Full Circle Moments

full circleI’m entering into the phase of life when I can see things happen in their complete cycle.

Sometimes those full-circle moments come as a shock while others are anticipated.

A few weeks ago I sat in a crowded gymnasium with hundreds of gawking parents, waiting for our 6th graders to perform in their first music concert of the year.

As I peered through my phone’s camera, it hit me.

Twelve years ago I stood in front of my own choir, students and their parents and announced that we were expecting our first child. Now, here he was singing with his choir and I couldn’t stop smiling.

 

Today I drove to the airport to pick up my parents. They were able to catch an early flight in hopes of seeing my grandmother before she leaves this earth.

I’ve spent hours with my grandparents as they manage this final phase of life.

I’ve listened to my grandpa say “she’s leaving me” and “I just want the Lord to let me go with her”.

We come into this world completely dependent on others and my grandmother is now lying in a bed, completely dependent on her caregivers.

 

75 years ago my grandparents said, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. Their full circle moment has come and the strength of their love is almost tangible.

The hospice nurse delivered the news that grandmother has 3-5 days left on earth. I have a strong feeling their love will ensure they aren’t separated for long. I hope they are dancing in the streets of heaven together soon.  For now, grandmother will get the party started and she’ll have the best full circle moment of all – from the day she gave her heart to the Lord until she sees Him face to face. She has lived a life committed to Christ and God has been faithful.

 

What about you? Are you experiencing a full circle moment? Are you hoping a situation comes to an end?

We’re all at a different point in our journey. Each of us taking the next step and hopefully having time to look back long enough to appreciate where we’ve been and enjoy where we’re going.

My dad said it best this evening as we prayed together: “Sometimes it’s difficult to truly pray ‘Thy will be done'”… but we can trust God and His timing.

His ways are not like ours and that’s a good thing.  God loves us and is with us from beginning to the end – each moment along the way. :o)

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.

Ecclesiastes 3

 

We are thankful for you!

mom essentialsLife is crazy and yet we are called to make our spiritual life a priority – but how!?

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We’ll be starting discussion groups and lots of other cool interactions with all of you in the Spring – so order your books NOW!

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Along The Path

pathThink back to your high school years. What dreams or plans did you have?

Could you have ever dreamed your life would turn out like it has?

As a high school teacher I was constantly asking my students what their plans were and what was “next” for them.
Some had answers, others just wanted to make it through their high school career and couldn’t think beyond that milestone.
No matter what your “plan” was, it involved choosing a path. Our educational and professional paths can seem pretty clear when we begin, but sometimes the path for our relationships and spiritual life is a bit more involved.

Stop Talking, Start Walking!

kid yelling at momPlease excuse me while I vent.

I don’t mean to offend…but folks, this is getting ridiculous.

I am tired of watching children yell at their mothers.

I don’t care if they are 2, 12 or 21.

When did we decide that our children’s feelings are more important than our dignity?

When did it become okay for children to yell, scream, hit and throw a complete tantrum while their mother sits in front of them asking 101 questions, enduring the abuse!?

We would never allow an adult, another child, or our spouse to treat us that way, so why is it okay for our children?!?!

 

One of the best, most empowering and invigorating things I can do when my kid is losing his mind is to keep mine clear and calm.

The best way to kill drama is with the a quiver full of quiet and calm arrows, ready to be released at just the right time in order to regain control.

 

There’s a difference between refusing to be insulted and refusing to join the chaos. I’m not saying it’s easy – but I think it’s easy to forget why the difference matters so much.

Drama only grows when it is successful in dominating the situation and our attention.

I’ve talked to so many moms who say they “talked” with their child for hours – they just couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

Maybe NOTHING was wrong – maybe that child is very intelligient and has figured out they can keep their parents devoted to their irrational and sometimes imaginary issues by inviting them to join the chaos.

If something really is wrong we should be patient and listen. But I hope we’d know the difference between a child in distress and a child in drama mode. My kids can feel any emotion they’d like but they don’t get to insult me with their actions in the process.

 

We live in a noisy world, but if our phone makes a slight ding – we give it our full attention.  Oh the power we give to technology.

I don’t believe yelling and screaming shows power.

That’s why we work hard to not yell at our children and I would hope we hold our children to the same standard.

