Published in the Rains County Leader on August 30, 2016:
I don’t do change very well. I don’t know if that’s a result of nature or nurture – in other words, I don’t know if I was simply born with a natural aversion to change or if I have developed that aversion because very little changed in my world when I was growing up.
Not that my childhood was boring, but it didn’t involve a lot of variation. When Mom placed furniture in a room, that’s where it stayed. Dinner meant one of a few familiar menus, and family vacations usually included a week in a cabin on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. That kind of lifestyle gives a solid sense of stability and security, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity to learn to deal with change. (more…)
Kitty made her third and highest trip into the black gum tree outside our dining room window this week. When I went out to feed her Sunday morning, I heard her faint meowing, but I couldn’t see her, hidden as she was in the thick leaves.
I interrupted David’s shower with the news. “Kitty is in distress, and I can’t find her.”
By the time he made it outside, I had located our little adventurer, and we spent the next hour or so craning our necks and giving her advice as if we expected her to understand what we were saying. (more…)
My granddaughter Zoe spends more time thinking about spiritual matters then the typical six year old, but having a mother who is a minister and a father who is a Christian author has informed her theology at a young age. Three years ago, when asked what God looks like, she answered, She has a big, beautiful face. She also announced that Jesus likes birthday parties, and after a Good Friday service she said that her heart broke into two pieces for Jesus. I hated the thought of her feeling so sad, but the fact is that broken hearts are a part of life. (more…)
My church hosted a marriage conference last month, and Ryan Dalgliesh of Higher Rock Ministries was the speaker. Ryan is a strong Bible teacher, but he also illustrates the application of biblical principals by sharing contemporary illustrations and personal stories. With his permission, I’m sharing one of his parenting stories from the biblical husband and father section.
When Ryan’s oldest son Asher was sixteen months old, he was moved from his crib into a toddler bed. The first night started well enough, with Asher bedding down without protest. The anxious parents paid close attention to the baby monitor, listening for sounds of distress. What they heard instead was the patter of little feet as Asher filled his new bed with Hot Wheels, lots of them. Ryan went into the bedroom, explained that cars didn’t belong in the bed, removed the offending toys, and tucked the toddler into bed. (more…)
Caregiving often seems like a long and lonely road to nowhere. Even those who have a strong support network have times when Mom is insisting that you stole her sewing scissors, Dad is wandering around the house in the middle of the night, or a beloved spouse is afraid or in pain, and the few moments of respite earlier in the week are nothing but a dim memory. The strongest among us sometimes buckles under the weight of feeling alone and forgotten, but God never forgets, and He never leaves you alone.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
Available in paperback .
B&N // Amazon
Available in ebook.
B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play
Christmas involves a lot of decisions: which friends and relatives to visit or to invite, which family favorites to put on the menu, and which loved ones to put on the naughty list and which ones go on the other list. Today, on the first day of the New Year, most of the visitors have gone home, most of the leftovers have been eaten or thrown out, and most of the gifts have been put away. Still, there are decisions to be made. (more…)
Christmas is a time of tradition. By definition, tradition is the transmission of customs from generation to generation, but as anyone who has raised children knows, each generation feels a need to put its own stamp on any custom passed on by the previous generation. As a result, while Christmas is a time of tradition, it is also a time of change. Here are a few of them.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen a lot of changes in the Christmas tree. First, the natural evergreen gave way to the flocked tree which was covered by some kind of fluffy concoction that mimicked the appearance of snow. Next came artificial trees. Thankfully, the aluminum ones that were spotlighted with a spinning color wheel were short-lived, but the first plastic ones weren’t much better. They were made of a green material similar to what is used on the end of party toothpicks, and they shed needles almost as badly as the natural trees. Artificial trees have since evolved to the point that it’s hard to tell them from the real thing except that you don’t have to water them, and they don’t begin to droop after a week or two. Having perfected the tree itself, manufacturers have moved to the next level by adding fiber-optic lighting that eliminates the tangled mess of lights that never all work at the same time. (more…)