Thursday, September 29, 2016
That thought came up after I found myself explaining to my son about atmospheric pressure. 2 things: 1) he doesn't really need to know that, and 2) I don't even know what I'm talking about when it comes to atmospheric pressure, ha! But ... really? In my defense, I was just talking. And some day maybe it will be important for him to know about that stuff. But right now... what's most helpful for a toddler to learn about the rain? That it gets him wet. That if he stays wet he can get cold and sick. That when it rains hard we come inside. That playing in the rain is fun, but we have to dry off afterwards. That rain is good because it makes the plants grow. There's so much more to know about rain, scientifically, but ... he doesn't need to know it, and most of it he probably won't ever have to know.
That's not to say that if he wants to know, that I won't try to teach him or encourage him by finding somewhere that he can learn about it. But ultimately, if I get distracted trying to teach things that aren't APPLICABLE to his life, or COMPREHENSIBLE to where he is at developmentally, then he won't learn the things - and even if he does, they won't mean a thing to him.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
|Not a very good selfie, but D looks cute.|
|The view from our front step|
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
- What will you do to create an element of need?
- What will you do to connect Spanish to your interests?
- What things that little kids do can you do more, to help you better learn Spanish?
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Saturday, July 2, 2016
I have a thing about hawks. For years, it seems that I've been seeing them on the road at moments when I'm down. When I see the hawk, I am reminded of how God watches over me and I feel encouraged. It's kinda weird and I'm wary about falling into being superstitious about stuff like this, but I feel lifted up in those moments. I've come to the conclusion that God uses little experiences like this to encourage and lift me up when I need to have my faith bolstered.
Today I was driving home from visiting family and thinking about heaven. I was feeling grateful that my future is secure. I was thinking about how I want my friends and family there with me. Then, there was a sudden feeling of doubt as I imagined a future where we just drift off to sleep, and then emptiness. A sad darkness. I had stayed in that emotional spot for only a few seconds before I saw to my right the wide and beautiful wingspan of a hawk alight on a very close speed limit sign, tucking its wings around itself just as I'm passing the sign. Its head seems tilted towards me as I drive past.
The words that come to my mind are, He will wrap you in the shelter of his wings. It's amazing to me how often experiences like this happen. Some people may attribute these moments to coincidence, but I recognize it as God speaking to me.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
I'm thankful for this encouragement!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
(I was tired. I did it anyway. I feel the muscles stretch and pull, and I know that tomorrow they will be stronger.)
A refreshing relief when my toddler throws a tantrum and I don't throw one back at him.
(I was angry, but I acted calm. A training in calmness. And now I am calm, and blissfully, so is he.)
The clearness and focus, the slight pause as time slowed down, because I simply left my phone out of reach.
(A compulsion resisted. Attention given elsewhere; instead of my husband or my child searching for my eye and not catching it, I caught theirs first.)
How quickly my fingers move over the piano keys, a song that yesterday I stumbled over, but today the notes have sunk into my skin.
(Perseverance in discipline ... I rebel against it ... and I love the lesson that playing the piano teaches me.)
Reflecting over a morning of activity, but also of slowness -
(I didn't want to do the laundry, but I did -)
I had a cup of coffee, even a cookie too -
(but not seven of them -)
I took a break to look my son in the eyes, to play games with him, to talk with him,
to do something that my husband asked me to,
to do something that I've been meaning to do for myself,
something for others, too ...
And it feels good, knowing that although not everything on the to-do list is done,
What should be done is done.
And what can wait, is waiting.
How easily I forget the things that are beautiful and bring me peace.
These are things that feel good (when tiredness, anxiety or depression make me think that they don't).
These are my things.
Friday, May 1, 2015
"But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him." 2 Samuel 14:14
This is one of my favorite verses from the Bible. That's kind of a big thing to say, because there are so many verses that I love. Right now, though, this one is one of my favorites. I saw it yesterday and was touched by it, and am even more touched by it right now as I sit in a moment where I could easily feel dismayed, like God took something away from me. That's not the way it is, though. God does not take away life. God's kindness is the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever.
God's kindness is no different this morning. My son woke up making some happy noises. That was a special blessing, because nine out of 10 mornings he cries for me when he wakes up. This morning, though, I was able to sneak down there and give him some big smiles while he played peekaboo looking up at me from under his blanket. I'm going to give him some extra cuddles today. It's funny the choices that a morning like this entails. I usually just put him in the first clean clothes I can grab. This morning, though, when I looked at the bright red pants that I held in my hands, I thought, "No, not today." Grey and denim are probably better choices.
My first miscarriage happened on New Year's Day, 2013. Maybe the most painful thing that I heard when mourning the loss was, "So you got your period, then. I guess you weren't pregnant." I know this was not meant to be painful. It was just processing the information. But it still hurt.
See, after that positive pregnancy test, it's hard to see your menstrual flow as ... a period. A period sheds the uterine lining that was preparing to house a little baby, so that it can get ready to do it again. It's like the uterus puts on a baby blanket, and then takes it off, only to put it back on for the next little one. A miscarriage, even an early one, is shedding the baby along with the blanket that it was meant for. Getting your period after a positive pregnancy test doesn't mean you weren't pregnant.
When I asked my husband how he felt about telling family, he said, "Let's wait until we're sure." My insides had twisted a little at his statement, even though it was meant with kindness. "I'm unhappy with those words," I told him, and I compulsively added as I remembered what others had said, "A positive pregnancy test is pretty sure. If I'm not pregnant in a few weeks it doesn't mean that I'm not pregnant now."
I understand why people wait to announce that they're pregnant.
But on the other hand, I also wonder about why they wait. Mourning in a vacuum is different between mourning with people that know and love you. Why keep a pregnancy a secret? If you experience an early miscarriage, what then? Hide your sadness and your sorrow from others? Hide it from God? I chose to share the results of my test with a few people that would understand and encourage me in the case of pregnancy loss, and this morning I feel surrounded by love knowing that these loved ones are praying for me and thinking about me.
"But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him."
I had it on my to-do list to write a summary of the amazing lesson that a friend gave yesterday morning at Bible study, where the context of the above quote was fleshed out in compelling detail. And yet, as I'm writing this I feel that for the moment, I need to shift my focus to a specific lesson that she spoke on. She spoke about lament.
"Biblical lament," Michelle said, "is the process of bringing our sorrow to God, and admitting our sense that something is wrong with the world and with our hearts." She called it a stepping forward in faith, an effective spiritual practice, a healer of wounds. A place where you don't need to seek answers, seek solutions, seek a path forward.
A place to sit, and rest in the knowledge that despite the brokenness in the world, and despite the brokenness in our own selves, God continues loving us.
And that's it, really. I'm sad right now. I'm sad about what I'm in the process of losing, but I wanted to explain more what I mean when I say that even now, God's kindness is still the same. I see God's kindness in my son's cheerfulness, in the love my friends have shown me, in my husband sitting with me and mourning with me. But even in seeing that kindness, I'm not ready to move on right now. I'll play with my son, make a nice lunch and dinner, go for a walk ... but all of these things will have a different character today. I'm lingering in my heart today.
Tomorrow will come when it comes, and with it God's kindness will continue to also. But for now, I will bring my sadness to Him.