Category Archives: Kidults

So Says Sassy

So Says Sassy by Ann Marie Shields

So Says Sassy by Ann Marie Shields

Ann Marie Shields is sassy. Or so she says. And she says it in her delightful book, So Says Sassy.

So Says Sassy is not the typical book I review. But I agreed to read it as a favor to her daughter, who has been a friend for almost 30 years. We used to be neighbors; our kids played together until Judith and her family moved away. We’ve stayed in touch through Christmas letters and Facebook posts. When Ann Marie passed away last year, Judith decided to compile her blog into a book. And what a book it is! I’m so glad I agreed to read it.

I fell in love with Ann Marie. What a sassy, bold, engaged, and authentic woman. We’re familiar with all the mommy blogs out there, but hers was a senior blog—a slice of the life of a woman in her last years. I haven’t seen another like it. Ann Marie began blogging at the spry age of 75. That alone gives me great admiration for her. I started blogging in my late 50s, and let me tell you, every step was a steep learning curve. I was grateful for the constant tech support of my son, and Ann Marie was grateful for the tech support of her family. She was a hip, techie grandma, often blogging about her new digital camera, new phone, new computer. Like me, she tried very hard to keep up with this technological new world, even though it was hard and often confusing.

But hers wasn’t a technology blog. That was just one little aspect of it. Rather, it was the very well written life and thoughts of an aging woman. A woman who wanted to be a writer, but never seemed to gain the traction she wanted. So she found her outlet in her blog. She writes about her Irish “second and last husband, Des” with all his delights, idiosyncrasies, and maladies. She writes about her family—her kids, grandkids and great grandkids and the family events that added sparkle and delight to her life. She writes about her precious and imperfect parents, about being an only child, and about growing up in the close-knit Italian neighborhood in Chicago. And as she aged, she wrote about the increasing impact of her illnesses and health challenges, and about the last days of her precious Des.

As an aging woman, I appreciated this sneak peek into the life of one who was about 15 years ahead of me. I wondered what I would write if this were a slice of life blog rather than a motivational blog. I gained new insights into the struggles of my mother, now 95 and in the midst of all that Sassy wrote about. If you are aging or know someone who is, this book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. I’m missing her sassy attitude now that I’ve finished the book.

Is the Gospel Being Distorted?

This week I’ve had discussions with two moms whose adult sons have lived with non-Christian girls in long-standing relationships. Both parents raised their boys with Christian values, but somewhere along the line, worldly values overtook them. One mom was devastated and prays regularly for her son and his girlfriend. The other mom took a more ho-hum attitude. After all they are in love…

Values are Changing Photo Credit: Flickr/ Parker Knight

Values are Changing                                                                                                         Photo Credit: Flickr/ Parker Knight

These moms aren’t alone. Increasingly we are seeing a dilution of the gospel in the lives of our kids. Faith isn’t as important to most of them as it was and is to us. influenced by their schools, their peers, TV and movies, music and culture, today’s Millennials are more “open,” but often at the expense of the beliefs they were raised with.

We see the same thing with other issues of the day as Millennials buy the cultural lies about homosexuality, Islam, abortion, and the environment. Chelsen Vicari addresses this in her article “How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel.”  She suggests that faith leaders in many of the “hip” (read: growing) churches are “encouraging young evangelicals to trade in their Christian convictions for a gospel filled with compromise. They’re slowly attempting to give evangelicalism an update,” and the results are leading to a new variation of Christianity that would not be recognized by their grandparents.

Why does this matter? Because the very fiber of orthodoxy is being sacrificed on the altar of cultural relevance. We are sacrificing the gospel of Jesus Christ in an attempt to be relevant, loving, understanding, and compassionate. What we, and our kids, don’t realize is that Jesus wasn’t always these things. He was counter-cultural. He ruffled feathers. He irritated the leaders. But he didn’t compromise. And his steadfastness was attractive.

This year, let’s be very aware of the influences that are wooing our young people and let’s take a stand for orthopraxy (right practice). Let’s be willing to be unpopular as we give our kids good reasons to follow the real Jesus, not the pop-Jesus. It won’t be easy, but then, few worthwhile things are…

 

 

 

It is What It Is – And It’s All Good

We just got back from a week with our kids in the Houston area. When we visit them, I always have so much planned, so much I’d like to do. Far more than is probably realistic under any circumstances, and with a 22 month old and a 3 month old, ….

Sikora Family in San Antonio

Sikora Family in San Antonio
Photo Credit: Random Stranger

On the flight out, both Hubby and I got sick. There were animals on our flight, and I’m terribly allergic, so my immune system was compromised by the time we got there. For some reason, he got full-blown sick while I just diddled around the edge with sore throat and sniffles. The weather in Houston was “stay home hot,” but of course, Grandma wanted to take the toddler to the playground. We paid for it the biggest crop of mosquito bites I’ve ever had.

On top of the usual, we planned a three-day adventure to San Antonio to celebrate DIL’s 30th birthday. We headed to San Antonio with a forecast of 70s and clear. We arrived in a downpour that remained until Sunday morning. And we didn’t take jackets for any of us.

Nonetheless, we celebrated DIL’s birthday in style. We visited the Alamo and the grownups took advantage of the kids’ naptime. Sure, both girls had meltdowns during DIL’s birthday dinner Saturday night, relegating Son or myself to the car with them. But Sunday the sun shone and we got to swim and then take a boat ride on the River Walk, followed by a much more leisurely dinner on the River.

Traveling with little ones is different from traveling with the adult kids, which we have always cherished. But this is the season we’re in and we’re loving every minute of it. We are learning to flex, to move to Plan B, and to laugh in the midst of it. We’re building memories with our family. We get to watch the children’s development for a week. We are available to help wherever needed, to give Son and DIL breaks for both personal time and date time. We’re investing in their marriage and their family. We are thankful for the relationship we have with them. We are reaping where we have sowed. It’s all good! And it’s all God!!