Thursday, August 9, 2012

Readers are Leaders

I was not a big reader growing up. My best friend growing up Brooke (when I wrote her name just now I wrote "book" instead of Brooke.  How appropriate) loved to read.  She read so much that we would sometimes hide her books from her.

I wish my love of reading started back then.  I think of all the free time I had as a kid.  All the times I said, "I'm bored" and I could have been reading.  Now when I read there's a guilty feeling I'm neglecting other things, and I usually am.

I'm not sure how the love of reading is born.  Maybe it's different for everyone.  Here is an excerpt from an essay by Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center

"My mother was a domestic.  Through her work, she observed that successful people spent a lot more time reading than they did watching television.  She announced that my brother and I could only watch two to three preselected TV programs during the week.  With our free time, we had to read two books each from the Detroit Public Library and submit to her written book reports.  She would mark them up with check marks and highlights.  Years later we realized her marks were a ruse.  My mother was illiterate; she had only received a third-grade education.
Although we had no money, between the covers of those books I could go anywhere, do anything, and be anybody."

How clever this woman was!  Maybe it starts with discipline and it turns into love.  That's how it started for me.  A few years ago a friend was telling me about the many books she was reading.  I asked how she had time.  She said she read instead of watching TV at night.  I tried it.  Slowly but surely my desire for books grew.  I'm pretty sure I even prayed for the Lord's help to want to read.  

I wonder if I could do this with my kids?  Restrict the TV, video games and computer.  And grow a love of reading in my home.

Do you like to read?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm running away

Today all 3 of my kids ran away from home.  While I was in the shower my son said through the door, "Lola's running away and I'm going with her to make sure she's safe".  "How cute" I thought.  See, Lola has been saying she's going to run away for the past week or so.  Every time she gets mad about something she gives me the "I'm running away" line.  So naturally I didn't really think they were running away when Jackson said what he said.

A few minutes after getting out of the shower I noticed how quiet it was.  I started looking around.  And a minute later Vivien ran in saying she needed a band aid for her toe.  I asked her where she was when she hurt her toe.  "On the road" she told me.  At this point I realized my kids were in fact walking down our road... running away from home.

We walked down our driveway, at the bottom of which I found a little pair of undies. A clue.  We walked about a quarter of a mile when we finally caught up with them, wagon packed with stuffed animals and crackers.

I wasn't sure how I felt.  I wasn't scared for some reason.  I just don't scare easily when it comes to my kids.  I always feel like they're going to be OK.  Honestly I was a little proud of their confidence.  However, I was frustrated, exasperated and angry at the same time.

A few hours later while sitting at a memorial service when I heard the "Still Small Voice" say, "How many times have you run away from home?"  Oh how true it is!!  I am constantly running away from my Heavenly Father.  He asks me to do something, I ignore Him.  He tells me to turn left, I go right.  Something goes wrong, I blame Him.  I scream, I cry, I yell "I'm running away!!"

A quote from my journal, "Sometimes I want to run really fast and really far" -July 19, 2012

So I tell my kids all of this.  I share my heart and I extend grace and I thank the Lord for His grace.  No matter how many times I run, He always welcomes me back with open arms

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Today I had a wiser older woman say to me, "Enjoy your kids".  The way she said it and the way she looked at me pierced through right to the core.  She is a smart and wonderful woman and I felt like she was looking right through me and knew that I was most definitely not enjoying them at this particular time.

It seems like no matter how many times I hear things like this, it just doesn't stick.  I really try to enjoy them and live in the now.  But then I get selfish and life happens and then blah.  I wish "Future Brianna" could visit me and say something to make me understand.

For now it's 9:00 and kids keep getting out of bed.  And I'm trying to enjoy them while they test my patience.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Sometimes I give my kids treats.  When I give my kids treats I sometimes set unrealistic expectations that the rest of the entire day (or perhaps my entire life) should go smoothly.  They should act perfectly, never fighting, never talking back.  They should practically raise themselves, but make me look good while they're doing it.  I know it's wrong, but still I allow my mind to go here.

Maybe I still have vacation brain.  Maybe I just need a good hard slap across the face to snap me out of it.  Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to face the cold hard facts: raising great human beings is hard work.  It involves sweat, tears, and a good of sense of humor.

It may be time to lay off the "treats" for a while.  They don't seem to be treating anyone well lately.