“Renee’s Mommy is Here”

“Renee’s Mommy is Here”


I still remember the scene vividly. I was getting out of my car at the baby-sitter’s house and a little boy comes running out the door. The little boys begins to yell – “Renee’s Mommy is here!” I remember stopping in my tracks and thinking – “Oh, that is who I am now – Renee’s Mommy.” My whole identity is now Renee’s Mommy – or is it?

As a Christian Working Mom I have multiple roles, I am Renee’s Mommy and Zachary’s Mommy as well. I am John’s wife, Betty and Eldred’s daughter, Karen’s sister, church worker, school helper, a therapist, professional coach, and a child of God. Do you often wonder who you are? Where do you fit in with all your roles?

Women have had many roles since time began. The Proverbs 31 woman is a: wife, mother, businesswoman, charity worker, and many other roles. You will recognize in here some of the stresses we modern women face. Proverbs 31:15, 18 states she gets up while it is still dark and her lamp does not go out at night. Does that sound familiar? We are often burning the candle at both ends.

Although are many roles can be stressful there can be great joy in all our many identities. I love being Renee and Zachary’s Mom. There is great joy in watching them grow and learn about God and His world. I also thoroughly enjoy my work as a professional coach and therapist. Work provides me great satisfaction. Christian Working Moms  often receive a lot of support and encouragement from co-workers. As Christian wives we give and receive companionship, support, and passion (when we pencil it in) with our husbands. Our work at church and school also gives care and comfort for others. We often receive the greater blessing when we work at church or  at our children’s school.

As a fellow Christian Working Mom I celebrate and applaud all our different roles. Variety in our roles often allows us to manage turmoil in any one area of our lives. The other parts of our lives seem to compensate for the difficult times and help us to maintain balance. I encourage you to rejoice in all God has given you and your many different roles.

Oh, by the way if we meet virtually or in person I’ll answer to Kimberly, Renee’s Mommy, Zachary’s Mommy ……….



“Safety First” Tips For Water Fun



There may be few better ways to spend a hot day than at the beach, lake, water park or swimming pool but amid all the fun and games it is important to put safety first.


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There may be few better ways to spend a hot day than at the beach, lake, water park or swimming pool but amid all the fun and games it is important to put safety first.


Learning to swim and be safe in and around the water are important survival skills. Accidents only take a few seconds to occur, but they can often be prevented by ensuring your loved ones follow simple water safety guidelines.


Pioneers in swimming instruction and water safety, the nation’s YMCAs are celebrating 100 years of group swimming instruction to children and adults. The YMCA offers these tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe in and around the water during the summer and at any time of year:“Renee’s Mommy is Here”


• Make sure children are supervised by an adult at all times.


• No one, not even adults, should ever swim alone.


• Be prepared in an emergency by learning lifesaving, first aid and CPR techniques.


• Always have a stocked first aid kit, phone, emergency numbers and sunscreen close at hand.


• Follow the posted rules in any water environment.


• Backyard pools should have posted rules, ring buoy and security fences with self-closing gates and childproof locks.

“Renee’s Mommy is Here”

• If you have an above-ground pool, secure and lock the steps or remove them completely when not in use.


• Be aware of water depth, incline and any underwater obstructions before diving. Never dive in water less than nine feet deep.


• Children should use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Avoid inflatable toys including armbands or “swimmies”-they can be dangerous, giving a false sense of confidence.


• And finally, everyone should learn swimming and basic water safety skills. The YMCA offers swimming classes for all ages and levels.


Temporary Internet Files – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


A little bit of time invested into learning about internet security can go a long way in preventing mishaps on your computer. Temporary internet files are not something we should be afraid of, but we should certainly be careful in how much we trust them and how we deal with them.“Renee’s Mommy is Here”


Temporary internet files are image, text, and formatting files that are stored on your hard drive by the websites that you visit. They are placed there by the websites without your having to do anything. The files are stored on your computer the first time you visit the site so that the next time you go to that webpage you only have to load new information or files that have changed since the last time you visited – files that have not changed are loaded from the temporary internet files folder at a much faster speed than over the internet.


This seems like an incredibly appealing option, especially to those of us still working at home on dial-up connections (my teenage brother-in-law insists I’m “old school” because I don’t have DSL – I think he may be right). Storing the temporary internet files on the hard drive significantly cuts down the amount of time it takes to completely load and view a website.


There are a few question areas, however, that need to be considered in any discussion about temporary internet files. First, and arguably the most trivial of the concerns, is that you may miss out on all of the updated information the website has to offer. If your browser loads the files from your temporary internet files folder rather than the updated material from the website, you may miss out on an updated football score, or you may get a different image than the one others are viewing. The system is designed so that things like that don’t happen, but the possibility is out there.


Second, storing huge numbers of files can bog down your computer, slowing down its ability to do even the simplest of tasks, such as word processing (a deadly one-two combination if you’re working with dial-up!). Fortunately, you can control the number or size of the files that are being stored on your hard drive. Typically under the Tools>Options menu of your browser you’ll be able to set the amount of your hard drive you’re willing to dedicate to temporary internet files. You may want to set this high or low, depending on your browsing habits and need for speed.



