Indoor Football: Spaghettis VRS Meatballs!!

Ok, so the word is out: I was wild when I was a kid. Or maybe I should pass the buck a little, and say that my brothers, sister and I were wild when we were young.

I was the youngest of five, but my next oldest sibling, my brother, is three years older than I but kind of a sickly child, so we were well matched physically. That translates to this: we had the best of fights, competitions, games, and what-not.

We loved playing football – not the sissy kind, but real live tackle football. We played all summer and fall, but winters were long and cold in PA, a little too cold for playing football in the snow. We were not daunted, however – we merely played tackle football in the living room!

It was the The Great Tournament: Spaghettis VRS Meatballs! First there was the kick…a real football kicked across the living room! Then there was the run, the juke, and the tackle…and the CRASH! Oh, no! Mom’s glass globe to her cute porcelein lamp was shattered into a zillion different pieces! Glass was everywhere!

Looking back, the strangest thing of it all was that another globe merely appeared a few days later…only to be broken again as a casualty of another rousing game of Spaghetties VRS Meatballs! I have no idea how many globes Mom went through in those years, nor where she was while we were playing those noisy games, but I never remember being confronted about our wild behavior!

And that’s not an isolated incident. I couldn’t possibly tell all the things that happened while my mother was “busy” doing something else as I was growing up. I’m sure she had many great projects; in fact, she got her master’s degree during that time period. But she was distracted, and we got wild.

So my point is this: if we were allowed to run wild at that young age, what would have happened if we were young now? Things have changed an awful lot since I was young in the 70s. It wasn’t a very holy time then, but it’s surely gotten a lot worse now!

Rest assured, your child will find something to do if he’s bored and you’re distracted. And it may not be something you want him to be doing.

Think: Distracted Mother = Wild Child

We can be distracted from our primary tasks as wives and mothers quite easily. Here are a few ideas to help us overcome our own tremendous ability to distract ourselves:

1. Recognize that we ARE easily distracted! Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I like to think of myself as a competent person, who has a great ability to focus. Unfortunately, it’s this very quality that can be the most dangerous – we have many abilities, and we are curious about many things. What ends up happening is that our family suffers as we pursue our interests.

2. Ask God to help us continue to keep our priorities straight. This is a key element, and one that I often overlook. God has omnipotent power, and He is quite willing to give us the strength to do His Will. It is definitely in our best interest if we seek His Face concerning our own shortcomings.

3. Understand the ramifications if we persist in our own pursuits. Do we really want to have wild children? Remember that “He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child
shall have him become his son at the length.” (Proverbs 29:21) As mothers, we’re have the power (and responsability) to train up our children to live for the Lord and for others. Otherwise, we end up with selfish, wild, unruly children.

I have no idea how many tournaments of the Spaghettis VRS Meatballs I may have won, but I remember the glass everywhere. And I think often to myself how much “broken glass” I could have avoided in my adult life had I not been allowed to be so incredibly wild!

What do you think? Have you ever gotten into anything while your mom was busy?

Have your kids?

How can we overcome our tendency to be distracted?

Linking up with: The Alabaster Jar, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Mercy Ink Blog, Abiding Woman, and Titus Two Tuesdays

…While Mama is on the Computer

I really wanted to have a much nicer, kinder post today, but I feel this is what God would have me post. In fact, I even wrote about 2 or 3 other posts, in the hopes that one of them would work, but this is what is on my heart. If it’s a little heavy, that’s because I’m burdened about the families I see completely unravelling. Let us learn from their mistakes, and not repeat them ourselves.

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Mama is tired. She’s had 3 kids in 5 years, and it’s time for the oldest to begin school. Hubby naturally wants dinner sometimes, and the laundry is always screaming quietly from its corner. The baby still gets up during the night, and sometimes wakes up brother, too.

Mama is just plain ol’ tired.

So Mama sits, and she rests. And she gets on the computer. Here, she has a whole new world at her fingertips – one that has no demands, no schedules, and no screaming. The bloggers are kind, understanding, and encouraging. And what about her Facebook friends? They’re always there, and there’s always something new and different going on. Sarah’s boy wet himself in Walmart – hilarious! Isn’t Jennie’s new baby is so cute with her new tooth?

Real life slides by, while Mama sits. While Mama rests. Her baby gets a new tooth, but all it means to her is more work. Her boy wets himself in Walmart, and it’s soooo embarrassing!

“Oh, Mama, look at this picture I drew!” her boy, now 9, tells her. Mama tears her eyes away from the screen long enough to give it a quick glance. “Oh, that’s nice,” she mutters.

Time keeps rolling, and Mama is still on the computer. She rarely plays with the kids, because she’s just so stressed. And her husband? Well, he’s going to have to meet his own needs, I guess.

Years roll by. Her children are teens and have their own computers. Her husband spends all his spare time “meeting his own needs” at his very private computer in the spare office. Only God knows what the young people are into!

But Mama is tired. She’s tired of life, and she’s tired of it all. Mama doesn’t care what they do, as long as she can get on Facebook and read her blogs.

Her family simply falls apart…and it all happened While Mama is on the Computer.

