0 comments | published by Linda | June 28, 2011
They try to explain to me how this pile isn't theirs. Therefore, there is simply no reason for them to clean it up. If I took on that opinion, there wouldn't be much for me to do around here.  No dishes to clean, laundry to wash, counters to wipe, and tidying to do. I suppose I might leave a trail, but seriously, there would be a lot more time to relax.

They stand over the pile of random shoes, toys, and trash as they continue on with their explanations of why they don't need to touch it. Nothing belongs to them.  No one wants to clean it up if they can't identify anything that belongs to them. Feeling exempt from this chore, they think they should be free to get back to playing. What would happen if we did this with their sins?

Not many kids enjoy cleaning. Most kids fight against it even more if it's doing what they think someone else should be doing. They quickly fall into selfishness, pride and envy. That's okay, we're ready. Just as they now have a mess to clean up that isn't theirs, we can see that we do too.
Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: Messes
0 comments | published by Linda | June 26, 2011
I don't think they even see a front door on my house. If they do, in their minds, it's never closed. To these six boys who live on our street, they believe they belong here. I watch as they arrive home from school, toss their bag up at their front doors, and run straight here. When added to the number of kids I have, my house is filled.

They sit up at the bar and talk to me as if I had enough ears, not to mention the brain power, to comprehend all that comes at me. If I should walk into the living room and sit, I have clocked that it takes about 32 seconds until they are all sitting around me there. When they get out on the driveway to skate board, they come in to see if I will sit out there to watch them.

Sometimes I step out, put my little one in the stroller, and head down the street. Within a few minutes, children appear from every corner of the street, and I soon have a mass of children surrounding me making quite the scene for onlookers.

They call me "The Child Whisperer." Some think I've lost it. Their parents cry with gratitude. Others tell me to close the door. Yet these faces are men in the making, and I have the privilege of building into them. People think I will run out...that I give so much that I must continuously be drained.

I have found, like with the fish and the loaves, the more I give, the more there is. Actually, the hidden secret is that the one who gives is the one who receives the richest blessings. But don't let anyone know that I've figured this out.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: The Child Whisperer
0 comments | published by Linda | June 24, 2011
Six faces sit around my table. They watch me. They listen. It doesn't really matter what I'm talking about. Actually, this continues through the days. My character, priorities and values are seen. Sadly, so is my bad attitude, frustration and judgmental edge. People think I'm nuts for having six. It must seem like a lot to them, and they wonder how I handle it.

Actually, I don't just have six. For each face that I look at, the brown eyes I look into, represent so many more. I have generations of grandchildren that are looking back at me. I am speaking to each of them, as I spend time with my kids. My children will remember, my kids will become much of what I am.

What am I passing on? What am I planting that will grow for hundreds of years into the generations that are behind those eyes.

Six faces sit around my table, but I know there are thousands watching and listening. What will I say?
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Faces
1 comment | published by Linda | June 22, 2011

He opens the door, and the cool air begins to surround him. With a blank face, he stares. Expecting him to grab and go, he stood. The fridge was filled. Since I just used my master skills of fitting more into it than should be possible, he had options. No kidding, he did. 

He continued to stand. Now he had me staring. Then the words came, stating how there was nothing to eat, and how hungry he was. The situation was getting desperate. How will he survive? All that he sees is "ingredients." He might starve! He hasn't eaten "anything" for so long. We "never" have "any" food. Why can't we have food like everyone else?

Amazing. So much right there, but nothing that would satisfy his hunger, or so he thought. This appears to be common. Yet, if it is, who are the people that actually do have the food?

I have ingredients. I have all sorts of things around my house. I'm still hungry. Why don't I have what everyone else has? Who really has it all?

I suppose that would be the person that looks at what they have been blessed with, and has decided to have that match their hunger, completely.

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Hunger
0 comments | published by Linda | June 20, 2011
Storms happen in my home. I can feel the darkness closing in from someone's attitude. The mist comes, followed by a downpour, and sometimes sharp chips of ice are tossed about the room. It is my job to bring this child from the storm, quickly.

