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The Final Month!

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I just caught myself smiling:  the 12, 9, and 6 year-olds are working diligently on separate school-related tasks.  It is a lovely solitude to hear the scratch of pencils on paper, the muttering of math problems being worked aloud before showing the work on paper, the shoving of shapes into their puzzle places, and the occasional "correct answer sonance" from the educational website.

But this is my last month of having three grammar students!

My oldest, who has been a  memorization wizard the past 12 years is now rolling his eyes when asked to recite (though he is still a memorization wizard....).  He is questioning my instructions, or resisting my help....he's got this.  He is also graduating to his own room this summer, complete with a desk and bookshelf of his own.  He's organically ready to launch into a new developmental stage and a new way of learning and working out his faith.

Like a mother duckling, I have led them down spiritual, academic and aesthetic paths…

You and I Impact One Another

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I sit crumpled up in a heap on the floor.  I can't believe it.  I am utterly utterly stunned.  Like I've been kicked in the gut - all the air knocked out of me. My feet knocked out from under me. Another marriage in the toilet.  Not my marriage, but the marriage of good friend.  I am praying for this family, and yet, can't pray, can't get my breath enough to pray.  I'm thinking to myself, why is this so devastating?  Why does my heart feel ripped out of my chest and beating like a lethargic blob on the floor next to me?

I put myself in my friends' shoes.  I feel the horror, the betrayal, all the years of sweet history and building blocks carefully laid, children joyfully born, ministry sown and tilled together.  Gone.  And not just gone, but leaving a wake of devastation.  Devastation to each other, to the children, to the family, to all the hundreds of Christian brothers and sisters ministered to all these many years. Then I feel my own grief, pain and betrayal…

Liturgies, Heritage and Meditation

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"When there are thoughts, it is distraction;  when there are no thoughts, it is meditation."  Ramana Maharshi

The beach is my meditation. 
I sit. 
I listen. 
I watch. 
I feel the sun. 
I feel the wind. 




I feel the sand. I hear the waves. I hear the laughter. I watch the horizon. I watch the children. I can't seem to think one thought.  I try. Any thought would be distraction. And no thought even comes to distract. If I read, it is frivolity. No thinking required. Pure superficiality.
The beach is my meditation.  

When I lived on the California coast, I jogged at the beach, I walked on beach; kept my chair and towel in my car to sit and read for a hour or two to unwind from my day.  Drove to the beach in the predawn light to meditate on God's word and fellowship with Him. Many parties were held at the beach. Many glasses of wine savored watching the sunset over the ocean.  Many romantic walks, fingers entwined. Many tears shed processing life while the sun melted behind the Cha…

Stages of Faith

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A Classical look at Faith through the Trivium

Freedom

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This year marks our 10th year in Orlando, Florida!
One seminary degree, two houses and three children later, we are still here.  I don't think I've ever been in one place this long.  You would think that would be a reason to break out a library wine and celebrate.  But I truly love change.  I long for change.  I miss the freedom to come and go as I please.  I miss immersing myself in other cultures and ecosystems.  And honestly, I miss home.

Being in one place for a decade makes me feel...well...stuck. 




My family moved around a lot when a kid.  So, consequently I am really good at meets-and-greets.  I am good at maintaining many acquaintances, and I think at this season in my life there are many women I would enjoy the opportunity to have deep relationships with, but time for any of us does not afford much socializing.  I've realized that if you move away from "the friends of your youth," only time provides longevity among friends and, as a mom of three, time is li…

Promises

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Before kids I had all the answers.  You see the kid in the store throwing the tantrum and think, "That parent has done a terrible job training her child. I would never let my child get away with that behavior."  Then you birth the child and realize how little control you actually have.  They have their own personality, their own gifts, their own preferences, their own idols.  The good, the precious, and the downright ugly. 




You reflect on all the ideals you had before you had kids.  All the ways in which you would train them - all the scripture they would memorize, all the healthy foods they would eat, all the methods of discipline that would train them to be good citizens and make them polite to other humans.  Then you begin trying these methods out.  The battle begins.  The spiritual warfare wages heavily in your heart and in your home.  And you think, "nothing I do seems to work; where are the results that I was promised in all the books?"





Nothing has challenged …

Equality

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This week on the way to vacation Bible school, my son would read the Bible text for the day's lesson to me in the car.  Our theme was "Jesus is the only way to the Father" so all the Biblical texts were from the gospels.  In simply listening to him read I was struck again with the fact that Christ Himself was ministered to by women.

Women were a vital part of His ministry.
Women are amazing. I know I'm of that gender, but I am fascinated by the creativity and gifts of women.  Women are so nurturing and empathetic, complex and multi-gifted.  Women wear so many different hats and can master many talents.  I have never seen a woman I didn't think was beautiful externally.  God created each of us an ambulatory work of art. Look how many artists painted beautiful paintings of women of different varieties in many different settings!
Women are nurturers by nature.  God created us, "male and female, in His image" giving women an intuition, or sixth sense of sor…