Fool may be a little harsh for what I am, but... "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..it's a duck!"
My middle child, Aaron, has better labeled the phenomenon in our home as "Constant Ridiculousness" and he simply doesn't want any part of it.
"Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling"
Our constant "quarrels" aka ridiculousness come from two insanely competitive people (my husband and me) that draw their son into the middle of these "discussions" to help prove and win our own points.
Now, it would be one thing if it was a debate over something life changing or worthwhile, but ours tend to be over topics like "Which athlete best transcends their sport and is bigger than baseball?" The correct answer (of course) is simply, "any athlete that I have heard of because I don't follow sports, so even if no one else has heard of "said athlete" they must be bigger than the sport itself... this solid reasoning (in my own mind) stands firm, but not so much for my husband.
Hence, the call for Aaron to come in and settle the debates that we find ourselves in, tends to be pretty constant.
I could go on with examples... but suffice to say, these conversations and this "passionate ridiculousness" occurs on a daily basis. And at the end of the day, it truly does keeps us laughing.
But still, Aaron chooses to take the high ground and not even put his gloves in the ring. He chooses honor, while my husband and I choose to act a fool.
Either way, it is a choice.
Is our ridiculousness hurting anyone? No, but suppose it was about things that actually mattered.
What if it was a daily barrage of fights, nitpicking, complaints and quarrels? Those are the acts that become habitual, deliberate and detrimental to relationships, especially in a marriage.
The same way my son chooses to not be drawn into the crazy, we choose to be the crazy. We all have the ability to choose.
We have the ability to choose joy, to choose praise, to choose to encourage, to choose to listen instead of complain. We have the ability to avoid fights and quarrels and to set ourselves in a place marked for honor.
Next time you feel the urge to be drawn into the fight, remember, and remember quickly, to avoid it, to remove yourself and communicate in love from a place of honor that honors and respects those you care about... (and even those people that you don't much care for..yes, even them!)
Let's choose to NOT insist on quarraling. It does a body good! It does friendship good! It does a marriage good!
Love you in the Lord!
PS. Aaron Koehne is still one of THE most competitive AND silly people I know. Go figure!
There is a good chance that these wrestling matches with his older brother, Chris, started over the debate of who had a better haircut, cleaner room or bigger muscles. (True fact) LOL!
It's here!! My Birthday!! I actually like to celebrate the entire month with Birthday hikes, Birthday dates, Birthday coffee...any excuse to celebrate, I'll take it. When the big day actually arrives, I'm pretty fatigued from all of the celebrating and most of the world is confused as to when my birthday really is....because of all the excessive celebrating!
So, just to calcify again. IT'S TODAY!!
This year, I celebrate my birth a few hundred miles away from home doing a women's event in San Diego and watching a Padres baseball game... so it's not all bad! Such is the life when your ministry takes you on the road.
Birthdays are a mixed bag of emotions for me as an adopted child. I don't have those conversations with my Mom about the night I was born, how long she was in labor, what did I look like when I came into the world. I don't have those conversations with my Mom, because my mom wasn't there.
In fact, the day I was born, she had no clue that I even existed. I'm sure she was going about her usual day, taking care of the six other children she had, probably not imagining that a seventh would soon invade her life and more importantly her heart.
It wouldn't be until six weeks after my birth that my Mom and Dad would get an emergency phone call to take in a little baby girl that had not left the hospital yet, a little baby that didn't have the consistent love of a care-giver, but was looked after by nurses on rotation.
What was originally supposed to be a short-term foster care situation turned into 12 years of foster care. After those years passed, I stood before a judge and said "I want Paul and Joan Grotelueschen to be my parents" and I was officially adopted.
So on this April 22, my birthday, I sit and reflect on the fact that I may not be able to say "Hey, Mom, remember the day I was born?" but I have so much more, like remembering the fact that unbeknownst to my parents on this day, the Lord was stirring, preparing, and orchestrating the greatest gift and birthday present I could have ever asked for.... a Mom, a Dad, and six amazing siblings that would love me forever.
Happy Birthday to me!
This week, I am thrilled to introduce to you, my son and guest blogger, Chris Koehne. This post originally appeared in a school newsletter, then his own blog site (which never went live) and now here, where you get to read it. As he jumps into the world of writing (a son after my own heart) I hope that his words, his insights and his humor , although it can be a bit strange at times (again just like his Mama) can brighten your day. ENJOY!
SNAPCHAT! A photo app that allows users to send a picture to a friend that supposedly disappears after a predetermined amount of time. Pish posh! All of those pictures are saved and anything can be screenshotted! And what’s the point of sending a picture for 5 seconds anyways?
A picture should be a work of art. I don’t go to the Phoenix Museum of Art to look at pictures for a few seconds, that would be silly and a waste of $17.99! (sidebar: I don’t go to the Phoenix Museum of Art. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s called the Phoenix Museum of Art, it could be called the Phoenix Art Museum or even the Phoenix Art House for all I know. But if it is called the Phoenix Art House it’s probably run by a bunch of hipsters who say things like “you can’t define art” or “High School Musical 3 was actually pretty good.” Either way, they shouldn’t be trusted.)
But nowadays I see boys walking around after school taking selfies and giggling when they send it to somebody. What’s up with that!? As a matter of fact, on Tuesday, I saw Hugo standing by himself in the middle of a basketball court taking a selfie while making a duck face! What has this world come to!?
