Friday, February 21, 2014

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day of Beauty

Some days, the amazing gifts of an awesome God just overwhelm.

Majestic oak, wearing fall leaves...
Intricate wooly worm...
Wonder in little eyes...
History preserved beautifully...
Tiny flowers nearly hidden...
Warm light and shadows...
Sunshine, breaking through clouds lighting the way...
Rainbows, would you believe there were nine different ones to brighten our way home...
Down a winding country road dressed for the season...

And a sunset reflecting on clouds...

 

A day of joy, gifts of beauty counted in photos.

 
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rest

So very hard to slow down, I found myself parked on the comfy chair with some embroidery last Saturday. Allergies kicking, I was too dizzy for my usual busy bee routine. So, I sat. I sipped hot tea. I finally finished the embroidered pillowcases I started a year and a half ago...

I rested.

It's hard to rest when you are the momma. The laundry doesn't stop, and the bathrooms don't clean themselves. Folks just have to eat...

Today, I rested again... Just in a different way.

A hissing tire with a screw sticking out... Warning light lit on the dashboard...

Sidelined from the busy by a flat tire.

Happily, it all happened in front of a favorite country store where they sell bulk baking goods, lunch meats and cheeses, and candy. A store with a wide front porch and a rocker that was just made for a gal like me...

YooHoos all around, the kids parked it on a bench while I called my handsome honey to come rescue me. He has to do that a lot...

He was riding with our youngest in the combine with my baby (bigger than me) brother. Knowing it would be a while, I told the kids we'd just have to enjoy the break. They looked at me like I had two heads.

They paced and kept going to the car to check and see if the tire was still leaking air. Inconvenienced. Frustrated.

I rocked and watched the old pick up trucks driving by. Strangers offered help. Folks I know called me to offer to help after I joked on Facebook about being stranded at my favorite store. One relative just jumped in his truck with his two girls and came to help.

My knight made it, my Sammy asleep in the car seat beside him.

Men folks got busy. I got out my camera...

My big boy helped change his first tire. He says there's no need to call Daddy next time. He's got it under control.

 
Inconvenience became a blessing.

A flat tire, an opportunity to rest in the love of others.

And I rested. Unhurried and feeling utterly loved by the folks who helped or offered hands. Resting in the love of family and community, glimpsing a reflection of a greater Love.


 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Opening New Doors

The girl had always wanted to be a teacher. Mrs. Kramer's kindergarten class had helped her determine that much. She knew how great teachers could be, how much they could do in the life of their students. So, she worked hard to achieve her dream of a cute little classroom in a small town school.

So when she pulled into the parking lot, she felt very unsure of herself, unsure of where her dream, where God, was taking her. The fence with barbed wire at the top was so different from the pastoral fences of her home. This fence surrounding the school in the city was meant for keeping people out, not keeping a herd in the field. She sat in her car, so uncertain, considering going back home.

Determined not to be rude, she summoned the strength to go inside for the interview. The door was just across the parking lot. Surely, she could do this. But as she reached the door, she found it locked, stuck firm. A naive country girl, she had never seen magnetic door locks. She had never "buzzed" to get into any door before. Again, she questioned the wisdom of interviewing at such a school in the midst of this city landscape. She pressed on, pushing the button near the door. Surely, she could get through this interview.

With no intention of anything more than practicing her interview skills, she walked into the old building to find the office. The principal, a kind faced woman, met her in the office. Such a contrast from the sober faces at the other schools, the girl was taken off guard. Rather than grilling her with the typical questions, the principal took her into the school and shared it's history and stories of the children who found their way there each morning.


The girl's heart was softened. As they toured the open classroom of the fourth grade, a dingy room with few comforts, the girl knew. This was a place, where by bravely stepping out of her own dream and her own comfort, she might be able to make a beautiful world for these twenty children.



So, she accepted the offer to teach. She took very little pay to drive into the unsafe places of the city and teach these children who stole her heart before she even met them. She spent the summer cleaning the dirty room and adding as many comforts as she could afford. She was preparing for those faces she couldn't wait to meet. Anticipation mixed with anxiety, the children lined up in their uniforms in the front parking lot. She smiled.

