0 comments | published by Linda | December 14, 2011
Mom found it in her attic. I was certain I would find treasures in it from the past. After I had lifted everything from the box, I saw it. It hadn't changed. My little mirror from some time ago found its way back into my hand. It was my favorite.

I remember carefully placing it on my nightstand before I went to bed each night. In the morning, when I looked into the glass, I saw my joy.

Now, it somehow seemed smaller. The handle could be completely hidden in my hand. As I turned it around, I saw how the reflection had changed a bit, yet it was the same. After all these years, it still remembered.

My latest find caught her eye. My little daughter decided that it would be perfect for her. It was.

Standing behind her, I looked at the reflection she created. It was strangely familiar. As I looked over her shoulder, and into the glass, more than ever before, I saw my joy. 
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Into the Glass
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 | August 19, 2011
I spent days in the backseat of a station wagon. Traveling up and down the highways, I watched out the window as the fields rolled by.

Apple orchards were my favorite. There was something about how the trees are lined up in rows that seem to go on forever.

I remember one time watching them stand in the midst of a rainstorm. Somehow the apples looked brighter and richer. The leaves dripped with water, soaking the ground below.

Apples fell. I saw them. Those treasures that hit the ground were many, covering the field with bursts of red.

The rain was good. This is what the trees were made for. It didn't destroy them, it made them healthy and able to produce their fruit. Looking across the field, it appeared they produced uncontrollably, which would please the farmer.

This huge orchard remains in my mind. Those crazy trees standing in the downpour just dropping fruit randomly.

Sometimes I complain about the rain that hits me hard. Yet, this is what I'm made for. It's through these storms that I am filled, and in turn produce fruit. Like crazy, the fruit will drop.

The farmer will be pleased.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: The Apple Tree
0 comments | published by Linda | August 15, 2011
The medal strips along the front of the sink helped me to imagine what kitchens looked like in the 50's. Dragging my hand across the smooth white surface, I took in the smells pouring from the oven. My great aunt's farmhouse kitchen was a place I loved to go.

Quietly I would roam through the house. In the living room stood different shapes and sizes of fabric colored chairs. Nothing matched, but it didn't matter. Everything belonged. The wider ones, when covered by a blanket provided shelter from the incoming Indians that might have appeared.

With her apron wrapped around her soft middle, she would appear where i was exploring, calling me to dinner. There was something about her that just called for a hug. Standing in the corner of the kitchen I would watch. No taller than the sink, some didn't even notice me. She did. She would ask for my help as though she might just not manage without me. We both knew she would, but that was our secret.

We both played piano. Her music had actually been published. Yet, when she would listen to me stumble through my most recent piece, her applause was with so much energy that I decided I was just as accomplished as she.

Her sweet face now is only seen in the pictures of my memory. Her song had ended much before I thought it should.

In the depths of a dirty garage filled with boxes, her music was found. Given to me, I held the brittle pages, and somehow heard her song once again. What happens when our song is over? Will we be remembered?  Or will the songs that we created during our days be lost and forgotten?

A kitchen once filled with sweet aromas of fresh bread, and noisy conversations is now empty. Over time it seems her accomplishments don't matter. All of the recognition she once received has faded away like the notes on the paper.

In the end, what matters is how she loved her life, her Lord, and how she put this to music inside of me. Children listen. They remember. Is our song sweet enough for them to want to sing when we are gone?
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: The Music Never Dies
1 comment | published by Linda | July 21, 2011
She kept pushing her gift to the front of the pile. The kids closed in on me. Mom was trying to take a picture, but I'm certain I was too surrounded for her to even see me. Again, my friend pushed her gift closest to me. Irritated, I grabbed it, and began the unwrapping. As the toy was slowly revealed, she was continuing on with an explanation of where she bought it, why it was the best one at the store, how it works, and how much it cost. After the paper had fallen to the pile of trash, I held the toy up high to show my mom. My friend had a grip on it as well, apparently thinking I wouldn't be able to get it to work without her narrative of instructions.

Was she really giving this to me? She seemed to love it so much that I began to wonder if it was really intended for me to keep. Would she sneak it away, and take it home with her? Did she buy it for herself? I thanked her anyhow. I had no choice, mom raised her eyebrows as she looked at me. No words were necessary. I knew what to say.

I have an altar. It has been in my mind since I was a little girl. At night, as I am in bed, I come to my Lord in prayer. As I shuffle through my thoughts and worries, one by one, I walk to the altar and place what stresses me there. I give it to Him. Sometimes however, I give it, but don't let go. I set it up there, and know I'm giving what I should, but as I step away, I realize it's still in my hands.

