Micromanaging instead of Mothering

Micromanaging instead of Mothering…. that is the title of our Chapter this week.

I may not have been clear on this but we are sticking with our calendar … rain or shine….or ice or sleet or snow or wintry mix!


We will cover a few questions from Chapter 4 (I listed them in the blog post before this one).

Chapter 5 is specifically about our Control issues in parenting so I hope you will have time to read it.

And if you would prefer to listen to part of the chapter, check out this video clip:

I am pondering a question from Shannon’s notes and if you get a chance, give it a try:

“I needed to have a parenting plumb line, a point of reference from which my husband and I would make rules and set boundaries. I also needed to have an end goal in mind.” Karen Ehman

Spend some time and pen two or three sentences describing who you want your teen to be at 25. What is one adjustment in your parenting that would need to be made to help shape your teen into the adult you’re dreaming of?

I posted the following to Facebook but I want to include it here as well. God has been teaching me through this lesson and the reading I am doing in the bible.

I created this a week ago and I didn’t recall ever reading it before. Yesterday, God brought it to mind when I was feeling tossed to and fro because one of my teens was feeling tossed by the actions of someone else. I was comforted to realize that it was an opportunity to speak the truth in love and grow… for both of us. It is emotional and hard. I prayed for God to help me grow in this way. This morning, I woke up with the Holy Spirit convicting me in a completely different situation that is a deceitful scheme. And for as much as I struggle with obeying in difficult situations, I am grateful that God loves me and my teens enough to discipline and teach me.

Ephesains 4-14-15 screensaver



PS.As I was preparing our outline for tomorrow, I realized that I missed the quiz at the end of chapter 5! Even if you don’t read the chapter, take a minute to think about these different areas of controlling our teens. It helped me to personalize the ideas.


Friday Follow-up on our meeting this week:

Here are the notes from class including some great questions to ponder this week.

We watched a portion of the Karen Ehman DVD: Combating the me first mentality

We control because we have a “me first” mentality. We put ourselves before others and sometimes even before God.

Karen teaches on Sarai/Sarah’s story in Genesis. What we can learn from it:

  • Take God at his word, but also trust his timing.
  • Don’t be a “me first” maniac.
  • Don’t behave in a way that makes you desire “do-overs” in life. But when you do, allow God to turn your predicament into purpose.

In what areas do you wish you had do-overs with your teens?

How is that connected to our desire to put ourselves first?

Cluster Group questions:

In what ways do we modern-day women tend to be like the impatient Sarai?

In what area of your life are you the most impatient and find it hardest to trust God’s timing?

Chapter 5:

“I needed to have a parenting plumb line, a point of reference from which my husband and I would make rules and set boundaries. I also needed to have an end goal in mind.” p 85

1) Describe who you want your teen to be at 25. What is one adjustment in your parenting that would need to be made to help shape your teen into the adult you’re dreaming of?

“As our children grow and mature, we must learn to let go, allow them more choices (within boundaries) and let them fail.” p 97-98

2) Which of these is the biggest struggle for you personally – letting go, allowing choices or letting your child fail? What is one thing you could do this week to grow in this area?

“In middle school, allow your kids to set some of their own boundaries and the corresponding consequences for crossing the line.” p 100

3) Work as a group and think of some areas in which you could allow your teen to set some boundaries as well as consequences.

“In high school, treat your kids like young adults, not babies.” p 101

4) What does this look like in practical terms, in your home? What are privileges and responsibilities that a young adult has that a baby does not?


Hope Moms of Teens: Melissa’s 1st blog post (Let.it.go chapter 4)

Ever heard the saying: Necessity is the Mother of Invention ?

I don’t know that blogging is a true necessity and I know it is not my invention but we are on day 3 of no school due to Icemageddon here in Memphis and I am looking for a way to “get together” without driving on icy roads. Ever since my sister visited our group from Denver in the fall, I have had it on my heart to find a way to include Moms of Teens even if they can’t physically meet with us, whether it be for that week or for that season.

So I am taking this cooped-up situation and attempting to navigate this blogging world. I probably should take a tutorial or a class but for this moment I am winging it since that worked when I added the Valentine post.

I feel like a non-rule following rebel.

And maybe a little lazy.

Or perhaps a little crazy.

But I am going with  …  I’m letting go of micro-managing and trying to walk in faith.

Here goes:

wow… I thought of a shortcut already …

one thing I love about the internet/social media is that you can connect and collaborate.

It is not plagiarizing or cheating, it’s working together!

So I am going to start this off with a cut and paste from the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study:

Let.It.Go by Karen Ehman    Chapter 4, Managing Your Man

February 13, 2013 by Stephanie Clayton
Hey Ya’ll! Stephanie Clayton here! I am part of Melissa’s Online Bible Study Team and so excited to be sharing with you today about Chapter 4 – Managing Your Man. Before I get to the content and message of this blog, I want to acknowledge that many of you may be single, divorced, separated, or widowed. You may think this chapter will not apply to you. Let me challenge you to look over the chapter and material anyway. You never know when life circumstances may change, or when you might be able to use what you learn to help someone else! After reading this chapter, I think you will find that there are certain principles Karen mentions that we can apply to our lives regardless of our marital status.That being said, let’s get to today’s material!

I think I married the wrong guy…

I repeated this message to myself over and over again, looking for evidence to confirm its truth. I didn’t “feel” in love any more. I must have married the wrong guy. He was not spiritually leading our family. I made a big mistake. I didn’t like the way he disciplined our children. I was doing myself and my children a disservice by staying in this marriage. Everything Kevin did, right or wrong, I used against him.

Negative internal chatter is not just the negative things we say about ourselves. Negative internal chatter can deeply wound our relationships. When we have thoughts, we automatically look for evidence to support those thoughts. It’s just how our brains are wired. Think negative about your spouse, think you married the wrong guy, and you will find piles upon piles of things “wrong” about him and about your marriage.

So what do we do then? Is saving our marriage as simple as a shift in perspective? Not always, but it is a giant step in the right direction. I had convinced myself that Kevin was the wrong guy for me. My selfish mentality wanted to believe this and act on it. But marriage is not always easy. And then I read this quote…

“The truth is, a successful marriage is not the result of marrying the “right” person, feeling the “right” emotions, thinking the “right” thoughts, or even praying the “right” prayers. It’s about doing the “right” things – period.” Mark Gungor

Talk about eye opening conviction. I needed to do the “right” things, even though everything in me wanted to run away and hide. I needed to be the wife God had asked me to be, despite my feelings, bitterness, and anger. Healing in our marriage took time and effort from both of us. Kevin and I made a video blog about our experience, and will share this with you Friday! For today, I want to share Karen Ehman’s session two clip from the Let.It.Go DVD’s. I know you will enjoy and learn from what she has to say, plus some of it will make you giggle!

Watch this clip from session 2 of Let.It.Go. DVD series

Your response –

Challenge 1 – How do you respond to Karen’s message? In the comments section, share one thing you took away from this message.

Challenge 2 – Have you ever thought you “married the wrong guy” or had a friend or family member who has expressed these thoughts to you? What is God speaking to your heart about this issue? How can you use the Biblical truths and wisdom shared in Chapter 4 to transform your marriage and your life? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Melissa here again, that was some good stuff. The DVD also has teaching on Sarai/Sarah but it isn’t available online so I am going to skip that portion of the outline for now. 

I have a few notes and questions that I was going to cover in class on Chapter 4.

1) On pages 73-78, Karen shared five biblical “dance steps” for letting our husband lead. Which ones do you find the easiest to follow? Are there any you find a wee bit more challenging?

  1. Realize that the act of submitting is always a choice by and an action of the wife.
  2. Know that backing off and not controlling your husband will feel very foreign.
  3. Recognize the subtle difference between manipulation and influence.
  4. Then find the unique dance steps that work for Your marriage.
  5. Recognize when you need dancing lessons from a pro.

2) If your teenage daughter grew up and treated her husband exactly as you treated her father this past week, would you be proud of her? If not, what is one thing you could do differently this coming week?

3) If your teenage son grew up and married a woman who treated him exactly as you treated his father this past week, would you be happy for him? If not, what is one thing you could do differently this coming week?

I am embracing the verse today. I am trying to walk in my calling with humility. As I remember to be gentle and patient and loving with my family as we all navigate this change in schedule and added togetherness. 

Moms of teens memory verse February 2015.

Moms of teens memory verse February 2015.

One last thing: Today is the beginning of lent. Not associated with our book, Karen Ehman posted a “reverse lent challenge” on her website. I love it and am going to participate. If you choose to do it and you like her idea about writing notes, you could even pick a fellow Moms of Teens’ woman from our roster and send a note.


Signing off. I look forward to reading your comments.



xo is not just hugs and kisses

Why are you blogging, you might ask? Because it is Valentine’s Day AND a friend started a blog about their family Broadway adventure and I had to create an account to view it. I promise I will be authentic. Interesting, enlightening, entertaining?? No promises there. For 7 years, give or take, I have been signing my emails, letters, and notes of all kinds, with XO, Melissa Some of you may feel relief when you see it, as it is a sign that I am done rambling. But today I am going to expand! Cause this is a blog, right? I love that an x and an o are an endearing hug and kiss sentiment but to me it is symbolic of much more. I have been in love with my Navy man for 25 years, which, by the way, is over 1/2 of my life. (I just did that math on my fingers). Being a Navy wife has some unique marital challenges and benefits and I may ponder those in a blog post one day. For today, I am thinking of one in particular: learning the language and the acronyms. (disclaimer: I only trained in some areas) In a squadron or other organizational command, there is a Commanding Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (XO). The XO is the second-in-command reporting to the CO. According to Wikipedia (which we did not have back when I was navigating through this) further explains: “XOs in these positions typically assist a commander by managing day-to-day activities such as management of the senior officer’s schedule, screening of documents or other products, and oversight of the senior officer’s administrative support staff.” Hmmm… that sounds a lot like the role I have in our family!! Now I haven’t always embraced that line of thinking. But a few years into marriage I realized that you can’t have 2 CO’s in the house and have it work well. 7 years ago, when responding to an email from a friend that was asking for prayer for her marriage, I had an XO revelation. And because I am an email packrat, and there is a beautiful search function in yahoo, I can pull it up with only a little digging. Here it is: “I just prayed for you. I feel your pain. Marriage is a hard balancing act. I will just tell you what God impressed on my heart…when I read your closing “xo”, I felt God say…remember that is what you wives are…XO’s (Executive Officers). Your husband is the CO.When our husband’s expect us to take on CO responsibilities and we expect them to take on XO responsibilities, it gets out of balance and can cause anger\frustration and much more.I am not trying to say that women should never work and men should never do dishes but it can mess up the harmony of marriage. Just a thought … if the CO can only afford a townhouse, that might be where he is intended to be.” Soon after that, I began signing things in this way. I hoped it would be a reminder to me to be less selfish and control-freaky in my marriage. But ultimately it has been a reminder in an even more important area … I must submit my commanding officer tendencies, thoughts and actions to God. I need a constant reminder that I am not #1. It is a daily struggle/temptation but so freeing at the same time. God is in control, I am NOT! Now I will abruptly sign-off without over controlling this blog. XO, Melissa Maybe not that abruptly… I don’t feel complete without a photo or graphic. Here is the simple design I created this morning on my phone as a Valentine from the Lord. You are mine valentine