe of, but shuffling cards… not so much.)

Thinking about this makes me wonder what other things my children will need to learn that I won’t know how to teach.  I’m sure there will be a lot – but the one that scares me is knowing God’s grace.  Why would that scare me?  Grace is God’s unmerited favor.  Grace is God’s forgiveness of our sins.

I believe that in order for us to fully understand who God is and how much He loves us, we need to know the fullness of God’s grace.  I’m always teaching my boys about this.  When they mess up, I often use it as a teaching moment of God’s forgiveness – that we are not good enough for God because we all mess up which is sin.  That our sin has an eternal punishment beyond an earthly time-out.  But Jesus took our punishment when he died on the cross.  That we need to thank Jesus for taking our punishment so that we could be forgiven.  Grace.

I can tell them all about it… and I’m praying that they’ll “know” the fullness of God’s grace without needing to experience it for anything major.  But most likely, they’ll need to really mess up at some point to grasp how deep, how wide, how long is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18) that He displays through His grace.  And that’s what scares me… so for now, I’ll just stick to bubbles, whistles, and snaps.


As always, I love to hear your thoughts… so feel free to leave a comment.  Also, if you think your friends would enjoy reading this also, click below to share through either email, Facebook or Twitter.  Thanks!

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: God’s food

I’ll admit, there are many times that I’m sitting at church thinking about what we are going to have for lunch.  “Should we go out?  Should we go home to eat?  What do we have?  Do we have enough eggs to make eggs or pancakes?  I think we have hot dogs, maybe we could do that.  No, let’s just go out.  Where should we go?  I wonder what we should have for dinner.  If we go out for lunch, we definitely need to eat dinner at home.  Maybe we could have the hot dogs for dinner.”  Of course this internal conversation is going on while the pastor is teaching a lesson from the Bible.  A lesson that he has prayed about.  A lesson that he spent time preparing.  A lesson that God made sure I got out of bed, my family dressed, and at church to hear.  And my mind is on food.

“My food,” said Jesus,”is to do the will of Him who sent me to finish His work.”  -John 4:34

When Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, the one who had several husbands and was currently with a man who was not her husband, the disciples came up to them.  They couldn’t understand why Jesus would be talking to this Samaritan (Samaritan’s were half-breed Jews who were considered unworthy and repulsive to the Jews) woman (at the time, rabbis didn’t talk to women without their husbands there).  But they didn’t ask Jesus why He was talking to her.  Instead they tried to change the subject.  “Rabbi, eat something.” His reply was, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me to finish His work.”  My translation, “How can I even think of food when people need me, when people need to know God?”

Jesus was saying that He got his nourishment from his service.  Food wasn’t even on his mind.  The woman by the way became a follower of Jesus, she went and told others about Jesus.  “Many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”  To read the whole account in John 4, click here.

As someone whose mind always seems to be on food, this verse really stuck out to me.  Whether I am eating “correctly” or not, if my mind is more on food than it is on God and the work God has for me, then there is a problem.  So what do I do to get my mind off of food and onto God?  The only way I know how is to make sure I’m spending time in the Bible and praying.  And when my mind starts drifting to food when it shouldn’t, I need to pray and ask God to take control of my thoughts.  I need to be purposeful in focusing my thoughts on God and not on food.  Obviously, I have not yet achieved this, I’m still pressing on in the process.  I can’t wait for the day, that I can write about this in a past tense instead of a present one!

I also am more and more realizing that while I’m training myself to focus my thoughts on God, I need to be training my boys as well.  Just as I need more than a Sunday morning sermon to grow in my relationship with Jesus, my boys do too.  So I can’t expect their Sunday school class to be enough to foster that growth.  Over the summer, we read as a family a great book:

Basically it was a book with all the “popular” stories from the Bible from Genesis through Revelation.  Every story though ended pointing back to Jesus.  As an adult, I enjoyed it and thought it did a really good job of tying the Bible together.  My boys loved the stories, the pictures and talking about it.

