I’m Baaaack!

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I’ve been contemplating this post for some time. I wanted to return to you all, but just couldn’t figure out HOW to come back. Jumping right in, as if I had never been gone? No, it doesn’t seem right. Maybe the best way to return is to tell you where I have been.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalm 23:4a

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

The last few months have been a journey. A journey into the deepest darkest parts of my being and back out again.

Some of you know my family went through a big transition this last year. After living in the Northwest for my entire life, my husband’s job offered him a transfer to the Midwest. After much discussion and prayer, we moved across the country in July of 2013, far away from our families and all we have known for our entire lives.

And if you watch the news, you may also know about the severe winter the Midwest experienced. In Oregon we got “snow days”. In the Midwest we get “it’s-so-cold-you-cannot-be-outside-longer-than-5-minutes-without-frostbite days”. Ouch.

What you probably don’t know (unless you are my personal friend or family, which is probably 90% of my readers) is my lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. Fear is my almost constant companion. I have learned over the years how to “be my own therapist”, talk myself down when I feel my fears trying to take over. After a dark, cold winter and spending the holidays away from extended family, I felt myself falling into that deep dark valley. By the end of March I had to make a choice, take medication, or go to the hospital. (I am aware using medications for mental illness, for that is what depression and anxiety are, can be a “hot” topic. For me, they work, combined with therapy, exercise and diet.)

In the state I was in, blogging was not my first priority. Taking care of my boys, my husband, my home, and most importantly, myself, was of the utmost importance. I also felt I could not encourage you as I want from this place.

I am quite happy to say I am in a much better place today. Along with pulling me out of the muck and mire, we are also working on my own ADD. (Being a mom with ADD, raising boys with ADD/ADHD…a little chaos is natural.) I am so thankful for the many friends and family who have prayed for me and came along side me during this experience.

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” Philippians 4:13,14

I hope I may continue to encourage all of you as I share my experiences, my thoughts, my great adventure.

MamaFoster

O Holy Night: One Interpretation

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Tonight, as many of us are wrapping gifts, stuffing stockings, making treats, and spending time with friends and family, we are probably listening to Christmas music.  Some we know very well, some not so much.  If you go to a Christmas Eve service at a church, you may sing loudly (and hopefully more on key than I am) for a few carols, but quietly wing your way through others.  With so much going on, shopping, baking, get-togethers, general busy-ness, I worry we simply skim through these songs, not truly thinking about what we are saying.

Tonight I want to share with you my meditation on a favorite hymn, though honestly, I don’t think my words here can truly convey my emotions here.   I do hope you will take the words of this song , or any of the other great Christmas songs we listen to every year, and focus on it, line by line.  Listen to what it is saying.  Can you hear it?  Can you feel it?  What a joyous occasion!  What a great night!  There is a buzz in the air!

o holy night

Oh holy night!

As in “devoted entirely to God or the work of God; venerated as or as if sacred; divine”  “For the Lord our God it holy. “ Psalm 99:9

The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Even the stars are rejoicing!  The savior is born! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And his name will be called Wonderful, counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah :6

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16,17

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

In all of us there is that hole that can only be filled by God.  But we are separated from Him because of our sin.  We have pined for so long for that relationship with Him.   “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  What a relief, what a heavy burden has been lifted.  Our sin has weighed us down, but now there is hope, a hope of freedom, a hope of peace, a hope eternal.

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices

Imagine, being in the middle of the field, it is dark; there is no one around but the sheep and your fellow shepherds.  Then the sky is filled with light and angels are TALKING TO YOU!  “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14.

Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Devine: adjective: related to or coming from God; supremely good; heavenly.   It was a divine night, a holy night, a heavenly night.  Quietly ponder on this for a moment.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31a. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just mean the nice neighbors. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27, 28

Tis the season of giving, but we are called to love all year long: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days a year.  No, you don’t get a day off on a Leap year.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

So poignant now, probably just as so when this was written, and on that holy night.  So many are hurting; oppressed by so much: illness, addictions, fears, relationships, prejudice, legalism, sin.  But these chains are broken!  We are free!  So…

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

…we praise Him, on this night, this divine, this o, holy night.

