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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#call

While I've not kept up with actually finding photos for the rethink Lent photo a day project,  I've still enjoyed it.  Those daily words have been a great way for me to focus in and think about my world.  Every morning I receive a reminder about the word of the day along with a bit of writing to kickstart my thinking.   Sometimes those emails spoke right to me and sometimes they were lovely words but my heart was moved in another direction.  Today's word is call.  Today's writing seems etched on my heart.....

True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as “the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need.”

Reading that makes me weak in the knees 

I was meant to be a teacher. I love it.  Helping kids is my call and it is such a privilege.   Above all else being an excellent teacher means having the trust and love of your students.  Sure there are other key strengths needed but it all hinges on trust and love.  The only way I know how to do that is to first earn trust and give love to every child I interact with. Do you know how much fun that is?  Right now my call has taken me to one of the hardest spots I've ever been and it is truly the place my deep gladness meets the world's deep need.  

I was also meant to be mom to three amazing girls.


#call

I will never do a more important job than raising them.  Nothing.  The world needs me to raise these girls well.  To fill them up with love and strength and faith enough to kick some butt out there.  And by that I mean do whatever it is they find themselves called to do and to do it well.   I'm expecting amazing things.  
Just  this afternoon I found myself at the park with a 4 year old puking all over me.  All. Over.  From my sweater to my shoes.  I had to drive home with my head out the window as to avoid breathing in too much of the smell and gagging.  These are the kinds of things moms do.  They hold you close and pat your back while you're puking up lunch.  They tell you everything is ok even though they have no Earthly idea of how to get you home without getting vomit everywhere.   That's just how it works. This afternoon as I was sloshing back to the car and getting our poor sick girl buckled in I thought, this is so horrible but I'm so thankful I'm the one who is here.  And amazing things are coming, right?   Knowing our call doesn't make the job easy but it sure makes the heart full.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Whoosh!

How can it be?  Spring Break is coming to a close. 

A few highlights:


A trip to the Compassion Project Exhibit was a good way to start the break.  I've thought back to what we experienced many times over the last couple of weeks.  We take so much of our daily lives for granted. 


We had a quick visit with some great aunts!


We had a wonderful trip to Chicago!


My 39th birthday was a HUGE success!
Three of my dinner dates.  Love!!!


We then enjoyed a trip to Columbia and wrapped up the girls' week off with a weekend at home.  

Then, after all that fun I had another break!  
My school had spring break this week and so I- 

had multiple coffee dates
got a massage
RAN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!
volunteered at the girls' school
went to Target 
cleaned a lot
 did a lot of laundry
and baked!

And then today while it was still dark and snowy outside Lucy and I  nervously went to the hospital for a small surgical procedure for Lucy.   One of her ear tubes was stuck and it had to be removed.  Which meant anesthesia and a little ouchie.   She was a champ and the nurses were in love with her.


In other amazing medical news MY UNCLE BEN.  He's pretty amazing.  Last week he had a heart attack.   He had quintuple bypass surgery a week ago tomorrow and he's already recovering like a champ.  He's one of my favorite people and I'm so thankful for his recovery.  


What a reminder to get your cholesterol checked and think about cutting back on meat and other animal products.  Plus exercise! And maybe even watch Forks over Knives while you're at it.





Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Break and #practice

Whoppee, we made it to Spring Break!  We have a few things planned but have plenty of time to relax too.  

Today's Lenten reflection was the word PRACTICE.  
Grace, love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness.  
There's a lot of practice that I should be doing.  I do better some days than others. 
There is one practice though which makes all the others a little easier.   
Prayer.
When I make the time to pray, when I ask God to show up-- He does.  My day doesn't suddenly become easy.  Oh no, it's not free of irritating squabbles between kids, or mundane chores that have to  be tackled, or sad stories that make no sense.  That stuff still hangs around.  But I'm different.  Less ready to add fuel and more prepared to offer peace or at least to just be still and offer grace.

