Saturday, November 19, 2011


Photo Credit

I never really know what to say, pretty much ever. It's a gift I have:


Later, I think of things I could've said, imagine your clever response. But standing right there in the moment, my lips fail me. Every time. 

Lately I've needed to drop by here and do some housekeeping; I wanted to, desperately, because even if words failed me, writing never did. And yet this time. . .      it did. 

(They say faith moves mountains - but who moves mountains to paper?)

Writing here - writing worth the energy it takes to type - comes from somewhere deep. And lately that place has been echoing empty. In the midst of the resignation and the packing and the move and all the tongue-tied bitter(sweet?)ness of returning home, I couldn't think of one single thing to say, or write, or even think. 

Maybe in the unpacking, when I finally get to the bottom of that last worn box, I'll stumble into that place again. 

Until then, I'll just marvel at what remains firm in the moving waters of life:

For our merciful Sovereign - Who knew all this long before we did; for my Preacher, sure and steady in the storm's dead center; and for my kidlets, who remind me that home is wherever we're together.

And at the end of the day, if all we are is together - 
it's grace,
and we give thanks.

Letting it sink in,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Several weeks ago marked the beginning of Little Man's kindergarten year. After much thought and many discussions ending with, "I don't know," the Preacher and I decided to homeschool him for the time being. 

Little Man thought it was a smashing good idea until he remembered something he'd seen on tv and groaned, "Aww, man. I don't like school!" 

My mommy brain raced into lecture mode: "He doesn't like school?! He's never even been to school!"

Thinking twice about the whole lecture thing, I replied enigmatically, "We'll see." (Clever, right?)

And then I started decorating. 

He oohed and aahed, while Royal Princess cried. (She hates it when Her Older Highness moves furniture.)

Still, I worked my fingers to the bone. Or maybe I worked until it was halfway finished and then went home to visit family for a week. But the end result was the same: It got done, and Little Man loved it.

In case you're slow to the draw tonight, I'll just say it out loud: The school room is in our dining room. 

And while I was at it, I thought I'd throw in a loveseat, so now the Preacher generously calls this his "reading room." (Really it's just a couch and a lamp, but I love that guy for his gratitude. *swoon*)


That's pretty much it. Books, desks, pencils, marker boards, signs . . . and not one single picture of the entire room all together. Because I'm awesome, and really getting back into the groove of blogging. 

(If I were the type to say, "Ahem," this would totally be the place to do it. But we all know I don't do that.)

Before I fall into bed, dead to the world after weeks of hard work teaching phonics, reading, cursive, and the concept of zero, I thought I'd share the best part of homeschool: The Little Man himself.

Yes, he's wearing his Batman (pajama) shirt. And no shoes. Happy school!
This is the pose he earned after smiling through millions of happy-face pictures.*
Some other day, I'll blog about my brilliant solution to teaching rambunctious, two-year-old Royal Princess while Little Man does his kindergarten duties. For now, I'll leave you with this: 
(Did you see it? Hint: She's not usually green.)

Loving this, 

*I am required by all that is holy to note that in no way does this barefooted, superhero-shirted, marker-wearing homeschool day represent other families who choose to educate their children at home. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So It Begins

Obviously if I were a good citizen, I'd be watching the debates tonight. 

So now that cat's outta the bag.

I have a hard time with debates; it might be because I never know the answers to any of the questions, or it might be that it's too much thinking for a weeknight. Most likely it's because I'm always convinced by whoever's talking at the moment. (Which gets really confusing when it's down to two candidates.) 

Either way, election season is cruising along, while I'm befuddled by the pairing of "billion" and "dollars." Since I never really hold more than five dollars at a time, those words rattle like loose change in my head. 

This is why I don't watch debates. 

I wonder, though, whether your family is like mine when it comes to politics. I wonder if, around the Thanksgiving table, you've got Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians and Independents chewing on turkey all at the same time. It's like a little miracle of peace brought about by pumpkin pie. 

