What I Discovered About LearningRx and the Hurting Mom-Heart

There’s something about raising children (especially teenagers!) that can put a mom-heart through the ringer.

I’ve rarely longed for anything as much as I’ve longed for my daughters to thrive in every area of life. In their relationships. In their emotions. In their bodies. In their careers and passions. In their thoughts and beliefs.

So when you’ve got a kid who feels unmotivated, frustrated, and stuck, you both feel that pain.

That’s where I found myself six years ago. My daughter Kacie, then 16, was struggling in every area. Previously a good student, Kacie had decided that classes, reading, learning, and especially college were simply beyond her.  She told me she couldn’t remember anything she learned in class anyway, so why even try? She added that she hated school, hated reading, and thought learning was a waste of time.

Her plan was to drop out of school and continue partying with friends who, like her, had given up on their hopes and dreams. Continue reading “What I Discovered About LearningRx and the Hurting Mom-Heart”

Endings: The birth pangs of brand new things?

Undoubtedly you’ve had times in your life when something has crashed and burned. Maybe it was a dream you were pursuing. Or a relationship you valued. Or maybe even your own hope, happiness and joy as you experienced a season of burnout or even depression.

Think back on those times. Revisit those ashes. Kick around in the rubble a little. What gems are hiding there? Is there a tenacious flower that has taken root despite and loss? Is it growing stubbornly up through the debris, waiting to be transplanted to more fertile ground? Sometimes the ashes and rubble of our worst experiences yield unexpected treasure.

Take a few minutes to make a list of some of the darkest experiences in your life. Now write down any longings, new visions, goals, convictions or desires that came from those experiences. Some dreams need to die, to be sure. Some deserve to be resurrected. Others, in their death, give birth to new and different longing. The truth is that endings and beginnings are one and the same.

I know you’ve experienced endings in your life. The question remains: What new beginnings are waiting to be pursued?

–From the book Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight by Karen Linamen

Think you’ve failed? Think again (or ask an 8-year-old)

One day I overheard this conversation between my eight year old and her best friend, Rachel. They were talking about a friend of theirs who was learning how to skate.

Rachel said, “And then she let go of the rail and teetered and started to fall…”

My daughter said breathlessly, “Did she catch herself?”

Rachel said thoughtfully, “Yes, she caught herself, but her rump was on the ground when she did.”

Apparently, in kidville, even in the midst of abject failure, humiliation (and possibly a chipped tailbone) there’s still room to say, “Woohoo! Good job! You turned it around just in time!”

I want to be eight again. Except maybe taller. And with all my adult teeth. And I’d be ever so grateful if I could keep my drivers license and credit cards.

And my kids. I wouldn’t want to give them up either.

Now that I think about it, the only thing I’d like to reclaim from those years is a childlike perspective that lets me see magic in the mundane, possibilities around every corner, and cause for celebration even in the midst of what looks strangely like failure.

You accumulate a few birthdays, get a degree, get a job, suffer through a few of life’s not-so-fairy-tale endings, spend a few hundred hours on a therapist’s couch, pay a few mortgages, raise a couple kids and buy your first bottle of Rogaine and you start to think you’re all grown up.

Now wouldn’t that be a crying shame.

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