Category Archives: Faith in Application

Say what?

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Say what?

Are you listening to me?

Can you hear me now?

How often do you feel that no one is truly listening to you as you express your dreams and fear? Or do you even try to put words to your thoughts? Would they be received without judgment or solutions?

It can be challenging to navigate our thoughts, especially when we are vulnerable. As we share apart of our inner self with another, we are opened up to judgement and speculation. Personally, I know that I have found this to be challenging, so you are not alone in the struggle to be heard. To find a true listener these days seems to be like going on an epic quest. With twists and turns that never quite reveal what you need. And yet, after reading, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther this summer, I have hope and so should you.

She describes holy listening as midwifery of the soul.1 That it is an act of holy obedience.Our time with others is our calling to be fully present to one another. We need to not only find someone who will truly listen to our needs, but in turn we need to make ourselves available to others. Some will feel called to be Spiritual Directors, so that they can support others with the training they have be challenged with. But Guenther shares that, “Spiritual Direction is not a crisis ministry, even though the initial impulse to seek out a director may arise from a sense of urgent personal need.”3

The time spent listening is an investment in the ongoing slow work of God. Out of crisis an awakening may occur, but the revelations from it may be heard over time in a safe, Christ-centered environment. A Spiritual Director can help re-awaken a person and help them take stock in themselves and their desires for life. Guenther states that, “Self-aborption is what leads us to forget the gracious love of God, the giver of new life in the most tired and wounded soul.”If we allow our selves to truly listen or be listened to as we openly share, our tiredness will be transformed into wisdom. When we stop to truly listen and reflect, we will usually find that we already truly know the direction of our next step with God.

If you are interested in learning more about the renewing act of holy listening, I highly recommend this work by Margaret Guenther. I would loan you my copy, but I have underlined so many lines and even dog-eared pages throughout. I bet you may do the same as I did. She may have written a book, but the Holy Spirit blessed it with divine wisdom and grace for generations to follow.

Have you found someone to listen to your dreams and fears?

If you are a holy listener, what do you find life-giving or energy-draining from it?

Holy Listening
Footnotes:

  1. Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, ©1992), x.
  2. Ibid, 77.
  3. Ibid, 92.
  4. Ibid, 107.

Bibliography:

Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, ©1992.

Get your own copy of Holy Listening here.

Faithful-Child Looking {In from the Outside} as a Lost Twenty-something – A Reflection

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Cars go past building after building — zipping toward their next destination.

A set schedule must be kept to succeed.

No time to take in all that is around them.

Can’t lose time or slow down.

The cars are not driving on their own.  The driver is making decisions on the route and pace.  There are places to be and things to do.  Life is a blur.  Only living on the surface and never stopping to see that life could be different.  Zipping and zooming – while weeks lead to months, than to years.  Calendars full of where they feel they must be with no time carved out for what was important in their youth.  They may deny nature, church and God, because they feel they are connected enough but by self-imposed limits and religion is complicated.  For a decade, I was this kind of driver.

Zipping & Zooming

But when I was a child; nature, church and God were my only focus.  I was constantly outside amazed by God’s design from the fuzz on caterpillars to the way my body could cartwheel.  I was blessed to be part of a community where children and adults always asked where people went to church and it was a sign of community and not exclusiveness.  God was the cornerstone of all my interactions.  Time was spent in prayer in communion with nature and community.

Then my twenties were a decade of independence.  I had grown-up and changed.  I wasn’t a little girl anymore twirling outside on the farm.  I didn’t know how to have a relationship with God.  I felt that I could not rely on God as if my life depended on it.  I felt that I had a lot of control in what happened in my life and I could decide if I wanted to succeed.  If I had the determination and worked hard, I could succeed at anything and be anyone I wanted.  I was one of those drivers who zipped and zoomed.  I rarely slowed down.  I was oblivious to the lessons of my youth.  I was in denial of how important my relationship with God needed to be. With that said I wasn’t searching for the rhythm of God that surrounded me and that was beating within me.  I even felt that nature would always be there.  I didn’t realize I needed nature to center myself to God.  If I wasn’t busy and plugged in to the greater world, I wasn’t making the right choices to succeed.  Yet I wasn’t happy.  I was left yearning for something that I couldn’t fulfill.

