Ten Blue Eyes

life as we see it


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The Dash

Ten Blue Eyes

April, 2016
This month I will receive my first paycheck in almost 12 years. I started working part-time as a grant writer for a non-profit (FCA.) I’m excited to be able to use writing to help raise money for a ministry that I care about, all while working mostly from home.
 
The decision for me to start working again was not one Kraig and I made lightly. For a dozen years we’ve intentionally chosen for me to stay home full-time with our three kids. Now our youngest will begin Kindergarten this fall and the timing seems good for me to start this job as well as pursue some other opportunities as/if they arise.
 
A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “The Dash” about my thoughts on being a stay-at-home mom and how when a financial planner summarized my contributions to our family with a little…

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Easy Does It.

I appreciated the fact that my eleven-year-old son wanted to help me put the groceries into our van from the shopping cart. What I didn’t like quite as much was when he placed a case of water bottles on top of the loaf of bread. The Sunbeam lady on the bread packaging looked a little shocked as well.

Later in the week, my son sat on a piece of cake.

Granted the cake was not on the table, but had been cut and placed on a “to go” plate and covered with plastic for me by my Mom who was sending it home from a family birthday party. She had placed it on a bench by the door for me to grab on my way out and Karson somehow did not see it when he sat down on the bench to tie his shoes. So he says.

Easy, boy.

As the old saying goes, this is why we can’t have nice things. Or recognizable bread slices.

But, apparently, if covered with plastic, you can have your cake, sit on it, and then eat it too.

—————–

This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday challenge where a one word prompt is given and bloggers take 5 minutes to write about whatever comes to mind based on the prompt. Today’s word: EASY. For more posts by other Five Minute Friday bloggers go to http://katemotaung.com


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Shareholder.

My finger gently tapped on my phone’s screen and scrolled through the content of my Facebook feed. Photos of adorable babies and funny status updates kept me entertained, but I quickly moved my finger and eyes past the other content, “The Shares.”

Article link after link appeared in my feed and it mostly had been put there by users who had not written it themselves, but had pushed the “share” button in order to join in on the cause and commotion. By sharing they became a part of the latest secret and amazing trend.

“Try These 8 Simple Steps That Will Make Your Kids Fall In Love With Brussel Sprouts!”

“She Took A Paper Towel Tube And Transformed Her Kitchen Into The 9th World Wonder!”

“You’ll Never Guess What 5 Common Household Cleaners Lead To Weight Gain. Number 4 Will Shock You!”

I’ve done it too. I’ve shared articles or events that are near and dear to my heart, and in doing so, I’ve felt as if I’m a part of something bigger. As if I’ve joined in on the cause.

But have I really?

It cost me almost nothing, other than a quick click of my mouse or tap of my finger, to share content.

Sharing something makes me a sharer, but not a shareholder.

On the contrary, this past week I joined a group of moms at my son’s elementary school. The fifth graders are going to be performing the Wizard of Oz later this spring and the music teacher asked for volunteers to help with stage construction and design. I put my name on the list. It was a simple task to sign up, but that was just the beginning.

I then was asked to show up.

I sat on the stage in the cafeteria with a large sheet of cardboard and an Exacto knife. I was going to be drawing “Dorothy’s House” and I was cutting the backdrop to fit on the wooden frame on which it would hang.

The cafeteria soon filled with 20 third graders who had come to practice their recorders. They all played a different song at the same time. I was almost paralyzed by the “music.” The school custodian began running the vacuum on the floor about ten feet away from me. The blade on my Exacto knife kept falling off and I felt as if I was coming unglued myself.

Showing up is more difficult (and louder!) than simply pushing share.

But, if I truly believe in something, I hope I’m willing to make an effort to invest my time, talents, and treasure, even when it’s ear piercing, messy, and inconvenient. I want to show up, and become a shareholder.

And maybe invest in some ear plugs along the way.

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This post is a part of Five Minute Friday where a group of bloggers write for approximately five minutes about the same topic based on a one-word prompt. Today’s word: Share. To see more click here: http://katemotaung.com

 

 


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Old News.

I call it the “preemptive strike.” I don’t actually say that term aloud, but I use it in my own head in order to feel like I am in some form of command as a mother. It sounds so official and impressive.

The preemptive strike will look something like this. At bedtime, I will inform my son about what he needs to know the following morning. Listen up, soldier.

“You have a basketball game tomorrow morning at 9:00. We need to leave our house at 8:30. Your uniform is washed and laying on the floor beside your dresser. Make sure you have eaten breakfast and you are in the van by 8:30.”

My son will look me in the eyes and nod his head with a look of apparent understanding. He does not salute me, but I feel the small nod is a good start. All signs point to an agreement between the two of us. Carry on.

Then the following conversation will occur approximately 12 hours later.

“Mom! Where is my basketball uniform?”

“Hey, Mom! What time is my game today?”

“When do we need to leave?”

The preemptive strike has fallen on a dry and barren land and has apparently left no sign of impact.

I smack my head (sometimes quite literally!) and answer his questions while making a mental note to abort all future preemptive missions.

Later in the week, I try a new tactic. I repeat and remind my son of something multiple times in order to give him more opportunities for intake. And then I hear,

“You already told me that. That’s old news.”

Perhaps I should turn in my dog tags.

I am caught between the land of “old news” and the land of “why doesn’t my mom ever tell me what’s going on.”

