And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.
Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
~ Luke 15:20b NLT


For as long as I can remember, I’ve butchered song lyrics.

In Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s Blinded by the Light, I thought it was “wrapped up like a douche another runner in the night” instead of  “revved up like a Deuce…” (which still didn’t make much sense to me); in 10cc’s I’m Not In Love, I heard “requesting quiet” for “big boys don’t cry.”

My worst offense involved an old camp song called Violent Love,   a story best told in context.

Sweet and innocent, these days of my youth.  Blissful ignorance.

In every generation, there are performers who press buttons and drop
jaws; those who make both young fans and their parents roar (but for
opposing reasons).  What one loves, the other hates.

For my parents, it was Elvis, who, when he finally appeared on the Ed
Sullivan Show, was filmed mostly above the waist; apparently, his hips
couldn’t lie.

For me, it was Madonna.  Like a Virgin and Papa Don’t Preach–she pushed the edge as far as you could go.

Until I realized the edge is boundless.

A new Queen of Shock was recently crowned; whether or not you saw her
performance on the VMAs, you’ve likely heard about it.  Wagging her
tongue and her tail, Miley Cyrus has everyone talking.

Just five years ago the former Hannah Montana star declared “.”  The young woman is tucked inside a train wreck.

First instinct is to judge her.  I’ve seen accusing
fingers pointing at her parents, too.  But the loveliest written
response I’ve seen is courtesy of Annie Downs in her post How do we help Miley? 

Speak love.

Speaking love is powerful; it’s how Antoinette Tuff, an elementary school bookkeeper, talked a man who entered her school with 500 rounds of ammunition into peacefully giving up.

An ordinary mama diffusing a human time bomb with patience and kind words.

* * *

Thanks to wise counsel from others I respected, I avoided a “One Size
Fits All” approach in parenting, learning that each of my children
would require something different of me.  Of course we  set
standards in our home, but to approach very different personalities
without consideration of our children’s differences would be an exercise
in frustration, a set-up for failure.

One of motherhood’s secrets, something I hadn’t anticipated in advance, was…


Over the long weekend my piece over at (in)courage had a different reaction than I anticipated.   Then again, my first draft was VERY different – and 500 words longer! – than how it began.  I hope you'll continue reading to at least see how I finished the sentence above!!


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