And then you finish eating turkey and dressing, and head back to everyday life. Sitting safe at your computer, the Facebook debates begin. Before it's all over, you tie yourself into knots, sacrificing peace for the sake of politicians. 

But I wonder what would happen if we skipped all that mess this year. What if we remembered that while the President will change every so often, our loved ones will be stuck with us for life?

After all, they're not numbskulls. (Everybody knows numbskullery runs in families.)  

Let the Fun Begin, 

Friday, August 12, 2011


You've had weeks that were just a blur, haven't you? Weeks so filled up with whatnot and whosit that you didn't know which way was up, and Saturday arrived before Wednesday?

This is one of those weeks. Today is Friday, and I needed iCal to remind me. I forgot about Friday, people. I think it's because I'm in a


With my Baby Princess Girl, the sweetest, bravest little thing you ever laid eyes on.

The Royal Princess whose blue eyes are squinted out under a puffy rash the size of her thumbs,
Whose arms are full of bruises. And spots -- 
And an IV.

An IV in my baby? Yes.
Even while everything inside me screamed, "NO! NONONONO!" I held her arms tight so the nurses could quickly, mercifully give her a lifeline to hydration.

I did it. And it was awful and terrible and by far my least favorite thing ever.

But today as I sat by her bed in the stark loneliness of a hospital dawn, something strange happened. Suddenly, all the world shrank down to just Princess and me - just the still form of a too-small frame in a too-big bed. . . and her mother, desperate for connection with her.

In that moment, Zimbabwe disappeared, and so did France. Colorado no longer existed, any more than the moon in the sky or the ant on the ground. Everything vanished except
Her, and
Me, and all the heart-string connection that makes up

And it made me think that every moment is like that really, just you and something - or you and someone.

But we miss it. We miss those together moments, those connection moments, because we're so busy worrying about the what's-next moments.

I'm so busy working and mommy-ing and wife-ing and whatnot-ing, that I haven't been living in those moments -- stopping right smack in the split second of connection, enjoying this step-by-step journey with the ones I love best. And it's a shame really, because isn't life just moments?

How did I miss this 'til today? What is it about a hospital bed that brought it all into focus? Connection, and moments, and living - really living - alongside each other. Being with one another, full attention fixed hard on that one moment of connection.

Why do I want that so badly, when part of my very soul has slept most of the day, unable to reciprocate?

I'm wrecked by this tonight; it's all I can think about, all I can think to say.
For now, I'm off to sit and stare, and do all I can to connect with this tiny Princess Girl.
And I dare you to do the same tonight. You can connect, right now.
Or at least, I dare you to try. 


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not Feeling Very

When I started blogging in February, life was pretty simple. In between classes, and without a more-than-part-time job, I wrote every evening. It was easy, and it connected me to you without much sacrifice on this end.

But the summertime has been different, bursting like farmers' fields with work and life and running.

And where I was once feeling full...

Today I'm a little...


Feelings are strange, aren't they? Full of conflicting emotions, I'm left to face the idea that I'm not patient or Christ-like or most things I'd really hoped to be at this point.

So where does faith fit into these times? If feelings reflect truth, then am I all scorched and dried out on the inside?

Maybe not. I sure hope not. 

Recently, a friend of mine was dealt some scary news at the doctor. Praying with her, I had this sudden image of Israel in the desert, traipsing toward the promise with sandy toes and an enormous cloud leading the way. Through long desert days, a cloud led them.

A cloud.

Tonight I told Little Man the story of Christ's transfiguration. Maybe you've heard of it? Jesus and three guys on a lonely mountain, and suddenly it's Jesus and five guys on a mountain. Peter asks if they're camping out for the night, and God replies...

With a cloud.

Apparently it was a thick cloud - a deep and unnatural fog that spooked those fellas. Y'know how I know that? (Because I'm a genius.) Because Luke says those three tough guys on the mountain with Jesus & Co. felt afraid.

And then God talked to them.

So now I'm thinkin' an exhausted time,
a dark time,
an uncertain and difficult and rocky time
isn't maybe a crisis after all.
Maybe it's an opportunity to listen instead of look,
To hear in that fog something you'd plain forgotten in the streaming daylight.

