Month: December 2014

What Will He Be?

I was walking through a store when I heard a conversation behind me.

“I wonder what he will be like when he grows up.”

Our new grandson had been born and so, of course, I instantly thought about that sweet little baby. What kind of man will he grow up to be?

What will he be?

And, of course, I thought about my own sons – thought about their birthdays, thought about them as babies and toddlers.

Caleb - Three

Evan - baby in a swing

Evan and Caleb

Caleb and Evan

I remember wondering what they would become. Some of my wondering is over. One is grown up, married, and is about to become a father of a little girl.

Caleb and Kate - Air Force

Our younger son is eighteen, about to graduate from high school and then to go into the Marines. There is still a lot to find out about him.

Evan at Eighteen.jpg

What will he be?

I think every mother has wondered that, so, I can’t help but think that the same question passed through Mary’s mind a little over 2000 years ago.

Of course, she had had a word from God about her son’s future.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Luke 1:32-33

That sounded pretty good. Who wouldn’t want her son to be a king forever? But then she heard words from the old man Simeon in the temple – words that did sound quite so rosy.

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’

Luke 2: 34-35

I’m not sure what I would have thought if anyone had said such things over my child. I wonder what Mary thought.

Did she have any notion that He would become an itinerant preacher, a healer, a leader of men, a popular figure, loved by many, hated and feared by the powerful? Did she have any idea that His life would seemingly end in tragedy? Did she ever falter in her faith in God’s plan?

And when it seemed that the dream was gone and that God had forgotten, could she have had any inkling of the true glory of the future of her son?

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 24:30-31

Her son! Could she have know what He would be? Did she know who He actually was?

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Colossians 1:15-20

I don’t think any mother could have dreamed of a son like this.

What will he be?

My sons are still young with many years ahead of them. I don’t know what they will be, but my prayer is that they will be reflections of the glory of the Baby born to be their Savior and King.

A Pinteresting Kind of a Day

Christmas Tree Ornament

Today was a weird day. At the end of it I felt like I got absolutely nothing done, but now that I am looking back on it I realize that I actually finished a couple of Pinterest projects.

Pinteresting Project Number One

The first was finished a couple of days ago, but I only got around to photographing it today. I love making things from felt and pinned several felt Christmas tree ornaments. I made three of the felt Christmas trees – gave away two and kept one. The idea came from this site which is written in Russian. Yeah, I don’t speak Russian or read Russian so I drew my own pattern and made up the process as I went. I’m happy with the end result and I may even get to one or two more of the felt ornaments I pinned.

Pinteresting Project Number Two

I kept my promise to myself and baked some Christmas cookies. A ridiculous amount of them are already gone, but I did remember to photograph the last batch.

Swirl CookiesOf course, these didn’t turn out nearly as beautifully as those in the original recipe, but they do taste pretty good. I thought about trying to hide them away in the freezer like my mom always did but realized it really wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Didn’t mom know that frozen Christmas cookies are almost better than fresh ones?

Pinteresting Project Number Three

Number Three is my favorite project because it was made for someone very special – someone who finally decided to make his grand entrance into the world – my very first grandson, Vincent Scott.

Vincent - Dec. 17, 2014
Adorable, right? Sweetest little boy ever, right? You know I’m right. I know you’re jealous, wishing you could call yourself GiGi to this darling little fellow, aren’t you? He is sweet and I am a little obsessed with him right now, but you probably want to see that Pinterest project that I made for him.

Another of our Christmas traditions is that everybody in the family has a stocking hung on our fireplace mantle and every one of those stockings is handmade by me. So, of course, little bitty Vince needed to have a stocking too.

Vincent's stocking
I’m pretty proud of this stocking for several reasons. First, the pattern was very vague so I had to think through the process again, but I think I figured it out fairly close to the original. (And if not, who cares anyway?) Second, I didn’t have to buy a single scrap of fabric to make this stocking – it was all leftover bits and pieces from my stash. Third, Vince’s stocking mimics his daddy’s stocking in that they both have the same burlap and the same bells and the same color scheme.

So much for the day that seemed to run away before I could get anything done. And now that I think about it, I even managed to whip up another Skinnytaste Cookbook recipe for dinner. A piece of low-fat French Bread Pizza Supreme went down great with yet another over-the-top-buttery-fat cookie. What a day!

