Inspiration on parenting

Grow On Purpose


You know when you are growing flowers or a vegetable or herb garden and you are trying to keep the weeds pulled, it becomes really clear that it’s easier to plant what you want and have only a little space left where weeds can sprout and get a lot of sun.  The more that is in the garden that you want, and put there on purpose, the less difficult it is to deter new weed growth.

That is why managing the conversation in your head by throwing out the negatives and planting the positives (declarations!) at the same time is so important!  What do you want to think about yourself?  Plant those thoughts on purpose.  What do you want to believe about your marriage? Plant that belief now, and don’t wait until your spouse changes or until x,y or z is perfect. How do you want to spend your time? Plant those decisions or at least a vision of you doing the things that are really meaningful to you.

It’s also very powerful to write out your declarations and keep them on your person! Put them in a pocket or in your phone case or in a purse. Wear them and think on them and repeat them and learn them until they are popping into your mind or coming out of your mouth without effort.

Plant the life garden you want and spend less time wandering aimlessly around in the weeds.

This is acting or playing the part of an agent, not being acted upon or playing the part of a victim.

I love it! And I love you!

Be well,



Speaking of Balance


It seems that there is a happy medium to strike in just about every endeavor that makes the difference between failure and success.  Parenting is no exception and often I have wished for the wisdom of Solomon when trying to strike the sweet balance, or boundaries, required to keep the family functioning well.  

We all know that good fences can make good neighbors.  It’s the idea that when the boundaries are clear, everyone can relax and enjoy their own space.

But for kids, it’s much more than that.  Boundaries help them to feel safe and secure!

As a culture, we have got to get this idea straightened out!  I have heard people say that rules and discipline are too hard on kids and that they should be able to make their own decisions and find their own way; that correction is too hard on their self-esteem and that there are no true right and wrongs anyway.

That is a twisted fallacy. Children are not small adults and don’t have the experience and brain function they would need to navigate an anything goes society. And right and wrong do still exist.

Children need, in fact, they crave the comfort of knowing when they have come up against a boundary; when they have misbehaved and what they need to do to repair the situation; how to control themselves and learn to respect others; knowing that when it is time for them to be home, that someone is aware of them and waiting for their safe return.

But we’ve all heard of the boundaries that are brought in too tightly!   About those kids who are abused or controlled and not allowed any growing space or room to learn from their own mistakes.

Finding the balance is a learn-as-you-go process.  All we can do is try our best, recognize when we have been too lenient or too stern and do what it takes to remedy the relationship and the situation.  Parents can model humble learning as they ask for forgiveness from a family member and commit to doing better next time, and then truly make adjustments to create better results in the future.

None of us are getting it right all of the time. But when we are committed to one another, we are dedicated to owning our own mistakes and working out our own progression.

It’s saying “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” and “It’s ok, I forgive you,” as many times as need be.  What a gift!  This is how we learn and stay together!  Parent’s being accountable for their behavior, while teaching children to be accountable for theirs.

And as my dad always said, the best three teachers are, example, example and example.

I wish your family a wonderful weekend!



It’s Here, Not There


Do you ever feel that you are holding your breath until the current difficulty is over, and do you figure that then, after whatever the current stress is past or healed or solved, then you will breathe?

It’s a mind-warping truth, that is getting more and more difficult to wrap our heads around in our culture of hurry and worry and instant fixes, that right here and now is the time to breathe and to find happiness.  Even in difficulties.  Even in challenges. Even in the unkempt or chaotic, in transition and change.

Because when we are waiting, we aren’t really living.  And all those days waiting add up to years of postponed life!

Isn’t it crazy that only in this moment can we think and feel and live?  Not in the future, and not in the past.

The challenge is to live and love right now.  Embrace that stubborn child.  Smile at the sky. Take a break. Turn off the noise. Think about your blessings. Congratulate your family’s progress. Taste your food. Slow it all down.

Sending love to you!  You’re wonderful!


Can You See It?


This month in seminar we’re doing three assignments to train ourselves to manage the conversation in our heads and also to decide and then focus on what we want. It’s exciting stuff!

If you think about it, everything in life is a mind game isn’t it?  What we believe always comes out in our behavior! What we think about becomes the words we speak.  The opinion we have of ourselves and our circumstances determines our choices.  So it certainly makes sense that we would spend a good amount of time and resources on learning to win at this game more often!

This morning I heard a song I haven’t heard in a very long time.  It is one that my son used to listen to when he was a young basketball loving boy who dreamed of playing in the big leagues.  He loved this song, and I loved observing his determination and grit!


How does an athlete manage to push hard enough and long enough to become great?  How does a pianist stay on the bench long enough to become accomplished? It certainly isn’t by being lazy in their thoughts!  It isn’t by entertaining thoughts of defeat and impatience and fear.  It isn’t by thinking of other things and being distracted and discouraged and desperate!

So why do we think sometimes that we can let in whatever voices happen to pop into our minds and berate ourselves and dwell on how hard things are or how put upon we feel?  That is not the path to success or greatness and we know it!

What are you doing every day that is stellar?  C’mon!  Taking care of little people can be intense to say the least!  Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially DEMANDING.  Good grief, we ought to be high-fiving each other and pumping the air with our fists every day we keep order reigning and everyone alive and relatively happy!

What do you want?

What do you want to accomplish and what do you want to learn and how do you want your relationships to be like?

Let’s get our mental game on and figure it out! Then make a visual representation of it and SEE it coming to pass with your spiritual eyes.

Then when you have identified and visualized your aim, get mentally tough and push through the difficulties and set backs and make headway!!!

No sitting on the proverbial bench whining about how hard it is to reach our goals.  Ha!  I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t help!

There are so many battles we are fighting in our minds every day.  I hope we can get a lot better at seeing this role we have for what it is….you know what they say about the hand that rocks the cradle?  It is true.  You rule the world.  You are the glue that is holding your family together.  You can’t afford to lose time and momentum by losing focus.

Go ahead. Be great! Whatever you want to be will require becoming great at being the Lioness at the Door of your mind.  If you will, 9/10’s of the battle will be won.

You’re amazing and you were born to win!


We Have a Love Story


Can you imagine having grandchildren?  Well, depending on where you are in the grand scheme of things, it may be years away or right around the corner.  But let me just say that being a grandparent is an absolute joy!  And what do you want to pass on to those beautiful, shining souls that will be part of your life someday?  I know that I want to give them a legacy of family love beginning with the relationship I have with their Grandpa! And that means that years and years of work have been done long before those little cherubs make their entrance into the story!

So about that love story; Do you ever wonder if you are having to work harder at your marriage relationship than other people do in their relationships?  And does it ever seem that the equation that pops into your head is: a relationship that requires hard work = incompatibility?

Do you find that you have opposing opinions and preferences to those of your spouse, and are you frustrated by that?

Well, I’d like to say, congratulations!  And, guess what? You aren’t different than the rest of us!

If you see someone that has what appears to be a stellar marriage relationship, I’ll bet it’s because they have worked at cultivating it! (And I say appears, because none of us knows what is really happening in anyone else’s relationship! Which makes the comparison game even more ridiculous!!!)

Along the lines of what makes a marriage great, I’ll tell you what we’re going for:

1 Openness and honesty.  When one of us is confused or upset by something the other person has said or done, we want to talk about it quickly, openly and honestly and be done with it before misunderstandings make things more complicated and messy.

2 Show courtesy. I know the things that drive my spouse crazy, so I do my best not to do them! Little things like, starting a conversation when he is trying to get out the door or waiting too long to get myself ready to walk out the door when we have an important set time to be somewhere, or any number of things I have learned are stressful to him.  And that goes two ways.  He makes great efforts to keep his things put away or to thank me for a meal or to ask me what he can do to help when I have a lot going on at home.

3 Show affection, often!  When he walks in the door, my goal is to stop what I am doing and greet him with a kiss.  When we leave each other we hug and give a goodbye kiss, and just when we are passing by we may grasp hands or offer an encouraging pat on the back or just sit close to each other in the evening and hold hands every opportunity we get.  You really can’t be miffed at someone and be affectionate can you?  Touching keeps you real and well-fed emotionally.

4 Be complimentary.  I have learned that men enjoy compliments as much as women do. We strive to say kind and encouraging things to one another as often as we can. “You look nice today.”  “I love your smile.”  “Thank you for remembering that.”  “You are really good at that.”  “I really like you.”

5 Pray for each other.  This year has been challenging and I have felt the power of the prayers of my husband for me.  He has told me on several occasions that he has petitioned God to allow him to take my pain.  Writing this brings me to tears again, because I don’t think love gets richer than that.  Praying for your spouse changes things, mostly I think it changes you.  It is hard for me to pray for my husband without getting teary eyed because the words bring my love to the surface and I feel God’s love for him too.

6 Stay committed. When difficulties arise, we restate our commitment to working things out. That means not bolting out the door when there is a difficult problem to solve, or talking to someone else about the problem.  Little by little, the time it takes to put things right gets shorter and shorter.  And boy, progress feels wonderful doesn’t it?

I encourage you to keep trying and keep loving!  Keep on letting go of pride and stubbornness. Don’t stop learning and taking responsibility for your own problems and issues.

With practice and work and patience we will have a beautiful love story to pass on to our posterity.

Love is a beautiful thing!

I wish you the best!