When You’re Invited to the Opera That Is Your Life.

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Since I last updated here we had a baby, my husband changed jobs (and now has two!) and we moved.  3000 miles away.

My husband and I are all or nothing people.  Hot or cold people.  And us?  We’re also Jesus people.  So, naturally, we are all or nothing Christians.  And ‘all’ for us looks like baby #6, first pastor job and moving 3000 miles (I also needed to schedule a surgery in there) in the span of… wait for it… six months.

And when you jump of that kind of crazy cliff.  Like, the same cliff the crazy people jump off of, which is also crazy high and stressful… well, you have a lot of options on how to respond.

You could respond by trying to control everything, or just freaking out, or quitting altogether and just saying ‘nevermind’ to the whole thing.  You could think about all the negative or all the positive or just the culture differences or the health problems.  Or maybe how much this is screwing up your kids.  And we did all of that, at different times.

But mostly? We responded by sitting in the audience.  We bought our tickets for the show by simply saying yes, and just sat in the audience and tried to keep breathing while God made it all happen.

It was an amazing show.  My prayer life has, in the past, spent a fair amount of time in doubt, or ‘why is this happening’ mode. But now, any doubt comes around, I just answer with ‘because we’re here!’ and poof!  The doubt is gone.  God shocked us in how lavish he was to provide for every detail, in how faithful he was to make it known that he was here with us.  His lavishness towards us, at times, just made us laugh!  For example, we needed a large house in a certain neighborhood… we got a whole house (instead of one split into small apartments), in the color I wanted, with gorgeous views of the park, an abnormally large back yard, right next to a river and a small waterfall we can hear from our porch, only 6 houses from the church!  And there’s daffodils growing in the front yard!

Ridiculous right?!  And that’s just how most of this transition went! God is a wild and crazy guy!

But in the middle of this show called my life… in the middle we had no idea how all this would happen.  Other people come here and it takes them months to find a house.  Took us a week.  We came in January, with no experience driving in snow, across the entire United States… during a ‘freak’ warm spell spanning… wait for it… the entire United States!

From September to now, big things would happen and it would be down right scary.  Like when my husband was laid off and we hadn’t even put the house up for sale yet.  Like when our bank account was empty and unless we sold the house we had no financial way to leave.  Like when my medical problem was supposed to be an easy fix and yet I was on hospital visit number four.

But then, the band started up, the curtains opened and on came the singers!  Everything came together at just the right time, in the right way – no thanks to us.  We did little things like trying to make the house look pretty to sell it.  And we did a whole lot of praying, thinking and talking about all of it.  But only God could have orchestrated coincidence after coincidence after coincidence, oh, and the weather 🙂

And now that I know that God works on that grand scale in such a hugely tangible way, all the things I do seem less urgent and less about me.  It’s His show!  I’m just showing up!

So, I’m super excited to see what God has planned for the next act!  I got my popcorn, I’m ready.

 

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Homeschooling: Our 2016-2017 Morning Meeting

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It’s Thursday morning and I should be beginning our school day.  But I have a prenatal appointment later and my only pair of maternity jeans are in the wash.  I’m waiting for them to come out so I can take a shower.  Then we’ll do some of our school day.  Then we’ll drive 1.5 hours through a mountain pass to get to my midwifery center, then back up and home in time for a little more school and dinner.  These are always long days.  And I hate driving the pass unless I’m in a good frame of mind – that frame of mind never happens in the last few months of pregnancy – so all of us go and it ends up *kind of* fun for the kids :).

Since I’m waiting I thought I’d tell you about our Morning Meeting time because it is by and large my favorite part of homeschooling (and, other than the occasional meltdown, I LOVE homeschooling, so that’s saying a lot).

On Boyhood

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We take children with grass stained knees and freckles,
Who want to be men and slay dragons,
And tell them to sit down.

We hand them books and take their swords,
“There are no dragons to slay anymore.”IMG_20150118_153602
And tell them to sit down.

We put them in rooms under phosphorescent light
Hoping a story will distract them.
While we tell them to sit down.

Then, one day the stubble breaks out on growing chins
And we’re looking for swords to hand them again
While telling them to sit back down.

We finally find the perfect piece,
Not too sharp nor too heavy, at last!
They quizzically stare at us from their seats.

We hand them the world in steel and sheaf,
“Son, never mind the debt and the dreamless sleep.”
And wonder why they stay sitting down.

