Can Makeovers Go More Than Skin Deep?

I had an experience in the past year that propelled me out of my comfort zone, and has me thinking about relationships, acceptance, and yet again – the way society sets us up.

Here is me: I stay at home, and have, for the past… oh, almost forty years that I’ve been married and had kids.

You might call me insulated…. parochial… any number of limiting adjectives; because that is how people tend to categorize and pigeon-hole each other. It is also a function of how our brains manage to work with limited information and infinite unknowns.

Increasingly over the past decade the mold has broken and I’ve been traveling, so far to Hungary, Denmark, Brazil, and across the States on a roadtrip west. I had moved into a type of intellectual travel, too, with the internet, forums, and blogging, but in 2012 I ended up briefly visiting the reality TV world.

That was stretching me beyond a number of comfort levels, into a world that is truly alien for me.

That experience can be seen in the brief scenes in the latest episode of Making Mr. Right.
(this episode is no longer available to watch for free, but you can get it on Amazon for $1.99).

Making Mr. Right | Mother Knows Best

When you know the premise of this dating show, immediately some of the most obvious questions come up, like “Could/Should people try to makeover their mates?” (Potential or otherwise) And the equally obvious questions about whether people have soul mates, or is “finding the right person” the key to happiness? Those last questions, oddly enough, revolve around the idea that we don’t “make” our happiness or the object of it, but that people are somehow static and finding the “right match” is the important part.

How much of our happiness resides in the power of another person, how much within our own making?

Actually there are all sorts of questions that swirl around in our culture, along with some of the preconceptions attached to them.

Which is what makes the idea of creating a dating show one that promises interest and entertainment for viewers.

And either way, we are led to objectify our significant others in ways that cause us to forget they are people who change and are influenced, and who have the power to make their own choices, to mold their own world, and to turn the tables on us! We might want to inject some humility, respectfulness, and freedom into this process.

Makeovers

Makeovers are such a big part of American myth. American girls are practically raised on that idea, from magazine articles to whole books to the beauty industry to the business world. If we just get the look right, or make the superficial changes, we unlock approval and success, and get to have our dreams come true.

Fortunes are made on such beliefs.

Lies I Was Told

Kind of like the “Working Girl” movie with Melanie Griffith, made in the 80’s when the importance of image reinvented itself and became the top priority for our society. Makes the old adage “can’t tell a book by its cover” meaningless.

This idea has too many remakes to count, just take a look at a list of this year’s movies, TV shows, music videos, and other pop culture venues… I bet you can find more than a few that follow the pattern and sell the concept.

It is all about the image, the branding, the packaging. We just have to reinvent, and we will get what we want.

And it works. Glitz and glitter works in the short run.

In all this, some of the outdated deceptions reemerge.

Within those beloved makeovers, I wonder, can the changes go more than skin deep, can we really resolve the way we interact with people in our lives by changing the details and the surface conditions of our lives?

My Bias

Let’s go back to ideas of changing our world, our society. Does a little Newspeak work on the macro scale? Is it working on the smaller scale of our jobs, relationships, and approval ratings of the people around us? Or more importantly for the questions brought out by Making Mr. Right, can we find and create our perfect life? Or a perfect mate, Or a perfect “other”? We certainly spend a lot of time trying.

Things I Am Convinced Of

Realities that I woke up to …along the way.

  • Mass movements, politics, and propaganda do not truly change the world, only temporarily rearrange the status quo. I learned this from my participation in the Moratorium Movement during the Vietnam war era.
  • You don’t mold or change your children. You find out who they are and encourage and direct their development. And the parenting is not even the lion-share of that. Many influences, many choices, many circumstances go into the formation of who a person is and becomes.
  • You can control very little, of anything. Your job in life is not about “control”
  • You don’t change other people, because you can’t. And vice versa

So what do makeovers accomplish, really? For all our love affair with the idea, does it change anything? Surprisingly I do think that makeovers produce some changes, just not the ones we expect.

We think of the makeover as changing the outward appearance. Sometimes that is a reflection of what inward changes have already taken place, and improves the way others perceive us. We are not islands, and the acceptance, approval, and support of others is vital. The makeover can certainly be a type of catalyst.

A makeover can align the clues we give to society of who we are with who we actually are. We can more clearly represent ourselves by adding the objectivity of the others helping us with a makeover (or those we model ourselves after). Perhaps, dispelling the false messages we accepted from others about who we are. We don’t always know ourselves as well as we believe we do.

