Category Archives: character

3 Empty Rooms

I’ve been a bad/sad mood lately.  Well, I guess I should say that I’ve been fighting off a bad/sad mood.   I’m normally a pretty happy kind of girl.  My standard mode of operation when something troubling happens, is to get upset, vent, vent again, pray, repent, and then I’m usually over it.  Just like that.  I don’t dwell or ponder like I used to. (although Rob doesn’t always agree with this statement, so I might be in denial)  It makes for a happier home when I don’t freak out on unsuspecting family members too, and I prefer a happy home… and denial.

So, I was trying to figure out where this bad/sad mood is coming from and I had few ideas.  First and foremost, it’s the devil.  He’s always to blame, so I will give him the credit where it’s due. I also think life as a Mother of four, self-employment, home-schooling, and being involved in youth sports, give ample opportunities for stress.  Plus, I haven’t been to an all you can eat pizza buffet in 11 weeks…Seriously.  With all of that driving me nuts regularly, I think I’ve narrowed it down to one new thing that has happened recently.

My second son moved out last weekend.  I was pretty neutral about it, so I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of him, and I know he can manage out in the world.  He’s twenty-one years young and extremely responsible, for the most part.  The thing is though, this is the third adult kid to go and do things their way, contrary to my recommendations.  Really.  I would think that sooner or later even one of my kids would go, “huh… wow… Mom is almost always right about stuff…  Maybe I should try it the way she suggested?… Hmmmm. Yea!… I’m going to listen to my Mom!”  (Sorry, I really walked down that dream road for a second…)

The funny thing about that is, I am the same way.  I never listened.  I did everything the hard way and it sucked.  Life was hard and it didn’t have to be.  That’s one of the downsides to being strong-willed.  Do I have regrets?  Well, no.  I can’t, because then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I am a living testimony of what God can do with a strong-willed life. (can I get an AMEN?)

It’s wanting that testimony for our own kids wherein the problem lies.  The trials we go through is where our growth and character comes from. (Rom.:5:3-4) It’s usually when we are in the middle of a mess, that we cling to God the most.  We are real quick to realize our need for Him at those times, instead of the times when life is all peachy and we are feeling self fulfilled. So, I’ve prayed every day for my kids to walk with God.  I pray for them to have a love and desire for Him that exceeds all else in their lives.  Even when we are the cause of our mess, can we truly appreciate a Savior, if we never feel the need for one?  Can that come without trials?  I don’t know.  I really hope so.

I’m a big talker of faith, and I’ll be the first to share how God has worked things for good in my own life.  I do live in grateful awe every single day that I am forgiven.  It’s walking all of that out as a Mama where I trip sometimes.  It makes the Word so real for me, as God tells us His way, out of His love for us, we continually do things our own way anyway.

Letting go, and having faith in God over our kids lives is not the easiest thing to do.  I know He loves them even more than I can imange.  I hate that God has no grand-children, but then on the other hand, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you have any advice for this mom with 3 empty bedrooms…. Please share.


Where am I From?

I went to a blogging conference last weekend. http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ It was a little overwhelming, and exciting hanging out with a hundred other bloggers, and learning about things I didn’t even know existed. I had to really define my goal and reasons behind blabbering to all of you on a regular basis, and I think I did.  I definitely have my work cut out for me if I truly desire to share my life, help others, and point toward God with my stories and experiences.

One of the break out sessions focused on writing.  They gave us a template of the poem by George Ella Lyon, Where am I From.  Wow.  Several of the ladies filled theirs out in no time, and then shared them with us!  I was only on line three by the time we were supposed to be done.  I don’t know what that says about my creativity, but I was truly intimidated.  Being the good mom that I am, I printed a copy of the template and gave it to my son to fill in as a writing assignment.  He did it faster than me too.  Really.

The session leaders suggested that we put our poems in our next blog, so, now that I finally finished mine, I am sharing.  I asked my son if I could share his too, and he said, “I don’t care.” So here you go. A two for one from the Motmob.

From me:

I am from homemade clothes, from gardening, canning and religion.
I am from the single family home with the mattress, blankets & cuddles in front of the fireplace and corelle dishes that really do break.
I am from the strawberries that hide in the weeds, till my fingers ache.
I am from creativeness, sarcasm and the wringing of hands from Mom and Dad and Mommom Ruth.
I am from do it yourselves, the strong willed and the always right.
From Heaven is real and there’s never enough money.
I’m from Philadelphia and Ireland, beanie weenies, PB&J and mashed potatoes.
From the 500 Ford Galaxy that got pushed up the street at midnight for a moon lit drive on the beach and from being grounded for sneaking out and stealing the car.
From the ship yard, the seamstress, the lawyer and sunday school teacher.
I am from memories stored in boxes and albums, of every scrap of paper and photo from the past, that will be moved from attic to attic until there is nowhere left for them to go.  I am Jennifer.

