So, They’ll Love Me When I’m 80 – Raising Teens

Mother’s day is this weekend, and you know I’ve been taking a hard look at my parenting lately.  Reevaluating.  Making Changes.  Fighting for the hearts of my children.

My grandmother passed in March.  My step-grandfather passed this week, his funeral was held yesterday.  I was immensely blessed to take home some parenting wisdom from their funerals.

My grandmother – her son (my uncle) shared the story of how when he was going through a challenging financial time, my grandmother gave him an encouraging card with money inside.  It was very helpful and touching, but at the bottom of the card Grandma wrote “I think a second job is in order”.

She loved him, supported him, but gave him the honesty and wake up call he needed.

My step-grandfather – at the funeral everyone who spoke shared stories in which Pop had helped, encouraged and supported but always with a dose of “shoot from the hip” honesty.  He didn’t sugarcoat issues.

Toward the end of the service, three of the granddaughters sang Daddy’s Hands and dedicated it to Pop’s six children.  If you haven’t heard the song, it’s a beautiful tribute to appreciating a father’s discipline.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

It was a beautiful.  In the middle of the song I turned to my husband with tears streaming down my face and said “Well, they may not like us now but they’ll love us when we’re 80, and say nice things at our funerals.”  He smiled and hugged me a little closer.

He understood.

Raising teens isn’t easy.  There’s bound to be some tension.  Heidi St. John says we’re preparing arrows to launch out into the world.  And what do you do when you’re launching an arrow?  You pull that arrow closer to you – to your heart.  And what happens when you do this?  It creates tension on the line – a little tension is okay.

I haven’t ruined my teen, I’ve created too much tension by being overly critical in an effort to impart as much wisdom as I can before I launch him.  I’ve spent too much time lecturing and advising, not enough time listening and loving.  I need to go back to the 3:1 praise/correction ratio – I’ve gotten off course.

Praise God it’s not too late to correct that course.  And then, when I’m old, when my teen has raised children, he’ll understand and appreciate the love in my hands.

That my friends is God’s grace – He’s built His grace into our daily lives.

That’s my self-lecture and reflection for the day 🙂  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a baby shower to attend – my baby shower.  It feels so surreal, to say goodbye-for-now to Pop yesterday then to celebrate new life today.

Grace my friends.  Redemption and grace.

Thank You and Updates

I’ve been pretty quiet around here lately because I have been B-U-S-Y. Seriously, I have never been busier in my life. I wish I could say that’s an exaggeration, but it’s not.

This afternoon I’ve been blessed with a few quiet moments so I decided to take advantage of the time to hop on here and say thank you.

Thank you all for your prayers and care – it has meant the world to me as our family has faced new and interesting challenges. The main challenge of course was my grandmother’s brain cancer. Thank you for praying for her, for me, our family. I could feel your prayers lifting me up.

Grandma passed on March 13th – which we found interesting as she always said 13 was her lucky number. The boys and I were able to see her and say our goodbyes the day before. She was surrounded by her children with hymns softly playing as she went. Her cancer, glioblastoma, was a terribly aggressive cancer. After refusing treatment, Grandma was given an estimate of 3 months, I hoped she would live to see my little girl, but she had only 7 weeks from the day she was diagnosed. It was fast, so fast.

Even with such an aggressive cancer, I know your prayers helped. She was emotionally strong and in good spirits until the end – leaning wholly on God. She did not dwindle or linger. She was able to walk up until about a week before her passing, could talk until about 3 days before and had little-to-no pain until 2 days before she left us. She was blessed.

Thank you for being there for us.

Since her passing there have been other family emergencies and challenges – my husband’s grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer. She stayed with us for a few weeks while preparing for her treatment, she’s now staying with her daughter while undergoing treatment, depending on how she does she will either go home or spend time with more family.

After that my father had a heart attack scare. It turned out not to be a heart attack, thank God, but it was a difficult 4 days of stress, hospitals and tests for him.

And then of course there’s the good craziness of everyday life while pregnant and homeschooling four amazing kids.

Through it all I’ve been doing my best to finish the final planning of The 2:1 Conference – and it’s been going well. I cannot tell you how profoundly I am looking forward to this weekend. It will be amazing to gather with my online peeps in the Lord, kick back and just enjoy the time – while chatting all things homeschooling and bloggy of course!

And that’s about it. Thank you again – truly – from the bottom of my heart. And to those of you who’ll be at 2:1 – I’ll see you soon!!

Not Bitter About Blissdom..Anymore

You remember that post I wrote about how this year’s word is REDEMPTION? And how I planned on sharing, throughout the year, ways God has blessed and redeemed things in my life? Well, this is one of those times.

I’m 26 weeks along in this blessed pregnancy – our baby girl is due in June. I know, once I have the baby I’ll be sticking close to home. I usually become a hermit for about a year after my babies are born. I don’t even like to go out to dinner.

2:1 Conference Button
I had planned to go to Savvy Blogging in October – but knowing I wouldn’t be up to it with a 4 month old, I sold my ticket. I will of course be at The 2:1 Conference in April (you will too right?!?) But being that Blissdom was happening in February I started scheming a way to go in order to fit in one more conference before my self imposed exile.

Someone had offered me a ticket and my sweet friend Rachel had offered to let me room with her. All I needed was a sponsor for my flight. I came close – but didn’t get one, so my Blissdom dreams evaporated. I wasn’t happy. I wanted to squish in as much social media madness as I could before I have the baby.

But I knew if I couldn’t go God had a reason. I trusted He would reveal His reason.

And He did. He fully redeemed my Blissdom weekend with a different kind of bliss. The kind of bliss only available through family time and contentment.


(Far left-right: my aunt, Grandma’s sister Anita, my mom, me, my Grandma, Grandma’s sister Carrie and my cousin)

I was able to spend time with my Grandma. She is savoring her last months with family and friends while riding the roller coaster of brain cancer – glioblastoma. In addition to seeing Grandma, I got to meet her sisters who flew in from different states.

It was hilarious to sit with them – in their 70s they all still bicker like kids. And I got to hear some lively stories! Apparently Grandma was ornery. She told stories of the whippings she and her sisters used to get for the mischief they caused – and how they would wrap magazines around their legs, under their nightgowns, to avoid the pain of their punishment.

My favorite story was how Grandma and her sisters felt the need to kill bugs in their basement – by drowning them – with the garden hose -while their mother was napping. There was almost 6 inches of water in the basement before their mother woke and caught them!

It was also nice to get to meet my Great Aunt Carrie – I shared stories about her time in Lybia back when we were going to move there. It was like a first time meeting with someone I felt I already knew.

It was a magical time. One I wouldn’t trade for all the conferences in the world.

God truly redeemed my weekend.

And I am grateful.