0 comments | published by Linda | May 31, 2014

The lack of intelligence was far outweighed by his big brown eyes and the consistent wag of his tail. We have always known that the opportunity to get food would always have a stronger grip over him than anything. It has always been amusing through the years to watch him cower and hide each time a dog not even a quarter of his size came into view. What matters to us is that he belongs to us.

By far, the most mysterious behavior he has is how he handles being given a bone. He never seems to enjoy it. Actually, it brings him anxiety, restlessness, despair and the inability to move on with his day enjoying anything around him.

He circles around the house with a whimper which soon turns into a howl. One of us finally opens the door for him to take his object of stress out to the yard. Yet, oddly, this only makes him cry with even more distress. He steps outside but continues to walk in circles becoming more frantic with every step.

Finally, he digs a hole, and buries his bone deeply in the ground. He is now able to come inside and get back to a life of scrounging and sleep.

I have hoped to see the day he would go out and dig up his treasures. After twelve years, I’m thinking that he has completely forgotten about each bone ever buried. Our huge backyard is now permanently filled with those bones that have caused him so much stress.

I’ve been given many bones in my life as well. Actually, the more people I have in my life, the more bones I receive. I, like you, have been wronged. The strange thing is how I carry those bones around in my mouth. I don’t put them down. I seem to walk in circles, getting nowhere, and moaning to myself about the bone for days, weeks, months, and sadly even years. All I can seem to think about is my grip on that bone, and I continue to suffer over it.

God has provided a huge back yard for me. The size always matches the amount of people in my life. Thankfully, my yard has remained rather large. It offers freedom, yet, I sometimes keep my hold and continue to inflict myself with the pain from the offense over and over again. If only I would be smart like my dog with little intelligence, bury it, and forget about it altogether.

To be wronged is really nothing at all, unless of course, we choose to remember it.

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Burying Bones
0 comments | published by Linda | November 09, 2013

The doors of my closet were not like most. My dad turned mine into giant chalkboards. This seemed to instantly transform my simple bedroom into a classroom. Little chairs lined up in front of the chalkboard held my dolls quietly awaiting the lessons for the day. Starting with writing the date on the top of the board, the day would begin. Of course, there was an area on the board where names were listed of students who had a hard time staying in their seats. Most likely teaching math facts incorrectly, and with words misspelled,  the school day covered all  the subjects I could imagine.

I was a teacher. Even with an education that had not yet completed a year in the first grade, I was a teacher. The magic of pretending spread into an early motherhood as well. I knew that my little baby dolls needed me. I was the confident one who knew how to care for them. With a look from their eyes I knew what they needed and was there with my billowing diaper bag to handle it all. A mother. At the age of six, I was a mother.

Interesting how a bit of confidence, when mixed with pretending, can turn a hope into reality. If we fake it, we can actually make it happen. Now, as a mom of six, and years of teaching them at home, I know that after years of pretending to be what I hoped to become, it became my reality.

I have found the art of pretending to be important in many areas of life. It’s difficult to love rightly, all the time. Sometimes my emotions have become tangled with my resentment so much that it feels like love can’t happen. It comes down to a simple choice. Am I willing to do what I don’t want to do? Can I put away my petty judgments toward someone in my life and love them anyway? Am I even capable of this?

Maybe I don't need to worry if I feel like loving them or not. If I act as though I do, I will. It’s a matter of putting my head before my heart. Could it be that the magic of pretending should not end in childhood? If we let how we feel determine what we do and who we are, we completely limit ourselves. There is no verse in the Bible that ends with the phrase, “If you feel like it.” We must, because we are told to.

Insecure? Pretend confidence. Depressed? Pretend joy. Angry? Pretend happy. I have learned to never underestimate the power of pretending, because it ends in being. Little did I know that years back, as my chalk hit those closet doors, that the biggest lesson would be learned by the teacher, many years later. But I’ll pretend like I always knew.

Posted in Living Room, Attic    |   Tags: The Magic of Pretending
1 comment | published by Linda | January 30, 2013
The day was creeping up behind me far too quickly. She would soon board the plane, without me, as she would embark on a new adventure all her own.

I watched as she shoved her sweats into the bag. I noticed my clothes were peaking out, along with my boots and make up. She knew I noticed, but nothing needed to be said. I was more than happy to send little tokens that would remind her of my love.

Realizing her bag was billowing, and refusing to close, she reached for another. It would be interesting to follow her as she made her way to the gate. I wonder if her heart will drop when she realizes her dad won't be there to reach over to relieve her burden, making her load lighter. I don't ask.

In my heart I have a suitcase of secrets. This suitcase is full of tears I want to cry. It is filled with  words I want to say, telling her how I already feel a hole in my life, just by thinking of her being away. There are so many questions of what it would be like for me with her away. This suitcase is heavy, full of ways to bring her down, much too heavy to burden my daughter with.

Instead of handing her yet another load to carry, I handed her a gift that would hopefully stay with her through her days away. I silenced my weeping heart that would have weighed her down with guilt for leaving. I held back the tears, and replaced them with a smile. I traded my thoughts of sadness and concern for words of excitement and encouragement. My suitcase is mine. No matter how real its contents are, it belongs to me. This is the baggage that my Lord and I will sort through. She was never meant to have to carry my weaknesses. I went against my heart, as I wanted to do something for hers.

Sending her off with cheers, confidence and laughter, gave her not only freedom from guilt and worry, but wrapped her in strength. My eyes would tell her that I believe in her, and will be home rejoicing over her.

My gift would not need to be searched, checked in, or carried on the plane. Yet, this invisible package would be with her, making her adventure light. It was bought with a price, but the blessing for her would be of far greater value. My life, for hers.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Baggage Check