0 comments | published by Linda | July 30, 2011
So it's been about nineteen years now. In this time, his accomplishments have been many. Having made a decision years back to be sure to praise him for what he's done, he's heard it all many times.

Early on I found that praising him, and telling him how proud I am of what he's done would lift him more than only words of love. He finds his confidence in his accomplishments. From the random unrecognizable paintings he hung on my refrigerator, to his most recent accomplishments, I have been his biggest fan.

God made it this way. As years have passed, he has grown, in every way. Yet, for some reason, at the end of my praise he quickly responds with, "Says my mom," as though...it doesn't hold much value?

Nah, I don't believe it. I know I see things clearly, and am on my game...says my mom.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Says my Mom
0 comments | published by Linda | July 24, 2011
She was cast in a role. It was a privilege to have such an important part in the play. With the script in her hand, she had her work cut out.

As the director guided her along, she was encouraged to feel what the character would feel, to express the emotions, for real. There was no other way for her to portray her character without studying, examining, imitating, and mirroring what she found. She needed to know this person she was portraying, completely.

Opening night, she danced across the stage. With the bright lights on her face, I realized it wasn't my daughter. With expressions I hadn't seen, and responses that were opposite of who she is, my daughter was left backstage. The crazy part is how through the play, I lost sight of who I was watching. She had turned into a clear reflection of who she was to become.

We've been told to become imitators of our Creator. I suppose we could pretend, and act how we think He might be, or we could truly study up on who He is. We could become a disciple. 

This doesn't happen without time. In order to mirror what we find in His character, we have to know.

When we dance on the stage, what does He see? Are we believable? Do we even have any idea of who it is we are to imitate?

We've been given the privilege to have an important part in His play. Holding the script that is filled with responses that are opposite of who we are, the lights come on. Break a leg.

Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: Cast in a Role
1 comment | published by Linda | July 21, 2011
She kept pushing her gift to the front of the pile. The kids closed in on me. Mom was trying to take a picture, but I'm certain I was too surrounded for her to even see me. Again, my friend pushed her gift closest to me. Irritated, I grabbed it, and began the unwrapping. As the toy was slowly revealed, she was continuing on with an explanation of where she bought it, why it was the best one at the store, how it works, and how much it cost. After the paper had fallen to the pile of trash, I held the toy up high to show my mom. My friend had a grip on it as well, apparently thinking I wouldn't be able to get it to work without her narrative of instructions.

Was she really giving this to me? She seemed to love it so much that I began to wonder if it was really intended for me to keep. Would she sneak it away, and take it home with her? Did she buy it for herself? I thanked her anyhow. I had no choice, mom raised her eyebrows as she looked at me. No words were necessary. I knew what to say.

I have an altar. It has been in my mind since I was a little girl. At night, as I am in bed, I come to my Lord in prayer. As I shuffle through my thoughts and worries, one by one, I walk to the altar and place what stresses me there. I give it to Him. Sometimes however, I give it, but don't let go. I set it up there, and know I'm giving what I should, but as I step away, I realize it's still in my hands.

Giving hasn't taken place until the letting go has happened. No matter what it is. When we give, it's for another, period. How much better for me to place a concern on the altar, and at the same time, actually let go.

She annoyed me through the whole party as she wouldn't stop playing with the toy. At the end of the day, her mom had to struggle to get her to let go. Strange how a gift loses it's fun when it comes attached to a screaming friend who is forced to let it go. The toy wasn't even that great. Go figure.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Letting Go...Really
2 comments | published by Linda | July 17, 2011
"She looked at me funny after I said that. I'm not sure, but I think she's mad at me. I was only kidding and just hyper. I had said the same thing before and she didn't care. Should I call her!? She won't even answer my texts! I don't think she likes me anymore cuz she started to talk to another friend more after that happened.  Now they both won't talk to me anymore..." ... Stop.

"I had an ice cream tonight for dessert. I'm worried cuz I had a soda at lunch. I am never going to be skinny. Do you think I can have a snack tonight? Would that be too much?"...Stop.

Teenage girls get tangled. They write their own stories. They speak words for others that were never said. Round and round they spin out of control as their emotions escalate and they give into their insecurity.

There is much to say to unwind the issues they have become wrapped in, but what might help them the most is to teach them the power of stop.

Like a car rolling quickly down a hill, when it hits a stop sign, the momentum stops. It's over. No more.

As she begins to roll on a road of worries, I hold up the sign. She stops. All done. No more. 

As a girl, she will always have wheels. My gift to her is to show her the brakes. It's over. All done. No more.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: The Power of Stop
0 comments | published by Linda | July 15, 2011
Standing in front of the glass, I couldn't blink. Of course I couldn't. There they sat, right in front of me lined in neat rows with each leaning back on the next. So many colors. So many shapes. They were all so different, and yet I had to choose. We liked choosing to fill a box one by one with the variety of our favorites. Assortment is the best. There's nothing quite like a donut...or at least at the age of seven that's what I believed.

