0 comments | published by Linda | November 28, 2009

James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Our home is nestled in wheat covered rolling hills. On my way home tonight I was struck by how the lighting of the sun sinking into the hills made them appear to be rich in their color.

As a child I remember holding my green crayon and drawing a round, bright hill, with the sun shining behind it. I never felt the need to add more colors, because my hill was green. Yet, as I looked over the hills recently I noticed the shades of gray and darkness behind and around the hills. It was these patches of darkness that gave the hills a sort of character.

My life is no different. Although as a child I only saw bright green, throughout my life I have experienced some darkness. I’ve been challenged, learned how to forgive, and how to apologize for my stubborn heart. I’ve been overwhelmed with responsibilities, and known what it feels like to cry out of control. These have been some of my shades of gray.

These days of gray have given my Lord the opportunity to add the most important outlines, and shadowing to make his picture clear and beautiful with dimension and character.
Although the green crayon is more desirable to my eyes, it’s the black crayon that the artist pulls from to make a masterpiece.

My home is nestled in wheat covered rolling hills. The sunrises and sets, and from that I can be reminded of my Lord’s hand.

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Shades of Gray
2 comments | published by Linda | November 25, 2009

I was awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of our cat tossing legos up and down the hallway. As I lay still in my bed I was left with the decision to make. Should I try to ignore the irritating clanging and tapping and attempt to go to sleep, or bother myself to the point of bringing my body upright and stumbling in the dark to find the culprit?

Choosing the lazy approach, I remained in my bed, in the darkness realizing the complete irritation of the monotonous sounds. It reminded me of a leaking, dripping faucet that strangely seems to appear to get louder with every passing moment.

Becoming angry that this little animal was taking away my privilege of sleep, I glanced over at my husband. As I lay there looking at his face, I was reminded of a verse. Proverbs 27:15-16 “A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.”

I was brought to complete humility, reminded once again of the importance of my role as his wife. My disposition, attitude, mood, expressions, and words make up the atmosphere in which he lives and breathes. Do my words represent how deeply honored I feel to be married to him? How I’m consistently finding so many reasons to respect him so much? Do I bring joy to his heart? Peace to his mind? Do I fill the rooms in our home with warmth and beauty? Or have I fallen away from my desires of the woman I want to be, into a pit of negativity and complaining? Through several pregnancies and small children to care for during the day, I’ve somehow given myself the right to lay my burdens at his feet, forgetting the intense privilege I have in the life he has worked so hard to provide for me.

Why is it so easy to unload, to be self-centered, and a challenge to uplift and to serve? I want my husband to find relief from his burdens when he comes into my presence. To have a place of rest, a place of peace.

The legos banging against the wall have been used by my Lord as a reminder of my countenance, the importance of my disposition in my home. I couldn’t bare the thought of my husband choosing to close his eyes around me, as an attempt to ignore the irritating sounds. I want him to rest peacefully knowing there won’t be any legos clanging in the night.

Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Legos in the Night
1 comment | published by Linda | November 23, 2009

Psalm 34:7
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”

Psalm 91:11-12
“For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail.”

Sometimes I wonder if he was even aware of his shadow. At a young age my son was followed throughout each day by a shadow that stood about three feet tall, with satiny brown hair and big brown eyes. She followed him closer than his real shadow would be able to compete with. I would watch her attempt to match his every move. If he stood up, she stood up. If he threw a rock, she threw a rock. If he would laugh, she would echo. Her goal was to see how close she needed to be to become a part of him.

It must have become second nature to him to be followed and imitated in all he did, because it seemed he was actually unaware of the miniature giggling shadow who was holding onto the back of his shirt. He’d grown accustomed to being followed.