Giving hasn't taken place until the letting go has happened. No matter what it is. When we give, it's for another, period. How much better for me to place a concern on the altar, and at the same time, actually let go.

She annoyed me through the whole party as she wouldn't stop playing with the toy. At the end of the day, her mom had to struggle to get her to let go. Strange how a gift loses it's fun when it comes attached to a screaming friend who is forced to let it go. The toy wasn't even that great. Go figure.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Letting Go...Really
0 comments | published by Linda | July 15, 2011
Standing in front of the glass, I couldn't blink. Of course I couldn't. There they sat, right in front of me lined in neat rows with each leaning back on the next. So many colors. So many shapes. They were all so different, and yet I had to choose. We liked choosing to fill a box one by one with the variety of our favorites. Assortment is the best. There's nothing quite like a donut...or at least at the age of seven that's what I believed.

People marvel at my children with their big brown eyes. They are all the same. Well, they came from the same bakery.

Yet, it's taken me awhile to put together the fact that even though they can be lumped under the title, "my children"...they are each their own. Most shockingly, they are not me. It's easy to assume that they must think like me, like what I like, and be able to do what I can. Not so much. 

I might think it would be fantastic to go out for the day, yet one might rather be home alone in the quiet. Do I force a change? Should I require each to cooperate with what inspires me? That might be as silly as wanting a chocolate donut to taste like a berry filled one. Impossible. Not only that, but frustrating and crushing to my kids. 

Character qualities are not up for discussion, but personality differences must be. To build into each one to be the very best at who they are is a way of glorifying God. After all, He made them just the way they are. Good thing they aren't a bunch of my clones. God is more creative than that. He likes assortment.

Like the box of donuts, I want to appreciate and enjoy each one for what they are...after all, there's nothing quite like a child.
Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: The Box of Donuts
0 comments | published by Linda | July 10, 2011
I wore it with pride. Of course I did. I earned it. We earned a bead for every good act that we performed. The more full the necklace, the more honor you received...(as much an Indian Maiden could be).

I fold laundry. Lots of it. It mysteriously grows and multiplies if I look the other way. Same thing happens with the dishes. How many times have I loaded and unloaded the dishes? Never mind, don't answer that.

Let's not even consider the diaper situation. Doing the math on diapering six babies over the past 19 years is math I simply cannot do.

Do these tasks matter? How about the daily conversations with my kids? The arguments I have dismantled, or the dried jelly I have had to chisel from the counter? Do these things make a difference?

Worship comes in many shapes and sizes. Sacrifice is messy. It makes you sweat and messes up your hair.

Never underestimate His memory, or the glory that awaits. Wear your necklace with pride, and remember your purpose. The more filled it is... the more honor He receives.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Beads of Glory
0 comments | published by Linda | May 29, 2011
He would lift me up so high, I was sure my head would hit the ceiling. It didn't. I might never understand why, because I was sure I was flying much higher than the house. The sudden drop was the most unexpected. Sometimes I would plunge so far it seemed that I would definitely hit bottom. Yet, close as it seemed, I never touched the ground. It was okay. I was in his hands.

To fly is what I long for. To laugh so hard that I can barely breathe is what I wish would last. Yet, there are sudden drops that bring me to tears. My fear of falling causes me to look down, and outweighs my trust.

However, if my eyes remain on Him, whether flying or falling, my joy remains unchanged. I am in His hands. That's all that matters.

Life is a ride. Choose joy. It all takes place in the grip of His hands.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Fear of Falling,
3 comments | published by Linda | April 13, 2011

Heading home, I had to merge onto the freeway. The cars were racing by me as the kids were calling from the backseat. His voice was in my ear. With my cel phone tucked in my pocket, the chord strung through my jacket, my earphones made it seem as though he was sitting right beside me. He was listening. I knew he was there. I couldn't see him, but even in the crazy we were together. That's all that mattered.

I remember a time when I would sit in the corner of my quiet room, with my Bible in my lap, and journal right beside me. Uninterrupted, I could find my Lord there.

Now, with a house full of six children, quiet rarely exists. There is much to do, and so many assuming I have enough ears to hear them all, and the aptitude to answer skillfully. Busy and noise follow me. Tasks and routines seem to lead the way.

If there is no quiet, is it imposible to spend time with our Lord? Could it be our quest to find Him in the midst of the clutter and crazy that fill our days? After all, what makes a day victorious and successful only comes when we are in constant communication with Him. Our closeness with Him is paramount. 

We are heading home, and sometimes need to travel on the freeway. Find him, even there.

Posted in Living Room, Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: In the Midst of the Clutter
2 comments | published by Linda | April 07, 2011
Nobody wanted to stop it. I did. There was no way to control it without stepping into it, no matter how crazy it seemed. Being seven, it was with great courage that I ran to the center, and turned the water off. 

I spent days in the summer on the front lawn. My neighbor and I would dance in the water as the random swinging sprinkler bounced across the grass shooting water in every unexpected direction. The higher we turned up the water, the more berserk it would move. If we wanted to redirect it, or switch it off, we had to get wet. The only way to grab it and move it was by running directly into the water. I suppose turning off the water would have been as effective, but there were times when it was so out of control that it was moving toward something it shouldn't. We had to stop it. It needed to be redirected, and the only way we could do it was by running into the center of the downpour.

Watching over children is no different. When they become filled with happy, and are playing hard, it's not uncommon for things to unravel, to get out of control. When kids clash with each other, it's tempting to run the other direction, hoping it will just simmer down on its own. Being called to the position of judge and jury is one that is easy to want to avoid.

I have found however, that the only way to bring peace to the crazy is by running directly into it. Avoiding it is pointless. Moving into the center of the downpour, and redirecting or stopping the problem brings peace, and protects what must stay dry.

Children can run into every unexpected direction. We are called to have courage, and to be willing to get a bit soaked as we direct them. We must be determined to run into the center of the downpour, as it's the only place to keep dry.
Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: The Center of the Downpour
2 comments | published by Linda | March 13, 2011

My favorite part was the marshmallows. Sitting beside the campfire with cold, dirty hands and face, I was warmed. It was where I wanted to be. It seemed to draw a crowd. We all wanted to be huddled around the fire, feeling the warmth and atmosphere it created.

Some days come to me and I my energy cannot be found. Responsibilities haven't changed, my kids still have their needs, yet I have not much to offer.

My list can wait. I can sit. This somehow seems to put priorities into place, as what energy I have is not waisted on what doesn't matter. What does matter, however, gathers around me with cold, dirty faces. They are warmed. 

As mom's, we mustn't fall into the trap of believing that accomplishing our duties is what benefits our family the most. Sitting still, being available, and creating an atmosphere for conversations and quiet can be what is remembered most. 

Just being with my kids is where I want to be, and it will build a bond with them and memories that will end up warming me on any cold night that might come.

Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: Campfire
1 comment | published by Linda | March 03, 2011
Mine was hot pink and white. There was something about that hoop that made me smile. It seemed as though my happiness and dancing kept it wrapped around my waist. Feeling so accomplished with my hoop, I was able to keep that ring moving around me while doing other things. I could move around the house, read a book, or talk on the phone. My hula hoop spent most of its time leaning against the wall of the garage, but when it was moved, I moved. Keeping up the dance was the only way to keep it working. 

My dance has continued, yet my hoop is no longer hot pink and white. It is made up of the arms of a seven year old boy. From out of nowhere, he appears. Instantly his arms lock around me, creating a ring. He doesn't let go, no matter what. The key for me is to continue dancing. I can wrap one hand on his, and we can move about the house.

It's joy that has attracted him to me, and keeps his arms wrapped around my waist. If the dancing were to stop, the ring would fall. May I always keep a rhythm of joy that draws my children around me.

Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: Hula Hoop
2 comments | published by Linda | January 07, 2011
Stretching myself across the hot pavement, I would peak under the leaves. It was a certain type of plant where I could find those silent treasures. Other kids would pass by me loudly, playing in the yard, as I would keep my attention on my search. There was something fascinating about the shells they carried on their backs. I figured they must be heavy, as they moved so slowly. 

Pulling one from the back side of the leaf was not easy. Like glue, it seemed to be permanently stuck, but I pulled, and it finally let go. Each snail I held, I wanted to keep. I wanted it to notice me, and enjoy living in the palm of my hand. 

Hidden tightly in his shell, I figured he thought he had disappeared, and I would leave him alone. Yet, after time, he poked his head out, and started his journey. With just a touch from my finger, he would hide once again. My disappearing friend, fascinating.

I now live in a home where kids pass by me loudly, playing in the yard. Quiet is not my home. Yet, I remember searching for my silent, slow moving friend that I studied as a child. I think back at how he would disappear into his shell, becoming unnoticed. Studying this tiny creature as a child prepared me, as I now have a child who resembles him. If I get lost in the noise, and the crazy, I would miss the one who slowly moves to a quiet place and pulls into his shell. 

Quiet sins do match the loud ones, you just need to be willing to search them out. Working one out of a child is tricky at best. Once trusting in the conversation, they might peak their heads out, but so quickly the disappearing can happen if we let it. The shell must be used for protection, not hiding and festering in self pity and bitterness.

Children can seem permanently stuck in an attitude, yet pulling him from it is a must. There is a journey before them, and we want them to enjoy living it in the palm of His hand.
Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: My Disappearing Friend