Looking back I wasn’t the only one zipping and zooming.  I was conditioned to be oblivious and it wasn’t just in my personal life.  When I was at work, God was off of the table.  Even though I know the sales force and leadership secretly prayed that the market would improve and deals would be made.  My work-life became segmented like my personal life.  This increased my need for control and being self-made.  No reliance on anyone, but me.  I didn’t let God in, because I avoided deeply trusting, building new relationships or expressing my faith openly.  I wanted to be enough on my own, but I craved more.

I kept God in the Sunday morning box I was used too.  Since I was on my own; church became optional.  I didn’t know God had created me to live fully within community.  I denied what I craved.  I didn’t know if a boxed-God was going to accept me anymore.  I felt I was calling, “Hello? Hello? Anybody there?”  I didn’t know if I could belong to a communal life where I could rely on God and others to teach, engage and love me.  Relying on God to find a faith community that could help me understand the world around me seemed overwhelming.  How could I be accepted?  Could I just decide to start over my own way with God?  Would God have me even if I didn’t fit in the box any longer?

I stopped zipping and zooming, when all my questions started in my late twenties.  By listening to the rhythm of my heart, I drew closer to God and continue to seek.  I started answering my heart’s true desires.  I slowed down and spent lots of time in prayer.  I would listen to anyone who would share their faith story and show me that God could accept me and the box was my own to destroy.  That helped me to start looking for my own faith community where I could challenge and celebrate my relationship with God.  I am no longer that child from my youth or that self-absorbed, success-oriented twenty-something.  And the world doesn’t look like the one I used to know so well.  It took some time, but I figured out that the risk was worth identifying myself as a Christian who is still an open-minded, free-thinker who wants to serve God by loving others.  The work hasn’t been easy and the struggles are still real.  I feel God has reassured me that I am here to love and lead.

I started to see the connectivity of God and all the creation around me.  Churches need to be a place where weary zippers and zoomers can seek comfort, love and community.  And that they can find their way back to God.  There is risk in slowing down and vulnerability in stepping outside what is considered normal.  It is counter-culture to  live fully in the dependence of God.  I feel that our role as God’s people is to create kind, loving and supportive communities that are an extension of what matters.  God’s people not the type of man made religion they practice.  I believe churches can flourish in the future, it the God they have boxed-in is able to be freed from the constraints placed by others so that true community can be extended.

Praying we all can find the community God calls us to create and live into even if it means slowing down.

Would love to hear if this piece resonates with you and your story.  Hoping it touches many.

{This piece was written as a response to the decline of the church for my course, Writing for Effect – – Central Baptist Theological Seminary – Spring 2013}

Free Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Clevedon_MMB_99_M5.jpg

amazing grace…

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I usually don’t get interrupted during the singing part of bedtime.  It seems to be my kids favorite part.  After we pray for everyone in our family, including pets by name and a list of emergency responders, plus Kaylee added years ago anyone who needed a hug and a kiss, I sing.  For ten years, I have sung each child “their” song two times through.  I have sung Amazing Grace to Kaylee almost every night of her life and even on nights when Daddy put her to bed.  It is her song and I picked it to be her song, because it was her Grandma Ruby’s favorite.  When Ruby passed away ten years ago this November, we found countless versions on CD’s and cassettes and even played two different versions at her funeral. When Kaylee was just a little newborn, I mourned that she wouldn’t know the adoration and affection of her Grandma Ruby.  I wanted her to have a connection even if it was only a song.

Two nights ago at bedtime, my sweet eight-year old daughter stopped me during our nightly singing ritual.  She had reached out and touched my arm as I sang to her.  She said, “Momma, I sure hope that Chad is found, since he is lost.”  My throat closed up, my heart raced and my tears welled up instantly.  She made such a deep connection while I was singing “her song”… Amazing Grace.  Earlier that day, I had shared with her some high-level details about how our community was gathering to find a lost runner.  Our conversation had ended with little discussion, but she had continued to process being lost.