National Doubt Your Parenting Skills Day

Doubt Your Parenting Skills DayEvery month our church staff has a meeting. One of the activities of that meeting is celebrating the birthdays for the month, but our tradition is not just announcing the birthdays and singing to the birthday people. Oh, no – nothing that mundane. Our executive pastor  pulls out a thick sheaf of papers and gives us a long list of all the other events people are celebrating that month – like American Cabbage Month or National Fever Blister Awareness Day. Get the picture?

Well, after the day I had yesterday, I have declared an official day on my own unofficial authority. December 15 will now be known as National Doubt Your Parenting Skills Day – officially.

So, what made December 15 such a red-letter memorable day?

  1. Being tired and trying to relate to family members in a normal way. I think that exhaustion is the one of the biggest factors in parenting self-doubt and I inflict it upon myself all the time. I stay up late – I think in an effort to have perfectly quiet time to myself. And I know, I can hear all of you early birds already telling me to get up early instead. I’ll take that under advisement.
  2. Trying to fit too many tasks and events into too short a time period. The more hectic my day gets the less able I am to function as a family-type person. I get growly, maybe even crotchety. So, yes, I should be more careful with my schedule and more realistic in my time management.
  3. Listing everything that is going wrong and doing it in a way that is totally out of perspective with reality. Does this one really need any further explanation? It’s just totally focusing on the negative and purposely and petulantly ignoring the positive. It’s not pretty and becomes juvenile very quickly.
  4. Forgetting to study the Bible and forgetting to pray. Completely! And not remembering until the mood was so foul that it seemed ridiculous to ask God to fix it. This one bothers me the most – especially forgetting to pray. My first line of defense and I forget.

So why declare a National Doubt Your Parenting Skills Day? Because I think it would be wise to take a step back at least once a year and admit that I am not a perfect parent, that I have no chance of becoming a perfect parent, and that God has already forgiven me for not being the kind of parent I should be. Sometimes I need to give myself permission to be a real, imperfect person.

After all, I’m the only one who expects me to have perfect parenting skills.

National Doubt Your Parenting Skills Day is the day on which I will remember that God made me the mom to four kids and He did it on purpose. I don’t know why, but I know He’s never wrong. December 15 is my day to remember that, yes, I am not a perfect parent, but I am right where God put me and I can trust Him to be strong where I am weak.

Want to join me? – I know it’s a day late, but since National Doubt Your Parenting Skills Day is my day, I give you permission to celebrate your imperfect parenting skills and God’s perfect parenting skills today . Go for it!

 

Christmas – A Time to Remember – Part 2

Christmas Journal 3

Remember the Christmas Journal that never got finished? This page and others like it are the reasons it remains incomplete. I still think the Christmas Journal is a wonderful idea, but can I give you a hint?

If you plan to create one for your family, KISS! You know what that means, right. Keep It Simple, Silly (a euphemism for stupid).

How could I ever hope to get this book finished when I tried to incorporate every nifty technique I could think of on ONE page?

  1. Five different scrapbook papers
  2. Hand-cut words (cookies)
  3. Machine sewing
  4. Mini tags tied to the page
  5. Mini pocket with labels
  6. Antiquing
  7. Tearing
  8. Doodling

Christmas Journal 2

Really? No one can sustain that level of craziness throughout an entire scrapbook! And just to make matters worse, for some reason I decided that one page of Christmas cookies wasn’t enough.

Christmas Journal 1

When I look back at it now – I realize just this one page would have been enough, if only because of the pictures of a much younger Evan enjoying the beater. (And, yes, I have always let my kids lick the beaters and they have all made it into adulthood.)

But seriously, Christmas cookies are a big deal in the Deatherage Christmas traditions. It’s my mom’s fault. She loved to bake Christmas cookies and not just the easy ones like I do. She always made cut-out sugar cookies and she actually decorated them too.

Mom would start baking cookies way before Christmas and would package them up and stick them in the freezer. I think that in her mind, if a bag of cookies was in the freezer they would stay there until she pulled them out and doled them out to us. Funny! My kids have memories of sneaking into Mom Mom’s freezer and of acting innocent when she discovered yet another half-empty cookie bag.

I wasn’t going to make any cookies this year because they are deadly for the weight loss plan, but now I don’t know. It seems that the older I get, the more our traditions are about honoring the memories of the ones we’ve lost. And when you think about it, aren’t the really good traditions good because of the memories of family that they renew in our hearts and minds? That kind of tradition isn’t conjured up or found on Pinterest and usually isn’t planned. They just happen and calories don’t even figure into the decision to continue them.

I think it’s time to find that sugar cookie recipe!

What about you? What traditions does your family keep because of the memories of loved ones? Were you considering opting out this year for what seems like a really good reason? What do you think now?

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