It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tween Drama, Answered Prayer, and a Birthday

Celebrating 12 years of Nancy Lynn. 

Recently I have had a few friends post articles about how pictures on social media can be especially hurtful to tweens/teens because they feel left out. It was because of these articles (and comments) that I had debated about posting this picture and honestly many others for a while now. Like all things social media, finding the correct balance is tricky. The truth is that we do very little in life that is completely solitary so others will be included. In worrying so much about this, I have failed to share what is truly going on in our family.

The tipping point for the above picture (and this blog post) is that we are celebrating my almost-12-year-old. For the past few years, she has given up birthday parties because she was so stressed out about the guest list. Due to space and financial constraints, she has had to limit numbers. In failing to find the correct balance of people (oh, you know what I mean: if you invite this person you have to invite this person, if you invite this person who will she know, ect.), she has just opted to not invite anyone.

I know that this is totally a first world problem. Believe me I know; I am raising two teens who have never been blessed enough to have first world problems. I am hyper aware of the ridiculousness AND blessing of first world problems.

Just sharing that my child avoided having a birthday party because she was stressed out makes me realize how sad that is. It is completely my fault.

In my concern for other people's feelings, I have let my daughter down. Don't get me wrong, gaining an awareness of others is so very important. I am not regretful of making her aware of this but in doing so we all missed a blessing.

You see this group of girls above? They are an answer to a long-ago prayer that my homeschooled daughter would have friends. Maybe that sounds like a silly request. Yet 6 years ago when we moved to our small town, we not only didn't know anyone but we were possibly the only homeschool family. It was a lonely time.

As a family we prayed for friends for Nancy.

God abundance.

This picture contains two homeschooled friends neither who live in our town (or even within an hour of each other), 4 friends who live within a 100-yards of our home, and 2 friends who live in the same house as her. As an added bonus, it contains my BFF who Nancy also considers a trusted friend.

By not sharing this picture, I would once again not share a milestone moment with you. I would also miss out on publicly praising God for His answered prayer.

Like my daughter, I struggle with finding that "correct" balance, but I am going to do better about sharing my life. I don't want to stress or opt out of sharing. If you come by this blog, my Instagram, or Facebook, will you do so with the understanding that it is never my intention to be unkind or hurtful?

Can we agree to stop reading, hide, or scroll past the things that make us feel left out when we are having one of "those" moments when we can't share in the blessing the other person is trying to share?

Is anyone among you suffering?
Let him pray.
Is anyone cheerful?
Let him sing praise.
James 5:13


  1. Ok. First, super happy birthday to Nan. I have loved watching her growing up on your blog and am happy you posted this wonderful celebration of her life and the blessing of friendship the Lord has brought her.

    As to the other point, sigh. I personally find this frustrating. Why can't people see that everyone can't always do everything?! And if someone else does something that you wished to do, well, organize something like it yourself! (whoops, stepped onto my soapbox there! But I really, really mean it!)