0 comments | published by Linda | December 22, 2011

Pride was spilling from her face almost as much as the fruit loops were rolling from the bowl. She made it herself. Nothing could possibly taste as good to her as her accomplishment felt. 

I praised her for a job well done as I began to picture the condition of the kitchen. It had probably been through as much as a kitchen possibly could go through. Yet, what really mattered was the fact that she made it herself. Right?

She maybe had two bites. In the time it took her to put it together, she must have lost her appetite.

I made my way into the kitchen. An opened milk bottle sat beside two puddles slowly dripping to the floor. Three dish towels were left piled in a wad on the floor as though they were helping to clean the mess. Thirty or so fruit loops were spread across the counter. For some mysterious reason, most cupboards were left opened around the room. What could she have possibly been looking for?

I suppose I could make the kitchen off limits. I could insist that my children aren't allowed to prepare food. Yet, would they ever know the fun of the kitchen? Do I want them to know how to help, or would I just rather do it all myself? Sure, it's much more simple to just do it, but those fruit loops rolling to the floor are reminders that nothing could possibly taste as good to her as her accomplishment felt. 

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Fruit Loops
0 comments | published by Linda | December 19, 2011

I admit, my pile of stuff was toppling down on every side. I like to shop. Apparently, I overwhelmed the checker. The receipt was spilling out over the register, then stopped in order to crinkle for a moment, frustrating him even more. 

After he had pulled everything through, the screen showed that change was due back to me. Yet, I hadn't paid. What a pickle. He quickly scrambled around trying to figure out how to find my total. He was getting squirmy as he noticed the line behind me was getting less patient. He mumbled something, grabbed a pen, and proceeded to work out the math problem on his own. This wasn’t looking too promising.

The receipt was blank. He looked over at my shopping cart filled with bags that I had strategically packed, and proceeded to tell me that he would need to run everything through again. Awesome. But then he realized he couldn't get the register to clear the first transaction. What to do...what to do... 

He wiped his forehead, looked around, and reluctantly flipped the switch that made the light above us flash. Standing still, he waited. He had hit the panic button. Now, it was out of his hands.

A fast moving, busy little man came over to us with an attitude of multitasking superiority. He flipped the switch off, put his key in the machine, and quickly pushed something on the keyboard. Problem solved. Off he went.

As I left I wondered why it took the checker so long to flip the switch. Pride? Fear? 

We have a switch. God is here. Yet, we sweat and prolong our agony needlessly when we go through a trial. Why? Why do we take responsibility for what He never intended for us?

There is a long line of more to come. No need to be overwhelmed. Flip the switch, stand still, and wait.

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Panic Button
0 comments | published by Linda | November 06, 2011
According to the commercial, it would be easy. I had to have it. It's all I thought about. I feared the day would never come. Imagine, my own oven. I could bake, and it would be easy. What more could a little girl want?

I got it. I used it. It wasn't easy. Maybe the most difficult part of it was watching and waiting for my dad to finish assembling it. Even that wasn't easy. It almost seemed cruel to require a little girl to wait for her cake to bake by the heat of a lightbulb. Definitely, this wasn't easy. So, I ate the dough. 

Add a decade or so, and find me standing in front of an actually working stove in my very own kitchen. Not surprisingly, it wasn't easy. Yet, I wanted to nest in my home. Now a wife, I dreamed of being a mom. I pictured what my baby would look like in a baby gap hat. Walking by the baby stores at the mall, I would stop to hold the tiny shoes and just imagine how wonderful it would be. Fluffy pink dresses, cute jeans overalls with matching socks were soon hung neatly in a small closet in my home. All was clean and organized just right. Easy.

Mid pregnancy creeped up on me, and I quickly learned that pregnancy wasn't easy. Day after day I realized again, this wasn't going to be easy. 

As the pregnancy came to a close, I found myself in a Lamaze class that seemed pretty easy. The final exam for the class however, was not.

Years have come and gone bringing six pregnancies, six children, six to nurse, and more diapers and spit up cloths than my machine could hold. The baby gap hat remained on the dresser. It still looked cute, but I was too busy burping, dressing, feeding, carrying to even remember to bring it along when I left the house. Leaving with a baby, wasn't easy.

