Tag Archives: confidence

The Gentleman.


All of those moms and dads who’ve already blazed the trail of raising children warned me. Don’t blink, they said. Time flies. You won’t believe how quickly the years go. The days may seem long, but the years are so short. You know they are right. But, you just don’t imagine your child not looking like this:


Then, one day, like today, you wake up and your baby boy is 14.


And, you realize you live with one of the kindest, gentlest, most loving souls on the planet. A young man who loves God and loves people. Who loves music old and new. Who loves playing guitar, enjoys a good game of golf, all things Marvel, and spending time on the deck with friends and family. A guy who calls my adult friends HIS friends. A sweet soul who is a joy and so much fun. 

John Henry,

It’s hard to put into words how amazing this past year has been with you. Every year has been amazing. But, this year, especially, I’ve watched you become so sure of yourself. Confident in you who are and who God is within you. You don’t withhold your words when you want to encourage someone. You don’t withhold your arms when someone needs to be comforted or when you want to let someone know you love them. You don’t withhold your love. You give it. You live out the word gentle in gentleman in how you treat people. You are considerate. You are always aware of what is going on around you. You are aware of people and their needs. And, when you see a need, you are quick to do all you can to meet that need.

And, one of the reasons I’ve loved this past year so much with you is because, you have become one of my dearest friends. I am so thankful I get to call you my son and one of my best friends. You’re a good, good friend, John Henry. You are the salt of the earth….always making the lives of those around you better. I don’t know what lies ahead for you, but I know, without a doubt, that your future is filled with so much goodness. Because, you have been goodness, and you ARE goodness.  Whoever said the teen years are hard or “just wait until they are teenagers,” never met John Henry Landreth.

Thank you for teaching us all how to treat one another. For being the best brother. For playing light sabers with Jett and being so sweet and loving to him. For allowing yourself to laugh at your sister when you know something she says is funny. For dancing with me in the kitchen and surprising me with your sweet hugs. For the honor you give to your daddy Kris. For the way you admire your daddy Bryan. For the way you love Janine and trust her wisdom. 

For epitomizing a true gentleman. For making us feel better about ourselves and the world. For being YOU.
Happy 14th Birthday, John Henry. I love you more than I could ever express!







Filed under life, Love, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.

“Oh, I just love the British!”

That was her response to her new British friends, George and Josh, at a Disney resort back in September.

And, that’s how it just goes in raising Anna Takle.  We never know what she’s going to say.  Or wear.  Or do.  But, I do know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She’s has been my good time girl, full of wonder and surprise, determination and wit, since the beginning.

She was 3 ½ when I first started blogging.  Today, she is 8.  EIGHT!

Anna Takle,

You somehow always teach me more about myself than I thought possible to learn from one of my children.  I not only love the young lady you are, I admire and respect you.

I admire how you feel comfortable in your own skin.  You’re never afraid to stand out and simply be you.

I admire how you are constantly creating.  You pen beautiful words.  You brainstorm a different way to accomplish a task.  You frame lyrics to a song that inspire me.

I admire how you fear so little.  You take risks.  You put yourself out there without regard to whether you will be embraced or not.

I admire how love to learn.  You love exploring new things.  You keep an open mind about the world we live in.

I admire how you respect the earth.  You take seriously caring for our planet.  You commit yourself to being kind to it.

I admire how you listen to your dad and me.  How you take to heart discipline, instruction, and allow it to settle into your spirit.

I admire how open you are to the things of God.  And, how you are allowing Him to work in your life.  How you have decided you want to write songs that “worship Him.”

You make me laugh.  You keep me on my toes.  You remind me not to judge others.  You stir me to want to be more adventurous.

You inspire me to trust Him more.  Because, you trust Him so much.

I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  I can’t imagine this world without Anna.

And, I can’t imagine all of the amazing things you are going to do.  And, the lives you are going to touch.

But, He can.

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.  I adore every fiber of your being.  I love you more than you’ll ever know.  And, I’m so thankful you’re my girl.



Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, Writing

A Safe Place.

I’ve been blessed over the years to have people in my life who are a safe place for me.  By safe place, I mean friends who let me be Dusty without passing judgment.  I can tell anything to these friends and know that my words – my feelings – spoken in confidence will remain in confidence.  These same friends can speak into my life when I am out of line, because they truly love me. 

They would never let me wear bulky shoes with a feminine dress.  Nor would they let me eat a hot Krispy Kreme donut all by myself.  And, they would never, ever uncover any yuck part of me. 

Whenever we uncover another, we create a path of destruction for that person to have to travel down.  Unfortunately, I have had moments in my life where I have done just that. 

But, I have learned from those moments.  And, I have become a safe place for others.

I’m grateful for these safe places.

Do you have a safe place?  Are you a safe place for someone else? 


Filed under Friendship, Relationships

She said it. She really said it.

Nothing like those little girls.  Since John Henry has been in big kid school, Anna and I have been getting a lot of alone time together.  It’s always an adventure with some precious moments mingled in there.  Here is a recent dialogue:

Anna (Unprompted, I must add):  “I love you, Mom.  You’re so pretty.”

I know, I know.  Could it get any sweeter? 

Me:  “Thank you!  Thank you, Anna!”

I’ve apparently come a long way since being called “a monster.”  Of course tomorrow morning, I could very well be the antichrist.

She started Pre-K on Monday.  I picked out the cutest first day dress.  Now, I will only imagine how cute she might have looked, because she had other ideas.

Nothing like a Tinkerbell tee to accent an aqua skirt.  If only she could have look excited about her first day.

Her preschool teacher told me that she didn’t know our family had a pink pig that eats cat food.  “I’m excited about the stories she will tell”, her teacher said. 

Um.  Me, too.

Anna also just started gymnastics yesterday.  Since she first learned that she would begin training for the 2020 Summer Olympics, she has been begging every day, “Please, take me to gymnastics!”  Some things are better left told on the day of the event.  One would think I would have already learned this one.

She was all too excited about her fancy schmancy leotard.

“It sparkles!” she proclaimed to everyone who saw her.

She did love gymnastics.  She was so confident in her tumbling abilities at one point that she left her group and made herself at home on the uneven bars and later the tumbling mat.  I was so very proud – even if she had to be gently guided back to her group.

I love her confidence.  It’s my job to help her channel that confidence into who she is in Christ.  Then, there is no doubt that she can do anything. 

Nor is there any doubt that you and I can do anything.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Do you ever forget who you are in Christ?  I sure do.



Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood