0 comments | published by Linda | December 30, 2011

After lying beside him as he slowly drifted off to sleep, I would quietly turn the monitor on and sneak out. I cleaned the dishes, and did other odd chores quickly that were much more difficult to do with one arm when he was awake. 

If I moved around the house, I clipped the monitor to my clothes. I was always listening. There was peace because I was listening, and knew how he was doing. If he stirred, I knew. If he cried, he knew I would be there for him.

He struggled to fall asleep at night. Yet, he found peace in my presence. My closeness made it possible for him to rest. Knowing that parents are to be an example of God’s love, I chose to stay. I spent endless time holding him close as he fell asleep. I knew I could have made it a bit easier on myself by closing the door. I could have let him learn to fall asleep alone, crying it out until he understood that no one was coming.

My home now also has both little ones and teenagers. Sometimes my older kids like to rest in their rooms, and close the door in order to have quiet. I have found it to be necessary to keep a mental monitor clipped to my clothes. This way, if they stir, I will know. If I don't hear them stir, it’s safe to assume they are, and I will be there for them.

Babies call on us in the middle of the night. Teens are no different. These are my children to love no matter their age, no matter what time. I must keep my eyes open, and my ears tuned in. Their times of need don’t happen at convenient times for me, as midnight talks happen. My baby wants to feel my love. My teens are no different.

Although teens look as though they are complete, they aren't. Their needs are deep, their questions many. They stir as they wrestle with the world around them. I have found it to be necessary to talk to them like an adult, but continue to love them like a baby. 

If their door is closed, the monitor turned off, we won’t hear. I suppose we could let them cry it out until they understand that no one is coming, but imagine if our Lord did the same to us? 

Posted in Living Room, Play Room    |   Tags: I'm Listening
0 comments | published by Linda | December 24, 2011
Good things come in small packages. At least this is what I was told. I didn't buy it. I would always hope, in the glory of childish Christmas greed and selfishness, that the largest box behind the tree was for me. Lovely, I know. 

Christmas brings hope, expectations, and anticipation. For the smaller ones in our lives, such big emotions are a bit much to handle.

Christmas carols and decorations paint the picture of sweet little families nestled around the tree on this long awaited morning. We expect this. 

As Christmas arrives, and the celebrating begins, we will notice who is sitting around our tree. These aren't figurines from some decoration, with plastic smiles. These are our children. Yet, not just our children, but our children in an emotionally heightened event, which has the makings for a frenzy.

Kids can have an emotional meltdown at a small birthday party. Yet, this isn't just a small birthday party, it's a birthday party for our King. It's huge. 

We have the privilege and responsibility of guarding these hearts. Filling them with candy canes and laughter, showering them with gifts, as we help them to keep emotional balance with full of thankfulness. Knowing their emotions are on overdrive will help us to be proactive as we navigate our way through the crazy.

What's under the tree, are gifts we are giving to our Lord, by giving them to our loved ones. Beautiful. As we look at the little people around our tree, we see that these are our gifts from Him, entrusted to us. Amazing.

Good things do come in small packages. 
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Small Packages
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 | 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