I Didn’t Do It

We’ve had some reoccurring issues in the honesty department. When I think we’ve gotten a handle on the story telling or the lies, something new arises. I have a “usual suspect,” but each child has taken their turn at being the culprit and it’s always a big production. I don’t understand it. We talk about the importance of being honest and have long lessons on grace and mercy. I feel like I’ve hit every possible approach and am coming up short. It’s disheartening.

After a particularly extensive episode, I contacted my son’s occupational therapist and begged for her expertise. I explained that the lying was getting out of control and I needed some ideas. In all honesty, he also needed to hear it from another source because I was pretty confident that I sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher at this point.

As a side, my son’s occupational therapist is an angel in disguise. I won’t call her out completely by throwing her name to the masses (I don’t want her to get distracted with too much fan mail after all), but I do hope she reads this and comprehends just how much she means to our family. This woman lovingly welcomes my son every week and texts how much she misses him on her off weeks. She fills the treasure box with toys that are specific to his liking and has been known to let him Amazon shop after accomplishing a particularly elusive goal. She’s his confident, cheerleader, movie buddy and for lack of a better adjective, miracle worker. We love her, plain and simple.

So, it should be obvious why I sought her expertise when I was feeling incompetent. If I couldn’t get through to him, I knew that she could. After his session that evening, she told me they had talked about it, but our discussion was cut short and I didn’t get all of the details.

Fast forward about two weeks and we have yet another situation involving honesty. After trying to get the truth to no avail, I sent all of the children to their bedrooms to think about their choices and prayed that my husband would get home quickly to save the day. When he arrived, he went into each bedroom and spoke to the children regarding the incident. My son cried. Although this would typically look like a guilty behavior, his emotions are never a good gauge, and most commonly, are completely backwards from what you would expect.

My son says,

“But daddy, I didn’t do it! I watched a lying video with Ms. **** (his OT) and I promised I would never lie again,” ::hiccup:: ::snort:: “And mommy said if I tell the truth three times she can trust me again. I told the truth yesterday and now. That’s only one more time until she trusts me!”

Is this the most precious thing you’ve ever heard?! When my husband relayed it to me, I think I let out an audible “awwww”. So sweet.

Trust is a beautiful gift and once broken so difficult to rebuild. Even as a seven-year old, my son understands that it’s not something he can throw around lightly; it must be protected.

God reiterates over and over in His word the significance of trust and although we live in a world where trust and honesty are dying trends, I refuse to let them die in my home. We may need to watch a hundred more “lying videos” and talk until I’m blue in the face, but I vow to make sure my children know the significance of honesty and trust.

Why? Because if they can’t comprehend the significance of Earthly trust, how will they ever know the peace that comes with the Heavenly variety?

Proverbs 3: 5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Five Minute Friday (fiveminutefriday.com)

Each Friday a word prompt is released and to participate you write for five minutes (with little attention to grammar, spelling or punctuation) on the topic. 
Today’s word: EXPECT 

My five minutes start now …   

Expect the unexpected is a tag line from a popular reality television show. Although I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I do love the show, I love those words so much more. 

Expect the unexpected is kind of the motto of my life. Every time I have expectations, God laughs and either sends me in a different direction or simply blows them out of the water. 

Expectations are a necessary evil, but don’t you think they limit us as much as they encourage. How often do we reach our expectation and then just assume that’s the end of our journey? I know I’ve been known to do that. I wonder how many of those times I’ve sold myself short and missed out on bigger and better things? 

I try to live with the expectation that I will be floored by the unexpected. I know God has plans for me and my expectation is that they will be nothing short of spectacular. He’s proved Himself time and again and I don’t want to put limits on His provisions. 

Expect the unexpected and allow God to work within and through you …every day. 

When Dreams Come True

“Angela Jamison is our featured writer today…”

I opened my Facebook page to a notification with this line, followed by a link to my article. My article. With the publication of that article, a dream came true.

I love writing and I love the way words can paint a picture, tell a story, kill a mood or lift a spirit. I’ve conditioned my children to choose more descriptive options for the word “good” and taught my two-year old words like “nepotism” and “defecation”.

I have written for school, work, friends and family, but I’ve never put myself out there to an audience that doesn’t know me. So, if I never go further than where I am right now, a dream came true today. (But do not fret – I am going further!)

After geeking out in my kitchen and forwarding the link to a bazillion people, I took a deep breath and reveled in God’s provisions. My excitement really isn’t about having my article published. My excitement is about where God will take you when you simply listen.

When you simply listen, dreams come true.