She loved them. She taught them. She spent her hours thinking of them, doing for them, pouring herself into that little class of sweet little hearts. When the year ended and they advanced to the next grade, she went with them. They grew to become a family of learners together. She cried great tears as they left at the end of that second year. She loved them so.

A new chapter opened in her life. A story of her own family and the birth of a daughter brought her home. Her love for those children sent them birthday cards and kept them always in her prayers. She hoped they knew how very much she cared... How much she still cares.

Those children are in their early twenties now, the teacher-girl is me. And my heart is still full of love for those sweet little hearts.

I still hear from most of them. They write to me. Once, it was in letters. Now, they message me on facebook. They can't know how much that means to me, how proud I am of them.

What a privilege they have given me! I am seeing them as they open strange new doors of their own, the doors of adulthood. Oh, how I wish I could meet them back in our little classroom and share with them a few bits of knowledge and advice, hope and love.

If I could, I would tell them these things. Many, the same lessons I tried so hard to teach them in years past...

  • Make good choices. As you open these new doors in your life, you have a great opportunity to make a great life. Choose the right doors. Spend your time on things that will make life better for you, your family, and the community. Live life well. Minimize regrets by choosing wisely.
  • Listen to wisdom. No need to navigate this crazy world alone. There are good people who have been there and done that. Find them. Seek them out. Listen to them.
  • Be kind to others. You are grown up now. It's time I tell you why this rule is so important. You see, this world is so very full of sin. Sin is more than just something that is "naughty." You see, sin is something that causes harm. All of us have been touched by sin. All of us have been hurt. Some of us have been called hurtful names. Some of us have not been given the love we should have. Some of us have lost those most precious to us and have grief. Some of us have been hurt in unspeakable ways. We are all wounded, even if you can't see it. So, be kind. Be gentle.
  • Be brave, courageous!
    Try new things, even the scary things! If it doesn't work out, get back up and try something else. Don't be afraid to try new things.
  • Always do you very best work. Remember this rule? It was a favorite of mine. Don't be afraid to work hard. It won't hurt you. And to be honest, it feels good to do a job well. Doesn't it?!
  • There is a good God who loves you. So seek him out. I know there are folks who don't believe this. I also know there are folks who teach all sorts of things about him that are questionable (at best). So, go to the source. Talk to Him. Read His words. Find out for yourself. Do the research. You are smart enough to figure these things out on your own, so do it. Your life will be richer for having taken on this challenge.
And my darling kiddos... I love ya! I'm proud of you.

Come visit me, you hear!

Mrs. S.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homeschool Art

There is classical music playing in our basement, today. Paint, spilled out onto old container lids, being daubed with Q-tips onto an elaborate coloring sheet (found via Pinterest). The artist, would he feel honored by our study of his work?

I don't remember learning very much about great works of art or artists until high school. It amazes me to see my children enjoying this, this art appreciation. Quite a departure from our standard coloring sheets, they work and continue to glance back to my college art appreciation textbook. They focus. They remark on the details I don't expect them to notice. Painstakingly, they work.

This, is homeschooling.

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting Silly

Growing up is overrated. Isn't it?
And getting silly with the kids.
It does a momma's heart so much good!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Unexpected Lesson

Some of our best homeschool lessons are the ones unplanned. The ones we find along the way, sparking interest.

Today was to be a lesson about trees. I had a plan...

But on our way to watch the workers who are fixing the road that runs near our house, the kids found something amazing!

It was burrowed down in one of my yucca plants, but you really couldn't miss it. It was huge, about the size of a half dollar. And it had so many babies crawling all over it, that you could only see it's eyes!

Have you guessed yet?








A lovely little momma, don't you think? She's a wolf spider?

This is such a cool thing to see! 

I think a trip to the library for books about spiders is in our future. I guess trees can wait until we get our fill.

Counting our homeschool blessings.