Tag Archives: growing up

The Book Whisperer

I’ve been praying for God to show me those areas of my life where I am blind to my own sin, and boy has He decided I’m ready. Yesterday, a friend handed me a couple of boxes full of books that she no longer will be using. She explained that she had tried to sell them, but for a whole host of reasons, they never were sold. As she explained all the shenanigans (is that a word?) she went through to sell the books but to no avail, she then realized and knew that they were supposed to be given away. She is someone who listens to the Holy Spirit, but also must get banged over the head like me sometimes to listen. So, she saw me and felt compelled to hand all these books over to me.

I have to admit books are my weakness. I know the whole world is in love with e-books and kindle and nook, but me, I like a book in my hands. I like the whole experience–carting it with you places, marking it up, deciding not to mark it up because it is just too good, picking which books to keep on your low shelf or high shelf. If you saw my bedside table, and you like orderliness, you might fall over dead. I have the active book pile, the intermittent book pile, and the near-future book pile. In the active pile, I have many books because I can read three books at one time. The intermittent pile is for when the content is just too much to process or I am not ready for it, so I read a little and then I sit the book aside. The near-future pile are the books I have ordered because they just sounded so great and I want to read them, but I must finish the three I am currently reading.

Okay, so God talks to me through books quite often. Some blog, I will have to share the story of how a book changed my life. But for now, suffice it to say, in that pile of books I found a book I needed to read. I started it right away (preempting all piles on my bedside table) because it was written for young men entering adulthood. I thought to myself, “That’s my son!” I started glancing through it and got hooked. Why? Because the author uses real life examples and his advice is so wise. It is very different from any other book for young men that I have ever seen or heard about. I am about halfway through it, but I realized that some of his advice was for me. As he explains why a person should handle themselves a certain way, I realized that I don’t do that well or at all. I saw so clearly where I am weak, that it became hard to read. I don’t know how to explain this well but it is a bit like watching a train wreck that you are part of?!  I felt thrilled that my son could read such wonderful advice and appalled because I really have some voids in a lot of these specific areas.

So, as you can tell, this was quite a “ride” reading this book. Before panic took over me, I realized that this is why God brought my husband and I together! I started thinking about my glaring weaknesses, and realized that my husband is strong in almost all of them. Seriously! It’s like God saw me as I am really am and said, “She needs some help in these areas.” Meanwhile, God saw my husband and said, “He needs some help in these other areas.” Together, we are a pretty good team, as long as we stay centered on God.

Hopefully, this weekend I will finish reading the book and pass it on to my son. Then, he will have his Dad’s example to help him through those weaknesses of mine. How blessed we are to have each other!

 

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My brother and his kite

My younger brother has always been my chum. I’m not from England, so I really don’t know why that word came to mind, but it fits our relationship perfectly. I don’t recall us ever fighting as children. Sincerely, I mean ever! We are less than 16 months apart in age, but never felt in competition. He did, however, make my life quite interesting.

My brother has a brilliant mind. He has a photographic memory. When he took the aptitude tests trying to discern what work suited him best, the tester basically said, “Pick anything you like, you can do it all.” If you think I am bragging on him, you are wrong. This is a huge burden for anyone, especially a Christian: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Yikes! All of this to set you up for the story of his kite.

One day, another brother of mine told me to come up to the third floor of our home. We lived in a large, old house with three stories, two staircases, and many bedrooms. A family of 13 requires some space! Anyway, when I came upstairs, I see my brilliant brother hanging out the third floor window. “What are you doing?” I ask. He smiles and shows me the largest spool of kite string I have seen in my life, “Flying my kite.” “What?” I say as I see that the spool is unwinding. My eye follows the  string out the window. I cannot see the kite. It is so far away that it just looks like a string going up into the air. I ask my brother, “How long is your kite string?” He smiles and says, “At least one mile.”

I decide to get on my bike along with two of my other younger brothers and follow the string. It’s hard going because the kite flies as the crow flies, not as the streets go. We figure out a system, and between the three of us, we finally spy the kite flying like a dot way up in the sky about 9 blocks from our house. Right as we all see it, the string breaks and the kite starts flying away. We get on our bikes and chase it as it falls from the sky into a giant pine tree many more blocks away. There’s no getting the kite out of that tree whose lowest branch is a couple of stories high. We ride home to tell my brother about where we found his kite and laugh a long time at the thought of flying a kite out of the third-story window with string a mile long. Like I said, life was never dull growing up with my brother.

Banana-Seat Bikes and Penny Candy

I know we tend to gloss over things in the past and make them better than they were. But this morning, I am finding tremendous joy in my memories of childhood. Come down memory lane with me!

Some of my favorite memories….

The Dollar:
Walking to the five and dime store with a dollar, and coming home with a bag full of candy.

Freedom Ride:
Riding double on a banana-seat bicycle with my sister who always ended up doing the pedaling because I was a wimp (no helmets required).

Live on Broadway or the Driveway:
Going to the library (yes, the library) to find plays which we could perform for the neighborhood moms. I even remember part of the name: “Strawberry Cake with Pink Lemonade Icing.”

All-Around Athletes:
Playing football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, softball, and hockey in your yard or the street with the neighborhood kids, and playing  any sport I wanted to try at any age because sports were only a 6-week commitment and no one expected you to pick your sport in Kindergarten. (Note: This required knowing your neighbors and that they actually decided to have children.)

Homemade Family Dinners:
Waiting for my Dad’s car to round the corner and racing him home for dinner which was always homemade from scratch.

Dial Phone with Chord:
Sitting on the very top stair with the long cord that one of my sisters convinced my parents to buy and talking with friends until the next sibling needed the phone. Never having to worry about carrying a phone or checking a phone or losing a phone.

I hope you found joy in this trip down memory lane. Please share if you have memories that bring you joy from this time, too!