Making and Reading

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I finished this Campside shawl last week.  My first triangle shawl, and I love how the shape makes it much more inclined to stay on that others I have tried.  I made it with wool, as less of a dainty thing and more of something the kids can pull on, sit on or wrap up in without me getting upset.  Plus I sort of love the scratch the wool.  It makes me think about life in days gone by and makes me wonder if it bestows some of the same benefits as dry brushing.
shawl 2
I’m reading A Little Book of Western Verse by Eugene Fields, Desiring God by John Piper and For the Children’s Sake by Susan Macaulay.  Poetry, Theology and Education Theory, respectively.  Together I’m seeing a big picture that life is meant to be enjoyed, lived and appreciated.  Sentimentality and tenderness, something I’ve tried to squelch in myself as a weakness, and yet thoroughly enjoyed, may be something I can finally embrace.
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All three of these books together are beckoning me to a greater version of myself.  A happier version.  And they are calling out the tiny little sprouts of happiness already present in my life, and fanning the flame of joy.

What if the sweet sentimentality I find hidden in poetry and sunsets is actually applicable to much, much more of life?  It brings a smile to my face just to consider it.

Anyways, I will keep reading all three to let this thought keep growing.

Joining Ginny.

Been A While

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I’ve been thinking about regularly updating this space again. So, here I am!

Things I’ve been doing lately:

Homeschooling: We’ve finished this last year strong.  And I am so encouraged by that.  The next school year is planned, which we are starting in one week. More books are arriving to our door daily.  We will be following the Ambleside Online 36-week curriculum and we are adding a few things like a stronger bible curriculum and themed lapbooks.  There’s so many things we’re excited about studying this year.

We follow the Charlotte Mason homeschool approach (mostly) and the part I focus on the most in that is ‘spreading a feast of ideas’.  It includes exposing children to lots of the best things, good literature, art, classical music, and stories that capture the heart (termed ‘living books’).  Our feast of ideas this year is broad and lovely.  We’ve got lots of award winning picture books lined up, some great classic painters, composers, and writers.

Knitting and Reading

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This week I finished a doll for my toddler after setting that project aside for about a month. It’s my first knit toy and it’s so soft and squishy. I’d been wanting to make my kids waldorf dolls made of wool, and I’m finally doing it!  Feels so nice to be finally doing something you’ve thought about often and put off even more often.

Speaking of which, my husband and I are finally leading a bible study group in our home.  Today is the day of our third meeting, which is cancelled because of sickness, as was the first one.  One out of three is quite defeating.  But hopefully as our area begins the slow ascent into warmer weather this sort of thing will be less common. 

The Pep Talk I Need

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Whenever I look out at the world from my little windows of Facebook, news, phone calls, meetings, I find there’s a whole lot of things to worry about.  Who’s going to save the babies?  Or the tatas?  Or the artists?  Who’s going to keep the children from being stifled?  Or over medicated?  Or under nourished? And what about Africa?  Or Tsunamis?

Everyone has their answers to that. Who’s going to help?  You are.  I am. The government will.  The government wont.
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I wonder about things like gentrification of low-income urban communities.  The extreme levels of poverty in our blue collar cities.  Common core sweeping through communities that can’t afford to feed their children let alone buy them pencils. Or old Catholic churches being newly purchased and redesigned to house controversial Eastern religions.

And my answer to that, is often: fear, hopelessness, callousness as a self preservation.

Who will make American great again when it’s just too far gone?

And I wish someone would sit down, somewhere.  Someone with great faith, great presence of mind and great experience slaying spiritual giants.  I wish this someone would write, or speak or sing or draw a picture of hope.

Extreme hope.

Revival.

God raining down His Spirit and His saving grace.

I wish this person would spend time reminding us who we are in Christ, who Christ is in the grand scheme and the small scheme.  How he stops waves, and administers peace into desperate hearts.  I wish someone would call out the names of God, reminding us who He is.  Prince of Peace.  Wonderful Counselor.  Mighty God. The God Who Sees Us.  God With Us. God who is able to do far more than we can ever ask or imagine.

I need someone to remind me of the examples we have of the church moving into a spiritually dark place and bringing light, hope, health and joy to those people.  I need real life examples of His redemption.  A habit of personal, communal and regional testimonies.  I was lost, but now I’m saved.  By Jesus.  By Christ and His Spirit and His Saving Grace.

I was dead, we were dead, but now live.

I need someone, somewhere, to take their belief in miracles and give life to my own unbelief. Jesus, help my unbelief.

I need a leader, to show me, show us that hoping in God is the only worthy hope.  To remind us that not only will He and does He work here, now, in and among us all the time, but also

We know how the story ends.

Victory is His.  Even in election years.