#practice

Oranges?  Yes, oranges. 
 Lucy took this picture yesterday while we did some grocery shopping.  We were trying to make the very best of the hour between her pick up from school and the girls' early release from school.  Which meant a trip to the store during what would usually be LUNCH!  It could have been a disaster...hungry Lucy doing an undesirable chore.  Instead, I handed Lucy my phone to document the trip.  It took a little longer but it was time well spent. 
Before the trip I took some time (while scrubbing floors, changing sheets and conquering laundry) for prayer and the peace I gained paid off in silly but very true way.  
While shopping I got a couple of not so nice looks from really incredibly important, much busier than the rest of the world shoppers who must not like kids with cameras.  Trust me we weren't in anyone's way and to the benefit of every single shopper our trip was meltdown free.
But those looks hurt.
The feelings those looks create can seep into your heart and make grace, love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness impossible.
Instead a hardened heart spreads distrust, coldness, cynicism and ridicule.  
  Prayer puts me in a place of peace and releases me from fear. 
 I fear judgement.
Even from a total stranger at Trader Joe's.  
Dumb but true.
I know I have too many good things to accomplish to be held down by the fleeting judgmental thoughts of somebody I don't even know.
Prayer saves me.
All the time.








Monday, March 9, 2015

#sabbath

#sabbath

  This season of our lives makes a Sunday without work or other obligations seem impossible.  I try to make our everyday lives as calm and peaceful and NOT overpacked with outside stuff as possible. This makes us choosy about what we say yes to but in turn makes everything we do say yes to worth it!     I find that by making sure my whole family is rested and focused we make better decisions about how to spend our future time, which leads to us spending our time in ways that reflect where we want to grow.  
So no we don't have a whole day devoted to rest and reflection ( my wheels are turning right now about how on earth we might be able to do a sabbath a month?  a season? the possibilities!) but I think for now making sure that our lives have time every day for rest and reflection works.






Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#near and #poor


Are there fairies in the multiverse?
#near #poor
Stephane Bidouze/iStockphotoNear and Poor.The last two days of the Lenten Reflection project have given me words that are so incredibly easy to document that they are hard.    Insensitive.  Pandering.  Obvious.  I wasn't really even looking for a way to document them.  Until I read this article at NPR titled "Do Fairies Live in the Multiverse" and I realized this was what I wanted to share.  
When Emma was in first grade she was obsessed with fairies.  She read every fairy book she could, created fairy houses, wrote fairy stories and was convinced fairies existed.  School was a struggle that year.  Tears, frustration and anger were commonly part of our days.   Emma's passion for fairies was an oasis in an otherwise barren year.  Somewhere along the way her class studied non-fiction writing and Emma chose to write a non-fiction piece on fairies.  She understood well what non-fiction meant.  She was just that convinced that fairies existed.  Her teacher didn't understand.  Not at all.  Which was no surprise.  
Emma still wrote her non-fiction fairies book and it was awesome. 
Which is why when today I read this...
Little, fabulous, flying entities capable of magical deeds that defy what we think reasonable in this world may exist, but we couldn't confirm this directly, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.
 I couldn't help but beam and feel a sense of hope, hope that sometimes feels as though it's dwindling at a quickening pace. Emma is and has always been far wiser than so many #poor people who refuse to believe in what they cannot prove.   In our hope and belief God is #near.  Today I'm clinging to the belief that "magical deeds that defy what we think reasonable in this world"exist.

Monday, March 2, 2015

#bless

                                         This morning my daily Rethink Lenten email included this....
Here’s a prayer to begin, or even close your day, by Donna Schaper:
Let us find the sacred deep within the ordinary, in the sweetness in our coffee and the bread on our table. Let us never miss a chance to praise what is good—and let the rest go by. Amen. 
I love this message and continue to be certain that an awareness of our ordinary blessings is directly related to our sense of peace and joy and in turn our ability to serve others well.
#bless
My children bless me daily in a number of ways.  They remind me that an ordinary life is a true blessing.  Lucy loves an ordinary day and eeks out as much joy from each one as she possibly can.  Like a picnic  when it's 25 degrees outside.  Praise what is good.