Sometimes unexpected challenges lead to rest even in the midst of a Stepping on Cheerios life. This past Sunday after teaching Sunday school, our family headed to my nephews ballgame. My daughter thought it would be an awesome idea to bring the family dog to the ballpark and while I first I hesitated with the Texas heat, I discovered it wasn’t going to hit 90 that day so we grabbed a leash, water bottle and dog bed and loaded up the cleaner of our two vehicles – my husband’s SUV. When we arrived at the ballpark, we were greeted by a volunteer who politely informed us there were no dogs allowed in the area where my nephew was playing. The boys helped us move to the outer filed area but we quickly came to the conclusion it was sunny, hot and we had a view of basically one outfielder. So being the girls we are, we quickly retreated to the car where she enjoyed some entertainment and I opened Stepping on Cheerios by Betsy Snyder Singleton that had been on my bedside table stack for almost a month.
Unless I’m on vacation reading FBI fiction, I read books for information and inspiration. I want to know how to be a better parent, wife, counselor, or provide a solution focused answer to some mental health issue for one of our counseling center staff members or a client.
Betsy is a pastor who like myself married a man over 30 who never been married before and we both had children later in life. Gratefully I only had two but her story started with one and then the addition of triplets. All boys.
What I loved about the book is it was a lot like Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love.
1) An easy read on a lazy afternoon with lots of poignant truth woven into life stories that I related to quite well as I’m in the same season of life driving kids to and from activities and trying to balance motherhood and ministry with it’s never ending challenges.
2) I love that her boys pointed out that we should be grateful for the Legos which are symbols of creative play and time away from the screens that tantalize our children.
3) I too treasure family movie nights in the sacredness of slowing down and using discussions of those stories to teach character, the battle of right and wrong, and differences in our family values and the current culture.
4) I loved that she too is committed and striving for weekly date nights and overnight trips with her husband in the midst of motherhood.
5) I also related to her struggling with demands by knowing the importance of caring for your emotional self after difficult encounters like funerals and intense counseling sessions. I also like retail therapy especially with a couple of staff members who also need to blow off some steam after a tough day.
I also love the way she wove in biblical truth and poignant thoughts about Jesus and the way he lived life in community and with others. It’s something I care deeply about. I’ve noticed a recent theme in the Christian community with books like Invited and the Turquoise Table (currently new releases for the summer) both encouraging us all to look at how we can open our doors and our homes to those around us. In fact it echoed the lesson of Sunday school I taught this week, reminding me that the greatest call besides loving God is to love my neighbor.[clickToTweet tweet=”The greatest call besides loving God is to love my neighbor” quote=”The greatest call besides loving God is to love my neighbor”]
After the book was finished, I decided to take the dog for a walk because the car ride home otherwise would probably be painful for all of us. What greeted me was more unexpected. A beautiful lake as you can see from the photos with a lot of wildlife and families.
The Stepping on Cheerios days are tough and often very sleep deprived. I’m grateful I’m now in the same stage as is Betsy where the bigger fear of stepping on Legos and breaking what seems to be an ever-growing financial investment. I could do without the summer swimsuits and clothes on the floor – mine included. No matter the stage of motherhood, grandmotherhood or busy careerdom we find ourselves living, I think we can all benefit from some idle time.