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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 18:4 Deep Waters

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Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

 

“He’s 14, and he’s taken to grunting.”

Yep, those words came out of my husband’s mouth on a recent double-date, and they are oh so accurate.

It is amazing how much can be said in a grunt. There’s the “yes” grunt, the “no” grunt, the “I’m so tired” grunt, the “I don’t care” grunt. I could go on, but you moms out there with teen boys probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Grunting is not my preferred form of communication, and I often push my child to use real words with multiple syllables and clear annunciation. But sometimes I just accept the language of the grunt.

As my teen boys grow into men though, I want to see that grunting turn into deep waters. Bible commentator Matthew Henry describes deeps waters this way:

The well-spring of wisdom is as deep waters. An intelligent knowing man has in him a good treasure of useful things, which furnishes him with something to say upon all occasions that is pertinent and profitable. This is as deep waters, which make no noise, but never run dry.

Deep waters which make no noise, but never run dry. I pray that as my boys grow in their knowledge of God, they will also grow in their ability to present that knowledge to others in a way that makes the hearer feel loved and cared for even when they disagree.

I’ll give in to the grunting now and then during these growing years, but I’m praying for the deep waters to come.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray that you will develop in my boys not only a desire to know your truth, but to be able to present it in a loving way. That people will say of them, “those are some wise and kind men who are not afraid to speak truth in love.”  Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 9:9 EFFORT

by KimHarms 2 Comments

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Proverbs 9:9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

My kids aren’t big fans of the 8:00 – 3:00 school day routine. (It’s boring, they say.) And it perplexes them that they must go to school for nine months of the year while summer break lasts only three months. In their minds, to be fair, school should be six months of the year and break should fill the other six.

They wouldn’t say that they think learning is fun, but my oldest son found an appreciation for the hard work of studying last year. School has always come easy to him. He can spell pretty much every word in the English language (it’s not uncommon for his dad to ask him how to spell something), and he took Algebra in seventh grade.

That Algebra class introduced him to the world of studying.

Never having studied a day in his life, he found himself in a class where everything didn’t just fall into place for him. He had to learn to study. The weekend before semester tests, he and his dad studied for 6 hours together. (Whew! My brain hurt just watching them.)

But you know what? He learned the material and got an A on the test.

I hope that as he grows, he will not just slide by on his natural abilities, but that he will appreciate what studying can do. And may he realize that though he is a smart kid according to the school’s standards, he can still add to his learning if he puts forth effort.

Prayer

Lord, I pray that my kids will understand the value of listening to instruction and learning new and sometimes difficult things. And as they study and learn the things they need to in school, I pray they will find that they can grow in wisdom by studying your word as well. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Super Heroes and Such

by KimHarms 1 Comment

I missed Boy Mom Monday last week because I was 3300 miles away from my boys in Port au Prince, Haiti. I just returned from my trip and, in lieu of a devotion, I am posting something I wrote in 2008 for my column in the local paper. Maybe some of you can relate 🙂

sly robin three super boys

It all started with the Boy Wonder. In the fall of 2005, my mom made Batman and Robin costumes for my two boys. The two-year-old became smitten with Robin. I remember the morning I was awakened at the crack of dawn to my son, standing right next to my bed, his little towhead inches from my face.

“I waked up. Can I be Robin?” he asked to me with those bright blue eyes shining.

At that moment, I had no idea what was in store for me. That for the next two years, this child would live his life as a super hero. After Robin, it was Superman, Spiderman, Zorro, Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hulk…if Marvel or D.C. Comics created him, we had the costume.

Grandma, the seamstress, was a busy woman, sewing alter-egos for her grandson. I’m sure at some point in her life she had dreams of sewing frilly little dresses for granddaughters (especially since her own daughter was not the frilly dress type), but God chose to bless her with all male grandchildren, so she traded in her lace and bows for capes and masks. (side note: God gave her a granddaughter in 2012.)

We went to the grocery store as Superman, Lowe’s as Batman and the park as Zorro. It was even common to find him asleep in a cape and mask, after he had been tucked in bed in regular p.j.s. The only place I did not let Owen go in costume was church. I’m confident God would’ve been okay with it, but it just didn’t feel right to me.

I remember having women a couple decades my senior come up to me and smile with that knowing smile and say things like, “Oh, I remember that age. My son was always flying off the couch in a cape. Enjoy it. My superhero is 23 now.”

