Christmas Back To You

2014 Christmas card pic from Stanford football game Fall 2014

2014 Christmas card pic from Stanford football game Fall 2014

I hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season and having fun counting down the days with your family and friends.  I’ve been out on the road doing some Christmas concerts and celebrating Thanksgiving with my sons and the Stanford football team in California, so I’ve just finally put up my tree!

For so many of us, the Christmas season is bittersweet.  We experience the joy and the pain in technicolor as we hold sweet memories, sadness, songs and our Savior’s birth in our frail, very human hearts.  Just ten days ago, my family marked 10 years since my daddy went to heaven at the age of 65.  It hit me harder than I’d expected and I found myself crying on and off for days thinking about how much I miss him.

Since 2004, Christmas has never been the same for me and my family.  But, like many of you, we hold on to the hope that we will be together again.  That part of my story helped me realize that what we all are really longing for at Christmas is heaven.

No tears…no pain…EVERYONE we love in the room, and as we sing in the carol, O Come Emmanuel, “bid envy, strife and quarrels cease, fill the whole world with heaven’s peace”.  As my family waits for my 94 year old grandmother to head there soon, I’m again reminded of that reality.  No matter how pretty we make our homes, how perfect everything looks, it’s only going to last long enough to get some good pictures and hopefully build a few memories around the table with those we love.

Late last night, after a fun night with friends, I sat in the stillness by the tree.  I felt like a kid on Christmas eve looking at the lights and counting down the days until my son, Graham gets home from college for a few days.  Since he plays football, he’ll barely be here before he has to return to prep for their bowl game, Dec. 30th in the 49ers new stadium.

So many memories flooded my mind and heart and I just sat in those feelings for a while until I wandered off to bed.  I’m grateful to finally be at a place in my life where I can allow myself feel the joy and the pain of life on this earth for 50 years and all that it’s held for me and my boys. I hope and pray that you may be able to do the same this year… in the midst of it all, even if it’s mostly pain.  I’ve learned the hard way that if you “block the pain“, the also “block the joy, love and life” that helps us get up and face this crazy world another day.  (I know you’re probably bombarded with a million things today, so I’m trying to keep this short, but please know that I know it’s not an easy 1-2-3 process that I’m talking about.)

I want to share a few songs via video from my Christmas tour, Christmas Back To You.  I wrote the title cut when Graham was a Senior and I realized it was his “last Christmas” at home with me and Benji — just the 3 of us– as my “little boy”.   It’s a tear jerker…. even this past Sunday night, at a concert in Birmingham, I couldn’t sing it without crying at the end.

That’s why I’m also posting the second one, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas featuring my son, Benji (as a 14 year old who’ll turn 18 in a few weeks.)  We had so much fun recording it and when I do it live Benji appears via video and steals the show every night!  I’m also including a little video (Benji “Being Loud”) that I show before we do the song of Benji as a preschooler.  It should’ve been a major clue to me that one day he’d inform me he wanted to be a rapper! He was “free-styling” as a four year old!  Some big news will be announced in early 2015, so keep your ears open for more news on his music.

Click here for the Christmas Back to You video.

Click here for the Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas video.

Click here for Benji “Being Loud” video.

I truly hope that God’s peace and joy bring Christmas back to you this year.

Much love from my house to yours.

Bigger Than His Body

I know most of you know that my son, Graham is #52, the starting Center for Stanford Football.  It’s been such a thrill watching him play this fall live and on national tv.  It’s especially rewarding to see him stepping into so much of what I’ve always known he was meant to do beyond football as well.  Graham was “Red-shirted” his Freshman year, which means he practiced every single practice with “all that he had” knowing that no matter what… he wasn’t going to play in the game.  I really can’t imagine what kind of discipline that takes.  Especially, when you’ve been an All American in high school with more offers than you can count coming out of high school.

Graham’s worked really hard the past few years at Stanford and has learned several lessons the hard way.  His journey is his to share if and when he chooses, but as his Mama, I’m really grateful he’s made it to his “sweet spot!”  I’m so grateful to get to see him not only play his heart out on the field, but see him stepping up as a leader on and off it.   Graham’s always been a people person. He’s able to relate and talk to anyone and willing to help, so it’s not surprising to me that every time I go to Stanford, other parents tell me how much Graham has helped their son with the huge adjustment of college football.

