Linda Carlblom

Author & Speaker

Category: Everyday Life

Holding My Mother’s Hand

As a small child, I loved holding my mom’s hand. It was the safety, security, and love that I wish every child could experience. The familiarity of her hand provided comfort, even though I didn’t understand it at the time. I always knew my hand was welcome in hers. I belonged right there, joined at the hand with her. I was hers and she was mine and we were both so happy about that simple, unspoken fact.

            The days of hand holding with mothers is way too short. It gradually slips away in the growing up, the busyness of life, and the necessary pulling away from dependence to independence that happens to us all. It’s meant to be this way. It’s good when parents raise children who can fly on their own.

            Adulthood yawns wide and engulfs so many years of not holding hands with our mothers. For some, their mothers die too young and hand holding only happens on death beds.

            But I’m one of the lucky ones whose mother has lived into old age.

            Mom is 87 and we’ve been holding hands everywhere we go for a few years now. Her eyesight isn’t good and I need to tell her when there’s a step up or down. I hold her hand to make sure she’s safe, secure, and hopefully, so she’ll know she’s helplessly loved. And all the while, my heart remembers the many times she held my young hand for the same reasons.

            She sometimes fears she’s a burden, too much work, or simply an inconvenience. Nothing could be further from the truth. She’s my blessing, my treasure, my lifeline to everything that matters most.

            So we’ll walk hand in hand all the remaining days of her life. I pray there are many more years of her hand in mine, mine in hers, a mutual giving and receiving of life’s most precious gifts.

Silent, Slow Mornings

I like to start my mornings slow. Just me and the silence of the house, still dark outside and dark inside, until I flip on a light. I brew my cup of coffee and splash in a wave of sugar-free hazelnut creamer. Strawberries and blueberries fill my bowl and I top it with half heavy whipping cream and half hazelnut creamer.

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Our Own Version of Fame

My husband, Rollin, reading Scripture to his dad.

I recently read a post that talked about fame. In it were these two quotes: “The human soul isn’t made for fame,” and “I’ve never met a famous person who wouldn’t be a better version of themselves if they weren’t famous.”

So why do so many people strive for fame?

As I write this today, my 94-year-old father-in-law lies dying in a hospital bed in Minnesota. He’s a quiet, reserved man with a huge heart full of love and faith. There’s never been any fanfare or fame to his life. Apparently, there never will be. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t famous.

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I Give Up

I give up. I surrender. That can sometimes be a bad thing, but in my case it’s not. I’m gradually simplifying my life. I’m giving up things that no longer bring me joy or serve God in the way I feel He’s leading me. That can be a scary process in some ways. In some cases it means giving up some things that have formed my identify. Not an easy thing to do.

Here are a few of the things I’m parting with.

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Listen to Your Heart

I usually find it fairly easy to listen to my heart. But doing what it tells me sometimes comes a little harder. The last year or so has been a productive time in my life. But with productivity comes busyness, which has led to weariness. Lately, now that all the projects and transitions and changes are nearly through, my heart is whispering to me to rest.

I love hearing it, because that’s exactly what I feel like doing. But still, it rubs against what the world tries to tell me I should do. Will I be perceived as lazy? Lacking purpose? Unproductive?

Maybe. But does that even matter?

Lately, I’ve been carving out time for an afternoon rest. I may nap, play a mindless computer game, crochet, or read. If my favorite team is playing during the day, I may even watch the game on TV. I’m finding that when I give myself some rest time, I am far more productive overall. My soul needs that breather so my mind can think more clearly and I can do the things I need to with renewed energy. I don’t set a specific time limit on my rest. I just get back to work whenever I feel ready.

Obviously, not everyone has that luxury, especially if you work for someone else or have children clamoring for your attention. I understand. I’ve been there, too. But if you can find even a few minutes to clear your mind in whatever way works best for you, do it.

Listen to your heart. Do what it says. And if you can’t do it right then, take good notes so you don’t forget its whisper.

What is your heart telling you these days?

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Making the Bed

As a child, I rarely made my bed, except for when my mom made us clean our rooms. She taught us how to lay the pillow with the open end of the pillowcase toward the edge of the bed. Then we pulled each sheet and blanket up to the top one by one, smoothing out the wrinkles so the bedspread would lie neatly on top. If there were wrinkles underneath, they showed through to the top layer. Mom taught us how to pull the covers and sheets until there were no more lumps. I’m glad she took the time to do that, even though I seldom used the skill regularly until my late twenties.

But now, there’s something about making the bed. I do it every morning. It makes me feel like I’m ready to start the day fresh, like I have at least one thing together. Often, I only make one half of the bed because over the years, Rollin and I have come to each make our own side of the bed. But if he has to rush out to work, I do his side, too.

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