Why? How could a mom with so much love and dedication be worked over so much? Why did I find myself on the floor trying to pick playdoh up off the carpet with a spit up blob on my shoulder? I often wondered how they could need me when I had absolutely nothing left to give. Middle of the night, early in the morning, holding, loving, teaching, cleaning, laughing, and wiping, it didn't take long to realize that motherhood wasn't going to be easy.

Is it supposed to be? Did God really intend for us to sacrifice ourselves continually for these little people in our lives? Did He show love for his children this way as an example for us? Was it easy?

Today I borrowed my son's car. Searching for a music cd, I reached for the glove department. I thought of the many moms that have found something they wished they hadn't in the glove departments of their son's car. I opened his, and there sat his Bible.

 I offered my life for the sake of his. Sacrificing my body, my time, my energy, my days, to show him where to have his eyes fixed, wasn't easy. Yet, I've had the time of my life. I have found that the sleepless nights holding a sick baby, midnight nursings, temper tantrums to handle, and the cheerios stuck on my floor have actually held the wonder. There are blessings that come, which only a mom can know.

Motherhood. I had to have it. It's all I thought about. What more could a little girl want?
Posted in Kitchen & Dining, Attic    |   Tags: Easy
0 comments | published by Linda | July 07, 2011
She said they couldn't go. How disappointing. We had looked forward to meeting up with them for some time. She went on to explain how their son just cannot sit still, and is a nightmare whenever they go out. So, they have decided to just stop trying, and to not go out for a time.

Hmmmm. How sad to watch as they put him in the drivers seat. To let a baby and his lack of training prohibit them from going out.

Training is imperative. If handled with joy, it can be a like game. Practicing at home prepares a child for what is expected from him when out of the home.

Randomly we have had our children sit on a chair in the middle of the kitchen until told to get up. Sound strange? It works. It gets them ready. Having them sit at the dining room table through the entire dinner without getting up to play, saves us from embarrassing moments in a restaurant with children dancing aimlessly around the restaurant. 

The invitation will come. Get ready. Or don't, there's always take-out.
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Better Than Take-Out
1 comment | published by Linda | July 05, 2011
She's coming. It's not hard to tell with the sound of those oil thirsty wheels. After I had carefully placed my tomato paste cans in neat, stacked rows, with labels all facing front, she was an unexpected guest.

With her pink shopping cart, complete with a baby in the front, it was shopping day. I took a glance at my pantry shelves. The food all lined up in my obsessively clean way, I was fully aware that this shopper had different priorities. 

My first impulse would be to explain how the timing wasn't good for shopping. Having just emptied my groceries from the bags, I suppose I hadn't prepared myself for play.

She is play. She delights in pretending. Who is her favorite person to be? That would be me. She actually does it quite well. In fact, I have even noticed how she carefully lines her animals up beside her bed at night with their fronts all facing forward. Constantly watching and practicing is her way. 
What qualities am I giving her to imitate? Do I really want obsessive cleaning to be one of them?

There will always be time to keep my shelves organized, as if that would be something to look forward to. However, being able to watch her shop in the pantry will end all too soon. 

Imitating will happen. I will see myself through her, good and bad. Raising her should mess up my pantry. Messy is good.
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: shopgirl
0 comments | published by Linda | June 24, 2011
Six faces sit around my table. They watch me. They listen. It doesn't really matter what I'm talking about. Actually, this continues through the days. My character, priorities and values are seen. Sadly, so is my bad attitude, frustration and judgmental edge. People think I'm nuts for having six. It must seem like a lot to them, and they wonder how I handle it.

Actually, I don't just have six. For each face that I look at, the brown eyes I look into, represent so many more. I have generations of grandchildren that are looking back at me. I am speaking to each of them, as I spend time with my kids. My children will remember, my kids will become much of what I am.

What am I passing on? What am I planting that will grow for hundreds of years into the generations that are behind those eyes.

Six faces sit around my table, but I know there are thousands watching and listening. What will I say?
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Faces
1 comment | published by Linda | June 22, 2011

He opens the door, and the cool air begins to surround him. With a blank face, he stares. Expecting him to grab and go, he stood. The fridge was filled. Since I just used my master skills of fitting more into it than should be possible, he had options. No kidding, he did. 