In my mind, my super hero would never grow out of it. He would be flying off the furniture and saving the world from the bad guys forever. And for two solid years, that’s just what he did. Then, one day, he decided to dress in the human clothes in his closet. And eventually, he started wearing boy clothes more often than superhero clothes. Now, it’s a rare day that he dresses in costume; though I can’t bring myself to box them up and put them away.

The other morning, as he was getting ready for school, he said, “Mom, why do you always make me wear these Spiderman shirts. It makes people think I like Spiderman, and I don’t like Spiderman.”

What? Did I hear that right? What happened to my web flinging wall climber? He can’t be growing up. Other people’s kids grow up. Mine aren’t supposed to.

I now realize I am destined to become one of those nice ladies who relives the past as they see young moms buying groceries with their super heroes in tow. I will say things like, ‘Enjoy it while it lasts. They grow up so fast.’ And other phrases that so easily rattle off the tongue of people who have been there.

And I’m sure those young moms will smile at me, but in their minds they will think just as I did, “What a nice lady, but she’s wrong about my son. He will always be a super hero. Only other people’s kids grow up.”

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 3:27 – DO GOOD

by KimHarms 2 Comments

Aging Guitar

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act.

 

Many years ago my husband gave free guitar lessons to a young teen he met through our church youth group. That teen came to our house once a week to play guitar and often stayed afterwards to eat dinner with us.

I didn’t really like the boy.  (Sometimes I’m just a jerk on the inside while I’m serving on the outside.)

I didn’t like the idea of Corey giving his time to him, and I struggled with my attitude as I passed him the potatoes.

But Corey saw something I didn’t. Where I saw an annoying boy taking up my family time, Corey saw a vulnerable boy who needed a safe place to be himself. Where I saw an extra mouth to feed, he saw an opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet.

That’s one of the many things I love about my husband. He sees in others things that I don’t. And he is a great example of Proverbs 3:27; he does not withhold good when it is in his power to act.

I hope our boys will recognize that quality in their dad and grow to exemplify him in his attitude and actions. (If they end up anything like their daddy, they will be pretty incredible men.)

Lord, Give my sons eyes to see people the way you see them and to look for opportunities to love others. May they not withhold good when it is in their power to act. Amen

 

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Boy Mom Monday – A Devotional Journey Through Proverbs

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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Join me on Mondays starting September 14, as I begin a journey through Proverbs in prayer for my boys. Each Monday I’ll share one verse, a short devotional story and a prayer on behalf of my crazy beloved man-children.

I’d love to have you come along and pray your boys through Proverbs too.

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The Mid @ Scary Mommy

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I’m over on  The Mid at Scary Mommy today giving advice to my younger self. Feel free to check it out.

An author/teacher whom I have an immense amount of respect for said that the best advice he ever got as a writer was, “You must be willing to walk down the street naked.” Every time a piece of me goes out into the world of cyber-space via an article I’ve written, I have a better understanding of what that statement means.

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Boy Mom Weapon Wall Success

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I started it a year ago, but it’s complete and installed now and that’s what counts right?

All it took to motivate me was a funky smell in my boy’s bedroom which necessitated the removal of all items in search of possible culprits. The miscreant is still a mystery, but the bedroom is darn clean and smelling fresh. Plus, now there is a designated place for hanging weapons. Something every eight-year-old needs.

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Middle School Moms and A Poem about a Boy and His Mama

Tonight begins Middle School Moms group at my house. (I know it’s a terribly creative name isn’t it?) As I sit wondering about the moms I’m going to get to know better and the kids I’m going to have the opportunity to pray for this summer, I am reminded of this poem I wrote a couple years ago.

A poem about a little boy who still lives in the world where holding mama’s hand in public is as natural as giggling with his friends.

I have one boy who holds my hand still, but time moves fast, and middle-schoolers love their mama in ways that generally do not include public displays of affection.

But I love them all so much. I love the little boy who cuddles with me on the couch while we watch The Cosby Show, and I love the big ones who sprawl across the couch and floor watching the NBA finals with me, hollering at the refs when they make a bad call.

The Hand Holding Mine

By: Kim Harms

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Waiting in the lunch line

Adrift in a sea of children

A little boy’s hand

slips unpretentiously into mine.

Back and forth he swings my arm

All the while

Animatedly chatting

With the classmates surrounding him.

This moment does not dissolve his heart.

The touch of my hand does not cause his eye to tear.

He is simply a little boy

Staking claim to his mama.

But to me it is more.

Those fingers all wrapped up in mine

I am wholly in love

In this brief moment.

Lost in a world

Where smooth little fingers mesh easily with aging hands

And the expression of a son’s love for his mama

Comes as naturally as laughing with his friends.

