Helicopter Momma, it really is out of our control!

I’m freaking out.

Not had too much coffee before breakfast, freaking out.  More like box of Miss Clairol in one hand with a handy dandy brown paper baggie in the other.

I’m sending my 15 year old to Mexico on a mission trip.  With responsible, god loving adults who are not me.

I’m sending my 7 year old to church camp.  For a week.  With responsible, god loving adults who are not me.

I’ve always allowed myself to believe that I am a laid back momma.  My goal has always been to raise my kids well balanced in the tension of this world.  I work hard to make my home a safe place for them to land.  A place for them to take comfort.  A place of unconditional love and acceptance.

My kids know Jesus. They have had first hand experience of his peace and presence in their lives.  They know how to serve others in their community and they enjoy doing so.  They are learning how to construct healthy boundaries.

But one day, they will leave.

It might be to go down the street to play with a friend, or an overnight trip to grandma’s. It might be to summer camp or a mission trip.  It might be in a car with a driver license that just came hot off the press or off to college to pursue the hopes and dreams of their heart.  It might be to serve our country in the military.

But one day, they will leave.

It’s irrational, but I often times trust my kids more than I trust other people.  I just don’t ever want them to stray too far away.  I mean, what if they come across negative influences.  What if they are exposed to drugs, alcohol or pornography?

What if they find themselves in a position needing my protection and I am not there?

What if they think little Annie’s mom is more fun than me? It might be true, but I don’t want my kids to know that!

What if my teenager makes a choice that goes against what we have taught her in faith?

One day, my kids will leave my cocoon of protection.  Whatever is a mom to do?

Helicopter momma, here’s the thing.  My kids are only mine for a little while.  But, they belong to God forever.  At some point, I have to let them leave my influence so they can grow to fulfill the purpose that God handcrafted them for.

In the meantime:

I can build them up in his word.

I can teach them how to live their faith in a broken world with broken people.

I can help them build a community of like minded people that they can fall back on.

I can allow them the possibility of exposure- in small doses.

I can let God work in their lives without getting in the way.

I can pray, everyday, for my kids to know a personal relationship with their savior.  No matter what.

I can’t raise my kids in a “what if” mentality.

I know they will make bad choices.  I know that they will crash and burn.  I know that God, and I, will love them unconditionally.   I know that I will always be their safe place to land.  Their safe place to receive coaching, instruction, and preparation to get back into the game of life.

But I also know that they will make good, God honoring choices.  They will experience success.  And then?  I will be their place to celebrate and praise God for the amazing work he is doing in their lives.

For now, I will catch and release.  I will make the commitment to let go in small doses.  Allow them to make choices, good & bad.  Draw them back in. Coach them.  Teach them.  Love them.  Point them to God and release once more.

Helicopter momma,  I don’t believe raising kids is the hardest part of being a parent.  I truly believe it is the fine art of letting go and knowing that God is in control.

I’m praying for you.  Pray for me, will you?

 

www.compeltraining.com

#Compeltip:  I have been working to tighten my writing as well as reduce redundancy. Behind the scenes, I have been applying the 5-f’s from tired, typical writing. For more tips like these, visit www.compeltraining.com!

 

Sometimes, cheaters win

#Deflategate

The national icon of Superbowl 49 starring a quarterback who is said to be the best the NFL has ever seen.  A quarterback who is now accused of cheating for gain.

A dilemma to moms everywhere.

As  a mom, I constantly reinforce, “Do the right thing and you will get the right result”, to my kids.  I tell them to persevere. Even when failure seems to be lurking at every corner, a breakthrough will happen.  But, you have to work to make it happen.  Just don’t quit.  Don’t even dream of taking the easy way out.

I know I’m not alone here. We all want our kids to succeed, but we want them to do so with character.  Which means no easy road exists.  Hard work and perseverance always pay off.

So when Tom Brady was allowed to win his 6th Superbowl ring in the midst of and undecided scandal, I wont lie when I say I was deeply disappointed.

He didn’t once deny that he had given the directive to have the ball deflated.  He presented himself, polished as a politician, and gave vague answers as he sat in the hot seat of national media.  Moments of awkward silence as he likely thought of his coached answers.  The whole interview was uncomfortable to watch. The most uncomfortable part?  Trying to reconcile how to explain that sometimes cheaters win to my kids whom I am working to raise with integrity.

The thing about cheating is that it can be done easily.  Some times without recognition of the people who live and work the closest around you.  A well placed secret between you and God that allows you to advance and appear to be someone you are not.  Sometimes people catch on.  Sometimes they don’t.  But at the core of cheating is the heart of a liar.  One who covers weakness to make others believe in a façade.

And as a mom, I do not want to participate in, nor imply that this behavior is ever okay to the little eyes that may be watching.

We live in a world that is fallen. It’s ruled by a prince who came to steal, kill and destroy.  We are witness to this evidence of destruction everyday.  The good news I that we await a king who will return to bring life and life in abundance.  Peace in the midst of conflict.  Hope in situations that seem hopeless.