What do our children have to do to get our attention? Do they make a slight “ding” or have they learned to yell, scream and throw a fit so we will pay attention?

 

Don’t let your children make you a slave to their emotional outbursts.

Teach them how to manage their emotions without draining your energy.

Model how to express emotions without dominating everyone’s attention.

Allow them to have emotions without allowing them to punish you with their feelings.

Hold them accountable. Even if it takes a while, REFUSE to become a slave to your children’s emotional outbursts and above all things…

REMAIN CALM!!!

 

You’ve got this. Stay strong and think about the future. Let’s walk away from the drama and teach our children how to manage their emotions NOW. If we don’t our kids could grow into young adults who lash out at a world that simply doesn’t care to listen to or respond to their drama. Take the following Bible verse to heart. It was meant to encourage the Jews during battle. I think it also works for moms who are battling the drama that tries to sneak into their home. Whether on the battle field or in our home, we are not alone. God will never forsake us or leave us – AMEN!

 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

He Will Do It

ohio group 2Last night I had a blast hanging out with the amazing women of Westerville Christian. They won a set of my latest Bible Study at #MomCon. I was so excited to meet with them and our time together took a really cool turn – one I hadn’t seen coming. I love when God comes in and decides to speak a word I was NOT expecting – it’s a beautiful moment when I’m reminded that God knows us better than we know ourselves.

We were focused on 1 Thessalonians 5:24…

“The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”

It’s a simple phrase until we take it apart.

“The one who calls you…” Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’ve been CALLED. Being a mom is a calling! Sometimes it’s a really tough calling, but in the end it’s the most important part of our impact on this world. The thing is – we didn’t end up here by luck or because we were bored. Nope. God plucked us out of ALL His creation and allowed us to be called Mother.

“…[He] is faithful…” I can flounder, mess up, fall away and turn my back on God but He is always faithful. His love NEVER ends and He can be the source of anything/everything I need. God’s faithfulness in my life isn’t dependent upon my performance as a mom. Nope. I am going to try my best. I’m going to listen to my Creator and I’m not going to give up because I’m not alone. The Creator of the Universe is on my side and HE IS FAITHFUL.

“…He will do it” During our time last night I asked the ladies to think of their top 3 worries, concerns or fears. The things that are weighing heavily on them. We’re going to call those our own personal “its”. My “it” might be different from yours but it still affects us. It takes our energy and focus and that’s not good because our family needs ALL our resources.  Throughout scripture we read God’s promises to be our strength, hope, joy, rest, and peace. If I pray about a situation in my life I can know that God will take care of it. He’ll do it His way and in His timing but we remember that He’s faithful and He’s called us to this season and time – so HE WILL DO IT!

I don’t know what “it” you’re dealing with today but I hope you can speak our 1 Thessalonians scripture with confidence and find reassurance that God loves you, knows you and cares about the “it” you’re facing.

 While speaking to the group last night God reminded me of a lesson I had taught to my students just 5 hours earlier. In my Newcomer’s class we are learning about pronouns. Yesterday our lesson covered the pronouns I and YOU. My sweet students who are learning English struggle with this concept – I think mothers do too.

Sometimes we think it’s all up to us.

I have to make that snack, talk to that person, lead that activity, clean that room, participate in that ministry……..the list goes on and on.

When it comes to dealing with the struggles in our life and staring down any “it” that might come our way we might need to start using the pronoun “you” a little bit more.

What if we started saying, “Lord, You are my strength. You have my heart. Would You help me decide what to do….” again, the list could go on and on.

I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to win all the battles. I don’t even have to prove anything – all I need to do is trust God and work on having child-like faith in my Heavenly Father – He’s got this.

Mommy Brain

calenderA while back I wrote a post titled “When Their Brains Turn Off”.  The post was about children and yet, as so often happens in my life, God humbled me with my own words.

{Read the post about kids if you haven’t already – it will help this story mean more!}

You see, I thrive on organization. Without it my world begins to crumble. Now, don’t misread the previous statement – I need to feel organized, but that doesn’t mean everything in my house is always clean. If you come to my house just don’t look in the cabinets under the butler’s pantry – it’s where stacks of papers are hidden when people come over. I apologize if any of you are disappointed with me – it’s just how we roll.