People marvel at my children with their big brown eyes. They are all the same. Well, they came from the same bakery.

Yet, it's taken me awhile to put together the fact that even though they can be lumped under the title, "my children"...they are each their own. Most shockingly, they are not me. It's easy to assume that they must think like me, like what I like, and be able to do what I can. Not so much. 

I might think it would be fantastic to go out for the day, yet one might rather be home alone in the quiet. Do I force a change? Should I require each to cooperate with what inspires me? That might be as silly as wanting a chocolate donut to taste like a berry filled one. Impossible. Not only that, but frustrating and crushing to my kids. 

Character qualities are not up for discussion, but personality differences must be. To build into each one to be the very best at who they are is a way of glorifying God. After all, He made them just the way they are. Good thing they aren't a bunch of my clones. God is more creative than that. He likes assortment.

Like the box of donuts, I want to appreciate and enjoy each one for what they are...after all, there's nothing quite like a child.
Posted in Play Room, Attic    |   Tags: The Box of Donuts
1 comment | published by Linda | July 13, 2011
Monday quickly turns to Tuesday. Each day closes with a drop of the curtain, and the lights go out. Did we dance?

Tomorrow the curtain will open once again to an empty stage, just waiting. How will we spend this day? What will our children remember?

We don't know when the final curtain will drop, and our days will come to an end.

Are we laughing? Do we even remember how? My laughter is the sound I want them to remember. For them to know that I embraced the mystery of motherhood with a smile on my face and a belly laugh ready to break out in the craziness I call life.

Taking life too seriously would make the days turn into a drama, completely missing the music.

This is the time. Grab their hands and dance.
Posted in Living Room    |   Tags: This is the Time
0 comments | published by Linda | July 10, 2011
I wore it with pride. Of course I did. I earned it. We earned a bead for every good act that we performed. The more full the necklace, the more honor you received...(as much an Indian Maiden could be).

I fold laundry. Lots of it. It mysteriously grows and multiplies if I look the other way. Same thing happens with the dishes. How many times have I loaded and unloaded the dishes? Never mind, don't answer that.

Let's not even consider the diaper situation. Doing the math on diapering six babies over the past 19 years is math I simply cannot do.

Do these tasks matter? How about the daily conversations with my kids? The arguments I have dismantled, or the dried jelly I have had to chisel from the counter? Do these things make a difference?

Worship comes in many shapes and sizes. Sacrifice is messy. It makes you sweat and messes up your hair.

Never underestimate His memory, or the glory that awaits. Wear your necklace with pride, and remember your purpose. The more filled it is... the more honor He receives.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Beads of Glory
0 comments | published by Linda | July 07, 2011
She said they couldn't go. How disappointing. We had looked forward to meeting up with them for some time. She went on to explain how their son just cannot sit still, and is a nightmare whenever they go out. So, they have decided to just stop trying, and to not go out for a time.

Hmmmm. How sad to watch as they put him in the drivers seat. To let a baby and his lack of training prohibit them from going out.

Training is imperative. If handled with joy, it can be a like game. Practicing at home prepares a child for what is expected from him when out of the home.

Randomly we have had our children sit on a chair in the middle of the kitchen until told to get up. Sound strange? It works. It gets them ready. Having them sit at the dining room table through the entire dinner without getting up to play, saves us from embarrassing moments in a restaurant with children dancing aimlessly around the restaurant. 

The invitation will come. Get ready. Or don't, there's always take-out.
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: Better Than Take-Out
1 comment | published by Linda | July 05, 2011
She's coming. It's not hard to tell with the sound of those oil thirsty wheels. After I had carefully placed my tomato paste cans in neat, stacked rows, with labels all facing front, she was an unexpected guest.

With her pink shopping cart, complete with a baby in the front, it was shopping day. I took a glance at my pantry shelves. The food all lined up in my obsessively clean way, I was fully aware that this shopper had different priorities. 

My first impulse would be to explain how the timing wasn't good for shopping. Having just emptied my groceries from the bags, I suppose I hadn't prepared myself for play.

She is play. She delights in pretending. Who is her favorite person to be? That would be me. She actually does it quite well. In fact, I have even noticed how she carefully lines her animals up beside her bed at night with their fronts all facing forward. Constantly watching and practicing is her way. 
What qualities am I giving her to imitate? Do I really want obsessive cleaning to be one of them?

There will always be time to keep my shelves organized, as if that would be something to look forward to. However, being able to watch her shop in the pantry will end all too soon. 

Imitating will happen. I will see myself through her, good and bad. Raising her should mess up my pantry. Messy is good.
Posted in Kitchen & Dining    |   Tags: shopgirl