And what is faith anyway, if not practical? Like Christ on the storm-tossed boat, it doesn't fall overboard when our ship is rocked.

And that's something, isn't it?

Content anyway,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Five More Things

Ok, so I just wrote the world's longest and most random introduction to this blog, and then deleted it.

Welcome to my world.

Today for your reading enjoyment, I thought it was time to get to know each other a little better. You're already aware that I mess up dinner sometimes. And my kids are occasionally forced to wear my socks. But you may not have known that...

5) I'm absolutely, positively unreasonably afraid of bugs. I hate them! (And yes, hate is a strong word.)

Seriously, I won't label it a "phobia," (mainly because I'm afraid of that word), but I can't stand insects. Several years ago my house was invaded by ladybugs. Prior to that invasion, ladybugs and I were on good terms. Really, how could you hate ladybugs? They're so cute!

Until they invade your house.

By the thousands!

I remember the day I squashed one in my foyer, its neon insides staining the linoleum. Little Man frowned and said:

"But Mommy, I thought we liked ladybugs!"

And I said, "Not anymore."

That's how I feel about bugs.

4) I have strong opinions about dental floss. We won't go into detail here, but let it be known that store-brand floss doesn't cut it for me.

Last year I saved $.25 and bought the store brand, only to have it get stuck in my teeth that night. Will someone please tell me what you're supposed to do when floss gets stuck in your teeth?

That's right: Go back to the store, and spend the quarter!

3) I'm a writing tutor for graduate students. Hence, I know how to write full sentences, and I understand the meaning of "fragment." Also, I know that writers should avoid beginning sentences with conjunctions. It don't sound proper.

But here on my blog, I write like a crazy person. That's just the way it is. (Thanks for understanding.)

2) When I feel stressed out, I either crash and burn, or clean like a maniac. Today we had something of a family emergency. While we were waiting to hear news from the hospital, I made beds, vacuumed, and did three loads of laundry.

The Preacher's wondering how to manufacture a pseudo-emergency every day.

1) The summer before kindergarten, my best friend was a little boy in the neighborhood named Jason. We built dragons out of Legos, dug holes in our back yards, and generally drove our moms crazy.

One day, I told Jason I wanted to be a boy. And he, an expert on all things boy, said, "If you eat grass, you'll turn into a boy."

You know what happened next, right?

But what you don't know is this: When I told Little Man that story, he didn't laugh. He said, "Did it work?"

(I'm letting the Preacher handle that one.)

0) I've missed you all, and neglected you heartlessly. I'm thankful you're so gracious about my absences. Because as it turns out...

Life goes on,

Friday, June 24, 2011


Little Man is an artist. I know, it comes as a shock, but look at this:

He painted our friend Gecko at The Pottery Place, choosing an inspired assortment of colors. Personally, I like the look on this guy's face. Friendly, right?

Every so often, Gecko motions me over, says: "Hey! What's new?" So I tell him a little about my day, how I've tripped and fallen, how I've gotten up and brushed off the dirt. Gecko listens patiently.
"Yeah, I get it. Totally understand. Tell me more about that." 
So I spill to him about Royal Princess -- how she asks for food and doesn't eat it. How she scrapes dinner off her plate, sploshing it onto the floor. How she's learned when Mommy says no, to just ask The Preacher; he usually gives a better answer.

"I don't buy it." 
Gecko doesn't like hearing this kind of talk. He has a soft place in his heart for Royal Princess.

Is it just me, or does he have a serious attitude all of a sudden?

Watch it, Gecko. I'm having a yard sale pretty soon, and I'm not afraid to sell. Your. Smartie. Face.


With much love and affection,
Your Very Own Becki~

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hands Up!

Hello, friend! Today, we're going to have a little. . . activity. Be honest, now. Nobody's watching!

First, raise your hand if you had planned a free-movie outing with your kiddos for Thursday morning. Keep it raised if you got your kidlets super excited about watching Despicable Me on the big screen, promising to share a big tub of greasy popcorn. . .