This week, this video (Shuler on Stanford) was released by Stanford Football and I’d love to share it with you.  A friend of mine in Dallas tweeted me after seeing it that “Graham’s heart was bigger than his body” and it made my day because Craig saw what I’ve always known about my “mountain of a man”.   I was reminded again that God does above and beyond what we can ask or think when He opens doors for our sons that lead them to be the best versions of themselves and step into their own unique calling.

Graham would be the first to say it’s been a rocky road the past few years… again, his story to tell.  But, if you have a son enduring some of those times, I hope this encourages you to step out of the way and trust God with his journey.  I’m incredibly grateful for the coaches at Stanford, especially Head Coach David Shaw for creating a football culture that is as concerned with my son’s character and education as with his football abilities. They’ve raised the bar for Graham and his teammates and my son is benefiting from that environment in more ways than I can count.  It’s definitely helped me rest easier knowing that they truly care about Graham now and who he’s becoming as he enters adulthood.

This morning, I did a radio interview for WBYN (107.5 FM) for a benefit concert that I’m part of in a few weeks in the Philadelphia area.   The host started off our conversation telling me that he’d seen Graham’s video this week and wanted to talk to me about him and his perspective on being at Stanford.  Of course, a delight to this mama’s ears!  I’ve shared it on facebook, but it prompted me to write this and share it here too.

Last week, I was at their game against Notre Dame (tough game in horrible weather) and I tried to endure it in my ski jacket and rain gear, but wimped out and joined the old folks in the gym watching the big screens.  I’m grateful that Friday night, I can watch Graham in my pjs on ESPN 8pm CST kickoff vs Washington State.  I’m hoping for an easy win, though I know in the PAC-12 that doesn’t happen too often, but my stomach has just recovered from the tension of the last game.  My sweet mama is hoping for that too. She text me during the last game and said, “Graham needs to play a different position… this is too intense!”  My mom doesn’t watch football, but is watching Stanford this fall with her 94 year old mother.  They’re cheering for Graham along with all of our family and friends!

After the game in the 30 something degree rain.

After the game in the 30 something degree rain.

Hope you’ll join us cheering for #52 and Stanford if you’re home tomorrow night and are able to catch the game!

Peace and love from here, Kim

Next weekend, I’ll be hosting our last “BoyMama Weekend” at The Nashville Treehouse.  We still have a few spots available if you are within driving distance of Nashville, would love to invite you to join us.  David Thomas (Wild Things, The Art of Nuturing Boys) who’s my special guest is worth coming for alone!  We also have real conversations about parenting, great music, gourmet food and a wine tasting woven into a few days of R&R for moms of boys.  www.nashvilletreehouse.com/boymama 

worst blogger award goes to….

Well, so much for my attempt at blogging once a week! I think it’s been almost 2 months since my last post. Leaves are covering my deck and driveway as fall and October are coming upon us quickly here in Nashville.

I know, like me, many of you are overwhelmed by the events around the world that are like nothing we’ve known. I think that’s partially why I haven’t written. In the midst of some incredibly disturbing times, we have to keep going on with our lives in our little corners of the world. The anniversary of 9/11 and so much of what’s going on across the globe weighs on us in ways that I don’t think we’re even aware of. In cities like Ferguson, MO and in my hometown of Memphis fear and hopelessness are knocking louder and louder at our doors.

It’s unthinkable that while we were dumping ice on ourselves, Christians were being slaughtered. Tomorrow marks two years that Pastor Saeed remains in prison and in danger. It’s all too much to wrap our hearts and minds around on most days. Yet, we wake up to another sunrise on another day and look for reasons to hope while love those who come our way. Even though I try speaking out and doing what I can to stand against the evil that’s raging, I still have a helpless feeling as I watch it all on the news.

As I sat down to write on a perfect day in Nashville, I’m reminded of some of the “big moments” I’ve had as a mom the past 6 weeks against the backdrop of such heaviness.  I know that trying to “catch up” is pretty hard to do….it’s like trying to go back and fill in your journal, yet another place I’ve never been consistent in writing!

I’ve already been to California twice to see my son as the starting Center for Stanford. That first snap in the first game was pretty surreal for me. I don’t know when I’ll get used to seeing him on the field or on national television. I decorated our living room in so much Stanford swag for the second game that Benji made fun of me.  FYI, My tv is not this big, this was done using a projector on the wall.  This doesn’t look so crazy, but believe me, if you saw the dining room and the foyer, you may agree with Benji that I went a little over the top!

