Category Archives: family

parenting is hard…



















Today was one of those days I wish would be long forgotten or at least dismissed as “another boring day.” Alas, that probably won’t happen because the drama and the tears and frustration that defined the afternoon will mark this day for quite awhile as a bit more than boring. Drama is a better descriptor, I think.

There are four females living in our home, otherwise known as Kappa Alpha Estrogen. It seems at times healthy boundaries get blurred, feelings get hurt and one young lady or another begins to spew angry words and accusations that would make a sailor blush.


It’s days like today that I figure, what’s the use? Who cares anyway if these three girls have mutual love and respect for each other, my expectations must be too high, anyway. Besides, the oldest one is quick to remind me everyone (or no one) else is “doing it or going there or wearing it…” What do I know? It’s not like I wrote the book on
Mothering 101: All You Need to Knowand Then Some.


I mean, is it really realistic to want, to truly desire these young women grow into emotionally, physically, spiritually healthy adults that are able to love and be loved? Am I expecting too much to want a great family that honors God first, loves one another and seeks to serve others?


A week or so ago, my friend Joanne was lamenting the same questions, only in her own way.

“Parenting is hard. And when it gets hard and when I’m tired and when it seems like nothing ever changes, well, I just want to give up. I figure my hopes and dreams and expectations of what a family should/could be must be just plain unrealistic and that maybe I should just lower the bar.”


I thought I was the only one who felt this way…but it seems lots of us feel kind of discouraged sometimes. When I am without courage, when I want to just kick the ground and sort of give up I am reminded of a couple things:

My Lord loves my children far more than I do. He is even more interested in their emotional, physical and spiritual growth than I ever will be. (Whew…that does take a little pressure off.)

The Enemy loves when I get discouraged, sullen, sulky and full of self-pity…he jumps right in and echoes every negative thought I can think.

The Truth: Family is and always will be God’s idea…so my desires for my family to be a great family…they aren’t selfish, they are biblical. Psalm 128 reminds me that “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”

More Truth: This life isn’t easy, it wasn’t meant to be…but I am not alone as a mom, God is working in and through my heart and in and through the hearts of my girls, too. His plans for them will not be sidetracked by my sub-par parenting nor will they be augmented by spectacularly fantastic parenting, either. I am called to fear the Lord, to walk in His ways, to talk about Him to my children and pray for them dutifully. That’s it. I can trust Him to do what He says He can do and that He is sufficient.



Filed under family, the journey

A Special Birthday Celebration…


Works for Me Wednesday…BACKWARDS Edition!

Here’s how it works…The tables are turned and instead of me giving advice or resolving a problem I get to ask you to help me with a question or problem! And just in the nick of time, too!

Here’s the mission: Help me plan a memorable 16th birthday celebration for my firstborn daughter!

The vision: A fun celebratory event that marks her passage from girlhood to young womanhood.

I’ve been brainstorming and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • The whole event could actually stretch over a weekend…her birthday is on Sunday.
  • Friday evening I have given to her to plan…she is thinking of going to the high school basketball game with her friends and then maybe out to dinner, home by 11pm curfew.
  • Saturday at noon I am going to “kidnap” her and two of her closest friends and we are going on a surprise road trip to Kansas City for a girlie weekend…but what to do, where to go in KCon a fairly limited budget? Maybe I’ll splurge for special hotel accommodations, like on the Plaza or Crown Center…but what else could we do?
  • After church on Sunday and a delicious breakfast…but where?
  • This is where everything gets fuzzy…I want to have a special family time birthday dinner on Sunday evening when we return home…but maybe that’s too much.
  • Kaylie is the first of three girls…so I want to establish some sort of faith centered tradition with this birthday. I didn’t do so hot with 13…it was pretty lame.
  • I would like to make a special memory book. This week Birthday Girl is to compile a list of people who she feels have thus far influenced her life in one way or another…either spiritually, academically, athletically or even artistically. These are people she knows and who know her…teachers, mentors, fellow students. I plan to scan the list and will be sending letters to these individuals to write a special birthday note of encouragement and wisdom to Kaylie. Some of these individuals will have a strong faith, others not so much but have loved her and walked with her in some way…it’s just that I am not sure what to write in this letter of invitation. Should I just email them or snail mail? What do I do with them when I receive them? Should I make a special scrapbook with them?
  • Gift ideas: a hope chest and/or a charm bracelet. Both could be utilized as external signification of this milestone.
  • Another idea: writing a special prayer for her and presenting it with the letters and scrapbook.
  • Finally…how do I organize all these thoughts and prioritize them…then how do I actually implement the plan!

    Help! Do you have any ideas to share? Were there special moments you created for your daughter or maybe that you remember from a special birthday?

    Shannon and other bloggers at Rocks in My Dryer could use your creative insight into the many problems and dilemmas that plague the internets…find them here.

    Oh, and I vote that Shannon tosses the empty DVD cases in the trash…call it a 27 thing Boogie and move on girl!


Filed under children, faith, family, love, traditions

Taking a Break

So my husband and I are on a mission, a gazelle like mission; to reduce debt and become better stewards of the treasures we have been given. Because I am a fairly intense person (I usually approach a project or idea with a full on intensity second to only to my pursuit of God) I have been reading just about anything I can get my hands on about living a simpler, more frugal life. A quick net search for personal finance blogs yielded some very informative and interesting sites. I have provided links to two sites I have visited and read fairly regularly in my sidebar, there are others I have found as well, but just haven’t linked them yet.

A theme I have found to come up fairly frequently on many sites has been the conversation about stay at home parent vs working outside the home parent tangled up with the issue of childcare. A recent post at intrigued me enough to comment. Another site, brip, blap had a similar conversation going and I was decided to throw my two cents in as well. And finally, The Simple Dollar has a book club; we are reading Your Money or Your Life, by Dominguez and once again a post, or rather the comments following the post compelled me to join in the conversation.

I don’t think this conversation (the stay at home parent vs. working outside the home parent) can ever fully be resolved, we are all much too stubborn and convicted in our own minds about what is right or wrong, even in the face of research and statistics.

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Filed under be heard., books, family, money