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Mean What You Say—Say What You Mean

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

It was happening two lines over from where I stood in line waiting to pay for my groceries. A mother was yelling at her child. “Behave or I will whip you,” she said for the fourth time. “That’s it. I’m never bringing you out of the house again! You can just sit home alone while the rest of us go out.” Nothing changed in the boy’s behavior. In fact, his disobedience elevated. He knew the sound of empty threats. (I will set aside commenting on yelling, “I will whip you” to a child for another time, but right now I want to comment on the poor parenting.) You see, he knew his mother didn’t mean what she was saying. Mean what you say—say what you mean. Numerous times I have heard a parent start “the count.” You know what...

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To Tell or Not to Tell

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 1 comment

It was an uncomfortable meal of tacos, enchiladas, and far too much information. Around the table we heard an all too common story of a bitter church situation. Round eyed and attentive, children listened to the grownups spew. I cringed at a conversation submerged in relationships gone wrong. We met at a restaurant to catch up, but along with the group, a painful dispute regurgitated. I shoved myself farther into my seat, uncomfortable with the discussion, uneasy about the tone, and unsure about how to neutralize abrasive words on young ears. “Why did he do that?” From across the table, a six-year-old broke into the adult exchange. It prompted a verbal list of wrongs committed by another parishioner. It felt to me like each offense sat on the little boy’s shoulders like stacked weights, much too heavy for him....

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Just Following Orders

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Giggles and Grace | 0 comments

Have you ever read the popular children’s series Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish? In the books, Amelia constantly finds herself in some strange predicaments as a result of her not understanding certain figures of speech. She takes everything literally. For instance, when her employer asked her to prune the hedges, she took actual prunes and stuck them all over the branches of the bushes. As a parent, I often feel like I live with Amelia Bedelia. We must be careful what we say. Your comment of, “Aunt Gail was tickled pink,” will be followed by lots of confusion. “I didn’t see anyone tickle Aunt Gail. Why do you think she looks pink?” When my daughter Grace was three, we were eating dinner at a local restaurant. She asked if she could have ice cream for dessert. My husband and...

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Rules on Rocks

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Giggles and Grace | 0 comments

When my daughter Grace was in kindergarten, I picked her up from school one day and asked how her day had been. It was picture day, so I asked if lots of girls wore pretty dresses. Grace took a deep breath and said, “Well, some of them did. Adrianna had a pretty dress with squares and lines, and she wore cowgirl boots. And her hair went like this way and this way (she gestured to her head) and it was brushed so smooth you wouldn’t believe it.” I gave the appropriate oohs and ahhs, when Grace said, “Mama, on Sunday at church they talked about Moses and God and how God wrote rules on rocks. And one of those rules was not to be thinking about what somebody else has and be wanting it. But, Mama!! That is sooooooo...

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Daddy, Read Me a Story

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 1 comment

My mother tells me that when I was a child I could not get enough of the Dr. Seuss classic, The Cat in the Hat. I asked her to read it to me repeatedly. Eventually, as the years passed, she sat while I read it to her. Over and over we shared that book. Yet as a father, it was high on my list of least favorite books, and I would try and suggest other books to my sons to distract them from that classic. It rarely worked, but like father, like son, they continuously craved it. Even as the monotony of the rhymes grated at me, I treasured the time I had as my sons cuddled up on my lap for story time. The connection was wonderful. A few weeks ago, I shared this with some friends. Many...

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What’s Hiding?

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

I walked around the room with a rubber duck in my hand. I laid it in plain sight on a shelf of the book case. It’s classic yellow face and orange bill pointed to the door where my daughter would skip through in a few seconds. I smiled in anticipation. “Heidi,” I called, “Come find the ducky.” Her eyes sparkled when she came into the room. They went straight to the bookcase where she had last placed the duck. Too young to be in a long hunt, but ripe for its excitement, she loved an easy game. A flicker of confusion puckered her brows. The bright yellow didn’t sit on the second shelf, left side. She turned to look at me. Two shelves above, dead center, the little fellow waited. All at once her eyes landed on him. “There...

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