Saturday, December 24, 2011


Rejoice?  It's a Christmas word, right?  The only time I hear it is at Christmas in a card or in a song. 

Today...God gave me this word.  I pondered it.  I (yes, you'll be surprised by this) asked questions about it.  I dissected it.  Re - to do again.  Joice - it must be a form of joy.

I came up with 'to choose joy again and again.'

I smiled.  I liked it.  I decided it is definitely not a Christmas word.  It is my word.  It is my word for 2012.  "Rejoice always."

Now for the tough part, how do I really do it?

God brought to mind the verse that follows..."Pray without ceasing."


Then ouch! 

I quickly counter with "Oh, I'm in an attitude of prayer.  I pray all the time as I zip from school to home and home to soccer games and..."  I'm stopped dead.  How is my meaningful in-depth, daily prayer time? Ew.w.w!

So we come back to prayer, Lord.

I must say I'm not surprised.  You took me to that word this summer.  :)  It's back.  It doesn't quite conjure up the pleasant, non-guilty emotions of 'the Christmas word rejoice.'

Yet, it's 'the how' to get to rejoice - choosing joy again and again.

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing! 

Got it!  :) 

Truth doesn't always slide down as easily as a Starbucks Peppermint White Mocha, yet it's truth just the same.  Thanks for my Christmas Eve gift!  (Like you haven't given me enough, already.  :))


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Matt's Greenville College Soccer Team has a tradition...whenever they're being introduced before a game, they do a simple clap-clap after each name is read.  "Forward #10, Cobi Allen" (clap-clap) "Forward #11 David Dunlop" (clap-clap) "Defensive Mid-field #18, Matt Cowman" (clap-clap).

The other day as we were working on our family Christmas puzzle - Wait a minute!  Let me clarify who the 'we' was - Madison, Bobby and I. When Matt's home and we have his company, our numbers go up...whether it's Grace or Sally (from China) or Keagan (when he's home from the air force.)  Notice I did not say Matt.  Notice I did not say Michaela and Meredith.  (They only like to work on the puzzle when there are 15 or 20 pieces left.) 

Anyhow, as 'we' were working at the beginning of the daunting 1000 piece puzzle, Bobby thought to add in, "Hey, when we find a piece, let's clap-clap.  We need all the encouragement we can get on this tough puzzle.

That night we clap-clapped as we labored to get 11 reindeer pieces put into the lower left side of the puzzle. 

The next morning, Michaela had a soccer game.  As the girls were warming up, Meredith and I heard it.  Clap-clap.  We quickly picked our spot on the bleachers and glanced up, eager to see what had precipitated the clap-clap.  "Two claps for Keagan's headband" Coach Bob called out.  The 12-year-old girls giggled as they in unity clap-clapped.

I smiled.

Clap-Clap.  I kinda liked it.  No!  I really liked it.

"Two claps for Schay's hair," Coach called.


The girls were all smilin' as they began warming up.

Two claps.  I want God's two claps!  What do I do that would make God say, "Two claps for Lisa?"


I immediately began racking my brain for something big...What big thing do I do?  Shoot.  Not gettin' much in that department.  I started slinkin' into discouragement.

Then I heard it. 

A whisper...think small. 


I looked at Meredith sitting beside me.  The night before I had taken her laundry out and folded it for her, because she had already gone to bed.  Clap-clap.

I looked out at the girls warming up.  Michaela, my goalie.  Lately, we'd been challenging each other to ping pong, because we're pretty evenly matched and we both like to end on top.  I smiled.  Clap-clap.

I looked at Michaela's handsome coach, my man.  I smiled.  He's so cute.  He's an amazing coach.  What a special blessing for her to have her dad as her soccer coach all these years.  So what had I done for him?  Think, think...Ooh, I had hurried to get the coffee going so it'd be ready for him to grab to take to the game. Clap-clap.

I did get some clap-claps!  The best part was they came from the ultimate hands.

And wonder of wonders...He clap-claps the little things.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Parenting with my 'A-Game?'

I've been thinking about my waitressing days recently.  I enjoyed those days at Bob Evans in Sandusky, Ohio - taking orders, refilling coffee and bringing out great food.  The paradox of waitressing however, was that often my best service came when I was busy.  Doesn't make sense, does it?

When I was busy, I was constantly on the floor, so I was easily accessible if someone needed ketchup or another Coke.  When I was busy, I was zipping through the main doors to the floor, right by the cooks, so if they called out my order, I'd hear them immediately.  When I was busy, I was pouring everything I had into caring for my five tables.  It took my 'A Game' to stay ahead, so I was giving my 'A Game.'

 When I wasn't busy, it was the opposite.  I'd get into conversations in the back room with other waitresses.  Another waitress might have to come back and mention "Table 5 needs ketchup."  When I wasn't busy, my order might be called up, but I wouldn't hear.  I wasn't zipping by.  When I wasn't busy, I'd get lax.  I didn't need my 'A Game.'

It reminds me of parenting.  When my children were young, I was busy.  It took my 'A Game' to stay ahead of meals for a family of 6.  It took my 'A Game' to keep my toddler daughters happy at countless soccer games...that and a bookbag filled with crayons, coloring books, bagggies of pretzels and sippy cups full of apple juice. It took my 'A Game' to discipline children who hit or disobeyed or got out of their beds at bedtime. 

My children are now mostly junior highers.  Life's not nearly so busy.  They do their own laundry.  They get their own snacks.  They mostly get their chores done. They rarely need diciplining.  They get their homework done.  Parenting doesn't take my 'A Game' anymore.

So what game are my older children getting?