Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Things I Would Have Done Differently

Hey Friend,

I'm sorry it's been a long while since I have written.  I guess you could say that life has been tugging on my heart strings.  You know those times...when life sometimes just gets too hard to bear.  I have been having to measure out tough love to my almost twenty one year old...not an easy thing to do.  Perhaps if I had practiced more on the small stuff, it would have made tough love on the big stuff easier to measure out?!

Ahh reflection.  That's what we're supposed to do when we greet a new year - reflect on the past and make resolutions on how we will make changes in the new year.  Perhaps I have been reflecting upon my years of child rearing and asking myself if I had it all to do over again, what would I have done differently?

The answers came all too quickly.  Yes, I would have done some things differently.  I think that my children exited the womb and came bursting upon the world screaming, "I want!"  Not, I need, but I WANT!!!!  You see I am a baby boomer parent and that means that I grew up with a healthy fear of my parents.  There was a certain respect granted to our parents, teachers, and other authority figures.  We had regular chores and got menial jobs when we turned sixteen and were happy for the pay that we got. 

We didn't get cars on our sixteenth birthday (I felt fortunate to be able to drive the family beast of a station wagon on special occasions).  I grew up in a small three bedroom house with one bathroom and when I graduated from high school, I didn't go on a trip to a foreign country.  I went out to Wright's Seafood Restaurant with my family (which in those days was a big deal).  In short, I had a healthy sense of gratitude which my children, and I believe other children of the baby boomer generation, do not have.  In our quest to give them everything we did not have, we have deprived them of the gift of gratitude. Look at other countries with far less than what we have in the US and their level of gratitude for all of God's gifts.

I'm sure to some, I sound like an old curmudgeon.  Perhaps if I had used the word "No" as an answer to the primal scream of "I Want" more often, I would have more grateful children.  Maybe if instead of planning family ski vacations, I had planned more trips to the local shelter to serve meals to the homeless, there would be more hope for this next generation?  Perhaps...perhaps...

I pray that God, in his goodness, will fill in the cracks where I fell short (and those are plenty). There are, I realize, some things that I would have done the same.  Such as:  I would be fully present with my children.  I would not be consumed with technological distractions.  I would often put down whatever I was doing in order to give them the gift of importance.

I would also have kept my rule of one activity per child.  None of this running every night of the week to a different activity.  On the days when there wasn't an activity, homework came first and then, wonder of all wonders, I shooed them outdoors to play.  It's amazing the life lessons you learn in a pick up game of neighborhood roller hockey.  If they got bored...all the better.  Some of the world's greatest inventions came about because someone was allowed to get bored.

Most importantly, I would have definitely wielded the sword of truth - scripture.  My children used to teasingly call me "Bible Lady" because I would quote scripture to them on all occasions since they were tiny.  I believe there is power in the Word.  We need to teach it to our children.

Teach them (God's precepts) to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, ... and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19)

I believe that the Word will not return void when used.  We may not see the fruits of our labor right away (yes, I have a prodigal child), but I do believe that in time the truth we have impressed upon them will yield a great harvest.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  (Proverbs 22:6)

Thank you for your patience with me in my sabbatical from writing and then returning with a reflective editorial.  If someone can learn from my mistakes and my victories, then let me be transparent. 

More than anything, know, in 2014 that you are loved beyond all measure by the God of the universe.  He has great things in store for you this year.  Be open to His leading and let His light shine brightly through you. 

In His love,


ps.  Even though I haven't been writing lately, I still continue to pray for each and every reader of my blog in the morning and in the evening.  Praying you will be blessed!


  1. Hello sweet friend. I've been praying for you, thinking of you all the time and wishing I could reach out and hug you. This post so makes me excited to come for a visit. I'm thinking we won't get much sleep. So much in common we have. I want to write more..I'm ready for bed. :) I will send you an email tomorrow. But I'm going to sleep grateful to be reading your words again.
    Much love and (((hugs))),

  2. Beth,
    Thanks for the's good to be back! Can't keep a writer down for long lol. I'm sure with all this snow and freezing temps you'll be ready by early spring to head south :). So thankful for our cyber friendship. We truly are kindred souls!
    Love and ((hugs)),

  3. As always, WELL said, "Bible Lady"! Funny, us baby boomer moms ARE all the same - imagine shooing our children OUTSIDE to play on a gorgeous day!?! What WERE we thinking?
    Love you much,

    1. Lisa,
      I had to chuckle yesterday as I shooed Steven outside to take Zoe on a walk. They are never too old to be shooed outside lol! Thanks, as always, for your love, support and encouragement with my blog. Much love to you my faithful reader!!
      Bev xo

  4. Thank you for your reflections. I have teenagers myself, so I'm a bit behind you on the road. And yes children's lives have changed DRASTICALLY from when we were kids. Thanks for the warning to raise kids with a sense of gratitude rather than entitlement.

    And surely we can trust that God is able to repair errors we make as long as we are doing our best. No parent is perfect!

    1. Betsy,
      I have to remind myself that my children (even if they are grown) are never too old to adopt an attitude of gratitude. So thankful that God is Able to fill in the cracks where we fall short. You are so right that none of us are perfect...we need grace!

  5. Bev, your blog is so refreshing. Often times we walk in life not knowing how similar our lives are regardless of the distance between us. I have been reading a book by Charles Swindoll "The Church Awakening, an Urgent Call for Renewal and it he uses the word "erosion" and this one word describes much of what has occurred in our lives. I so cherish the memories of my parents telling us children to get out and go play or no you cannot go there. I now see how God's protective hands were on me during my younger years. My parents didn't allow me to go to certain places or do the same things other kids were able to do but now I reflect on those times and realize how God kept me from many dangers. However back to the word "erosion". I see it all around me as I look not only at say the landscape but also within the churches and families. I thank my God for women like you. You are a blessing!

  6. Anna,
    I thank God for women like you! It is good to know that we don't walk alone through this journey called "Life". I have often felt that if we shared more, we would be better equipped to help bear one another's burdens. Though scattered across the globe, we share many of the same trials and tribulations. Praying, with you, for a Renewal!!


I would really LOVE to hear from you!! Your thoughts, opinions, suggestions and prayer requests mean a lot to me.