Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Being the Book

I have always hated the limelight.  I hate to be noticed.  My whole me-ness shows this.  In years past, I have bought raffle tickets and hoped I wouldn't win so that I didn't have to walk in front of all those people.  I didn't ever want to win at BINGO in class and have to shout it out.  I'm pretty sure I've just pretended not to win before to avoid the whole "embarrassing" situation.  I have, until very recently, dressed very unnoticiably, avoiding color or flare.  Of course, having 6 children and driving a 15 passenger van does make one stand out, it is hard to blend into the crowd when you bring to crowd with you.

I have spent so much time and effort trying to not be noticed, that sometimes it has backfired on me.  I'm a behind the scenes worker, happy to do my part with little acknowledgement.  Yet there have been occasions where I have felt like I deserved more acknowledgement than I have gotten, causing me to be torn between my fear of being seen and not liking to be ignored.  I'm a complicated creature.

It came to me the other day, that people, events, and life are like books.  Some people are forever destined to be the cover of the book.  You know the ones, many of them are friends that we love and adore.  They are the ones that make an entrance, that bring flare and dramatic effect to the book.  They make the book look good, appealing.  People see them and whatever they get involved in, they stand out.  Covers are important, for no matter how often admonished otherwise we will continue to judge a book, at least initially, on its cover.  A good book should have a good cover.  Covers are important.  I know many covers without whom I wouldn't want to be a part of the book.

Other people are the title page.  Honestly, unless you are a nerd like me, you rarely even notice that there is a title page.  It is a very important page.  The only page, in fact, that some information will be found on.  Yet it is a drab little over looked page.  No one really cares, except the author, that it is even there.

Then of course are all the pages in the book that make up the story.  They are each needed or the story will be boring and disjointed  Book pages are just as important as covers and title pages.

I think of myself as a title page.  I'm controlling and so I like to be in charge of things.  So, my complicated little brain begins to struggle.  The older and more confident and comfortable I've become, I am becoming less happy to be the title page all the time.  Yet, I'm not sure I'm ready or capable of being the cover.  I just can't pull off that kind of "appeal".  I'm not sure I want any book I'm writing to be judged upon how I "appear". 

So it becomes the epic battle, ego, self worth (or lack there of), humility, they cause a constant struggle in my brain.  I never choose to do a thing, good bad or indifferent, because of how it will appear.  I don't make Sally a meal when her dog is sick because it will make me look good.  And yet, I find myself hiding less behind my drabness and more willing to be noticed.  Now I have to balance ego and humility.  How does one legitimately desire credit for their work yet balance a humble spirit, knowing that whatever the job, it is for the glory of God, not oneself? 

So if life is a book, then each story must have a title page and a cover, along with a lot of pages to make it interesting.  Does it matter which you are?  If you are willing to be in the book, that is the important part.  Being willing to make up the story, be a part of it, if even just a page.  Is it "fair" that some people are destined to be the cover and others are destined to be the title page?  Yes.  Because our lives should be lived for the story, not the glory.  And if the only one that really cares what the title page says is the author, then I'm glad that The Author is willing to put me in His book at all, title page, last page or any page in between!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes
This week in review:

1.  I started the week frazzled because I'm hosting our Small Group Bible Study for the first time in a year and while they all love me, my house is beyond out of control. I knew it would be a hectic week. 

2.  I'm trying to schedule a myriad of baptism councelling sessions.  I'm currently having a blast as a temporary fill in Children's Ministry director.  While I'm loving it, I'm not enjoying the pressure of knowing these kids are counting on me. But it's really God, so that helps. He doesn't actually need me, he just allows me the privilege of assisting Him. 

3.  Speaking of church, I'm extremely excited with the direction we are headed in Children's Ministry. Praying our new pastor, whomever that may be, is as well. 

4.  My oldest is 12 today. Man, that really makes you think. We are 2/3 of the way there and there is so much still to teach him!

5.  Thursday proved my insanity as I willingly had 11 children in my home. One immobilized with a broken leg. Yeah, I'm crazy. They were good AND I cleaned my dining room. Wow!

6.  Our annual Homeschool Valentine's Day party was today. I didn't get to go because my fuel pump went out in my van. $$$ ahead to repair it. Glad my hubby is so handy. 

7.  My unexpected day home made a huge change in my stress level. Great day with my kids who didn't groan about not going. The oldest isn't even groaning  about missing the day at his grandparents' for his birthday. 

God knows how to make me stop when He wants me to. 