When she heard the line, “I once was lost, but now I am found,” it struck like a gong and impacted her heart greatly.  She showed me how she understands our connection with those in our family and in God’s greater family.  Her tenderness as she asked to pray with me that God would be with Chad until he was found was pure love.  I have witnessed pure love, self-sacrifice and unrelenting spirit this week.  I have been so impressed by the many Spirit-led posts and offerings on the Bring Chad Rogers Home Facebook the past five days.  I think our town of 29,000 (and something) realized how blessed and gifted we are collectively when the Holy Spirit leads us to one another.  No one wanted this ending for the search.  We hoped and prayed for happy news.  Some will question why God would do this, but instead of question I hope they seek stillness and prayer.  To search for their own Amazing Grace with God.

Like Chad Rogers, Ruby left us much too soon with a hole in our family.   And not a day goes by that her name isn’t spoken from my lips with my children.  She would have continued to go bananas for the 4 grandsons she had before she passed and she would have gone ape-wild for her one granddaughter and five more grandsons.  Even with the hole, I find that I can keep her alive to my children.  I mention how she would call Ian “Butch” as  baby or how Rhett and Kaylee have her nail beds or how as a retired junior-high math teacher she would have been delighted to see my children love math.  The hole seems smaller then, but even after ten years I can still remember so many details of her and I want so badly for my kids to grow up knowing their Grandma Ruby loves them all the way from heaven.

I hope and pray for Amazing Grace for Chad’s family that now has a hole like ours, when someone you love leaves too soon.  I hope our community shows the same level of rallying and support the trust fund in Chad’s name to help his family. Please consider donating to the Chad Rogers Memorial Fund c/o US Bank, 1909 W Kansas St. Liberty MO. 64068

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In Search of Chad Rogers… here’s what I have found…

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Liberty is the town I visited for Dairy Queen ice cream, while I was growing up near Smithville Lake.  Liberty is where my Dad introduced me to his alma mater on the hill.  Liberty is where I fell in love with William Jewell College and my husband on that very hill. And when it came time to settle down and raise our children, we came back to Liberty.  Liberty is where we live, shop, worship and find community.

I always felt that Liberty was special for its small-town charm, americana and overall friendliness. But when one of our own went missing this week during a routine run, I realize now how special Liberty really is. Now, I know for certain that it is filled with generous, determined, kind and sacrificial citizens, leaders, churches and businesses.

The outpour of volunteers to search has been remarkable.  This is our typical hot July in Missouri, where most of us hide inside and yet the volunteers keep coming.  The volunteers have had long stretches of waiting to search, yet so many people keep gathering at LCF (Liberty Christian Fellowship) to do what they can.  Some know Chad and need to be there, because he would do the same for them.  And then there are the ones who want to respond even if they don’t know Chad. Because really Chad is not a stranger to us.  We have Chads in our families – – we have brothers, uncles, nephews, husbands, sons, grandsons, cousins and fathers.  We are all connected to Chad and each other.

While Chad is lost, so many are probably rediscovering how important their “Chads” are to them.  Some are making sure others know where family members are going when they head out to blaze a trail.  And personally, it has made my husband and I establish a better plan for tracking each other as a result of Chad’s disappearance.  Some are taking care of the volunteers with donating food, drinks and air conditioning.  It has been amazing to hear of the response from local businesses. (You can follow along with 12,000+ others praying, supporting and reporting what is happening with the search  – Bring Chad Rogers Home — https://www.facebook.com/BringChadRogersHome)

Also, the response of local churches being a place to gather and provide help is exactly what God wants.  LCF is command central for volunteers, support and prayer.  And today, Second Baptist Church opened up to offer childcare for anyone who wanted to go be part of the search.  Games were played, songs were sang and community was offered and received. Today, I rocked a sweet 18-month old and sang to her like she was my own.  I would hope that my children would have gotten the same love, affection and tenderness in a stranger’s care.

So, in search of Chad here is what I have found…

1 – That Liberty is a place that rallies for it’s own.

2 – That the CERT Team, Emergency Responders and local government are for the citizens.

3 – That not knowing Chad personally, doesn’t keep you from wanting to help.

