Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

Dish Duty Comedy

So our dishwasher broke the other month.

I thought it simply needed a good cleaning, so I took out the wracks, got on my hands and knees, and scrubbed out as much grime as I could reach. Then I turned it onto the clean cycle.

No dice.

Instead of getting clean, smoke came flying out of the machine.

Guess what that means? Yup, I’m washing dishes by hand!

Normally, I make dinner and listen to NPR, call and chat with a friend or my sister, or turn on my YouTube playlist while I wash the dishes. But last week, I decided to do something different.

I listened to Chondra Pierce.

Oh.My.Word! She’s hilarious!

I laughed so hard and almost burned a few dinners while listening to her. And instead of grumbling while washing the evidence that my family is well fed, I laughed and left the kitchen feeling joyful, energized and ready to be present with my family.

So tell me. What other comedians/comediennes should I add to my dish duty playlist?

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When Your Child Hurts

My daughter loves our local community theater group. It’s designed for kids from grades four to 12, and everyone, no matter how well they sing and dance, gets a part.

For the past two years, my daughter played a part in the chorus. She sings, dances and in general has fun on stage. This year, she was hoping for a speaking part and even joined the school chorus so she could become a better singer.

Since November, she’s talked about rehearsing for the audition, which involves singing a short song and sharing a monologue. Unfortunately, auditions yesterday did not go well.

Today, she found out that she’s a villager once again.

As soon as she discovered her role, her face fell. I saw the disappointment on her face, and she quickly excused herself to go to bed.

Before she retreated to her room, I hugged her goodnight and told her she’ll make an amazing villager. I felt her body tense and heard her softly start to cry. My heart broke as I held her.

What could I say to ease her pain?

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I silently prayed and then told my precious child that I am proud of her for auditioning – it’s a big deal to stand in front of three adults in a small room and sing and talk! I also told her that I’m excited to watch her and hope she can find joy in her role. Since she’s a villager, she’ll be in at least half of the scenes, and some of her friends are also villagers.

I’m not sure my words did much to make my darling feel better, but I pray she remembers her value. It’s not determined by the role she wins in a play! And I pray she continues to put her all into rehearsals and enjoy this year’s theater season.

I also pray that she turns to God for comfort. I can hold and encourage her, but I can’t heal the pain she feels. Only God can do that.

What about you? How do you comfort your kids when they hurt?

Prayer: “Father, please hold my child tonight. She’s hurting, and I’m hurting for her. I ask you to hold her close and remind her of your incredible love for her. Also, may she remember her worth. Thank you for entrusting her to me and for being her Father, and thank you for giving me wisdom!”

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Honesty Sets You Free

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As part of our family’s adventure in wellness, I attend a Celebrate Recovery 12-Step study. A small group of ladies meet weekly to discuss the steps, pray and find freedom from various hurts, habits and hangups.

One thing I notice as I work through the study is that recovery depends on honesty. After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem. To even work through the 12 steps, we must let go of denial and be honest!

But honesty is hard. It’s much easier to say that everything’s fine and cover up the shame, guilt, heartache and trauma in our lives. I know – I’ve done it for years!

And that’s why the devotional I read today (“When You Just Can’t Bring Cheerful”) resonated with me. We don’t have to be cheerful all the time and cover up what’s really going on in our hearts and lives. In fact, we find true healing only when we are honest, open and authentic. Think about it – God knows our hearts. We’re only lying to ourselves and hindering His healing work when we try to hide from Him.

I take comfort in the fact that even though honesty is challenging, painful, embarrassing and scary, it’s also the source of true freedom. I pray we can be honest with ourselves, Jesus and others today. May we take time to be authentic and real with our Father today.

Today’s prayer: “Thank You, God, for loving us, even the ugly parts, and for gently drawing us to Yourself as You give us freedom and joy! Give us courage to be real with You and trust Your gentleness, mercy and grace.”

Titus 3:4-5a, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (NIV)

Hosea 2:14, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her … and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.” (AMPC)

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Who Are Your “Necessary People”?

In my inbox today, I found an interesting idea. Karen Ehman and her family surprised one of their family’s “necessary people” with a celebration.

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Her story made me consider the necessary people in my life. I would certainly include my spouse and kids, family and friends, but the list doesn’t stop there. Grocery store clerks, mail carriers, bank tellers, medical professionals, school teachers – they all are important.

So who are your necessary people? How will do you celebrate these important people? Let’s share ideas as we spread kindness and show others that we value them!

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When Momma’s Cranky

Hubby came home from work this morning and needed to borrow a few dollars for breakfast. I know he chooses to not carry a credit or debit card so that we can save money, and he doesn’t often ask for cash, but for some reason I felt cranky about his request today. He noticed, of course, and called me on it. I was able to apologize, but I also wondered what was going on.

Maybe my crankiness is because I:

  • Didn’t sleep well last night
  • Haven’t had enough coffee (I’m only on cup one, and it’s already cold.)
  • Feel irritated about a missing item I thought for sure was on my desk
  • Am angry with myself for misplacing the missing item
  • Feel anxious about the kiddos’ dentist appointments since I’m not sure how my son will respond or how the technician will react to him
  • Am choosing to be angry instead of gracious.

No matter why I was acting cranky, I can’t deny the tension between us and acknowledge that I am not being gracious and need (and want) to be!

So what will I do about it? How can I handle these cranky moments?

1.I realize that I’m the problem. I’m annoyed and am letting that control how I act.

2. I take the time I need to get myself centered. Prayer, some time alone and a date with a book or my noise cancelling headphones and praise and worship music should get me back on track.

3. I set priorities. What NEEDS to be done before the kids and I head to the dentist? Do i need to check social media, find the missing item or do dishes? No. Instead, breakfast, gathering my purse, teeth brushing, quiet time and a second cup of coffee take priority with my limited time this morning.

Ahh, that’s better! I can think clearly now and am feeling more relaxed. Okay, day, let’s go and be kind!

What do you do when you feel cranky? What helps you relax and unwind? I’d love to hear your tips!

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May the Fourth Be With You

May 4

Photo by:Fernando Bueno (Flickr)

Confession: I’ve never seen an entire Star Wars movie. (Hard to believe, right?! It’s on my bucket list for when I can really sit down and focus on it!) But May 4 always reminds me of power!

God’s Force lives in us!

I’m grateful for that power because in the last 24 hours, it has helped me forgive a nasty comment someone made about me, choose to overlook a sin committed toward me and respond with grace instead of anger toward one of my children.

Here’s a short list of some of my favorite Bible verses that talk about God’s power.

What will you do with the power that lives in you today?

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When You Feel Weak, You’re Strong

2-corinthians-12-9Motherhood wipes me out.

I often feel unqualified, unprepared and unequipped to do this job.

And then I read these verses from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Go ahead, read that again. I know I needed to.

Paul’s saying that God gives grace despite our weaknesses. In fact, when we’re weak, God gives us power to endure everything that comes our way.

Think about it.

When we’re energized, recharged and rested, we feel capable of taking on the world.

But when we’re drained, worn down and exhausted, there’s no way we’re doing much of anything besides ordering takeout.

This parenting gig will beat you up faster than a round inside a boxing ring with Muhammed Ali. Trust me, this past year has been filled with drama, trauma and heartache for me and my family. Many times, I felt like quitting and was certain that I would not make it out of the day alive! Yet, according to these verses, I am at my most strongest when I am weak. Those moments certainly are the times when I cry out to God for strength, wisdom and help.

May we learn today to celebrate our weaknesses. Instead of trying to be super moms who complete the to-do list by 9 AM, create three healthy, gourmet meals every single day and always know exactly what to say to our hurting kids, may we accept our limitations and cling to God’s power!

He has what we need and will make us strong despite our weaknesses.

Will you let Him work through you today?

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One Little Compliment Can Change a Life

Have you ever received a compliment that changed your life? I did.

My Jerusalem University College classmates and I were waiting in line during a field trip to see a significant historical site. One of my friends happened to glance down and saw my toes peeking out from my sandals. “Oh,” she exclaimed. “Your toes look so cute!”

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I have to admit I was shocked. I had never received a compliment on my toes before.

So, what did I do? I tried to show off my toes as often as possible! And to this day, I wear revealing shoes that show off my painted toes and fun toe rings. (In case you were wondering: the ring on my left foot is from Israel and features feet that remind me to walk in love. On my right foot, I wear poppies, my birth month flower.)

I doubt my friend remembers saying that to me, but she changed my life. Every time I look at my toes, I think of that compliment, feel better about myself and look for someone to compliment in return. After all, I can’t keep all that love I felt from that one compliment so many years ago to myself!

As I painted my toes Tangerine this week, I remembered that day. It made me wonder what would happen if we all chose to look for the good in others more often. Instead of focusing on the bad, annoying or frustrating aspects of the people in our lives, we could compliment them and spread cheer as we help others feel better about themselves.

What do you think?

Whether you have cute toes or not, will you join me in changing lives one compliment at a time?

If so, let me know in the comments, and please share a compliment you received yesterday or decades ago that still affects you today.

Together, we can spread kindness and encourage our friends, loved ones and even strangers simply by pointing out something we like or appreciate about them.

 

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