O Holy Night (one of my favorite versions!)

A Servant’s Heart

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I’ve been thinking a lot today about having a servant’s heart.  It all started this morning during a presentation about ordaining women.

You see, the new church we have been attending in Illinois has been discussing some changes over the last year.  The overseeing body for this denomination ordains women as elders and pastors, yet this church, being much older than the organization, does not.  It was proposed at the annual meeting in the beginning of the year, to consider amending the constitution of this church to include women in these leadership roles.

Unless I am a member before February, I will not be voting. Honestly, I’m still right in the middle on this one.  The church has invited a number of speakers to share on both sides of the topic.  And I believe they have all done a great job.   Being raised in a church where only men were the elders and pastors, I’m a little more comfortable with this way of doing things.  Yet, the arguments for ordaining make a lot of sense as well.  But this post isn’t really about women in church leadership.  This post is about having a servant’s heart.

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In the presentation today we were introduced to the Hebrew word “ezer”.  This is used in Genesis 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper (ezer) suitable for him.”

This is that concept of “helpmeet”, these complementary roles of men and women. But this is not the only place we see this.  Here are just a couple:

Deuteronomy 33:29 “Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your help (ezer) and the sword of your majesty!  So your enemies will cringe before you, and you will thread upon their high places.

Psalm 33:20 “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help (ezer) and shield.

Wait a minute?  ‘Ezer’ used for both women and God?  Wha?

I know you’re thinking, “where are you going with this, MamaFoster?” and “When does the ‘servant’s heart’ come into this?”

Right here.

God is awesome.  No, Awesome, with a capital A.  He is omniscient, all powerful, majestic, the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

But He’s also this:

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet John 13:5

“so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ fee, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:4,5

Jesus led by serving.  And He served in love. And we are commanded to do the same.  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” Ephesians 5:21

Which got me thinking…

What would having a servant’s heart look like in my life?

In my relationships with customers?  In my church? In my marriage?  In parenting?  In friendships?

My prayer tonight: Lord, create in me a new heart, one which serves others in love.

 

Love Notes from God

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As some of you know, we have recently made a huge move, from Oregon to Illinois, 2,000 miles from our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends.  And I have been feeling a little homesick.  OK, I have been feeling a lot homesick.  We have been told the first year is the hardest, and I expected the holidays would be the most difficult.  There are traditions and events we have participated in for years.  And seeing the pictures and announcements of these on Facebook makes it just a little bit harder, even if we are starting new traditions in our new home.

The other night I was really feeling low.  Besides missing my family, our #2 was having a particularly hard week.  Oppositional behavior and anxieties were a bit high, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  I needed to get away.

Later that evening, when I stepped out from the store into the brisk evening air, I saw tiny soft flakes falling from the sky.  Snow wasn’t on the forecast, this was unexpected.  And sweet.  I thought of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  I had this feeling God was telling me, “I am here”.  As the cold flakes alighted on my face, I felt a peace.  Even though everything was a mess at home, most of my time being spent on work or #2’s needs.  Even though many friends and family are so far away.  I felt peace.  It was a little love note from God.

And who doesn’t like to find a little love note?  A little “Thinking of you” in the lunch box; “Have a good day” on the bathroom mirror; “I love you” in a pocket.

The Lords love notes just look a little different.  The crisp yellow leaf on your doorstep at the beginning of your favorite season; the song on the rainbow you just needed to hear; the unexpected call from a good friend; the rainbow in the middle of a storm; the magical snowfall on a lonely night.

What love notes has God left for you?

A Lesson in Thankfulness

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A Lesson in Thankfulness

I was having a little trouble feeling thankful this holiday season. In November, the month of Thanksgiving. When everyone is posting daily thanks in their statuses. Not that I didn’t do this. I have much to be thankful for. I have beautiful sons, a warm cozy house, an income, friends and family, a sweet kitty.

Sissy Kitty

But I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling of discontentment.

You see, there are some things I want.  And I don’t have them.  Not really object to be held in hand, but that doesn’t matter.  I was a pouting preschooler.  I want!  I want! I want!

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As if this whiny attitude wasn’t bad enough, I just had to add something else.  Jealousy…maybe?  You see, I know someone who has some of these things I desire.

The question of ‘maybe’ is one of semantics.  And one which I played with for some time.

Let’s take a look at the words: jealous, covetous, and envious.

Jealous is wanting something rightfully yours.  “Jealous for his wife’s affections”, “Jealous God” (He’s not whining about wanting your mocha!)

Coveting is wanting something not yours, but not necessarily to deprive another.

Envious is wanting something not yours, and wanting to deprive another of it.

I can tell you I was not envious.  But I cannot with certainty tell you I was only jealous.  I did not desire to deprive this person of what they worked so hard for.  And it could be possible to someday have them too.  But were they mine?  I was feeling discontent.

So I prayed.  I asked God to take away these feelings.  And I asked for forgiveness.  For my feeling of jealousy, for my feeling of discontent.  And yet they lingered still.

And then He spoke.  On the way to Thanksgiving Eve service.  Although I only had two of my guys with me, I am so glad His words to my heart can drown out a van full of boys!

He reminded me of a few things:

When I was a teen, I thought my testimony wasn’t “cool”.  Other kids spoke of the Lord pulling them from lives of abuse, drug use, promiscuity.  I had been raised in a believing home, ,with wonderful, caring, involved parents.  I was a “good girl”.  Poor grades and a potty mouth at school were as bad as it got.  My story was booo-ring!

BORING!

BORING!

And He spoke to me.  This is His plan, not mine.  He gave me this family, He wrote my testimony.  Witnessing is telling what I have seen and what I have heard, how I have experienced the Lord working in my life.  And that is always awesome, because my God is an awesome God!

Then I was a young mom.  And somehow this idea formed in my head, one must be quiet and mousy to be a Godly woman.  Anyone who knows me, know I am not mousy, and I am certainly not quiet.  Pretty much just the opposite.  I laugh loudly, I overshare, I am in-your-face!  Always the social child, “a delight to have in class”, but a little too talkative.  I was once reprimanded by the elementary school librarian, AS AN ADULT, for chatting too loudly with the other parent volunteer.  How could I ever be be quiet?

LOL!

I have a loud laugh!

And He spoke to me.  He made me, and He doesn’t make mistakes.  I am His creation, complete with an outspoken manner, a need to be social, and a crazy laugh! Again, this is His plan, not mine.

Present day: I am the mom of five beautiful boys.  One of our boys has special needs, so much of my life centers around them and our home.  Anything we do has to be measured against how it affects this child’s needs.  Some days are smooth sailing, it almost seems as though they are all typical children.  Then there are the days when his needs are all encompassing.  And I think about the things I would like to do outside of the home…work outside the home, go to grad school…but cannot.  And I start feeling discontent, jealous, even resentful.

And then He spoke to me.  This is where He put me.  He gave me these boys, and He gave me to them.  And maybe those things I want might happen one day, and maybe not; and that’s ok.  Because this is His plan, not mine.  His will is that we “be thankful in all circumstances”.  Not just when things are going our way, when we get what we want.  That’s easy!  But thankful when we aren’t getting our way, when we aren’t getting what we want, when we don’t understand.  And this is hard.

thanks

On that evening, on the drive to Thanksgiving Eve service, God answered my prayers.  He reminded me of who I wa:, His child! His creation!  He lifted away the feelings of discontent, of jealousy, and He replaced them with joy, and the peace that passes all understanding and a spirit of Thankfulness.

Happy Monday, People!

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It’s Monday. Know how I know? I know because I found B’s gym clothes on the laundry room floor this morning, after he left for school. I know because I realized J didn’t have lunch money, after he was on the bus. I know because while getting T and C out of the car at the elementary school, we realized C’s backpack was still at home, even though I was sure I had picked it up myself. Ugh. It’s Monday.