From our 13 year old son:

I am from blenders and cereal bowls from Imacs and Bibles.
I am from every kind of ball there is.
The cinnamon stick in every room.
I am from the 18 rose bushes.  The cherry blossom tree whom long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I’m from 3 gifts on Christmas and going out to lunch after church. I’m from Mom & Dad.
I’m from cleaning up a mess and leaving the dogs outside and from sneaking a cookie.
I’m from not wanting a gift from Santa, but from my parents and never swallowing my greens with water.
I’m from Jesus loves me this I know and from getting a back scratch.
I’m from Atlanta, Italy and Ireland, chicken puffs, green beans and Friday night pizza.
From my Dad getting hit with a high heel by his mom because he broke a china glass.
The bunny ears behind the head, the box of toys under my bed.
I’m from a great family who loves me and I love them, from baseball to ballet, my family is awesome.

After all my thinking about my life, I think this was a fun exercise after all.  If you would like to do one yourself, here’s a link to a blank template: http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm and here’s a good one for your kids: http://www.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/t/Target_I_am_from%20poem.pdf  OR you can share some of yourself on the comment section below…. I would love to see where you are from.


Youth Sports…

The Little League World Series has just ended and Fall baseball has begun here in the south.  Having 3 boys and an x-sports reporter husband, we know ALL about sports around here, and we participate in a few… but baseball is numero uno.

I will tell you that we have had our kids in recreational sports, travel leagues, and on school teams.  My husband has been a team manager, assistant coach, and spectator.  I have even subjected myself to the role of team mom, and, inadvertently learned how to keep a score book, which has resulted in a crippling dent to my sideline sociability.  We all have run score boards, sold BBQ tickets, candy and coupons, and we all have done our time sweating to death in a concession booth.

Recreational sports programs are a unique, cult like experience.  You have your super stars, and your not so super stars.  The jersey number is sacred, and you know who’s there by the decals on the windows of the mini vans and SUV’s in the parking lot.. There’s plenty of nepotism and partiality.  Every good ballpark has their share of screamers and cussers, as well as angry parents, and the down right, just plain bad, parents.  Over the years, we have been pretty blessed with some awesome families on our teams… for the most part.  I can tell you that many “player drafts” take the parents behavior and support into full consideration.  No one wants the “banned” or trouble parent, even if their kid is a pretty good player.

The other day, our team was delayed for our field time, because a player in the game before ours lost his temper over a tough call.  The player tried to hurt the umpire, then, once ejected from the game, and the park, his father hit him in the head which resulted in the boy returning the favor, but with his cleats – thus, the authorities were called.  Really?   We have seen players purposely trip, hit and push other players, to only be rewarded by their coach.  Once, we even witnessed 2 coaches that were on the same team, get into a full blown fist fight in the dugout… in front of about 22 ten year olds and their families.  I could write an entire blog just listing the awful behavior we have witnessed in the name of youth sports…

With all of that being said, having your children play recreational sports can be a very fun and rewarding experience.  Seriously.  Your kids can learn to be a team player and a friend. If your coach is good,  the players will understand the actual game that they are playing.  They may also realize that working hard can be fun, and they can hopefully learn to win with humbleness, and lose with dignity. Unfortunately though, the trend of prideful, out of control parents, kids, and coaches, is becoming more and more common.  That is not fun or rewarding …for anyone.

I think that athletes are prejudicially exalted these days – even the kids from the Little League World Series have Fan Pages! Really?  We were not created to be that elevated for a skill we may have, because it takes a lot more than skill to fulfill the responsibility of having Fans… it takes character. (don’t even get me started on the Pro Sports) 🙂

There are hundred’s of thousands of kids playing baseball all over the world today.  Less than 1% will actually make it to the big leagues.  With that in mind, lets put all of this into perspective… They are kids.  The shaping of their character is far more important than how far they can hit a ball with a bat.  Teach them to play, and give it their best, but let’s put sportsmanship first and skill second.  Remember, it’s just a GAME that begins when the umpire yells, “PLAY ball!” Really.