The Teenage Eyeroll

Wednesday September 10, 2014 

I saw it about four times today while I was shopping—the teenage eyeroll. 

I’ve been the recipient of it, too and, surprisingly, it was in the same context I saw it today.

Mom, holding her phone, asks the son a question.

He responds, pointing quickly at buttons on the phone.

She looks at him, puzzled, and opens her mouth to ask another question.

Then…wait for it—the eyeroll. 

It happens as he reaches for her cell phone with a sigh that says, “I’ll just do it myself.”

For a while, I just put up with the eyeroll. But it was strange; all of a sudden, I felt our roles reverse. My mind went back to the preschool years. I went through all the mental images and stories in my mind, searching for Mom in the midst of an eyeroll.

Nope. Nothing. 

So as my son reached for my phone (or laptop or mp3 player), I looked at him and said, “Look, I really appreciate your help. I’m just learning this thing and I do want to learn it. But I don’t appreciate your attitude when I ask for help.”

Another slight eyeroll and the shake of his head.

“Sorry, Mom,” he said reluctantly.

“No, wait a minute," I continued. "You know, when you were learning your ABCs, I don’t recall ever ripping the pencil from your hand, rolling my eyes, and saying, ‘Oh, just let me do it.’ Do you?”

He grinned. A little.

“If I had, would you ever have learned to write yourself? So let me learn.”

Now he smiled a real smile. “Okay, Mom. I get it.”

Lessons in respect don’t stop when they’re teens.

Sometimes we have to reinforce daily, in small ways. 
And without eyerolls.

Sit at the Master's Feet

Monday September 8, 2014 
Need encouragement?

Looking for a devotional?

Heather Strickland has just the thing – At the Master’s Feet: Encouragement for Your Soul

Heather’s 30 day devotional is like having a conversation with a friend. Her honest, warm words point to Christ, helping you focus on Him each day.

Heather and I became friends through Friday’s Fave Five, a meme that encourages you to name your five blessings of the week. I got an excited message from her when she began her eBook journey, and we kept in touch throughout the process.

Listen in while Heather shares her writing journey. 

Why did you decide to write an eBook? 

When I was a teenager, I dreamed of writing a book. God put the desire in my heart, but at that time I had no clue really how it would all work out. I was still young and just dreaming. I began to mature more as a Christian after I was married. God began to really teach me some things, and it wasn’t easy at all. After a few years of being married and becoming a mom, I knew it was time to start writing that book. An eBook was something I knew I could do without having to get an agent. It was most practical. And the exciting news is that my eBook is in print, too!

How did you go about it?

Last year I started writing an outline and knew it would take some time for the book I wanted to unfold. Meanwhile, God nudged me to write a devotional. I had just started writing devotions for two online ministries, so it was perfect. My friend, Ashley Wells, posted on Facebook about an eBook challenge, so I messaged her about it, and it took off from there. I was in a class called "31 Days to Write Your eBook."

What did you learn from this?

I learned to not be afraid. I have always had a fear of rejection. This process was a big step for me. I had fears of being rejected, and writing a book is very intimate—especially if you share any personal information in it. I learned that even when trials come in the midst of doing something great, you must press on. We have to persevere no matter what comes our way.

If someone out there is thinking about the process, what would you recommend they do?

If you’re self-publishing, find a great support group. I had my husband and several friends who were supporting me in real life, not to mention my friends online. Ask around on social media about an eBook coach that can help you with the process. Ashley was wonderful in helping me accomplish my goal. If you know what you want the book to be about, go ahead and write an outline. Then follow the Holy Spirit’s lead.

What's your favorite devotion in your book and why? My favorite devotion from the book is "Day 8: When We Are Weak." I love it because God works through us even though we are weak. He loves to do the impossible through His children to show His might.

Mississippi born and raised, Heather Strickland is a stay-at-home wife and mother with a passion to encourage others through writing. God planted this dream of writing a book in her heart when she was a teenager, began to grow it during her early adulthood, and now - with the help of many dear friends - God has made that dream a reality. She enjoys sipping coffee on her front porch, flipping through the pages of a good book, and holding hands with her love. When she isn’t serving her family, Heather blogs regularly at Becoming Titus 2 Women, Laced with Grace, and The Imperfect Wives. But her primary ministry is to her husband and three boys. Not only is Heather crazy about them, they give her an abundance of writing material. Through them, God has molded her and taught her many life lessons. Heather is forever grateful for God’s grace and guidance in her life. You may contact Heather on Facebook at Becoming Titus 2 Women or email her at 

I'm linking up today at Playdates with God and Soli Deo Sisterhood.

Too Much to Carry

Monday August 18, 2014 

Sometimes there's just so much to carry.

And it gets to be too much.

What do you need to lay down today? 

Concerns about the future?

Doubts about yourself? About your parenting?

Worries about that son or daughter you’re sending off to college?

One day Moses, carrying his staff, met God.

Now, a staff isn’t a bad thing. It can be used for good—to walk, to direct sheep, even to ward off predators.

But God told Moses to throw it down. 
So he did. 

And after Moses picked up that staff, it was never referred to as “his” again; it was forever after called “the staff of God” or “the rod of God.” 

What do you need to lay down today? 
What are you holding so tightly to, trying desperately to wield in your own power? 

Throw it down.
Give it to God and pick it back up in His power, with His strength. 

There will still be tough hard times, but your strength will come from Him, not from you.
Moses held up his hands during the battle in Exodus 17 (likely with that staff), and they dropped after a time.

But what did Moses do?

He focused on God and what God would do. 
He let others come alongside him to hold his hands up. 

You can do that.

Throw it down—whatever you’re holding in your own power.
Give it to God.
Pick it back up in His name, with His strength.
Focus on Him. Let others help hold your hands up.

What do you need to lay down today?

I'm linking up today with Laura at Playdates with God and Jen at Soli deo Gloria Sisterhood.

The Lighting of a Fire

Friday August 15, 2014 

It’s my first week back in the classroom, and I’m already thinking about how to light the fire inside those students.

But education is not just for the young, you know. 

I have a quote for you today, my fifth favorite, that applies across the board as we learn our way through life.

I’m linking up with the ladies at Friday’s Fave Five today as we name our five favorites of the week.

Here are mine: 

1. My husband’s help. He is SO handy and so willing to help with my projects. I needed to spruce things up in my classroom a bit, and I had an idea that required his assistance. He cut boards, stapled, measured, and helped me make my room beautiful. A couple of these were t-shirts I love but don’t often wear, and a couple were bags from Barnes and Noble. We turned them into plaques for my classroom wall! He’s the best.

And, perhaps, the English teacher's favorite:

2. A great quote and a new bulletin board design. I’ve had this quote up for a while, and I do love it. (Trying to inspire my kids to think before today, beyond tomorrow, and outside of their high school selves.) The board needed freshening up, so we set to work, using scrapbook paper for borders and decoration!

3. Bidding goodbye—for now. A number of college-bound students have dropped by to say goodbye. One said, “I’m leaving in 15 minutes and I just came by to say goodbye.” So sweet!

4. My favorite pictures of the week. My grandson, Aiden, got his first hammer. His dad said to him, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Three-year-old Aiden replied, “I’ve never heard that before.” (I was pleased to see the safety glasses.)
 5. A quote for all of us—because learning is a lifelong endeavor. 

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” (William Butler Yeats) 

Pouring information into kids’ heads is temporary; when you light a fire, the desire to make that knowledge your own and find some more is permanent. 

That’s what I want for my students!

I don’t know about you, but I love to learn. I pray that will always be my mindset.

Wishing you a week of loving learning, 

Who wants to be rare?

Friday August 8, 2014 

Who wants to be rare? 

It seems we’re all about being one with our culture today, being up-to-date on the latest technology, watching and doing what everyone else is watching and doing…

As a redhead, I always stood out whether I liked it or not. Sometimes that was good and sometimes, not so good. (Then I married a redhead, had four more of them, and we all felt right at home! Days at the beach left my arms numb from applying and reapplying sunscreen.)

Stay tuned for my fifth favorite today—as usual, a quote. One about the value of being rare. 

I’m linking up today with Susanne and the ladies at Friday’s Fave Five, where we replay the blessings of our week. Won’t you join us?

Here are my favorites this week: 

1. Back with friends. The great thing about starting school is being with my teacher friends. It’s been great to catch up with them and their families. Most of us have taught each other’s children, so we have a vested interest in each other’s families. It’s great to see my teacher friends again!

2. Firsts. Our youngest just moved into his first apartment with a friend, and he’s close to two brothers. Hearing stories and seeing pictures of the move and his new digs makes me smile. He starts his first full-time job next week, so it’s a season of firsts. SO proud of him. It’s so great to see them do what you raised them to do.

3. Unexpected paint. They painted my classroom this summer, and I didn’t know they were planning to. It looks so nice and fresh. They took posters and things off the wall and that has made me re-evaluate my d├ęcor, and it’s probably about time for that. I’m replacing some things with other decorating ideas I’m excited about. And my husband is helping me. Fun!

4. A dinner rendezvous. My hubby worked last night and sometimes he is able to get away and grab dinner. I got a cryptic but fun text about meeting him for dinner unexpectedly. It was better—and more fun—than eating my leftovers at home alone last night. Loved it.

5. A quote: 

“There are rare Christians whose very presence incites others to be better Christians. I want to be that rare Christian.” (A.W. Tozer)

I don’t know that I can elaborate on that quote—it says things so well. It’s a great one for me to begin the school year with, as I strive to see what I would call “problems” as opportunities.

I’m probably not enough of a rebel to our times and culture, but I long to stand not on the shifting sand of today but on an eternal foundation. May I be rare today! 

Wishing you rare moments this week, 
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