Lost and Found

“Mama.” My son nudged my elbow. “Is this how you spell it?”

My son wearing a Mario shirt sat by the kitchen table, a white sheet of paper and a box of washable crayons set by his side. His feet dangled above the floor.

“Wait just a moment until I finish my work.” I shuffled the rest of my documents inside my tote bag as he scribbled more letters.

“Mama, is this how you spell it?” His voice rose to a high pitch.

I pushed away a strand of hair from his eyes, making a mental note it’s time to visit a hairdresser by the end of the week. “Are you making a new comic book?”

He shrugged it off and brought the paper under my nose.

He asked many questions that morning. Some I let dissipate like a steam in the air. A pang of guilt rushed through me. I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t doing enough. I struggled to adjust to a new schedule. I wanted to do everything, and I wanted things to be perfect.

I tried not to notice my kitchen table cluttered with everything from ScoobyDoo snacks to Dominos. I cleaned it last night to find it the same way the next day. My life was like that, cluttered, signature of my life.

After another stop at school, I drove to the bank. I waited my turn at the drive-through. When it finally came, I pushed the red button.The vacuum sucked the tube with my check inside and returned it with two red lollipops. A young teller smiled behind the glass window. “Hi Ms. Labno. I saw your husband the other day with your sons. They are so precious.” Sweetness in her voice melted my heart like sun rays melted white frost from my lawn that December morning.

Surprised she would remember my husband and my boys, I was even more surprised she would take her time to notice me. I thanked her with a wide smile that stretched from ear to ear.

While unpacking groceries, my eyes caught a poster taped to the wall where everyone could see it. I read the question my son kept on asking me that morning. Have you seen my Mario Toy?

Time stopped as I studied every line drawn by his tiny hand, by my own artist at home. My heart ached. I studied the colors my son picked. Too busy to notice what he was making in front of my own eyes, as if fog clouded my vision, I let it overshadow what’s important.

Carrying extra loads on my back I strived to finish tasks at hand. Things have gone unnoticed. I closed my heart.

Did you lose anything lately? I know I did. Faith. Courage. Self-Esteem. Inner Beauty. Identity. Dreams.

None of these were on my list. Maybe you lost something too. Write one thing you lost and tape it to your wall until you find it in your heart. Make room for what’s important. Open your heart. It’s easy to get lost in daily preparations. Put work aside and look around you.

P.S. For all of you who want to search for a lost Mario Toy, I wanted to let you know it has been found, safe and sound. After “his” rescue, my son jumped up and down. Wheeee!

Last month I literally stepped outside and clipped roses still blooming in November. Crowns of burgundy petals welcomed me. Their green stems as if tainted with red wine pulsed with life and love.

CD WAKACJE 2014 030

It came to pass…

wakacje-glacier 262“Are you proud of me?” my son asked.

I opened my mouth to say something then closed it. Didn’t he feel appreciated? As if not to break an egg, I poked to find out what was choking him. What my son wanted was to be like any other kid, a normal kid.

After his words fell, things became clear to me like a sawn granite when it’s wet—displaying a rainbow of colors. He didn’t get picked by his classmate to join the team of popular kids. As if in pain, he looked down. “I don’t want to be a leftover kid.”

My heart squeezed. I closed my eyes. I was ten years old once again playing volleyball. Afraid to reach for the ball, I stood in the back row of the game and out of the picture, and that’s how I felt inside—total loneliness.

The beginning of each school year can bring a bit of havoc in children’s lives and in our own. Would teachers choose their favorites, picking children like lustrous peaches at the food market?

We won’t know and won’t be there every step of their way.

“You are strong. Do not worry too much,” I said to my son, not wanting these negative feelings to nestle inside his heart.

To brush off worries on our family night and to forget, we picked the Lego Movie.

What a great reminder to us to believe in ourselves and not to believe in people’s judgment.

Just believe in yourself. You are what you believe you are.

Do not forget that through Him you can do all things.

If it feels like you aged ten years in a year counting more wrinkles on your forehead or gray hair, please slow down and reflect.

We have dreams. And our children have them too. No boy wants to be called a slow poke but a racer. Prepare your little racers to go over the hurdles in their lives by knowing Him and trusting Him.

Let them know things will pass…like a race. But a life entrusted in Him won’t pass in a flash of lightning.