Last weekend we had a WONDERFUL surprise – Matt’s parents came up from Oklahoma to see the boys play their football and soccer games. It was a fantastic weekend. Any time they come to town we eat amazing food, watch lots of movies and literally hang out at the house the entire weekend.

We aren’t normally such “home bodies” so a weekend with my in-laws is a welcomed break. It’s also a shift from our normal routine.

I headed back to work on Monday and was proud of myself for being fairly productive.

{pause for back story}

My children have been raised on schedules – literally. Even before they could read they knew certain pictures/colors/timers dictated their day. I loved that my boys couldn’t argue with a schedule and honestly, it helped ME stay sane.

Many times I would find them standing in front of the calendar, preparing themselves for what was happening next in our busy days and lives. The little boys who pointed at the picture of our swing set, anticipating going outside to play are the same boys who now have their sports gear ready and by they door BEFORE we have to leave for practice. They are sending ME text messages to remind me of their lessons and activities. It’s a beautiful thing to empower our kids to take control of their environment in healthy and realistic ways.

{back to our story}

As I loaded up my grade book and planner I glanced at my phone and saw that I had missed 3 phone calls from our oldest son.

My mind raced as I realized it was 5:00. It was 5:00 on a Monday.

I called my son back and immediately began apologizing to him. He has drum lessons at 5:00 on Mondays! How could I forget!? We’ve had drum lessons on that same day and time for over 2 months now – I was so frustrated with myself!

He graciously replied that he really didn’t want to go to lessons anyway … which was nice of him … but all I could think about was the money we were losing – but what could I do? I had dropped the ball.

My son also reminded me that he had football at 5:45. He went on to let me know that he was dressed, had his water bottle and had eaten some protein….I had to smile.

{If you think things are working out…keep reading}

As we were talking football and drums my middle son beeped in. Why was he calling me?  I tried to click over but missed him.

I immediately called the drum teacher, apologized profusely and continued on my way home.

Then my husband called. It was now 5:10.

I answered, filled him in on my lack of prompt parenting and he was oddly quiet.

I asked if everything was okay. He simply asked, “Have you talked to Tyler? Do you know if he made it home?”

This is when I felt the tears forming.

Our middle son, Tyler, is part of a robotics club that meets after school (you guessed it) on Mondays from 3:30-5:00.

Apparently when he couldn’t get ahold of me he called Matt. They agreed that Tyler would begin walking home.

I immediately called Tyler, again apologizing for not being there to pick him up.

His response? “It’s okay mom – it’s really pretty out here and I don’t mind”

{Cue tears flowing down my face}

I arrived home at 5:25 to 3 little boys who ran to me and gave me hugs – just happy to see mom at home.

I went to the calendar and even though every activity was written down in the correct color, with the correct time, all the information had left my mind for some reason.

I continued apologizing to our older boys (who were now playing on their devices and had forgotten the whole thing) when our youngest came up to me and hugged me again – telling me that he loved me (three cheers for the babies of the family!!).

I thanked him for loving me even when I make mistakes to which he replied,

“Did your brain just turn off for a little bit?”

I laughed and agreed with his accusation.

Oh that I might have the capacity to forgive, accept and support my children as much as they do the same for me.

After our conversation I took a minute to write an update on our calendar (see picture at beginning of post)- because Mommies AND kids have rough days – I just hope I’m not the only one.

When was the last time your brain “turned off”? Were you able to bounce back?

Leave a comment and help us all feel a little bit better about our “off” days.

You are doing an amazing job…take it one day at a time and keep focusing on the essentials – family first!

Kasey

 

 

This is It!

w2wLet me be honest.

I wasn’t expecting our “Scripture Sunday” from last month to pose such a challenge in my life. You see, I’m currently learning how to do a new job and let’s just say I’m not a fan of starting over.

Have you ever had to start over and leave behind the wonderful feeling of knowing what you’re doing and feeling confident? Yeah – it’s not my favorite.

The “it” I’m currently dealing with is a necessary evil – it’s my job.  I’m struggling to remember that yes, God is faithful and yes, He will take care of my “it” no matter how difficult things become.

To help me accept these statements of truth I’m trying to make sure I do my part and obey scripture. I know God will fulfill His promise – so I’m working on fulfilling mine…

CLICK HERE to read more from my monthly posts for Woman to Woman Magazine – “Scripture Sunday”


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