Third, the temporary internet files folder may contain files that contain viruses, inappropriate images or text, and files that could leak personal information to websites. This is obviously a huge concern any time you allow someone virtually unregulated access to your hard drive. Images from an inappropriate website you accidentally stumbled across (it has happened to all of us) may be stored on your hard drive. Corrupted files may be placed there by an unfamiliar website you only visited once. Cookies and other files may potentially spawn popups that cover your screen in a matter of seconds.


Before you grab your pitch fork and storm the beast’s castle, let me mention a few things you can do to bring a little control to your temporary internet files folder without destroying it completely.


I already mentioned limiting the amount of your hard drive dedicated to holding files from visited websites. This is the best option for those who may be less concerned about corrupted or inappropriate files being stored and more concerned about the ability of their Jurassic-era computer to perform at a decent speed. Some versions of the popular browsers won’t allow you to completely eliminate storing files, but you can limit the resources to 1% of your hard drive or a small number of megabytes.


Some opt to regularly clean out their temporary internet files folder – obviously this will eliminate malignant files and free up some space for your computer; but it will also eliminate files you may want. A quick note about the files that begin with “Cookie:” – cleaning out the folder will not actually delete the cookies. The cookie files in the temporary internet files folder are simple files that point the browser to the actual cookie in the “Cookies” folder on your hard drive. If you are interested in truly purging your system of internet files, you’ll need to clean out that folder as well.


In my view, the most judicious option is to utilize available software to manage the content of your temporary internet files. Some files you want because they make your life easier. Some files you don’t want because it bogs down your computer and makes your grandmother blush. Software is available that scans your computer and finds all the internet files (including cookies). The software makes recommendations as to whether the file in question is good, bad, or ugly – all you have to do is decide to keep or trash it, then click the appropriate button.


Temporary internet files can make our internet browsing time a quick and convenient experience. Unfortunately, they may also pose a risk to the security of our hard drives. With a little hands-on management we can keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our computers happy, safe, and protected.


“They Should Have Beat Me More” – The Cycle of Physical Abuse




In December, 2005, I conducted a two-day workshop with men who had recently been released from prison for domestic violence. With the men were their wives, as well as the father of a batterer who was still in prison.

The father, Douglas, sat in front of me, sharing his childhood experiences.

“My momma was a very loving woman – a big-hearted, hard working loving woman,” he told me. From my many years of counseling, I knew that my definition of love and his definition of love were likely very different.

“Did she ever beat you?” I asked.

“Oh yeah. She beat me all the time. My daddy beat my momma and my momma beat me. But she beat me because I was bad. I was really bad. Maybe if she had beat me more, I wouldn’t have been so bad.”

“What did she beat you with?”

“Anything she could get her hands on. Extension cords, wooden spoons. Often I had to go into the yard and pick out the switch.”

“How did you feel when you knew you were going to get a beating?”

“Oh, I was terrified. I’d beg and plead and promise not to do again whatever it was she was mad at. But that never worked. I always got the beating. Then after the beating she would tell me that she loved me, that it was for my own good, and that it hurt her more than it hurt me.”

“And how were you bad?”

“Well, sometimes I’d come in late, and sometimes I would talk back. Then I got into alcohol and drugs at a very early age. Maybe if she had beat me more, I wouldn’t have done the alcohol and drugs.”

“Why do you think you did the alcohol and drugs?”

“I was just hurtin’ too much. It took me outta all the pain for awhile.”

“What was the pain?”


“I don’t know. I was just hurtin’ a lot.”

“Do you think it is possible that you were hurting because the woman who was supposed to protect you was instead hurting you? That she was confusing you by telling you she loved you while she was beating and terrifying you? That there was no one to turn to for safety and nurturing? That you were scared much of the time for fear of the beatings? That you were terribly lonely and could not turn to your parents because they were the ones causing the pain?”


Silence………Then he looked at me in shock. As the light bulb when on in his mind, the tears started rolling down his weathered cheeks. Soon he was sobbing.


“That’s right…That’s right….The beatings were the problem. More beatings would not have helped. And I beat my children thinking it was the right thing to do, and now my son is in prison for beating his wife and protective services want to take away their daughter. And I almost hit her the other day when she didn’t mind me. I’m so glad I didn’t. This has to stop! This has to stop!”


I looked around the room. Everyone was in tears. Kathy, the wife of one of the batterers, spoke up, sobbing.


“I’ve always hit my kids, and no matter what anyone told me about it not being good, it never made sense to me. This is the first time I understand why it’s not a good or loving way to discipline my kids. And I can see why I’m having so many problems with my older son and why he is on drugs. He has always been furious with me and I had no idea why. Now I understand. I need to learn a new way to discipline. I’m going to take a parenting class and start reading parenting books.”


I hugged Douglas for the profound work he did, and for the effect his work was having on everyone in the room. I thanked God for giving me the privilege of working with these people. All of them, it turned out, had been severely beaten as children.


I am deeply grateful to James Beard who conducts workshops within the prison with batterers and to Lindsay Wagner, who also works with these men and their families. Both of them were assisting me at this workshop. We all smiled at each other in deep gratitude for the healing that was taking place.


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