Too Busy Having Fun

Cartoon of two kids at an amusement park. One says, "We're too busy having fun to be happy."Can anyone achieve happiness through busy-ness? If you are too busy to remember what you did, is it happiness? If the busy time ends and discontent reappears, was it ever really happiness?

It reminds me of a proverb:

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Proverbs 14:13 NLT

Diversion may work for a while, but if you are struggling with something major, get help. 

Driving is Like Falling off a Bike

Cartoon of two young men in a car. The driver says, “Relax! How hard can it be to drive? This car doesn’t have near as many gears as a ten speed bike! ”It was a rude awakening when I discovered driving a cart was a bit more challenging than my trusty bike. On the plus side, I didn’t have to fall out of the car to learn. On the minus side, I nearly gave my driving instructor a heart attack when we ended up in a ditch. It didn’t help much that the instructor was a classmate of my dad. They had a great time chatting up and commenting on my driving expertise. 

So a word of advice to new drivers: the number of gears does not correlate to the difficulty of the vehicle.

Why is it so hard to find a good babysitter?

Cartoon of two teen girls

 

It can be quite difficult to find a good babysitter. You want someone who is good with kids, but doesn’t act like one of the kids. At least, you don’t want to wonder if the babysitter needs a babysitter to watch her and the kids!

You want someone who takes initiative and maybe has some activities for the kids. But you don’t want someone who leaves a mess. You don’t want to vacuum glitter for the next forty days and forty nights!

You want someone who will be in charge, but you don’t want someone who will act like a prison guard. At the same time, you don’t want someone so mousey that the kids take over and your home becomes a scene from Lord of the Flies.

How can you find a good babysitter? Here are some tips that worked for our family.

  • If you attend a church, religious institution or a social club, ask around. A church usually has a youth group. It doesn’t hurt to ask the youth pastor and get to know an available student.
  • Form a co-op with friends that have kids your age. You can either use the network to find qualified babysitters or parents can take turns watching everyone’s kids while the other couples go out.

While this may make things more difficult, please use background checks. Careforhire.com has good tips on how to conduct a background check and what are appropriate and inappropriate ways to do it.

Best of luck!

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Grad Fashion

I’m taking a short break from the tutorials to catch my breath. My son graduated from high school this last Sunday. It’s been crazy, to say the least. We’ve been driving all around the countryside to celebrate at open houses. Indiana and Ohio roads have become quite acquainted with us.

I drew this sketch when I thought of how silly caps and gowns look to kids. Isn’t that the way things work? At one time, a cap and gown look so dignified. And I would say even today, if you know what they represent, they look dignified. But to a child, or someone who is comfortable with the extremes of casual fashion, they can feel quite silly.

Graduation is a time we celebrate accomplishment and the next step in a person’s journey. Like those cap and gowns, it can feel uncomfortable, even silly as we take the next phase of life’s journey. Can anyone remember the first day of school? It wasn’t a relaxed, comfortable day for me! Yes, I felt silly and awkward. How about your first date? First kiss? How about the first time you held a paying job? They can all be awkward, silly feeling times.

That’s why feelings betray us. We need to strive to make it through those clumsy times, knowing there is a goal we are striving to reach. I smile when someone says they don’t want to try something because it doesn’t feel right. When I hear that, I try to remember ANY time, I felt comfortable trying something new.

So here’s my graduation speech for the class of 2011: When you go out to the real world, you may feel wobbly, like a newborn animal. You may wonder if what you’re aiming for is right because it just isn’t coming easy. Hold on! If you have a God-given dream to do something, know it may not come easy, it may feel weird at first, but pursue it anyway. Once you get pass the awkwardness, you can toss your cap in the air and graduate to the next level in your life.

Congratulations, class of 2011! (And congratulations, Garrett!)

Lack of Chemistry

Cartoon of two girls in a chemistry classCartoon of two girls in a science laboratory. One girl says, “We’ve been in Science class for weeks. When are we going to make Love Potion Number Nine?”