Tom Brady may have his fancy new ring and a little slap on the hand for a bad decision.  My beloved Michigan Wolverines may be able to brag about producing champion quality quarterbacks. But the truth will always be revealed.

Cheaters may sometimes win but the victory will be hollow and temporary.  One day, we will have to give an account for our actions.

When we make the choice to live with integrity, even when no one is looking, then we can then walk with confidence.  Never worried about something that can slip us up.

We can speak with boldness when we aren’t worried about covering our tracks or keeping our story straight.

Never give up.  Do what is right.  Confidently expect that right will win in the end.  This is the message I will continue to reinforce to my kids, even when cheaters win.

 

 

 

 

#TeamMom: I feel unqualified

7:56am

“Lucas, have you found that shoe yet?” “No mom.  I swear, Madi was messing with it last night! She knows where it is.”  He’s probably not wrong.  I don’t recall tripping over it in the bathroom this morning.  “Madi, if you hid your brother’s shoe, you need to return it.  Now!  We need to leave ten minutes ago.”  “Mom”, Madi replies in her matter of fact tone, “I did not hide Lucas’ shoe.  BUT.  I can make it reappear.” OH.MY.STARS!!! “By all means, please, make it reappear.” I reply. My budding magician leads her captivated audience to her bedroom closet.  “Ta Da!”, she announces as she whips open her closet door and proudly waves the prodigal shoe. 10.9.8…Doh! “Lucas, you’re gonna have to put that on in the car. Let’s Roll!” I gather my belongings and head to the car.  As I stick my key in the ignition, I wonder if I am cut out for this gig they call motherhood. If I’m being honest with you, I really want to wave my white flag.

The responsibility of mothering my children well presses in on me. More often than not, I miss the mark when It comes to raising my kids. Some days, I just want to run away.  Not forever.  Just until I can pull my own stuff together so I can effectively manage theirs.  No teen drama.  No missing shoes.  No Fancy Nancy.

When I share my shortcomings with my mom friends, I quickly realize that I am not alone.  Every mom I know has “stuff”. Every mom I know feels the pressure of getting it right.  If she tells you otherwise, dare I suggest she is lying?  Deep down, I think we all worry about whether or not we are screwing up our kids.

Motherhood, and all of her chaos, is a role given to us by God.  Which means it falls under the safety umbrella of qualification. God does not call the qualified.  In this regard, that makes sense.  Imagine if God called only qualified moms to produce future heirs for this earth.  They would tell him to go fly a kite, grab their bag of mini twix and head to the nearest hammock with their kindle.  Been there.  Done that.  Have the pla-dough stomach to prove it. 

Instead, he qualifies the called.  On the job training.  Or, trial by fire.  However you choose to look at it.  In addition, he gives us a community of moms to call upon for encouragement.  Mom’s who have gone before us and gently remind us to cherish every moment we have with our kids. Mom’s who are walking along side of us. Mom’s who will follow in our footsteps of motherhood. 

When we feel alone and unqualified, it’s time to reach out to a community of moms who feel the exact same way.  There is no room for judgement here.  Only love.

When  we see the mom juggling her cart and her screaming toddler, throw her a fist bump and remind her that this too shall pass.  Remind her that her calling as the mother of her kids is not a mistake.  She has exactly what is needed to be the mom her kids need and deserve.

  When you encounter the mom of a teen, give her a hug.  She likely needs it.  She is torn between loving her child for every bittersweet moment she has left and completely understanding why other species eat their young.

The empty nest mom? What a bank of wisdom we can draw upon. She is not as out of touch as we would like to believe.  Might be that she has lived through some moments that look a little like our reality today.

Lets stop using comparison as an opportunity for judgement. Lets stop focusing on our shortcomings and weakness. Instead, let us come together as #TeamMom, gently lifting each other up.  Affirm each other. Remind each other that our past failure does not dictate our future success. That God qualifies the called for the roles he gives to us as moms.  Then, give her a twix, a hug and a pat on the back as she heads back into this gig we call motherhood.

Lessons from the sidelines…..

“Mom, I didn’t get much playing time today.”  The heartbreaking words that came from my son as we walked off the field from the season opener game from JFL.  Even more heartbreaking, the tears that were welling up in his eyes while he was trying to be strong.  Be still my breaking heart.  This is one of those precious moments of parent hood when I had to encourage and support while watching my son have to stand and persevere in his own time and his own way.  I truly think these moments in time are harder on me than they are on him.  You see, I am not a sideline kind of girl.  And my man, not a sideline kind of guy.  We like to be right in the heart of the action.  So, when we are watching our kids struggle to find their place, we find we have a choice to make.  We can make excuses, or we can create teachable moments.

My Lucas is a super talented kid.  He is quiet and polite.  A bit of a genius in his own right.  He doesn’t have to work for his grades.  He just gets it.  He loves to read, to build and create.  And in the midst of a middle school growth spurt, he is a bit awkward in trying to figure out how to work the extra couple of inches of body he has acquired in the last few months.  So, there is  part of me that is thankful for football.  It is a team sport.  It does not come easy to him.  It is something that he has to work for to get better. When something does not come easy for him, it teaches him character that can only come through struggle and perseverance.  So I thought I would share a few things I learned as a mom on the sidelines.