4 – That a community in prayer and response is holy.

5 – That the “Chads” in our lives need us.

6 – That waiting to hear updates is excruciating.

7 – That showing up to help how I could was good and a great teaching moment for my children.

8 – That if this happened to my family I would feel cared for deeply by my community.

9 – That I am praying without ceasing that Chad is safe.

I am praying that Chad Rogers is found soon and that God’s protection has kept him safe.  I am praying for Chad’s family and friends as they wait in the unknown and unthinkable.  And I am praying for Liberty as we support, gather, search, pray and come together as a community.

Hoping and Praying in Liberty,

Kristin

Recent News Link::   http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/region_missouri/liberty/search-for-missing-liberty-runner-chad-rogers-to-resume-wednesday

Summer Pep Talk for You and Me

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There is a saying that floats around Facebook.  You may have heard it from well-meaning women in grocery store check-out lines while your tribe is begging for all the impulse candy.  I know I hear it often in my head. 

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Oh! This saying creates a sense of panic in me.  What about you?  I start questioning my involvement, my intentions and my priorities.  Am I too caught up in the moment-to-moment emotions, homework and conflicts to see the good stuff in front of me?  Am I wishing my days would either smooth out or go by faster instead of soaking up that our house is great when it is noisy and crazy?  I know I have done both over the past 10.5 years of my mothering journey.  (I still can’t believe my first-born is 10.5 years old… how did that happen? I bet I blinked.  My Mom warned me not to!)

Mothering has changed me in ways I didn’t know it would.  It has built me up and broke me apart.  Being a mom has brought me closer to what truly matters to me.  I have gained a deeper relationship with my God, my self and my family.  It has granted me the sweetest moments of love, pure and true.  Each time one of my children holds my face in their sweaty little grip to kiss me gently or they give me eskimo kisses I feel that love.  And I have seen God in their love for each other.  Sure, they can fight to the death at times, but those fights are few compared to the countless times I have caught them doing right by one another.  They help one another, they stick up for one another and they go on great-caped adventures around our home together.  I have also seen God in their love of all creation.  During the times we slow down, we become grass-stained, freckle-faced and sun-kissed together.  Those days make mothering feel long in a good, carefree way.

The long and short of it is that someday we will swear all the carefree and stress-filled days went faster than we ever thought possible.  If only God would let us push pause, I know we all would.  Here is a glimpse of my paused world maybe you feel the same.  

~ I would pause to have the table full of clanking silverware, dropped napkins, spilled milk that floods everywhere to feel bliss.

~ I would pause to have full beds of the ones we love under the same roof each night to feel peace.

~ I would pause to be the one our children turn to no matter if it is a fly they know for sure is a “bee” or a scary dream that they need to be comforted from.

~ I would pause to be the short order cook/nutritionist who wants to raise healthy people.

~ I would pause to be the one that hugs when they bubble over for no good reason when hormones have started to wreck their bodies, minds and spirits.

~ I would pause to be the one that teaches them to find God in everything around them and in everyone they meet.

In the long and the short of our days, I am praying for you and I to fully sit in the brevity and choose to honor the moments we have been given.  God has chosen us to be a guide in our children’s lives. We point out the path and then let them lead the way.  They are to be our guide as well to bring us back to what truly matters.

Let your children guide you this summer and let’s all enjoy the days we are blessed with.

Remember – try not to blink!

Blessings and Peace to your families and YOU.

Kristin

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(This was originally shared with MOPS@2BC in May 2013.  I re-read it today, because after a crazy week with 2 rounds of antibiotics for major spider bite infections/pain/illness for Rhett and I, a small bathroom renovation, boys traveling for the week, usual wild week stuff plus Kaylee getting sick with the flu early today – – I really needed to be reminded that the days are long and the years are short… share on if you think others might need a reminder too.  Let’s be honest we all do.)

A Reflection in my Rearview Mirror of Blogging

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You and I are Boldly Blessed!

 

 

Eighteen months ago it all started with the following 171-word blog post.

Why boldlyblessed? (My First boldyblessed Blog Post August 10, 2011)

I have spent the last few days taking time to pray on what this verse means to me.

