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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Light of Christmas

Child touching Christmas bell on wreath

Aiden touching the “singing” bells

[Written December 4, 2010]

I am sitting outside in the cold, still night air. The sky above is cloudy and not a star can be seen. A slight and chill wind rustles by, threatening to pull the last few leaves that have managed to last thus far in the tree I sit against. The weather is colder than I have experienced in the past 11 years in India, but a certain sense of warmth pervades.

I am not sitting here alone. Actually, I would not be sitting here at all, if not for my son. Yesterday, my husband and my mother strung colorful Christmas lights around the house and the trees. They put up giant baubles in the trees—green, gold and red. There is a wreath with bells that light up as it plays one Christmas tune after another. That is why I am sitting outside in the cold, with my son on my lap, watching the little golden bells light up as the Christmas tunes play.

I try to keep up with the tunes, singing to my son, as he listens quietly.

I ask if we can go inside now.

“No,” is his quick response.

Aiden points into the window, where we can see my husband making chicken curry for dinner. “Windee,” he says, “Da-da”. Every day his verbal repertoire grows. His new word today was window (windee).

I ask if we can go inside now.

“No,” he says again.

“Ball,” he notices the baubles hanging on the trees. I carry him to one after another, as he touches them and tries out the word bauble: “baboo,” he says, pointing to the biggest one, a deep green.

By now the chill wind is getting to me.

I ask if we should go inside and tell daddy about the lights and music.

He finally nods, “yass”. We head inside and he calls out, “Da-da, meeks.” I’m pretty sure that’s meant to be music.

After just a moment back in the warm house, he points outside once more, “Elights.” That was yesterday’s new word.

Outside once more…it’s even colder than before. The lights are beautiful now that it’s completely dark. Aiden has always really liked lights, from the time he was a baby. My thoughts went back to last Christmas—his first Christmas. Although he was sick with chicken pox that year, it was still the best Christmas I ever had. He loved the Christmas tree lights…so did I.

Every Christmas has been special in some way. Whether in a country that celebrated Christmas or not, whether at times that I was surrounded by friends and family or on my own—somehow those twinkling lights always made me feel the touch of Christmas.

Sitting once more in the dark, watching the brightly-twinkling lights, I think of another light that shines every Christmas. In a time of darkness was born the brightest light the world has ever known.

Maybe that’s why the lights always brought Christmas into my heart.

I cuddle Aiden close and continue singing— of Christmas, of light, of love.

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Jessica RoseA few days ago, I told my kids that we would practice a little bit of “school” each day, to get ready for when school begins in about a month.

Our neighbor’s son has been coming over to study with my kids, so my focus has been more on the three boys, practicing math and reading with them.

Yesterday, as I didn’t have much for my daughter to do, she asked if she could write an essay.

Sure!

She finished it this morning and – wonder of wonders – she gave me permission to post it as well.

This essay was unprompted and I had no idea of the topic until she read it to me about 15 minutes ago. All I could do was smile.

 

We Are Called by Jesus to do Different Things

By Jessica Rose, 7 years old

Some people want to serve Jesus. There are many ways to do that.

Example: I want to go back to India and witness and help the poor.

Sometimes people are called to do things at places they never even thought of going.

Example: My mom thought she was going to Ireland or Scotland, but she went to India instead.

We are all God’s children. He has a plan for all of us.

Whether you are big or small,

God has a plan for us all.

Sometimes God wants us to do little jobs. Other times God wants us to do big jobs too.

So I will do my job the very best I can wherever I am.

The end.

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It’s not that I have nothing to write about. Quite the opposite, in fact. I have so much that I want to write about that it’s almost overwhelming. Words flow and the ideas come at the oddest of times, usually when I don’t have a pen and paper at my side. My husband helped with that problem. On my last birthday, he got me a phone.

It was a pretty cool phone; I could write with it! I could create MS Word documents, power points, even excel programs. And when I couldn’t write, I could record audio for a time that I could type it up. I was set.

The problem? Not long after my birthday, and before I had the time to figure much out about my phone and get in the groove of using it, my life became a lot busier. Imagine having a couple of friends who would help with your kids whenever you needed a breather, and then from one day to the next figuring out how to operate without even a spouse for a couple of months. Thank God that phase didn’t last long, but needless to say, my blog remained untouched for that period of time, and my Facebook seldom perused.

Life has its cycles and there always seems to be something or another that requires a good amount of time and focus. It’s not always the same thing and it’s often a challenge for me to find the right balance between my responsibilities before the next cycle or stage comes along that requires a different focus or balance altogether.