Hard work always pays off.  This was a lesson we learned several years ago in Tae Kwon Do.  Lucas was up for a red belt promotion, but could not quite get the steps to the form down.  This meant he was skipped on belt promotion.  But, he took that additional time to keep work, keep growing and when the next belt promotion came to pass, he earned the award of most improved student.  A proud mom moment for sure, but a lifelong lesson for a kid building character.

Respect Authority.  Any time my kids are struggling, I encourage them to go the experts.  That may be their coach or their teacher.  We have an honest conversation about expectations and ways we can improve.  We hold our kids accountable to those standards.

Be Ready.  Know your job and be ready to do it at anytime.  I reminded Lucas, week after week, that Aaron Rodgers stood in the shadow of Brett Favre for five years before getting a chance to go in.  And when his chance came, he stole the show.  You never know when your chance will come, but be ready, because those who do the right thing will eventually reap the rewards.

Attitude is everything.  When you make good choices, good outcomes will occur.  You will always reap what you sew.  Getting mad, playing the blame game and giving up are the easy way out.  Honoring your commitment to your team is the strongest statement you can make, even if you are cheering from the sidelines.  Stay positive. Work hard.  Cultivate Growth.

Encourage their strengths.  While we may not have the next rising star of JFL, we do have a pretty bodacious brainiac.  My son has a good attitude, a cool head and a polite demeanor that causes people to take notice.  By the end of the year, he noticed that his coaches were taking more time to invest in his talent and he was seeing more playing time.  We celebrated every play.  I can’t wait to see how his talent develops next year.

Watching our kids struggle is one of the hardest things we have to endure as parents.  Even when it doesn’t seem like they are getting a fair shake, we can’t intercept for them.  Life is hard and sometimes unfair.  Isn’t it better for them to learn that now?  The sooner they figure out how to stand in the struggle, the more they will learn how to stand positioned for success in their life.  They will learn how to keep their attitudes in check.  They will learn to respect and learn from the authority that they have in their day to day lives.  They will learn that true success takes work, determination, perseverance and the choice to do the right thing each and every time.  Our JFL boys were told that they win each game play by play.  Isn’t that the truth?  The same can surely be said about life.  Choice by choice, we position ourselves for our future consequences.

I have been holding on this blog for quite sometime and I have to say I am glad that I waited for the end of the year to publish it. I am so excited that I can tell you how the story ends.   At the annual football banquet, one to two kids from each grade level are awarded a sportsmanship award for their performance within their team. Not athletic talent, but coachability, dependability, leadership and attitude.  Kids who set the bar for attitude on the team.  And my son and another young man were chosen for their age level by their coaches to receive the award.  What an amazing moment!  All of the sudden, the sweat, frustration and tears were worth it.  He held strong and he was rewarded for his efforts.  But even before receiving this coveted award, he had made his choice to play another year for the breakers.  I can’t wait to see how his story continues in the off season!

Unchanging…..

I was at Tangles a couple of weeks ago, visiting with Faith, my hairdresser after a whirlwind month was coming to a close.  Faith has been the keeper of my locks for about five years now, but we knew each other in a Maternity water aerobics class.  She was expecting her first child, Addy and I was expecting Lucas at the time.  We had our babies two days apart.  She was talking about how they were going to be 10 next year.  Double digit birthdays!   Isn’t it amazing how time flies.

I took a minute to reflect.  Chloe will be 13 next year.  Lucas 10.  Madi will be 5 in just two weeks.  Where has the time gone.  And I had a moment of sorrow.  No more babies.  Next year, all my kiddos will be school aged.  It’s exciting and sad all at the same time.  But it also caused me to stop and think.  Wonder.  What could I have done better?  What do we need to do before the years to adulthood fly by and they are gone?  To be quite honest, it’s  a little overwhelming.

2012 has been a season for change in the Landrus household.  I started the new year with a new job.  I gave up my part in children’s ministry.  We are transitioning churches.  Each of the kids have their own social activity schedule that we are trying to keep up with.  Event expectations at work.  A promotion for David. All good things.  Things that I feel God is leading us too and through.  Yet, it is easy for me to get swept up and exhausted by circumstances.  It is easy to identify all I have done wrong.  Life can be overwhelming to say the least.

A verse came to me that I have heard millions of times and it hit me with a fresh wave.  I invite you to hear it new for the first time.  Bask in it:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8  NKJV

The same.  Unchanging.  Even when the circumstances of my life appear to be a tornado of endless activity.  Even when I make mistakes.  Even when I need to appeal to Him for forgiveness and priority change- AGAIN, He is unchanging.  His promise is unchanging.  He’s not taking it back.  There is something more than this life and its daily chaos.  It is Eternity with Christ in Heaven.   I’m so thankful to serve an unchanging God .