Only to realize free movies only play on Tuesday and Wednesday.

(Did you all put your hands down? Thought so.)

Ok, let's try again. Raise your hand if your hubby bought the family an iPad for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and all combined birthdays for the next five years.

Now keep your hand up if you took that costly tablet out to your porch swing yesterday morning.

. . . And let it slip through the wooden slats, onto the concrete below.

Raise your hand again if you sang the Hallelujah Chorus when it didn't crack. (I might be the reason God created reinforced glass.)

(Raise your hand if this is the first time your Preacher Husband is hearing about the. . . accident. Sorry, Preacher!)

So how are we doing so far, friend? You're a little better off than I am today, aren't you? And we're not finished yet.

Raise your hand if you exercised yesterday for the first time in about twenty years. Keep your hand up if you rolled out of bed this morning feeling like a beat dog.

Raise that hand even higher if you fought through the pain today -- warring against aging, aching cells -- and exercised all over again.

If that's you, too, then I guess we're all going to bed nice and tired tonight.

So raise your hand if you're proud of yourself  today, even with all the bumps in the road. (Me too!)

Hope your arms are raised all day long tomorrow.


Photo credits: Despicable Me
Porch Swing
Hands Raised

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ya Win Some. . .

Once upon a time, there lived a well-rested Princess. Each night, she slept peacefully within the bounds of her Royal Crib, dreaming sweet baby dreams.*

Overnight that Royal Princess grew into a toddler. Suddenly, she became a Royal Escape Artist, clambering out of her crib with ease.

And so the Princess's mommy and Preacher made a difficult decision. . .

Transforming the Royal Crib into the Royal Toddler Bed. Princess was so excited!

Maybe too excited.

Night after night, she slept in her bed. . .

Until she woke up. Every hour. Every night. Again. . .

And again. . .

And again. Until finally, Royal Princess resorted to sleeping in all manner of un-Royal places. . .

Every. Night.

After weeks of this battle, her parents -- overcome with exhaustion and concern -- did what any intelligent ShoeFitz reader would have done long before:

They reverted back to the Royal Crib.

And they all lived happily ever after.


*Honesty-in-Blogging Disclaimer: Newborn Royal Princess didn't sleep through the night in her crib, wrapped in blankets. She was born in July, for heaven's sake! But it was a sweet little photo op, wasn't it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Imperfect Thanks

Lately I've been busy. (You can relate.) It used to be that summer was three months of relaxation, late nights, later mornings, and ice cream. Nowadays, it's more like stress, late nights, early mornings, and fat-free, sugar-free yogurt. (Fun, right?)

In all the busyness, my gratitude journal has been sorely neglected. It might even have gathered dust. Which, y'know. . . is just a total surprise in this house. Dust? Here? Psha.


Today I thought I'd get back on track with small summer thanks. (Or late-spring thanks, for you persnickety folks.) Giving big thanks for small things today:

1) Little Man, who begs to go outside. Little does he know, he doesn't have to plead! I love that he's outdoorsy and imaginative. (And a little fierce in sometimes...)

2) Time with family.

Time with family.

Time with family.

Is there a better way to say that? I don't think so.

I love that as I've gotten older, my family has expanded. Not that I haven't lost loved ones -- but I'm thankful today for those we've gained.

(And really, is family ever lost? Don't I see my Nenaw in the spunk of this Princess Girl?)

3) Petting zoos. And...

Little Man, who thinks llama slobber is hilarious.
Small summer thanks is a big thing. Finally thinking about it now, I'm so full I could write a book.

How about you, friend? Have you been so busy lately you've forgotten to look around?

Waiting for perfection makes us blind to these gifts.

So instead of demanding perfect, how about if we're just --

Imperfectly thankful?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grace for You

As I mentioned Sunday, I'm away from home this week. No Preacher, no kidlets, and no dishes for six days. (Wanna guess which one I'm not missing right now?)

