Monday, June 28, 2010

sometimes, less is best.

This week all my kids are home along with their spouses. That makes 11 of us. Plus a couple of extra people who are like part of our family.

It's times like this when I wish I had a couple of extra rooms decorated the way I'd like them, a nice big kitchen with lots of cupboard and counter space, and at least one more bathroom. Reality is that there are mattresses on the floor, a small kitchen area, and only one bathroom. Throw in scheduled showers and laundry because of a well problem and it spells potential disaster or at the very least, less than desirable accomadations.

Yet, it is what it is and we are a family despite it all. 

And nothing beats a spot by the river for fishing, a new patio with lovely flowers and plants, a swimming pool, and love.

Monday, June 21, 2010

simple is as simple does.

This may sound simplistic.. because it is.

A toaster makes toast. Not much else it can do. In fact, that's all it can do unless you count frozen waffles or pop tarts.

Women are designed for bearing children. Not all women will marry or have children. Understood. 

Yet, if you are a woman and you have a child, you are a mom and you are designed like the toaster. Not to make toast.. (well, that, too!) but to give yourself wholly to motherhood.

This may not set well with today's mothers who have other worthwhile endeavors to pursue. We are great multi-taskers and can handle many responsibilities simultaneously. I find this to be a wonderful advantage and how I use it will determine my effectiveness and success.

Will I burn the toast?

Not if your God-given mother's heart will be shaped to grow as it is intended. We have the capacity for this growth and also have been given the freedom to choose if that growth will occur. I was very surprised at the ease in which I cared for my firstborn, not having been around babies all my life. There are instincts that are "in there". Amazing! But then, by night # 2 after coming home from the hospital and being up most of the night with a crying baby, I had my first lesson in "growing".

Moms have the hardware installed. We are wired to manage our homes. The hardrive truly has unlimited capacity. We are driven by love and yet, that love will take form and mature in they days ahead because there are no limits of opportunities for rebooting. 

You just have to make the choice to do it. The rest will follow.

We live in a day of so many, many distractions. Let's face it. We can easily spend 2 hours on Facebook. There isn't a need to get all our work done so we can watch our favorite program at night because we can DVR it and watch it anytime. Meanwhile, the baby is still in her wet diaper and the kids are on round 4 of watching cartoons and oh my it's 4:30 already and what will we have for dinner?

Or what about working moms? There are many reasons for a mom to work outside the home. I won't address them except to ask: do you really have to? I imagine much of the guilt that comes with mothers being away from home 40 hrs a week is because their heart is to be home. Toasters don't do well when used to make coffee.

We have to accept the fact that our life is not our own. We are wired even for this mindset. There is an ability within you to step back and serve your family unreservedly and when you choose this, you will find your capacity to accept becomes a deep well that is never wanting for strength. This is called growth.

What we give will come back to us. Will we always see wonderful results? No. Not everything is perfect in this world. Yet, there will be wonderful results. It may come in the form of a chubby fist holding a bouquet of dandelions or a son graduating college or a lopsided home-made birthday cake or your married daughter understanding your sacrifices.

Don't give up. We see good and we see bad. We laugh and we cry. There's plenty in your life to laugh about. Decide now to enjoy the goodness of God...and to accept all the mom stuff.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

a picture is worth 1,000 words...

              Feeding the Young painted in 1850 by Jean Francois Millet

Monday, June 14, 2010

all walks of life.

I am fully aware that I am writing from an American, white, middle class perspective. I grew up in a Jersey suburb and landed in rural Upstate New York at age 16. I live in a 100 some year old farm house that still needs work. One bathroom suited us with 8 children, along with a kitchen that did not look like the Dugger's.

That said, I am limited in my experience and understanding regarding moms who live in poverty, who are single, live in war-torn countries, have terminally ill or special needs children... you get my gist. And never, ever do I wish to presume that I know what you are going through.

I do know, however, what it is like to have a child die. I lost my oldest son to suicide nearly 5 years ago. I know what it's like to feel all the breath leaving your body, to see the effects of an invisible tornado sweep through my home, scattering everything in its path, leaving my remaining 7 children stunned. I know what it's like to want to just die so I couldn't feel the incredible pain.

We come from all walks of life. We all have our stories. Yet, because of my faith I know that God never leaves me or forsakes me. So much pain in life. But so much the more God's comfort. And He promises that one day He will wipe away every tear. There will be no more sorrow or death.

That speaks to me of a caring God who is not unaffected by our pain and difficulties. Why doesn't He stop it then? you ask.

He will. Just not right now.

One thing I am certain of, no matter who you are - rich or poor, strong or weak, married or single, surrounded with support or alone - you have within you the goods to be a mom. Let God help you.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

pure joy.

Friends of ours just became grandparents for the first time.

I can't speak to the sheer joy of being a grandparent (yet), but I was tickled by seeing the faces of the new Grandpa and Grandma. Their only son and his wife, who had not intended on having any children, were surprised to find out that a baby was indeed on the way. A little boy came into the world this week, bringing unspeakable joy to the new dad and mom.

Children are a gift from God the Bible tells us. Sure they are work. Everything in life is. But the joy far outweighs the work.

These two new parents had decided not to have children. Yet, now they are parents and are glowing!

There are things in life that we avoid for whatever reason..only to find out that it's the very thing that completes our life. 

Don't fall into the trap of not wanting to bring a child into this world with all its turmoil. Babies have been born throughout the centuries in far worse situations and people have continued on despite. Don't miss the joy!

Monday, June 07, 2010

time passages.

Today I walked down to the river frontage on our property with my 8 1/2 year old. It was a misty rain and in the 60's. I carried a block of wood and his fishing pole. He carried his BB gun and some kindling.

We spent a good 45 minutes nurturing the camp-fire trying to get it going. It finally took off. He cast his pole a few times alternately with hunting for frogs. He popped one with his BB gun and brought it to the fire. He cooked it and handed me a frog leg and he took one. Yeah, I had a taste! (I prefer it breaded and deep fried).

It was worth crossing the wet spot in ankle deep water and getting the bottom of my jeans sopping wet.

It was worth the mud oozing into my clogs and between my toes.

It was worth the smoke stinging my eyes as I blew on the barely-there flames and my hair smelling like smoke.

It was worth tasting a bit of frog leg even though it was ... yuck.

Because he is worth it.

Lots of busyness all around us, isn't there? But how wonderful when those moments come along that shuts out the whole world.

Hope you find that kind of time this week. It's the best.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

it's summer!

Well, not til the 21st. (or is it the 20th? can never remember that date).

With that, I will be posting once a week (and perhaps twice when something good hits me) for the summer. Why? Got to work on the book Mom Stuff and my goal is to complete the draft by the end of summer. 

Please keep in touch and look for weekly posts slated for Mondays throughout June, July, and August.

You are in my heart moms!