2 Timothy 1:7 God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

This is the 2011 MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) theme verse. It is the first one in 7 years to shake me by the shoulders and demand my attention. Sound violent? Well, just think how I am feeling.

It is violent in a good way! It is one of those perfect storm kind of moments where life experience, leadership possibilities and personality meet. I feel like this one is just me. Hopefully it strikes the same chord with the entire MOPS population.

For me it is giving me permission to be ME. To use my gifts of leadership, experience and ease with others. For years I have unconsciously thought, “oh now Kristin don’t do this or that”. Well that voice needs to be stopped. I am ready to live boldly and help other women to do the same.

 

I had just returned exhausted and exhilarated from the 2011 MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Convention.  It always is a great weekend break from my mothering reality.  In 2011, I left my three kids for not just a break.  I was in search of a holy time for restoration, retooling and affirmation.

A MOPS Convention is packed with nationally known speakers and authors at general sessions, popular music acts that inspire the crowd with their passion, and small workshops so I can tailor my experience to my needs as a leader, mother and woman.  I have only missed one year.  I still regret not making the choice to invest in myself.  I had thought I was selfish if I went, but it has been years since I missed.  Now I encourage others to not limit themselves.

During this particular convention, I felt an overwhelming desire to be more bold and stop the negative self-talk.  I had mindless conversations playing in my head of why I could or couldn’t do something. The idea of being bold to me made me feel free and empowered.  Each year MOPS has a theme verse and I couldn’t have missed it if I had tried.  The verse for the was shared in many different ways from posters, powerpoint and speakers from the general session stage.  God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (2 Timothy 1:7)  It was a turning point for me.  I deeply felt I had a mission statement for my life.  It still speaks clearly for me to boldly love others with my God-given gifts.

When I got home, my normal life rocked me back into reality.  August is time for back-to-school, MOPS kicking into high gear, and all the routines crashing back into our family calendar.  At that time, I was focused on everyone else.  I still burned with the need to share and encourage others to be bold with me.  I decided to blog, because it is a platform that I could share myself and inspire others.

My first post was 171 words of vulnerability and exhilaration.  My thoughts started living outside my journals and I prayed they would help someone else.  It has been wonderful to have  developed some supporters and I have posted 75 times since I started.  I feel like I have stayed true to my mission statement.  I want to am no longer focused on who reads the posts or how many readers I reach.  I want to continue living in my awareness of being boldly blessed by God and I will blog to reach others who search insight, humor and a woman who is the real deal.

Ah… February…

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February is my crossroads month

February is my crossroads month

 

 

Usually around February my known world gets shook up. Here is the run down on my significant Februarys.

February 1998: I was selected as a new sales employee for Fred Pryor Seminars, a training company. I didn’t graduate until May, but they were willing to wait for me to finish and join the team. This plan allowed the usual senior job crisis to not effect me. I truly loved my capstone classes and time with my friends. The fact I was joining an organization that was based on life-long learning was an amazing step.

February 2003: I had been home for five of my twelve weeks of maternity leave with Ian. I crunched numbers and prayed. We decided that with my previous schedule and Amon’s new work travel each month, I needed to be home. I felt like I was betraying my wonderful boss and all my faithful clients in exchange for the unknown, spit up and no sleep. How we were going to pull off this big, unplanned for step was intimidating. (I guess we pulled it off… it has been 10 years as of 2/4/13)

February 2007: I gave in and we purchased a one-year old orange mini-van and added our then two car seats. (Ian was 5 and Kaylee was 2.5) I knew that day our van, our home and our hearts needed another Wooldridge. More praying and listening. Rhett was born June 2009 and helped fill our mini-van, home and hearts in unmeasurable ways.

February 2010: I did my best to support my dear friend during her loss and my mom as she faced chemotherapy for breast cancer. I became a basket case. I had major times of doubt and questioned my faith in the same moment, I prayed for God to be with those I loved dearly. Now my friend and mom are my biggest cheerleaders to this day.

