I Wasn’t Raising A Boy


How often did you hear me say, “I’m not raising a boy. I’m raising a man. There is a difference.” You’d roll your eyes but you’d move in the direction of a man.

I remember when you were little and I would cuddle and snuggle you and kiss you fiercely and you’d squeal with laughter then run and put on a football helmet and want to play tackle football. I’d tell you girls didn’t play tackle football and you’d say, “Girls are BOR-ING”.

I remember you’d spray “Monster Spray” all around the house so that we’d be safe.

I remember when you’d wear your He-Man sword tucked in the back of your shirt everywhere we’d go and what a hassle you’d give me in the car seat because you had to have it at hand. I remember the time you reached for that sword on the way to the car because you’d spotted a dangerous bullfrog. You took your left hand like a traffic cop and said in a low almost 4 year-old voice, “Stop right there mommy until I tell you to move.” You moved your sword into position and stood between the bullfrog and me and said, “Ok, pass behind me. I’ll protect you.” I ran and squealed, and you said, “Aren’t you glad I’m your Superhero?”


I could have been impatient as I usually was, but I wasn’t raising a boy, I was raising a man.

I remember when I’d tell you to help your sister up the stairs so she wouldn’t fall and how you would very seriously take that task and the others I gave you as you grew. Things like opening doors, walking on the outside, being aware of your surroundings, being polite and respectful.

I remember when you were 15 and had a learner’s permit and were so willing to drive me to the grocery store. You ran out ahead of me, jumped in the car and started the engine. I stopped at the car door and you yelled, “Get in!”, and I didn’t move.

“You have to come and open the door for me”.

“You’re not my girlfriend.”

“No, I’m your mom and that’s more important.”


It would have been easier to give you a pass and laugh it off but I wasn’t raising a boy. I was raising a man.

You came and opened the door and to this day it delights my soul to see you open the car door for your wife. It isn’t the big accomplishments that make me proud to be your momma. It’s the little things that make you a gentleman, a godly man, a good man that make me proud to be your momma.


The conversation, just you and me, at Ryan’s went like this:

“You’re going off to college and you have four years to figure out your passion. Find out who you are and what you want to do because I will not be the mother who receives the phone call that you’re just not happy with your life, a wife and two kids later. At that point my allegiance will have to switch to your wife and your children and it will break my heart but I will have to do it.”

So when I read Ann Voskamp’s blog on recent events in the media, I have to be honest and say I cried. I cried because we still say ignorant things like, “That’s how men are”. The fact of the matter is no, that’s how we allow them to be. Teach them to be godly, how to treat women, teach them to be guided by Jesus.

Click Here to read. Her blog is meant to be read and digested. It is well written and it is right on. 



Having A Library Card Doesn’t Make You A Reader


Back in 2007, New York started this Family Focused Pilot Program. It was a program that was supposed to help underprivileged people get a leg up by paying them for certain things. One of the things they paid them for was education. People were paid $25-$50 a month for their child being in school 95% of the time, $50 for going to a parent-teacher conference, and they received $50 for obtaining a library card.

I was flowing with the program until the library card. The library card had me puzzled. A library card doesn’t ensure you’re a reader. I know the government is trying to get people to read but there has to be a more effective way.

I began to think about things in church. Just because I have a bible, doesn’t mean I know what’s in it. Just because I call myself a Christian, or a follower of Christ doesn’t mean I am one.

What makes a person a reader? The fact that they read books.

What makes a parent concerned about their child’s education? Does money cause interest in making sure their child is getting an education? Money may cause a parent to go to the school to meet with the teacher when they are called, and perhaps through dialogue things could change. The incentive is followed by a way to track success.

What makes someone a Christian? The bible says you’ll know them by their fruit. This is a way to track success. I know people who say they follow Christ and have the church talk down pat but their fruit doesn’t show a relationship with God. A relationship with God causes things to change in your life. So that couple that beat each other and sing Hallelujah on Sunday do they know God intimately?  The married woman who is flirting with the man at work and is on the brink of an affair does she really know God intimately?  The person who would pass a person by on the street who doesn’t have warm clothes on when it’s freezing out, do they understand God’s love for His children?  The guy who is sleeping with his girlfriend and shaking her father’s hand as if he’s honorable, doesn’t understand why God doesn’t get it.What makes us a follower of Christ? The fact that we actually do our best to walk it out.