Years have passed and she no longer shadows behind him, yet this picture remains in my mind and reminds me that angels have replaced her grip and are holding tightly to the back of his shirt.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: His Giggling Shadow
0 comments | published by Linda | November 21, 2009

As a little girl I had a favorite game I loved to play when Mom threw a bridal shower at our house. She would come from another room carrying a tray. This tray would be filled with odds and ends from around the house. We were given one minute to look over these random pieces in order to remember as many as we could. When the minute was up, the tray was taken from the room. I remember sitting with my pencil in hand trying to remember every detail. It always amazed me how many items I forgot about after staring intently on them.

As I fall asleep each night my mind wanders over what happened during the day. Sometimes I find myself drifting back to many years ago. I’ll take a walk through my Grandparents house, or meander through my first grade classroom. I sit down in the labor room where my third child was born, and watch the events as they happened, and the people that came to visit me.

What a privilege to remember. I can go back to my first dance with my husband, and still remember how it felt to cuddle up with my blanket in my bed when I was a little girl. These are escapes, treasured places I can hold onto when I need to stop and float for awhile.

God brings a tray to us at different times of our lives. It’s filled with bits and pieces of a story He has written for us. I don’t want to waste my time being distracted by what doesn’t matter. Each tray is here for a moment of time, after the moment, it is gone.

Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Memory
0 comments | published by Linda | November 19, 2009
“God’s will is for a wife to have a merry heart, a cheerful countenance and a glow that will refresh the most stressed and tired husband on the planet. Bubbling cheer goes a long way to maintain or even restore a marriage.” ...Debi Pearl
Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Cheerfulness
0 comments | published by Linda | November 19, 2009

Psalm 127:3
“Children are a gift from God, they are His reward.”

I’ve noticed there is music in my kitchen and if I’m not careful, I seem to loose my ability to hear it as I busily go about my day. I can still remember the music in my Grandma’s kitchen. The blending of laughter with the tapping of silver spoons on fine china. Grandma loved having guests, and we loved to enjoy the “music” in her kitchen.

There wasn’t always music in my kitchen. Everything had its place and never seemed to be moved. My plates were even neatly stacked by color, and my decorations were never found on the floor in different places in our home. Now sometimes I wonder how many times I will be picking up the fifty Tupperware lids that my daughter loves to spread across the kitchen floor. It doesn’t matter how many toys may be around the house, it’s the Tupperware pots and pans that interest her the most. So my kitchen floor is always being redecorated for me, which is accompanied by the rhythm of soft chubby little palms slapping against the floor, or pot lids being used as cymbals.

My grandma now lives in a nursing home in California. I often visit her in my mind, as I’m unable to visit now. I think of her sitting in a peaceful room that is filled with quiet. All of her treasured items are neatly packed away, or carefully set on the furniture around her. Nothing is out of place, and the stillness must be all consuming. Does she know that the music she taught is now repeated in my home? I wonder if she still is able to hear the echoes in her mind of the music from her kitchen.

There is time for quiet, there is time for perfect order. I want to always hold on to the ability to not only hear the music in my kitchen, but to celebrate in it. I hope these precious days fill my mind and heart, and will last through eternity.

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Music in my Kitchen
0 comments | published by Linda | November 19, 2009

I am reminded by Max Lucado in “Facing Your Giants” what my focus must be. We all face giants, difficulties are a part of our journey, yet we don’t need to face them alone.  When David faced Goliath his focus was completely on God’s strength, not the size of his giant. The words out of his mouth were about the might of His God, and the confidence he had in Him. As recorded in 1 Samuel 17, his thoughts about God outnumbered his thoughts about Goliath nine to two. Likewise, there were plenty of times in David’s life where he began to focus on different giants in his life, instead of His God. Each time, he fell.

Max asks the question, “Are you four times as likely to describe the strength of God as you are the demands of your day?”

“Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone. Focus first, and most, on God. The times David did, giants fell. The days he didn’t, David did.”

“Lift your eyes, giant-slayer. The God who made a miracle out of David stands ready to make one out of you.”

