Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Boys”

Easter Gift for Kids

One sure way to find out who you are and what your purpose is, is to read the Bible. I highly recommend these two new Bibles for  boys and girls ages 8-12.

FaithGirlz is perfect for showing our girls how unique and special they are. The Bible includes quizzes on getting to know yourself, imagination exercises and answers to Bible questions. When a girl receives this Bible, she won’t just be reading, but will journey closer to God.

I so wish this version of the NIV Boys Bible had been out when my three teen boys were younger. It’s full of funny facts, inspiring people and gross and gory stuff. This helpful Bible will pull every boy in and they will be off on the adventure of a lifetime, as they journey closer to God.

What a great idea for Easter! You can get yours here.

Thank you to B & B Media for providing me with review copies of both Bibles. Nothing was given in exchange for the books and I am not required to write a positive review.

Zondervan Faithgirlz Bible

Advertisements

5 Things Not to Say to College Parents

This is from last year. Update: Our son is heading out in two days for his sophomore year of college. It simply doesn’t feel that much easier this year. So proud of him, but I don’t look forward to saying goodbye again.
The end of August brings the last lazy days of summer, a temperature drop and the bittersweet start of school. For college parents, it can be an especially trying time. Having just moved our oldest into the dorm at a University, I can say that the process couldn’t have gone any better and yet it was one of the worst days of my life.
I’m so happy for and proud of our son and yet I wake up every morning, with a hollow place in my gut. Something just isn’t right around the homestead. Somebody is missing.
Over the summer, strangers and other college parents were full of unsolicited advice. Kind of like a pregnancy, people touch your stomach if they want to and offer home grown advice at will. After talking with countless parents, I know exactly what I won’t be saying to parents whose children are going to college.
Five things not to say to college parents:
  • “You’ve done all you can.”  Right away the parental mind starts listing shortcomings and things you wish you had taught your child. It also implies the parenting process is over. Instead, verbally applaud the parent for all they’ve done to help prepare their child for higher learning and this next adventure in family life.
  • “At least you have more children at home.” This implies that the children are interchangeable and as long as you’ve got someone at home, you’ll be fine. Not true. Every family dynamic changes when a child leaves. Instead, inquire as to how the children at home are coping with the changes in their family.
  • “You shouldn’t be sad, you should be celebrating!” No one wants to be told how to feel or be reprimanded for feeling sad. After working through your grief, and it is a grieving process, you’ll be ready to celebrate the great things your child is doing. Expecting an all out family celebration to occur from day one can come across as inappropriate to the child who moved out. Instead, offer understanding that you’re certain they are proud of their child’s accomplishments but acknowledge that it must be sad as well.
  • “They are only 1, or 2 or 3 or (insert number) hours away.” Maybe this a little dramatic but it’s true; if your child moves next door, they still aren’t living with you and the dynamic in your home changes. This feels like a loss and can still require a grieving process. Location does not make everything okay. Instead, ask when the next visit with their child will be, encouraging the parent to look forward to that.
  • “You need to let them go.” Feeling sad doesn’t mean you aren’t letting them go. It means you simply love your child deeply and are sad that things are changing. Instead, acknowledge how are hard change can be.
As with any situation, if you don’t know what to say, it might be best not to say anything at all. Offer a smile of understanding and maybe a hug, just don’t rub the belly!
 
It’s important to note that my friends have been glorious and supportive and wonderful. They have held me up in prayer and cried and rejoiced with me. In short, they have been a rock and I don’t know what I would do without them. The above advice is predominantly from strangers. 

Bed, Bath & Beyond Breakdown

Photo Courtesy @Andrew Bender

That’s my “I’ve got 85 more days with my boy and I’m wearing a foam finger” smile. That was May 24.

Today I more resemble the boy behind me, sort of a dumbfounded look saying “what’s going on here?” combined with Keegan’s look of “is this really happening?”

Alas, it really is happening. He’s leaving a week from today.

I’ve found, that breakdowns can really occur anywhere. I have no shame.

No one is immune. Even the pediatrician, as we are discussing one of my other sons, might be the unsuspecting victim of the ugly cry.

