He is Always Reachable

The sound of a quick afternoon nap sounded so refreshing but just as I buried my head into the pillow, my iPhone beeped. It was the memory care facility calling to inform me that my mom had bitten a nurse.  Ouch.  I was embarrassed and worried that they would terminate her stay but at least the nurse was OK, the woman on the phone was assuring me. Before I could end the conversation, my youngest daughter ran in frantically looking for her dad, who had let our large, chocolate labradoodle loose (again)  – and he was harassing a friend who had just pulled up in his truck to return our cement mixer. Knowing how scary Rufus looks and frightening his growling bark sounds, I ended the phone call abruptly and rushed outside.  “I can’t reach Glen,” our friend said, “Is there someone around who can help me unload this?” Fortunately he seemed less concerned about Rufus than I was. “Of course, he couldn’t reach Glen,” I grumbled silently to myself, “he doesn’t carry his phone with him.”  I ran down the hill and around our guest house calling for my husband. With his truck in the driveway, I knew he was around somewhere. I crisscrossed the property calling for him in vain. “Was he lying somewhere hurt and unable to respond?” I wondered.  My worry turned to anger however when I found Glen chatting peacefully with Cam and Erin inside their home next door. “You let Rufus out again unsupervised,” I complained rather angrily, “and there are times – like now – when you really need to be reached.”...

Blog by Tim Elmore: Do Smart Phones Make Us Smarter?

Earlier this week, I asked Joey, my oldest grandchild if he thought the presence of an iphone, even if merely set down and unused, would distract him from doing well on a math assignment.  Unlike many students, who insisted that they are immune to any affect, I was surprised and delighted with his emphatic response, “it would definitely distract me from doing good work because even seeing it is too tempting for me.” I could tell by the conversation with Joey that he had gained knowledge that helped him recognize the downside of having a smart phone.  Already this information was useful in determining better practices for himself. As guardians of our young kids hearts and minds, we must remember to share with them reliable, up-to-date information. Here’s a great blog by Tim Elmore that is well worth reading and sharing with your kids. Dr. Elmore summarizes several recent studies and shares information that is helpful and important for all of us living in this tech-driven world.   Do Smart Phones Make Us Smarter?  ...

Be Content With Today

Years ago, I read this poem in Linda Dillow’s book Calm My Anxious Heart.   It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors. It was summer but it was fall I wanted; the colorful leaves and the cool dry air. It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season. It was now winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature. I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and the respect. I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated. I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit. I was retired but it was middle age that I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations. My life was over but I never got what I wanted. The author of this poem, (a 14 year old boy!), has no idea how much his words have touched my heart over the years.   I recently re-read it, and again the inherent wisdom spoke to me deeply.  I think of days gone by when I would wish time away – wanting to get past diapers, past busy kids schedules, past homework, past teen social issues, past stressful work, past conflict, etc.  The older I get however, the more I want to squeeze all that I can out of each day – regardless of what it holds.  Perhaps it’s because I watch my mom whose life is now defined by the second to...

Sometimes Miracles are Found in What Does NOT Occur

Yesterday started out a peaceful day on our family property. Alisa was spending time at the pool with her close friend Ranelle. Together they kept a careful watch over their combined seven young children, who were enjoying their time together in the water. Living very near the family pool, Alisa carries a constant sense of anxiety over the safety of her children. Her six year old swims well and her four-month old is still to young to find her way into the pool, but Alma and Asa, as two and three-year-olds, are in the highest risk group for drowning. So she takes care to put them in puddle jumpers each time they entered the fenced in pool yard. Then she snaps on safety turtle wristbands when they were outside the pool gates, which sound an alarm if they fall into water. Vigilant over their safety, she takes the matter of pool safety seriously and is even about to take on learning infant water safety. Drowning. Choking.  Both forms of suffocation that are terrifying thoughts for mothers.   Both almost happened by the pool within thirty minutes of each other. The morning had been fun.  They took a break from playing in the pool to eat lunch.  Sandwiches. Juice. Grapes. Chuckling over their tendency to be overly cautious, Alisa and Ranelle decided to NOT cut the grapes in half for their children and instead placed a cluster of grapes onto each child’s plate. As Alisa finished her lunch, and began to nurse baby Beth, she glanced over at Asa, and was horrified to see him choking and completely unable to make a sound....

Prayer Changes Things

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. And your father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6 Alisa, my youngest daughter, is a stay-at-home mom with four kids age 6, 2, 1 and a newborn. “To go away by herself and shut the door behind her ” likely sounds very appealing, yet it’s not a practical possibility for much of her day. From the breaking of dawn until she lays her head back down on her pillow to catch a few hours of sleep before the next feeding, Alisa’s days (and nights) are consumed with caring for her children, keeping them safe, and running their household. Yet Alisa can, right in the midst of the day, withdraw from her concerns and thoughts to commune with her Father in Heaven. Her prayers don’t need to be obvious to others but she can reach out to Jesus and “pray in secret” as she fixes lunch for her brood, or when she changes a diaper, or when she guides her six-year-old with schoolwork. She has little time to sit down and study God’s word in this season of her life, but she can infuse His words it into her prayers throughout the day.  It’s when our prayers unite with God’s heart that breakthrough happens. Taking God’s words and praying them over others and ourselves is powerful and life giving. Here are two of my favorites, especially when the day begins to feel overwhelming:  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Psalm 139:...