The reward isn’t earthly like the program in New York but the payoff is a life transformed and that is the point of the program.



Doris Avila

1795291_10201567281649883_1883956978_oOnce upon a time a long, long time ago a boy brought a girl home to meet his mom. His mom was a Christian woman who had raised her son in church. In fact, his mom was baptized when she was pregnant with him and she said he awakened in that water and begin to move around. She loved him so much. It was evident by the way she looked at him.

The girl he brought home was not a church girl. His mom met her son’s girlfriend and smiled at her and welcomed her. She took her into her life and we will never know if she was scared for her son, approved of this girl or not,  but we do know one thing, she invited this girl to lunch often and because she is a wonderful cook, she would serve her up a great lunch and a great bible study. I guess she figured if her son was going to marry this girl, then she’d had better get to work on leading her to Christ.

I am in awe of this woman because she could have decided that this girl was not worth her son’s time. Only this mom was wise and understood her son was stubborn and talking to him about this unsaved girl wasn’t going to work. So she set out to do what she knew to do. She prayed. She spoke a word in correct timing. She loved her. She cared for her and she showed her Christ.

Eventually, her son and this girl did get married and the girl did find her way to Jesus in a profound way. When her son died, she looked at her daughter-in-law and said, “We are now Naomi and Ruth and we will find your Boaz.” This was probably the only time that the girl felt misunderstood by her mother-in-law but you see, her mother-in-law was wise and had insight that this girl didn’t have.

That girl was me and that mother is Doris Avila whom I love to this day. I’m writing this today because memories of those days are flooding through my mind. She has moved away and there are days I long to sit with her and talk about life and the love of Jesus. To this day, we remain close and she holds a place in my heart and in my life where she speaks and I listen!

What’s In A Name?

from: http://www.lynnegolodner.com/author/lynneschreiber/
from: http://www.lynnegolodner.com/author/lynneschreiber/

When my daughter Casey sends a text I know instantly without reading it what my position is. You see when it’s business and information she starts the text out with, “Hi Mom” and proceeds with what is needed. When it’s encouragement or love that is needed she starts out the text with, “Mommy”. This week her note to me was positioned as Mommy and my posture was immediately that of refuge.

A name positions the posture you take in any given situation. You respond to the moment by the name you are called. The Lord has a name by which he responds to and it is in the posture that you have positioned Him in.

Relationship determines what name you use. My immediate family calls me Susie. No one else does and is corrected immediately because no one else has that familiarity with me. It’s a name from my childhood and reserved for those special people who were there in that time. My friends call me Susan, my given name, the one I use daily.

What is your relationship with The Lord and what do you call him? Are you like Casey who calls upon the name that is needed in the circumstance? Do you share that kind of intimacy with Him that he knows by the name you are using how he will respond to your request? My hope is that you do. It takes time to develop the relationship to get to the place where intimacy happens. There are so many characteristics of God and to call upon him in those times of need with that assuredness that he will answer brings a peace to your soul that is unimaginable.

I come running to my daughter when she calls out to her mommy. Yes, she is almost 30 years old but it invokes in me a concern and a privilege that only I hold and that I can’t describe. It invokes in my heart a necessity that can’t be filled by anyone else. How much more does Our Father come running when we call upon him in the familiar? When He is our One and Only in that given moment is when the intimacy happens, when the questions are answered, when the advice is given. Let us draw near to Him. It’s never too late to start.

Coffee and Eyeliner




I guess I must have been pretty tired last night because I woke up to my husband bringing me a cup of coffee and letting me know it was time to wake up for church. I got up and began to get ready. Everything was going along just fine until I began to apply my eyeliner. There I was coffee on the bathroom vanity, face pressed close to the mirror, and I had a flashback.

I remembered back to when I was growing up and mornings with a working mom. My mom’s cigarette dangled on the bathroom sink, don’t judge, it was the 70’s and everybody’s mom smoked, her coffee cup on the vanity as she put her makeup on, giving orders for us to hurry up and get dressed and singing along with the radio.

As a little girl I could not wait to grow up and get dressed for work. I could not wait to have all the makeup and perfume and clothes and shoes and big hair. Suddenly here I was. All that I wanted as a little girl before me. Wishes come true and you don’t even realize it. Life gets in the way and you think there’s more, but when you go back to the memories of that small child you used to be you find out that life was pretty simple. At least it was for me.