Even in church, as they honored Keegan in front of thousands of people on Sunday, I bawled. A friend thought of calling 911, as I was almost prone in the vicinity of pew 10. Woman down.

What about the customer service rep at Bed, Bath and Beyond when I lost one of my coupons yesterday? Is that really something to get choked up about?

Because she was so gracious about the coupon though, I wanted to ask her, what exactly is the “beyond” your sign so eloquently speaks of?

What will happen to me next week as all the bed and bath supplies are purchased and hanging in his new home? How will I feel when one less place is set at dinner? Or the first time he calls and says “Mom, I’m sick.”  Or the Saturday morning I wake up and just want to have breakfast with him? Or at midnight when I wake up frantic because he hasn’t told me he’s home yet? Or the countless hugs and merciless teasing which will be absent from every day?

They should just call it Bed and Bath. Adding Beyond makes it sound exciting and I for one think it’s cruel. It implies there is something in that store to fill the hole in our home.

I searched the whole place yesterday, there isn’t a thing.

The Pitcher Whisperer

Baby keeg baseball
Today is Keegan's golden birthday. He said he doesn't feel any different, but I do! It's like a rite of passage or something….I. have. an. 18. year. old. I cannot get it through my head. If he's 18, how old does that make the rest of us? You can do the math, perhaps you'll be as shocked as I am.

This picture was taken when he was a few days old. Born 10 weeks premature, he weighs 3 lbs. 9 ou if you include the weight of the ball. 

One day while visiting the NICU, I distinctly heard him ask for a baseball. I called my husband and he brought his from when he was a child. Keegan's breathing slowed and became even. He was at peace.

Thanks to my ability to hear and interpret the chatter of a week old baseball player, Keeg grew up to be a 6'1 pitcher. We kicked that preemie stuff to the curb and never looked back.

He's also a darn fine person. We are blessed beyond reason by the man he has become.

Happy Birthday Googs! You'll always be our baby.

"Pitchers Like Poets Are Born Not Made" – Cy Young

On Healthy Competition

IStock_000005228774XSmall
Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto

 

You hear it from teachers, instructors, coaches and especially from experts on boys.

"Competition is natural." 

Just because it's natural doesn't always make it acceptable. For example, I may naturally have some gray hair, but that don't mean it's right!

Competition among family members can be one of the most detrimental relational experiences. In competition, there is always a winner and a loser. Efforts to gain approval often lead to constant striving, winning at any cost and low self-esteem.

In competition, someone always feels left out, second best, last or undervalued. In families where the members experience these emotions, certain members will give up, give in and withdraw. It's difficult to be a strong family when one or more members are always striving to be the center of attention, or the "winner" if you will.

That said, competition is a great way for the family to bond. The natural competition occurs in trying to better the family as a whole. Setting goals, dreaming together and succeeding at family projects, strengthen family ties. 

Those are the ties that bind.

Strong families play together, and win as a whole, so they'll stay together.

Wrestling Faith

By now you've probably heard about Joel, who refused to wrestle a girl and thus had to forfeit the match.

He walked away because of his faith. He believes in respecting women and didn't feel he could do that by wrestling.

Rick Reilly, a noted ESPN columnist wrote a demeaning story (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6136707)  about why Joel should have wrestled her. He says the young woman "relishes the violence" and "loathes being protected."

So, she's asking for it Rick? I didn't realize that if we decide a woman is asking to be disrespected that it's okay to do whatever we want to her, because she "deserves it" since she asked for it.

I thought we'd been trying to fight against those messages for a long time.

The world needs a whole lot more real men like Joel. He is a man who stands up for what he believes in, based on who he is, not on who other people may or may not be. Whether the young woman wanted to be respected and defended or not, Joel chose the right way based on his convictions and beliefs.

Integrity and respect mean more to Joel than a wrestling title. My mom taught me that you'll never regret being nice to people. Joel's conviction and kindness will take him a lot further than any wrestling title ever could.

Nobody Kicks our Can

The whine of the garbage truck squealed  for too long in front of our house. I had overfilled the large receptacle and walked to the window with dread. Sure enough, the driver was out of the truck, picking up trash. Just as I went to help him, he reared back and kicked the can five feet.

