Raising boys (and girls) is not for the faint of heart.

IMG_0622I spent the morning holding my son in my lap as he wept – crying over the fact that he is in the lowest reading group in his class. My heart breaks for him. Of course, there is nothing wrong with him. Yes, reading is a struggle, right now. He is learning and working hard, and that is what matters most. But, how do I convince him of that?

There is something wrong with our school system which rushes our children to learn at warp speed, pressuring them with tests and homework and “reading acceleration”. He is seven – and from everything I have read, it is totally normal for a seven-year-old boy to not yet be reading proficiently. In fact, in Finland, one of the most intelligent countries in the world, children are given a free pass to read at their own pace until the age of 7.  According to Peg Tyre’s research in her book “The Trouble with Boys” {Bad title, but a great read!}, it is more important for boys to feel successful in the early years of school than it is for them to meet specific academic standards, so that they enjoy school and to stay motivated to learn.

What is the point of pushing a child so hard that he perceives school as bad and himself as incapable!

I will be watching and monitoring this. I will be hovering, even if I am perceived as a “helicopter parent”.

This child is a child of God, made in His image, given talents and skills others do not possess. He is a Child of God created for a Greater Purpose.

On this I will meditate today, as I pray for guidance, wisdom, and courage to fight and advocate for him. All the while doing my best to lift him up and encourage him to make him believe that He is capable, and good, and that school is meant for good.

I read this article today posted by a friend. She is the mother of four, three of them being boys.

It is worth your time…..I covet your prayers for my sweet boy. May he feel successful, strong, and capable today, just as God created him to be.

Here is the link for the article. {link}I am eager to read your response.

purposed for motherhood,

jana 

Tough Choices often Hurt

We make choices for our kids that are not easy. Ones they do not themselves understand. Choices they resent and hate us for. But, we do it anyway because we love them.

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It hurts us, too. We feel their pain and sadness like it was our own. Making those tough decisions are not easy and seldom go smoothly.

But, they are necessary.

I keep telling myself this because today we had to make one of those tough decisions.

Others would lead me to believe we did it all wrong – in the wrong order. in the wrong way. by the wrong methods.

But, we did it all to the best of our ability. We tried to make the decisions we believe are right. We prayed, we talked, we waited. 

Now, we go forward. We don’t look back. We move forward anticipating what is to come. Believing it will all be well in the end.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

This is my prayer for today.

purposed for motherhood,

jana

Motherhood

Luke and Charlie, 2006

Luke and Charlie 2013

I dreamt of being a mother from the day I understood the concept.

Sunday mornings my father would preach the sermon while I squirmed in my seat. At his closing, my mom would release me from the pew.

I would run to the nursery, thrilled to have a few minutes with the babies before their moms came to pick them up.

I was 5-years-old.

What I didn’t realize then, but know now is that I had certain instincts about babies at a very early age. I knew how to hold them, soothe them, put them to sleep, feed them. I was confident and felt completely at ease with a baby in my care.

I remember once soothing a baby to sleep whose mother was exhausted from trying – I was 9.

I am drawn to babies like a magnet. My face lights up, my heart melts. I yearn to hold them and enjoy them and treasure them.

I recently visited a dear friend of mine who had just given birth to her third child. I drew such delight and sense of purpose from loving on her son and on her. She allowed me to comfort him, rock him, put him to sleep – to take that task from her for the time I was with her. To give her respite from the minute by minute demands of motherhood. I couldn’t have been more grateful to have that time to love on her through her infant son.

For some, I recognize these instincts do not come naturally. For others, the desire to be a mother is nonexistant. And, for many the desire is unfulfilled bringing with it lost dreams and heartache.

Then, there are those who have lost a child – whose pain is beyond comprehension.

This Mother’s Day, I am aware that I will not assume that all women I greet are mothers nor that all women have happy feelings or memories this day. There are many who will avoid the malls, the restaurants, the places where families gather in order to avoid their deep pain and sense of loss.

I can’t possibly understand what a life of infertility feels like, or what it is like to lose a child. But, I can ask God to give me compassion towards those who do. To see with His eyes and to love with His heart.

Sensitize me, oh Lord, to the needs of your children. Make me compassionate as you are compassionate. Be with those this Mother’s Day who carry a heavy heart and do not rejoice in today’s celebrations. Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day,

jana

 

 

Marriage: Did you know what you were getting into?

Marriage

I have been asked recently,

“Did you know what you were getting into when you married a military man?”

I had a notion. He and I discussed what life would likely look like – frequent moves, time apart, single parenting, expectations and responsibilities as an officer’s wife.

So, my answer was, “Yes, and No.”

But who can honestly say they really know what they are getting into when they get married?

Marriage is hard. Period.

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I am Guest Posting today at Finding Purpose in the Pain. Please join me there to read the rest of this post. Thanks!

newly purposed,

jana

Dive | Five Minute {Friday} Monday

Does it still count? I wrote this post following the 5 Minute Friday Guidelines on Friday. But, am only now finding the time to post it.

We have had lots of illness in our home over the past week. I am still nursing my youngest back from the flu {a minor strain because we had the flu shots}. But bless his little heart, he still tries to crack jokes and be silly even with a 101+ fever and an occasional trip to hang his head over the toilet. I love that his spirit shines through his ruddy, warm cheeks.

The 5 Minute Friday word last week was DIVE.

Here are the rules:

So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:

DIVE

DIVE

GO.

You know that moment as you are standing on the diving board. Looking down at the water. No matter how high you are, whether a few feet or ten, there are a bit of nerves at the bottom of your belly anticipating the fall.

Then, you muster up your courage and take the leap. And, for a few seconds, that to me feel like several minutes, you free fall.

No sooner have you left the safety of the diving board, than you are hitting the water with a force that takes a moment to reckon. Shocking it may be if the water is cold. You scramble to find your direction in the water. Instinctively, we know where the surface is, somehow. And, we take a moment to coordinate our limbs, our muscles, our focus and swim to the top, breaking the surface for the cleansing breath.

Falling in love is like that. We take time on the safety of the diving board sharing pieces of ourselves with one another. Than, there comes a time when we take a deep breath, pause and wonder if we should jump. Once we muster the courage to jump, the free fall is the best. A surge of warmth, head-over-heels in love. We free float with one another, not anticipating the shock that is to come.

One day that shock comes.

Marriage can be like that. We marry answering yes to the deep love we feel. But, yet, we one day realize we have only broken the surface. There comes a time when we struggle to find our footing, have to coordinate our hearts and minds, and will ourselves to surface as one.

STOP.

Love that you are a part of the jana’s three dresses community, dear friend.

Happy Monday.

newly purposed,

jana

 

 

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