I’m considering calling a press conference in the morning to complain.

But then again, my son would miss it because he’ll be too busy looking for his basketball uniform.

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This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday challenge, where a group of bloggers write for approximately five minutes after being given a one-word prompt. This week’s word was: News. To see more, click here. http://katemotaung.com

 


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That’s Gonna Leave A Mark

We sat in a circle with Bibles open on our laps and scribbled words on our papers. We’ve been studying the life of Moses and today we discussed that crazy day when Joshua was called to fight the Amalekites and Moses stood on top of a mountain all day holding his staff up in the air.

Weird.

We read about how when Moses lowered the staff, the Amalekites would begin to win, and when he raised the staff up, then his people, the Israelites, would be the victors. The staff was a visual represtentaion of God’s power.

We studied that as the day wore on, Moses’ arms grew weary (who can blame him!) and so he pulled up a rock, took a seat, and had his buddy, Hur, and his brother, Aaron, hold his arms up for him.

I don’t claim to understand how this all worked. Like I said, it’s kind of strange and not something I see every day. Or ever.

But I believe it.

And what’s more, I was struck in our study by the fact that God actually asks Moses to record what happened that day so that Joshua and the rest of the Israelites (and you and me too!) would know about this whole staff and tired arms thing. And even more important than that, so we’d all see how God led His people to victory in a powerful way, like only He could.

Basically, God wanted Moses to be sure to tell the story.

To not let the memory of that day fade with the setting sun.

Poor Moses didn’t have the great tools we have today to do such telling.

He couldn’t tweet:

@EgyptnoMoe Just helped my army win a big battle… but boy are my “armies” sore now!
#punintended #AaronandHuraremywingmen

He couldn’t blog:

Check on my new post “My Triceps are Killing Me but the Amalekites Aren’t” over at http://www.wanderingwildernessramblings.com

He couldn’t even update his status on Facebook:

Check out this group selfie of my bro Aaron, my buddy Hur and me. Long day helping Joshua win a battle. Can’t win ’em all, but we sure won this one! 😉 By the way, this staff sure is something!!

But technology, tools, convenience, or not, God asked Moses to record the events of the day and to pass it down to others.

God asked Moses to tell the story.

I see this theme in Scripture elsewhere. In Deuteronomy, God tells his people to impress God’s laws on their children. To talk about God and his law in their daily lives. To tell the stories of God’s work in their history. To pile a group of stones in a location where God did something and when their kids asked, “Hey Mom, what’s that pile of rocks for?” to tell them the story.

Because when we tell the story, we tell what God has done.

And that’s gonna leave a mark.


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My Father’s Face

It was dark. Our camping trip was well underway and I was snuggled in my sleeping bag with heavy eyes. Granted we’d only gone as far as the backyard, but sleeping in a tent all night was a pretty big deal to my little Kindergarten self.

I tried to stop my brain from having so many thoughts… and I tried to stop my wiggles as well. But I just couldn’t. Sleep wasn’t happening on this hard ground where I could feel the coldness of the earth and hear strange and scary noises.

And then suddenly I knew what do to. I knew what would help me fall asleep at last.

And so I stretched out my little hand.

Beside me lay my father in his sleeping bag. I couldn’t see him but I knew he was there. What I wanted to know was if he was facing me.

Was his face turned toward me?

I felt in the darkness and found his face. I felt his warm nose and forehead and patted his cheeks.

“What are doing?” his whispered voice cut through the darkness.

“Daddy, I just wanted to make sure your face was looking at me. Now I feel safe and I can go to sleep.”

I smiled and slid my arms back into the warmth of my sleeping bag.

I’d found my peace.

My Daddy was looking at me in the darkness. Even if I couldn’t see him, I knew he was there.

Now I rarely lay in a sleeping bag, but sometimes I still have trouble finding sleep. The darkness, the noises, and the unknowns of this earth can keep me awake.

Though I try to calm my anxious thoughts and restless body, I often fail.

But I know what to do.

I reach out again to my Father. The Father who is always beside me and who can provide me with a peace that passes all understanding.

His voice cuts through the darkness.

And I rest assured that He will turn His face toward me.

“The Lord bless you

and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”

Number 6:24-26

 

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A Different Dare

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We walked down the tiled and cold hallway of the mall.  My little daughter’s warm and soft hand was in mine.

Her feet shuffled quickly as she worked to keep up with my stride and her sweet little eyes moved from side to side as she took in our surroundings.

The lights. The mannequins in the windows dressed in strange clothes. The signs. The smells. The noise.

It was all communicating loudly to us without saying a word. It dared us to join in. “These are the things that society says are important.” it was clearly stating.

Wear the trendy clothes. Be relevant. 

Spritz yourself daily with a scent created by someone you admire.

Be thin. No, be skinny.

Fit in with right crowd.

Spend. Spend. Spend.

To thine own self be true.

But, little daughters of mine, I dare you to be different. And I’ve found that being different is even more difficult than trying to be the same as everyone else. 

I hold your hand today, but someday soon you’ll grow up and be gone. And so I want you to hear these things and hold them in your heart.

Wear dignity. Be full of grace. 

Spritz yourself daily with gratitude, for you have been created by the One who admires you.

Be you. Be healthy.

Help those who don’t seem to fit anywhere.

Give. Give. Give.

Be humble and think of others’ needs above your own.

For these are the things that are truly important.

I dare you to be different.

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