“He just kicked the can down the street,” I yelled to our 14 -year -old son as I hurried to find my shoes so I could outside to have a word with him. At the very least I was going to call his superiors to complain; nobody kicks our can.

By the time I got to the end of the driveway though, the can sat upright and the trash truck was gone. I picked up the remaining trash and turned to go inside. 

I was met by our huffing 6', 215 pound seventeen -year -old. When our middle boy saw me go outside, he went to rally his brothers.

“Where is he?” 

“He’s gone honey, but he picked up the can,” I said.

“I’m going to find him, you don’t do that,” he said while looking up and down the street.

“It’s okay, let’s just let it go.”

It was like talking down a prize- fighter facing his biggest opponent, but somehow I convinced him to go inside.

As we walked back, I was struck by the protective hearts boys have. I am so used to defending them, protecting and softening the blow, that I didn’t even question charging outside to confront a visibly angry man. 

In Ephesians 5:25, God commands husbands to love their wives. A big part of loving is protecting. I realized my boys are not going to kick into protection mode the day they are married. It is up to me to allow them to be the protector; to respect the way God has wired them to treat all women. 

When they are young, we encourage imaginary play that allows them to be the hero. As they grow and playing pretend isn’t as acceptable, opportunities to singlehandedly save the world are put away with childish things. 

Our boys are 17, 14 and 12. The need to be the hero in a world where there aren’t many, is more critical than ever. The acknowledgement of their warrior hearts and the way God has wired them is validating, freeing and respectful to a young man.

The “angry trash man” was an opportunity to let the boys defend and protect. I have to proactively look for situations where the boys can be heroes.  Then someday, they'll  be heroes to their wife and children.

 

Book Review: Flight Plan

Many books about raising boys have been nailing the concept. Flight Plan is the latest to do just that. God gave us our lives as the great adventure and He has especially hard -wired boys and men to live lives of wonderful, deep, scary, adventure. It's easy to lose sight of this as we try to control the world our sons, husbands, brothers and friends live in. Ladies, we should read Flight Plan, to teach and/or remind us how to help our men return to their first love.

 

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour  book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

 

 

and the book:

 

Flight Plan

PDS Publishing (2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Lee Burns is the headmaster at Presbyterian Day School, an independent school serving over 630 boys in grades PK-6 in Memphis. In addition, Burns is vice-president and on the executive committee of the Elementary School Headmasters Association (a group of approximately 200 headmasters around the country) and is a member of the Country Day School Headmasters Association and the Visionary Heads Group. He served as a task force member to help the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) develop Principles of Good Practice for Middle School Educators. In addition, he has been a presenter at annual conferences of the National Association of Independent Schools, the International Boys' School Coalition, and the Elementary School Headmasters Association.

Burns plays tennis and enjoys squash and most any sport, as well as reading and writing. Lee is married to Sarah, and they have three children. They are members of Second Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon.

Braxton Brady is the chaplain of Presbyterian Day School (PDS) in Memphis, TN. Before coming to PDS, he worked as Bible teacher, athletic director, and assistant principal at Central Day School in Collierville, Tennessee. Brady has served on the boards of various inner city ministries in Memphis. He is a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program, a program that helps disciple and develop spiritual leaders in the city of Memphis, and founder of Strategic Dads, a ministry that seeks to provide fathers with practical ways to disciple their sons and lead their families.

Brady enjoys spending time with his family, serving in the inner city, and playing golf. He is currently completing his master's degree in theological studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. Brady and his wife, Carrie, have three children.

Visit the book website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Perfect Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: PDS Publishing (2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615380611
ISBN-13: 978-0615380612

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Buckle Up

“Roger, liftoff, and the clock is started.”

– Alan B. Shepard Jr., Astronaut

“It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.”