He continued to stand. Now he had me staring. Then the words came, stating how there was nothing to eat, and how hungry he was. The situation was getting desperate. How will he survive? All that he sees is "ingredients." He might starve! He hasn't eaten "anything" for so long. We "never" have "any" food. Why can't we have food like everyone else?

Amazing. So much right there, but nothing that would satisfy his hunger, or so he thought. This appears to be common. Yet, if it is, who are the people that actually do have the food?

I have ingredients. I have all sorts of things around my house. I'm still hungry. Why don't I have what everyone else has? Who really has it all?

I suppose that would be the person that looks at what they have been blessed with, and has decided to have that match their hunger, completely.

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Hunger
0 comments | published by Linda | June 12, 2011
It was a simple request, at least I thought it was. I asked her to close the refrigerator door. She responded with a long explanation of why it was open, and what her intentions were. Uh oh, I hadn't planned on putting time into dealing with any disobedience or training.

I was reminded once again that I must always be willing and ready. Much will be required of me when I least expect it.

My request was simple. I wanted the fridge to be closed. Instead, I was given an opportunity to train her once again what immediate, cheerful obedience looks like. Opening a debate with me was not an option. Closing the fridge with a smile, was.

We must always be prepared and on our game. Training our children doesn't always happen at convenient times. We must be willing, or, we better be careful what we ask for. 

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: A Simple Request
0 comments | published by Linda | June 02, 2011
There should be a rule that temper tantrums and petty arguments cannot happen before a mom has her morning coffee. It would be impossible for me to put out so much energy so early in the day, not for them. It almost seems that the morning fog that blurs their minds only intensifies the ridiculousness of the battle. I suppose foolishness knows no clock.

Sin happens. Children can quickly get tangled, and are unable to break themselves loose. It's easy to become irritated by the crankiness, and find ourselves quickly becoming tangled as well. In these times we are simply unqualified to help them. We can only offer help in those moments that we are not emotionally involved, like in the morning fog.

As I try to figure out who was playing with it first, and attempt to bring joy back to the bunch, I smile. The random arguments must be seen for what they are, a pure comedy of foolishness. If I don't see it that way, back to bed I go.  
Posted in Kitchen & Dining, Play Room, Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Morning Fog
1 comment | published by Linda | May 31, 2011
Little milk bottles halfway filled can be found on the floor of my closet. I wouldn't recommend opening them, as they were dropped by little hands some time ago. As she comes to me for more, I begin my search. Trying to find a clean bottle in the kitchen drawers can be a scavenger hunt. Finding each piece is not easy. There is a feeling of accomplishment when I am able to put one together, fill it up, and hand it over to the little one that needs the constant refill.

It would be entirely possible for me to remain in the kitchen throughout the day, and never leave. Their hunger is constant, and their thirst is never completely satisfied. Multiplying these needs by six provides a picture of the constant feeding and serving that is needed.

They keep coming back. Once is not enough. God has designed it this way. No doubt this is a representation of our hunger for Him. He wants us to continually come to Him to be filled up with His peace. It's a daily need, a constant thirst that He wants to quench for us...again and again. He has designed us to need Him every moment.

A bottle half filled with sour milk found elsewhere was never meant for us to drink. He's waiting. Be filled.
Posted in Kitchen & Dining, Play Room    |   Tags: Milk Bottles
3 comments | published by Linda | February 12, 2011

Some are stainless steel, cold and grey. Most aren't. Mine is covered with magnets that hold pictures of their smiles. Displaying sporadic times of days gone by, my refrigerator shows who we are.

While visiting friends homes, I grab a quick glimpse of them by the face of the refrigerator. Their identity is there, for all to see.

I've been asked if I know who I am, if I have the chance to explore what I'm all about. Do I get time to be alone in order to find myself? Have I lost myself in motherhood?

My son recently came up with a new name for me, "Refrig-a-mom." Makes sense. My six children stick to me like magnets. It's rare to see me alone anywhere in the house. I move about surrounded by little people, big questions, and small arms that wrap around me.

People can ask if I know who I am, or they can look at the pictures that represent me, that cling to me like magnets. They show who I am, my identity is there for all to see. 

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Refrig-a-mom