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Do you have a young child in the "why" stage?

A friend shared this this morning: http://www.littleheartsbooks.com/2013/11/29/the-gift-of-a-strong-willed-child/ and this sentence reminded me of this post: "They often have an insatiable need to know 'why.'" I thought the article had excellent suggestions to use even with children who aren't strong willed too. 
I keep forgetting to post those other 2 articles that were such helpful reminders to me when the "why" stage would frustrate me: Kindness vs Obedience Sermon: http://aolff.org/sermons/kindness-vs-obedience/2 (the last quote of the second page really stuck with me) Obedience, or Idolatry: http://aolff.org/?s=Idolatry+claim Powerful stuff!


Depends who you are traveling with...

I've driven through three snowstorms lately and have had two
dramatically different experiences.

The first was a white out only about two miles from my house. I was
alone, in a zone where cell service cuts out, and very shaken up. I
couldn't see the sides of the road or what was in front of me. I made
it out safely, but it took a few weeks to recover from the overwhelm.

The other two were less overwhelming - even though the traffic
conditions were worse. One was a combination of blizzard and fog
simultaneously. The other involved my car acting up in extremely cold,
icy conditions.

The difference? Who was with me for the ride. I did not feel
overwhelmed when I had my friend my my side in the ice or my spouse by
my side in the cold. I knew whatever happened, we would get through it
together.

Does life right now feel like a dangerous blizzard? Could it feel more
like a beautiful sleigh ride if we saw God right there next to us, or
asked him to drive? Instead of focusing on what&#…

The Church that Loved Us Anyway

"I'm so embarrassed. I'm just so embarrassed." 

My husband and I quickly talked through the different ways our embarrassment had triggered us that night at the Christmas Eve service.
We both felt so defeated that we couldn't convince our five year old to sit still long enough to watch the Christmas program.
We were visiting the church, and she had seemed excited about it, but she got locked in to the fact that she didn't have everything out for Santa back at the house, and the fixation on this caused her so much distress that she was willing to scream or even try to physically fight us to get out of there and get home.
This was one of many manifestations we saw early of the PANDAS Syndrome which caused sudden onset OCD in her. The good news in our case was that as quickly as the OCD symptoms would come, they would leave when treated with antibiotics and cognitive behavioral therapy. Many families are not as lucky.
We have learned so much in these moments about wha…

How One Day Can Change Everything

I saw her number calling on my phone and felt it in my gut. Something
was wrong. She never called, always updated me by text, so this must
be urgent.

I answered my phone and heard our babies' birth mom say, "I think I'm
losing them. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry..." and then go on to describe
what she thought was the start of a pretty abrupt miscarriage at the
bus stop a few minutes ago. I asked if she was okay, and told her that
was just as important to me as the babies. She said she was, that she
had called her doctor and her husband had come home from work to be
with her. I told her I appreciated her call so much and that I'd call
back in a little bit to check on her.

I hung up and was in action mode. I had to do something with our four
year old so that I could process this and make the necessary phone
calls without her overhearing. Oh, how could this be happening? Just
yesterday she was having morning sickness, everything seemed so
normal, so on track, s…

Hard

I felt like such a failure.

We were late to the doctor's office for my daughter's appointment,
then our ride was late to pick us up (I can't drive right now because
of my foot injury) and so we sat outside in the sun which added insult
to injury because she was already feeling overheated.

My daughter wasn't happy with how the appointment went, or with
wanting to go in the first place, and thought the treatment didn't
work because she felt worse afterwards.

"But none of those things are your fault!" my friend said. "And what
you did was extraordinary! You got her (with help) to an appointment
2.5 hours away, and got her in there and through her treatment even
with a broken foot! That's like gold medal material! You took her to
the best doctor, to give the treatment the very best shot at working!
You listened compassionately to her as she complained even though you
wanted to complain too. You held her even though you were weary. You
did it, mama!&q…

Love Dwelling in and Around Us

1 John 4 tells us, "If we love one another, God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us. This is how we know that we dwell in him and he in us."
I spent the month on a speaking assignment talking about the love of Christ - how it's surprising and reliable, how it's caring and powerful, how it's expansive and how it's ours. I deeply believe it- that the Trinity has had a dance of love going on between them since before the beginning of time, and we are invited into that dance. That the greatest commandments to love God and to love others are natural outflows of the love God pours into us, and of the Holy Spirit residing in our hearts. God's love dwells in us and around us.
And then I had a chance to live that truth. The second to last day I got hurt. I thought I sprained my foot, and continued to walk on it and try to go about things as normally as possible, but then the x-ray showed a dislocation and the doctor said I could no longer bear weight on it …

If You Only Knew the Mountain that Was Moving Before Your Eyes

"It's her first day back to full days," I told the group of moms standing by the flagpole waiting to pick their elementary schoolers up, knowing two out of three of them had no idea what that really meant or what a big deal that was.

For months, our lives had been hijacked by her medical issues...her life hijacked worst of all. The past three months the doctors had her go for half days only because her little body couldn't handle the energy exertion and trying to be "on" all day while she was having so much pain. She needed weekly IVs and a bunch of lab tests run and rerun to see if she needed to be sent to a bigger hospital like the Mayo Clinic. She needed to take about 19 pills a day, a couple of them medications, and others which were supplements and minerals to help with the weight loss and bone loss that were side effects of the medication. She spent most of her afternoons at home resting, taking pills, and eating a ton to try to gain the lost weight b…