Stanford vs USC game on ABC

Stanford vs USC game on ABC

Benji’s almost fully recovered from his surgery and has some exciting opportunities on the horizon that I’ll hopefully be able to share next time.  The Nashville Treehouse is growing and brings more joy to my heart than I would’ve ever imagined.  In the midst of that we’ve lost members of our community and heard the news that the cancer is back with a loved one. Another reminder that life is such a mixed bag… it’s so bittersweet most of the time.

So, I wanted to at least write something today for those of you who’ve connected with me here. I have a simple truth to share with you that I’m sure is a reminder to most of you, but as I’m nearing the end of my “child rearing” days with my boys, I’m more and more convinced that the years I poured my life into them matter. Those years in the trenches…. THEY COUNT!!! Hang in there!!!!

As I watch from a VIP seat, I see my sons move towards their own journeys as young men. I’m becoming more of a “consultant” and especially with my 21 year old, learning to have an adult friendship with him.  Especially with Graham, my job as a mama is becoming simplified in many ways after almost 22 years.

A few weeks ago before I said goodbye to him in Palo Alto, I sat with him at breakfast and talked to him about how much I love him and believe in him with tears streaming down my face.  I was grateful that we had a seat that no one could really see me because as hard as I tried, I couldn’t stop the tears.  My job at this point is to speak life to him about who he is and to love him unconditionally regardless of whether or not I agree with all of his choices.  Strangely enough, it’s getting easier and easier to do.  As I tried to explain to him, the more I trust God with him, the more peace I have and the more pure love I feel for him that is not tied to anything that he does or doesn’t do.  As simple as it is, it’s always a huge reminder for me that if I can love my son that way, how much more does God love me that way and give me grace to love those around me? “Perfect love casts out fear” takes on a whole new meaning for me these days and as Rob Bell and Bob Goff both so eloquently say… “Love Wins” and “Love Does”!

So, love everybody you can today!

PS. Check out my “BoyMama Weekend” video and please consider joining us at The Nashville Treehouse in a few weeks!

https://vimeo.com/105068786

The Big Send Off

Goodbye to Graham

Goodbye to Graham

I’ve loved seeing all the back to school pics today on Facebook. It really does seem like just yesterday, I was loading my boys up to take them to those first days of elementary school each fall.  I drove them crazy because I loved school supplies and new clothes too much and they could’ve cared less!  It was a 1000 times worse when I took them to summer camp 9 hours away in Missouri.  For a few years, they let me make their bunk perfect and get their clothes organized for them, but I finally let that go and put them on the bus knowing that they wouldn’t even unpack half of the special things packed for them in their trunks. One year, I think Benji never even took his bathing suit out and swam in gym shorts because he didn’t know he had a bathing suit! Not to mention the stamped and addressed stationary that came back in the trunk wet and torn, but unused.

I know many of you are well beyond those early days and sending your boys to camp is no longer a big deal, but many of you are embarking on new territory in the coming days in sending your son off to college, so this is especially written for you tonight.

Seeing all the sweet pictures of your kids today, I was reminded of the “big send off” I had with my oldest son Graham two years ago.  He’s starting his Junior year at Stanford and plays football there, so he had to go two months earlier than all of his friends in June of 2012.

This is what I posted that day on facebook after a tearful goodbye.  I hope it encourages those of you tonight who may be struggling with letting go.  Whether he’s 6 or 19, it’s as big a step as a mom as it is for your son.  Take a breath, a long walk, have a good cry…. do whatever you need to do to release all of those emotions that are brimming up to the surface of your entire being.  My only advice is don’t cry to him…. he needs to know you are going to be ok.  He doesn’t need to worry about taking care of you right now.  He needs to know you believe he’s ready and that you’re not going to fall apart without him.

from June 22, 2012 “I heard someone say that when you have kids, it’s like “having your heart walk outside your body“.  I’ve experienced that for many years, but today most profoundly as a huge part of my heart named Graham Shuler is embarking on his next chapter and boarding a plane for CA in a few minutes.   I know you mamas out there understand the bittersweet overwhelming emotions… hard to contain… I’m grateful that we had the sweetest goodbye I could’ve ever hoped for with my amazing son.  And grateful that Southwest has a lot of flights to Stanford!!! The boys tried to help lighten the moment by getting on their phones at our last breakfast as a joke. (See pic above).

A little while later, Graham posted this tweet and I couldn’t stop crying.  I always told him that he was better than any Grammy award I could’ve won as a singer.  He knew that I lost some “golden opportunities” along the way in order to be a full time single mom . I’m grateful that I was able to sing enough to make a living, but be home to raise my sons at the same time. I know it’s a luxury many women can’t afford. (SidebarIf you are a mom working outside your home… know that there’s NO condemnation here… only love and prayers for you and yours!)    

