Tag Archives: St. Patrick's Day

5 Friday Faves – Beyond the Guitar’s Latest, St. Patrick’s Day, 14-year-olds & Adulting, Soundtracks of Our Lives, and Wonder

1) Beyond the Guitar’s Latest – If you’ve been on here before, you know classical guitarist Nathan Mills (Beyond the Guitar on YouTube). With nothing more needed, here are his latest videos.

YouTube Video – The Last of Us (HBO) Main Theme – Atmospheric Guitar Cover

YouTube Video – OCTOPATH TRAVELER 2 Main Theme – Classical Guitar Cover

2) St. Patrick’s Day – Big day around here although I’m not sure our town is so very Irish. Richmond is big on craft beer so maybe that’s a thing with St. Patty’s Day. I love celebrating because of the patron saint Patrick, all the green decor against the gray of winter, and corned beef and cabbage.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Does being Scottish make a difference in how much I love this holiday?

Worship Wednesday – St. Patrick’s Day – Be Thou My Vision – Deb Mills

3) 14-year-olds & Adulting – When do we begin preparing our children for adulthood? Is it middle school or earlier? Definitely waiting until high school will keep us to often in catch-up mode. Still it is never too late hopefully. My favorite book on this topic is Escaping the Endless Adolescence by Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen.

Instead of asking: “What will keep our teens out of trouble?” “What will make them happy?” or “What will get them into college?”, we need to switch our focus to a different set of queries: “How can we introduce realistic elements of adulthood into their worlds?” What activities best provide real feedback about their effort and skill?” and “Which other adults can we recruit to help pass our values on to them?” In short, we need to switch our focus from activities that reflect living happily as a teenager to activities that let our young people actually use their energy, connect with adults, and make choices that matter in order to begin moving successfully into adulthood.Allen & Allen

In their helps for parents of teens (and younger children), the Allen’s coach how to guide kids to become contributing members of the family, how to give genuine, real-world feedback toward maturity, how to connect their kids with role model adults (including the parents themselves), and how to positively stretch their kids toward skill- and confidence-building.

Monday Morning Moment – Raising Adults – Part 1 – Responsibility Is Two Words – Deb Mills

Monday Morning Moment – Raising Adults – Part 2 – Creating a Culture of Serving – Deb Mills

This topic has really pressed in on me working with refugee families in the US. These children are in a world of change, trying to pick up language, school content, and American culture. No wonder they try to escape into their after-school screen lives. Chores exist but not much opportunity to engage with a larger community…especially where it really counts for them to show up and help.

Photo Credit: Caring For Our Generations

What do kids need to be successful heading into high school, besides the grades and understanding of school culture? Are there responsibilities (“response abilities”) which all young people need as part of their skill set?

Ellen Sturm Niz’s 12 Basic Life Skills Every Kid Should Know by High School warns against doing too much for our children, preventing them from learning how to do for themselves (AND others). She shares a list of basic life skills from How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Any you would add?

  • Make a meal.
  • Wake themselves up on time.
  • Do laundry.
  • Pump gas.
  • Pitch in.
  • Advocate for themselves.
  • Pack their own bag.
  • Order at restaurants.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Plan an outing.
  • Take public transportation.

14-Year-Old Child Development Milestones – Sherrie Gordon

Your Son at 14: Milestones

Stuck in Endless Adolescence – CBS Video – Interview with authors Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen, discussing a Pew Research Center study that 70 percent of people under 30 live with their parents.

4) Soundtracks of Our Lives – Our kids recently gave me the Jon Acuff book Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. Such a surprising and encouraging read. One cool thing about Acuff’s writing is how he gives practical counsel from the first chapter. He doesn’t make you wait. Acuff defines soundtracks as “repetitive thoughts” – those memories and reactions that keep playing on repeat in our minds that cause us to choose a direction in life, often to avoid rather than embrace life and relationship. Overthinking too often communicates our fears back to ourselves, as if they are true and justified. Instead of ruminating on those moments of perceived rejection, felt failure, or self-doubt, we change up the soundtracks playing in the background of our lives. In moving away from broken soundtracks to new healing and helpful soundtracks, Acuff tells us to consider, “What do I want to be true?”

Photo Credit: Jon Acuff, Amazon

One of my broken soundtracks has been “I don’t finish well.” Too fuzzy-boundaried, distractible, interruptible. What if I flipped those parts of my personality? What if they became super-powers? What we tell ourselves about ourselves (and others, also) powerfully impacts the decisions we make and the directions we take. What if “finishing well” in my mind included compassion for others, curiosity, and wonder? Instead of beating myself up over what are perceived weaknesses, what if I disciplined them to be strengths?

For you, a broken soundtrack could be a hurtful memory that feels so real and ugly that you can’t imagine it could ever be healed. So you build walls around your heart to keep from thinking about it or the person who perpetrated that harm? Is it possible that your memory of that event has been made uglier by years of mulling it over and over in your mind? [Please do NOT hear me discount trauma. I do not.] What you can consider, as Acuff writes, is that memory can be re-visited such that it doesn’t determine your direction today. New possibilities are available to you, even in re-thinking the memory. Healing is possible.

