0 comments | published by Linda | November 09, 2013

The doors of my closet were not like most. My dad turned mine into giant chalkboards. This seemed to instantly transform my simple bedroom into a classroom. Little chairs lined up in front of the chalkboard held my dolls quietly awaiting the lessons for the day. Starting with writing the date on the top of the board, the day would begin. Of course, there was an area on the board where names were listed of students who had a hard time staying in their seats. Most likely teaching math facts incorrectly, and with words misspelled,  the school day covered all  the subjects I could imagine.

I was a teacher. Even with an education that had not yet completed a year in the first grade, I was a teacher. The magic of pretending spread into an early motherhood as well. I knew that my little baby dolls needed me. I was the confident one who knew how to care for them. With a look from their eyes I knew what they needed and was there with my billowing diaper bag to handle it all. A mother. At the age of six, I was a mother.

Interesting how a bit of confidence, when mixed with pretending, can turn a hope into reality. If we fake it, we can actually make it happen. Now, as a mom of six, and years of teaching them at home, I know that after years of pretending to be what I hoped to become, it became my reality.

I have found the art of pretending to be important in many areas of life. It’s difficult to love rightly, all the time. Sometimes my emotions have become tangled with my resentment so much that it feels like love can’t happen. It comes down to a simple choice. Am I willing to do what I don’t want to do? Can I put away my petty judgments toward someone in my life and love them anyway? Am I even capable of this?

Maybe I don't need to worry if I feel like loving them or not. If I act as though I do, I will. It’s a matter of putting my head before my heart. Could it be that the magic of pretending should not end in childhood? If we let how we feel determine what we do and who we are, we completely limit ourselves. There is no verse in the Bible that ends with the phrase, “If you feel like it.” We must, because we are told to.

Insecure? Pretend confidence. Depressed? Pretend joy. Angry? Pretend happy. I have learned to never underestimate the power of pretending, because it ends in being. Little did I know that years back, as my chalk hit those closet doors, that the biggest lesson would be learned by the teacher, many years later. But I’ll pretend like I always knew.

Posted in Living Room, Attic    |   Tags: The Magic of Pretending
0 comments | published by Linda | October 28, 2012
I had decided it wouldn't happen to me. I suppose it was more than a decision, it was a fact. Being seven, I figured growing old only happened to people who weren't kids. I looked the same. My hands were soft, my skin was without a mark. I thought it strange to watch how others seemed to let themselves become old. Certainly wouldn't be ahead for me.

I'm still me. The same conversations play out in my mind, I still get scared, happy, hurt, insecure and silly. Just like before, I have the heart of a little girl.

When I became a mom I had this goal of becoming like those mom's who wrote the books, led the seminars, or wrote the songs. This was what I wanted, to become that mom who was able to help show their kids how to walk alongside their Lord. They knew how to love, laugh, discipline, teach, and sacrifice with joy. I was in the trenches as I worked day by day to master motherhood. I remember envying other mothers that had the same title as me, yet didn't spend their days sacrificing for their children.

There is this season of motherhood where more time is spent changing diapers, brushing off carseats, and managing little attitudes. When in the middle of this season, it seems never ending. I knew, at the age of 24 that growing old only happened to people who didn't have kids. Seemed perfectly possible that I would be chiseling cheerios off the floor for the next fifty years.

When did I buy the last diaper? Whatever happened to running the house while carrying a baby? Where did the little one go that daily sat in my kitchen emptying my cupboards? Why is there room for my purse to sit in the seat of a shopping cart? When did my now five year old stop wearing infant clothes? Most importantly, who are these best friends of mine that surround me through the days? How is it that these beautiful girls have the same laughter I had when I was their age? When did that little boys voice that used to cry out needing me, turn into a deep voice that checks to see if I need anything?

I was taught early on that the season of spring is a time of planting, and working in the field. I was also told that fall would come, and my harvest would be determined by what was planted and nurtured in the spring. I wasn't warned of the depth of blessing that would come if I remained faithful.

I now have this group of six who sit by me in church, tenderly love me, and make me laugh constantly. God was not kidding. The blessings are beyond comprehension.

My hands are now different. My face shows the many times I have laughed and cried. My looks are changing, evidence of a life well lived. I am growing richer with each passing day. When springtime planting comes slowly to a close, the only problem I have now, is being able to see these crops of abundance through my tears of joy.

Posted in Living Room, Powder Room, Attic    |   Tags: Crops of Abundance
0 comments | published by Linda | May 09, 2012
Water shadows. I know that's not what they're called, but that's what I named them. After getting out of my neighbor's pool, I would watch the water that was tossed from my feet out in front of me on the pavement. Water shadows. 

I knew if I hurried out front, and flattened myself against the hot sidewalk, I could make my first water shadow. After a moment, I would stand up, look at the design of me made of water, then moved forward to make another. I would continue on and on down the sidewalk until the shadow had become so small, it finally disappeared. 

My favorite kind of day was when my dad was mowing the lawn. Probably not what he enjoyed most, but it made my summer day one to remember. I remember how the blades of grass would fly onto the edges of the sidewalk, and as I walked across them, they stuck to my feet. Grass shoes.

Life seemed better in a wet swimsuit. My hair stuck to my head, and smelled of chlorine. The rich smell of freshly cut grass was matched by the sun that would drench my back. With a piece of chalk, I would design my hopscotch squares. I wanted these days to last forever. 

I could see my mom through the kitchen window, and I was certain she was making something warm and delicious that would be waiting for me. All was well. 

Normal days. That's what it's about. Some focus on the magic of Christmas, or a loud birthday party, but what I treasure most are the memories in the corner of my mind...normal days. Connecting these together, one after another is what has made up the story of my life. These are the days I will relive in my mind and recall them as wonderful.

My kids have normal days. They also celebrate holidays. I mustn't overlook the mystery and value of a child's surroundings as he drinks in his family, his world. To give them normal days filled with wonder to create the story of their life is my hope. I know that just like the water shadows on the sidewalk, life moves on. The days are numbered, and will one day disappear. I want my children to follow my example, my trail of water shadows, continuing such joy to generations ahead.
Posted in Attic    |   Tags: Water Shadows