Why does Monday get such a bad rap?  Is it because we would rather sleep in like the weekend?  Is it because various items such as backpacks, jackets, and half of each pair of shoes has gone missing since Friday?  Maybe it’s because we have to deal with a job or people we would rather avoid.  Maybe it’s because it’s the furthest from the next weekend.

I must confess, I rather like Monday’s.  After a crazy weekend with the kids, I have the house to myself.  I run around like a tornado getting it in order (and getting my exercise), then I have a quiet afternoon.  It’s delicious.  When I was teaching, Mondays  were fresh and new.  It was a blank canvas on which I painted my week.  Usually things are so orderly, goals set, lists made, and I’m off!  Friday’s are the days which are disappointing.  Not all the goals are met, I have lost steam, and the boys will be home all weekend…how will I get the rest of my list checked off?

rejoice

And then I pass by the chalkboard near the front door.  There is a verse I wrote to encourage my husband on his way out the door in the morning.

“This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

This day.  Monday.  He made it.

And the other Mondays.  And Fridays.  And all the other days too.

And we WILL rejoice.  Not I SHOULD rejoice.  Or I FEEL like rejoicing.  I WILL.  As in I choose.  I choose to take the focus off of me and how I am royally messing this day up.  I choose to make the focus on Him and what He made.

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16

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Now I feel like dancing a jig on my front lawn.  On my way to drop off the gym clothes, the lunch money, and the backpack.  And when I’m at the schools, I will make sure I say “Happy Monday, People!”  And I will mean it.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover

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There I was, in the middle of Walmart, getting supplies for tonight’s fish fry. We are learning fish fries are the thing to do in the Midwest on Friday night. Fish on Friday. A religious habit morphed into going out to the bar with your buddies after a long week of work. Ours will be at home.

So there I was, lost somewhere in my grocery list, when ‘he’ appeared, snapping me out of my shopping fog.  I had to bite my lips to keep from laughing.  It wasn’t so much the saggy bottom ‘gangsta’ look he had donned…I have seen a number of young men pull this off without a waddle.  Not this kid.  In order to keep the jeans perched in place below the hips, one must take a wide stance with knees slightly bent.  Then sort of swing from side to side as you step.  Never mind running, he could barely walk.  It took me a moment to recognize where I had seen this gait before.  Anyone who has cared for children in diapers know the walk I’m talking about.   It’s the toddler’s “there’s something in there that I’m trying to run away from” walk.  The realization made it worse…I think I can faintly see teeth marks in my bottom lip.  As I watched him walk away, I thought “What some people will do to look good.”

saggy bottom jeans

This is exactly what it looked like!

Then I remembered the heels in the donation box.  Very stylish, but my little toes don’t like them.  And the closet full of clothes.  And all the boots!  (I love my boots!) 

 

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 DaddyFoster says if I want to buy anymore clothes, I must donate some first.  

 What else do we do to look good?  Makeup, the latest clothing fashions, body art, jewelry, even surgery.  My great, great grandma used to change into a nice dress and do her makeup and hair before she could go to the grocery store.  We dress to the image we want to convey.  What this young man wore to the store was intentional.  It might not be what I would choose, but it wasn’t a mistake.  He put on these clothes because he was going out into public.  What did I put on before I left the house?  A long colorful skirt with a pink shirt.  Even a bit of mascara.  And I couldn’t pick just any shoes, they had to be my favorite flats (not to be confused with the favorite boots, the favorite sandals, or the favorite dress shoes).

oldman

Why is our appearance so important?  What does it matter to us so much?  It matters because of our perceptions of others.  What do you think about the woman with ill-fitting clothes?  Or the man with missing teeth?  The mom with unwashed hair, towing three grumpy kids through the grocery store?  How about the boy with saggy bottom jeans?  What do you think of the man in a suit?  The mom with her workout clothes on, makeup and hair perfect?  The super athletic neighbor?  What do we assume about people?  And what do these assumptions tell us about their hearts?  Nothing really.  But it does us a lot about our own hearts.  It tells us about our own insecurities, or own blindness, our own….”issues”.  It tell us about our assumptions of ourselves, and how that may extend to others.  (If I assume having missing teeth makes me less of a person, does how do I feel about others with missing teeth?)  And it can open us up to breaking those stereotypes.  (I am an educated person with missing teeth, therefore others with missing teeth are intelligent, educated people).

