Lasting Traditions

Lasting Traditions

The salt dough tomb is dried out 

and the colored eggs have all been found. 

Packing away the Easter remnants made me ponder our family traditions.

I couldn’t help but smile as I reflected back on the years of matching Easter outfits and color coordinating baskets. 

That life seems like a distant memory.

Reminiscing on those distant days made me wonder why certain traditions have stood the test of time and others have fallen by the wayside. 

Some of our family traditions ceased to exist when we moved to the Middle East. Partly  because I could no longer find the necessary items to make said tradition a reality and partly because mama was tired and didn’t want to add another. single. thing. to an already full plate.

I settled on a handful of meaningful traditions and those are the ones that have held on through numerous homes, multiple cities, varying cultures, different countries and ever changing seasons  of life.

My thoughts were prompted by the Easter holiday but the same holds true for other celebrations throughout the year. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries all hold traditions that are woven into the fabric of our family. Other enjoyable traditions have come and gone but the  ones that are meaningful, simple and purposeful are still with us today.

I have a running list of things I wish I could go back and tell a younger me. This week the list grew a tad bit longer.

||the everyday routines of life and the special celebrations of holidays and dates will become part of who you are as a family. The simple becomes familiar and the familiar becomes noteworthy. What we do over and over again will become habit and habits become ingrained. Choose wisely and seize every opportunity to take the ordinary as well as the extraordinary and use it as a means to point to Christ||


Plain Oatmeal

Plain Oatmeal

When our oldest son was two I taught him his colors by dropping food coloring in his oatmeal.

It was an effortless way to make our mundane breakfast routine a bit more exciting.

It unintentionally became somewhat of a tradition and eleven years later I’m still swirling vibrant drops of color into creamy oats. 
That winsome, curly haired boy is thirteen now.

He didn’t want Lego’s for Christmas this year.

He only wants to watch soccer on the big screen when we go to Chuck E. Cheese.

And last week… he requested oatmeal with no colors.

They weren’t kidding when they said, “Don’t blink!”

I know that colored oatmeal is trivial against the big backdrop of life but his request for plain oats was a reminder of so much more.

My little boy is growing into a young man. His likes and dislikes are changing. His personality is changing. His voice is changing. And what he needs from me as a mom, friend and fellow follower of Christ is changing.

I love that he is growing into a young man but I find myself constantly drifting between loosening my white knuckled fists to allow a young man freedom and locking my arms tightly around him and never letting go.

This new season of parenting can be indescribably sweet and a stark reminder of my dependence on God. Due to the latter, I created a prayer guide that uses scripture to specifically focus on the the things I want for my son.


Prayers For Your Teen Son

James 5:16 says, “the prayer of a righteous person is  powerful and effective”

 My hope is that this simple guide will help other weary moms as we join together to fight for the hearts of our sons.

Brax Turns Four

Brax Turns Four

Our little guy turned four last week. I fully anticipated a blubbering, tear filled birthday song upon the realization that we’ve never had a four year old in the house without a baby following closely behind but I held it together nicely.

My zeal for party planning was quickly dashed when he earnestly declared, “I don’t want a party.” *sigh* Who is this kid anyway?

Upon further questioning, I realized he did indeed have plans for an indefectible birthday…and I was happy to oblige.

He wanted the customary birthday morning pancakes but was not a fan of the obligatory birthday song.  He chose his favorite restaurant for dinner and dined on Happy Meals and orange juice because you can do that when it’s your birthday. #cleaneating
After dinner the guys behind the counter let him make his own ice cream cone. He was thrilled with the blue cotton candy ice cream but unsettled by the sweet Sri Lankan man that dared talk to him. Are you sensing a theme?He asked for a cake and Paw Patrol decorations but insisted, “No people. Only mom and dad and guys.” He refers to his four older brothers as the guys and I simultaneously melt.

We had cake and sang the birthday song again while he ambled into the next room and pretended we weren’t singing to him.We handed him his birthday present because he didn’t want the added pressure of anyone watching him open his gift and just like that the celebration was over.

I crumbled paper plates and napkins inside a plastic table cloth and tossed the remaining evidence of celebration into the trash while secretly hoping my other boys will adopt this new method of celebration.


Abaya Meme

Abaya Meme

“Do you have to wear that black dress everywhere you go?”

“Do you cover your head when you are in public?”

Those are the two most common questions I get when people find out we live in the Middle East. I could write volumes on the abaya (the arabic word for the black dress) and my personal thoughts on what it’s like to wear it every time I leave the house but for today…I’m going to leave this right here.