Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Beauty of Woman

My husband gave me a gift yesterday- a day of spiritual retreat. It is a practice we've wanted to instill regularly for a long time. We'll take turns, him one month, me the next. So on my day (I only took a morning this month), I went to the Arboretum and spent some time listening and reading. I learned what a sycamore tree looks like, that sassafrass trees have random mitten shaped leaves, and I watched flowers literally turn their budded heads to face the warm sun from under the shade of a tree.

I really didn't know what to expect from this day, so I decided to expect nothing. In the car on the way out, I simply prayed, "Jesus, I just want to hang out with you today. What do you want to do? No agendas. No burning questions for you to answer for me. Just me and you, chillin with the trees and shrubs." He seemed fine with that.

So we walked for a while, around the paths, my Savior and I. I listened. I held my thoughts captive and wondered what my friend, my Lord might want to make of our time together.

I read some CS Lewis and ran across this section on beauty that blew me away. I can't do it justice, but I'll quote one short part. He writes:
"To desire the desiring of her own beauty is the vanity of Lillith, but to desire the enjoying of her own beauty is the obedience of Eve, and to both, it is in the lover that the beloved tastes her own delightfulness." Almost immediately an image of a calm, cool pool of water, completely still, surrounded by trees, came to mind along with the message, "This is you." This is the beauty that is me. It is Him in me- this calm stillness. This is His purpose for me. I am at my best when I am bringing peace. All of the hopes and dreams and joys of my life are connected to this still water in some way. I love to bring peace-
Peace to a college dorm full of girls struggling to find themselves
Peace to a Kenyan man far from home in the form of a meal
Peace to an insecure middle school child
Peace to a tired new mom or dad
Peace to my children after a long day at school
Peace to a missionary in Haiti who runs marathons to feed children
Peace to two little orphaned girls someday
Peace to friends and family who want a place to call home for a while
Peace to a Korean mom who wants to learn English
Peace to a new neighbor or to complete strangers.
I'm not flashy or wild. I'm not the surf crashing on a shore or a majestic Hawaiin waterfall. When I'm at my best, living into who I'm created to be, I'm that still pool that invites you to come, dip your toes, sit a while and feel the presence of my friend Jesus with me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brotherly Love

On Friday nights the boys look forward to switching beds. Its a tradition. They never forget. Last night Micah slept in the spare room, Elijah in Micah's bed and Isaiah in Elijah's bed. Isaiah was having a hard time staying in bed. After several warnings, I moved Isaiah back to his own bed. As I was leaving the room, Isaiah wimpering in the background, Elijah whispered to me, "Mommy, I'm really sad for Isaiah. I think I might cry." I said, "I know, I'm sad for him too, but he knew what would happen if he kept getting out of bed. He can try again next week." Elijah tearfully chokes out, "Next Friday is really kind of far away. Can I let Isaiah have my bed tomorrow night and I'll sleep in his?" Such a sympathetic little guy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Preschool- Isaiah

Isaiah's first day was terrific as expected. He fell asleep on the bus on the way home. A friend from my school looked after my class so that I could come home and put the baby of the family on the bus with Eric. The highlights of school, according to Isaiah, are that he gets to eat pizza and chicken nuggets for lunch every day (2 days of school so far). He also loves the "Quiet Place" station in his classroom. It is a little tent with a sleeping bag and stuffed animals inside.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Me to Isaiah at bedtime tonight: "Good night sweet-pea."
Pause from Zay and a grin as he replies: "Good night mac and cheese."
He keeps a smile on our faces with his quick witty responses and reactions. I was reminded today from a sermon I listened to that every ounce of joy, grace, and love we experience is a gift. So, thank you Lord for the gift of Isaiah tonight.
He's holding up his favorite PJs in the picture- blue checked boxers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Micah's First Day

No problem! Kindergarten is a walk in the park for this middle child. He shrugs it all off with ease. Even after 20 questions about what it was like, what he did, who he sat with, what he learned etc., almost every answer was something similar to, "Good. Just stuff." I haven't downloaded pictures yet so we'll post one with Isaiah's first day pics next week. Micah was excited to sit with our neighbor friend on his bus, and he didn't seem to have any bad experiences, so I guess that's a good first week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Elijah's First Day

Elijah is officially a second grader. He had a great first day. He came home excited about compost, pumpkin seeds and Mr. Madill. We are all thanking the Lord for a science lesson on the first day (his favorite subject), a teacher that made him laugh, a friend (thanks Shawn) who sat with him on the bus, no homework, and no difficulties that we're aware of. Thank you friends and family for your prayers for him. He seemed calm and confident- miraculous indeed.

Micah's first day is tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

My first day with students was today and it went well. I wish I could share details but alas confidentiality is an issue. I'll just share that I have 2 very easy classes, 1 moderately difficult class and 1 class that will require all of my patience and more toughness than I've been accustomed to showing over the past 2 years.

Off to day two tomorrow!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

At the Heartbeat

I don't have any affiliation with this church, but Jeremiah posted this promo on his blog, and I had to respond. It makes my heart pitter pat. It brings a lump to my throat and makes me want to stand up and cheer, YES! They nailed it. This is at the heart of what I want in a church, in my church, in THE church. So many of us want this. Then the more rational me takes over. What are the implications? What sacred cows get tipped? Should we be concerned?

I want to say, Heck No! Go. do. be! But I do want to be prepared to avoid a pendulum swing that can, and often does swing off course in the opposite direction when momumental change takes place. And many people think we are on the cusp of monumental church change in our generation. So what prevents people (us) from being the church 7 days a week traditionally, and what does it look like when this "ideation" goes bad or good for that matter? I don't know. But its worth finding out.

Elijah's Prayer tonight

God thank you for daytime and dark
Thank you for old days and new days
Thank you for rainy days and sunny days
Thank you for birds that fly
Thank you for animals that I can pet
Thank you for stars and the moon
Thank you for my brothers
Thank you for the Bible

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.