Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Rain Kissed Afternoon

So here's another one.  Not sure of the ending, but hopefully you'll see the vivid picture in my mind.

The wild thrashing of the rain had beat against the window pane all day. I pressed my nose against the cold glass watching the squiggly lines of raindrops gliding downward. For awhile I stood over Grandmas old wall heater feeling the warmth blow up my legs to surround my small body like an invisible blanket.  I was bored. I could hear the squeals of my little sisters jumping around our bedroom.  They danced like the flames of the fireplace, jumping from one bed to the next.  Dare they fall into the hot imaginary liquid of hot lava they held on to each in pure delight.  I had grown tired of the game and wandered away looking for something else to amuse me.

The gray of the storm matched my mood. Grandma was whisking away at something in the kitchen, while Momma labored over tomorrow's school lessons. Needing a space of my own, I quietly grabbed my sweater and crept to the back porch. So busy were they, that I slipped away unnoticed.  In a way that made me happy, but also a little sad.

The rain, was more like a mist now and I freely twirled and danced. It felt light upon my face.  Like a brush of  Momma's lips for a kiss.  I tapped the branches of the cherry tree, watching the droplets of water spring into the air and fall back to the ground promising the sweetness of rich red cherries come summer.

Then like a fawn I lept through the air bounding toward the grapevines. Diving beneath the branches heavy with the storms out pouring, I crawled beneath the leaves and felt the water drip down my head and into my sweater.  It was cold, but I delighted in the rich smell of rain and dirt.  Above me were dried up old grapes of last season.  Leftovers from Grandma's juice making efforts.  I slowly chewed the tough raisin imagining Grandma's thick juice sliding down my throat. I am warmed by the memory.

Suddenly a brilliant beam of sunlight breaks through my leafy fortress.  The clouds are rolling through the sky as if it were chasing it's future. Peaking out from my hiding spot I find that a canvas of color awaits me. The rainbow fills the sky with vivid hues of blue, red, violet, yellow and green.  My once gray heart bursts from the spectacular show and I can not help the notes of joy that escape my lips. I sing of promises, and praise the Keeper of them.  Wrapping my arms around me to hold this moment tight, I wander through the tall rain kissed grass to the warmth of the house. My rainy day blues gone with the storm, I am ready to again join the adventures of playing hot lava.

Monday, January 23, 2012

No Plan "B"

As you know we recently moved and due to Matt's new schedule, the un-opened door for private school and public schools that test way below the national average- we decided to homeschool Noah & Isaiah.  I have to admit it has been difficult. Moving in of itself is an adjustment.  But then you add trying to get into the groove of getting through a school day and over 12 hours of  Mom & the boys.  It makes for some challenges.  I have to admit, that my attitude as been less than stellar at times. Life was awesome before all the changes.  The boys loved school, Canon and I had grand adventures each day together, I had time to write and sew and have coffee with friends.  Now I spend the day trying to motivate two little boys through school, while navigating through multiple disagreements and don't forget to add the house work.  Never mind time for making new friends or a little alone time.

All that to say (don't judge me!) I struggle with loving on the boys and loving my life right now.  In the back of my head, I kept telling myself, "try it and if it doesn't work, throw them in the public school.  They belong to God - they'll survive."  But in my heart I know I don't just want them to survive.  I want them to grow into thriving and active men of God.  Over the course of the last month, when I was ready to throw in the towel God has lifted me up.  In church on Sundays and Wednesdays our pastor has been teaching out of 2 Timothy.  The whole book speaks to us about being faithful to the end.  Every time I step into that building God keeps laying on my heart what He has appointed me to do and to fulfill my ministry.

But you be watchful in all things,
endure afflictions, 
do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill your ministry,
~ 2 Timothy 4:5 ~

I know every family is different and God has a different call on everyone's life, but I am convinced of His call to holiness and righteousness in our lives and the command to raise up our children in this way.  I have recently been encouraged through a fellow homeschooling mom and blogger, Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler.  She said it best in her article "Why We Homeschool" - 

 Deut. 6:5-7 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

"I wondered to myself, how am I to teach my children when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up if they are gone all day long? How can I hide God’s word in their heart if most of the opportunities happen when they are at school? How can I truly impress upon their hearts if I only see them at dinner and at bedtime?" - Erica

He has appointed me to be the minister to these boys.  My ministry is to disciple them in the way of Jesus.  And He has very clearly laid it on my heart that the only way to accomplish this at this time is to keep them home.  There is no plan "B".

So we are going to keep going and not give up.  I place it all in His mighty hands to work out.  Perhaps for you the struggle isn't home life.  Maybe it's a job or maybe a relationship.  I encourage you to not give up.  Whatever ministry God has put in your life - fulfill it!  The rad thing about God is He doesn't just call us to something and then leave us to figure it out.  He empowers us.  He strengthens us.