At lunch today, a classmate friend mentioned grace - that is, our ability to give others room to grow, to be authentic, even to hurt in front of us and still be embraced. It's the capacity to love rather than coach, remembering that we're all human.

And I told her, as I'm telling you now - I struggle with being gracious. My nature is to critique and assess, formulating right and wrong. It's not something I aim for or even like, yet it comes automatically.

Contrary to popular opinion, judgment isn't unique to faith; instead, it's a human tendency, something that serves a purpose. Being quick to critique, criticize, and even advise does something for us. Maybe it maintains the black-and-white lines of our world. Maybe it conceals our own struggles.

I don't know exactly what it does for me. But I do know this:

It doesn't help me connect with people, love better, or reflect Christ. (He did things like this, you remember.) No, gracelessness doesn't honor Him. And last time I checked, it didn't exactly meet that whole fruit-of-the-Spirit standard, either.

(Yet even as I'm writing this, the temptation to delete my confession is fierce. Maybe because I'm afraid of being judged, too?)

Timothy Keller lays it out this way:

"The gospel does not say, 'the good are in and the bad are out,' nor 'the open-minded are in and the judgmental are out.' The gospel says the humble are in and the proud are out. The gospel says the people who know they're not better, nor more open-minded, nor more moral than anyone else, are in, and the people who think they are on the right side of the divide are most in danger."

And where, my friends, are you? Where am I? Could we be brave today, courageous enough to look closely at our own deep hearts?

We each need grace, me most of all (I promise you, I promise you). Do you know how "most" my pride has been, grieving the One who loves me anyway? When I should have loved, I've run away in fear. This is the stain of pride, my greatest guilt.

I forget He didn't choose me because I was already straight. And He doesn't choose me today because I'm fixed.

Yet even here, He meets me. Stooped low, He breathes grace onto me. And just as I can breathe it in, so I can breathe it out onto others, day by day by day.

And what about you, my friend? Grace for you, too?

Praying for grace with this long post,

Photo credit:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fighting Gladys

When was the last time you tried something new? I'm doing lots of new things this week -- traveling by myself, staying solo in a hotel, taking a week-long class all by my lonesome. Well, just me and a hundred other students, anyway.

Today when I checked into my hotel, I was relieved to be there, but a little flustered after my long trip. A five-hour drive took about six hours, partly because...

I set the GPS to avoid toll roads (a very bad idea when the entire route was a toll road),
I stopped for coffee. Fourbucks. Twice.
Thinking that I was at the second coffee exit, I turned onto the wrong road,
Where my GPS got confused, and I finally came to my senses and found my way back.

Then the GPS took me through the mountains of Virginia - a lovely view, but not really what I was expecting. For  45 minutes, I shared the road with crazy buses hauling rafters to the river. By the end, I was arguing with the GPS girl. "No, I'm not going that way. Shut your face! I'm not turning left onto River Road, Gladys!"

Yes, I call her "Gladys."

Anyway, I was flustered when I finally got here. Exhausted, I decided to switch rooms because my original room wasn't ready yet. Then I changed my mind again because I found gnats in the new room. Freaking out, I changed rooms yet again, back to the original, only to find a bug that worried me.

The saintly woman working at the front desk showed me three other rooms, finally introducing me to her favorite -- a secluded, exposed-brick room with a lovely bathtub.

And so, of course, I settled in.

I may never take a shower again.

Tonight - clean, relaxed, and rested - all I can think about is that girl at the front desk. Poor thing! She asked me about my field of study, and I told her counseling.

Tonight, she's probably home blogging about the counseling student who could use some counseling herself.

Just thinking about it makes me want another bath.

Compulsive about bubbles,

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Last week, we went home to visit family for the first time since February. *bliss!*

But I realized while we were there that I might've become the Kooky Camera Aunt. You know, the one terrorizing relatives at holiday, birthday, and even (*gasp*) funeral gatherings? Suddenly, that's me! (Well, except the whole funeral thing. That's not really my speed.)