My first taste of this was when I dreamed of being a mother. It was a childhood dream that I anticipated would quickly come to fruition once I was married. I was wrong. We had a battle with infertility and we lost. I spent countless hours crying, being angry and crying some more. We spent countless amounts of money on treatments and doctors. It was all for naught because God had my children waiting for me elsewhere. When I finally listened to Him, he pointed me in their direction and my dreams of being a mother were fulfilled. Currently, as I type, I have four beautiful children giggling and playing in the backyard. In transparent honesty, there is some bickering and screaming mixed in too!

But the bottom line is when I listened to God’s call and followed His direction, dreams came true.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
– Jeremiah 29:11

He has plans for us! Grandeur plans that we can barely fathom and all we have to do is listen. No one claims it will be easy. Sometimes, it may be downright hard, but it will be worth it. Our own plans are flawed and even if they do result in what we wanted, God’s plan will blow it out of the water.

I am giddy about the future. Not because I have any idea what it holds, but because I have my ear to sky and I plan on listening. After all, when we listen, dreams come true!


(The mentioned article can be found at http://www.just18summers.com)

Sometimes They Surprise Me

We took a family trip to St. Louis, Missouri this past weekend to visit our “Auntie Haha”. We had an exciting time finding out there will be a new baby girl come October, swimming our hearts out and spending family time together. Weekends like these are some of my favorites even if they are a lot of work.

The workload has definitely changed as the children have aged, but it’s still a lot to pack, ensure we have everything, travel and then live harmoniously in a tiny hotel room for several days. Patience tends to run low and behaviors tend to increase. Attitudes flair and button-pushing ensues. But, sometimes they surprise me.

When a little voice pipes up from the dark after lights out and says, “Thank you mom and dad for letting us go swimming.” I’m a little bit surprised.

When vying for the best place to sleep, a sister abandons her already made bed for someone else, I’m a little bit surprised.

When we’re leaving the room to check out and my oldest son runs back in to grab a piece of paper that says, “Thank you. From the Jamisons” (in eight year old scribbles), I’m a little bit surprised.

Without prompting or direction, he took it upon himself to make a thank you note for the front desk. My heart is full. I lay my head down many nights wondering if I’m even remotely succeeding at this journey called motherhood; many nights I’m certain I’m not.

Then, they surprise me.

It was something so simple yet so big. It was a lesson in gratitude that I was sure had fallen on deaf ears. It was proof that I’m not failing (too terribly) after all.

When they don’t seem to be listening, they are. When they don’t seem to watching, they are. On the days you are sure you’re failing, they may just surprise you.

Later, my daughter proclaimed her desire to give a thank you note the next time we stay at a hotel, but I’m fairly confident it is strongly connected to the candy they received from the lady at the front desk this time.

…Sometimes they don’t surprise me at all.

How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Jaxson, Happy Birthday to you.

We went to a birthday party for our little best friend, Jaxson, this weekend. My kids love birthday parties because it usually means cake, ice-cream and extra fun. Although this party had all of those things, it was different. It was different because Jaxson was not there to celebrate with us; Jaxson was celebrating with the angels and our little best friend had a royal audience.

It’s been six months since Jesus called Jaxson home and my throat still seizes when I think about it. As an adult, I’ve suffered loss, but my children – my sweet, innocent babies – shouldn’t be introduced to it this young. They’ve suffered loss already in the form of an Uncle and a dear goldfish, but never a peer. Things suddenly change when they can relate to the age of the child and questions flow like water from a tap.

How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

Having a child with an anxiety disorder forces me to think about my every response. Will this initiate a litany of other questions? Will this send him into an anxiety attack? Will this be something he’s rehashing with me in three weeks? He’s logical, an over thinker and a soft heart. He doesn’t understand death and he struggles showing or understanding appropriate emotions. Honestly, he doesn’t put his underwear on correctly most of the time so to expect him to grasp these concepts is simply outlandish.

So when it was time to go to the birthday party, I knew it would send his little brain into overdrive and when he utters, “But why did God take Jaxson? There were so many other people he could have had.” my heart sinks.

How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

We talk about purpose and that we each have a job to do on Earth. We talk about Jaxson’s purpose and that he must have been really good at his job. We talk about happy memories and love and how it’s okay to be sad or to cry. We talk about things on a seven-year old level and I pray that he doesn’t need older answers because quite honestly, I just don’t have them.

Exodus 9:16 (NIV)
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Selfishly, I wish Jaxson had taken longer to fulfill his purpose; we wanted more time here on Earth with him, but his story is a beautiful story of proclaiming God’s name in all the Earth. Jaxson was small, but mighty and he touched lives across the nation. He spread hope, he promoted BELIEVE and he brought people closer to God.

I don’t have the answers to the hard questions, but He does.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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