Tag Archives: mothering

Finally! My thoughts on The Missional Mom (part 1)

Here I go again, over thinking my response to a book, taking forever to post my thoughts.

Part of my problem is that I want to get it right. All the emotions that I feel over The Missional Mom – and there is a lot to sort through – I’m afraid to write anything. So I’m just going to jump in and hit publish. Forgive me if this is rather steam of conscienceness. I can’t write this any other way. . .

The Missional Mom (Living with Purpose at Home and in the World) by Helen Lee is a book I’ve been looking to read for a long time. I’ve been hungry for the message found in these pages years before Lee wrote her book.

My mothering right now is in a funny place.  My children need me; they don’t need me. It’s an odd place to be. My eldest will be 13 years old this summer. My youngest almost six; she’s getting good at making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is still much to do here, but the hard work of caring for little babies and toddlers is over.

For a long time, I’ve looked at our days together, our homeschooling too, and wondered if there was something more I could be doing. And by more I mean doing for others in a meaningful way, things I can involve my children in as well, because I don’t want them growing up thinking being a Christian is mainly about going to church twice a week, AWANA club and saying grace at meals.

In all honesty, a lot of my Christian faith has taken on a ho-hum routine to it these past years and it’s a scary place to be. I never want to think of my faith in the Lord as boring or routine, but that’s what I’ve let it become. I know that’s my problem, not His lacking or unfaithfulness, but me being stuck in a spiritual rut.

Is any of this making any sense? Does anyone relate to what I’m saying? I’ve been a Christian for a long time and I know the correct answers for Sunday School. I can play the game.

Then I come up against a book like The Missional Mom and it makes me want to find my way back to a time when my faith was exciting and I did things. You know, those crazy things you would do because you just had to make your belief known to others around you no matter how crazy it made you look? Or you would go places and do things because you knew it mattered in the Kingdom of God?

I read The Missional Mom and it made me want to go places and do things again for the Lord. Of course, now I need get to do these things as a mom because that’s who I am and how can I leave my kids out when they need to understand Christianity beyond AWANA?

I want to be a mom who does exciting work for the Lord.

Is that bad, wanting the exciting? Life as a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom has a lot of mundane to it, don’t you think? But how would we recognize the wow if we didn’t have the dull? One of the things I appreciated about the book are all the mentions Lee gives to her own homeschooling and of other moms who successfully combined homeschooling and some sort of ministry.

Those are the moms I want to go back and re-read. If she can do it, why can’t I?

Don’t you love it when a book moves you to change?

Part 2 : Yet more thoughts on how this book has impacted my life, especially my approach to how I spend my time online.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Missional Mom from the publisher in exchange for a review.

What happens when I let my mind wander as I type

Peter loves raptors like me. Hawks, falcons, eagles. We go out of our way to be close to them. I’ve always been interested in birding, ever since watching the winter Chickadees, Cardinals and Downy woodpeckers at the feeder we could see from my mother’s kitchen window. A memory of third grade: gazing (daydreaming?) out the window to see a bird I’d never seen before. All black with red spot on wing. When home from school, mom and I look up the mystery bird together. Red-Winged blackbird and I are friends ever since.

Did Peter get his interest in the big birds from me? Or is it part of his boyishness to love these powerful birds? They’re killing machines, aren’t they? An eagle swoops, grabs, rips into flesh. You turn away for a moment, you miss it. Unless you have an expensive camera with fancy lens. I have no such camera and even more so lacking: the free time to plant myself outdoors to stalk eagles for pictures.

And I know they are out there, those eagles. The river is prime eagle hunting waters. I’ve yet to see one there, but I hear stories. Perhaps my tribe scares them off. We are too much noise for eagles.

Are Bald eagles shy?

Before Susan turned one year, I dented up the side of our old Sentra on a guard rail because I watched a Red-Tail flying low over a field. Don’t tell my mother.

Doc claims a Bald eagle plucked a fish from the water while we canoed on the lake near our honeymoon cabin. I missed it. I’ve always been jealous he witnessed and I didn’t.

I’m constantly looking for eagles and hawks when outside. I think Peter does too. Susan’s eye is looking for owls. I’ve never seen an owl in the wild. Unless I looked right at a Great Horned owl as it sat in a tree, but too difficult to spot, it blended in well. Owls are sneaky like that.

My sister loves owls and sees them often. I need to call my sister, Thanksgiving is coming; we need to coordinate dinner time, dessert. Feeding of the masses.

I’m thankful for owls, eagles, hawks, husbands with good eyesight, books that give flight to interests like birding and car insurance. The day will come when it will be quiet at the river and I will see that eagle with squirming fish in talons and I’ll turn to my kids to see if they saw too, but they won’t be there. That’s why it will be quiet. They are grown and gone. That’s why I’m alone at last at the riverside; all the quiet I need, yet no one to share the glory of creation.

Just me and the eagle.

I have a friend

She’s drinking.

Again.

And she shouldn’t be. She can’t.

Alcohol is her Kyptonite and she’s going to self destruct. Her marriage, her kids, homeschooling. Her faith. It can’t stand up to this burden. Already she is slipping away from me. Won’t call. Won’t message back on Facebook. Church attendance? Near zilch.

I’m part mad, part crushed. I love her. I want her to walk in victory, florish in her mothering, walk with Him, enjoying all the gifts she has to offer our community.

And you know what? I’m tired of watching people I care about – those believers I count on being there – fade away, overcome by the trappings of the world, falling prey to the wolves seeking to devour.

What should I do?

Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I confront her? Let her family handle it. Just let her go it alone.

Please don’t tell me to pray. I am praying. Like I said, I’m tired of watching friends self destruct.

Anyone?

Heartbreaking

Had an interesting conversation with a grandmother in McDonald’s today.

She’s helping raise her two granddaughters, and for the sake of their privacy, I won’t divulge more information. I will tell you that the mother is in rehab, her son is around, but apparently he needs help with two lively young children – understandably. Thank God he has a mother willing and able to help.

We got to talking about homeschooling. How it works, what it is and isn’t. Eventually landing on the topic of her grandchildren and their absent mother.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard her story before. Emotionally and physically absent mother due to drugs.

Heartbreaking.

For all involved.

Especially those children.

Mothers, there is probably nothing I could say that would motive you to give up your addiction. I mean, it’s a real problem. I feel for you. I don’t mean to stand in judgment, but still. . .

You are picking a drug/s over your child.

Heartbreaking.