A world which

Upon a blink and a breath

Will pass from reality

Into memory.

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Classic Children’s Poems Rewritten for the Middle School Mom

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The Harms and Skow boys in a rare moment of stillness.

 

My friend (the one I wrote about here) recently reworked some children’s poems for The Des Moines Moms Blog.

She is one of the few people in the this world who can make me laugh and cry at the same time, which is just what I did when I read these for the first time the other day.  If you are in the mood for a good laugh/cry, read on…

“You Are My I Love You” – (Original) Maryann K. Cusimano

I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you

{“You Are My I Love You – Redux” – Marti Skow}

I will always be your momma, but you are no longer small,
I’ll always be “The Perfect Fan,” you’re becoming “The Boys of Fall”
I am your secret keeper, you’re a sharer on Instagram
I guide you toward a subtle ‘Yes,’ when your instinct is ‘No ma’am!’
I’m queen of second chances, you often take a third
I call you buddy, young man and friend, even when you are a turd
I swallow hard when you resist my touch, a fist bump is all you need
I ask you to make decisions slowly, you much prefer to speed
I am that voice nestled deep inside, you often pretend you’re deaf
I am the deliverer of balanced meals, you’d prefer a personal chef
I am the one beckoning, “GO TO BED!”, you are the resident owl
I am the tucker-in-of-kids, you want “goodnights” shouted from the hall
I am in bed and hear the beep, your thoughts are sweetest at nighttime texts
I say, ‘I love you bud, XOXO,’ you reply OXOX.

To read the rest of her poems, head on over to The Des Moines Moms Blog.

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Raising Strong, Christian Boys: 5 Ways I’m Building Up My Sons’ Character (@ TCW)

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My article, Raising Strong, Christian Boys: 5 Ways I’m Building Up My Sons’ Character, went live at Today’s Christian Woman today.

I love it that I am blessed with the opportunity to write for Today’s Christian Woman. Sometimes I can’t believe I get to write my heart, and get paid to do it 🙂 However, every time I write a parenting article, this little voice inside my head says, “Your kids haven’t grown up yet. You still have plenty of time to screw them up.” I silence it with prayer, and the knowledge that God is in control, and I am not.

Here’s the start of the story. To read it in its entirety, just click the link at the bottom.

Uncomfortable is a common state of being for me. I had newlywed dreams of rearing happy, calm little kids. They would play with blocks, color pictures, and maybe jump on the bed now and then. But they wouldn’t do things that made me wince.

Then I had boys. Three of them. I don’t think I deserve a trophy for birthing three male children, but I do think those of us moms who have successfully held our tongues while watching our daring man-children dangle precariously from tree branches have at least earned a box of chocolates.

I have learned the art of silently screaming in my head, Stop that before you break every bone in your body, while verbally saying, “Wow, buddy, you are the bravest boy I know.”

I want my kids to be safe. I don’t like emergency room trips. Stitches, staples, casts . . . none of those things bring me joy. But they come with the territory, and I have come to grips with that. The longer I live in this crazy world whose goal seems to be to tame the wildness out of boys, the more I want to encourage the wildness to thrive in mine. (Even if the stress of it shaves a couple years off my life.)

Strong and Courageous Men of the Bible

The Bible is full of courageous men who battle for what is right—men who are called by God to be strong and courageous in the face of some scary enemies. Moses stood up to Pharaoh (Exodus 3–12). David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Nehemiah and his men completed the wall with tools in one hand and weapons in the other (Nehemiah 4). And then of course, there is Joshua.

Joshua, who believed God when he told him he would cut off the waters of the Jordan (at flood stage no less) so his people could cross (Joshua 3). Joshua, who led the Israelites around the wall of Jericho and watched it crumble at the sound of the trumpet (Joshua 6). Joshua, who led the Israelites to conquer city after city, finally entering the Promised Land.

Sometimes I wonder what Joshua’s mom was like. She’s not mentioned in the Bible, but I know there was a woman who carried him for nine months, birthed him, and likely watched him play in the sand and catch desert snakes.

I am taking some creative license, but I have a feeling Joshua’s mom took parenting seriously. She knew for her boy to grow to be the man God created him to be she must be a supportive guide in that development—even if that meant allowing him some freedoms that made her uncomfortable.

My children may not lead such eventful adult lives as Joshua or those other men, but just the same, I want to use my role as mother to direct them down the road of the courageous and strong. I fear that beating down every semi-dangerous idea they come up with will send them in the wrong direction….

Raising Strong, Christian Boys: 5 Ways I’m Building Up My Sons’ Character

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