Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cure for Boredom

Little man has been struggling, and so has this Mommy.  “I’m bored” has been a constant irritation coming from his quiet mouth attached to his freckled head…which is attached to his growing body, which also includes idle hands.  Do dishes, fold laundry, clean up are not encouraging his heart of eight years.

This morning the little blanket wrapped boy lay in the hallway outside the bathroom door as I readied myself for the day.  He cracked the door open, and said, “Mommy, I’m bored.”  His voice was calm, tired, and kind.  Not the whining that I usually hear.  The Lord must have known that a child’s voice as this prompts bible reading.
“Come and sit in the living room with me, buddy.”

His blanket inched across the floor as the mini king and cloak eased onto the couch.  I grabbed my coffee, sat across from him in my chair, and opened my bible to Proverbs.
We had a pre-reading conversation about what a desire is, what a sluggard is, and what the opposite of a sluggard is.  He seemed confidently detached. 
“Are you paying attention, bud?”
“Yes,” said the eyelids as they caught my words like sleeping dust.  (Every mother knows she is magical!)

As I say my silent prayers of “Lord, please help my boy from the wrath of my human, feminine anger and may my words reflect your grace and not my increasing irritation,” I read:
“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.  All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.”

We did circles around the topics of:
Desire: it’s not always bad; it’s what you desire that should be looked at.
Sluggard: never helping or taking care of necessaries.
Refusing to labor: not helping, or working, or doing what is necessary.
Craving: wanting. 
Giving without holding back: having the ability and resources to help others without expecting anything in return.
Generous: giving everything you can, for the glory of God.
Back and forth we discussed these topics with the lens of the bible, God’s words, His life for us, His children.

I laid everything out in eight year old terms, repeatedly, with the hope of something sticking.  In my head it was just another conversation I thought would be lost in the mind on my Lego builder, left for me to pray over and see the fruit when he becomes a father, or never fruiting at all.
“Do you want to be a sluggard, or a righteous giver?”
“How can we be generous?”
“What things do you desire?”
He responded and we talked, and more Q & A took place while my head swirled with my silent prayers for his wrapped up freckled face.

Then he did it.  He made me smile.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  He smiles every time I flex my Mommy muscles.  As a toddler he would laugh, and make me laugh, as I attempted reprimand.
And now my blanket boy says, “Mommy, you’re so generous.”
“What? How am I generous?” says doubtful Mommy.
“Well, you’re so kind!  Thank you for that.”  His smile spreads and my heart is a puddle in my coffee cup. 
“Thanks, buddy!  Do you feel motivated now… to not be bored?”
“Me too!”  
That was a great start to my day, Lord.

The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.  All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.  Proverbs 21: 25-26

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor. Proverbs 21:21

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I want, I need.  The words a toddler says.  Nay, the words this Mama says!  I have, for so long, wanted to write and entry!  And now, I need to write!  The computer couldn’t reboot fast enough for these fingers to start blogging! 

All I could think about as I got ready for bed was writing, though I couldn’t think of what to write.  Then I started to think of what I have written about in the past: encouragement, marriage, and joyful moments.  I realized as I reflected:  I’m here!  I’m here…I am at home, teaching my kids, cleaning our house, washing our clothes, preparing our food.  I have a craft room.  I have a laundry room.  A whole room just for doing laundry!  I don’t have to do yard work in our sprawling back yard:  our landlord pays someone to do it.  I’m here!  I am doing it! 

I can pick up a book at any time of the day and read it…and I like it!  I have never read in my life and liked it.  Well, I used to read plays a lot….but I have read three novels in one month!  And they’re big and challenging and I love it!

Here I am…exclamations and all!!!

For so long I have wondered and dreamed of being at home.  When my daughter asks me what I used to want to be when I grew up I always tell her: a wife and a Mama.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be at home, wearing aprons, baking and cooking, cleaning and tidying, organizing and decorating, sewing and writing. 

I used to think I wanted to be a teacher.  Well, I’m a teacher!  In a sense that no other teacher in the world can teach!  I can wake my kids up to watch a sunrise, or keep them up late to look at stars.  I can teach them how to cook more than just a pancake.  I can teach them how to make roast turkey and plan a meal for entertaining.  I can teach them of the love of God, and of His greatness, His holiness, His wonders.  I can watch them make mistakes and encourage them to keep trying.  I can wipe the tears that they cry…every one of them!  I can see the glow and the excitement in them as they discover how big the world really is.  I can make reading exciting by changing my voice, and make them laugh when I am silly…when they least expect it!  I can teach them how to have fun with learning.  I can teach them Latin and grammar and eventually logic and rhetoric!

I am enjoying every moment of it.  I love here.  I love that so much hard work is proving fruitful.  I love that the moments are rich and tasty and I feel no guilt!  I love that God has granted the desire of my heart.  I love that this life, with all the pleasures that God gives me, is simply a shadowy reflection of what is to come.  This sliver of a life, this glimmering moment, this here is graceful and peaceful and I am so thankful.

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.  Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.  Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!  Psalm 84:2-4 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.  Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coffee with Friends

Trying to stay connected as our family moves around is presenting itself as an ever increasing challenge. Even though I grew up moving a lot, I do not gel with an ebb and flow schedule as easily as I did when in grade school.

Back then I could make new friends and not be concerned with staying connected with old friends. Either I knew they were gone forever (or rather, until Facebook would come along) or my Mom would stay connected. As each new place brought new friends, I would insert myself in the middle of a circle of friendship and all would be well with the world.

Fast forward to now. I have spent so much time rearranging my thoughts, schedules, priorities, boxes, pictures, studies, memberships, etc. that I have lost the ability to stay connected (if I ever was able to in the first place) the way that I would like to. I make new friends, but also cherish my friends of "old".

My intention with connection is to be able to have cards in the mail on time for birthdays and anniversaries, make or buy gifts on time and get them in the mail on time, call frequently, laugh often, and drink lots of coffee with a smiling face across the table, rather than my kindle screen on the table! I want to be able to show up with chicken noodle soup when family or friends are sick, to know what is going on while it is going on so I can pray (before the fan is brown), and to enjoy the ups and downs alongside my friends rather than on their coat tails.

So, as I search for the solution to this problem, I am praying that the Lord will show me what priorities are in the wrong place, what time I am wasting, what I am missing, and what my motivation is for achieving this desired state of friendship. With all that, I do know that I have such an enormous blessing in the friends and family that God has placed in my life!

We have all been given such a unique arena for living. We have access to so much with very little effort. I want to do more with what I have, to make a bigger impact and greater connection within this age of abundance. I am greatly convicted by this. I take too much for granted, and will start to have eyes open to purposing each day to serve Him, by His great mercy and grace.

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25