Blessed Inconvenience

This was originally posted on another blog December 2010

I’ve had a few days this past week where my daughter was home sick from school. I don’t work a “regular” job so I was home with her.  Normally I am gone during the day so I thought this would be a great time to do those things that always need to be done: dishes, laundry, sweeping the floor. . .

I tried. Then my husband said, “I think you should sit with your daughter and read to her.”

Big beautiful grey eyes peered up at me with hope. So I set aside the dishcloths and closed my laptop and sat down to snuggle with my daughter. And read out loud to her. A lot.

My preference would have been to be on my computer, writing.  Or doing social networking, or reading an adult book “in my head.” Or at least accomplishing chores.

But then I seriously had to take myself in hand and set all of that aside to simply be with a little girl who wanted her Mommy for more than just some pain relief or to help her plug in a video. In the three days she was sick, my little girl did not want to be on-line or watching anything electronic. She simply wanted to be – with me.

I thought I had killed off the energizer bunny years ago when Hashimoto’s disease claimed my energy and ability to do things. I thought I had put to death my need to accomplish something to feel good about myself.

No. It might have gotten shoved under the bed with my winter boots – but it came out of hiding this week.

I hate to say this. I am an author. I love to write books. I love to read books. I desire for my children to love to read books. In our home, books are to be treated with respect and honor (not left on the floor). They are treasures. Here’s the confession: I do not like to read out loud.

Why? I don’t know! I start to yawn. I get tired. I can do it. I can give voices to the characters and make a story fun. I used to do this for forensics in high school and I was good at it! I would win awards for it.

So I’m struggling with guilt inside because it takes supreme effort for me to set aside other things for that which is more important, a precious little girl that God has given to me to raise and love. And read.

My daughter adores me. She loves to snuggle and be kissed and tells me over and over and over “I love you” and she loves to hear it too. She’s a pretty independent little miss at six years of age now. So why was it hard to set aside my chores, or simply what I enjoy, to meet her deepest need to simply be with me and a book?

My mom read to me as a kid. I don’t remember that, but I’ve been told that was why I was such an early – and prolific – talker. What I remember of my experience as a child though was that as more kids came along, my mom did not have time for me. I was an inconvenience. At some level I fight against the inclination to act the way I remember most of my childhood as being. An inconvenience.

I don’t ever want my little girl to feel like she is less than important to me. Yes, there will be times when other things simply need to be done. But overall, my central goal as a mom, is to be there, to help her grow and be confident in who God has made her to be. How else can that happen but by spending time with her? Talking with her. Snuggling her when she is sick and yes – reading books to her for hours.

My little girl is feeling better and is back in school – and still, I struggle inside with these ugly truths. I am far from the mother I want to be. I know I am the best mother for my little girl. God has gifted her to me. Yet confronting my family of origin yuck and my own sinful and selfish behaviors leave me feeling less than adequate for the task.

I’m too responsible sometimes, and need to lighten up and simply relax and play. The blogs will get written. The book will eventually get done. My greatest work however lies in the heart and soul of three children God has given to me. Not just to meet their physical needs for food, shelter and safety – but for unconditional love as well, which is sometimes best shown in: time, touch, and the reading of a good book.

Praying you can slow down during these holidays and treasure those moments with those you love as well.


This was originally posted December 2010 in another blog.

The holiday season is officially upon us. Some have engaged in the madness of Black Friday and others have engaged in a flurry of decorating and baking. The pressure to get out cards and buy gifts and attend every concert can be a bit overwhelming.

I have the addition of a child with a birthday this month too, and I don’t want her day of celebration to get lost in the rush to Christmas. After all – her birth is special to me and the fact that God allowed her to live through a medical crisis after birth, makes the gift of my daughter even more precious.

So, I have to learn to say “no”. I’ve done this in previous years as well. The world will not stop if I fail to go to my mother’s Christmas concert. The musical being put on in town looks delightful, but one more night away from home will not necessarily fill my cup. Yes, I do have some commitments and I am delighted to be able to serve and use my gifts, but I’m trying to be very careful about that. I want moments where we are simply home. To play Uno, or Jenga or maybe watch “Charlie Brown Christmas,” with my kids. They have already given thumbs down to my favorite, “White Christmas” so I might not get my Danny Kaye fix this year.

I have little money, energy or time to simply be home and ‘create”. I used to always make our Christmas cards. Not doing it this year. Sorry, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like you. Honest. Supplies, time and stress? Not going there. I would have had that done before Thanksgiving if I were going to do it anyway. You and I will both live as I know a card from me will not make your Christmas any richer.

The economy is hard and many are cutting back. Can you do that and be okay with it? To realize that relationships are more important than things? I’m not saying I don’t like presents, I do! However, I am finding as I grow older, that there is something precious in time spent with a friend. Or writing a note to someone to express how I feel about them. Those kinds of things build into people and the impact of that can go on beyond a mere box wrapped in shiny paper and a bow. So I want to challenge you – in the next few short weeks – how can you rest and reflect more on Christ’s birth? How can you find time to simply enjoy holy moments with God – and with others?

Consider Mary’s response to the marvelous and confusing events surrounding Jesus’s birth: But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luk 2:19 ESV)

Treasures need to be sought after and cherished. I love the quiet of early mornings while the house is still asleep – the lights of the Christmas tree and peace. I need to make these moments count and not get distracted with other things. In the midst of the challenges and disappointment of life, my prayer is that you will find moments during this advent season to treasure Christ.

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2Co 9:15 ESV)