Graham's tweet 2012 leaving for Stanford

Graham’s tweet 2012 leaving for Stanford

My first visit to Stanford that fall was one of the sweetest reunions I’ve ever known. We’d never been separated for so long in his whole life.  I still remember how weird it felt walking up to the practice field and for the first time in 19 years, not recognizing my son in a nanosecond!  He had changed dramatically in a short time and for someone like me, who could recognize his right calf in a picture posted online at his summer camp, that was a pretty huge deal for both of us!  We had a good laugh about it and we’ve been enjoying a new chapter ever since.

There’s an ease now in our relationship since he’s 21 and I’m no longer the “disciplinarian”. I send care packages and offer love and prayers, most of the time from far away.  I see him on game weekends, but it’s pretty crazy, so it’s a gift to get to share a meal with him.  We’ve both grown in huge ways!   No pun intended, but Graham weighs almost 300 pounds now. Stanford wants him to be that big to start at Center this coming season. I wish i had an excuse, but I’ve actually grown in my love for wine and enjoying life more, so maybe I’ve gained some “sympathy pounds” with him like husbands do when their wives are pregnant.  Seriously, I’m so proud of all that Graham has endured as an elite level college football player and student.  I’m so grateful that while thousands of miles divide me from him, he is always “IN” my heart and in my prayers.

Hang in there sweet mamas, good days are ahead! Much peace to you tonight. ❤

If you liked this post, please comment here so we can connect and share with your friends.   If you’d like to connect with other “BoyMamas” please check out the BoyMama weekend I’m hosting in October at The Nashville Treehouse.  Click here for more info.  www.nashvilletreehouse.com/events

first time seeing Graham at Stanford Fall 2012

first time seeing Graham at Stanford Fall 2012

Raisin’ Lions

lion

Today is one of those days that I know, like I know my name, that God is real and that the peace He gives is unexplainable! My son, Benji is in surgery right now, it’s been about an hour and they expect another. He has a rare disease that has allowed some pieces of benign tumor to be lodged in his right hip. The surgeon says it’s like having small rocks in there, which is not only incredible painful, but causes a tear that they’re repairing today as well as removing the “foreign pieces” in this hip.

For years, I’ve jokingly said that I was “raisin’ lions” because both of my boys have such strong personalities. Benji is #2 and isn’t a patient young man (Commander for any of you CORE personality folks). He was really frustrated because our call time at the hospital was 5:15am and he’d been without water and food since well before midnight expecting to go into surgery at the crack of dawn. They actually ended up starting around 10:10am, so he was acting goofy in the prep area while waiting for them to take him back to be “put under”. He told me if he didn’t act silly, he’d “try to jump up and leave“. Then they abruptly signaled me that I’d need to leave and Benji asked me to pray for him. In that quick minute, as I held his strong hand and prayed for him to feel God’s peace and presence, I kissed him and was reminded again that he is in God’s hands and that I can trust Him to take care of Benji. Not only today,but everyday.

I’ve truly felt “held” today by the prayers of friends and family as I’ve sat in a hospital room with my son’s dad since early this morning. His unexplainable peace has filled every inch of this room and my heart. Benji’s surgery is pushing 4 hours now, so we’re hoping he’s going to the recovery room soon.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share this with you. Maybe I’m loopy from 3 hours of sleep last night, but I love little surprise love notes from God like this. I went down to the cafe a few minutes ago and grabbed a snack…. some hummus with pretzels and randomly, some raisins that we sitting by the check out stand. I don’t believe I’ve EVER bought raisins for a snack, but it seemed like a good choice today for some reason. As I began to eat them, I had to laugh. They are LION brand raisins and they are made in California. For me, it was one of those little love notes from God that said, “I’ve got your LION who’s on the operating table today… I’ve even got the one in California!”

If you are “raisin’ a lion” or a pair like mine, hug them hard tonight and let them know that you see their strength as a young man as well as that little guy inside who still needs his mama’s kiss even when he may not act like he does. I’ll have to be gentle with mine for the next few days, but can’t wait to see his face again in a little while.