Lately, the instant I see my nieces and nephews - and of course my own kidlets - doing something adorable, two thoughts fill my mind:

1) Oh my word, I have to capture that for posterity! And
2) Oh my word, I have to post that on my blog! (Which pretty much also makes me the Kooky Blogger Lady, but you already knew that.)

The sad thing, dear reader, is that I think there's something wrong with my beloved new camera! Just last week, here was Little Man before the Evil Camera did its tricks:

Yes, he had a huge wad of gum hanging out of his mouth. (Doesn't everybody?) But the point is, he was happy!

Yet here's the after photo:

Is it just me, or did something disappear? Like, y'know, his smile?

I didn't think much about it at the time, but then one afternoon. . .

The Mean Camera did this to Little Brother, my sweet baby nephew:

In the interests of full disclosure, Little Brother actually got much worse after I tried to console him.

And he may or may not have felt that way before I pulled out the Terrible Camera. He might have been fussing and crying since the moment I first squealed, "Hey, baby!" Or maybe not.

Maybe it's just the camera. A simple malfunction. It certainly couldn't be the auntie behind the camera, right?



Your Crazy Camera Lady,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not a Confession

When my mom read this post about my birthday today, she laughed and said, "It sounds like you're saying you've been married twice!" She thought it was pretty funny that I said, "11 years of marriage with 2 opposite people making 1 whole family."

And I think she was wrong.

It's far worse than that! Really, it sounds like I'm married to two people at the same time. Which I'm not

(But that would be a fascinating blog, wouldn't it? I'd call this post: 


Seriously, I don't have a confession. I repeat: I'm married to one Preacher! The truth is, I've been married to the same Preacher man for almost eleven years now -- and we're pretty much opposites in all the minor details. 

He's always roasting, burning up in our house no matter the season. I'm always searching for my slippers, sweaters, and bathrobe.

He loves onion pizza, and I think raw onions were the Fallen Fruit (er, vegetable). Y'know, the one Eve ate? 

He's an outgoing, extraverted people person. I'm sometimes mistaken for a snob. (Yes, I said "mistaken"!) 

He likes hiking and camping and outdoorsy stuff. I like to sleep in beds and take showers and paint my nails. 

Right now, he's on the far western side of our state, while I'm on the far eastern side visiting family. 

It's true -- in all the daily details, we're total opposites. 

It's ok, though, because in the more important things, we're a perfect match. Like loving these two kidlets. Like enjoying time with family. Like faith. 

And like missing each other when we're apart, even after almost 11 years. 

Good night, Preacher!
Miss you,

*Image credit:Wedding Cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Counting on My Birthday

Today is my birthday, friends! By the time you read this, it really will have been my birthday yesterday. But that's just because I'm a late-night writer. (You don't mind, do you?)

Anyway, it was my birthday once upon a time. Er, today I mean.

And so far, I've accumulated lots of stuff, like

33 years' worth of breath, nearly
11 years of marriage, with
2 opposite people making
1 whole family. Also,
2 tiny people who own
6,553,902 toys between them, yet scatter those toys through 
3 bedrooms,
1 bathroom
1 living room,
1 back yard, and under
3 different beds. However, we own
0 dogs,
0 cats and
0 gerbils, hamsters, or guinea pigs. We also own
0 fish, because I'm neurotic like that. In
33 years, I've attended
3 colleges, studying
3 different majors, but earning only
1 actual degree (and prayerfully, hopefully, eventually
1 more degree within the next
2 years). I've been home with my kidlets for nearly
2 years already, and while it feels like it's only been
2 days, my kidlets are determined to grow up.

Before I know it, they'll be
18. But not today, on my birthday.

Today, they're
5 and almost
2, and I am blessed to be wife and mother and daughter with
2 lovely sisters,
2 sweet nieces,
5 tough nephews, and a whole perfect lot of in-laws and friends.

Clearly, all these things add up to
1 blessed woman -

Overwhelmingly undeserving, yet so intensely grateful.
The birthdays just get better and better, friends.