I wonder if that young man would have ever guessed wearing saggy bottom jeans to Walmart would inspire a woman to question her assumptions?  Keep up the good work, kid!

This is hard.

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For those of you that do not know, my family just moved from the state of Oregon to the state of Illinois.

illinios

 

 

 

It was a long process, filled with questions, some doubts, but through it all, an underlying peace about the decision to accept the transfer. I also felt as if this was an incredible opportunity for our family, a raise, a lower cost of living, a step up the socioeconomic ladder. But I will admit this is hard. It’s even difficult to admit to this. Why? Because my mom reads my blog. And she’s a mom.

wheres the beef

School is hard. Since my husband is working in Wisconsin, most of the information found was about Wisconsin, but we also found a highly rated school district in Illinois. My children are less than impressed. They say the lunches are too small and the school is too big.

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Housing is hard. The owner of the home we are renting wants us to take care of everything as if we owned the home, but still pay him rent…fix a burnt out dishwasher two weeks after moving in, pay for a plumber for a problem started before we moved in. And tenants have little or no representation in our area.

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Moving is hard. I am two thousand miles from my family, my friends, and my church. Two thousand miles from my support system. Two thousand miles from the schools who knew my children and their, um, quirks. So I get up in the morning and force myself to get out, volunteer at the schools, go to events, meet people!

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Blogging is hard. I started this blog not just as a way to share my life, but to encourage others. Yet when I’m feeling lonely and sad, it’s difficult to muster up the energy and the creativity.
I intended to end this blog with the 23rd Psalm as encouragement for you…and for myself. But as I scooted over to BibleGateway.com (use it, love it) I was greeted by the verse of the day. This just seems more poignant.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV.

So I don’t have gray hairs….yet. Although, some days I wonder if my hair will even last that long with the stresses of daily life. Yet I am comforted by the reminder that He is with me. When I feel alone, I am NOT alone. When I cannot go on, He will carry me. When I am broken, He will rescue me. All I need to do is trust and believe and follow
Today I have signed up for the Old and New Testament reading plan on Bible Gateway. Please join me and feel free to share your thoughts as we walk through God’s word together.

http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/

Why I hate television…

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Actually, not really. But I do. It’s really more a love-hate thing.  One moment I’m drooling over sizable flat televisions and the latest and greatest in home sound systems.  The next moment I’m threatening to go Amish in terms of electronics in our home.  I lecture the boys on violent video games, yet I secretly love that Steven Seagal movie (Under Siege 2, in case you were wondering) where the trains run into each other…that must have been awesome on the big screen!

Sometimes television can be educational…I watched Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow as a child.  When we had cable, the most viewed channels were Discovery, History and Food, with Nick Jr, and HGTV coming in close behind.  But even then I feel the costs outweigh the benefits.

So here are the reasons why I hate television:

tv kidis

1. Lack of face time.  When we are facing a screen, we are not facing each other.  The same goes for video games and computer time.

2. It’s a time suck.  We could be spending this time learning new things, enjoying hobbies, visiting with friends and family (see #1).

3. We laugh at behaviors we shouldn’t.  Or accept things. Sex outside of committed relationships, drugs, murder, dishonesty, lack of respect.  These are things we should abhor, but we welcome them into our homes and into our heads, and ultimately our hearts.  Garbage in, garbage out.