February 2012: I felt like God was putting many different encouraging voices in my path that guided, nudged and urged me to apply for the CREATE Masters of Divinity program at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, KS. More praying, worrying and doubting flooded my days. I pushed through it and applied even though I was terrified. I know my steps were guided and I was accepted to the fully scholar-shipped program.

February 2013: In two more class I will have finished my first of three years for my masters. Balance, commitment, and family are the three guides for my life now. It is fulfilling, challenging and divine. And completely unexpected. It keeps working out.

I didn’t know how it would work out each February, but looking back it speaks volumes to believing God will provide a path for me. My heart always leaps a little for February and I hope it always does. I hope you can find your month of calling and for you to see you have already been guided divinely or will be soon.

Love and Blessings to you and your families.

Kristin

PS – I felt compelled to share this note with you.  I wrote it for the MOPS@2BC February 2013 newsletter.  I hope if you read it earlier, you can feel a clearer stirring of your own month.

So much…

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I often hear the following:

“I don’t know how you do it all.”

“You should learn to say no.”

“I see you coming and going all the time.  Aren’t you exhausted?”

“Just watching you buzz around makes me exhausted.”

I’ll be honest sometimes it stings.  I do have a lot of plates spinning.  And sometimes I am not sleeping much.  My “extra” things are keeping me up late.  It is the soft footsteps padding down the hall from my sweet three-year old at 3:00 a.m.  And yes, I could have a big production of the injustice of getting out of bed to tuck him back in, but I’ve noticed that his current level of “momma need” is fleeting.  My gig is to be his “person.”

Being his “person” reminds me of a great line from the show, Grey’s Anatomy from a couple years back.

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It is a different kind of “person” than the friendship described on that show.  But it still stands true.  I am his “person” and I will always be.  I am actually 3 smaller people’s “person” and one adult’s.

I try to not lose myself in all the doing, going and being.  It is a lot of ever-changing, coaching, and communicating.  I could use a nap just thinking about it all.  We all know that there isn’t time for that. 🙂  I keep my plates spinning and my people happy. (most of the time)  I am enjoying this phase of motherhood, family, MOPS Leadership, and master’s classes more than any other time yet.  It is freeing to have all these parts to my life and I am thankful for all the plates to spin.  Some days it seems like everything is falling apart and plates are crashing by the crate full.  Those are the days that stick out when some one comments about the business of my busy-ness.  It cuts a little, but I know that this crazy season is what I am in for now and it is a good thing I love it.

My 3 year old knows more than me…

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He is starting to process and talk more.  He has been what most would call delayed.  We say he is a late bloomer.  He has impressed us for a couple of years with his resourcefulness.  He could imitate sounds for things that he needed or wanted, which always reminded me of the character from the Police Academy movies.  The sound, “shhhhh” was for the water dispenser for our fridge.  “Woof” was all he would say for our dog, Harley.  It was simple but we all got it.

As I said, he is starting to really bloom.  I have teased that it is like watching someone who imigrates or visits here with broken English as he tries to find the right words.  He is focused.  He usess gestures, taps his foot and looks around saying, “eh” or “um.”  If you give him time, he gets it together.  He beams with pride, if you ask him the right claryifying question back.  And he loses his red-headed temper when you are way off base.  He is even known to cover his eyes with his hand and shake his head back and forth in dismay and disapproval.  (Which cracks  me up, but I would never let him see me laugh)

His two older siblings came out of the womb talking non-stop. (hmm… that is definitely hereditary if you ask my Mom)  But Rhett has been much later to talk and question.  He is now sharing his highlight reel of his preschool morning and it is amazing.  He is starting to not just listen to books at bedtime, but repeat, sing along and now ask “why.”  It is music to this Mama’s ears.  Even all the whys.

You may be wondering how a 3 year old is smarter than me.  It all happened as we read before bed this past Saturday.  We were reading a family favorite, Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado.  He has heard this book hundreds of times and I am sure I have read it a thousand times or more in the past 10 years of bedtimes.  It is an “auto-pilot” book.  Meaning I don’t need to read it with the words.  I can just recite it and I don’t often pay close attention to the meaning behind the words.  We were snuggled together and he was very relaxed sitting on my lap in our chair.  All of a sudden he turned to face me and took  me by my cheeks.  He pulled me close and I fought the urge to go into “mom-mode” of “hey, let’s get back to the book.”  But something happened that has never happened before.