I’m an incurable multi-tasker. Therefore, one main challenge for me is to let go of something that I no longer have time for and avoid spending every waking moment of the day involved in everything that’s part of not only my current cycle but past ones too. I just try to fit it all in—not always the best thing.

Example? It’s a typical school morning with my sons. I spend it at the school table teaching them. I help the older one with his reading; once he’s working on his own, I do some flash cards and educational power points with the younger one. Once he runs off to play, I open my laptop and continue working on an editing job or writing project, of which there are always at least half a dozen to choose from. It’s good to stay busy and not waste time, but when it gets to where Allen has the mindset that, “Mommies don’t play” and when Jessica sings “wheels on the bus” with her brother, it comes to what the mommies do on the bus and she sings, “the Mommies on the bus go edit, edit, edit, all through the town”, well, I guess there can be too much of a good thing.

Back to writing. Over the past month or so, the storylines started. It began with a dream I remembered one morning and by the end of the day it had developed into the outline for a children’s novel. At the moment, I have the rough outline of nine stories or books… with 5,000 words or less written in each one. Not a lot of “story” just yet, probably because I haven’t focused on just one at a time.

It’s great to multi-task but I’m realizing that at other times it’s important to focus on just one thing. In all things, “a just balance is the Lord’s delight”. [Pro. 11:1] I actually hope to write on the topic of balance, especially for parents with many responsibilities in this age when being a parent is so much more than just “being a parent”. Maybe I’ll write a book about it! Okay, make that ten. 🙂

But first, I had another idea, which you’ll see in upcoming blog posts… Stay tuned.

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It’s the first of February, 2011. Time for some resolutions!having fun with son in leaves

 

Whatever happened to January first, and New Years resolutions? Well, it went something like this.

 

It was December 31st, so I sat with my two older kids. We talked about all the things that had happened in the past year, outlining highlights or bigger things that we had done. They told me the things they were most thankful for and I wrote them down. We then discussed the year ahead, and any goals and hopes they had in relation to it. They each chose some things they would like to do or learn or accomplish in the New Year. They each thought of and chose their own verse that they would like to claim as they ask God for help in the upcoming year.

 

That evening, New Years Eve, we met together—mommy and daddy, grandma and grandpa and the three children. It was then that I realized I had not really thought of and decided on my own goals and prayer for the New Year. I was busy helping the kids get theirs together that I didn’t take time to stop and think about my own.

 

In pondering it, I realize there are a thousand-and-one things I would like to do; some of them I am even working towards already. As an idea person with an overactive mind, I often have to balance a bit of practicality in there; otherwise I would be constantly rushing from one idea to the next, without having enough time for any of them. I would probably avoid prioritizing and end up wasting a good amount of time. Don’t get me wrong; it’s all good stuff. No offense to those who enjoy such things, but I couldn’t imagine spending even five minutes on Farmville or an instant in Mafia Wars; video games make me feel like my brain cells are oozing out even faster than they do on a normal day; I relax in front of a movie maybe every couple of weeks, if that. Yes, the things I would love to have time for are good things, like finally getting around to writing those books that I have in my mind (at least half a dozen at the present time); there are a couple of languages I would like to learn; I would love to study more on a bunch of topics. So if it’s good stuff, then what’s the problem? Well, there’s that good old quote that always makes us feel there’s more to reach for:

 

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better, best.”

 

The thing is, I know what my best is. At the end of the year, if I don’t learn a single new phrase in another language, or even write a word toward my new book (one of them), or study any of the topics on my mind…if there’s one thing I would like to be able to say that I accomplished, it is this:

 

I was a mother, a parent, a wife. I took time for my family and put them first, before any other favored projects or to-do’s. I took time to play with the children and have fun. I noticed the times that were opportunities to teach them, not only reading and writing and mathematics, but also important values such as sharing, positive thinking, and true friendship. I helped them take a few more steps towards eventual independence, but I’m still holding their hands until they are ready to let go. I pointed them towards Someone who will always be able to hold their hands and lead them no matter where they go or what they do as they grow older. I was a mother, a parent…the most important job there could be, and I enjoyed helping to build a family.

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Why My Heart Melts…



Exchange between me and Allen

my son Allen at 11 months

Allen, at 11 months, always the charmer

Mommy: Allen, I love you.

Allen: I love you too.

Mommy: I love you three.

Allen: I love you all the way to fishy heaven and back.

Mommy: Is that where you plan on going?

Allen: No, I’m going wherever you are going…so that we will be together.

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