The Wrestling Match of Parenting

I toggle between two words when it comes to parenting.

Pride and Fear

On good days, I feel pride.
Yes, we’re doing something right.
Yes, our kids will make wise choices.

On bad days, I feel fear.
No, we’re not doing anything right.
No, our kids won’t make wise choices.

It’s a sticky spot. There’s a balance between pride and fear we can rest in. And honestly, our feelings aren’t up for the task of telling us where to land.

When I’m in the wrestling match between pride and fear, our kids get the punches. They get the mood swings. They get the “here’s a little freedom” versus “do what I say” versions of Mom at various, unpredictable moments.

I have the power to create a home in limbo or at peace. And it’s settled by my choice to rest in the stableness of God or the movement of my emotions.

The days will change. The kids will change. But He won’t. It is finished. For my kids and yours.

We fight our pride with prayer and our fear with faith. Because He is listening. He is steadfast. And His mercies are new every morning.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

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Fortnite…Thoughts From Another Parent

Confession…I LOVE Fortnite! I love playing it (landed in a tree my first jump). Love watching our boys play it (“Mom…chill out.”).

And I’ve learned a couple things lately. Had my eyes opened.

1-Our kids feel a real connection with the real people they play with.
2-Our kids are experiencing moments each time they sign in.

Let me explain why this has to matter to us a parents.

1-Connection

It’s a huge thing for me as an adult. And it’s a “huger” thing for our kids. On Fortnite, they are playing with real people in real time. That’s a gift and a curse.

In response, we’ve got to guard them. Set up boundaries. Our family rule is you can’t play duos or squads with someone unless you know them. It’s been tricky. They’ve played “a man down” at times. But they’ve survived (not in Fortnite terms, however).

I’ve also seen our boys minister through this online connection. Not like preaching or praying for people. But I’ve seen them love on someone who’s hurting through a game. Through a partnership. And for a brief moment in time, I’ve seen the hurt forgotten in the laughter spilling out of their headsets.

It makes me want to cry.

2-Moments

I just finished the book The Power of Moments. It’s amazing how moments change us and how we can change moments.

When our kids play Fornite, they are having mini-moments in every game that ultimately accumulate in a big moment of gaming. And when these moments are shared with others, they solidify even more.

It only makes sense then that our kids want to play more and more because they are connecting with people in moments that we can’t naturally produce in our homes.

So then…what do we do?

I guess we could ban Fornite. Maybe we should ban all video games. (I’m not opposed to it.) But I also want to “weigh my ‘yeses’ so my ‘no’s count’.” And Jeremy and I have decided to give Fornite the yes for now so we’ve had to think outside the box.

Here’s where we’ve landed…

-We spend time playing Fortnite with our boys every day (or at least watching them). It’s not “the boys play Fornite.” It’s “we play Fornite.”
-We engage with them when “game time is over.” For now the boys want to be with us and we don’t want that to change.
-We talk about battles and dances and guns even when it’s the last thing we want to talk about.

I know. I know. We may be overthinking this. I also know that some of you think it is heinous that we even let them play a “killing game.” And it’s all fine. Really. I’ve learned that I’m responsible for raising my kids not yours. So we can all simmer down a little and be faithful to who God has given us.

I’m writing today mainly as someone who’s had a wake up call to the world of gaming. I’ve realized I can’t compete and I need God’s wisdom and help way more than I thought. And honestly, I’ve learned that our kids are still kids and they still love God even when AR’s and “new skins” are their main topics of conversation.

Breathe. Sit and watch. Maybe play a little yourself.

God has given us these kids and these moments. Let’s not miss them!

“…But that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” (II Corinthians 13:7b,9)

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(Love these boys and their silly Fortnite ways…Side note-Stephen and I finally won duo’s last night…and I burnt the chocolate chip cookies because of it!)

 

 

 

 

 

Y’all…He met our need!!

Before I disappear for Advent you need to know this.

After everything was totaled we owed $368 for the Dominican trip we took last month.

Do you remember this, though?

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That was in August when Kenan busted his head, and we got 11 stitches in the ER. That was also when we wrote Duke hospital an enormous check.

Last week Duke realized we had over payed them so they sent us a reimbursement check.

Guess how much it was for?

$365.

Y’all, He provided. Almost the exact amount. Only God.

Thank you to everyone who supported us. Clearly, you were part of God’s plan.

God is faithful. He meets needs. That’s what this upcoming season is all about. Christ came as a baby. He came to live perfectly where we had messed up. He came to die humbly so we wouldn’t have to.

He met our greatest need then. And His grace continues to surprise me.

Merry (early) Christmas!!!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19,20)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

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If we could talk right now…

If we could talk right now here’s what I would say…

Because right now he’s making a card at the kitchen table, he’s eating baby snacks in the floor, and 3 are jumping on the trampoline in summer clothes.

Life is crazy. Some days I feel like I’m barely holding on. The sign in the kitchen says, “Life is not an emergency.” But it feels like that sometimes. I curse the sign and say yes it is.

He just wiped away tears as he quoted Psalm 40:16, 17 for his online teacher. We are done with school today. Maybe we want to be done for the year.

After struggling through the verses I watched him pick her up, carry her down the steps, and gently place her in the grass. I can’t teach that.

I don’t know where you are today. Maybe you’re scrambling to get a blog post typed before someone loses their mind. Maybe you’re thinking through lunch plans. Maybe all of this seems pointless.

You are not alone. You are loved more than you know. God is so, so faithful. Maybe your biggest burden and your biggest blessing are one and the same.

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalms 40″16,17)

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Abortion & Adoption

I was driving the other day and saw this bumper sticker. I googled it so you could see…

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It’s so simple. I’d never thought of it before. But could those 2 words be more similar?

The abortion topic is a tricky one. My hands feel tied. The thought of those sweet babies…oh I can’t even type it.

But adoption could be part of the answer. Couldn’t it?

Nope, not everyone is called to adopt, but I believe more people are than have responded to the call.

Jeremy and I knew we were called to adopt for years. We kept waiting for the “right time.” We wanted…1-our kids to be older, 2-to save up more money, 3-to do a little more research. Those were wise thoughts, but they quickly became excuses.

We prayed about timing, and one day I came across this song. (You can skip to 3:00 if you don’t want to hear his explanation.). And finally, we said no more waiting. We went for it and trusted God (most days!) to lead us.

Now there’s this precious mocha chic with crazy hair who has her Daddy wrapped around her finger. She dances. She kisses. She has a smile that lights up a room. She was the one. She was worth the wait.

I have learned more about God’s grace and love through Esther Grace than in any other way throughout my life.

So pray about it. Then go for it. The journey may be hard, but…wow…God is faithful!

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“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)