Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winning Isn't Everything (says the Loser)

Tomorrow is field day for my girls.  Caroline is excited that she gets to hula hoop, eat a popsicle and play with her friends outside for 2 hours.  Hope is dreading it. 

A few weeks ago, the 4th graders started picking teams for tug-of-war and Hope was on a team that was full of  all the strongest girls--until the next day, when another friend--who had been absent the day before--wanted to join.  Hope, feeling like the girls wanted her friend more than her, gave up her spot.  And she has agonized over it every day since. 

She joined another team of girls who she likes, but she is very concerned that she is going to lose tomorrow--and Hope, like her  mom, doesn't lose often and does not like the feelings it brings when she does.  Being the good mom that I am (ha!) I was explaining to her that winning wasn't everything and that nobody would remember who won this time next year.  But, once again, I was wrong--they all still talk about who won last year and that's why they stacked the team with all the strong and the most competitive girls in 4th grade--minus Hope.  That's what I get for trying to say the "right" thing.

I'm thankful I don't have to go head to head with my friends at tug of war anymore.  And I don't worry about people liking me as much as I used to (of course, that might be because I don't have time to hang out with all the people I like now, so if I tick a few off, it will make it easier to connect to those who are left). 

But, deep down, most of us want that really cool person to want to be our friend.  We want them to think we are funny and brag about how they hung out with us.  We want them to want us to be on their team.

This is how I felt today when I met a blogger I follow and have gleaned so much wisdom from.  I know, I know, tug of war and blogger sound totally unrelated.  And they probably are in most minds--but, as you know, I'm a bit random.

While I wasn't shunned or looked over, the way I felt about myself as I tried to approach Jenni is the same way Hope was feeling tonight  about her friends.  Teaching a 10 year old how to be secure in her identity in Christ is hard when you, as an adult, still struggle with it many days.   Even though I feel like I do grasp it much more than I ever did in the past, it's hard to put it into words that will reach my 10 year old when I'm still fumbling through it myself. 

So, I pray.  And I will be at field day and make sure I cheer her on as loudly as I can without embarrassing her.  And I will tell her how proud I am of her--whether she wins or not.  Because I am. 

Another Blog???

I've been really inconsistent here lately.  I'm at that point again in life where I'm restless.  God is working in the background and He is stirring my heart, but I'm not ready to share that here yet.  I've told a few friends, but not sure my faith is big enough yet to claim it on here for my 26 followers to read.

One other thing I've been thinking about for a while is starting another blog.  It seems kinda silly to start another, when I can't maintain the one I already have.  What I'm hoping a 2nd blog will do, is provide a place for me to share ministry experience. On here, there's so much stuff that I discard as not being in line with the purpose of "A Royal Tradition."  I know, I know--you thought I posted whatever random thing came into my mind, but I DO have a filter. 

Ministry is hard.  What's even harder is when we keep the hard things to ourselves and pretend that we have it all together--making others scared to speak up for fear that everyone will think them unworthy of  ministry.  The cycle goes on and on.  Authenticity is hard, but oh, so necessary if we're going to be used by God to help equip all who are called to this crazy life. 

The rewards of ministry--seeing that child "get it", watching a volunteer connect for the 1st time, seeing a team come around and pray for each other, hearing from a parent the impact of a small group leader on their child, etc. are amazing.  But they are few and far between--at least to our eyes. 

So, in my  restlessness, I'm thinking.  And praying.  And honestly, a bit overwhelmed.  If I do start another blog, it will need to look and be much more professional than this one.  I want the reader to have the ability to have the posts emailed to them.  I want to figure out how to post links.  And technology--even though I love  the benefits--scares me a tad and takes a LOT of the little power left in my brain at the end of the day.

So, if you know everything there is to know about making a great blog, please share your brain with me.  If you're in ministry and you think one more blog is needed in the world, then let me know. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Totally Random

Hope and I were alone in the car last night. As we were driving home, I was struck by how random our conversation was. I’m not sure what was going through her head, but here are the questions and comments she asked me:

• Are you surprised that I drew a dragon? No, not surprised that I COULD draw one, but that I chose to?
• I really like the show “Duck Dynasty.”
• Do you like your job?
• I don’t like when babies get sick. That could turn into them dying.
• What’s the name of that show—not “Say Yes to the Dress?” Never mind—it’s “What not to Wear.”
• If you went on “What Not to Wear,” would you let them cut your hair any shorter?
• I like that girl (insert wrong name of a person she was playing with tonight)’s hair. It’s short—did she have that sickness that makes you lose all your hair?
• I’m glad we don’t have to use the Laundromat anymore.
• Slow down—you’re driving too fast

Not sure how any of these popped into her head, but we major in randomness at the Royal house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My questions for Mary

Parenting “regular” children is hard. I can’t imagine what it felt like to parent the person who was going to save the entire world. I have lots of questions I want to ask Mary--the mother of Jesus--when I get to heaven. Here are a few:

• Did you ever have to use “that tone” with Him?
• Did his brothers and sisters ever get jealous of how good he was?
• Was he “all boy” or did he prefer to do the quieter things?
• Did you sing him lullabies?
• Was he a good sleeper?
• Did he ever have colic or keep you up all night with a high fever?
• Did you have lots of requests for playdates because your friends wanted their kids to hang out with him?
• What was his relationship with Joseph like?
• Did he make you laugh?
• Did he make you cry?
• Were you ever overwhelmed that you were raising the son of God?
• Did you and Elizabeth have a joint baby shower?
• Did he eat everything you cooked without complaining?
• Did you ever feel inadequate as a mom?
• Did you realize his death was going to be so brutal?
• Did you ever punish him for something he didn’t do?
Were you ever worried you were going to "scar him for life?"
• Why were your other children not with you at the cross?
• Did you realize the magnitude of what he would do for the world as you were changing his diaper?
• How did you keep from getting angry at God when you saw the pain inflicted upon him?

What questions would you have for Mary?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh, the Pressure!

I’ve been beating myself up lately about my blogging. I just haven’t been that into it. I’ve been busy, but not any more than usual. I’ve had things to write about—I’ve even listed topics in my Blog notes page on my phone.

But I haven’t. And I feel this big need to write something witty or deep. And it’s just not happening. I could journal on here, but who really wants to read about what I had for lunch or what funny thing my girls did today?

But, it’s real life. And it’s where I am.

What’s new with you these days?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Little Bit of This…A Little Bit of That

As usual, things have been busy around our house and I’ve failed to keep up here on the blog. Here’s just a snippet of what’s been happening:


Easter came and went. I volunteered to do the Easter staffing at work this time around and while I love it, it sucks most of my brain power out of my head. There are close to 500 names to juggle—many of which I have never met and this is their first time serving. The weekend was a great one, though, in spite of me.

Caroline joined a team Sport!
Yep—you read that right! Caroline decided she wanted to play volleyball, so we signed her up before she changed her mind. She and Hope are so different and we do our best not to compare or ask them to do something that is really better fitted for their sister. BUT, I am a firm believer that everyone needs to play a team sport—at least for a season. In this day and age, most jobs put people on teams and I’d rather my girls learn the art of working with and around others while they are still young.
Anyway, Caroline loves volleyball. She has an awesome coach and a great team. It’s fun to cheer them on and watch then get so excited when they return a serve!

Brian is busy
Brian is swamped right now. This is a double-edged sword. I love that he has several jobs he’s working on, but it means that he’s too busy to help much around the house. It also means his phone is constantly ringing and I’m shushing girls so he can talk on it without the sound of arguing in the background. BUT, all in all, it’s been a peace of mind to know that this will sustain us and he doesn’t need to go look for a job at Lowes or Home Depot—at least not for now. We take things one day at a time around here.

Hope is still Hope
Not many changes with Hope. Some days, I can totally see the woman she will become and others, I see the 2 year old who tried to get her own way. She is breathtakingly beautiful and I often get scared when I look at her and hit my knees to pray for boys to stay away for a long time. The spring soccer season is winding down and she is planning to go Select this summer. I’m anticipating and dreading it at the same time. It’s a big commitment, but I feel like the balance is there for us.

I’m in a totally different spot than I was this time last year. I’m getting ready to turn the big 4-0, but I’m not dreading it. I don’t have any more friends than I did last year—when I was moaning about it, but I’ve recognized the true ones that I have and am making the most of the time I have with them. I’ve booked a trip to San Fran with my dear friend Ali—flight and hotel are done—so it’s become a reality. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with her and celebrating an early bay!
We’ve also booked 2 more family trips this summer. One with friends to the White River—somewhere Brian and I used to go before we had kids. Another with his family to the beach in Florida. Both were huge blessings that I’ll have to write more about later, but for now, just know that God continually shows Himself to the Royal family with kind gifts that melt my heart and make me love Him even more.

One of these days, I’ll get back to blogging again. Until then, have a great week!