During my tenure as a fourth grade teacher, I often heard talk of the infamous pendulum. How throughout my career I would see the opinions and teaching methods on subjects swing, shift and change. That just when I was “getting” the whole language approach it would swing and shift to a phonics based instruction. Or one season would focus on hands on, manipulative based mathematics, and a few years later, it would be all about worksheets, and pencil to paper competency.

Swinging. Back and forth. Just when you get comfortable with one thing, it shifts back to the unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

I feel like this season of parenting is filled with these juxtapositions. One moment I am so deeply in “like” with these beings. I don’t say love as I hope that is there all along. But, the enamored stage can truthfully come and go. I have two very busy and stubborn boys. However, I also have two very jovial, fun-loving and creative boys. Maybe the tough part of parenting is that if we are truthful, we see so much of our own brokenness in their choices, behavior and words.

Matt preached last Sunday on the spirit of adoption {Genesis 25: 29-34 and Romans 8:14-18} and it hit me in the gut. Kind of a weird thing to have your spouse also be one of your ministers…but in the moments where he is preaching, I don’t really see him as my husband, per se. He isn’t one to mince words and when he senses the truth of scripture and God moving in our lives, he doesn’t hesitate to be bold about it. One of the main realities that hit me was the choice we have to truly adopt. Even with our own birthed children, we have to CHOOSE to adopt. To take in and fully accept them….flaws, frustrations, inconveniences and all.

Our emotions and humanness make this adoption tough. We shift. We swing. We change. And yet, God calls us to gratitude. Thanksgiving. God calls us to that when——-I would rather just lock myself in the bathroom for 2 minutes as both kids are melting down. As time outs multiply. As mounds of discarded, played with toys mound. As laundry sits needing to be washed, folded and put away. As temper tantrums mount. And we Goughs really EXCEL at temper tantrums if you want tips!

Today, as we embark on six days without school (can I get a “yikes” in unison???)….I am purposely trying to force the pendulum towards gratitude and thanksgiving rather than fear and checking out.

Here’s some visuals to get me started on choosing to see from this lens.

Sign made with love between my Dad and Alex a few weeks ago. It makes me laugh every time it catches my eye.

It has been a week of fat lips (Alex AND Drew)…..can you see that whole red section??  Yum.

Morning laugh fests

Our Thanksgiving tree and the fact that Alex is thankful for his brother….


…..and for himself….


For preschool art…


For waffle breakfasts…

For ministries that offer hope during this season, and year round….

For MORE art….and the way that our kid’s teachers nurture them socially, emotionally and physically, embracing them in the midst of their energy.

For great music (new KFOG Live from the Archives, Volume 18!)

For our Advent wreath….I fear Alex created a fire hazard of goodness!

For changing colors and seasons (please read Tracey’s post on this!)

For happy moments of exploration vs CRYING FRUSTRATION.

And again, “Thanksgiving is Great.” and because, “People eat turkey.”….thank you, November.


One thought on “Pendulum

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