Moms of older kids need a revolving door
When my kids were younger, we were like a clump that moved from home to activity and back home. We all loaded up in the van to go on errands or to the library or wait for someone at swim practice.
Nowadays, with a slew of olders, it’s more like the hub in a wheel of constant activity.
Nick and Seth, the college boys, came home in early May and immediately reunited with all the friends in our house or theirs. Zach came and went with spring football and basketball practices and Rachel, finishing her first year as an ICU nurse, dropped in as she had days off. We only missed Ben, who’s been neck-deep studying for his first medical boards.
The job shifts for a mom of olders — keep the pantry stocked should everyone descend on your house for game night and don’t nod off for good until everyone’s in for the night. And this one: use Instagram and Snapchat and who knows what next so you can keep up because no one under 25 really posts to Facebook anymore.
Get in the picture
Early this month, a dear friend from high school passed away after a short but stiff fight with breast cancer. As I watched her slide show play over and over before the service, I was hit with the importance of our pictures. We moms are so good at getting pictures of our kids. But I can’t get IN the picture because my hair’s not fixed or I don’t have all my makeup or I need to lose 10 pounds.
Our kids don’t care about makeup and hair! We treasure every single picture of Dan. And while the formal pictures have their place, nothing captures his life and personality like the snapshots.
So my new vow — get IN the picture. (And be okay with less than perfect me.)
A little friendly competition goes a long way
While on our family vacation this month, I decided to get help in the kitchen. We formed teams to cook each night: Seth and me, Zach and Matt, Nick and his girlfriend Colette. Annalise was a floater.
This was life altering. Hello late afternoon runs and reading on the deck!
And the best part? Apparently it meant competition. (Because boys?) They all planned and made the best meals they could on their nights! This will be an annual Appelo vacation tradition.
On the nightstand
Whisper YES where NO wants to take root.” And with those words, Suzie challenges us to follow Jesus as the 13th disciple. Suzie’s trademark gentleness is all over this book, yet she powerfully and practically applies the Word to our struggles. Full review coming soon on this one.
Shirley is a local friend and author, who’s walked this heartbreak. Shirley is also a young widow and was one of the first people to meet with me and give me HOPE after Dan died. I will be forever grateful for that.
I was given a copy and, though I’ve not dealt with this struggle, I’ve gleaned so much truth about what God has to say over the idols and misplaced trust in parenting. This book is gospel saturated and will fill the heart-broken with true hope and real mercy. Shirley addresses all of the emotions and worries that come when a child renounces the faith with scripture. Highly recommended if you or someone you know is walking through this.
Hope Heals, A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love, Katherine and Jay Wolf.
I *just* downloaded this one to my Kindle and I’m super excited to get into it. If you haven’t read the Wolf’s story, it’s a beautiful testimony of hope in tragedy and the real beauty of marriage.
I’m on day 80(!) and I’ve taken so many notes. Every day, I unearth new things or an old truth hits me fresh. Some days, I simply write out a verse that will not let go of me and other days, I furiously make notes and connections.
Today, I saw for the first time that the chief priests and scribes had determined NOT to arrest Jesus and put him to death during the Passover feast “lest there be an uproar of the people.” Matt 26:5, Mark 14:2
But Jesus was not their martyr. They didn’t determine the times. Jesus willingly gave His life during Passover according to God’s sovereign will and timing.
Do you see that? Nothing — absolutely positively nothing — happens outside the reigning will of our God. Not the crucifixion of our Savior; not a layoff or illness; not a presidential race or Supreme Court decision. Not your struggle, not our pain, not the thing that will happen this week or the next. We are held in the hand of an all-powerful God.
What about you? I’d love to know what’s on your nightstand, coffee table, summer reading list!
P.S. I’m finishing up a survey and I loved getting to know you all better. If you haven’t taken this short (5 question) survey, I’d love to hear from you!