Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Box of Chocolates

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Nature versus Nurture … there is perhaps no place where this particular debate (or at minimum the nature side of it) can be more easily observed than in homes where there are both biological and ado100_0659pted children. Mine is one such home. My husband and I have a biological son (16) and an adopted daughter (12), and we continue to be surprised by the new, sometimes “foreign,” things we see in our daughter.

Our son is a blending of the two of us, and most of what we see in him is recognizable. He’s the first born of two first-borns, so his dominant and uber responsible nature makes sense. He has my dark brown eyes and his dad’s hard head. His old soul comes from Tim, his love of music from me, and he’s got a double dose of introversion. There are not a lot of surprises. He’s good with his hands, but not athletic. We understand his talents and decision-making process.

With our Guatemala-born daughter, we find new gifts and personality traits that don’t exist in the other three of us. She is light-hearted, playful and loves a good time; she’s not crazy about work. When we brought her home at 4½ months, she was super serious. She didn’t smile much and seemed to be examining us even at that young age. Today, she loves cheerleading, and she is fast and flexible. She’s crafty and creative and great with puzzles, and she forces us into new areas. She is the perfect counter to her brother. Our little Latina adds spice and laughter to our home!

When Forrest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates,” he knew what fun it can be. But, he also knew that reaching in and g100_4175rabbing a piece of who-knows-what can be scary at times, too. It’s like that sometimes with our daughter. I still find myself learning that communicating with her is different from how I talk to our son. She thinks differently, she is impacted emotionally in a different way, and she receives information differently. And, those differences go beyond gender differences or those we would find between biological siblings. Though she’s been with us virtually her entire life, the influence of genetics is powerful.

There are a variety of challenges that come with adoption; this is another of them. However, “the box-of-chocolates effect” is also one of the greatest joys of adoption. Our girl will forever keep us on our toes, but I cannot imagine our lives without her. She is a beautiful blessing!

Are you an adoptive and biological parent? Tell us more about your experiences.

Happy Monday!

Hally

 

Gettin’ Cheeky

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blog - cheekyHave you noticed that the images of beautiful women have changed over the years? Who hasn’t, right? I am specifically referring to body shape, size and type. We expect that styles in clothing, hair and make-up change, but it’s strange to see how wildly figures have fluctuated as well.

I have written before about my aunt’s wedding wall, on which we can observe how bridal fashions changed over ten decades; every family marriage (that has lasted, and most have) is commemorated there with a wedding-day photo of the couple. And, who hasn’t enjoyed a laugh at “throw-back Thursday” postings of crazy high school hairdos. And, yes, make-up too has changed. The nineties were a rather clownish time for cosmetics.

Marilyn Monroe, Candice Bergen, Twiggy, Farrah Fawcett, Pam Anderson, Kate Moss and Heidi Klum are some who have graced the pages of celebrity and fashion magazines as examples of beauty and sex appeal. Over time we have seen women with “softer” bodies and those that are quite athletic. The magazines and media have embraced women who were completely natural in appearance, but today we see few who are. Curvy versus willowy, strong versus feminine.

The latest trend, which I really cannot get behind, is the desire to have a Brazilian bottom. “Why in my day”… the last thing a gal wanted was a big rear end. Whether I wanted it or not, I got one. So, consequently, my family is contractually forbidden to take any photographs of mom from that particular angle.

These days, though, I am not thrilled with my front angle either. As a youth the cheeks on my face were very full, round and rosy. So, I always felt my face looked fat even when the rest of me was thin. However, as I grew older, I noticed that the cheeks were not as full – that was a good thing. Except now, I have the distinct feeling that those cheeks have gone south on me and are now presenting as jowls. Yikes! The fullness has flipped!

It’s tough being a female in today’s world. Knowing and keeping up with how we are supposed to look is confounding for those who haven’t simply given up trying. Maybe we should instead focus on rules that don’t seem to change as often – like those of what inner beauty looks likes. Warmth, sincerity, generosity, kindness and faithfulness are some that I see in truly beautiful sisters. What do you think makes a woman beautiful inside? Share your thoughts!

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!

Hally

 

 

Convicted

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While introducing our new quarter during Bible class a few weeks ago, our teacher asked us if we considered ourselves to be regular Bible readers. While I was fully aware of hands going up all around me, blog - convictedmine did not go up. Our leader went on to define “regular” as reading every other day or so, if not every day. Though there have been times when I have read my Bible on a daily basis, this was not the case a few weeks ago. I was not reading daily, nor was I in my Bible a few times each week. In a funk, I had totally gotten off track with my personal study.

In a work or professional setting, I am consistent, reliable and prompt. In my parenting, I try diligently to maintain consistency in disciple, routines and expectations. However, when it comes to those habits that impact me on a more personal level, I lack that same day-in, day-out commitment.

I fail to exercise regularly. I may go for months on end exercising several times a week, but completely lose my momentum after a time. And, even though I know it is important to eat healthy, I get lazy or bored, and entirely stop paying attention to what goes in my mouth.

The same can be said for my study time with God. When I am regularly spending time in His word, I feel better. My general mood and outlook are better. I feel more motivated and at peace. More importantly, He is happier when I regularly take time to be with Him. However, even knowing all that, I still get off track from time-to-time. Perhaps, you do as well.

I was embarrassed and convicted on that Sunday morning in Bible class, and I have since gotten myself back in His word. But, why is it that those routines such as exercise, eating right, and Bible study get left behind when we aren’t paying attention? Is it because perhaps no one else is paying attention? Is it because we aren’t held accountable as often and obviously for these behaviors (or lack thereof)?

We are compelled by our employers to do a good job. And, most of us take pride in doing our best in a workplace setting. Our children require us to maintain consistency. If we don’t, all sorts of problems will manifest in our homes. But, we deceive ourselves if we think there are no consequences for neglecting the things which keep our physical bodies and our souls healthy.

So, I need to add to my prayers a special request for consistency. I need to ask God to help me be diligent and disciplined, regular and reliable in the areas of my life that are private, just as I am in those areas that are seen.

Have a Blessed Wednesday!

Hally