Posting this pic “pre-op”… had to crop off the “hair net” or Benji would never speak to me again.

benji

I Am Enough

I Am Enough

  I love the Fourth of July. I love fireworks, yummy food and anything with a flag on it…well, anything cute, that is! In spite of my love for the 4th that goes back to childhood, as an adult it became a mixed bag for me. I was married on the 4th back in 1992. A little ironic to get married on “Independence Day”, but we did. I’ve officially been a single mom since 2001, so every other July 4th, my boys were not with me for the ‘family holiday of the summer‘. For years, those “solo” days held a “little stinger” in them for me.  Regardless, I loved buying festive clothes for my boys and even when they went to camp over the 4th or were with their dad, I made sure they had fun t-shirts, flip flops, hats, sunglasses…. whatever trendy trinket I could find to send. When it was my year to be with them, we enjoyed some wonderful celebrations at the beach, in the mountains and in our fun Franklin neighborhood through the years.  I’m truly grateful for those precious memories. We always had cute pictures and fun food (even before facebook and Pinterest because I’m a photo freak), but most of the time, I was completely worn out after working so hard for all of it. On those hot July days when I was husbandless and childless, I felt really out of place.  My family in Memphis didn’t really understand why I didn’t want to be at their big annual 4th event alone.  I remember on several occasions being invited to attend cookouts and fireworks with friends, but instead I stayed home and did huge organizational projects at my house, or just snuck off to a movie with a friend. One 4th, my best friend tried to help me with a big job in my garage that ended up being a traumatic night for her as her little dog died and she fell from a tall ladder and was knocked unconscious. Neeedless to say, we didn’t make the big Belle Meade fireworks celebration that night. I was reminded yesterday as I woke up in a perfectly quiet house while my sons are in California and Haiti, that those years are far behind me now. I was home in Nashville on one of the most beautiful days I can ever remember having in July. No humidity and a balmy 84 degrees, perfect blue skies and a light breeze, something highly unusual here, for those of you who don’t live in the south. I had a peaceful, enjoyable day relaxing on the amazing deck of the house I’m leasing that is nestled in the woods on a small hill in the middle of Brentwood/Nashville. I didn’t play “beat the clock” or give in to any obligatory need to celebrate in the typical “American” way that I’ve done in years past.  I didn’t have a new festive t-shirt (I did buy the boys tshirts in case they wanted to have one to wear, but they probably didn’t even put them on). I ate out for the first time that I can remember on the 4th.  I didn’t even cook a thing, unless you consider making guacamole “cooking”. I putzed around all day and ended the night watching a movie outside on the deck with a happy drink and fireworks blasting in the background. (I tried getting a picture, but it didn’t really translate). As I scrolled through my facebook and Instagram during the day, seeing all of the family pics and posts, I was reminded of those years that I worked so hard to have a “perfect family day“.   I was also aware of the reality of how hard women, especially “Mamas”, work to pull of big festive events .  I can honestly say that for the first time in a long time, it didn’t make me sad to see the posts of “whole” families together celebrating.  I was truly happy to see the adorable pictures and big smiles along with fireworks from all over the world.  I was giddy to be home last night and grateful as I went to sleep for the “day off”. The simple joys of rest and peace that I’m experiencing at this time in my life are an unexpected gift that I’m learning to embrace at fifty. But I woke up thinking about those of you who were “working hard” yesterday for your family, friends or even for yourself (so you could post it for your friends to see), and I wanted to post this wonderful reminder I saw on twitter last year from one of my ‘favorite people I’ve never met’, Brene Brown.  Especially, if you went to bed last night with any regrets or reminders of what you didn’t get done for the day….. do this today. “Raise your fist + repeat: No matter what gets done + what’s left undone, I am enough. #LastWeekofSchoolCrazies #Motherhood Also, if you can, try to find some time to take a little break for yourself. I’m pretty sure you deserve it. Much love from here. PS. Benji returns today, so the atmosphere in my house will change dramatically in a few hours. He brings “the party!”  Also, we still have room at our BoyMama weekend coming up July 11-12 for those of you within driving distance of Nashville who want to connect with more mamas sharing honestly about their journeys with their sons. www.nashvilletreehouse.com/events 

Some Fights Are Worth Fighting

Benji's Instagram Jan 2014

Benji’s Instagram Jan 2014

Well, after starting off with a bang in my attempt to become a blogger, I fell off the wagon in May and for most of June.  Like most of you, I was juggling happy events like Mother’s Day, weddings, graduations and birthdays along with some unexpected funerals and tough times with my youngest son, Benji.  Hopefully, Benji won’t be mad at me for sharing this (maybe he’ll never know, since he’s on a mission trip in Haiti right now,) but a few weeks ago, he was in his first real fight.  I’m grateful this didn’t happen until he was 17. He swears it won’t happen again, but every man I’ve talked to about it tells me it’s an inevitable part of being a man.