It can also connect us better with what others need. A makeover in etiquette, in how we express thoughts and opinions, in listening skills or emotional intelligence. This is gaining a toolset in relationships.

But changing the core of a person, their struggles with life, or personal direction? Those are the ways we misuse the makeover, and the end of such manipulations is going to end in conflict and disappointment.

What Can A TV Reality Show Tell Us?

I love Francis Schaeffer, and his thought. One of the things that I picked up from reading his books is to look at the culture, especially its art and expression, to find out truths about who we are as a society. Beyond the shallow judgements of like or unlike, or slots of good or evil, what do our ideas of marriage, family, gender, man and woman, parent and child, divorce, dating tell us about our larger society and its direction? What kind of blind spots do we have, and what will give us insight and a pathway to follow on this convoluted road of life?

A few hypotheses from my perspective

I think we still believe we can control more than we have the ability to control. Maybe as a society, that belief is more underlined and accepted than ever.

We see things through the filter of our hopes, and tend to edit out even obvious barriers. We believe romantic love conquers all obstacles. Romantic love is pretty wimpy, and that isn’t the type of love that faces and overcomes real challenges. Although it has a powerful kick as a firestarter to desire.

Our ideas of divorce are sacred cows roaming our streets and leaving us starving for strong relational bonds.

We laugh at how silly someone else may be while remaining blind to our own foibles.

Humanity is humanity and no amount of makeover changes that.

What Do I think Of All This?

There was a time I wouldn’t watch reality TV. Then I started watching the occasional show. I never ever imagined being on one, even for a brief appearance. I am not really TV material, to say the least. But it was a great experience and I’m glad to have had the chance to connect with people in a whole new way, including with my son. If you look closely at my body language in some of the glimpses, I feel protective of my children, even one who is fully grown… and that is what I see in many moms. We want the best for our children and makeover or no makeover, we desire that they be loved, and learn to love. We want our stories to have happy endings, or at least make heroic efforts toward that end.

I learned that we continue to see new perspectives of the world through our children, just as when they were little.

I wish I had spent less time trying to be a makeover artist with my children, and more time just being with them and finding out who they were.

Finding out who someone actually is, and helping to be the best representative of who that is… I think that is the important lesson, the valuable takeaway from this experience. Get that from a TV show and your time watching was well spent.

Photo credit: clarita

On Parenting

Not having blogged here seriously for a long time, I am not going to apologize for that now. You may find some of the reasons if you read between the lines- or maybe not.

warning: this may turn into a long post. it will certainly go deeper than I have on this blog for a long time. you may not want to read what I have to say. don’t say I didn’t warn you

How did I find myself inspired to write here today? On this topic? I visited the blog of a long time blogger who has become a new mother. She said this:

Looking after a newborn baby is really, really hard. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done. It’s mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting, and it’s relentless. People keep telling me that it gets better or easier. I hope so. I’m pooped. ~Meg Pickard

When I read that, I remembered back …way back to my first introduction to motherhood, and yes, that is very much a description of how I felt at the time. I don’t know if there was a generation more unprepared for parenting than mine- at least among those who were like me.

Why do I think that?

  • We had jumped from ‘Leave It To Beaver’ and ‘Father Knows Best’ to ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘All In The Family’
  • Smart Girls prepared for careers, not families; and Supermom wasn’t going to show up until much later.
  • We had come from smaller families, and didn’t help raise siblings, and our moms and dads were all getting divorced. At least in my circles. Elsewhere in America, too, if the statistics tell the story.

How did this play out for women like me? We were sorely under-prepared for taking care of babies. We were socked with that relentless exhaustion and tried to play catch up with learning how to change diapers, adjust to feeding schedules, and generally learn parenting and household skills on the fly.

Humans are survivors- and women like me and our babies survived. From our survival lessons came the supermom syndrome. Which, for me, translated into a frenzy of trying to make everything “work”. And if you were like me you could make everything look pretty good…. on the outside. A house of cards, if you will.

This is getting ominous sounding, don’t you think? Well, in some ways it was, but in others- there were good times, there were some things I would do again, but the overall tone of life? No. Perfection makes a hard taskmaster, and I would trade that for making “Nurture” the keynote of our family. As it was, the keynote was more of “Accomplishment” as framed by my environment.

The reason I would change that focus and tone might be found in the name of a category I have on this blog, one that I haven’t yet found heart enough to fill up, but perhaps this post will be filed there,”Broken Heart Devotionals”.

