Tag Archives: love

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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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.

Oh… Pandora

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I was just sitting on my comfy living room couch working along on all my projects and loose ends that need tying up.  To keep myself focused I usually turn on Pandora to the Tina Turner channel.  My Momma didn’t raise no fool.  Song after song is either Tina Turner, someone like her or music from the 80’s and early 90’s.  It is one of my favorite channels because it just makes me happy.  I usually end up singing along.  As I write this Michael Jackson is belting out The Way You Make Me Feel.  Yes, I am signing in my head as I write.

Have you heard the line that music is just a memory?  I’d have to agree.  Earlier a song from 1991 came on and I instantly thought I had climbed into a time machine.  I was transported to my bedroom when I was 15 years old.  I could clearly remember singing into my microphone.  I mean hair brush.  Only one person seemed to understand me at that time, Ms. Whitney Houston.  We would duet together on How Do I know He Loves Me.  I remember begging for my Mom to drive me from our country existence to the mall 30 minutes away to get the single.  Oh, the simple times before iTunes, YouTube, and CDs.  I played that 99 cent cassette single continuously and I still have it.

Every time I hear that song it brings back a flood of memories about the first boy I would talk to on the phone.  Nothing too crazy or wild.  It was huge at the time. I would sneak off and call.  Of course, I thought my parents had no idea.  Except looking back it seemed that they always ended up needing to make a phone call when I was on the house line.  Hmm… that seems fishy now that I have a parental view.  I would die of humiliation when they got on the phone and started dialing a number.  I would get off the phone quickly and turn on that cassette single and sing.  Whitney seemed to be the only one who knew about love, boys and how I was feeling.

I will always know that song word for word.  Those days of teendom are 20+ years ago, but music can make me feel that age all over again.

Tell me one of your “time machine songs.”  I’d love to know!

Ok I have to write for class and possibly clean… hmm probably not the clean.  🙂

Make sure to check out yesterday’s blog post on Lucy and Ethel!!

Blessings,

Kristin

PS – now Whitney Houston’s So Emotional is playing…

K.I.S.S. – A Quick Tale from a Former Poser

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We have probably all heard the K.I.S.S saying before.  I don’t like what the last “S” usually stands for.  I don’t like to throw in derogatory or demeaning names just for the heck of it. (ok – personal soap box is over)

The K.I.S.S. idea and motherhood has been a struggle for me to keep things simple.  Ten years ago, when I started staying home I decided to become Martha Stewart.  Literally.  I put her up on a pillar of what was right, expected and needed by my family of 3 at the time.  I would make meals from scratch, stay up on all laundry and ironing and I would set ridiculously high expectation levels that robbed my life of JOY.

Until one day I stumbled on a show hosted by Martha Stewart’s grown daughter, Alexis.  It popped my self-imposed and society-imposed bubble of Martha Stewart goodness immediately.  OUCH!  I felt different after hearing another side of the perfection saga of Martha Stewart.  Alexis shared that as a child she couldn’t live up to expectations, she didn’t have fancy treats or meals, and rarely a Halloween costume.  Seriously??  And here I was trying to be Martha!  The construction, expectations, and appearance boiled down to a pretty poor relationship with her only child.  No thank you that is not the legacy I was after.

I knew I had to learn the greatest lesson that Martha could teach me.  I needed to learn and live K.I.S.S. – – K.eep I.t S.imple S.ister.  I still enjoy a craft or 12, but I don’t want perfection.  I still enjoy cooking, but a meal from Costco to warm up is ok by me.  By keeping it simple, I can keep up.  My kids can depend on me to sit and listen.  They know I would rather read with them then have a clean and empty kitchen sink or sparkling bathroom counters. And I am focused on the simple things.  It pours into how we live, how we celebrate and how we can do more for others.

I highly recommend in this time of out-doing yourself, your neighbors, and society that you K.I.S.S – K.eep I.t S.imple S.ister.  Trust me the impact is worth it.

Blessings at Christmas to you and your family.

Kristin Wooldridge

A Recovering Martha Stewart Poser

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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