Here is Birthday Boy posing with a space suit at The Children's Museum. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

WoW - Possessing Beauty

The Write on Wednesday Spark:  Possessing Beauty
Write about a collection. Write about something you or ,someone you know, collects. Think about the "why" behind the collection - why is it important to collect this particular thing? How does it make the person feel to add another piece to their collection? Is the group of objects there to be seen, to be studied or simply kept together? Write a real life story or a piece of fiction. Wherever the prompt takes you...Keep your post on the short side: up to 500 words OR a 5 minute stream of consciousness exercise. Link your finished piece to the list and begin popping by the other links. Oh, and enjoy!

*****

People collect all sorts of things.  There are shows on television devoted to the strange and odd, sometimes even creepy things that people collect.  Then there are shows about valuable and antique items that are collected.  After watching some of these shows, my children have become collectors.  They choose to collect whatever item strikes their fancy.  Some days it is glass bottles found in our woods.  Other times it is cardboard boxes.  They've collected rocks, key chains, practically any and all things they have encountered have become parts of a budding collection, often a collection of only one.

My children ask me if I have ever collected anything.  As a child I remember someone asking me what I collected and deciding, at that moment, that I collected panda bears.  That was a collection that lasted for a long time.  But as college and marriage days came, panda collecting days faded.  So, the question posed to me, do you collect anything now?

After pondering a moment, I must say yes.  I collect children.  The comment originally received it's expected chuckles as it is funny, to me at least.  I certainly do seem to collect them.  In fact, on the day that this particular conversation was going on with fellow WoWer Mi2, I had in my collection 11 children.  Sure, they aren't all mine, 5 of them eventually left that day.  But it struck me that I do collect children.  My personal collection consists of 6.  Priceless, unique and adorable each one.  And extremely fragile.  Not only are they physically breakable, as my dear friend can attest, but they are emotionally breakable, a thought which makes one look seriously at the responsibility associated with such a collection.

Do these children count as a collection?  Well let's first ponder:  Why do people collect things?  For a sense of gathering beautiful items they love around them?  Well, my children certainly acheive that.  They bring beauty into my life unlike anything I've ever known.

People collect for the "value" of items.  My children's value is beyond compare.  They are worth more than their weight in gold.  They bring more pleasure than any item I've ever owned.  They bring more joy than any "stuff" I could acquire.

Collectors enjoy using their collections to fill their free time.  Again, with my collection, there is no extra free time to fill, my collection can consume it all (if I allow it to).

Some people perhaps collect to create a lasting memorial to their time on earth, a way of insuring their lives meant something, their time was well used to gather priceless or original items in a unique way.  Perhaps to leave a memorial, people will remember them when they see items of their collection.  When I am gone, the 6 children in my collection will continue to pass on the legacy of their childhood.  The things that they learned will be a part of them, their children, my grandchildren and our family line, forever.  I will be remembered when they see my children, grandchildren.

I would say, my collection fits the bill.  My children are my collection.  As I began this idea, posting on my "collection" of children, it was sarcastic, a bit "tongue in cheek" as it were.  And in a way it still is.  I don't view my children as items, possessions, or material gain.  But they are, in a very real sense, the collection of my years of tutelage, prayers, tears and my joy.

Check out other collectors at WoW.

Holiday World 2011!

Holiday World 2011!

Baby # 6

Baby # 6
Welcome to the world and welcome to our crazy family!

Fort Benning

Fort Benning
We finally made it to Georgia!!!

Just a day at the park!

Just a day at the park!

My Hero!

My Hero!
I don't do dead things. Fortunately for me, God gave me boys!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!
Daddy and Grandma make Jammies every year for the kids, They love it!

Christmas in PJs

Christmas in PJs
Don't I just have the cutest kids?

2010 Jammies

2010 Jammies
Once again Daddy pulled it off. They look cute!

Round 2 birthday parties

Round 2 birthday parties
Cake number 1 of 3 done. I am so not an artist, but I think it came out pretty well!

My Girls

My Girls
Borrowed dance clothes, my girls sure look cute.

Couped up

Couped up
More images below showing the children feeling a bit "couped up" from the long winter!

Chickens: Take 2

Chickens: Take 2
Cute chicks!

The robot cake. I am glad my kids' standards aren't as high as mine!

Tree Climbers

Tree Climbers

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!
Hi Daddy! Hope you are having fun at work!

This one is so bad, I had to label the cake so you would know it's not a cow!

Dressed for Church!

Dressed for Church!
Come as your favorite Bible character night!

Too cute for words!

If the boy wasn't so tall, I could get a picture of his face!

Establishing the pecking order!

Babies!