Currently, we are doing daily devotions from this book:








These are great, because they are quick, written for children, have “fill in the blank” prayers and cover a variety of topics.  Even though it’s for younger kids, my 5, 7, and almost 11-year olds enjoy it.  My 7-year-old loves to then take the suggested Bible verse, look it up in his Bible and read it to us.  I love that he’s learning how to find books, chapters, and verses in the Bible, that he’s reading, and that he’s reading God’s word.  He loves the Bible that he uses, Hands-On Bible.

It’s the full Bible with a lot of fun, practical applications to make the Bible real and accessible for children.  And I think that’s important, after all, Jesus did say:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:14

Which, by the way is a Bible verse that I memorized through Steve Green’s children’s Bible verse memory songs:

Click on the picture of the CD to go to Amazon to preview it.

So as I’m learning to be in God’s word everyday and make my food the same as Jesus’ food, to do the will of God, I am trying to be purposeful in feeding my children that same food.  What are you feeding your children?


P.S. Sorry I didn’t post on Monday or Tuesday.  Monday was a busy, busy day and Tuesday was a sick day – I actually took 3 naps and then was still able to sleep through the night!  I must have been really run down.  So today’s post actually was a combination of Mothering Monday, Training Tuesday, and Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word.

Thanks for reading!  And if you think any of your friends would enjoy reading, feel free to click on the share buttons below!  Have a great day feasting on God’s food.

Mothering Monday: Discipline – What’s Your Motivation?

Why do you want your children to behave?  Should be an easy question to answer right?  But it is a question that tripped me up when I heard it years ago.  Because the true answer was not one I really wanted to admit.  I wanted my children to behave to make my life easier, more enjoyable, and so that others would look at them and ultimately me and think, “Wow, she’s a great mom.”  It was all about me.

I wanted my boys to be quiet when I was on the phone so I could enjoy my conversation.  I wanted my boys to go to bed easily so I could have a relaxing quiet house.  I wanted my boys to get dressed and not throw a tantrum about tags and buttons on their clothing because I didn’t want it to take 45 minutes to put their clothes on.  I wanted my boys to play nicely with other kids so I didn’t have to supervise too closely and I could talk to the mommies.  I wanted my boys to leave a play area quietly and calmly and not throw a tantrum because I didn’t want to be embarrassed.

And you know what?  Really those aren’t bad reasons.  There is nothing wrong with wanting a peaceful, enjoyable, non-embarrassing life.  But the thing is, when those were my main motives in wanting my children to behave, I’d find myself getting angry, frustrated, and depressed.  In the past few years, I’ve been shifting my motivation.  As some of you know, my oldest son is on the Autistic spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger’s.  A very real conversation my husband and I have had is where we see him in 15 years when he’s 25.  Will he be able to have a job?  Will he be able to live on his own?  Most likely he will be.  But questioning that has caused me to reassess why I want my children to behave.  I want them to develop the qualities and characteristics that they need to be happy, productive, well-adjusted, relational members of society.

I want my boys to be quiet when I’m on the phone so that they learn to be patient and respectful of others.  I want my boys to go to bed easily so that they learn how to live within boundaries that are established for their health and well-being.  I want my boys to get dressed and not throw a tantrum about tags and buttons so that they learn to adapt and problem-solve when something is uncomfortable or not how they want it.  I want my boys to play nicely with other kids because I want them to be kind and considerate and to be concerned about the needs of others.  I want my boys to leave a play area quietly and calmly so that they learn to handle the many transitions and changes that we have in life.

When my focus is on growing these characteristics in my boys, my discipline and training is much calmer, rational, loving, and effective.  I also find that I’m much more prayerful in my discipline when my motivation is growing my boys into men of character and not just making my life easier and making me look good.  So, as you are disciplining your children, I encourage you to think about what your motivation is.  Why do you want your children to behave?


P.S. Thanks for reading, I find that writing these posts is very therapeutic for me… and an added bonus of being able to write on a forum where others read is if they are encouraged, can relate, or feel like someone else understands them.  As always, I love to hear your thoughts!

P.P.S or is it P.S.S?  Anyway… MOPS moms, if you even bothered to read all the way through… sorry for taking a shortcut this morning and just using the article from last week’s newsletter.  But I liked what it said, and well, it’s a Monday morning, and I don’t have anywhere to be, so the thought of climbing back in bed for a little bit is pretty appealing 🙂