He looked deep into my eyes and beamingly said, “Me love you like God love you Mama!” Oh, the tears of joy I instantly had were so full of love.  I covered his face with kissed until he started squealing.  I told him repeatedly, “you got it buddy!”  He gets it better than I do.  He pulled away and said, “Me see God soon?”  And I replied, “God is in everything you see.”  Rhett looked around and said, “Me meet God on Tuesday.”  I said, “Maybe so.”  And he smiled back.  We snuggled down and finished our book with a mom that was not on “auto-pilot.”  We prayed and I tucked him in tight.

As I stepped out of his peaceful room, I thought I can’t wait to share this story on Tuesday.

Hope you have a great Tuesday and that you can find the blessings in the abundance we all have in our lives from God.

Love,

A Mom of A Late Bloomer

BE A BLESSING!

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It all started when Ian went to Kindergarten in the fall of 2008. I would bubble up with all the remember to’s when he left me each day for school.

Remember to play nice.

Remember to use your listening ears.

Remember to be good.

Remember to share.

Remember to take care of yourself.

Remember to help friends who need help.

These don’t even cover the magnitude of what I thought I needed to remind him of each morning. It became quite a long speech. One day it hit me that he didn’t need a bullet point list on how to be at school. He had received that foundation. What he needed was encouragement and inspiration from his Momma. I thought long and hard about what to say in a quick, loving send off.

Be good – but it sounded like be better than others

Be the best – but it sounded like a lot of pressure for a 1st born/type A kiddo

Follow Instructions – but it sounded only rule focused and not creative or relational.

Then I started to learn more about God’s intentionality about each person being designed with a true gift and purpose. We are to use our individual giftedness to be a blessing to ourselves and others. It flipped a switch in my brain. A true EUREKA moment happened. I had found it. My blessing and sending off each time my kids headed to school or anywhere became…

BE A BLESSING!

In the morning now for years, I focus on each of them before they leave our home. Right after jackets and backpacks are on, I take them by the collar and look them right in the eye. I smile and say, “Be a Blessing!” No matter our morning. No matter how tense the time may have been. I bless them. It has become a Wooldridge Ritual. Even Amon surprised me when I was heading off to my seminary retreat in August. He took my by my shoulders and told me to Be a Blessing! It was the first time in over 4 years of blessing our children, that I was blessed before I headed out on a new journey. It felt GOOD! I felt like I was commissioned and blessed with love.

Even today as my three kids left for school, I pulled each of those yahoos by their collars and looked them in the eyes. I then happily sent them off with their blessing!

It is powerful.

It is intentional.

It is positive.

It is from love.

It is inspirational.

I pray for the them to do good, kind things to themselves and those they come in contact with. And that they can make choices that they can be proud of or at least learn from. Raising loving, positive kids should never be easy. It is all about constant choices, communication and pressure. But it is rewarding and amazing to witness their wings being developed. Man, oh, Man – – are they going to take off some day!

SO REMEMBER…

BE A BLESSING!

A little extra I had to share with you::

Today after Ian and Kaylee left the house. I turned my attention to the final details of getting Rhett out the door. I heard the back door open and I wasn’t surprised to hear MOM yelled. It happens often…

Someone forgot a coat

Someone forgot a permission slip

Someone forgot a lunch

Someone forgot a library book

Someone forgot their glasses (usually this one)

I came quickly back into the kitchen to see Ian beaming. Then he started to repeatedly and loudly chant to me.

BE A BLESSING!

B E A BLESSING!

BE A BLESSING!

B E A BLESSING!

What a great chant to start my day! I am blessed beyond measure.

Praying that each of us can B E A BLESSING to those in our lives.

(Thank you for your grace and support as I have been absent from blogging. I am praying to be more intentional. It helps me express my thoughts and I hope it provides encouragement to you as your read. Thank you again for your support. I count each of you who read this as blessings in my life. BE A BLESSING!)

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