0 comments | published by Linda | December 30, 2011

After lying beside him as he slowly drifted off to sleep, I would quietly turn the monitor on and sneak out. I cleaned the dishes, and did other odd chores quickly that were much more difficult to do with one arm when he was awake. 

If I moved around the house, I clipped the monitor to my clothes. I was always listening. There was peace because I was listening, and knew how he was doing. If he stirred, I knew. If he cried, he knew I would be there for him.

He struggled to fall asleep at night. Yet, he found peace in my presence. My closeness made it possible for him to rest. Knowing that parents are to be an example of God’s love, I chose to stay. I spent endless time holding him close as he fell asleep. I knew I could have made it a bit easier on myself by closing the door. I could have let him learn to fall asleep alone, crying it out until he understood that no one was coming.

My home now also has both little ones and teenagers. Sometimes my older kids like to rest in their rooms, and close the door in order to have quiet. I have found it to be necessary to keep a mental monitor clipped to my clothes. This way, if they stir, I will know. If I don't hear them stir, it’s safe to assume they are, and I will be there for them.

Babies call on us in the middle of the night. Teens are no different. These are my children to love no matter their age, no matter what time. I must keep my eyes open, and my ears tuned in. Their times of need don’t happen at convenient times for me, as midnight talks happen. My baby wants to feel my love. My teens are no different.

Although teens look as though they are complete, they aren't. Their needs are deep, their questions many. They stir as they wrestle with the world around them. I have found it to be necessary to talk to them like an adult, but continue to love them like a baby. 

If their door is closed, the monitor turned off, we won’t hear. I suppose we could let them cry it out until they understand that no one is coming, but imagine if our Lord did the same to us? 

Posted in Living Room, Play Room    |   Tags: I'm Listening
1 comment | published by Linda | September 20, 2011
It's more exciting than the contents of the box. The race isn't to figure out what came to them today, but to grab that crazy bubble wrap that sits on top. As I'm quickly left with an opened box, the bubble wrap flies. Within moments the jumping begins and the absurdly loud pops fill the room.

When I think the popping has finally finished, another blast goes off. Walking into the room, I find the remains of deflated plastic carcasses spread across the floor.

In the next room I heard a new outburst of laughter. Curious to find what brought this second surge of happy, I investigate. There I find my two youngest boys, one wrapped in bubble wrap, the other whacking on the bubbles to see if it hurts. Their test proved that with the wrap, the laughter continued.

We are to choose joy, consistently. Joy comes when we realize our relationship with Him is all we need. Whether times are difficult or easy, we can be surrounded by joy. Joy acts like a protection for us against the bangs and bumps along the way. 

Much like the bubble wrap, we should wrap it around ourselves. Life will hurt less, and there will be far more reasons to laugh. Remember, the race isn't to find out what might come to us today, or why, but to grab the crazy bubble wrap that sits on top.

Posted in Living Room, Play Room    |   Tags: Bubble Wrap
0 comments | published by Linda | August 03, 2011
She hollered across the beach. Everyone looked up at her except for her son. She continued. "Stop throwing sand at your sister! You know better!"

Do you think she knows better than to yell at her son, and strip herself of all dignity? Still, she continued. "I have taught you better than that! What are you thinking?"

He might know. He also knows that he can ignore her. He knows that eventually she will stop, so he doesn't have to.

Where is the break down from what we know and what we do? We somehow let our emotions disguise what we know to be right to do. We behave opposite. It's easier, and way more fun...or so we think, until we see the ugliness of such a choice in the behavior of our kids.

Sadly though, our little people will follow what we do, not what we know. They will show the same amount of self control that we display. As we teach them how to behave, we sometimes offer an example of pure emotional stupidity.

We can't expect them to do what they know to be right if we aren't ready to look at ourselves, and realize we know better.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: We Know Better