3 comments | published by Linda | January 31, 2011
Ephesians 5:20
"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

While wiping down the kitchen counters, I noticed a sticker on the floor. Bending down and scraping it off, my two year old came running in the kitchen shouting, "Holdju!" As she climbed on my back, my twelve year old walked in continuing a conversation we had been in an hour ago. Discussing who she should invite to the mall, my two year old was hanging from my neck. Walking slowly, but curiously through the kitchen, my six year old walked passed me as though he was definitely up to something.

After solving my twelve year olds dilemma, my seventeen year old hopped up the stairs announcing his hunger. Again, my six year old passed by me, but this time with only his pants on. My two year old, still clinging to my back like a monkey was now laughing hysterically. My nine year old asked a question about his report on Texas from around the corner as I finally had success with that sticker.

My fourteen year old daughter came and dropped a pile of books on the kitchen sink, and sat at the barstool. She began to explain the tales of her day. Off to the side, I noticed my six year old walking even slower through the kitchen, but this time, only in underwear with a mischievous smile across his face. I was noticing a pattern, one that would need to be stopped.

This wasn't an instance in my life, it is a picture of my life. Multitasking and multi-tracking are not options, they are survival techniques.

How should my heart be? Thankful. I've found that thankfulness is filling, just like how my kids fill my home, and my day. When I'm looking around, smiling, and thanking the Lord for all that surrounds and invades my space, there's simply no room for complaining or whining. 

My children don't leave much room for me to even have a thought of my own. Thankfulness is the same. It doesn't share space.

Standing in the middle of dreams, with a giggling monkey on my back, God is definitely up to something, and it is good.

Posted in    |   Tags:
1 comment | published by Linda | January 26, 2011
As I pull another piece of packing tape over the top of a box, I try to remind myself what was inside. The amount of stuff that I have managed to accumulate through my life is more than I'd like to admit. From the all important High School albums to the trivial baby blankets I can't bring myself to get rid of, I continue to save. It's easier to just keep it stacked in the garage, than to sift through it, make decisions, clean it out, and possibly let it go.

If I refuse to ever go through it, who will it ultimately belong to? When I am gone, it will be my children who will be responsible to go through each item, work through it, and decide to hold on to it, or let it go.

My heart is no different. I have hopes of leaving my deep love for God, my laughter, and any strengths God has given me to my children. Yet likewise, I will be leaving behind those temptations and sins that I never quite overcame. They will be dealing with my fears, insecurities, and anxieties. What motivation this offers me to work through these issues that are before me and within me in order to not leave them behind for my children to be responsible for.

God works this way. We pass it down. He works through families, and continues to work through them as generations pass. Sins that have not been properly dealt with, weaknesses and lost battles will show up in our children.

Working through the storage on my garage shelves is a mere reminder. What do I want my children to open when I am gone? What do I want to leave behind? The day will come where they become responsible for what I have left.

As I label yet another box, I must make certain this is what I want them opening and finding when I am gone.
Posted in    |   Tags:
3 comments | published by Linda | January 19, 2011

I could hear her feet behind me pressing into the sand as she danced. There was no direction in her dance, just an explosion of happy. With arms flailing about, and random drops to the sand, she was in the moment. I remained still on my towel, feeling the sun drape over me. The oil on my skin made me a magnet for the sand that she was tossing about, but it didn't matter. I was in the moment. 

Suddenly her giggles turned to an outburst of screaming, as the sand had rained down and landed in her eyes. Jumping to her rescue, I began brushing the sand from her face. Her tears made the sand cling to her cheeks, and the more I tried to wipe, it only got worse. I seemed to be covering her face with more sand, the more I worked. 

The realization that I was only adding to the problem struck me. I had come to her with hands that were also covered in sand, and only compounded the problem and the pain. I was unqualified to help. I, her mom, was adding to her agony. 

This story has also played out in the car, as I have become annoyed by the arguments in the backseat. Instead of cheerfully helping them untangle, my attitude only offered more sand. Their sticky attitudes were made worse because of the reflection from the front seat. I was unqualified. I, their mom, was only adding to the agony.

Best to look in the rear- view mirror at myself before I turn back to them, and try to help with their tangle. I need to be corrected before I am qualified to correct. 

Sand will be tossed about. Not being a magnet for it will allow our kids to dance in an explosion of happy.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: Rear-View
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
4 comments | published by Linda | January 02, 2011

With long legs, and black body, it slowly crept across my bathroom rug. Noticing the intruder, my six year old son quickly turned from sweet little guy into a warrior within seconds. He lifted his foot, and finished off the enemy. So proud of a job well done, he sighed heavily, put his hands in his pockets, looked up at me and grinned.

Little boys are made this way. Growing into manhood requires things like swords, skateboards, bug killing and the likes. They dream of conquering, saving and inventing. Building strength and confidence into our boys is a must if we want them to grow into capable, successful and happy men.

Gathering courage to wipe up the remains of the latest victim, I realize the strength that is also needed as a mom. How much easier it would be to calm the crazy, the mess, and  the noise. Yet, growing a man isn't an arena of softness and quiet, it's construction at its finest. It includes falling, bruises and bumps, and requires a mom with strength enough to be willing to get him back on his feet to keep on playing.

While little girls busy themselves with the happenings in the home, which is natural for us, our boys must keep their focus outward. Are we strong enough to let them? These are to be future warriors, not to be confused with future sweet little guys.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: Bugs and Stuff