1 comment | published by Linda | December 30, 2009

Proverbs 17:22
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

We met when I was only 13 years old. I remember when we started dating how he fell in love with my cheerful heart. We couldn’t wait to be together each day, and would laugh and play continuously. It didn’t really matter what we were doing, as long as we were together. The thought of being with him would thrill me, and the thought of saying goodbye seemed unbearable.

I have found it to be so important to continue this cheerfulness as the years go by. When we dated, and were first married, a crazy joy wrapped around us, and we were truly playmates. How important it is to continue being his playmate. To laugh, be silly, filled with thankfulness for his love.

My smile and playfulness can sooth his heart, and set the tone for a home where the kids will thrive. This medicine of cheerful thankfulness is unmatched. I want my smile to be infectious, and my laughter sweet.
I could spend time and money on my appearance, or focus on my heart, and the inexpensive, unrivaled smile.

...Debi Pearl offers good reminders of such things in her book, “Created to Be His Help Meet”... check it

Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Be Happy
0 comments | published by Linda | December 27, 2009

Psalm 93:4
“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.”

The only concern on my mind was to keep the sand off of my towel. Many afternoons were spent lying on the beach, soaking in the sun. I can still remember how it felt to reach into the hot sand beside me and let it sift through my fingers. Complete relaxation. There was an absence of pressure and stress. I was able to hear the people laughing and talking around me against the sound of the crashing waves, yet I was still.

What would my life be like if all of my days were spent in the sun? If I never experienced the rain, or heard the thunder?  I suppose it would be much like a desert. How could I have grown?

It’s during the storms that I have the privilege of learning about God in a different light, through the darkness.

I must not only endure the storms in my life, but also experience them with thankfulness as they are a Holy privilege of learning more about God’s character, as He is never moved by a storm. It’s easy to be thankful for times of rest, but I must also carry joy through the storms.

May the sun always serve as a reminder of my Lord’s joy and peace, and the thunder a reminder of His power and strength. The weather that surrounds will always be changing. My thankful heart must not, and my Lord never will.

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Under the Sun
1 comment | published by Linda | December 21, 2009

What are you holding onto? What is in your grip so tight that your knuckles are turning white?

We make decisions about what we will or will not do, then it’s as though we shut the door.

From refusing to eat red meat, to declaring we will never live where it snows, we tighten our fists.

We can believe in home schooling to a point that we can’t pass a school campus without a sideways glance. As a new mom we can know that nursing our baby is best, and at the same time decide that bottle feeding is wrong, and again, tighten our fists refusing to even think of it.

It seems we can make our box that we live in so small that there is only room for one. While inside, we miss out on life as God intended for it to be.

Imagine standing in front of our Lord with clenched fists covering our ears, with our eyes tightly shut. Seems impossible, yet amazing how often we bring ourselves this way.  We become unwilling to allow Him to broaden our view and understanding.

He isn’t concerned that we might not care for the gray weather, but is concerned that we are clenched, and refusing to live in it. This shows Him there is work to do.

We can hand it to Him with an open palm, or He will have to break our fingers in order to take it. Holding on only makes us fall…let go for dear life.

Abraham many times would respond to God with the phrase, “Here I am Lord.” His hands were open, and he was therefore willing to hold whatever God might bring him.

You don’t know what blessings God has for you. Far better to have open hands in order to receive them.

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Let Go for Dear Life
1 comment | published by Linda | December 18, 2009

1 Samuel 1:27
“I prayed for this child. The Lord answered my prayer and gave him to me.”

He lies across the hot pavement with his arms stretched out in front with fingers reaching into my flowerbed. As he is intently watching the ants scurrying about their business, a butterfly floats by that catches his attention. He has been studying these ants for quite some time, and shouts with delight when the beautiful butterfly floats across his vision. As he runs into the kitchen to share of the pure joy he was finding in his discoveries, I meet him at the door with open arms.

I had been scurrying around the home much like the ants he had been observing, as I had much to do. I thought of the wonder that filled my son as he was still, watching and drinking in the busyness of these little insects. I suppose at times I appear to him to be much like the ants. I move, and generally am undertaking more than one task at a time as if I were many. Answering questions, treating scrapes, making sandwiches, sweeping the floor, while holding my baby.

He likes to help. I have made meals with him by my side that could have taken thirty minutes to prepare, yet mysteriously took well over an hour including spilled sauce, wet towels, many licked spoons and more laundry to clean as my cook in training was an active participant. It would be easy to rush about and complete my tasks quickly and efficiently, yet this would be only something to mark off of my list, instead of something that could make a mark on my heart, and the heart of my son.

If he and I were to race down the driveway I would win, thus making the race not too fun for him. This must be why he takes my hand every morning so that we can walk hand in hand out to the kitchen together. He knows I’m fast, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up my pace. Watching my back from down the hall is not quite the same. He holds my hand so that he can see my face, and he knows that I want to see his.

There are blessings in slowness. Those moments in the evening when I stop my busy routine to rub his back and tell him I love him as he slowly falls asleep, or stopping to listen to a story he is telling, as only a four year old knows how. These are the moments I will remember. My daily lists will be gone and unimportant, yet the list of memories that I fall back on will be filled with the moments of slowness with my children.

A new season will come when I am old, and have no need to rush about, and my body will be tired. I may even find myself becoming caught up in watching a beautiful butterfly that crosses my vision. I’m certain I will call my son to share in my delight, and I pray he will desire to stop the busyness that is sure to surround him and listen to my joy. In this season of my life a race down the driveway would have a quite different outcome. It would not hold much fun for me, as I would be unable to keep up in any way.

Instead of being rushed by as I will be a bit slower, it is my prayer that my son will take hold of my hand so that I can see his face, and I will know he wants to see
mine.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: Catch Me If You Can
1 comment | published by Linda | December 12, 2009

Sometimes I would wonder if anyone noticed that I had left the room. I would slip away so quietly, and admittedly I was so quiet when I was a part of the group that I could disappear easily. I was a child. It was years ago, yet I can still remember the avocado green hand woven placemats covered by the bright white china and shiny silverware. I can still hear my Grandpa’s voice, as he’d say the dinner prayer.

After the meal I always had my eye on the little green dish in the dining room filled with white mints. I found it impossible to pass them without taking another for my journey.

Being at my grandparent’s house was like a home away from home. I was always comfortable there, and spent lots of time daydreaming, as I’d walk around their home. I would pretend their guestroom was my bedroom. I’d rub my fingers across the top of the bedspread and imagine waking up in the morning, and standing in front of the dresser mirror to fix my hair with the antique brush Grandma left there.

One room I’d always spend some time in before it was time to say goodbye was Grandma’s guest bathroom. I don’t know why, but I felt so beautiful when I was there… like a lady. Maybe it was the soft nightlight that would shine from the wall, accompanied by the pink towels and decorations. For some reason as I looked in the mirror being surrounded by Grandma’s perfumes and brushes I was suddenly all grown up.

I would pretend that God would take a picture of me through the mirror. From the time I had to hold myself up on the counter to see the mirror, until I was in my twenties, I would go into that bathroom, and pose for my latest photo. My transformation into womanhood, documented in my imagination and belief that my God was holding a special photo album of these photos.

I can only visit my grandma’s house in my memory now. And I wonder if my grandparents ever knew how beautiful I felt in their presence. The way they’d look at me, talk to me, and listen. I felt like a princess. I won’t be able to tell them now, yet the child inside me smiles, sure that God is giving them permission to look through my photo album to see how their granddaughter turned from a little girl to a woman…sometimes in one magical night. ..

Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Pictures in Heaven
0 comments | published by Linda | December 09, 2009

Returning home with my kids, starving for lunch, I think to myself, “If I could just step inside the refrigerator all by myself for a few minutes, and grab a bite of something, I would then have the energy to prepare lunch for all of my little people.” I am reminded of the airplane philosophy. You know the one, “If you are traveling with children, please secure your oxygen mask before you assist your children with theirs.”

I remember the first time I heard this. I was taken back by the thought of not putting my children first, but how true it is. What good am I if I’m not breathing? What kind of help could I give? This has caused me to think of how God wants me to live by the airplane philosophy as a mom.
How can I live in a way that shows Gods character if I haven’t first been filled up by spending time with Him? I’d be empty.

The airplane philosophy…

“If you’re traveling with children, please secure your relationship with God before you assist your children with theirs.”

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: The Airplane Philosophy
1 comment | published by Linda | December 04, 2009

We women are pretty handy with our household weapons. A roll of duct tape and a glue gun can accomplish much. It seems with some clever ingenuity we are capable of securing items around the house with our fast fixing tools. If a handle pops off the drawer, or the dishwasher isn’t latching right, we come to the rescue with our tool chest. Fully knowing that it’s only a temporary, jimmy-rigged solution, we like to hold things together. If there is a hole, we must fill it. Even beyond items that aren’t holding up around the house, if something is lacking, we jump in, and fill in.

It’s natural for us to want to help, this is God’s design. Yet, we can tend to even fill in for our husbands. If a husband is quiet at a dinner party, his wife is sure to make all conversations complete with the guests. If he isn’t especially helpful around the house, she busies herself and keeps the home up alone, which only encourages him to not be involved. If he struggles with cheerfulness or disciplining with the children she keeps the atmosphere up for the family, and is the commander of the rules. If he isn’t leading the way she would like to see him lead, she jumps into his shoes and leads the family. Each time, he has been robbed of some of his manhood, she is certain to fall, and can take everyone down with her.

