Category Archives: mothering

Lessons Learned from Adele

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spilled milkThis is Adele. She is the daughter of my friends Adam and Emily and she is also Graham’s little sister. Adele is a beautiful child. She has big brown eyes and a happy smile on her face most of the time. Her mom posted this picture on Facebook this morning, the post was titled “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk.” I laughed out loud and immediately asked Emily for permission to use it on the Pensees blog.

Look closely at the photo. I learned several lessons as I giggled at Adele’s predicament.

Lesson One: Let your child learn lessons on her own, even if you have to clean up their messes while they are young. Mess ups are more expensive when they are teenagers.

Lesson Two:  Look over by the door, there is a neat mat with children’s shoes that are removed. Excellent habits are encouraged by parents but seldom is perfection achieved.

Lesson Three: See the puddle of milk behind her, it didn’t take her long to realize that she blew it. She went looking for help. When children mess up they know it, they are looking for understanding not ridicule.

Lesson Four: Notice she is still holding the cup. Don’t let your child hold on to  evidence of the failure and don’t bring it up their entire life. Encourage them to let go of the mistake. Allow them to forget. Lavish them with your love and mercy. There is not a person in the world who makes only one mistake in their life. Everyone needs a do over from time to time.

Lesson Five: Don’t cry over spilled milk. Unless Adele gets on her knees and licks up the milk there is no way to change the circumstance. Emily can’t get the milk back in the cup, even if she wrings out the shirt. Why not simply say, “Oooopppsss, it’s okay.”

Lesson Six: Knowing my friends Adam and Emily, I am sure they quickly cleaned her up and gave her more milk. Restoring her quickly and gently will change her view of mistakes. Restoration rebuilds healthy self-esteem and frees the child from a fear of failure.

As adults we mess up, too. But we have a heavenly Father who meets us in the middle of the messy parts of life. This is January 1, 2014. Let’s learn from Adele and from God’s Word. Nehemiah 9:31, speaks of God’s character and care of His people, “But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Don’t cry over spilled milk this year. Move on and do like Adele pour yourself another cup and simply start over.

Would You Do It Again?

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Last week, I couldn’t bring myself to write the usual Mother’s Day devotional. I couldn’t find the uplifting pretty words to talk about the most difficult job in the world. While it is wonderful to honor mothers once a year, I can’t help but think about the mothers who are hurting because of their children. When our children are born we watch them struggle as they learn to talk, walk, and run. We watch them struggle with separation anxiety as they go to school for the first time. In new surroundings, they have their feelings hurt and their knees skinned. As they grow, they experience the pain of the first break up and they realize there are people who don’t like them.

Some mothers are hurting because they lose their unborn babies and they spend a lifetime mourning that loss. Every day young moms lose their children as babies before they have a chance to know them. The loss of a child can be experienced when the young man or woman walks away from their family and decides to walk the path of the prodigal. Accidents, illness, drugs, and war take countless children from us. 

So, I have to ask you a week after Mother’s Day, would you do it again? Knowing about the hurt, the pain, the loss, the tests that come with mothering would you do it again?

I wonder how Jesus’ mother, Mary, would answer that question. She was given the ultimate responsibility of carrying and caring for the Son of God. She watched Him grow as a child. How did she feel when he skinned His knees and bled down to His toes. Did she panic when He lagged behind at the Temple and they couldn’t find Him? When He neglected nutrition and rest to serve in ministry did she question the call on His life? When He chose to spend time with twelve men instead of His family, did she feel neglected and abandoned? What went through her mind when the persecution started and He was arrested and nailed to the cross? Did she lose her breath when she saw with her own eyes her beloved son hanging on the cross agonizing and writhing in pain?

So Mary, would you do it again? Without hesitating, I think she would say yes!

In Luke 1:46-53, Mary rejoiced at the prospect of carrying God’s Son. For most women, motherhood is a time to rejoice. Carrying a child and giving birth is an honor.

In Luke 2:33-35, When Jesus was dedicated at the Temple, His mother and father were amazed at the things being said about their son. But Mary was also warned about the pain this Son would bring to her heart, “and a sword will pierce even your own soul-to the end that thoughts from many hearts be revealed.”  It doesn’t take long to find out that our children experience pain in this life and that breaks our hearts.

Mary had the joy and privilege of carrying God’s Son but she also had the duty to bear the pain of His loss. I think if we asked her personally, “would you do it again?” She would jump at the chance to reassure each one of us as mothers. She can reassure us because now her perspective is an eternal perspective. I like to imagine that she might look each one of us in the eye and say, “it is hard being a mother but…like my Son, Jesus, each child is born with a purpose and a plan for his/her life. It hurts to watch them struggle with the hardest parts of life. But even in the pain, there is purpose.”

What in your child’s life has caused you pain? If you knew what you know now, would you become a mother again?

Heavenly Father, Touch the hurting hearts of mothers today. Please give us a glimpse or even an eye full of your eternal perspective. It’s an honor to serve you by serving our children. In Jesus Name, Amen

Young Moms Are Important (Answering the Everyday Question Everyday)

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Many of you who read this blog are young mothers. I thought of you this afternoon and I knew what I wanted to write about this week.

Today I had the privilege of playing with a not quite twenty-two month old little girl and a three-year old little boy. We jabbered kidspeak to each other, played with cars, nibbled on treats, and bounced on an ottoman during a women’s ministry brunch. I love it when the kids get to come to meetings. They bring such joy and teach me so many lessons. Thanks Emma and Luke.

My children are grown and my grandsons are growing up quickly and sometimes, if I am honest, I miss my little ones. Those were the best of days and the most tiring of times.   

I read something this week that I hope you will find encouraging. It will be worth your time to go to this link (below). This is a profound pensee…it also parallels the recent blog post I wrote “Pour Out Your Life.” Enjoy and send me your comments and thoughts as you joyfully pour out your life as a fragrant offering before the Lord for the benefit of your children?

Heavenly Father, Please encourage each young mother today. Give them Your eyes to see the beauty of these simple days. In Jesus Name, Amen

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