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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I, Appliance

I remember the year I starting calling myself "Appliance."
It was the year that all of my children were now either in elementary or middle school
I didn't refer to myself with this title to my husband or children; that would have given them ideas.
But in poor-me times, I'd grumbled to myself, "Everybody thinks I'm just an appliance."

It did seem like that for about ten years.
The "appliance" term fit my daily schedule:

"Mom, did you iron my patch onto my AWANA uniform?"
"Mom, I need to bring 3 dozen cookies to the youth picnic tomorrow."
"Mom, he's bothering me!"
"Mom, when's dinner? I'm starving."
"Mom, can you help me write this book report? It's due tomorrow."

And, as a well-oiled appliance, I responded with my own set of pre-programmed questions:
"Did you do your homework?
"What time is your rehearsal?
"Where's the list of supplies you need for your school project?"
"Don't eat that: it's for dinner tonight."
Be quiet up there and go to sleep! Do I need to come upstairs?
"You need to hand this in tomorrow, and you're just starting on it now?!"
"Who ate the last Oreo?"

I, Appliance.

I use to joke to my girlfriends about the "appliance" role I filled at home. They'd laugh and nod their heads in an understanding way.

But then, one day I watched a pair of robins build their nest in the dogwood tree. Back and forth they flew as they brought construction supplies to their chosen spot in the crook of a high-up branch.
Then they took turns incubating the eggs.
Next, the hatchlings cheeped incessantly for their food.
Again, back and forth, and back and forth Mama and Papa flew to hunt for and bring nourishing worms to their brood.
Finally, the maturing chicks stood up on the edge of the nest and flapped their wings in preparation for first flight.

That's what I'd been doing with my own brood. The sleepless nights, the prayers, the getting up with the sun, the long, hectic rushing-about weekdays, the counseling, the disciplining, the sheltering, the protecting, the instructing, discussing, cuddling, nourishing in body and soul...
all in preparation for their first flights.

In retrospect, the "appliance" role makes sense.
My brood was a demanding bunch.
But no more so than helpless chicks nestled in the crook of my dogwood tree.

Now that they've flown away, I miss those child-filled times.
My children—when they were young—taught me a lot about giving without expecting anything in return.
Now that they're older, they love me in ways I could never have imagined.

Have you ever felt like an appliance at your job or in your role as a husband or wife or mother or father?
How has the Lord counseled you?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Col. 3:23-24 NIV Bible)

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