– Chuck Yeager, General

The engines roar so loudly you can feel your whole body shake as the fighter jet accelerates down the short runway on the aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You can smell the burning fuel. Standing on the deck of the carrier, you can’t even see the fighter pilot inside because his plane is racing by at such an incredible speed. You can, though, sense the power of the great plane and the intensity of the takeoff. Just seconds before, the jet was calmly stationed at the end of the carrier, along with a few other ones. But now, just seconds later, amidst burning fuel and an awesome display of speed, it’s at the end of the runway and quickly airborne, racing up into the blue sky.

But where is the plane going?

Like the fighter jet, you are also about to accelerate down a short runway and take off on a great adventure with many possible missions and destinations. During your childhood, your life has probably been pretty steady and stable for the last few years. Sure, there have been ups and downs and you’ve changed and grown as a boy, but boyhood is usually marked by very slow and gradual development compared to the upcoming season in your life. But soon, instead of just hanging out at the end of the runway with the other fighter jets, instead of slowly taxiing back and forth on the runway, your life is about to accelerate in a very intense and rapid period called adolescence. And at the end of adolescence, you will take off into the sky for an even greater adventure: manhood.

Any fighter pilot will probably tell you that good preparation before the flight is essential to a successful mission. He has spent thousands of hours learning to fly. He has considered problems he could encounter and maneuvers he could use in those dangerous situations. He has tested and serviced the plane. He has filled it up with fuel. He has studied the specific flight plan, considered the weather, and learned the goal and details of the mission. The takeoff is but a few seconds; the mission is but a few hours; but the preparation is years in the making.

You are a man in the making. Before you race down that runway and head up into the sky, it’s important and wise to make sure you are well prepared and equipped for the flight. You’d better make sure you know how to fly the plane and that it has fuel in it. You’d better know what you’re going to do when you come under enemy attack. And, most importantly, you’d better know what the mission is and where you’re going. It’s easy to get lost in the vast sky without a plan.

Manhood is the same way. You’ll be there before you know it, and if you haven’t done your preparations in advance, you can make a lot of unnecessary mistakes as you’re racing down the runway of adolescence. Not only will you make more mistakes without good preparation now, but you can cause yourself—and others—a lot of harm and heartache as well. You can crash on the runway or take off in the wrong direction, and you might never grow into the sort of man God designed you to be. We don’t want you to crash or fly to the wrong destination or get lost in the sky.

This book is designed to give you a mission and flight plan:

We’ll tell you what your purpose is as a man. We’ll tell you what it means to be a man: what your destination is.

We’ll tell you how to accelerate properly and safely down the short runway of adolescence you are about to begin.

We’ll tell you about some problems you are likely to encounter and how you can defeat them before they make you crash or change your flight plan.

We’ll encourage you to get some good co-pilots and flight instructors and technical staff, both your age and older men, who will support and help you on your journey.

So buckle up! The next few years of your life will be a great adventure. Changes like these are on the way:

Your mind, body, emotions and relationships will be changing in ways that you can’t fully understand until you have experienced them.

You will feel new and more intense passions and desires.

You will think about girls, your friends and your parents differently than you do now, and you will relate to them in new ways.

You will think about yourself differently.

You will long for more independence and new challenges.

You will dream new dreams and develop your own identity.

Every adventure also has its share of difficulties and dangers. Self-esteem often dips during your teenage years (though many boys try to hide that on the outside). While you will enjoy and appreciate the increasing freedoms, they will bring temptations that can be hard to resist, and the consequences for a poor decision can be costly. While your body will grow in size and strength, it can be an awkward process with aches and acne. Girls can make your heart race and your heart break. All in all, adolescence can be like riding a roller coaster with many ups and downs.

In this book, we’ll give you as complete and honest of a look at the journey ahead as we can. We want this to be authentic and cover the real issues and temptations that you will likely encounter in the upcoming months and years. We are addressing the topics that boys tell us are on their minds and that teenage boys say they are struggling with. While some of these topics can be embarrassing or difficult, we believe that it is better to know on the front end what you will probably face, and we want to help equip and prepare you for facing them.