However, to attempt to sit, teach and instruct in the midst of a storm is useless, and even aggravating. The soil of the child's heart is much too hard. We must bring an end to the storm, but the time for talk is later. Far better to wait until well after the storm has passed and head to the soil that is moist, soft, and ready for planting.

Keeping a heart of laughter in the eye of the storm is also quite handy. Having a calm joy in the hailstorm helps to keep perspective, and offers a place of sun for my child to return to. 
Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: After the Storm
3 comments | published by Linda | June 16, 2011
Asking if she looks okay, she pulls the bottom of her shirt down, and fidgets with how it lays across her belly. Before I could answer, she decides it's too tight and makes her look fat.

I remind her of her beauty both inside and out, but I don't think she hears me as her eyes are locked on the mirror.

How can I impress on her heart how beautiful she is whether her clothes are tight or loose? I want her to capture the view from my perspective. Better yet, to see herself through God's eyes.

As I finally convince her that her outfit is more than attractive, she moves on with her day.

I walk into my closet and am frustrated that I don't see anything that would make me feel thin. I stop.

Here I am filling her with all kinds of wisdom, yet live out the opposite. I want her to see herself through my eyes, yet what she sees is where my eyes are fixed.

Far easier for her to follow my example than my words. Where are my eyes locked? She is watching.
Posted in Powder Room    |   Tags: Through my Eyes
1 comment | published by Linda | June 14, 2011
Written so long ago, it had time to find its way into the bottom of a box, deep in the archives of the garage. As I read it through this old letter, I slowly became draped in embarrassment. I realized how years can offer wisdom.

Filled with sappy, sticky words, it made me feel as though I needed a tall glass of water to wash down the sweetness. I wonder if it affected him the same way. Sounding much like a country love song, it was clear my emotions were in the forefront.

Along the way I have come to understand the words he longs to hear. There are words that fill him up like food, those that he would starve without. Writing out my respect for him, and what he does lifts him. Since he finds his confidence in his accomplishments and abilities, expressing my respect for these is what matters most.

For me, I like the sappy, the romantic, the sentimental words. Designed differently by our creator, we must be aware of what will build each other up.

As I watch my daughter begin to draft a sweet letter to her Daddy, I take the opportunity to already begin to show her how to honor him, and someday her husband.

Hallmark is focused on us women, clearly. May we break away from the sticky words made of honey and bring on the meat.
Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Sticky Words
0 comments | published by Linda | June 12, 2011
It was a simple request, at least I thought it was. I asked her to close the refrigerator door. She responded with a long explanation of why it was open, and what her intentions were. Uh oh, I hadn't planned on putting time into dealing with any disobedience or training.

I was reminded once again that I must always be willing and ready. Much will be required of me when I least expect it.

My request was simple. I wanted the fridge to be closed. Instead, I was given an opportunity to train her once again what immediate, cheerful obedience looks like. Opening a debate with me was not an option. Closing the fridge with a smile, was.

We must always be prepared and on our game. Training our children doesn't always happen at convenient times. We must be willing, or, we better be careful what we ask for. 

Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: A Simple Request
0 comments | published by Linda | June 10, 2011
I suppose parents could choose to take everything off of their coffee table, and any other surface in the house. It's an option. Little hands do get rather grabby, and what a bother to have to follow them around all day. Many choose this. The only items around that three foot level are toys, or things that no one really cares about. This makes it easy, right? Everything is baby proof. Home is a place where a little one can be set free without a worry.

So what happens during a visit to a friends house? A restaurant? Is asking friends to quickly remove items that could be damaged appropriate? Pretty tricky to keep this up wherever a family might travel. It could sadly limit the places where a little one gets to go.

How much better to train the baby, than to train friends and rearrange your home. If those items are left at their level, you are given a great training opportunity. To practice with your little one to not touch, and to respond quickly to your word provides open doors almost everywhere. If the baby learns that some things are off limits, and how to immediately obey, this blessed child is being trained for the future.

