Absentee Blogger

Hello?

Is anyone still there?

Doubtful I’m sure. After all, it wasn’t you who stopped showing up. It was me. I got busy with another project, and this labor of love fell by the wayside.

But I’m picking up the baton again, and giving it another whirl. (Too many metaphors?)

I’m at Cross-Threaded now.

I’d love it if you’d check out the new blog. And thanks for reading this one…

Aim Low

My son ignored my advice, and I couldn’t be happier.
See, he’s a football player, and a pretty good one according to his coaches. He plays football for hours on end in the yard because he loves the game so much. He gets caught watching Sports Center late in the night after he’s supposed to be asleep. And I’ve found him using Cheerios to make the “I formation” during breakfast.
He played his first season in pads this year, after moving from a league where “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose” to a league where the best 11 get the most playing time. He played a position that was completely new to him, and learned a lot about the game.
At the end of the season, he told me he wanted to try out for a different position next year. A position that requires strengths he hasn’t yet developed. And I did what any good mom would do. I encouraged him to aim low. Be reasonable. “Maybe you should try for something different.”
Yeah. Not my finest parenting moment. I shudder a bit thinking about it. In my zeal to protect my son from failure, I was selling him short.
I realized quickly that my role here was to encourage him. Go outside with him when he needs someone to catch a pass. Operate the stopwatch when he wants to run sprints. Throw passes when he wants to run routes. (If he can catch MY passes, he can catch anything that comes his way.)
Fortunately, my son didn’t pick up on my skepticism. He knows what positions he’d like to play, and he’s prepared to work during the off-season to get it done. And he’s not worried about the damage to his self-esteem if he tries unsuccessfully for the position. Even better than that, he’s not even thinking about the possibility that he won’t succeed.
Which is exactly why he WILL succeed. Regardless of the outcome, he will have successfully learned a lesson about setting a goal and working toward it. He will have learned to work hard for something he wants. And he will have learned that something earned is far better than something that is just given to you.
And he will have taught his mom a powerful lesson about expectations.

“Here I am. Send me!”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8

Today is about those who will go for us. About those who willingly go into harm’s way to protect the citizens and interests of this great nation. Those who sacrifice their own comfort and safety to protect America’s way of life.

Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend this kind of selflessness. Keep reading

Hide the Car and Sedate the Kids

I am a hypocrite.

Dyed-in-the-wool. Die-hard. Deep-seated.

Perhaps you’ve seen my work:

“You’re your own worst critic. You look great!”

“You deserve it! Do something nice for yourself.”

“Don’t worry about it, girl… I’m coming to see you, not your house.” (This one is my personal favorite.)

You may not recognize this as hypocrisy, because these encouraging words aren’t hypocritical at all… until you’re armed with the fact that I scoff when someone else (usually my husband) offers these words of encouragement to me.

In my house, word of an unexpected visit can bring my entire family to its collective knees. Keep reading

“So What Did You Do All Day?”

Sometimes I come home at the end of the day, look around the house, and ask “So what did you do all day?” And when I ask myself that, I’m usually at a loss for an explanation. Because I know I did something. And I know I stayed busy. But I’ll be darned if I can list the things I did.

As I was reading a friend’s blog entry yesterday, I was reminded of a time about a year ago that I was bogged down in the sense that I would never, ever catch up. I knew I had a to-do list, but in spite of my crazy-busy days, it never seemed to get any shorter. And reading her blog reminded me of a trick I used then to convince myself that I really, truly accomplish things during my days. Keep reading

Your Life On An iPod

Your life has a soundtrack.

The songs on it tell your story: where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what matters to you. They would no doubt tell of lessons you learned and mistakes you made. Maybe even of hardships and celebrations.

If you could compile them all, it would be like having a comprehensive playlist of your life. An iPod with your story on it. From youth to today. Keep reading

“The Please Comes At the End”

Sometimes it’s the way he folds towels. Or the way she drives. Maybe you think he should have chosen a better route to dinner.

There is a very fine line between helping and controlling. When I found myself giving driving tips to a man who has been to numerous tactical driving courses, I realized it was quite possible that I had crossed it. Keep reading

Hamster Wheel

Miss a workout. Get discouraged. Lose motivation. Repeat.

I’ve been on this “workout hamster wheel” many times in my life. It is self-defeating and pointless. And when I’m on the wheel, getting off feels insurmountable.

Being on the wheel changes my perspective on everything. Problems feel bigger. I feel less capable. I hate the clothes in my closet. And my fun-house mirrors become much more effective.

Ironically, I’ve successfully ditched the wheel before. Keep reading