We rush in to carry. We fill in. If something in the relationship is lacking, we rush in with our quick fix solutions. Problem is, over time our jimmy-rigged solutions eventually crumble. We are designed to help, not to carry. If we become confused in our roles, we will crumble.

Carrying not only hurts us, but denies our men the privilege of growing. If we jump in, he looses the chance to be the man God designed him to be. He belongs on the field, we get to cheer him on.

Lay your weapons down, have your hands open and ready for some serious cheering.

Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Lay Your Weapons Down
1 comment | published by Linda | December 01, 2009

Oh, the joys of dieting and being self-centered. I’ve been there. From wearing clothes that were so big that I thought they would fall off, to wearing clothes that were so tight they cut off my circulation when I sat down, leaving what seemed to be permanent marks. At times people have glanced my way with compliments in their eyes, and at other times they have looked at me with a sort of quiet compassion.

From shakes for meals,  to counting calories and sitting down to many pre-measured meals, I’ve learned to appreciate every controlled bite.  Completely missing Gods blessings of feasting and enjoying food, I lost much more than weight. I’ve made a full circle from here to there and back again, repeatedly. Yet for some reason it’s becoming much more difficult to attain the goal I have set for myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve had six children, or possibly just because I am growing older.

Lately I’ve noticed how my daughters are decorated in beauty. As I stand at the mirror getting ready to go, taking time to put my makeup on, they rush in for a quick brushing of the hair, and a carefree smile of contentment. Their skin and hair are flawless. They are reminders of the youthful beauty the Bible speaks of.

I remember watching my mom get ready to go out when I was a young girl. I would watch intently as she’d brush her hair, put on lipstick , and put on her dress, one that I never thought I would be tall enough to wear. I see her still as I glance in the mirror now as a grown woman. I see her in my face and in how my dress fits around my figure.

The priorities of the world are clear. Women are to resemble the only body I’m capable of drawing – a stick figure. It is strange how such standards change over the years. There was a time when it was deemed acceptable to be a bit more curvy – a bit larger than a thin sixteen year old, which is the standard of today.

When we are young, beauty is a natural blessing from our Lord. When we become older, beauty is a result of Christ being reflected in our lives, because of the years spent feasting on His characteristics. For true beauty grows with age, from the inside out. Our focus must become less on ourselves, and more on God’s beauty.

I’ve seen many women who are growing in their years who are madly rushing about to find ways to retain their natural youthful beauty. The thick makeup, nose jobs, and trendy hair color cannot disguise what has been growing in someone’s heart through their lifetime. Any root of bitterness, cannot be hidden.

If I were to spend even half of the time on building a heart of thankfulness and joy into my character as the days go by in my life, God’s beauty would shine through.

If He truly does judge us by our hearts, why is our waistline and hair color our priority? What we are, how we live, who we serve, and who our eyes are focused on will show in those upcoming golden
years.

As my youthful beauty seems to be poured into my girls, I will keep myself ready to reflect the beauty of God, to keep my focus on Him with a heart of gratitude. I must learn to rush by the mirror like my girls do, in order to get to what really matters, in order for me to be a mirror for the one above me.

Posted in Powder Room    |   Tags: Reflections
0 comments | published by Linda | December 01, 2009

Picture me as a little girl wearing bright yellow zippered pajamas with feet, and my secret can be told.  I can remember waking up in the night as a little girl filled with fear because of thoughts overtaking my sleepless little mind. Maybe a dream left me stressed, or a worry seemed all consuming. I knew even then that my God was my friend, my protector, my safe place. I would grab my Bible and sneak into the bathroom. By the dim light of the rose colored night light, I would read Psalm 91. I read it so many times through the years that I could recite it from memory.

Fear overtakes. Fear makes us doubt the security God wants us to live in. Fear shakes us and we loose our perspective.

I knew when I began my journey with my Lord that it would not just be a dance through the flowers. I grew up reading the stories of Jesus’ disciples, and know that we aren’t taught that we might have tribulation, but that we will. (John 16:33)

Life with Christ is a ride. Be prepared to get wet. Yet even though we hit the rapids, it is amazing how He never changes. He is constant, never tossed by His surroundings.

Remember the story of the disciples on the boat? Where was our Lord? He slumbered. He knew the storm was on its way, and found a cozy place to sleep. This is our God. He is unshaken. We might have doubts in the midst of our fears that he cares for us, because we have let fear drip into our firm knowledge of who He is.

God’s response? “Take courage, I am here.” (Matt. 14:27)

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:1,3)

As I still recite Psalm 91 in my bed at night, I am once again wrapped in His unmatchable peace. My eyes have returned where they belong, on my constant, unshaken, unchanging God. He fills me. There is no room for fear.


Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Fear
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