I was with my mom last night at a awards dinner/dance. My parents were out on the dance floor, smiling and laughing and talking. She was among her family and friends and we were having a great time together. The music was cumbia for the most part and my parents hate that. They prefer big band stuff and anything that starts with a nasally male voice singing a doo wop thing. Doug leaned over and said to me, “Do you think when we’re old they’ll play Foo Fighters at these things?” I smiled and said, “Hopefully.”

My mom’s friends from as far back as elementary school came by and said, “THIS is your daughter? I remember when you were just a girl”, reminding me that it’s been too long since I’ve come back home for events. I smiled today at myself in the mirror and replied, “Yes, I remember being a little girl. It seemed so far away to the days of eyeliner but here we are.” As a mom you know everything you do messes your kid up in some way. You live with this chronic guilt of not getting it right.  You live with a consistent regret of the things you failed at. Just as my mom showed me how to draw a strong steady straight line across my eyelid, not by what she told me to do, but by what I witnessed, I learned to draw a strong steady straight line not only across my eyelid but across my life. It took some practice and some redo’s but eventually, I had it down.

Cheating On Your Spouse


I was listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger this week when a caller called for advice on a dilemma he was having. It seems he’s been having an affair with a woman for three years. His wife had been battling breast cancer and now that things had stabilized it was time for him to make decisions about his future.

Dr. Laura asked him what the pros and cons were as he said he’d thought them through. He said that the pros would be he has more in common with the woman he was having an affair with. The cons would be that he had six kids with his wife, two were married and probably going to have kids soon, and he’d end up being the visiting grandpa. He went on to say that his wife had been kind to him, and a good wife. His other con was that how could he really trust this woman who had so willingly had an affair with a married man?  How could the woman really trust him either even though he’d been faithful for many years before an affair knowing he was willing to have an affair with her?

That is the crux of the problem isn’t it? Trust for all three of them will never the same. Because no matter what you tell yourself, as this man did, that he been faithful for many years before he cheated, he did cheat, he broke a promise, to himself, to his wife, and to his children. How do you stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye when you know you’ve not been a person of character? You’ve not been a person who can keep your word? And then how do the people involved trust you either? Yes, no one is perfect and we’ve all done incredibly stupid things, it’s true, but slippery slopes which rob you of your character, are pitfalls to be avoided at all costs.

Dr. Laura ended the call with a some very good advice. She said that of course he felt closer to the woman he was having an affair with. Marriage was different than dating and shacking up. It is. I’ve talked to so many people who got married to long term shack ups and ended up divorced because it is different. She also said that if he would put the effort into treating his wife the way he did his mistress he might discover his marriage was good. She also told him he would risk more than being the visiting grandpa. He’d risk the total relationship with his children. She said they would always side with their mother and they may not want the mistress at weddings and such. It also meant that he would put immense pressure on the mistress to fulfill all that he had lost and that it wasn’t possible for her to do so. She in turn would put pressure on him to choose her when the family didn’t want her around.

There was a lot said in this call. One worth sharing. Maybe someone reading this post today saves themselves a lot of heartache by honoring their vows and staying true to themselves and their family.

A Mother’s Heart


I watch with interest as thousands of children arrive at our border. While the pundits on both the left and the right argue and do nothing but fight for political gain, I can’t help but be saddened. For us and for them.

I see a hopeless parent put their child on a train to cross borders of countries illegally in hopes of a promise. Perhaps the child will die in transit but for a parent it is better than the life they can provide. As a citizen in a country where we don’t even let our child play outside alone, let alone talk to strangers this must be heart-wrenching.

Oh, we can demonize the parent if it makes us feel better because parents of children from other countries can’t possibly love their children as much as we do. We can say it’s a political ploy and these are nothing more than pawns, and we are correct they are pawns, only the more we dehumanize children the easier it is for us to make snap judgment.

And they have lice and diseases, and we have lice and diseases, only we have access to a drug store and vaccinations and money and we clean up well and they don’t. And they send gang members and children who are incorrigible and we have gang members and children who are incorrigible in big cities sent to live with relatives in smaller towns, but somehow we measure more worthy because our poor children are a product of the lack of opportunity and a system that isn’t fair, oh wait, is that them or us? Are they simply pawns of human traffickers? If they are then what? And while we create a chasm of difference we forget that a parent sent this child on the road, and may never see them again, knowing the danger and risking their own child’s life a parent dared to hope. And what was Moses’ mother’s name because I seem to recall her story?

