The Often Dismissed Importance of Self-Standards

This morning as I parked in front of the house upon returning from a Top-Pot donut run (funny thing about having kids, donuts re-entered my life – I know that’s not the case for everyone, but they’re just so yummy and life’s short and I have such fond memories of weekend donuts when I was a kid, and well, enough excuses/justifications just don’t judge me :) I noticed something that I so wish I had captured on video – integrity and doing the right thing at its finest. Standing on my neighbor’s sidewalk, bent at the waist, staring at the grass stood a neighbor (TS) from a few blocks over (I know he lives a few blocks away because he’s our friend.) Behind him two leashed dogs sat, waiting. He looked and looked. Stood up, scratched his head, then looked some more. He absolutely couldn’t

Freshman (college) to Freshman (high school) Advice

The college domino affect started a few years ago in our house. With five kids, we knew it loomed on the horizon since the days when they were little tykes, convinced that swimming in a plastic pool in the front yard was as close to paradise as one could get. Now those early years of making a dollar stretch a mile, making life-altering decisions (like which Mother’s Day Out is “best” – as if), birthday parties, carpools, sports teams, … fill in the blank –  all seem like child’s play as we face daunting. Not only the cost (seriously – what happened?!) but also the huh?!-factor. Huh?, as in – since when did co-ed dorms sound like a good idea, for young adults – who may or may not be at the height of their wise-decision-making ability. But along with daunting comes exciting. Seriously exciting. These kids are amazing.

Change – Managing More than Nickels & Dimes

Sure death and taxes are inevitable, but so is change. I don’t about you, but we’ve got a lot going on in this house. New schools (new college, new high school, middle school), new teachers for everyone, Driver’s Ed, teams, hair styles, puberty (‘nuff said!) … seriously the list could go on and on. Some change is fun. Other change – not so much. And, how we meet change, how we handle change can have a major impact on our attitudes, our stress level and our contentment. The thing about change – it’s not just the landscape shift that determines the ripple affects, dormant emotions (of which we may not even be aware) can drive anxieties or reactions that come with change. Over the summer we had lots of change. One of my favorite friends passed away. It really surprised me at how I couldn’t shake it. For over a month I had trouble

Hope

Grief is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha. Funny in that though its a concept –  it acts like thing, a person, a force. It inflicts pain like a punch to the gut one minute, then it weighs down as if s a 300 pound gorilla scampered up your back to snag a shoulder-ride the next. Then It morphs into twins so it can grab onto both your legs at the same time like a tantrum-toddler hanging on for dear life, refusing to let go, dragging behind so steps forward feel like trudging through quicksand. But Hope is a funny thing, too. And Hope, though a concept, goes so much further than grief. Because unlike grief, Hope IS a person. Hope gently lifts. It steadily adjusts and brings into focus Truth. It shines light. It holds back the floods & storms so the waters don’t rise over. It blocks the flames so they don’t burn. It shelters. It keeps

Never losing sight of dinner’s deeper nutritional value

Cleaning House Boot Camp: Week 1 “Get ready for some good food, Mom,” dinner-kid shouted to me from the kitchen. “I’m such a good cook, I already have my own bakery. It’s called Jack’s bakery.” “You’re making dinner,” his sister reminded him, shaking her head at the newly minted, possibly excessive confidence. “Bakeries make desserts. “Well, my food is so good – it tastes like dessert.” Bam! The fun & laughter wasn’t so much fun & laughs at our family meeting the night before. We kicked off our six-week Cleaning House boot camp of sorts to the sound of moans and groans: “What?!” “Why would we do boot-camp’?! We already know this stuff.” “You’re just trying to get us to do all the work around here.” And then someone had to throw in, “did you run out of things to write about?”

A Reset – A Cleaning House Bootcamp of Sorts

Hello sweet moatblog friends :) Sorry for lots of silence. May bleeding into April and a couple of graduations is probably ’nuff said. There’s that and the truth that most spare time of late has been spent on the vod/podcast front. Our little SaySomething Show latest episode with Sandra Stanley on contentment is worth the 20 minute-view has been a blast to put together and hopefully encouraging/informing to folks that tune in. Well those things AND I’m tossing around the notion (and wondering if I’ve got it in me) to write another book – more to come on that. Back to blogging front: this spot on the blogosphere began because a line was drawn in the sand – and that same line is about to be drawn again (eek!). Our house needs a taming-entitlement refresher (and since tons of folks have asked), I’m

THE tale as old as time

For years my uncle, Eugene Brock (namesake for our 4th child) rounded up writers to share op-ed for our home-town newspaper (Wichita Falls Times & Record News) during Holy Week. Very sadly, my uncle Brock went home to the Lord earlier this year, so my cousin Alan Brock took over the helm. What an honor and privilege to have been included in both their line-ups. Here’s what was on my mind this year. I hope you have a very blessed Easter. Thank you for blessing my life as we walk the road together. :) In a land far, far away in a time long, long ago, a Prince and Princess lived in peace and in the absolute completeness of love and joy. Every day brought with it wonder and happiness that surpassed the fullness of the day before. The good King lavished the young royals with all he had. But mostly he loved them, unconditionally. Then one day,

Spring-Signals that Inform Life

Recently we sat in the car at a red light waiting for green. I was going on hour 2 of carpool – not because we were traveling outside of a 3-mile radius of our house, but because staggered school-end-times plus drama practice plus track practice result in lots of wait. I looked out my window and saw this tree: “Boy, that tree looks sad doesn’t,” I said to my shotgun rider. “It looks dead,” she replied. But right next it stood an almost exact replica – same height, same shape and same type of tree – but very different: Spring has sprung on the second tree (not so much for the sad-tree.) Life hidden behind an outside that looked dead has made it’s way to the surface. That’s what happens with spring. New life. Whether seen with the human eye or hidden from sight, the life that springs

A Facts-of-Life Chat

“Oh – should I roll up the window?” my shotgun passenger sarcastically asks. We were about to get on Central Expressway. I respond with an eye roll. “I’m not going to let you forget,” she laughingly nods. “What else have you told me that isn’t true. Hmmm… I wonder.” Several years ago, when the kids were much younger, likely at the end of a long day, probably when a kid in the far-back seat was bothered/crying because the wind from an open window was blowing him (or her) – I might have told my car-riding brood that “It’s illegal to have the windows down when driving on the highway.” Well, it’s not. And since there was never an opportunity to circle back with the truth (I mean no one really ever rolled the window down on the highway again) I’ve

A Giving Lent

God has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. But Lent wasn’t a significant part of worship in the churches we attended. So, I was intrigued and curious when I would see my Catholic or more liturgical friends show up on Ash Wednesday with a cross on their forehead. So, with the season of Lent at hand, chatter about what it means and why it’s observed bantered around our carpool drop-off this morning. “What is Lent,” floated the youngest. “It’s when you fast from something,” said one. “You know, give it up.” “Why would you do that?” the youngest really wanted to know. So I shared from my limited knowledge (something I”m accustomed to doing :). “I’m pretty sure Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves about the value of repentance. People tend to choose something
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