Tag Archives: love

A Boy and his Math

The boy is infuriatingly quiet.

“What’s wrong?” queries the mom.

Nothing.  I get nothing but silence….silence and that dreaded, deadpan stare of his through watery eyes.


The mom is feeling a little helpless and a certain amount of her own frustration.  “How on God’s green earth can I help you at all if you won’t speak?  SPEAK…..PLEASE!!

More silence and staring and wet eyes…..then, finally, the boy exhales “I’m frustrated”.

“Frustrated?  Well, I’ve got experience with frustrated…..we can deal with that”.  And out it comes; in short, breathy bursts….”it’s the math I did yesterday.  That multiplying double-digits stuff.  I didn’t do well.”  multiplication

That’s taken a lot out of the boy and he leans into the mom’s waiting arms, silently shedding his tears.

Downstairs, the mom parks herself beside the boy and explains,

and coaxes….

and encourages.

The boy continues to give into….to almost feed on…..his emotions.  The pile of crumpled Kleenex grows; eventually he’s using his arm to wipe his snotty nose.

Working at keeping her own feelings of frustration at bay, the mom asks how all that’s working for him.

“Ya feeling good?  I understand you’re frustrated and struggling a bit, but are all the tears helping any?  What are you thinking about?  Are you continuing to tell yourself how much you hate the multiplying double-digits stuff and how hard it is and how you can’t do it….if you keep that up, well, you’ve little hope of believing anything else!  How about you change what you’re thinking?  How about you tell yourself that it’s just multiplying….you know how to multiply!  How about you tell yourself that you CAN do it and see how that goes for you.”

Without any idea of what is going on behind those blue eyes, the mom continues to oversee as the boy does the multiplying double-digits stuff.  She offers encouragement here and there…..she can tell he’s getting it and eventually there’s proof in a page done without any mistakes.  Much is made of it.


Later in the day, long after the school work is done, the mom is busily doing mom-stuff when she has a thought.

The frustrating, uncommunicative, deadpan stare and wet eyes thing that the boy does?  She does it, too.  Oh, it might look a little different on her, but like the boy, rather than speak, she most often hides.  She is fearful of rejection; in search of acceptance, she seeks to please.  She stuffs and then she stuffs some more…. and on some days, her eyes seem continually wet and she feels all tight and she can’t find the words.

And all the while, the Father is there, ready, willing and well able to help; loving, coaxing and encouraging.  Patiently waiting for her to speak, in whatever way she chooses.

Most often, He uses the boy, or one of the Others, to speak to the mom.  To show her….with so much to learn, she thinks it’s why she had so many.



In high school English class, the teacher would on some days say “USSW”.  What that meant was “Un-Structured Silent Writing” and It was just that.  No talking, no topic, no rules, didn’t have to turn it in, pen in hand, paper on desk, writing for 50 minutes…..about whatever popped in or through our wee minds.

I loved it.  

I would write about everything…..a habit I wished I’d have continued beyond my high school english class.  This morning as I sat here trying to figure out what my “tagline” for my new blog would be, I had no idea what to say, and so I have no tagline.  And as I continued on to the part where it indicated I would create my first post, I had no idea what to write…..so I thought of USSW.

Over the years, I’ve read some really great blogs.   I tend to gravitate toward the very personal and honest sharing of experiences and expression.  When I read them I can understand not only what they’re saying, but what they must be feeling, ’cause I’m feeling it.  These people seem real…..for all I know.  I mean, I don’t know them personally, I’m just reading what they write….right?  Ok, that was weird.

I grew up “in” church, which means I know all of the Sunday School songs, have sang in a church choir or two and yet I’ve spent a fairly significant part of my adult life wondering  who God is….I think that’s why I’ve so many kids ’cause they’ve taught me something about who he is and, more particularly, how he loves.  He’s very different from who I thought he was.

I’ve learned, ever so slowly, that it’s so much easier to say I believe in God and his love (did I mention knowing ALL those Sunday school songs), than to walk that out daily and show that love to others.  That’s flippin’ hard.

I’ve learned that the longer I’ve known him, the more I realize I have yet to learn about him.  He’s flippin’ huge.

And I’ve learned that being right or righteous (there is none righteous…..not even one) isn’t worth the loss of a good relationship; they are rare indeed.