4 Soundtracks to Survive the Holidays – Jon Acuff Podcast – great advice for any time of the year; any family gathering or work retreat, for instance.

5) Wonder – Wonder is my word for this year. It is defined as “a splendid or conspicuous work, a miracle, a marvel”. We are surrounded by wonderful, beautiful, tangible objects, processes, and people. And wonders beyond our reach that cause us to pause and…wonder.

Our short-sightedness at such things can be an effect of where we settle our gaze, or hearing, or thoughts. Screens can either point us to wondrous things beyond our experience or shrink our worlds to the size of a phone, tablet, or computer/TV.

Look up. Get close. Be quiet a moment and listen.

Let’s never lose the wonder of the beauty that surrounds us. The beauty we experience…even in hard places. Even in suffering.

Kara Tippetts and family. In the moment. Before she went to her heavenly Home.
My beautiful amazing Mom – Now 20 years in Heaven.
My dad’s hands. Sleeping. Peaceful. Hospice at home with family.


That’s it for this week. So many faves to choose from. Any you want to share? Comment below. Until next time. Thanks for stopping by.


Photo Credit: Twitter, Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim

Money Hours – Steve Keating

Photo Credit: Quote Fancy, Jon Acuff Quotes
Photo Credit: Quote Fancy, Jon Acuff Quotes

Top 70 Jon Acuff Quotes

Monday Morning Moment – From Unmoved to Reengaged – Perspective

Sit with me (or walk with me, as you like). Just for a few minutes. Hoping this 2-week old chick has drawn you in. She must be taking in so much new in her few days of life, with 5 other little ones (belonging to my daughter who raises chickens now, as well as children).

This is a brief lament about a squandered day. Mondays are usually full days and happy, hopeful days, filled with all the possibilities of a new week. This Monday…today, I allowed to lay dormant. Unmoved by the chores at home, the beloved people in my life, or those in the world who could use a friend.

Unmoved. Do you ever have days like that?

I finally got out of my own way to go thrifting midday with a writer friend of mine. She was also struggling with getting words on a page, so to speak. Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, right? Writer’s block is hard for a writer. We are energized by that type of creativity. My energy was low. It was good to see her anyway; we found some bargains, and we would pray for each other in this doldrum.

Then late afternoon came and I sat at my computer hoping for inspiration. That was when I rediscovered the poem below…and a switch flipped the light on.

Aweless by Albert D. Spalding, Jr.

The king passes in front of the soldiers.

They stand strong and silent.

The people strain to see.

Power excites and enthralls and enchants.

I walked on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral.

I looked up at the giant ornate doors.

I stepped backwards and tried to see the full length of the tallest decorative spire.

I noticed the cell phone antennae.

What motivates the design and building of a cathedral?

What sort of awe quickens the heart and brightens the imagination?

Am I going through life without the Big Deal?

Have I missed my chance to be truly inspired, truly overcome by awe?

Where are my fellow worshipers, who can join me in designing our cathedral?

When do we come together to fall on our knees and chant, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”

Yahweh passes in front of us.

We avoid stepping on the old chewing gum on the sidewalk.

We check our cell phone.

Here’s what came out of this cautionary tale for me. We can move from the dullest of mundane days into something quite momentous, as we shake off what seems to be and reengage in the what is.

I was reminded of a recent trip to an urgent care center with an Afghan mom, her little son, and another Afghan friend who translates for me. The little son probably had an ear infection that had kept him awake and crying during the night before. He needed antibiotics. As we were providing information to the admissions clerk (concentrating on unfamiliar spelling of names common in another world), my friends had plenty of time to look around the waiting area. My translator buddy (all of 13y/o who has been in the US over a year now) asked me, “Debbie, why are there these little green trees on all the walls?”

It’s a small thing, but St. Patrick’s Day was completely out of her cultural experience. Why it is such a big deal in the US is actually hard to explain as well. A cause for celebration, I’m thinking.

Every single day of our lives is a cause for celebration.

With that reminder (and the Spalding poem), thanks to answered prayer, I’m sure, my day was delivered from being completely barren. Perspective was restored along with the drive that comes with it. I spent the rest of the day left to me in life-giving activity.

Reading a chapter of Tyler Staton’s Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools (highly recommended). Making supper for my husband (who has a very long week ahead), and celebrating his light, joking mood (glad I didn’t miss that under my earlier black cloud). Two deep phone conversations with friends who share common goals in life. Praying myself to sleep.

Perspective – what a gift! I had beaten myself up fairly completely over a wasted day, and before it was too late to redeem, God helped me clear the mechanism. Joy.

So thanks for staying with me. Your company inspires me, and I know it costs you time and thought. Praying for you right now…God knows who you are…praying for you to be moved to engage in this amazing life we have in this messy world. Praying life-giving perspective. Look up.

Worship Wednesday – Anxiety, Holding On, & Reclaiming Perspective – Deb Mills

And if you love baseball (or not so much), this scene from For the Love of the Game will thrill your hearts with its fight and determination on the last pitch: