Tuesday, September 30, 2014


A Mother’s Heart
Sometimes bearing our hearts is so painful, it’s tough to share. Every mother faces heartbreak in some form. It might be when she feels for her child when he’s picked on at school, waving good-bye on the first day of kindergarten or when dropping her off at college. There are bigger difficulties: Illnesses of children, some incurable, others ongoing; drug addiction, rebellion, alcoholism, mental illness, estrangement. Mothers feel it differently than fathers—for the most part. My wonderful husband, Jack, refers to it as the invisible umbilical cord, which is quite a bit different than the proverbial apron strings.
Young Mother Sewing by Mary Cassatt {PD}

Unfortunately, moms often feel they should take the blame for everything their child does. We wonder if we had done something different, if they’d have made better decisions. What we don’t know is, if they would have made worse decisions without our nurturing. God, with His sovereign knowledge, gave us just the right kids and he gave our children the parents he deemed necessary. He fits us together. Not that that gives parents the right to mistreat their children. They aren’t our property, but they are loaned to us for a time.

So often the stories I write surround mothers and children. Orphans being fit into the right family, just as God adopted His children through His son, Jesus—His sacrifice on the cross, our faith—His gift of grace.

As I’ve been going over a biblical story I’ve been writing about Moses relationship with his mothers, I’ve been thinking about faith and sacrifice. As he is placed in a basket on the river, what faith Jochebed had to completely let go of him, knowing she had to trust the Lord to keep him safe. Then, after she placed him back into the hands of Pharaoh’s daughter after weaning him, she had to completely release Moses again.  
Moses' Mother by Alexey Tyranov {PD}

We read a few lines in the book of Exodus that span a few years. How much family time was packed in there? How many emotions? And yet, God allowed Jochebed to have her baby back for a couple of years as his wet nurse. I’ve tried to get into her head and heart, trying to experience what she must have felt. I’m not sure I could ever do her feelings complete justice, because I live in such a completely different time and culture. However, a mother’s heart is universal. Whether borne from our bodies or adopted, we want the best for our children. If are no longer able to fill that role, or it’s time for them to leave the nest, mother’s feel as though a piece of their heart is being taken from them. That’s how close we feel to our children.

Jochebed’s faith challenges me to release my children’s care to the Lord, even if I have to do it several times a day. It gives me the opportunity to tell Him I trust His plan. Praying isn’t just the only thing we can do sometimes, it’s the most we can do!

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.  But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.  The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:1-4, NLT

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy: It's Been a Long Summer, but We're Back!

Lilybits--not large, but in
It’s been a long summer . . .
Well, Mom says it hasn’t been, because summer weather came so late and winter lasted so long. We were a bit busy. Okay, Mom says she was busy, but I have to keep an eye on her and Dad, when I’m not busy getting my beauty sleep. Sometimes I sleep with one eye open.

I only escaped once this summer and Mom’s friend caught me. I like to give Mom extra worry. She insists I can’t wander outside, because I am small and delicate and that a coyote would like to make lunch out of me, yadda, yadda, yadda. She still calls me “baby girl” and doesn’t realize I am a purr-fectly mature adult cat, who can be responsible for myself! At least as long as I’m fed three times a day, brushed and petted when I give permission.

Mom spent most of June on her laptop, when I should be her laptop, period! She wrote lots of words on her latest manuscript. Boooring! Her next project was learning how to make wire wrap jewelry. She quickly learned not to leave beads or other small components uncovered, because I like to roll them onto the floor. Hee hee!

Sea glass earrings!
As for going places, she got to meet my friend, Toby the monkey, when she went to meet his human, Patty Wysong, at the Belleville Strawberry Festival. She said Toby was sweet and charming. I decided to ignore her for a couple of days after that. Mom says she never takes me any place to meet monkeys or other creatures, because I don’t like being tethered in my harness or riding in the car. I’m thinking that’s her fault for not figuring out how to make them more pleasant experiences.
Patty Wysong and Toby

Speaking of going places, they do take me up north to the cottage they rent near Mackinaw City. First they sneak something that makes me feel really weird, and my paws look really big, into food I can’t resist. Then I go hide, because I know the harness is coming . . . and the car ride. However, when I was feeling a little less sedated, I was able to help Dad drive! He wouldn’t let me drive by myself, because I was still under the influence and he said something about needing a driver’s license. I thought those were only for humans.  
Lily helping Dad drive.
I did enjoy watching the birds at the lake, and the chipmunks, though they can be annoying. It also gives me an opportunity to hunt fresh dust bunnies under the beds and have new countertops to walk on without permission.

View from the cottage.
Mom plans on writing more blog posts this fall and is imploring me to do the same. We hope you’ll visit us again soon! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

I've Been Tagged in the Empty Purse Challenge!

Purse Challenge 
Though this may not be the typical Monday Motivation, it should motivate you to occasionally clean out your purse. This way you won’t get caught revealing just a little more than is comfortable like I was!

Last weekend was the perfect time to be tagged in the “purse challenge”, since I was changing purses as I prepared for the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference. Of course, I was a little squeamish about divulging the contents of my purse. This situation is kind of like inviting people into a cluttered room and apologizing for the mess.
Blue Rhapsody pattern!

While my friend Karla Akins prefers large purses, I’d rather use a small cross-body bag. I usually wind up with something in-between, by the time you include a place for a case for my glasses, phone, keys, and id/coin purse.
Hipster and coin purse in Marseilles

My sister started me on a longstanding, budget-debilitating addiction to Vera Bradley bags. She didn’t purposely do it—she started giving them to me as gifts. Then I became spoiled. When I was working, I found some good deals on their online store. At that time I acquired a matching purse and lunch bag in the Pink Paisley pattern. I still enjoy perusing their online “up 75% off” sales.

While visiting the local Vera Bradley habit recovery/support group, where I had to say, “Hi, my name is Kathy and I am addicted to pretty quilted purses and tote bags made from colorful fabrics . . . usually in a paisley pattern,” I was confused about which pattern was my favorite. The facilitator insisted I needed to admit what it was before I could be freed from the habit. Recovery means no longer sweating and having shaky hands when I delete one of Vera Bradley’s emails, or walk by one of their stores without a glance.  

Now for the contents of my purse:

  1.    Old grocery lists.
  2.   Outback gift card.
  3.   Inhaler, in case my asthma acted up from bonfires up north.
  4.   Two coin purses—one holds my license and other important stuff, the one underneath it holds stuff like my Barnes and Noble card.
  5.  Hand sanitizer.
  6. Tieback from my new family room curtains, so I could show it to my sister when I met her for lunch.
  7.   One tube of hand cream.
  8.   Old receipts.
  9.   Old coupons.¨   
  10.   Two mini-packets of tissues.
  11.  Disposable toothbrush.
  12. Case for my glasses.
  13.   Flash drive.
  14. Comb with a pick, some black thing that I don’t remember what it is?
  15. A large blue hair pick—this comes in handy when I let my hair go wavy.
  16.  Car key and fob.
  17. Change.
  18. One tube pink lipstick.
  19. Mascara.
  20. One tube pink lip-gloss.
  21. Two pens and a pencil. How did my highlighter disappear?
  22. One sample paint card.
  23. One 2014-15 calendar with cute kitty on the front.
  24. Two old appointment cards.

Not even sure how I fit all that into one of my favorite purses. Of course, there had to have been a purpose for each item at one point or another.

As far as a favorite pattern goes, I’m still trying to figure that out. The question is: Do I really have to, when purses, totes and other things are useful objects? Maybe it won’t hurt to delay my recovery . . . a little longer.