Trust me on that,

Photo credit:

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Confession: Sometimes the blank page and blinking cursor of my blog still intimidate me. And then I remember I already told you about this and that, so really, how much worse could it get?

Hello? *knock, knock* Are you still there?

Anyway, you'll be happy to know that random thought has absolutely, positively nothing to do with my post tonight. Here's the real deal:

I used to take pictures of my adorable Little Man all the time. What a cutie!

Cute son, about two years old
But lately, when it comes time to take pictures of my kidlets. . .

Batman, about four years old
All I can find. . .

Superman, five years old
Are these superhero guys. And really, that wouldn't be so bad, except that whatever has transformed my Little Man into a superhero. . .

Superman and SuperWhyBatGirl?
Seems to maybe be --


But y'know, this afternoon as we were perusing her baby pictures, Royal Princess casually broke out singing the ABC's. All of a sudden and without fanfare, she shocked her mama with alphabet knowledge.

And do you know who taught her those letters? That's right - the same boy who taught her how to wear a superhero mask. 

So I'm thankful for Little Man's influence on his baby sister. Even, I suppose, dressing her in costumes. (The shoes were her own idea!)

Someday I'll miss this madness. Until then, I'm just -

Catching the moments,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Choice

Are you a thinker? Yeah, me too. Every night my poor brain needs a good solid stretch of sleep to clear out all the day's cobwebs.

As I watch my kids play, it's evident they're thinkers, too. Like me, they're trying to figure out how to live life better, how to do what's good and not squander time on anything less.

And like me, they're discovering the hard way that life isn't about controlling others; instead, the good life is about controlling yourself. They're teaching me, and I'm slowly learning. . .

Tonight in the nursery, Royal Princess dragged Baby Moses around by the hair. (For those who won't click the link, no worries; it's just a doll!) At first, Princess was optimistic about her parenting skills. Here, she's saying, "Baby, say 'Chee!'"

But her optimism soon turned to discouragement. Her sweet, precious Baby Moses wouldn't respond to the simple command, "Stan up!!" Have you ever tried making a plush doll stand up? It'll never work!

Figuring this out, Royal Princess walked her baby over to the "car," commanding, "Baby, wide in car!" And do you know, that Baby Moses must be a particularly strong-willed child. . .

Because she absolutely refused to "wide in car."

Frustrating, isn't it? When everything fails and nothing works, when you're losing control of your kids - er, baby doll - and you have no clue what to do? I've been there, Royal Princess. You know I've been there, 'cause I've been there with you! (Today, about 57 times.)

But I'm learning, with painful slowness, that I can no more control you and your brother than you could make that plush baby stand. I can disciple you, shape you, train you, pray for you, invest in you, and love you.

But control you? No, I can't do that.

And really, it's not so revolutionary, is it? Who wants to be a controlling parent, anyway?

I suppose we could tape Baby Moses to the car if we wanted to control her that badly. But is that the point? Am I trying to control my kids and steal their freedom?* Is my goal to snuff out their spirits, and deaden all their strong-willed dignity?

No, I don't think so.

Tonight, I learned a lesson from my little girl - one of a million my kids have taught me. And oh, do I have a long way to go! But here's the first milestone on this marathon:

Controlling others destroys their freedom; controlling myself fosters liberty - theirs and mine.

Still just a little nervous about free will,

*Um, and just to clarify - I would never tape my kids to anything. It was an analogy. An illustration. And that's all. But you already knew that, right? :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Easy

Tonight, I just wanted to say that in this neck of the woods, life is still just life.

And as far as I can tell, it doesn't really get easier as time goes on.

Like when "Batman" swings from the curtain rods and leaves a little...mark. That's not exactly what I would call easy.

But I wonder if maybe life's not really meant to be easy. After all, what fun would that be?

Easy things aren't satisfying. Remember busy-work in elementary school? Drilling addition facts in fifth grade? Reviewing spelling words in middle school?

We don't thrive on easy, don't grow from easy, don't treasure what came easy.

So no, life isn't easy.

It's better than that. . .

In a word -- it's good.

Trying to remember to remember this tomorrow,