Your political view says I am naive, and I get why you think so! We have a messed up immigration system and people take advantage and draw unemployment on fake social security numbers and live in welfare housing undeserved and feel entitled and commit crimes and while yes, that is a real problem and I don’t like it, until you change a political system that is broken down, there will be no remedy. However I trust in a higher court, and in that court the people who cheat, lie, and steal, will have an end that will not be profitable for life despite their religious affiliation, but in the meantime a mother has sent her child across countries to find hope. And while I don’t have solutions I have compassion. “Send them to Mexico”, is the cry I heard and despite Mexico’s screams for immigration reform in the United States, Mexico does not care for the immigrant. They don’t provide medical care or education. They are country who screams for the United States to have compassion while I have seen none from them. A poverty mentality only looks after their own. So their doors are shut.

And the words of TD Jakes run through my heart in this time, “Where money rules there can be no justice”, I wonder if these parents would have sent their children away if they had not been desperate? For you see, despite America’s problems, we are still a beacon of hope. The Taliban targets us because they say we are the bearers of the cross and if that is so, then we must bear our cross. I have a Mother’s Heart and that heart keeps saying; There is parent out there that is desperately missing their child. They may never see each other again, or our government may send them back, the jury is still out. But we have a parent who thought, I can endure heartbreak and send my child away, or we can sit here until we die.

Men Don’t Matter

What a lie we have been given.

If you haven’t read Part 2 click here.

As women, born of this generation in America, we have this ideal of a single mother that while true for some is not true for most. We can buy a house without a man, we earn our own income and for some we earn more than the man in our life. For some women who are not interested in equality in a marriage, often because of their own daddy issues, this becomes the seat of power in which we devalue a man and emasculate him to show our power. This has nothing to do with love and everything to do with pride.

We can buy a car, we have great credit and we can afford to do so. We can pay for private school, camp, medical care, and trips to amusement parks. This is the picture of a single mom. Only that usually isn’t the case. Many single moms struggle to make ends meet. Often have more month than money left at the end of their payday, and life isn’t this happy place they thought it would be. They get up early to get their children ready for school, lunches packed, themselves ready. They work hard to get the laundry and dinner and homework finished while they are dogged tired. They make grocery lists and hope there is enough money for the food they need to buy. They make pancakes for dinner at the end of the month because sometimes that’s all there is. They don’t get to go and have spa days or go with friends to have a nice dinner because it isn’t in the budget.

And no matter how much we try and no matter how much advances in technology and medicine we make:

A woman can’t be a father.


No matter how much we try to fill the void of a male influence we can’t do it. We’re failing miserably statistically. Our children are missing out whether we want to admit it or not. Sure, there are statistics of moms who raised incredible people on their own but they don’t outweigh the statistics of those who can’t. I have a saying,

“A woman can do it all. She just can’t do it all at once.”

So while we’re busy earning a buck and climbing a corporate ladder, our children are missing out on a critical component of a family. In their mind, they are learning that they may have to go it alone that one day, they too may be called to raise children on their own because families may or may not be sustained.

So let’s throw the lie out. Let’s begin a discussion with young women about how valuable they are and how we need to make better choices in the men we choose to father our children. Let’s talk about working on our marriage before they are broken and let’s talk about marriage before babies. I know it sounds counter-culture and I know it it will sound sexist and it will be met with push back and name calling but I’m okay with that. And here is why: Watch this video and tell me daddies aren’t important. Watch this video and tell me that she has someone else who fills this void in her life regardless of who her daddy is. Tell me that these daddies are not necessary. Tell me that she isn’t affected.

“When he does time, she does time.”


I’m okay with the being an unpopular voice if a child gets an active, involved, worthwhile, father. I’m okay with the term baby daddy being thrown out of our vocabulary. Because it was never meant to be there in the first place.

A Dad Is Important to His Daughter


So here is Part 2 to the post I wrote about why father’s are important. If you didn’t catch it, click here so you have a basis of where I’m going with this.

Let me tell you a little known story about my life. Its basis is formed on a lot of self evaluation and counseling and reading and life.