Back in my day guys didn’t take selfies! If you wanted to send a picture of your face to somebody, you didn’t! But if for some odd reason you wanted to, that would have required you to take a picture with an actual camera. Then after that you would have to take that camera to your local Walgreens and pay $13.99 just so you could wait 24 hours for your photos to develop by some guy who is going to look at all of your pictures and laugh at you when you come back in to pick them up. Then once you have the picture you would have to wait in line at the post office behind somebody’s grandma who can’t figure out which state her grandson lives in. (sidebar: don’t be mean to grandmas, my grandma loves going to the post office and mailing me letters. Let your grandma know you love her.) So then, days later, once your friend finally receives the picture in the mail they are confused about why they are receiving a picture of your face. (sidebar: They are also kinda creeped out that you know their address and they probably don’t want to be friends anymore… (sidebar from the sidebar: it’s an awkward way for a friendship to end, don’t mail people a picture of your face))
Instead of guys taking selfies and deciding which filter makes our ugly mugs look the best, we would actually talk to each other and play games like Yahtzee or try and figure out the rules to Clue. But we definitely didn’t stand by ourselves and take selfies like Hugo, and that’s just how it was, back in my day. - Chris Koehne
The last thing I wanted to hear when I was chasing a 13 month old who was constantly climbing tables, and had been since he started walking at 9 months, while I had my other baby latched onto my breast dangling mid air, while my 4 year old was in the kitchen "trying" to make breakfast (not to mention the fact that I was doing in home daycare for multiple other children at the same time) was "Treasure this time, it goes so fast."
Treasure that time? ...the crazy, the weariness, the loneliness in the midst of chaos, the longing for my husband to come home and rescue me, the dirty diapers, the fatigue, the feeling of being a milking station, the sleepless nights (shall I go on)...treasure that? You have got to be kidding me!!
Yet , here I am...Apparently, I survived..... my bra size a bit smaller, my stomach a bit flabbier, my stretch marks a testimony to my labor, my wrinkles (3 of them) a badge of the times I spent laughing my way to borderline sanity and my babies....grown.
Those voices now ring in my head, the voices telling me to treasure it up, because they grow so fast and my response of not wanting to, I just wanted to survive the day without a major catastrophe. I just wanted them to hurry up. Well my wish came true.
Time hurried up, time did not wait, my babies......,my babies......my babies grew up. My babies now look out for me. My babies have their own opinions, their own ideas, their own relationships. My babies don't poop or pee in their pants anymore, my babies don't need me to cut their nails or wipe their nose. My babies.....what happened to my babies? What happened to the time?
Sometimes I look at myself and wonder, because I know it was just yesterday that they needed me, I know it was just yesterday that they would fall and want me to kiss their owie and make it better. I am sure that it was just the other day when they wouldn't go to bed unless I tucked them in. My babies grew up.
I try my hardest to not be that person...you know, the one who is on the other side passing down those words "Treasure this time, it goes so fast" to the younger moms, but the reality is wether you treasure it up, take it for granted, hold your breath or wish it away, time marches on. Babies grow up and move out and then all you have are the memories of the precious chaos of days gone by.
So, to my Moms that are in the thick of it, It is true, the time with your young children goes fast so, embrace the crazy that is before you.... don't run from it, jump in it and dance in it...out crazy the crazy, turn the world upside down. Seek God hard in the loneliness, learn to trust him more in your weariness. Change the poop with pride, don the stretch mark as your banner, the wrinkles and bags under your eyes as a testimony to the fact that you are not defeated. You have lived to take on another day! And my friends, that truly is a gift!
You see, one day, you will be like me, standing where I am, wondering how it all happened and where the time went and it will take all your will power to not sound like THAT PERSON! Yet, here I stand with my grown-up babes and one day, Lord willing, you will too.
Now someone go get me some grand-babies!!! Let's do this!!
Love you in the Lord, Mia
Growing up in a home that understood the definition of family was a beautiful thing. I remember standing before a judge at the age of 12 and telling him that I wanted Joan and Paul Grotelueschen to be my parents. I wanted to be adopted by my Mom & Dad. They were my parents and they had been for the last 12 years. The Grotelueschen kids were my brothers and sisters. That was real. I didn't even need a piece of paper to tell me that, but you know, paperwork is good!
I didn't look like anyone in my family and that was ok, I didn't even know what it was like to look like someone. I was clearly adopted and stood out like a sore thumb and that was just fine. We knew what family was. My sister was blond haired and blue eyed and my other sister was adopted from Hong Kong. We were sisters. My brothers were great looking white guys, strong and athletic, who loved their little sister. We weren't your traditional family, especially in the 60's and 70's, but we were family and still are!
Back to that little girl.... honestly, there was always something inside me that wondered.... "Is there anyone out there that looks like me?" Well, one day when I was 16, I got the answer to that question when I sought out my biological family, located them and took a train and bus to the south side of Chicago to meet them. It was actually kind of weird. Here, before me, were people who shared my blood line, black people, like me. I felt a bit out of place. It was all so surreal that I didn't even stop to take a mental picture and ask do we look alike?
Well, that was years ago. And here I am, now in my 40's, posing a question which at the end of the day, doesn't matter, yet, I still feel like asking. A question which now doesn't define who I am, because I know who I am, where I belong and whose arms I am wrapped in. I know what family is, I know what unconditional love is. I know these things, but today, it's just kind of fun looking at my sister, Nita, who grew up so close, yet so far away from me, with a different family, in a different environment, and a different Mom, yet a Mom who gave birth to me too, who gave me life and sacrificed so that I could stand before a judge one day and say I want Mr. & Mrs. G to be my parents. That's pretty awesome.
So, tell me....Do I look like my sister?
Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, yet, still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart, but IN it.
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.