Playing Favorites and other thoughts

2433 2433_ () 2433 2433 •Scrolling through my most recent posts, I can see that there are a lot of pictures of The Girl. I wondered, as I looked at all the cuteness, if readers think she is my favorite? I worried about that for a split-second before recognizing that when Henry was our baby, the pictures were all about him. So, it’s not that our Princess is our favorite (though she is awfully sweet), but the baby gets the eye of the camera it seems.

•Last night, I gave a talk at a friend’s house for a group of neighborhood women. To explain: before I left for the Faith and Family Mom’s Day Away this past April, I let a bunch of people know about my trip and asked them to pray for me. After the trip, my friend Anna asked how it went and what I spoke about. As I was telling her, she was so interested that she wondered if I would share the entire talk with her.

I thought it was very sweet of her, and said sure, we could get together for coffee sometime and I’d just tell her my thoughts, what I thought the Holy Spirit wanted me to share that day with those women.

A few weeks later, Anna and our friend Mollie told me they were inviting some people from our neighborhood to come over for wine and cheese and to hear what I had to say. They weren’t sure how many ladies would show up, but I was certainly happy to come by (a glass of wine with friends is always a nice evening!).

I arrived at Mollie’s last night to a very nice crowd, all people I know, there to hear what I had shared in Boston last Spring.

And man, it was intimidating.

There were old friends and younger women and some of my mom’s friends (who I love dearly). My mom would have come but she had surgery that morning, so it was fun to have a few of her peers there. The room was filled with people I know and love and share life with — people who know me really well but probably don’t see this “public” side of me too often.

Before I began, I shared with the group that I was about 100 percent antsy about talking to a bunch of people who know me so very well. It totally changes the game, I’m not sure why.

I do a fair amount of public speaking these days, and while I do get a nice surge of adrenaline, I don’t get too uptight about it anymore. I’m mostly excited to get to share my story and my love for Jesus. It’s that simple. It’s not about me, it’s about God.

When it’s a roomful of people you know, however, it just feels different. And the funny thing — today, I was telling my mom and dad about what I had shared, and even then I started feeling funny. It’s not that these are things they don’t know about me, but somehow going off and sharing with people not in your everyday world is very, very different than sharing from the heart with people who see you all the time.

For one thing, when I am out, away from my day-to-day life, I can share stories about anonymous friends and neighbors and no one has any clue. Last night, when I shared one integral story about some personal spiritual growth, just about everyone in the room was able to guess other key characters in my tale.

It’s a strange phenomenon, and it keeps me humble. I guess it’s the love that keeps me sane.

•Whenever I head out to do any kind of public speaking, I always ask Paul to pray for me (and over me). He puts his hands on my head and says a prayer for me, for peace and clarity, that God will be in the midst of it all, that I will be at peace and have FUN.

Last night as I was leaving, Paul did that for me. Then Henry came up and told me he wanted to pray for me. I bent down, and he put his hands of my head. He said a prayer (“Jesus and God and love and Help Mommy Amen”, more or less) and then he kissed me on the lips, just like his daddy had a minute before. I realized, as I do from time to time, that all the talk in the world will not inspire our children the way our actions do.

I learned that a while ago with boys — less is more in the Speech Department (like my husband, my boys tune out after paragraph three). What they remember is the example. They will mimic what they see us do, and hopefully the fruit in our lives will be good and deserving of their attention.

•I am super, super excited to report that we are flying out to Salt Lake City in a few weeks to see my brother and sister-in-law and their precious son. If you have any tips on flying with six children (last time we all flew together it was four kids) and especially on how to handle a seven-hour-layover in Denver, your suggestions would be awesome! 2433″>



  1. We made our Europe trip when the kids were 5,2 and 1. I have a few tips if you want to give me a call. I hate I missed you last night. We had plans that evening and I got back in time to pick the kids up at VBS at 9. I wondered what all those cars on the street were when I got home. Age will do that to you. Maybe next time.

  2. Wow, a 7 hour layover in Denver, you might was well rent a car and drive to Salt Lake! We just did a road trip a couple of weeks ago from Boise to Salt Lake to Denver to Lawrence, KS (and then home through South Dakota). The trip from Salt Lake to Denver was beautiful and only about 8 1/2 hours. Good luck – we’ll be praying for a safe and uneventful travel!

  3. Catherine Carlson says:

    If you have to have a 7 hour layover, Denver is the place to do it. The upstairs lounge areas really make it easy to keep everyone together and out of the way while still letting the little ones run around a bit and explore. Good luck!

  4. Jennifer D. says:

    I read your blog all the time and may have commented once and I had to comment today. Your writing today is a confirmation in what I have been thinking about lately – examples vs. talking. These thoughts capture it all:

    ” . . . all the talk in the world will not inspire our children the way our actions do. . . . What they remember is the example. ”

    Thank you for this today. May I ask a question that you or others may be able to help me with? How do we change our ways when we know we ought to change (because our example is not very good or the best), but didn’t or don’t have the examples to show us how to be?

  5. Natalie says:

    Is your talk available online at all? I would love to read it or listen to it!

  6. Beautiful post! The thought of your little one praying over you like his daddy made me tear up. I can only hope my own children will have such a relationship with God when they’re slightly older.

    I have to do some speaking for school/work, and I’m getting ready to begin teaching at the University of Cincinnati in the fall… I’ve gotten to the point where I’m comfortable speaking to a room full of strangers, but speaking in front of people I’m close to still makes me nervous. I think it’s because I fear disappointing them. I’m sure your story was appreciated by everyone who heard you speak! You are an amazing woman, and I pray to live a Christian life as well as you.

  7. When we flew with 8 kids from Denver to Disneyland it was quite an adventure, although we didn’t have a 7 hour layover. We had everyone in matching bright green t-shirts so it was easy to spot everyone (even the adults). We learned that paying for the luggage cart and the in flight t.v. is worth it, even though you have to pay for it on multiple rows. We also brought snacks and activity pads.

    As for the layover, I have two suggestions. First, you could pack cards and other small games to occupy time in the airport. We also like to read books aloud as a family (yes, even in public, just more quietly). Second, you could have a family of total strangers who happen to live 10 minutes from the Denver Airport swing by with their 15 passenger van, pick you up, and show you the sight. 🙂

  8. Melissa Z. says:

    Hey, I was in the Denver airport once with my husband, 2 toddlers, and newborn…and they told us our next flights had been cancelled and all the hotels in city were booked and no new flights for four days, so try to sleep on the floor. Seriously!! But I’m sure your time will be lots of fun. (And we did get out of there eventually…)

  9. Three words of advice from a long-time flying mom of 8: Portable. DVD. Player. And lots of prayer and patience! Plus a little Benadryl for the little one might help them sleep on the plane (it was my old-fashioned pediatrician who told me that)

  10. I have to say you’re a brave women for talking in front of all those people! I have done my share of public speaking and I am getting better, but still get anxious.

    Have fun in SLC, say, “hi,” to the Mormons. 🙂