A Snowy Morning Chat with Coffee

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Good Snowy Morning to you, dear ones! Here I sit in my comfortable old chair, the blue-white dawn of a snowy morning peeking through the lace curtains. The world is silent. I woke early due to pain, and crawled out of bed to talk to God and chat with you. I am sipping from a beautiful hand painted polish pottery mug that a dear friend gave me for Christmas (Thanks, Cindy!).

I was thinking about my daughter’s basketball game last night. There was a sparse crowd, possibly due to the impending snow. The other team’s Varsity boys sat in the bleachers with posters, cheering for their girl’s team. Our fans and Varsity boys cheered on our side, too. Their team almost looked like they were from another culture. Most of the boys wore very skinny colored jeans and extreme “hipster” haircuts. Our boys wore school sweatshirts and regular jeans. Then the game began. Their boys cheered loudly and made rude noises when our girls were shooting a foul shot. Our side was respectfully silent when they shot their foul shots. Our boys are normal teens and I worried that they would get mad and start being rude back to these kids. I have to say as a mother and teacher, I was SO PROUD of our boys! They continued to be respectful even when the other team was openly rude. Don’t ever be afraid to do what’s right, even if you are the only one!

Now the morning light is brighter and the heat has kicked on, rumbling under the floorboards. A distant siren reminds me to pray for the ones who are hurt or sick enough to need that ambulance. The cats have had their breakfast and are curled up sleeping on the couch. The world outside my window looks frosty, white and and still.

I’m going to tuck my blanket around myself a little more snug and pray some more. Stay warm and safe, my friends!

Learning to Be a “Yes” Mom

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So, let me give you some background on this. First of all, I have had long hair most of my life. Every time I cut my hair shorter, I would always let it grow long again. I love long hair, and I think girls and women look so pretty wearing their hair long. The beauty in the photograph above is my 16 year old daughter, Katja.

Katja is the youngest of my 6 children, and the only one living at home. I like to think that I have learned a few parenting skills along the way, but, being a “yes” mom was one of the hardest! When my oldest was first a teenager, it was so hard to say, “Yes”(Sorry, Josh!). I pictured the worst case scenario of every request. What if the person driving isn’t a safe driver (actually, a good question to ask)? What if they stay up too late? What if they play bad video games? What if, what if, what if?

Along the way, I have learned that instead of automatically wanting to say no, I want to be the Mom who says YES. So, if the request wasn’t life threatening, immoral, or too expensive,  I taught myself to say yes. I started with my oldest and learned more with each child. I decided that I would rather have my kids hang out at our home and know they were safe, so I allowed them to invite friends over way more often than I was comfortable with.

Even if my house was messy.

Even if money was tight.

Even if I didn’t feel like it.

One night, my older kids had some friends hanging out at our house after school. When it got close to dinner time, they asked me if their friends could stay for dinner. Ok, do you remember me telling you that I have 6 kids? Dinner time was already 8 people without friends! I gulped and said, “Yes.” Somehow, more friends dropped by as I was adding more pasta to my pot. I really don’t know how it happened, but that night we had 15 people crowded around our dining table! I just kept saying yes, and the kids kept coming! I think some were called when I began saying yes, I’m not sure!

Maybe it was a test. Maybe my kids wanted to know if I really meant it. Maybe God wanted to know if I really meant it, I don’t know. I do know that it made an impression on my kids and maybe even their friends. I think I served spaghetti with watered down sauce, regular loaf bread and generic Oreos. I don’t think anyone noticed.

So, when Katja wanted to cut off her gorgeous mane of hair and get a pixie cut, I had to think about my response. I don’t want to be a controlling Mother. I want her to have the freedom to make her own choices. Even if I do not like her choices. Even if I wouldn’t choose the same things. She needs to be able to choose more things for herself in a safe environment. If she fails, I can comfort and encourage her. I want my kids to know that I will love and support them always.

Beauty doesn’t always mean what you look like on the outside, sometimes, beauty is more evident by a spirit of kindness, gentleness, and love.

So, I said yes. It’s only hair, after all. Hair can always grow back. I was fully expecting to hate her haircut! I was determined to tell her she was beautiful, no matter what it looked like, because she is beautiful. Beauty doesn’t always mean what you look like on the outside, sometimes, beauty is more evident by a spirit of kindness, gentleness, and love. Katja is all those things and more.

Guess what? I love her haircut! I think it reflects her personality and looks amazing! Think about saving your “No” answers for the important stuff! I’ll leave you with some pictures of Katja’s experience.

  • Before
  • The first cut!
  • 22 inches later!