Sunday, August 28, 2011

Actions Speak

Let's do a quick catch up on what is going on here in this small 5 mile radius of Region Seven.

Jason has been promoted in his office! That is meaning more work and more opportunity to interact with others and to live as a wonderful example of balancing work, family and Christ as well as making time for hobbies and disciples. He is maintaining his relationships and though summer is always difficult to keep groups meeting on schedule he is rolling with the punches and seeing everyone as frequently as the opportunity allows.

The children are still in the learning phase of what we are doing. They are excited about getting to be great friends with our neighbor and our game playing friends. I do see they have an extra need of being with people their age more frequently and we've just noticed a family with smaller children a few doors down and are ready to go knock on their door and introduce ourselves. We still pray for the harvest daily. They are about to start school tomorrow and though the feelings are still a little mixed about how good this is (apparently even home schoolers get the first day jitters) Jason & I have high hopes in the freedom this will offer our family.

As for me, well, I've really been trying to catch my breath from our summer adventures and get organized/prepared for our home school journey. I've been so busy that I actually haven't even made ime to touch basis with all the ones I love since coming home from our vacation. So that will be one of my other top priorities this week.

Now that you know what's been going on, here is the 'real' part of this post:

Public school started last week and I resumed my position with the elementary PTA Teacher Aprreciation person and delivered a happy poem to the teachers & staff on the first day and then organized a wonderful back to school lunch on Thursday. I've been honest with the principal, Kindergarten teacher, librarian and one of the office staff on what our family is doing here with our call to this local mission field. Well, apparently actions are speaking louder than any words or crafts as these lovely individuals have felt the need to spread the word.

I've actually been very concerned that me maintaining a presence in the public school system would be offensive to those that work so hard within the system to reach SO many children. But it seems this is not the case and already I've met a dozen new teachers and staff members that are blown away by this commitment to love others and serve them. Lots of moms do PTA so it wasn't a big deal last year when I had a child attending school there but this year I have no stake there and that is really making the teachers feel loved.

So now I wonder, what else can we do in our neighborhood, that is not required or even really necessary but will help bring people together. Offering love unconditionally and creating opportunities for community?

I'm really on a mission now...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quiet Contemplation

For a few reasons getting older has been on my mind and heart lately. I'm going to be turning the big 3-0 after the New Year and I look at my 'babies' and see three smart, independent, mostly capable children that spend lots of time learning and exploring and creating and I realize not only are they NOT babies anymore, but my oldest is actually as close to being a teenager as he is to being a newborn!

Although some days I miss the time we spent sitting on the floor building blocks and snuggling in the recliner for nursings I am seeing how much awesome stuff we can do together now that they are bigger. I get to experience things I never did during my childhood and re-experience things I did but with all new eyes. I've never built a Lego set before this year and taking the children to feed ducks at the park is a super favorite activity and I remember how my Grandma used to take me to do that all the time.

Some things I'm more excited about then they are (like Disney World!!) and other things I dread even more than I did when I had to deal with it the first time around (like homework!!). Some days I envy them and their tiny responsibilities and mostly carefree life and I think, "what were we thinking?" I remember growing up and getting older not happening soon enough. I remember not waiting until I was 8 and could ride around the block to my friends house. I remember not waiting until I could date, wear make-up, drive a car, move out of the house, do whatever I wanted.

Now I look back and think, man did I waste it? What if I would have enjoyed being 7? or 11? or 15? What if I just lived in the here and now and learned how awesome it was in the moment. As I see our parents and grandparents getting much older it becomes apparent how we (as people) spend so much of our youth dreaming about the future and so much of our golden years reminiscing our past and the years in between have been properly labeled 'the mid-life-crisis.'

Does growing up really need to happen so fast? Is being old really that terrible? Is living in the here and now enjoying the opportunities in front of us really so scary we run out and attempt to change everything about ourselves? New hair cuts, new cars, new body parts, new spouse?

Something I've been told recently is that Jesus has been in our shoes and understands our pain and intercedes on our behalf when we find ourselves on our knees. The image I have been given is that Jesus is saying to God, "I love this person, please hear this plea" What a beautiful thought as I know people that have overcome such amazing difficulties in their lives. I can see Jesus pleading our case before the Father saying this person is special, offer them peace, comfort them, fill them.

But I find that as I have time to quietly contemplate this I begin to think about specific instances of pain and say, well, Jesus didn't experience that specifically because he wasn't a mother or he never got old and since he never sinned, he didn't yell at his mother or disobey his Father. He never spanked his children or had too much to drink while out with his friends. I begin to get discouraged and I find myself questioning the idea that Jesus understands anything at all.

What do you think about during times of quiet contemplation? Do you rely on your future or your past? Do you long for something unique and different for your present? Do you wonder if the Saviour of All People really understands why you make the choices your make? I know I sure do.