Oh, yes, I have been tired! With 7 kids, many of them born in rapid-fire, years of traveling, and home schooling, I’ve been awfully tired. And as I get older, the temptation is just the same as everyone else’s…to just put my head in the sand and get involved in something else. But I’ve seen families go through the slow suicide of distraction, and I’m asking God to help me stay on track!

How do you stay focused on your family?

Linking up with The Alabaster Jar To Love, Honor and VacuumMercy Ink Blog and Titus Two Tuesdays

God Cares About Our “Little” Problems

While my family and I are off to a Jubillee for a few days this week, I thought you might enjoy these timeless words from Corrie ten Boom’s book, Not Good If DetachedNot Good if Detached. They are as encourageing as they were the day they were written so many years ago. May it be as much of a blessing to you as it was to me when I read it recently!

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God loves more perfectly than an earthly father or mother. And His love makes our problems great in His eyes and small in our eyes.

“I will tell you something that happened when I was a prisioner in a concentration camp with my sister, Betsie.

One morning I had a terrible cold, and I said to Betsie, ‘What can I do; I have no handkerchief.’

“‘Pray,’ she sid. I smiled, but she prayed, ‘Father, Corrie has got a cold, and she has no handkerchief.’ Will You give her one in Jesus’ name, Amen.’

“I could not help laughing, but as she said ‘Amen,’ I heard my name called. I went to the window, and there stood my friend who worked in the prison hospital.

“‘Quickly, quickly! Take this little package, it is a little present for you.’ I opened the package, and inside was a handkerchief.

“‘Why in the world did you bring me this? Did I ask you for it? Did you know that I have a cold?'”

“‘No, but I was folding handkerchiefs in the hospital, and a voice in my heart said, ‘Take one to Corrie ten Boom.'”

“What a miracle! Can you understand what handkerchief told me at that moment? It told me that in heaven is a loving Father who hears when one of his children on this very small planet asks for an impossible little thing; a handkerchief. And that heavenly Father tells one of His other children to take one to Corrie ten Boom. We cannot understand, but the foolishness of God is so much higher than the wisdom of the wise.”

—Not Good if Detached

So don’t be afraid to cast ALL your cares upon Him, for He cares for you!

Thank you all for praying for My Beloved’s upcoming ear surgery, which is scheduled for February 28!

How – and Why – I am a Target! (and you are too!)

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The other day, I was eating my lunch and minding my own business (no, really!) when suddenly…FOP! I got slugged in the chest with a foam dart! Looking up to find the perpetrator of this heinious deed, I caught a grin from my mischeivous 9-year-old, Jason. Instantly, another missile came screaming toward me, and I dodged to the left to avoid being pelted! This time, however, the offending bullet landed next to me, and I was able to grab it up – it became MY weapon, now! The fight was on…but not for long, as you’ll soon see.

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Kids will do some of the most incredible things at the most inopportune times…like the time my mother had guests over in the afternoon and I, as a 3 year old, waltzed out in my nothings to interrupt their tea! My mother alternately blanched and blushed, while the proper ladies supressed giggles. Within seconds, I was ushered back to my room where I belonged, having recieved a good old-fashioned scolding for my impropriety!

The question is…WHY do they do the most ridiculous things?

And the answer is simple…they want our attention!

You’re on the phone with a dear friend, whom you haven’t talked to in ages. She’s pouring out her troubles, and you’re trying to be a blessing and an encouragment. Junior sees his golden opportunity and sneaks up behind you to let out a blood-curdling scream! You whirl around, expecting to see blood everywhere, only to see Junior smiling up at you, quite innocently.
Now, the question of the hour is, How do we deal with such actions? Do we scream at the kid, or just kill him and get it over with? I don’t think either option is the best choice.

1. Give a child attention before he needs it, not when he does something bad to get it. My mother used to say, “If you give a child attention when he needs it, he won’t grow up and try to get attention by doing bad things.” I’ve found her advice to be sooo true! Thanks, Mom!

In addition, here is some other time-tested advice by Dr. Kevin Lehman, in his helpful book How to Have a New Kid by Friday (don’t let the odd-sounding title scare you off of this helpful book):

2. If what you’re doing is very important and time-sensitive, Take Action – remove the child from you as you continue what you’re doing. Perhaps put them in their room, or send them outside.

3. As soon as you’re done, go to your child and explain to them how the interruptions make you feel. “It’s very important for me to talk to Brittany today. I really want to be a blessing to her.”

As for me and my battle with my nine-year-old warrior, after a brief volley of rounds, I said, “I’d really like to eat now. If you want to target practice, I want you to go to the other room, but if you just need my attention, all you need to do is ask!” It’s amazing that he really didn’t need target practice!

Almost everything our children do, and almost everything we did as children, is to get attention. That is why you – and I – are the targets!

Let’s do our best to give our attention to our little ones before they scream for it!

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Do your kids ever do odd things to get your attention? What do you do?

What is something you did as a child to get your parents’ attention? Did it work?

Linking up with: The Alabaster Jar, Titus Two Tuesdays, and Mercy Ink Blog & Yes, They’re All Ours