Leave it on the table. Instead of baby proofing your home, give proof to your baby of your love.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Baby Proof
1 comment | published by Linda | June 08, 2011
I had to lift my head off of my towel long enough to take a look at where all the ruckus was coming from. She had been shouting for a full ten minutes, and it didn't seem like it would end soon. It was almost as if her little girl had completely blocked her voice out as she wasn't in the least disturbed by her voice. She continued building her sand castle in complete peace. And then it happened. The great mathematical style of parenting. This mom not only had no problem humiliating herself in front of the general public, she now is advertising her counting skills. 

What is it with the 1-2-3? How have parents fallen into this mathematical problem? (No pun intended..) For some reason parents seem to think that it is important to give their child an extra moment to stay in their sin, before they try to make it stop. Sometimes, a parent even has the need to show a higher level of math knowledge by getting into fractions. Three and a half...three and three quarters..

If a child falls into sin, you must get him out and back to joy...immediately. No extra room for rolling around in it for awhile longer is necessary, while the parent starts into the number line. Children aren't happy without boundaries. They need to bounce up against them once in a while to keep their security in tact. They know you know how to count, can they count on you?
Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: 1-2-3
0 comments | published by Linda | June 06, 2011
You would think if they wanted to sell a swim suit, they would put more consideration toward the dressing room. It seems the cheaper stores couldn't care less. With the florescent lighting, and bright white walls, there is simply no mercy.

Much more enjoyment can be found at the classier shops. The magic of dIm lights and slimming mirrors can make the purchase definite. The feelings of confidence can last all the way home until we stand back on in front of our own bathroom mirror.

Reminded of the florescent lighting, nothing is hidden, nothing appearing smaller than it actually is.

Why does it matter? What are we really looking for when we look in the mirror? Without the option to be airbrushed as we walk onto the beach, we must consider who we are trying to impress, and why does our outward appearance become paramount?

If God gave us a mirror, what do you think would be reflected? What would the lighting be? We would most definitely see our character, our hearts.  We would be looking directly at our inward qualities. Included would be our patience level, our pride, our insecurities, our joy, our anxieties, our level of love towards others, and if our spirit is gentle and at peace with Him.

Forget the slimming mirror. He sees us as we are, looking deep into our hearts. What is valued by Him is what must be important to us.  And no matter what the lighting, He has an airbrush, and there is always mercy.
Posted in Powder Room    |   Tags: Airbrushed
2 comments | published by Linda | June 04, 2011
It was usually found on the shelves right next to the cash register. I suppose they were carefully placed their at eye level for the little ones that would come by and were forced to stand in line.

It came in a little plastic egg. This putty, so simple, made me happy until it was dropped too many times on the carpet.

I remember stretching it so far that the middle would begin to waver, and if pulled long enough the sides would separate, and then there were two.

I have watched as marriages around me are stretched so thin, that the bond has broken, and now they are two.

It seems there is a time when couples get stretched because of sins that have become routine between them. Respecting, sacrificing, loving and forgiveness no longer exist, and they become separate.

Some permanently leave, and try to find happiness alone. Others remain together, yet are never truly one.

Life pulls. If pulled long enough, there will be two.
Posted in Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Silly Putty
0 comments | published by Linda | June 02, 2011
There should be a rule that temper tantrums and petty arguments cannot happen before a mom has her morning coffee. It would be impossible for me to put out so much energy so early in the day, not for them. It almost seems that the morning fog that blurs their minds only intensifies the ridiculousness of the battle. I suppose foolishness knows no clock.

Sin happens. Children can quickly get tangled, and are unable to break themselves loose. It's easy to become irritated by the crankiness, and find ourselves quickly becoming tangled as well. In these times we are simply unqualified to help them. We can only offer help in those moments that we are not emotionally involved, like in the morning fog.

As I try to figure out who was playing with it first, and attempt to bring joy back to the bunch, I smile. The random arguments must be seen for what they are, a pure comedy of foolishness. If I don't see it that way, back to bed I go.  
Posted in Kitchen & Dining, Play Room, Master Bedroom    |   Tags: Morning Fog