a collection of steps

Archive for the ‘Moms’ Category

Little Ones to Him Belong

In Children, Christ, God, Jesus, kids, love, Moms on July 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

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Facebook is great for photos.  Scrolling through scores of baby and toddler pictures of my friend’s kids is so heartwarming, and now that I am a grandmother, it’s even more so.

Even though I now live only 15 minutes away from my grandson, I still find myself flipping through all the pictures I can find of him when I’m at home (and there are hundreds!).  You can’t blame me, have you seen his precious face?

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Sometimes when I look in his eyes I feel like I  can see the very face of God.  I see peace, love, grace, mercy and most of all – hope.  I see innocence in its purest form and I marvel.  How could any human being look into the eyes of a child and not see God?

I’m reading through the book of Matthew in my Bible this month and came to the part where Jesus pulled a child over to his side as a visual aid to teach his disciples on the value of human life.  He used story to illustrate how deep his Father’s love is for lost souls, it’s the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:10 – 14.  I’ve read it many times, but what caught my attention this time was verse 10, which almost seems out of context.

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

I’ve been absorbing that verse for a week now and as it sinks into my spirit, I realize that I really do see God’s face when I look in the eyes of my grandbaby boy.  And, as sweet as it is to know that his personal angel whose job it is to guard his life looks directly into the face of his Creator, Jesus delivers a stern warning – be careful how you treat these precious ones!

Lord, help me to always watch the things I say, my body language and my actions toward Your little ones – not just babies or children, but those who belong to You no matter their age here on earth.

Having Kids

In books, Children, kids, Moms, plots, publishing, Writing on May 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Having children doesn’t always involve diapers and new mommies don’t always have kids.  Sounds like I’m heading into a metaphor, doesn’t it?  You got me.

To an empty-nester like me, motherhood is all about birthing books.

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Of course conception is the most fun.  A thought, an idea or a dream plays around in your mind pretending to be plots and titles, scenes and scenarios. But until one germinates it is just fantasy.

Writers, who entertain such titillation without a commitment to capture those thoughts on paper, or to develop them into publishable means, exist with the frustration and disappointment of a dreamer.

For years, my writing life was just that – until I got tired of staring at books and imagining my name on their spines.

I had become disgusted with my non-committal attitude toward my craft and exhausted by day dreams. Since my teen years, when a word winked at me or a phrase whispered in my ear, I, the willing prisoner, would stick my hands in the air and cry, Ok!  I give up! I had no clue how to arrest the wild onslaught of creative energy.

Instead, I’d be carried away captive and existed in a cell of false belief that someday I would just morph into an author.  I still have stacks of nothing books stuffed with unfertilized seeds – tales that will never be told.

When I finally got busy learning my craft and taking it seriously, I still had to fight off the temptation to sit and dream. I’d often get lost in thoughts of standing in a bookstore, reaching for my offspring, bound and stamped with my name, flipping through the leaves of the work of my days.  I’d imagine the feel of its cover in my fingertips, squeezing it and stroking its letters in unbelief, thinking, did I give birth to this beautiful child?

The other fight I encountered by choosing self-discipline was the work itself. Give me the baby all bathed and wrapped in soft a cuddly blanket, resting contentedly in my arms and everyone around me saying, “What a beautiful baby!”  Yes!  That’s what I want!  To drive to the bookstore, walk to the shelf and just pull my book off and see it complete, bound forever in its own identity.  Forget the labor!

Then a fear emerged. What will I do when my child is grown and gone?  How do I send my book off into the world wrapped in a box only to arrive at some publishing house where it may be shelved or thrown away, unread, unopened?  How do I cope with the thrill and pain of watching it be read, then hearing all about its flaws and reasons why it’s not good enough to print – to be cut down, edited, critiqued and rejected by strangers?  My precious child, of whom I labored day and night to create, I’d rather not give birth to you than to send you into a world so cruel and watch your life be so treated!

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The 'Novel Vigilante'

Enough drama; authors become authors because they birth books. Authors become Moms when they raise books.  And so I must engage in the shameless self-promotion of my first child.  My novel, The ‘Novel Vigilante’ will be published later this month!  Come see all my ‘kids’ at www.ccsemick.com.

Like Mom, Like Me

In career, Children, Moms, office on May 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Mom drifted off to sleep long before bedtime most weeknights. As a child I remember how she got up early every day, dressed up real nice and went to work. My brother and I got home before she did, and when she arrived she wasn’t up for much conversation.

Paperwork Overload

One day Mom told me she could use some help at her office, something about a machine that folds letters and stuffs them into envelopes going haywire; it folded hundreds of letters the wrong way.

I was thrilled to go to work with her.  She was the Office Manager at a Christian magazine and it was cool seeing her orchestrate the circulation department. The day I sat in the office with her to refold all those letters and stuff them in envelops was the day I got the bug.

Not sure if that’s the right word for it – some days I would call it the disease, but whatever it was I got it. Now, I get up early, dress up as nice as I can and work in an office!

I’m not saying I dreamt of becoming an office professional, I didn’t. It just got into my DNA that day and now the mundane, monotonous tasks that so many loathe, I love.

I was only 12 when I sat at that desk in my Mom’s office, but I was old enough to understand that she and her staff were indispensible and could never be replaced by machines.

As a 20-year veteran in the administrative profession, I now know why Mom was so exhausted when she came home.  I fully respect her efforts and endurance in a career that without question can try the very soul of the most stable personalities.

One must possess incredible patience and skill to sit behind a desk all day, magically complete their tasks and dodge bullets of gossip, condescension and backstabbing – not to mention staying clear of dueling egos. The workload alone is not for the faint-hearted.

Mom is now retired from the office world and I’m still plugging away at piles of paperwork – though my office is wherever I want it to be – as long as I have my laptop and a strong Wi-Fi signal.  Technology aside, the work is still the same, and still rewarding.

Sometimes I wonder how I can be so much like her in that respect and yet so different. She could cook circles around me in the kitchen and had a wonderful flair for decorating and entertaining.  I’d rather be at my computer plucking away at these keys, cooking up stories, and entertaining readers. ‘To each his own,’ as they say.

I love my Mom. She is kind, thoughtful and generous. And, while I’m proud that I share her skill set professionally, I’m still working to earn the profitable wages of a life lived with a mother’s heart.