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Giants
1 comment | published by Linda | November 19, 2009

Nehemiah 8:10
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I have no reason to spend much time during the day checking my make-up or my appearance in a mirror. I have several little mirrors that follow me throughout my days that reflect what’s going on in my heart. It’s now all too clear to me if my smile has faded and my color is gone, my loss of joy cannot be hidden. My children stand beside me and display clearly the attitude that has dripped off of me and soaked into them.
The scriptures explain how the Joy of the Lord is our strength, and we are to be imitators of God as we raise our children and to strive to show them who God really is. If the joy of the Lord is MY strength, then it’s safe to believe that the strength of my children is from the joy of their father and mother.

When I am truly joyful and completely enjoying my days and being in the presence of my children, they become strong and somehow confident. Yet if I’m edgy and irritable, there’s no mercy coming out through their faces and words.

How can I expect my children to be joyful, peaceful and strong in character if they are mere reflections of a worn out mom who finds herself too busy to rejoice in the incredible life she has been blessed with?

I have the joy of the Lord to give me the strength I need. And He not only promises strength, but God given strength. Even on those days where I feel as though I have nothing left to offer, my Lord can continue to care for my children through me. When I am in continual conversation with Him, He sustains me. I become joyful once again because He is my God. “The Lord God is my strength, and He will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.” Habakkuk 3:19

I would like to start each day looking into each of my children’s eyes and giving them a smile of deep affection, to remember to laugh, smile and to lighten up.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: Their Mother’s Joy
0 comments | published by Linda | November 18, 2009

Job 38:26
“To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, a wilderness in which there is no man.”

I can still feel the sun on my face, and the sounds of the insects in the bushes surrounding me. This is one of my favorite childhood memories, a walk in the wilderness. As a child I enjoyed being outdoors, cozy in a sleeping bag, hiking by day, and campfires at night.  A little yellow flower off to the side of the path caught my eye. No one else around me seemed to notice it, yet its yellow color was so bright it made me smile. I noticed a leaf under the face of the flower had been torn. I pulled the torn leaf from the flower and placed it in my pocket. I wanted to remember. I immediately turned my head to the sky wanting to show my Lord how grateful I was that He chose to place that flower there, just for me.

During the years that followed, I found many more yellow flowers in my life. From the simple privilege of laughter, to feeling my baby’s hand against my cheek, I have truly been blessed. I have also stumbled on many rocks that were before me. From the pain of saying a final goodbye, to waiting outside of the operating room while my child was in surgery, I have experienced heartache.

“To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, a wilderness in which there is no man.” It’s so easy to take center stage, to assume it’s all for me, yet He causes it to rain where there is not man. My God overflows with gifts for me, and delights in my joy. Likewise He delights Himself, even in my absence.

My Lord hand placed that beautiful yellow flower that now continues to bloom in my memory. Yet as I think of that wilderness path I once traveled down, I realize that it may possibly be raining there right now, where I am not.

Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Rain in the Wilderness
1 comment | published by Linda | November 10, 2009

As a small girl I would place myself in front of metal dollhouse that stood over half my height. The kind of old dollhouse you’d have to be careful not to rub your hands against the corners too fast. I would purposefully place the sofa, bed and dishes where they belonged. It was a familiar place, I knew every corner of this house better than the one I lived in. I had a handful of characters that longed for a story to be told of them. Depending on my mood, and on how well I was getting along with my big sister, these players were happy or not. I would move the characters about and get lost in the story.

Add several decades, a wedding, six children, some raw cookie dough and some actual drywall and I’ve found myself living in such a story. The difference is that my God is the author, the one who holds me. I am living out His story with a bunch of characters He has chosen to bless me with. We aren’t made of plastic, and have real hair, real pain, and real laughter.

Through the past 22 years of marriage we have filled the rooms of our house with experiences, memories, children, spilled milk, laughter, dirty laundry, ideas, wisdom and mistakes. This blog will slowly be filled with these items. As you browse through each room I hope you find a place to sit down, and take in the random pieces of life that make up my story this far.

So welcome, take your shoes off and enjoy.

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Posted in    |   Tags: Welcome
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