Birthing an adult

I had the privilege to speak with a mom who had a teenager. The teenager is having to deal with a lot of issues. I kept hearing from the mom about what the teenager was doing to her, her husband (the dad) and the rest of the family. It seemed that it was the same thing each day. To say that she was frustrated, didn’t even come close. She was looking for a place to put this child to get help. As much as I could sympathize with her about her daughter’s issues, I felt the greater need to hear her as a mom. A dear friend of mine once said that birthing babies was easy, it is the birthing of adults that is difficult.

I have four children. I remember how different and at the time difficult it was helping them to become adults. I must confess, I am not sure I did it all correctly. In fact, I think that as a parent at that time, I stunk! (This does not define who I am, I just had some learning to do!) They are each unique. They each have their own personalities, ideas and gifts. Trying to place a “cookie cutter” formula just didn’t work. I read books,  studied other great examples, prayed, bound and loosed everything! I was given some great advice: don’t make mountains out of mole hills, let them individuate, and don’t treat them like you used to. What worked for them as children is NOT going to work as a teenager!

Here are a couple of tips that may help you with your soon-to-be adult:

1: Don’t make mountains out of mole hills. In other words, there are some things that you can allow to go by the way side. Focus on the things that are important for them to keep as they move forward. Respect, understanding, love, honor and value to start. You can help build these values.

2. Keep communication open. No matter what I was doing, there was nothing more important then allowing them to come talk to me. I tried not to give my opinion or try to fix the problem for them. (Didn’t always do that, but tried.) They need to know that they are being heard.

3. Take them on dates. Yes, I said dates. Fathers take your daughters. Mothers, let your sons take you. This is a great way to have a one-on-one with them. It will also help instill respect for the opposite sex. It can teach them to honor others.

4. Learn not to judge them. Their opinions are just as important as yours. We don’t want to dictate to them how to think, we want them to think on their own.

5. Being an adult means facing the consequences of your decision. Face it, we all mess up. As adults, we don’t have someone come to our rescue. Let them face the consequences of their decisions. Don’t jump in to fix “it” or “them”. Character is built by facing life’s experiences. Don’t circumvent that opportunity for them. If they come to you, help them with good choices, but don’t enforce your opinion or what you would do on them. Let them make that decision.

By the end of our conversation, this mom was doing so much better. Not sure how she will incorporate my suggestions, but she knows there is someone who is available with a listening ear.


Taking the first step

Well, I have taken the plunge. Yep, that is correct! I am walking! Nothing new there, I walk on a somewhat regular basis. However, I was presented with a walking opportunity in which I have asked others to join me. So now I am asking you. Can I tell you a story? Great!  About 6 years ago, my 5th grand child was being born. Every one is excited when that happens! What we didn’t realize was that he was early. Being early he had to go into NICU for help. That was a very new experience for me and my daughter in law and son. Needless to say 6 years later, Micah is doing well.

Back to the walking part… there is an organization that I didn’t know much about until about two weeks ago. March of Dimes. I started learning about this organization. They have a March for Babies on April 26. I will be there. That said I am raising $250 as my goal. Small to start with I realize, but I believe that I will receive that and more ~ with your help! I am learning that I am NOT an island. Asking for help is a humbling experience for me. Why, because like many people, people have let me down. However, that doesn’t stop me from reaching out to YOU. No amount is too small.

You can donate at:

I thank you in advance for your generosity. If you would like to be a part of my team, I would love to have you. You can sign up at the same link. For the moms and children of premies – we say thank you! IMG_0271

Year in Review

This has been a year! Most professionals say you should take a look at what you accomplished in the previous year and set goals for the next year. For our family it has been a whirl wind. Who would have thought that by the end of this year we would be living at the foot of the mountains in Virginia? Who would have thought that our baby girl would be married? Who would have thought that grand baby #8 would be in the “oven”? Who knew my husband would retire? Who knew we would have to be stretched in our faith? Who knew that we would have a new church family (that we love!)? Who knew we would go from one non-profit ministry to another? Who knew we would have to say goodbye to some famous people and not so famous people? Who knew we would have to face life head on and allow it to develop our character? Who knew? I for one wasn’t sure how this year would look in review. But pondering it, I could get tired, but it has given me hope and faith for the coming year.

Change doesn’t come easy to anyone. Especially when you feel as though you are in the pressure cooker of life. Boy, you realize what is really inside of you that “smells” like an onion! My husband is famous for quoting that line in Shrek that says “we have layers”! Boy do I! I never knew or would have known until this transforming journey I have been on. So with all the brokenness that has happened in our lives ~ here we are living a blessing in disguise – all I can say is I am looking forward to the new year.

Oh and if you haven’t guessed “who knew” – well God did and I am grateful He continues to love me to life! It is a wonderful journey!


Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. My daughter gave me one for Christmas this past year. It is 500 pieces. There are some for beginners ages 3+. There are ones that are 1000 pieces.
I don’t believe there is any “right” way to put them together. I start looking for the outside pieces and then for matching colors or designs or patterns. It is January 1, 2014 and these thoughts seemed to be rolling around in my head. As I think about the variety of puzzles that I have put together over the years, I see how my life has been like many of the ones I have put together.
For instance, the friends we have encountered over the years. They have come in all shapes and sizes. When we started having children, our friends were having children. When we moved, we found friends whose children were a little older or the same age as ours. We also formed friendships with couples whose children were grown. As our children were becoming teenagers we found couples whose children were just turning into young adults. As our children were becoming young adults we found friends who were grandparents. As we were becoming grandparents, we found friends who were just becoming empty nesters. As we were becoming empty nesters, we found young adults having children and teenagers who needed a second opinion and adults at the same stage of life that we are.
Puzzles, have you ever put a round one together or one in the shape of our nation? How about one that has multiple colored hot air balloons on them or ones that depict life in “the good ole days”?
I sometimes feel like the puzzle I am presently putting together. There are areas in my life that are complete, where I can see the picture. There are areas where there are still things missing or the pieces haven’t fallen into place yet.
We have all heard that life is a journey. Unlike a puzzle, we don’t always see the picture or if we have a picture, our life hasn’t quite turned out like we would have thought. And yet, lessons we have learned over the years, those who have influenced us and those we have influenced help to make up the picture of our lives.
Some one once said that the most important inscription on a tombstone is the “dash”. We know when the person was born and when they passed, but what did the “dash” mean to them? Did they get to finish their “puzzle” of life? Were there things still missing? Relationships un-formed or in need of repair?
The puzzle my daughter gave me is about baking. I do like to bake. The funny part is I like to bake, but I can’t partake of those goodies any more. But that won’t stop me from baking and giving that part of myself to others. I will still look for “pieces” that will fit into another’s life that only I can be a part of. I have not made resolutions for 2014. I think I will just see what is provided in putting this year’s puzzle together for me. Happy New Year!

Puzzle Me This

Puzzle Me This