Because another hard truth not told to new parents is the fact that not only can you fall deeply in love with your babies, but that they can grow up and break your heart. Not all of them, not inevitably, but it is one of the possibilities. And a parent needs to recognize that. It could change our focus and remove some of the deception that seems to infect every generation in some way or another.

I’m not going to get all sappy here, and I am certainly not going to imply that this is the inevitable outcome. Perhaps for some it isn’t in the cards, not even as a possible condition, I don’t know. I do know that when such heartbreak hits, it can come as a complete surprise… the same arrival of surprise that the exhaustion brought to an unprepared, naive mother in those first few months. With the same impact to your psyche, and your sense of what life should be.

Do not mistake facing reality for regret. There is no regret in the wonderful people that came into my world. I am happy for each individual child being a part of my world and the world at large. There is only sadness that I didn’t understand that nurture and tenderness, taking time for small moments, and living the love I felt for those people was more important than anything.

Anything.

And if I were to sum up my advice, thoughts, and stories on parenting in one thing it would be be that last paragraph and its emphatic underline.

But I have more to say. Just don’t let go of that one nugget of truth, which is the only real piece of advice I wish to pass on.

Sifting Through The Sand Of Motherhood

Sand, because motherhood will both polish you and wear you down. It will get in your shoes, but it is also lots of fun to play with. In the right conditions it will focus you on the truly important things of life, even if a little late.

To go back to that mother’s observations which I began with:

It’s also really boring much of the time. No-one tells you this. In fact, I think it’s probably frowned on to say it. But if you’re used to being surrounded by agile minds conducting fascinating thought-experiments and verbally jousting at work every day, looking after a baby gets pretty tedious rather quickly, especially when they’re too young to play or engage much with their surroundings. There’s something about the relentless monotony of routine (is it feeding time again? So soon? I could have sworn we just fed a few minutes ago…), and the fact that your brain has been sucked out of your ears by exhaustion, and the need to be constantly entertaining or on the move. It’s knackering.

I see some things have not changed much from my generation. I think we gave that attitude to the next generation as something of a legacy. Perhaps it was the gleam in the eye of our divorced mothers, and we inherited it ourselves? It said, “Smart girls are bored by the dailiness of the life of Motherhood”. Not that this was the essential point of Pickard’s post- it wasn’t. I simply plucked it out as saying what I, and many like me, felt- to the letter. Or thought we felt because we were supposed to feel that way as modern, hip, thinking women. and whether you think a certain way, or think you ought to and subscribe to it- it boils down to the same thing.Many of us Baby Boomer mothers struggled with it in one way or another.

I think it is ‘Supermom’ residue, personally. which is the opposite of “Earth Mother” persona. E.M.’s have to live in this society,too, so I don’t think they get off scot-free. They are, however, more apt to take time for their mothering, as part of their identity.

It’s Not All About Mothers

Mothers are not all there is to the forming of a child’s life, and psyche. But I do think, that like fathers in their way, mothers of my generation went sort of AWOL. And we got mixed up about what makes a good mother. We got too much into the debate over working and not enough into the conversation of what loving a child looks like.

And even if mothers do things right, it doesn’t insulate them, their families, or their children from the vicissitudes of our society, which has lost its mooring. Really, it has. No one can even define the semantics of our roles or actions in any substantial way today.

But thankfully, one thing stands against all the assaults and assails of whatever is wrong with us as individuals and as a society, and that is that “Love Never Fails“.

It really doesn’t. If you really love your child or your spouse, or any relationship with true care and concern for them as a human being, as someone that matters, then you will go a long way toward nurturing that soul. And they will thrive from it.

Don’t get sidetracked about what that love looks like. Don’t get fooled by some made-up experts rules. Do things that puts the wellbeing of that person on the top of your list.

Being a Christian, I don’t think there is any defining lesson on what that looks like more than you might find in I Cor. 13, the Love Chapter of First Corinthians. I don’t think we can make up what love is like any more than we can make up what nutrition our child needs. There are certain hard wired realities in humans and in life.

We could be more wise about disseminating real facts on that. Just like real facts on neo-nate development. Certain things happen and develop at certain stages, humans need certain things to thrive. Lets be very real about what those things consist of and how to properly deliver them to each other and to our families.

Love has elements of attachment, elements of freedom, and elements of hands-on actions. There are many recipes for a healthy relationship, and part of life’s challenge is to use the elements in a way that produces a whole human being.

