Stay In The Game To Raise Great Kids

Not Staying In The Game Is Baffling

There is nothing that amazes me, no, baffles me more than a parent who doesn’t stay in the game. Ever seen a parent give direction to their child then turn away assuming the child is going to follow those directions?

Ha ha ha!!

When I tell my toddler to not hit the cat, do I really expect her to mind me? First, does she even understand what I said? Plus, it is in the nature of the child to not mind! Until they are TRAINED. And who is their trainer? The parent. Continue reading

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Ever Had a Crisis of Faith?

Ever had a crisis of faith? Had your emotions get the best of you? I am currently in the midst of one. When I was in my twenties we did a funny thing through John’s employer. It was a handwriting analysis. Interesting stuff. One of the comments made was, “Karen is mortified by public displays of emotion – by her.” They still happen – sometimes – and still create great inner angst. 

Flashback to the blog “And then there were 7” where I shared the struggles my kids have had getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and having babies. I was going to think differently this go-around. I was going to trust the God, who had proven time and again that He is in control. As news was fed to us by my daughter Tara as younger daughter Molly  was being induced and starting the laboring process, I kept praying, “Let this be a redefining of these times in our lives, Lord.” When one thing wouldn’t work, I would ask that the next would.

There was progress, but then stalemate. When the call came to tell us that Molly was heading for a C-section, you would think I would have been thankful. NO! This was not a “redefining” of anything! This was a repeat of other difficulties faced. How was this an answer? I felt such anger at God and it quite honestly mortified me! I said to my husband, “Why pray? What’s the point? God is going to do what God is going to do!”

Baby Micah was delivered and Molly is well. But I have allowed myself to be thrown into a faith crisis that has me feeling isolated and alone.

I feel separated from the only thing that gives me strength: God. Normally, I talk to Him regularly. Since Micah’s arrival, I can’t. All I can muster is, I’m sorry for being angry. I know I am being irrational. But I can’t seem to ask Him for anything. 

What it has revealed is something that is deep within that needs addressing. Yet, I am not sure what it is. Pride? Self centeredness? Desire to be in control? Trust?

Childish Give me what I want or I’ll take my bat and ball and go home! thinking???

What I have determined is my Heavenly Father is okay with my anger and struggles with my faith.  1 Samuel 6:8, “David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah.” If David, a man after God’s own heart can be angry with God, I guess God is alright with mine. I have to keep seeking Him. I can’t live life with this relationship being broken. I  must keep looking at it as a time for growth and introspection. I must root out my human struggle and address it.

When stymied like this, the best response is to praise Him. Recently at church the lyrics of a song helped me do that. 

“Overcome” by Jeremy Camp.

                                                 Savior, worthy of honor and glory

                                                Worthy of all our praise, You overcame

                                                     Jesus, awesome in power forever

                                                 Awesome and great is Your name, You


Do I believe God is in control, hears our prayers, desires the best for us, is holy, righteous, and just? Yes. Do I believe that He is to be feared? Yes. In my desire for life to be how I want it, “easier” I am hitting a wall against His sovereignty. This is where the crisis lies. 

Mark 9:23-24 “Jesus said, ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

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Sit Down and Shut Up!

Negative committeeBeen dealing with the Negative Self-Talk Committee for the past couple weeks. At times, it’s gotten the best of me.

I suppose it’s rather normal to hit a wall at about the one month point in recovery from knee replacement. The steps forward are smaller. Every morning I wake up, I don’t start from where I left off yesterday, but a few degrees behind that, a bit stiffer than when I went to bed. The recovery is tedious at this point. Fighting against the normal reaction of my body, building scar tissue. If you don’t push past the pain, you will end up with a disappointing outcome. I didn’t do this to be disappointed.

Yes, it starts to mess with your mind. There is no other time in my life where I have sat in a chair this much, for this long. It has become a mind-game. As I do my exercises and feel the pain, I start to think I haven’t done enough! I haven’t taken it seriously. I did something wrong. And, of course, none is true.

Oh, my dear hubby, John, has dealt with my tears and fears patiently!

Controlling the negative thinking, the destructive self-talk that we can all engage in at any moment in our lives is paramount to our success. Where does it lead us if we don’t? Down the slippery slope of victim thinking for one.

When we go there, we can get discouraged, depressed, feel hopeless, out of control—you name it! Are we moving forward at that point? Moving towards success? No! We are getting mired down in negativity and often we get stuck.

I had my one-month appointment today with the surgeon. He asked me to straighten my leg and then asked me to bend it. Guess what he said?!

“Great! You are doing well!”

“But, doc, what about the stiffness and pain that continues?”

“Work through it! Keep pushing past it” he said. 

It was good for me to hear it’s normal. Helpful to hear that I hadn’t done something wrong. Now, it’s up to me to continue to do the work. To do that and be successful, I MUST control my thinking, digging deep into my gut and push through the pain.

Once again I am reminded that God led me to the right word to focus on for the year:


I appreciate what my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day to help me remember this—a beautiful necklace with the word front and center.IMG_6018 2

In order to persevere, I must keep that mind-controlling Negative Committee under control. I have to speak positively to myself. Build myself up. Draw on the strength God has given me to push past the pain to get to where I want to go. And that is not stuck in the mud of negativity. 

Do you struggle with negative self-talk? Where in your life right now are YOU your own worse enemy?


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And then there were 7!


Or there will be 7 very soon! Having babies came easy for John and me. We started young, married at 19 and 22, with our first arriving when we were 22 and 24. Four kids before I turned 30. We did have a one miscarriage in between #3 and 4. Deliveries were uneventful as far as we knew; certainly no major complications.

Fast forward a couple decades. Time for those kids to have kids! Didn’t go as smooth. Infertility. Physical issues that required surgeries to clear the path for healthy pregnancies. Discovery of gene issues that require minor medicinal treatments, but critical nonetheless for full-term babies. The moments that couples these days take great time, effort, and creativity in figuring out the perfect way to announce the pregnancy became not-so-exciting for us. “Great! Get back to us in 3-4-5 months and we’ll get excited!” Seems insensitive I know. But real. Each of my girls has had 1 miscarriage; a couple of them had more. So we’d not only deal with our pain, but theirs as well.

Jump ahead 5 more years … Continue reading

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Plaid Pajamas

It wasn’t suppose to take long. Surely no one would see me. Everyone runs out to get their paper in their pajamas or those sweats they wouldn’t want anyone to know they owned, right? Thing is, I wasn’t just running to grab something off the driveway. I was dashing out to feed my horses.

In my plaid

Back in December we invited an abandoned little horse named Pearl to live with us. The owners of the facility where Pearl was housed did their best to take care of her after Pearl’s owner just stopped coming around. So, she needed a home.

Much to my husband’s dismay, I like to rescue things. In this case, an eating and manuring thing! John sighed and let me take her in. Continue reading

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Were the years wasted???


I have a tendency to state things rather dramatically, especially when emotions are running high.

Today, I need to say these words, even though I know they’re illogical, not true, and completely for “theatrical effect”:

“I have wasted 14 years of my life!”

An adoptive parent once said to us … Continue reading

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Parents! Do Not Abdicate!


A parent was sharing frustration over her 3-year-old’s constant temper tantrums that occurred when they went shopping. On one particular trip …

“Everyone was looking at us. I still had so much shopping I needed to do. I had to make her stop, so I bought her a toy. But now she demands a toy every time I take her shopping! She throws a tantrum until I give in. I know I shouldn’t … but …. what should I do?”

Continue reading

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