Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Word About the Spotlight

The term "spotlight" signifies something that is the focus of attention. Many times, when we think of the Spotlight, we think of performers. Stars. Glory.

In truth, some of the most amazing acts in this world go unnoticed. No fancy setting. No snazzy outfits. Often with much sweat and some tears.

This week will see the completion of nearly two decades of "un-spotlighted" service for one West Texas lady.

She has served for many years among a team of folks who work to better the lives of suffering, hurting children.

She has spent these years treading through oceans of tsunami size waves of paperwork and process.

Years of watching injustice and suffering...
Years of frustration and exhausting effort...

Years of doing all she could...

To make something right, in an upside down world.

So much of who I am and what I strive to accomplish is forever grounded in who she is and what she strives to accomplish. She has often wished a "lighter load" for me. And now, I long for a seaons of a "lighter load" for her.

I call her, Mom.

May, our Burden Bearer bless you, Mom, with His sweet rest as you begin this new season of life.

I am so proud of you.

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." Mark 9:36-37

Monday, January 14, 2008


Sometimes this homemaking thing runs me over like a truck.

In my head, I have lovely visions of schedules and systems and progress...

But more often than not, I find my self feeling flattened underneath all the undone.

And so we have today.

My task for this morning was to clean our bedroom. I announced it to the children. I set up a video to entertain them. I didn't even take time to shower. Straight to the task.

And then...

There were just a few remaining breakfast dishes to complete. I quickly washed them praising Aimee Jo in my head for tackling the pile earlier and knocking a huge dent in the never ending stack.

After that short task was accomplished, the "entertained" kiddos were already back in the kitchen feigning hunger nigh unto death. I can't remember what I offered them. But I'm pretty sure they weren't happy with it. In the process of filling their cavernous tummies, I realized I hadn't eaten yet today.

I sat to eat my breakfast quickly, only to be overwhelmed by the dust and mess covering Jeff's desk. I decided that I would quickly dust his desk, which also turned into dismantling a plastic table and pulling up the dirty table cloth from the dining table. Actions that are logical counterparts to "dusting Jeff's desk."

I quickly turned to the table linen cabinet to find a fresh tablecloth. This, of course, led to emptying the linen cabinet and sorting placemats.

Naturally, that meant redoing the entire set up of the buffet so that the linen arrangement there would match the linen arrangement on the table.

I think this is a sickness.

Just as I was officially headed down the hall to the bedroom, I heard a crash. Baxter, the pooch, had knocked off a glass bowl of maple syrup that unnamed child left within doggy reach in the living room. Don't even get me started on the hard and fast "don't eat in the living room rule". I didn't have time to ponder because there were now shards of glass all over the floor. Sticky with maple syrup.

Sweeping, mopping and carefully scouring the floor took the better part of the next hour...since the sweeping, mopping and scouring also involved locating the matching candles for the redecorated dining table.

Lunchtime was upon us and that would require a quick trip to town. I ran and bought the things I needed and came home to yummy eggsalad sandwiches (thanks Aimee Jo!) and nap wrangling.
After four books (two of which I paraphrased like a mad woman) the youngest were down for a nap. The older offspring were off on a backpack adventure in our yard.

I wish I could say I tackled my initial project with gusto. But, the Colts were playing on ESPN and that required my full attention, for about 20 minutes. At which point I realized the three year old had been drawing a road map on his body with a marker instead of napping. I washed and wrangled some more.

Over the next few hours, I intermitently passed between my bedroom and his. He needed reminding of who was in charge. I, apparently, needed to walk 20 miles back and forth down our hallway.

My bedroom was still untouched. And my children were again starving.

I headed back into the fray of food prep and bath time. Interspersed with sweeping my bedroom floor and emptying trash. After four hundred thousand rounds (or so)of "Silas, do not touch Baxter again." Accompanied by a rousing rendition of "You may not have chocolate and ice cream for dinner"...we had children fed, washed, prayed over and tucked in.

I now sit before the computer amazed that the third load of laundry for the day is in process, no one sliced their toes on shards of glass from this morning's incident, and the Chargers beat the Colts. The dinner dishes are also done. And Anaiah's coos are coming from the swing.

Many good things were accomplished today. Including tidying my bedroom (finally).

So, why is it that all I can think about is the monstrous mess in my pantry. The huge pile of ironing. The toy sorting that the boys' room desperately needs. The cookies I intended to bake and didn't. Unsuccessful discipline techniques for my three year old and my new puppy...

These ponderings leave me feeling flattened. I need to pull myself off the pavement and count my blessings. Rest in the moment. Take a shower. :-)

We made it through the day. And the fresh table linens look splendid.

May your day be blessed in the joy of accomplishing even one small thing!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Hello friends and family.

My, how I have missed you.

It feels like it has been years. Though in reality, it has been two weeks. Two. Whole. Weeks.

Our computer crashed. There was an interesting little message that referred to a "potential hard drive failure" which kept popping up on our screen. Aparently, the message meant what it said. If only we had listened AND acted hastily. Then, our hard drive would have been backed up and all real tragedy avoided.

But no. We, in the frenzy of Faith Quest prep assumed we had more time.

Not so.

Our sad, dark screened computer sits beside me now. I offer a prayer every now and again, hoping for one more succesful re-boot so we can reclaim the archives of info locked into its system. (cue Taps...)

Remarkably, our new computer has been set up and configured (Thank you Doug!) to connect to the internet. So, we are back in business.

Or partially. Four adults are now sharing this one computer for all our internet needs...instead of using the wireless system that was set up through our now crashed computer.

Ah, wireless. That sweet, sweet system that allows all adults in one room to type happily away on their own computer, in their own space, at their own leisure...

My determined husband assures me that wireless will once again be ours. And I believe him because he made it happen once. I feel confident, he will make it so again.

Meanwhile, many, many exciting things have been taking place in our Ft Portal land. Christmas celebrations, birthdays, Faith Quest, visitors, Smore Fests, new teammates and Anaiah's laugh...

I have much to tell and even a photo or two to share. So, when my turn comes around again to peruse and enjoy the goodness that is the internet...I'll check back in.

May your day be blessed and computer-problem free!