As a little girl I was a daddy’s girl. I liked the things he liked, I admired him, I thought the goofiest things he did were absolutely wonderful. He was the light of my life. He was my safety and my love. That all changed around age 13ish. Suddenly the goofy man who could never remember lyrics to songs so he’d make them up, was irritating. The man who broke out in a falsetto out of tune rendition of a Queen song was embarrassing. I no longer wanted to hang out with him and I no longer really wanted to sit on his lap and all of this is a normal progression of life and puberty. Your parents are supposed become nerds or we’d never the leave home. There’s a post for another day.

Only my dad didn’t know how to take this. He retreated as well. We no longer had the conversations about boys and how they were supposed to treat women. We no longer had secret dates to the mall where he’d buy me something my mother forbade. We became awkward with each other. Not on purpose, neither of us had the tools we needed.

One night, when I was about 14 my dad called me on the phone. It was late about 2 am and I was breaking curfew by talking on the phone and I thought I was busted. Instead he began to talk about how he loved me, missed me and felt disconnected. He said, “I wish I could reach you but you’re so caught up with boys and friends and I don’t know how to make this better.” I assured him I loved him and told him I would be fine because honestly I didn’t know what I needed any more than he did.

A year later I had my first boyfriend. I was doing stupid things, going against my convictions and knowing that I was doing the wrong thing only I didn’t know where to stop. My father was becoming even more distant, sending my mother in to talk to me about his concerns. He was concerned that I was on the brink of having sex with my boyfriend but didn’t know how to approach me. We were creating a chasm in our relationship that honestly still exists today. How I wish we both knew better in these moments but you know, parents do the best they can with what they have. Neither of us had been here before and we didn’t have Dr. Laura and the experts telling us how to do this father/daughter thing right.

My father completely shut down when I became pregnant. When I decided to get married he sat me down and had one of the most profound conversations of my life. He said I had made serious mistakes but they didn’t have to continue. He urged me not to get married. He said it would be a disaster and he also told me that if I insisted he would not attend.

As I walked out of the door to the chapel to get married, my father looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t go.” I smiled at him and said, “Oh daddy, I love you and it will be fine.” Of course it wasn’t.

Do you get why I think dads are important? Because when mine stepped away is when I floundered. When a dad is absent is when a child gets in trouble. And I’m out of time and not finished talking so wait for Part 3.

Daddy Is Home


My mother created a culture in our home in which our family wasn’t complete until my dad came home. There was always a celebration, a feeling of security and warmth and love when my dad entered the scene. She taught us that he was important to our well-being.

She tells the story of when she was a little girl and her father had to work three jobs to make ends meet. When she would get up in the morning, her dad was already gone off to work and when she went to bed at night he was still working but she says that she always knew he had come home and that they were loved because he’d leave a treat behind. A pie, or pastry. Something to let them know that he was providing for his family.

It was these memories that have kept me thinking about Father’s Day and all of the appreciation of it. Father’s are critical to the well being of the home. A father, in his proper order, guides and leads a home with strength and character.

The latest statistic is that 43% of children are being raised in fatherless homes. Our statistics in America get dismal from there, click here to read statistics

Despite what anyone tells us as women and how we are capable of raising children alone, we simply lack something that dads bring to the table. Yes, we can clothe and feed a child, teach them manners, help them with their homework, love them beyond belief but children still know something is missing.

TD Jakes said in his message Crash Course in Fatherhood, “Anything a man loves he will take care of it, protect it, provide for it.”

Here’s the truth women. You don’t wait until a man loves you and marries you to have his baby. In fact, you’ll have two or three in the hopes he will marry you. Beloved, if he didn’t do it before babies, what makes you think he’ll do it after? Do you think love is sustained by a forced marriage? We all scream about arranged marriages, yet we have no problem backing up our sisters with the cry of ‘do the right thing’ to a man. How about looking her in the eye and speaking the truth in love? Although she may not need a man to help her financially raise a child, like it or not, she needs a man to help her raise a whole child.

I know I know!! This isn’t a popular message. I become a hater to society who says we must do things our own way but could it be that we, woman, are not embracing the biblical principles set before us, and setting up a house where life is complete when daddy is home? Where a man leaves security for his children on his way to making ends meet?

TD Jakes also said, “When a man has no authority, he has no potency. So when you shout, ‘I am woman hear me roar’, you may be roaring alone.”

We weren’t meant to do this alone. Wait for Part 2, ’cause I’m not done yet.