Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't Be Afraid to Look Under the Rock...Just be Careful

Several years ago my daughter Olivia and I spent a great deal of time gathering and hauling large rocks for a landscaping project at our (then) house. These weren't just any rocks, though. They were rocks from the foundation and fireplace of my great-great grandparents home. They were part of our story.

As we climbed around on what remained of the 'old home place' deciding which rocks to take (that's code for which ones we wouldn't kill ourselves lifting into the back of the truck), we laughed about how crazy we were to be 'risking our lives' for a bunch of old rocks, but we wouldn't have stopped for all the money in the world.

Each time we started to pick up a rock, though, I also did something else. I warned Olivia to be careful...very, very careful because of the possible dangers hiding under the rocks (that's code for snake).

FYI: I'm very thankful to say that in all the rocks we picked up (more than I can count), we never saw one snake. Nada. Zilch. Zero. None.

If we had, however, I can say with complete certainty that after we had quit screaming and doing that little "I just saw a snake" dance, we would have been right back at it. Why? Because our my desire to get the rocks and Olivia's desire to be able to say she had survived the day was greater than our fear of what might be underneath them.

As parents we need raise our children to be careful, but not afraid to look under a few rocks in their lifetime.

We need to raise our children to be confident enough in who they are to look under the rocks called trying something newspeaking up for what is right, and being confident enough in their abilities and personality to follow their dreams.

But at the same time we need to tech them to be ready to recognize the snake (poor choices, dangerous situations, and peer pressure) when they see it and to get as far away from it as possible.

Looking under a few rocks is something we all have to do, so do your job and teach your children how to do it right.

Momma D
                          Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That Mr. Magorium...He Sure Knows What He's Talking About

In the movie, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Dustin Hoffman plays Mr. Magorium; the owner of a somewhat magical toy store. Mr. Magorium, who is 243 year old, is preparing to die. As part of his preparation, he makes arrangements to leave the toy store to Molly Mahoney, the young woman who has been his friend and assistant since she was a child.

But Molly doesn't want to accept that Mr. Magorium is going to die. Nor does she think she is capable of taking over the toy store. In fact, she doesn't think she is capable of doing much of anything. Feeling insecure about who she is and what the future holds for her, Mr. Magorium has these final words of encouragement and wisdom for Molly...Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.

As a parent, there are few things we could say to our children that have as much potential to encourage and embolden them to aspire to be who they were created to be as those two sentences: Your life is an occasion. Rise to it. As parents we have been given the privilege and responsibility to help our children discover who they are, what they are passionate about, what they excel at and most of all, how to grow to be the best 'them' they can be. It is also our privilege and responsibility as parents to provide our children the opportunities and resources to do these things.

The occasion of your children's lives may not look like you think it should, or be a life you would choose for them...or even yourself. But if your children are happy, self-sufficient, and people of integrity, then I think it is safe to say they are rising to the occasion of their life. And that means as a parent, you have risen to the occasion of your life, too.

Momma D
                          Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

May I Have Your Attention, Please....

A few years ago (almost four, to be exact) I was visiting Emma, Dwight, and Essie, who were living on Camp Pendleton. It was during a time they were having wildfires—some of which were burning on Camp Pendleton.
You could see the fires from the front yard of their house and each day we wondered if they would get close enough for us to have to be evacuated. At around 1 a.m. one morning we stopped wondering because over the loud speakers positioned throughout the base, a voice came on telling us we needed to evacuate immediately.
Waking up to the voice over the loudspeaker was coupled with the dense smoke that was starting to overtake the area, so as quickly as possible, we gathered a few things for ourselves, a few more things for week-old Essie, called some good great friends who lived out of range of the fires, and left.
We didn’t complain about being wakened from a sound sleep. We didn’t debate the wisdom of the choice being made for us. In fact, we were thankful—very thankful—for the diligence of those watching the fires 24/7 in an effort to keep us all safe. We were thankful they didn’t hesitate to ‘disturb’ us—that they did what they knew was in our best interest regardless of the time of day (or night) and without worrying about how we might react.
As parents there are times we need to be that voice coming over the loud speaker for our children. We need to step in and say or do whatever is necessary to keep our kids safe. Even if it makes us unpopular. Even if it makes them mad. Even if it isn’t easy or convenient. Even if it’s downright hard.
As a parent it is your job to keep your kids from ignoring the warnings to get away from the fires of bad choices that can ruin or even claim their lives. As a parent it is your job to expect certain behaviors from your children no matter what. As a parent it is your job to be vigilant in watching for dangers and warning signs of things that can adversely affect your child and keep them from growing into the amazing and wonderful people they are.
Parents don’t be afraid to be the voice that comes over the loud speaker. Trust me, even if it doesn’t make you the coolest mom or dad of the month, or your kids insist you’ve ruined their life, it’s worth it. And guess what else? Someday they will actually thank you for it.

Momma D
                       Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I Just Lub You So Much

Have you ever been at a loss for words? You knew you should say something but you weren't sure what that something should be. Or maybe you've done just the opposite. You know-the old open-mouth-insert-foot routine? You might also remember your grandma or mom telling you that 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'.

While I definitely agree with teaching our children to not say things that are hurtful, rude, or unkind, I also think we need to take it a step farther. And I can't think of a better example of what that 'looks like' than what my granddaughter, Macy, used to do when she was just learning how to talk on the phone.

She loved talking to me on the phone, but let's face it-when she was two, she didn't have a whole lot to talk about. The dogs, the sheep and cows, what she and her sister had been doing, whether or not she'd been in time-out that day, where Grandpa was (and wanting to talk to him).... You know, the normal stuff. But that wasn't enough for Macy-she wanted all the 'air time' she could get. So when she couldn't think of anything else to say, she would say, "I just lub you so, so much, Nanna."

I instantly responded with the same and then she would say it again and again..."I just lub you so, so much, Nanna."

Doesn't that just melt your heart? It sure did mine!

Now here's the point I want to make...

Instead of teaching our children to be silent rather than not say things that are rude or unkind, teach them to fill that silence with words that encourage, mend relationships, melt hearts and share God's love. If we teach our children to go that extra mile and fill the silence with friendship and love there won't be nearly as much room for bullying, gossip and all those other hurtful things.

Momma D
                            Copyright 2017 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.