4. It is a petri dish of discontentment.  Action, drama, romance, comedy.  Our lives can seem bland by comparison.  Home decorating shows are the worst for me.  My home does not look like those (c’mon, I have five SONS).  A line in Sleepless in Seattle goes something like this “You don’t want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie.”  Real live isn’t like television, and really, it would be exhausting if it were.

Does this all mean we don’t or won’t have television in our home?  I doubt it.  But I try to be responsible with it.  Sometimes I fail, sometimes I let things slide, but then we just try again.  Here are some ways we are trying to be more responsible with our viewing:

1. Limiting the time and type of shows and movies the children watch.  It is recommended that children watch no more than 2 hours per day (and this is on the high end) and children under the age of two should watch none at all.  Preview movies before they see them. The rating system is a guideline, but each family is different.

2. Watching television with the children.  And talk about what you are viewing.

3. Have TV free times or days.  And plan other activities for these times.  It’s too easy to say “There’s nothing to do, what’s on TV?”  Game nights, reading nights (think blankets, pillows, hot chocolate, and a pile of good books!), go to the park.  We also try to have a “screen-time curfew”.  The artificial lighting and rapid stimulation from television/video games interferes with our bodies natural rhythm.  Turn screens off at least an hour before bedtime, Mom and Dad too!

4. This is very important: COMMUNICATE.  DaddyFoster and I have different view and emotions about television.  United parenting is important to the emotional health of children, and communication is the key to this, in media viewing and so much more.

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So, if you’ll excuse me, I think I will turn off the screens now, and challenge my sons to another game of cribbage.

 

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The past couple of weeks have been spent in an “I’m-moving-across-the-country-with-5-boys” sort of daze. It is accentuated by the “away-from-everyone-and-everything-I-know” shock. And of course, there is the “I-haven’t-slept-in-my-own-bed-for-9-days” exhaustion. So here we are, our first morning in our new place. We only have on vehicle as our car will not arrive for another 4 or 5 days. We still have some items at the hotel I must retrieve today.
(shameless free advertisement: Of all the places we stayed, Best Western and Red Lion were totally awesome!)
And pretty much everything is still in boxes.
All this to say: if this post makes no sense whatsoever, it can be blamed on the aforementioned maladies.

I am not a perfect parent.  (Duh, obviously!)

I want to be a perfect parent.  I want every decision and action I make to be the best one, the correct one every time.  I wish every snapshot of our lives was glowing and happy and flawless.

On this great caravan across 7 states my thoughts drifted to books I recently read to the boys by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I giggled as I imaged Ma and Pa Ingalls on their journey saying to their sweet children some of the things we have on our trip.

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“Look out your own side of the wagon!”

“If you don’t speak, there will be nothing for your sibling to copy!”

“If you don’t look at your sibling, you won’t see the faces/rude gestures they are making!”

“Didn’t you just go pee?  Just how small is your bladder, anyway?”

“For the sanity and safety of everyone, please just be quiet!”

It may be the exhaustion, but imagining Ma and Pa uttering some of these (and maybe a few I won’t put down here) made me giggle.  While they may not have said these things, traveling with small children can take a lot out of you, and I am sure this pioneering family was no exception.  Laura may have portrayed her parents as nearly perfect, but I am sure they may have said differently.  But they were good parents.

What is the difference between perfect parents and good parents?

 

A perfect parent knows she is perfect.
A perfect parent never needs help.
A perfect parent always knows what to do and never makes mistakes.
A perfect parent never grows, never changes, never learns.
A perfect parent never makes mistakes, setting the bar impossibly high for her children.
A perfect parent is never truly perfect.

A good parent knows she is not perfect.
A good parent recognizes when she needs help and asks for it.
A good parent struggles over decisions and second guesses.
A good parent makes mistakes and apologizes, thus teaching her children how to make mistakes and make things right.
A good parent is sometimes a little too strict (at least according to my son’s friends).
A good parent is sometimes a little too lax (did I ever tell about the time I let the boys put ice cream on their pancakes?).
A good parent wonders if she is a good parent.

I think I’d rather be a good parent than a perfect one.