A Special Sleepover

>> Sunday, May 20, 2012

Last night I slept with my husband.  

Before you say “Duh”, please let me explain. I hadn’t slept with him since April 12th. And no, he hadn’t been out of the country. The weekend of the 12th, 13th and 14th was his off-road motorcycle training. Learning to ride on the grapefruit size rocks was his undoing … landing with his hip on one of them.  

And so (even though there were no broken bones) he was unable to lie in a bed. Thus, the big chair in the television room became his place for sleeping. Not wanting to be clear across the house from him, I slept on the couch.  

We thought it was a temporary arrangement … meaning just a few days. But five days turned into ten … then twenty … then thirty. After 40 days, he could finally sleep in the bed again.  

I know there are married couples who sleep in separate beds. Sometimes it is for physical reasons such as an injury and other times it is a choice made to insure a good night’s rest. For us, separate beds would be a punishment. It’s important to us to know throughout the night that the other one is there.  

In these past 40 days (and nights) I’ve thought about the couples for whom the separation is permanent. Perhaps their mate has been placed in a long-term care facility. For others, their loved one has passed on.  

I never want to take the closeness we have for granted.  

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride.
You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes….”
Song of Solomon 4:9 (NLT)



So You Think You're Having a Bad Day

>> Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recently I visited a middle school, spending the day with the students. As I drove to the school, I pondered what I could say to kids their age that they could relate to. My morning had not gone well … which resulted in me arriving late. But I was greeted enthusiastically and presented with gifts … a Chai tea, brownie and rice krispies treat.  

I had an “Aha” moment.  

My talk began with how my morning had gone wrong … but ended well … with gifts and time with them. Then I shared about my life ... unwanted by my mother … married off while still in high school … a totally unfulfilled life. But years into my life I met and married a wonderful man … we have a newly built home … and live a truly blessed life.  

“Just because you are having a bad life now does not mean it has to stay that way. When you arrive at an age that you can make choices for yourself, you can turn your life around.”  

Then I asked them to write me a little story … about a bad day they had … or about a bad life they were living. Some of the stories broke my heart. Dads with bullets in their heart. Being taken from their bed in the middle of the night and placed in foster care and then another one and then another one. Trying to sleep with people screaming and guns firing. A mother telling her she didn’t want her and giving her away, keeping the new baby because she loves it.  

Out of 56 stories, 13 were about children trying to live their lives in a broken world … just wanting someone to love them. It’s the only life they know.  

When you think you are having a bad day, remember these kids.

“I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:36 (MSG)


More Fun Quotes

>> Friday, May 11, 2012

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, “Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.”  Lillian Carter  

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - “No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.”  Eleanor Roosevelt  

Last week I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement.  Mark Twain  

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.   George Burns  

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.  Victor Borge  

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.  Mark Twain  

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.  Socrates  

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.  Jimmy Durante  

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.  Joe Namath  

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.  Will Rogers  

(Author Unknown)


The Invisible Mother

>> Thursday, May 10, 2012

I couldn’t make sense of the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids would walk into the room while I was on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'   

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! 'Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??   

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'   

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'   

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature --but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?   

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.   

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'   

In the days ahead I would read --- no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.   

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it ' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'  

I closed the book, feeling the missing pieces fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you.  I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does'.   

'No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last-minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'   

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder; as one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.   

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.   

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.  And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there ....'  

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.  

(Author Unknown)



>> Saturday, May 5, 2012

I couldn’t shake the word out of my head … chaff … planted there at the Good Friday service. That evening, around the edge of the auditorium had been eight stations designed to help you contemplate your life. It had been a very simple spot against the wall … a table with some fans sitting on it … fans to signify blowing away the chaff in your life. Some written words helped direct your thinking.  

Did I have chaff in my life?  

That question stayed with me through the coming days. The dictionary told me that chaff meant something comparatively worthless. So I began observing my daily routine and habits.  

Boy, did I have chaff in my life.  

How many programs on television are really worth watching? What kind of books do I read that bring value to my life? How much time do I waste on Facebook? What about my Bible reading and prayer time? These were the questions in my head.  

I needed to re-prioritize some activities.  

As I evaluated my patterns, I realized this had to happen on the inside before I could make it work. If I truly desired change, I would see things with a new perspective. It was about my actions that others don’t really see.  

I’ve got a little fan that’s blowing in my life … helping rid me of that chaff.  

“And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Ephesians 4:24 (MSG)


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