RSS Feed

Tag Archives: perspective



Recently I was on the phone with our daughter Jessica, who lives in Maine and is attending Midwifery school, a three-year program that will allow her to be a certified professional Midwife. There has been no doubt in our minds over the last couple of years that our girl (no matter how old she will always be our girl) is meant to be a Midwife, and we love to hear her stories of struggle and triumph to be on her own so far from home.

We were talking about a Nutrition class Jess has been taking, and my assumption was that this would be one of her favorites because she has been passionate about using foods and herbs to heal and prevent sickness. After her first class I was surprised to learn that she was overwhelmed and not excited about the subsequent classes on the subject. After the second class, she was even more negative about the subject, saying they were expecting way too many details and going more in-depth than needed for pre-natal care. I encouraged Jess to give honest feedback when the class was over, suggesting that this was too much information and perhaps less time should be spent on the subject matter.

And then an interesting thing happened. Jessica attended her last Nutrition class and took the final exam. She said she knew she had done well on it, but was the last person to turn in the test. As she did so, her instructor opened up the conversation and invited my girl to ask questions. After discussing the test and talking more about nutrition, Jess had a change of heart; she decided that what was needed wasn’t less information, but more. She concluded that this subject is vital to the health of the pregnant woman and the baby, and that more emphasis should be place on this component, more time allotted in the classroom, not less.

I appreciate the fact that Jessica was able to see from another perspective and adapt to it, she has shown herself to be teachable in so many ways and not afraid to ask questions and learn more, so much more that she might conclude that she has been wrong on something. I want to be like my girl when I grow up; strong in opinions but flexible enough to change. There are so many times in life when we may think we have it all figured out, and it can be tempting to shut out all other possibilities, but doesn’t that really mean that we don’t want our way to be challenged because we might not have all the answers? I want to come to the table with my portion and be willing to share what I believe to be true, but open to another way to see the same thing. This act doesn’t take away from what I believe in the least, but can strengthen it or test it or change it.

I think my girl is right where she needs to be.


Not Not a Negative

juryWe were driving in our neighborhood several years ago and saw a girl in my daughter’s grade taking a walk. I vaguely knew the child’s family and I also knew that she was very popular at school so I asked my child, “Is so-and-so a nice girl?”

Her response was quick, “Well, she’s not not a nice girl.” What?  I thought I had heard her wrong, but I didn’t, so I pushed a little more, “what does that mean?” and she started getting frustrated with me, “I don’t really know her, Mom.”

I was just about to correct her grammar but then realized that what she had said was exactly how I would want her to respond. She didn’t know this person, but certainly knew the persona and had decided to not place a judgment, good or bad, on someone whom she did not know.

Since that day I have heard all three of our children occasionally explain middle and high school relationships in the double negative: We’re not not friends, he’s not not a good athlete and the classic, she’s not not a nice girl.

A double negative usually sounds anything but positive, but in this case I am pleased that my children sometimes work extra hard to not say something unnecessarily. I have so much to learn from them.

Open My Eyes

eyesseeIt was a foggy night recently in Nebraska. My daughter and I were out running errands and we had the eerie feel of being the only people left on the planet as we were driving through town. She was delighted to see that her school had completely vanished and I marveled at how the opposing vehicles would suddenly appear seconds before they came in contact with us.

As we were driving, we went from being in a valley area to a higher place and there was no fog at all. We were immediately able to see how beautiful the city was, with its crisp lines and bright lights. I was reminded of how often we don’t realize the beauty or comfort of a person or a thing until it is out of reach. Have you ever had a physical pain so intense that you’re constantly reminded of it, and can only barely remember what it was like to be pain-free? You tell yourself that you will never take that arm/back/foot/tooth for granted again, and even reminisce of what it was like to live without pain. There is great rejoicing when you are released from the ailment, you cannot believe how good you feel. But then what happens?

We go back to just driving through a city and not really seeing much of anything. Lord, forgive me for needing discomfort to see the beauty. Open my eyes and help me to see the blessings in the everyday.