For those who found themselves in Hell’s Kitchen, there is a new day to work at creating a life of Home cooked, life giving, wholeness making Love. It will be seasoned with humility, because it is hard to start over, to let go of preconceptions, and to admit we make mistakes.

But I’m very hopeful we can do this.


All right. I guess that is all I have to say about being a parent, and what I hoped to communicate. Til later, friends…


Eyes and Health

As a person with long standing and increasingly poor eye health I was very interested in this news about the massive rise in Asian myopia, the suspected cause, and suggested prevention. Consider how much outdoor time your children get during the day…

Professor Morgan argues that many children in South East Asia spend long hours studying at school and doing their homework. This in itself puts pressure on the eyes, but exposure to between two and three hours of daylight acts as a counterbalance and helps maintain healthy eyes.

The scientists believe that a chemical called dopamine could be playing a significant part. Exposure to light increases the levels of dopamine in the eye and this seems to prevent elongation of the eyeball.

BBC Science Report

Additionally, more than one study has found, this helpful eye health fact:

An analysis of eight previous studies by University of Cambridge researchers found that for each additional hour spent outside per week, the risk of myopia reduced by 2%.

Exposure to natural light and time spent looking at distant objects could be key factors

More info on eye health

With the added benefit of proper amounts of vitamin D (we usually are woefully deficient) and the implications of that deficiency in such maladies as diabetes make it even more important to make sure we, and our children, get more time outside in the sunshine.


For Nathan

Nathan, Siris, whatever you call yourself now, you will always be my son. I love you.


What’s the Meaning of a Name?

I was always interested in name meanings, perhaps because my own name was an unusual one, but probably because most people think that the meaning of their names holds some interest, or sparks their curiosity to some degree. We are seeking our identity most of our lives, and what is more of an identifier than our personal name?

When my children were conceived, and in some cases before, I had mulled over what I would call them. In some ways it is such a reflection of what the parent imagines or hopes for their child. At times, though the name comes in response to the characteristics in the child. Not in our culture so much, but we, too, adjust matching up meaning through either waiting to choose the name after the birth, or through giving a nickname of some kind.

Most of the time those nicknames or endearments fade into the past, although they are sort of a secret sort of shortcut to the past with those who might call up the “Tommy”, “Lainie”, or “Pokey” [my Dad’s nickname because he procrastinated, did things slow but sure]…whatever the nickname might have been.

I always paid attention to the meanings of the names when choosing them for my children, keeping within cultural acceptability and preferably with a spiritual wish, or connotation. I remember choosing the name of one of my sons, Nathanial Michael. he came after a previous miscarriage that was difficult to adjust to. His first name means “gift”, “Gift of God, God has given”. It is actually a verb, with the meaning of being a giver.
Depending on the context the word is translated in these way :

to give, put, set

1. (Qal)
1. to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, employ, devote, consecrate, dedicate, pay wages, sell, exchange, lend, commit, entrust, give over, deliver up, yield produce, occasion, produce, requite to, report, mention, utter, stretch out, extend
2. to put, set, put on, put upon, set, appoint, assign, designate
3. to make, constitute
2. (Niphal)
1. to be given, be bestowed, be provided, be entrusted to, be granted to, be permitted, be issued, be published, be uttered, be assigned
2. to be set, be put, be made, be inflicted
3. (Hophal)
1. to be given, be bestowed, be given up, be delivered up
2. to be put upon

It was the name of a prophet who spoke to King David.

I am reminded of the scripture: James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
That statement declares that a recognition is made of this person, that they are intended to bring good into that family through their lives.

The second name, Michael, is the name of the archangel who in the book of Daniel is designated as the angel over the particula matters of the Hebrew people.
It is a given name that comes from the Hebrew:(Mikha’el), meaning “Who is like God?” which asks a rhetorical question. To be named ‘Michael’ is a constant reminder that no one else is like God, that He is holy, and alone to be worshiped.

So the combination of the two names creates a statement that God gave this life to be a giver of truth, and a testimony to the fact that there is no other god than the Lord God, alone.

I have a story for each one of my children, and I try to remember their unique destinies including the hints of them before there were any lines written on the pages of their lives.

What is the story of your name? What were the hopes attached to that story, and what does it mean to you now?
What’s in a name?- a Christmas meditation.

My name, Ilona.


A New Perspective on Lent…for kids

If you jump on over to Rhetorical Christian’s innovative thoughts on how to celebrate the Lent/Easter season with young children, ‘The Twelve Days of Easter’ might be one way you give your children a new insight into an important season in the Church calender. All these seasonal times are retrospective of the ancient form of holidays passed down in the Old Testament and sometimes clearly connected to them (as Easter is to Passover). Modern ways of making the lessons come alive to us and our children are certainly welcome. Maybe it will be something that sparks a new tradition for you.


Back To School

It’s that time of year again. A type of new year for everyone where there is the new year sorting and sifting through priorities and setting up goals and schedules. I always have had mixed feeling about the “back to school” reshuffling and starting anew, but especially as a homeschooler combining the home and classroom, teacher and student, daily life and business life all together on one not-so-tidy bunch.

For moms who homeschool it means taking on another fulltime job that can be quite consuming, but one that has lots of “flex-time”. Because I have specific goals for the computer time, this year will see a combination of homeschooling and my computer time. With a laptop that is possible, and much better than squirreling away in a corner trying to catch time to do computer activities ( which for me combine home business, hobby, and household obligations ( banking chores, accounting household expenses,etc). With older children I don’t need to do so much hands on teaching as I do ensuring that the assignments get done. That makes me a hall monitor during the time they are supposed to do their math assignments, write, complete research and reports, et al. That part is always more difficult to fold into daily housekeeping because if you aren’t physically present the likelihood is for the group to disperse and find something they like doing better. Which usually isn’t important to academics, to put it diplomatically. And you can only do so much housework in one room.

I think that is a big difference in the schooling of younger children and older ones: the younger you incorporate into what you are interested in, your activities and chores, and bring the learning experience into that… with older children you must incorporate yourself into their activities and thinking, their assignments, You have to be more concentrated in your focus on them when that takes place, the time needed for the older ones is inversely proportionate to that needed for the younger ones. Young kids take lots of time, but you don’t have to intensely concentrate on their ways, moods, thoughts, in the same way that you have to with the older children. Older children are much more on their own, working independently, but when they need guidance it has to be with full attention and concentrated. You have to grab teachable moments more with the older ones because they seem to be fewer and farther in between.

So, the lap top and computer time are going to be sanity savers for me this year. I will probably not be as sleep deprived since that is when I used to catch computer time. Of course, the main thing that will help our schooltime is the fact that I don’t have (keep fingers crossed) family upheaval. If you have consistency and harmony it goes a very long way to having effectual school and learning time. But as I mentioned in a conversation with my husband, there is a certain challenge for us right now as all our children at home are now teens. Teenage angst x 4

This afternoon for instance I have to sit down with my oldest teen son and explain why algebra is important. He challenged me this morning and rather than allow the argument escalate ( it was taking lots of my time and I was getting hot under the collar) I said “I will discuss it with you later today, right now just get your math book and do it.” He said ok, he wants that discussion. Now that is good in one way and not good in another. Anytime a teen wants to sit down and discuss an issue with you is good, but the bad thing is that I have always been math handicapped ( Thank God for Saxon Math ) and that is largely underneath my emphasis of its importance for them. I have no idea why algebra is important, or what jobs it relates to.. or why we have to jump through the hoop of learning it. But we do ( I’ve heard we do from smarter people than myself). I just know that I have regretted over and over how lacking my own math education was – that it was stunted and I believed the lie that I was just stupid in math. No one needs to be stupid in math if they have average intelligence. they just need the proper tutoring until it “clicks” for them. My husband went on to do well in University level higher math, but he was tutored when he kept flunking it in an early stage. With his help and Saxon Math, my older kids pretty much went into math related fields of Computer engineering. The daughter who went into a service field was very good in math and uses it to good advantage in her business and personal life. We broke the mold on the “math handicap” with me. Thank God I am the last in that line…..

So. What to do? the trusty computer comes through. I googled the question at hand and am ready for the conversation. Algebra is important for thinking and thought processes. It is important for anything that requires higher math (engineering, computer fields), and in other things…which I have to review (though I have it bookmarked for the discussion). I expect to win this one. I don’t mind the asking of why, what I do mind is that a kid make up their mind that something is or is not important based on…. nothing… just their feeling of the moment. (which we all know changes with the wind).

We all have that, don’t we? We realize much, much later that we should have spent more time learning a lesson that we needed before we passed by the allotted time to master it. Before we found something lacking in our knowledge bank.

And so… we will start this new year of school, and I will try to give my children what they need in life. It is a daunting task, one that I have not always accomplished well, certainly not as well as hoped and intended. Yet, it is a fresh start, where the mistakes are learned from and repented of, the new solutions implemented. The thing I have best learned is that consistency wins the day. Try to have each day a success in learning something of usefulness. Now, there is a lesson for life.


Stop Being A Selfish Parent

There is always some type of new research isn’t there? And yet, much of what we understand about inter relational dynamics we probably know on some intuitive level. It just takes some group of scientists somewhere to give the idea some credence before we accept some obviously common sense things.

In a study on first born having superior intelligence on the average, this little portion stood out to me:

…studies suggest that two elements are important during childhood: the perceived role a child has in the family; and the apparent benefit a child receives when he or she tutors someone else, like a younger sibling.

Well before entering the high school hothouse of geeks and jocks, children who grow up with siblings get tagged with labels: The screw-up of the family. The airhead, the klutz, the whiner. And then there is the serious one, little Mr. or Ms. Responsible, who most often is the eldest, psychologists have found.

Parents can be incredibly selfish at times. We all know this, and there are the conscientious who feel deep regret over it. But there are also those incredibly self indulgent (and that is more than a few) who just can’t control the need to project their negative images on one or more of their children. This is so debilitating… and it is done without even being aware of it, oftentimes. Sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of self-worth problems, but the labels get stuck, don’t they?

In families that are relatively healthy and stay whole, this is probably minimized, or perhaps morphed into a “family identity” . We’re good at this euphemistic imaging, but even this mild form of negative thinking is something to be aware of and work against. None of us has all positive qualities and it would be irrational to pretend otherwise, but there are balanced ways of seeing a set of character qualities and abilities as having positive and negative ways of expressing in life.

I don’t know if this is a cultural thing with Americans or just typical human nature, but it seems that many of have a tendency to get an emotional or psychological step up at the expense of someone else. When that someone else is in the family, “the bad one”, it makes a toxic environment for everyone involved. The blamers get away with a falsely “good ” view of themselves, instead of based on real virtue, and the “bad one” is abusively attacked and stunted. Is this in every family- no… but is it quite common to drift into this sort of behavior ? I submit that it is. I think that as a society it is becoming the more prevalent the more we center on a shallow image-oriented, self indulgent view of life.

There are many reasons the family structures break down, and while we can’t eradicate all of the ills on the macro scale of all society, we can work on the nuclear family we belong to, and the sphere of influence that our daily lives touch. We can seek to see others as more than the one dimensional face we wish to see, we can stop calling people names such as “loser”, troublemaker”, “the screw-up”, the “impossible one “. We can look for the positives in our children and try to interpret their weaknesses to them in a manner that points out the way such things have purpose in their lives and ours. We can see ourselves as part of a plan, of something bigger than our personal ambitions and schedules, and see our children that way.

We can watch our mouths more, and our hearts as the seed bed of those words. We will become better and we will make the atmosphere of our homes better. We can all work towards this together, making our corner of the world better.

Or… we can continue to blame and tear each other down. Because it is easier for us. It doesn’t take change, it doesn’t require much of us to just tread down the usual path of excuses. Because blame relieves our own sense of responsibility, and shifts it to the shoulders of our children.

Which choice sounds good to you?


Back At Home

We went to a youth conference this week. The kids loved it, and since they are reading their bible more upon arriving home, I think it probably did some good. It gave me a chance to have some talk time with them, rarer since they have entered that early teen stage of angst-ridden separation anxiety that they seem to hit between 13 to 16. They want to talk to you, their parent, and they don’t – at the same time.

I took along my laptop, but discovered I need more concentration to blog than the hectic schedule of running around a conference gives.

The food was fast food fattening type – so I will have to pay attention to better choices (read low fat and raw foods) this week. I hate watching my weight.

The questions ( a theme of the conference) I walked away with are: what sort of influence do I hold? And what influences me?

Ever think about what influences you?


Boundaries for Bloggers

That is what I think the next ‘Boundaries’ book should cover. Just kidding;) Although I have been thinking about whether the same concepts would apply to how we approach some of the relationship issues we find in the Church at large.

Thanks to a dear friend ( a kiss and a hug) I am now in possession of the Boundaries book that I said I would reread this year. I got very frustrated with my life around here ( oh- did you notice, dear reader?) and began reading it aloud for education and discussion purposes with the kids in the morning. My husband is so intrigued by the ideas in the book that he is part of it. Today he read it- I was in lazy mode. We discuss a bit and then go on with the days duties and plans.
Continue reading Boundaries for Bloggers