But the Lord stood with me,
and strengthened me, so that the message 
might be fully preached.
~ 2 Timothy 4:17 ~

Ps. Be sure to check out Erica at confessionsofahomeschooler.com!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Littlest Lizard

Like most stay at home moms, I have many a story that I like to weave and tell to the delight of my children. And probably like many, someday I would love to see them published.  But I am always so busy that getting any of my ideas on paper seems almost impossible.  Well, I've decided it's only impossible if I never try.  Since I was a child all I have ever wanted to do, was write.  Well then, I shall.  So they may be slightly rough, maybe even a little rusty, but I am going to try.  Hope you enjoy.

This one is for my sweet friend, Kim Pennington...

At the end of the road was a small white house with a dark attic.  In the far corner of the attic was a chest - a treasure chest.  Not the kind full of pirate's booty, but the treasures of a boy named Pete and his sister Kate.  Among the treasures tucked inside this chest was, a strong and mighty soldier, a beautiful and graceful ballerina, the bounciest red ball ever, sturdy wooden blocks and the silliest clown named Clinny.  They spent their days in the dark remembering the adventures of Pete and Kate's childhood.

"Remember the time Pete took me camping?", the strong soldier asked.  "He took me to the top of the mountain, where together we defeated bears and mountain lions."

"Oh, I remember when dear Kate took me to see The Nutcracker, I sat upon her lap watching the dancers twirl and swing", said the sweet ballerina.

They each had their favorite memory which proclaimed the greatness of the certain toy and just how special they were to either Pete or Kate.  On and on their days went.  Occasionally, bright sunlight would peep in through the key hole.  They would all bask in the fleeting moment of warmth and wish to be free of their dark confines.  One day, Clinny the clown had had enough and broke down in tears.  "Oh, how I wish to make a child laugh!" The pretty ballerina agreed, sharing how she would love to dance with a graceful little girl once again.  They all began to chime in with their desires, until the strong soldier declared it must be done, " We need to be free of our treasure chest!  Free to bring joy to a small child once again!  Who's with me?" And so they began to work together to build stairs to the top of the chest.  But try as they might, they were not strong enough to lift the lid.  Sadly it was locked on the outside.

A feeling of despair crept into the crowd, when a small quiet voice spoke up, "perhaps I could help?". From the deepest corner of the chest came a lizard.  He was the littlest lizard you have ever seen. Not only was he small, but he was the deepest green.  He blended right into the dark corner.  So much so that none of the toys had noticed him all these years.

"I remember the day Pete got me for his birthday.  I wasn't as fancy as all the other toys and definitely not as big.  I remember some of the other boys snickering at my lack of luster and size, but Pete's smile was warm and welcoming."  "He kept me in his pocket everyday until he went away", said the little lizard.

"Well, you're still little!  How are you going to help us now?" demanded the strong soldier.
"You don't have to be big to be useful" answered the littlest lizard, "sometimes being small is the most helpful of all." And without a word the littlest lizard quickly climbed the stairs and smoothly slid though the key hole. All of the toys were astonished as they heard the click of the lock. Now with the effort of all the toys they were able to lift the lid and climb out of the treasure chest.  The toys danced and cheered until they fell to the ground tired from such joyous celebrating.  It was then that they stopped to thank the littlest lizard and and apologize for doubting him.  They had learned that each one has a special gift to share.

From down the stairs came the sounds of running feet and calls to behave.  Someone was looking at the house and someone was coming their way. As the children came busting into the room the toys froze in their spots. Gleefully the children scooped them up to show to their parents.  The smallest boy took the littlest lizard, kissed him on the nose and then stuck him deep within his pocket.  In the warm dark pocket the littlest lizard smiled in anticipation of adventures to come.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Tattoo And This Year's Heart Lesson

For several years I have wanted a tattoo. I want a sparrow with a ribbon in it's beak and on the ribbon something that greatly symbolizes my life and walk with the Lord. Matt even made me an appointment for one on my thirtieth birthday, but I chickened out. It's probably not a bad thing seeing as I still can't decide what to put in the ribbon. 

Sometimes I feel like my soul is so rough around the edges. God is continually pressing in, honing and polishing this diamond that will one day be presented before His throne.  I could inscribe my ribbon with the lesson learned about awaiting His timing. His timing is perfect and His plan for me complete. Or perhaps the word treasure should be printed upon it, from when I learned to let go of earthly positions and place the yearnings of my heart upon heaven. And then there is the lesson of following His leading. I am a pilgrim on a journey. Of course after accepting that lesson I had to learn to trust where He guided my steps despite my planning. Currently I think I would have to engrave my ribbon with the lesson of being still and knowing God. Of course I'm still in the midst of that one. 

Really there has been so many lessons and I know so many more are to come. There isn't enough room on that ribbon, I might end up with a whole tattooed sleeve. Then my mom would probably disown me! So for now the tattoo will have to go at the top of my bucket list and maybe someday I will know exactly what to inscribe on my ribbon. For now, I will simply be still.