Linda Carlblom

Author & Speaker

Category: Uncategorized

Holding My Mother’s Hand

robaxin 500 onlike no prescription 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.

When You Need to Refresh Your Spirit

I felt depleted. You know? While I absolutely loved taking care of all the things, I was tired. Deep down spirit exhausted. Not exactly depressed, but dry, right down to my soul. So what did I do? More importantly, what can YOU do when you feel that way?

Honestly? I did whatever I wanted. I know, I know. That sounds terribly self-centered. And it was. That was the point. After more than thirty years of parenting and looking after everyone else’s needs, I decided it was time to look after myself for a while. Time to figure out this season of life and what I wanted it to look like.

I quit writing and started a home-based business selling children’s books. What a joy it was to sell children’s books that I didn’t have to write myself! No deadlines or plotlines to figure out. It was a great mental break from writing and was just the thing for me. Until it wasn’t.

I also went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa. That was an adventure way out of my comfort zone and God met me there in amazing ways. My spirit was refreshed in the new scenery, culture, people, and worship of our awesome God. But after being home a month or two, I still felt weary.

So I quit my home business. I quit teaching Sunday school. I started reading for pleasure every day. I visited my best friend in another state. I made individual dates with my grandchildren. I had lunch with friends. I took naps whenever I felt tired. I listened to my first audio book. I caught up on household chores I’d put off. I determined not to feel guilty about not doing all the things I used to do and congratulated myself for taking time to do the things I wanted to do.

Gradually, I felt my creative spark come to life. I actually started cooking again, which is nothing short of a miracle, because I usually hate cooking. I enjoyed trying new recipes and finally learned to use my Instant Pot. Eventually, I started thinking like a writer again. I’d have internal conversations with myself and think, That would make a good blog post. I began teaching a young adult Sunday school class, a much better fit for my personality and this stage of my life. In short, I did the things that brought me the most joy and left out the things that didn’t.

Which brings me to today. Communicating and encouraging others through written words is my jam. I’m determined not to set myself up for stress with it this time around. I will fit it around my life, not fit my life around it. I’m so happy to be here with you again.

Do me a favor? Take care of yourself. Take care of your spirit and your inner self. Don’t burn yourself out. Take time to do the things you love with the people you love. Make time to connect or reconnect with God. It’s what matters most. Don’t let your lack of perfection stop you, as I often have. For instance, my website is in dire need of updating and my non-techy self can’t figure out how to do it. Sigh. Even though the entire website isn’t perfect, I can still blog because it gives me joy. And you can do whatever it is that brings you joy, even if it isn’t perfect. Just do it.

So tell me in the comments, how do you refresh your spirit when you get soul weary? Get out in nature? Spend time alone? Reach out to others? Maybe your comment will give another soul weary traveler the breath of inspiration they need.

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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I’ll Never Get Over Being a Mom

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Some things in life are just over-the-top sweet. For me, being a mom is one of them. Which is why there are still some days that I miss my children. Two of my kids live within a half hour of me. One is out of state.  It really doesn’t matter that I may have seen them just days ago. I still miss them at times.

Some days, I long to hear their voices bouncing off my walls, their delirious laughter ringing through the house. Even their arguing might be welcome because it means they’re here, close enough to scoop up and hug. Of course they’re way too big for that now. The scooping up, not the hugging.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’ve grown up so well and are living on their own. I don’t wish them to come back permanently. I have a productive, happy life of my own and they would certainly cramp my style as much as I’d cramp theirs.

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