I’m a proud Mama. I see my son’s kindness, always volunteering to help the broken ones in this world. His heart is pure gold.

And now, I’m talking to you. If, at the moment, you do not feel your best, use a recipe prescribed by me. Play the Lego Movie and sing the happy song because we’re not walking this road alone.

“Everything Is Awesome.”

 

 

A Polar Bear Hug

For some time now, I envisioned myself in Denali National Park in Alaska. Last year I surfed for information on the web, ordered a vacation planner, and researched where to go, what to see, and how much money I would need for the summer trip in 2014. I was intoxicated with Alaska name on my lips.

But this year isn’t the year. I counted on extra money that never came. And of course, we get surprises. And NOT that kind of surprise that makes you jump up and down, hug someone, or hum a tune of your favorite song. Instead you want to shut the door and hide in your cave. Bills pile like layers of vanilla ice cream with strawberry, whip cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. That cherry might be your high tax bill upon other bills you don’t need.

Do you eat ice cream to melt conflicts like me? I don’t want to waver like a flower that has been sitting in a vase for too long. There is hope.

Next year might be the year.

Unexpected expenses can retreat all of us more than a few steps back. For some things we wait for too long: fixing our cars or getting new crowns at the dentist office. And don’t we plan to remodel our homes? Instead we stare at the same walls, eyes drawing to only a new picture frame on the night table. That’s not much improvement to a home you hoped for…

This year might not be your big year. But you never know what might come your way. It’s okay to hope for wonderful things to happen and live that dream until it comes true.

What if you dream it?

Last night, I visited a polar region and was greeted by an Eskimo woman with a tamed polar bear by her side. Yes, the bear was real. It is worth more than 1,000 words to describe what I felt. Asked if I wanted to be hugged by the bear, I shivered inside weighing fear against excitement. Would the bear rip me into pieces and eat me? But like a child who wants to hold a star in a small palm, I outstretched my arms. Fuzzy and warm inside, I bet I had a smile on my lips, my eyes twitching while I dreamed. I was hugged by a furry polar bear! Even if it comes to me only for a moment and only in my sleep, I will not stop dreaming.

Don’t give up on your dreams.

P.S. God for sure knew what I longed for because He keeps the candle burning. Click on the link below if you want to see me in the Museum of Science and Industry with my furry friends in the background.

polar-bear1.docx

Was God laughing at me?

You don’t know how much I look forward to Thursdays. It’s when my weekend starts. I plan ahead of time what I’m going to do. The list grows long. Not going into details, I clean, do laundry, get my groceries, pay bills, and prepare something warm to eat. I try to hit the gym as well.

What about the books to read and write? I have about six hours to get most of these tasks done before my boys are back. I’m racing against time, always running but getting behind. At this time in my home phone calls or interruptions aren’t allowed.

If you’re wondering, I never reach the end. I get impatient like my six year old during our car rides when he asks a million times, “Are we there yet?”

This morning was no different. After I made beds, packed lunches, prepared breakfast, and made sure my kids looked decent enough, it was time for me to eat something. On other days, I don’t get a chance.

When I picked up a bowl of hot milk from the microwave, my older son without any warning laughed too loud from something he was watching on TV. As the eerie sound reached my ears (I was still sleepy), I dropped the bowl. The bowl landed on the stove. It didn’t break, and I breathed a sigh.

But you guessed it right. The milk spilled everywhere, wetting my yoga pants, the stove, countertops, cabinet doors, and the kitchen floor. Did it have to happen just before I had to get the kids for school? After I yelled, there wasn’t any time to feel sorry for myself.

As I removed my sticky slippers and was careful not to make more footprints, God made sure I woke up this morning. He stopped me in my tracks. Was God laughing at me? I can’t be sure, but my son’s laugh stayed with me through the ride to school.

Later in the day when I finally cleaned the whole mess, the sun beckoned me to lighten up.

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

I remember a Polish saying. It’s about a turkey thinking about the upcoming Sunday, but on Sunday the poor turkey was beheaded.

Yes, do plan but don’t lose your head in the process.

Why do I write stories and read?

Please watch the above video.

Great stories feed me. I wish the same for you. Mary Curry wrote a wonderful post on it. I’m including the link below. But first, please subscribe to my blog.

Thank you and enjoy!

Here is the link. Click on it.

If you would like to find out more, click here.