3 comments | published by Linda | July 08, 2010
She stepped into the emergency room and called his name. We all stood up to follow, but were told only one could come with him. We looked at each other, and without words, decided I would go. Only six, he held my hand, and found comfort in me.

There's something about following your little son as he is being pushed through the hallways of a hospital on a bed. Still my son, now a patient, under the care of others, as I observe and make the best decisions possible.

Sitting beside him, hanging over the bars on the side of his bed I rubbed his forehead with a wet cloth. When he looked at me, he found peace. 

It amazes me when we are put on the front lines, in a circumstance that has every reason to bring us to our knees in fear, how we are completely filled with confidence, peace, and joy. As moms, when we are drained of any strength, God refills us, abundantly. Being able to pour calmness on my son, while making the doctors and nurses around me laugh did not come from any part of me. Feeling His power come through me is an experience unmatched.

We waited. We were informed that within moments, the room would be filled with doctors, nurses and specialists, ready to care for him. I was the only one allowed to stay, as there would be no space for anyone else to stand. While waiting for their arrival, we prayed. God's presence was all encompassing, and His angels were surrounding my son's bed. The doctors thought the space would be limited, but we knew, even before they arrived, that our room was already filled. 
Posted in Living Room, Play Room    |   Tags: The Room was Filled
2 comments | published by Linda | July 03, 2010
I thought she was crazy. I was only eight and to her, my joy was paramount.

She had a front yard that was covered in ivy. The ivy stood over a foot high, and was shaped with curves and partly covered with a trellis. A pathway off to the side led to the front door.

My Grandma showed she loved me in many ways, but one of my favorites was how she broke the unspoken rules in order to watch me laugh.

One day, that was never repeated, she let me swim in her ivy. I spent hours swimming through the leaves, smashing down branches, as I laughed and sang in my personal green pool made of ivy. Grandma sat in a lawn chair watching me. I figured she wanted to be careful not to let me get lost in the deep end.

Grandma was very proper. She always dressed immaculately, and her home could have been viewed in a home magazine, yet on that day, my smile was what mattered to her.

Years after, we still laughed as we looked back. It took about a year for her to bring her yard back to life, yet she had no regrets, we had a memory we would always hold onto.

As my kids now ask to play with Playdoh, paint, or to build a fort in the living room, I think of the clean up that will be necessary after. There are those activities that make a mess, cause a ruckus, but make them laugh. Do I make their joy paramount? What matters most to me?

My Grandma is no longer here with me. I miss her laugh, her deep love for me, and how it felt when she looked at me. This reminds me to carry on her joy as I now raise my children, and let them swim in the ivy.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Swimming in the Ivy
3 comments | published by Linda | July 01, 2010
Ah, the beauty of the TV shows in the 70's. Growing up watching "The Brady Bunch," I was led to believe that children in a large family encountered problems one at a time. Every week, a different child took the spotlight as they journeyed through some type of trial or difficulty. Somehow brothers and sisters quietly kept behind the scenes in order for the parents to appropriately focus on the problem at hand. No one dare overlap the plot, as that might have been too much to handle. 

Having six kids, I'm here to testify that there is no such order, as convenient as it might have been. Instead, I have found myself in moments where one has a dilemma to talk through with me, another is having a temper tantrum, two have stories they are trying to tell me at the same time, one is mysteriously quiet, and the other is running to me with a skinned knee. This is normal. This is real life. 

I have noticed however that there is a certain parallel to my old 70's show. At times there tends to be one, who shows they need attention most through a bad attitude. This can make them less cuddly, desirable and lovable. It can be tempting to put my focus on the cheerful ones, and hope the cranky one will just work it out on their own, yet it doesn't work that way. The more needy a child becomes, the more I must run to them, in order to fill them up, and bring them back. 

A stinky attitude is a clear sign that I have overlooked a little heart, and need to direct my focus, joy, and love on them in order to bring them back. Better yet, I can avoid such attitudes by knowing and acting daily on the fact that they need to be filled with hugs and love constantly in order to keep them at peak performance. If I am constantly working way ahead of the game, keeping them filled, I won't find myself reacting to them falling apart through attitudes and behaviors.  

Although our children don't encounter problems one at a time, God is kind and uses a sort of spotlight to show us where our attention must be. Likewise, He does not overlap the main plot, as that might be too much to handle.

Posted in Play Room    |   Tags: The Brady Bunch