Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Open House by Carla Foote, mom of two

I went to an open house on Saturday, mostly because I was curious about the inside of the house I had watched being built for months. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone. I am normally quite content in my home, but after I saw the gleaming tile in the bathrooms and the smooth wood floors on the main level, and bright, white carpet in the bedrooms (who installs white carpet?), my home looked a little dingy.
"I realized that my house
looks like a home –
where real people live."

In my own bathroom, I tugged at the shower curtain to cover up the slimy parts of the caulking that need replacing. I tried not to notice the shadow on the grey carpet in the bedroom, a reminder of some flu season several years ago … even after cleaning, the stain is visible from a certain angle. I put the pile of mail under the shelf on the desk so it didn’t clutter the bookshelf in the dining room. And I realized that my house looks like a home – where real people live.

I got over the imperfections and noticed the loving jumble of family pictures on the shelves on either side of the fireplace. I sat in my chair where I love to read and think. I admired the framed children’s art in the hallway. I looked at my front porch where I can greet my neighbor who walks by with his dog. I noticed the pile of Christmas cards from friends, still sitting on the shelf months after Christmas. And I was thankful for a home.

Dear God, thank you for providing my family with everything we need. Help me learn to be content, no matter my surroundings. Amen. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Letting Go By Tally Flint, mom of four

I always looked ahead to the start of preschool and grade school with anticipation for my kids. I couldn’t wait to see the exciting things they’d learn and the way their worlds would change forever because of it. But I never thought about how hard it would be to send them off without me. What if they need me when I’m not there?
"May God go with you,
and work through you, today
and in all days. Amen."

A dear friend of mine introduced me to a prayer she says over her children as they are about to walk out the door for the day. She holds their hands in hers, and says, “May love and strength be in your hands.” She places her hand on their hearts, saying “May love and courage be in your heart.” She touches their heads and says, “May love and wisdom be in your mind.” And finally, she closes with, “May God go with you, and work through you, today and in all days. Amen.”

Just four little lines, and yet they express so well the concerns of my mother-heart. I want to hold my kids close, to protect them and to lead them to right choices. But as they grow, this becomes increasingly unrealistic. And so I turn to God to protect them, to guide them on their way and to bring them home to me again. It’s a difficult habit to get into, but the more I do it, the more I remember that God’s arms are the safest place for them anyway.

Dear God, be with my child always. Give me your peace and assure me that my trust is well-placed in you as their protector. Amen.