When I first got the call from Benji that he needed me to come and pick him up, I was mad at him for getting into a fight for ANY reason!  He said emphatically, “Mama, I don’t need a lecture right now, I think I have a concussion (as diagnosed by his big brother over the phone in California) and I need you to come and pick me up.”  I won’t go into all of the details, but after hearing the “whole story,” I understood it was probably unavoidable.  Benji told me the next day (after we were both up and down all night) “Mama, you don’t understand “Man Code” and that if this happened 100 years ago, we would’ve had a duel and one of us would have been shot“.  So, I felt a little better that he only had a mild concussion and promised he’d walk away next time, regardless of the names the other guys shouted at him.

I find that the same part of Benji that decided to “fight” a few weeks ago, is the same part of him who “fought” his own fears and emotions to get on a plane Saturday morning at 5:00am to fly to Haiti for two weeks to work with an mission organization there working with kids in orphanages.  The day before, Benji was diagnosed with a rare disease that has been alluding doctors and chiropractors for the past several months as they’ve tried to treat him for chronic pain in his hip.  On Friday, Benji was told he’d need to have surgery when he returned and that he’d be on crutches for the last month of his summer.  The prognosis is good, only a 10-20% chance his problem will reoccur, but as a young man who’d already started the summer with several big personal disappointments, it was tough news to swallow.  He’d go to Haiti with no pain relief and return to spend his summer in a very different way than he’d planned.  He wouldn’t be able to report for his summer job that he was excited about, no driving (truly a hardship for a 17 year old young man and for his mother!), no swimming, a huge curve ball…. you get the picture.

As they say, “to add insult to injury“, Benji’s former girlfriend was in a bad car wreck 6 hours before his flight Friday night.   Ironically, the boy he fought was driving the car when it happened, so there was a lot of emotion around all of these events leading up to his departure.  I can’t say much about this event, but I truly believe God spared their lives and pray that it’s a wake up call for our community.

Benji had been impacted by his first trip to Haiti with his school in January so much that within 48 hours of being home, he’d organized a group of 30 to return to the same place for a week. He’d also signed up for an additional week by himself hoping a few friends could go, but they weren’t able to make it.  For months, he’s told me that he couldn’t wait to get back to Haiti and that being there was his favorite place on earth.  The week before he left, it seemed like daily there were obstacles discouraging Benji from making the trip to the point that I finally clued in that there must be a higher purpose for Benji in Haiti than I ever imagined. Over and over again, (as in my own life) in my boys journeys to manhood, I’ve seen a true battle take place around them when they are at important crossroads.

So, my brave 17 year old son faced his fears head on and left Nashville by himself after an exhausting day and night.  As a mama of boys, I think it’s hard for us to understand sometimes that some of the strengths our sons carry are a mixed bag. Instead of trying to “domesticate” them to the point of emasculation by making sure they always “behave like a good little boy“, I think we need to embrace the good, bad and the ‘sometimes ugly‘ parts of their manhood.

We all know that our strengths can be weaknesses if they’re not harnessed well.  Sadly, I’ve seen too many mamas respond with the extremes of throwing their hands up in frustration and quitting or turning into drill sergeants and “micro-managing” when they have strong-willed, independent offspring.   I think it’s easier to fall off in “either ditch” then to do the hard work of training them to be who they are designed to be.  Walking the hard road avoiding the ditches requires more from us as parents.  I told my boys for years that I was going to do my job regardless of what they thought about me.  I’d hopefully be their friend and ‘consultant’ later, but right now, I’m still wearing my “Coach Mom” hat and fighting the fights worth fighting for my boys.  When they’re adults, they’ll be responsible for their choices, but until then, it’s my duty to them to stay in the game, even when I’m worn out.

Both of my sons have made plenty of mistakes and foolish choices (just like we all have), but that’s part of growing up and part of their training as young men.  Hopefully, our boys learn from their mistakes so that they’re not making “foolish youthful mistakes” as adults.  I realize more each day that we ALL face battles privately and publicly and we need all the help we can get.   How much more do our sons need grace as they’re growing and maturing into manhood?  Encourage your son today that you see WHO he is and the good that will come from his life.  He needs to hear from you as his mom that he’ll be admired and loved, that he can be brave and you’ll always be in his corner!

If you’re a mom of a boy, I’d love to invite you to our first “BoyMama weekend” coming up July 11-12 at The Nashville Treehouse.

 

June 2014

June 20, 2014 – the tough Friday