But it’s not just the next few years that we care about. We want you to have a vision for the sort of man God wants you to be when you have passed through the adolescent years. That’s our ultimate goal. If you will set your eyes on the final goal—the sort of man you should become—then that will direct you in how you navigate the teenage years. Approaching challenges with the end result in mind is always the best way to begin. Great coaches begin the season talking about where they want the team to be at the end of the season. They talk about conference championships and bowl games and final rankings.

Coaches give their players a playbook to instruct them on how they want the game to be played. God has given you His playbook to help you navigate through the issues that you will be facing in the next few years. Boys are often surprised to hear that the Bible speaks on so many topics. Drinking, peer pressure, friendships, families, girls, even puberty and sex—the Bible gives us perspective and instruction in these matters. It speaks to the role and responsibilities of men. It tells you the sort of man, husband and father you should be one day. It tells all of us how to approach our work and worship and the girls and women in our lives. It talks about our self-worth, our successes, and the stuff we own, use and want to have. It covers difficulties and failures. It tells us about the forgiveness you can experience for all of our mistakes, including ones you may have already committed. We’ll cover all of these topics in this book.

But even more than covering these topics, the Bible describes God’s love for you. Rather than primarily advice and rules, the Bible, most importantly, is the true story of the good news of how much God loves us and how He is seeking to save us. It’s the good news of what He has done for us rather than what we can do for Him. I
t’s about what we can receive rather than what we must achieve.

We hope that by helping to develop your thinking about these teenage topics and understanding God’s love, grace and pursuit of us, you will grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. Our desire is that one day you will become a better man, husband and father, and we hope that you will, long before then, deepen your faith and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ; we hope you at least begin to explore questions in your mind and heart about who this God of the Bible is and what He means when He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has plans to grow and prosper you.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

1. What are some of the issues that you think will be difficult for you in the next few years?

2. Does the idea of becoming a man scare you or make you nervous? Why or why not?

3. If you could have one question answered about the road ahead for you, what would it be?

4. Is your dad available to talk with you about adolescence and the journey to manhood? If he is not

available, who could you talk to about this important topic?

5. What do you hope to accomplish by reading and studying this book?

6. What is the best piece of advice your dad, mom, adult leader, coach, or mentor has given you so far?

7. How would you define manhood?

8. Do you view the upcoming years of your life as an adventure or just a regular part of your life? Why or why not?

 

Leading Millennials

IStock_000004301781XSmall

Thom S. Rainer has a great article here on what millenials want in a leader. Through his article you can learn who our Millenials are and more details about what they are looking for in a leader.

I have a huge heart for Millennials, as Steve and I are raising 3 later born Millennial boys. I love to study articles like Rainers, because it's important to learn about what their generation is seeking.

For me, learning turns into leading. Millenials are looking for gentle spirited mentors, as well as authentic and down-to-earth pastors, politicians and the like. My favorite quality in Millennials is their zero tolerance policy on lying and inauthentic people. If you consistently lack integrity and are manipulative and deceitful, they will leave you. Forever.

Honesty wins every time. It's a good policy to implement for every generation.

In what ways are you leading the Millennial generation? 

 

Last Minute – Really?

IStock_000003354900XSmall

It's 8:00 a.m. on December 3rd. 

In the past 33 days I have:

  • Completed a 55,000 word novel
  • Completed 90% of my Christmas Shopping
  • Kept the boys in clean clothes, daily school and sports uniforms included
  • Nursed a very sick 12 year old back to health
  • Wrestled with faith and fear that my son had a heart problem (It's all good, it's as big as ever!)
  • Made daily trips to the grocery store trying to keep 3 teen boys from starving
  • Consumed 34 Starbucks Chai tea lattes. (There was a day when I needed two. Sue me.)

So on this Friday morning I decided to settle down for a long winter's nap.

Thought I'd check my email first.

When what to my wandering eyes did appear?

An Ad saying "we're down to the last minute here".

I sprang to my purse and tore open the sash

only to find I'm clean out of cash.

Seems I'd been pilfered by a teen herd

but never fear folks, it's only December 3rd!

Seriously, retail giants and elves alike; I'm not buying this (pun intended).

We are not down to the last minute.

I will not succumb to a false sense of urgency. And neither should you. 

Relax and enjoy the season. It's only beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: