A Purposefully Purposeful Purpose

Say that fast 5 times

Isn’t that we all yearn for? To find OUR purpose? What the darn was I put on this earth to  accomplish? Or am I supposed to wander through life without a direction?

IMG_5695Every child (that means all of us!) was born with a need to find a purpose in life. Tim Kimmel in his book, Grace Based Parenting, says there are levels of purpose to be found.

The overarching first level of purpose is for us to have GENERAL purpose. Therefore, I purpose to purposefully put purpose into Tatum; she needs to know she was CREATED FOR A PURPOSE…as a Knight Light


Let your LIGHT shine

“You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:13

With that, the core values for me to instill (a work in progress still):

  1. Leave the world nicer than you found it: Be kind and show respect: (Because) “you Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30)
  2. Commit to a lifetime of learning:  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23) + “Make it your ambition to a lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you so that your daily life may win the respect of the outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thess 4:11-12)
  3. Learn from life’s experience so that you are more valuable to others. (God doesn’t waste anything): God, “who comforts us in all our affliction (struggles), so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor 1:4)
  4. Be a Leader: Encourage and develop the potential of as many people as you can: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil 2:3,4)


Little does she know that many people live a purposeless life with no hope. With the knowledge that God did put her on this earth for something great, she can have hope at all times. The next level, being a SPECIFIC purpose, is where she needs to discover her strengths. All I can do is encourage her and help her stay focused.

IMG_5684She just needs to look UP and find direction.


Three needs; it starts with Grace

As I consider the MISSION statement I’d like to place on Tatum’s wall, I’m also thinking of the VALUES we stand for as a family. The book I’m currently reading has me thinking about it in a whole new way. Now, it’s not really new, it’s what I have known all along, yet have not been able to articulate its meaning.

It’s called “Grace-Based Parenting,” coined by Dr. Tim Kimmel from his best-selling book. These kinds of parents spend their time entrusting themselves to Christ. The offspring are the receivers of the grace we are enjoying from God. The GRATITUDE we feel from the grace we have received is bestowed on the children especially when they are so difficult to love. (He would have their advice be):

“You are a gift from God; go make a difference.”

“You may struggle doing the right thing sometimes, but you’re forgiven.”

This all stems from Romans 1:17 “Those who are right with God will live by trusting in Him.”

But it does not stop there. It’s an awareness that there are THREE inner needs of children; everything must funnel from these:

1. A need for security

2. A need for significance

3. A need for strength

(we give our children love, purpose and hope to meet these needs, according to Kimmel)

What sets Christian faith apart from all others is GRACE; It’s that wonderful gift offered by God to us (undeserving!) that makes us fall in love with Jesus. (our Savior)

So for me, as Tatum’s mom, I want her to start with a SECURE love. According to Kimmel, this is a steady and sure love that is written on the hard drive of children’s souls. It’s a “complete love that they default to when their hearts are under attack. It’s the kind of love that children can diffidently carry with them in to the future.” And she will…she will come under personal struggles, heartbreaks, rejections, enemies. What will carry her through when mommy’s shoes won’t be there to find comfort in?


“There is a love that we can pass on to them that is steady, sure, and available to them whether we are here or not, and I’m talking about the infinite love of God.” When she is with me, I can significantly increase her capacity to move into her adult years with that security in place. This “transfer of love is called grace and that is the result of parents loving children the way God loves us.” 

To be continued…..

This girl has personality

Everything for Tatum is an experience. She takes EVERYTHING in; not only the obvious things like a carousel or a train, but little things like being under a table and making a “tunnel”; or…making a game out of going down the stairs like a froggy. The doggie provides an outlet of fun for her. She loves to be his buddy and maybe a big sister. He thinks he is the big brother too, so sometimes this can get a bit confusing!

IMG_2319 IMG_2318 IMG_2327Her zest for life is contagious. There is not a minute that goes by that she does not inquire about something, so this means at all times I am on! Sure, it gets tiring, but I have to remember that this stage will be so short. IMG_2333

Today, she went around to everyone at music class to say “Hi” and give hugs. Her ability to make others feel welcome and smile inspires me…even her babies and her little new doggie:IMG_5655 IMG_5654Moreover, when she does not get her way, she has this internal button that goes off knowing it was wrong and she experiences remorse. Her fussing does not bother me and neither does her exerting her opinion. I do not overreact. No, I merely talk to her as an adult, explaining the WHY behind what we are doing. What I am proud of is her ability to understand and finally agree.

The park was a fine example of this. She did not want to leave! Why? Because she experienced success climbing:

IMG_5668 IMG_5667 IMG_5666IMG_5668 IMG_5666 IMG_5665

IMG_5661 and being “up high!”



IMG_5659Throwing sand was not acceptable, however, so after doing it twice, she lost the battle and we left. I explained how much it could hurt another, and I do believe she understood. Why do parents not explain the why? Even if they don’t understand, it’s vital in my humble opinion.

Personality? Charisma? Whatever makes her contagious to be around, I pray she uses it for good to influence the world around her for GOOD.




Magic Green Headband

I cannot get Tatum to wear ANYTHING on her head for the life of me. NOTHING! It’s been a battle since she was 2 days old when she had a little hat on her head. It immediately came off with her itsy bitsy hand. A bow? Nope. Hat? eh…about a minute. Headband? Not a chance.

But, mommy’s terribly ugly green hold-her-hairback headband? Yep! She grabbed it from my counter, put it on her head, and ran to the mirror. I thought she stepped into the 80’s and was ready for a Jane Fonda aerobic workout. Oh, she just thought she looked so cute!


Add a ball, and you have the next…well, I don’t really know any women soccer players, but you have the next one here. IMG_5636 IMG_5639 IMG_5640

We threw the ball back and forth, and that girl has an arm. Could it be the magic green headband? The great thing about ball with Tatum is that she not only waits for me to throw the ball, but then she attempts to throw the ball back to me by bringing it nearly to my face. I hardly have to move. It’s like a game of fetch!

This tired her out…(but not me! :)))  so it was more “What letter is this?” game.

IMG_5641Another great Sunday with Tot. 🙂



P is for “Punkin”

Learning the letter P is sure fun. It all started at our friendly local Trader Joe’s about a month ago. There it was…a BARREL of all sorts of squashes from round to bumpy and from white to orange. Tatum pointed and I said, “Pumpkin!” Then that was the word of the day for the entire Trader Joe’s experience.

wpid-photo-20141014170552It only got better. When we hit the sample stand, they usually give Tot an animal cookie (in the shape of a letter…so I guess it’s a letter cookie!?) When we arrived to the stand, she said, “E? I? O??” Sadly..no letter cookies that day. (Sad face) BUT HARK! They did have something much more tasty.

Pumpkin O’s! UnknownDelectable. A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and everything nice added to their usual Toasted O’s. Heaven. The mini cup of Pumpkin O’s lasted the whole trip, as Tatum squealed “‘Punkin O’s'” every three seconds. Tatum was happy. Mommy was happy (moreover because I had my hot piping baba (of sample pumpkin coffee!). When we arrived at the checkout, she alerted everyone in line, “”Punkin” O’s!”

IMG_5608 IMG_5611

The alphabet can be so fun, and especially when you get to enjoy partaking in that letter’s food item. (Except when she thinks a banana starts with “N.” (for nana))

In the meantime, we bought our own little pumpkin, and thanks to a DEAR person in my life, this pumpkin has become a Mrs. Princess Punkin-head.




(As she says, “Picture, please!?”)IMG_5625

The wonderful P.


From Lemons come Lemonade

Have ever had a day where you messed up over and over again? I mean, you just couldn’t seem to get your groove on.

We had a day like this yesterday.

Tatum was up earlier than usual, and instead of letting her sleep a bit longer, I went in and got her up.

We spent the first 30 minutes of the morning in the Word. I read our devotion, then I grabbed my Bible as Tot played. She noticed that I was reading, so she grabbed her Bible and we sat together; Tatum and me…enjoying Jesus. Pretty darn cool.

This start of the day thrilled me, and I knew it was going to be an incredible day!

Or was it?

Around 9:30, Tatum decided to do the exact opposite to what I said more than once. Hmmmm. My voice raised a few octaves and I felt myself reverting to a broken record of “Don’t do this..Don’t touch that…” Yuk. Obviously, this was not effective, and I know better, yet, I was flustered and she could tell. In the past, redirection or positive talk like, “Not for Tatum, but this Tatum can play with” worked. (And it still does) But, again, we just were not jiving, Tot and me, not communicating well at all. Whose fault was this? Mine, yet I let it influence my attitude.

She had to pull a few more hiccup moments that day, and I had to raise my voice a few octaves higher, but in the end, at the end of the day…..

We made Lemonade. (virtually that is)

IMG_2729Those darn lemons can be so sour. The aftertaste can last and last, unless you wash it down with some grace and some love. HOW?

Well, first, before bed last night, we prayed together, and we talked about the day. We do get angry..both of us. But we need to work on handling it better (me too!) She has every right to try to exert herself and challenge boundaries, but she also has the duty to be obedient. It’s a learning curve for me in how I handle the moments that she does challenge those set lines and rules.

Making lemonade with Tatum is what we do everyday. Messing up and trying again is all part of parenting and all part of being a kid. It’s all part of being HUMAN! The grace given to us by our Father who showed us HOW is the model I choose to follow. Tatum can learn to see that Jesus is her role model in what obedience looks like (i.e. we show love by obeying the ones we love!), but more importantly what LOVE really means.