Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I don't like to say yes

This kid....

He is pretty awesome. He's creative and smart and sweet and funny.

But, man, can he whine.

I like having simple, repeatable reminders I can say to my kids over and over and over to address behavioral issues. My most recent one?

"When you whine, I don't want to say yes."

It's certainly nicer than, "STOP WHINING, YOU WHINY WHINER!" which might be my most natural response on a bad day. But it's not only nicer; it also lets him know in a simple way that whining doesn't get him where he wants to go.

I think he's getting it. Maybe in time he'll lose his position as a World Champion Whiner.

(I'd be okay with that.)

Friday, September 5, 2014


For the first time, scientists have mapped the supercluster of galaxies in which our galaxy exists. They call it Laniakea--"Immeasurable Heaven" in Hawaiian. This video fills me with awe.

We are surrounded by billions of other stars in the Milky Way, and when our galaxy is mapped with the 100,000 other galaxies of Laniakea, it fades into seeming insignificance. Our little planet is on the outer arm of our galaxy, which is on the outskirts of our supercluster. We are on the edge--the wallflowers of our galactic dance.

Our world is not much more than a speck when we broaden our view. And if the world is a speck of matter, what does that say for us? In the midst of this universe full of incomprehensible amounts of matter, do we matter at all?


The mind of God, which somehow was big enough to create this inconceivably large universe, is also somehow detailed enough to know the location of every quark and electron and atom, and of every man and woman and child.

The heart of God, which yearned to oversee an ever-changing universe full of stars and galaxies and superclusters, is also intimate enough to love me, extravagantly, to walk with me, constantly.

In His eyes, I matter.

And I want my children to know that as their buckets of learning become full at times to bursting with the wonder of the world and beyond, their individuality makes them each an indescribably special part of this world, this universe.

My daughter's smile, with its teeth gapping and overlapping, contributes to her unique beauty. Her creative mind, used to draw comic books for her brother, is priceless.

My son's eyes, hazel and expressive, are unlike any other eyes on this earth, and, I daresday, in the universe. His smiles spread to those around him, a beautiful contagion.

In the middle of the immeasurable matter of the universe, they matter.

You matter.

The universe wouldn't be the same without you.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Youre a perfect little snowflake

I look down at myself right now, and I see a shapeless t-shirt that identifies me as a worker in the kids area at church. I see 8-year-old PJ pants with cartoonish penguins on them. My sparkly toenails don't come close to redeeming this lazy Sunday afternoon outfit.

There are people around me, though, who see more.

A little while ago, Zoodle showed me a picture. I quickly deciphered the writing on it, with its oddly-hyphenated words. "No matter what youre always a perfect little snowflake!" it read. He'd drawn an orange snowflake with the label, "Perfect little snowflake."

 "It's for you," he told me.

Then he took it back, and to make it clear, wrote, "To Mommy" on the corner.

But his creativity was still flowing, so he once again grabbed the paper and made an addition--another snowflake. This one wasn't that attractive, so he gave it the captions, "Bad snowflake" and "Not like you." We both smiled.

Then he drew one more snowflake, with long eyelashes and a big smile. "Pretty snowflake like you," he wrote.

I cuddled with my guy and knew this was one work of art I won't throw away.

In his eyes, I am a perfect, beautiful snowflake. I'm not sure what I did to deserve those accolades today, but I'll take them.

Look around. I bet there's someone who thinks you're amazing. It may not be a universally-held view, and that's okay. That someone has the opinion I want you to listen to today. Don't listen to those who criticize needlessly. (A lot of days you probably shouldn't listen to your own opinion of yourself either.)

Instead, listen to that person who sees the wonder of you. Smile, and bask in it. Know that your Creator also sees this wonder in you, every single day.

You're a pretty snowflake too.