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Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Difference Does it Make?

I was sitting on my couch the other day, staring at the wall.  For lent we have added another screen free day in our home.  That is a total of 3 days where we turn off all screens.  This is intended for the boys, but we go along with it.  I mostly go along with it, except when I sneak into the bathroom where my phone is hidden so I can lock the door and check social media and peruse any other pointless hobbies I have or decide to take up.
After an hour or so I went back to my spot on the couch  and continue my deep contemplation about life.  I really cannot give justice to the chaos that surrounds me.  It involves high levels of noise, swords, tattling and nudity, and that is just Don.
In my bathroom solace I had just read about a woman who has gone all over the world teaching the importance of sustainable living. She was at least 5...ok 10 years younger than me.  She is making a huge difference in the world.   And she documents it all on Facebook and Twitter...and Instagram so the proof will outlive her.
Ask any graduate and they will say their goal in life is to make a difference. Nobody really has a clue at how they are going to achieve this, but most everyone would agree that they hope to leave some kind of mark.  I had those same dreams too.
Besides writing, I have a job.  By all accounts, a great job, I should be thankful for. I enjoy it. Is is making a difference? Nope.  I do my work, I come home, do laundry, make lunches, clean, clean some more and go to bed. Only to repeat the exact same thing the next day and the day after that.  Then one day I wake up and  find myself staring at a wall and wondering how I arrived at this point. And what ever happened to making a difference?
At that point my oldest came in and sat next to me because he is avoiding the dishes.  "What are you doing?" He asked. "I'm staring at the wall".  He didn't ask why or even seem bothered by my lack of purpose. Dishes sounded more entertaining so he left and went to the kitchen.
 Parker is my oldest and his birthday is coming up soon.  He loves to hear the story of his birth. Like a worn out recording,  I tell him the same story.
At 3:00 a.m. on March 25, 2003 you came into this world and in that exact moment, I became a mom.  At 2: 59 a.m. I didn't have a clue and thought I knew love, but when I saw you, I knew I wasn't even close.  In an instant I could see you not as a baby, but as a boy, then a teen, growing into a man. It's hard to explain, but I didn't just see you, I saw the whole world.

He never asks what I mean by that, he just accepts it.  And I'm glad because when I said it, I didn't even know what I meant.  When I look into any of my son's eyes I see everything.  All that has happened in history that lead to their existence,  I can see God and I see infinite possibilities.

What difference am I going to make in the world?  My difference will be made through my children.
 I won't see my name in lights, I won't receive the Nobel Peace Prize, I won't be the first United States female president, and I won't find a cure for Cancer. My contribution will live, not on social media, but live on through out time. And some day when my son meets his first child, he will finally understand what I meant when I said I could see the world.


  1. We all leave a mark in this world, or a "dent" as Steve Jobs called it. We want it to count for something. We want to change something. We hope that there will be a sign that we existed for awhile on this earth.

    I think some of the most amazing contributions aren't the ones that get headlines or prizes or awards. I think the most amazing ones are where we understood what God made us for, embraced it, and left that mark in the heart of a little boy who will never forget it, even if they can't explain it until that day they look into the eyes of another little one. It's a miracle to live at all; it's a powerful one when we love someone like that. BowChicaBow!

  2. Herb you words are beautiful and true. Thank you!

  3. Dear Noelle: You probably have no idea how much you have changed the world already. You, Don and your children are shaping the lives of many people. And all in a positive way. Soon you will be meeting others who will influence your writing skills. You have the talents to express your thoughts to others in special ways. Your potential is limitless. Love you, Dad