This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Kind of Sweater Are You?

You Are a Cardigan

You are traditional, old-fashioned, and even a little conservative.

More than anything else, you are a creature of habit. You haven't changed much over the years.

You shy away from flashy ideas, people, fashion, and foods.

You have simple tastes. You go for established quality and longevity every time.

Or I don't like to shop and go with the simple, tried and true, don't have to think about it kind of clothes. I wasn't really surprised about my results.

What kind of sweater are you?

A Rant and a Bigger Rant

Alternatively: Not Very Spiritual and Very Self-Involved

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down!
Hickory Dickory Dock.

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The bird looked at the clock,
The clock struck two 2,
Away she flew,
Hickory Dickory Dock........

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

The mice are back and they were running, not up the clock, but up in the wall behind my bed in the wee hours of this morning. Ugh. Gross.Yuck. Have I mentioned before that I do not like mice?? I take personal offense that they would enter my home, uninvited and unwelcome, stay and multiply. Ugh. Gross. Yuck.

Sleep was elusive with the pitter patter of little feet scurrying and sharp teeth chewing. When I did sleep I was bombarded with nightmares that we filled with—you guessed it—mice.

Actually the worst dream started with mice sized mice and developed into guinea pig sized mice (or maybe they were guinea pigs) and morphed into capybaras!! The holes they were coming from got increasingly larger and larger.

I’m sure the fact that The Nutcracker has the King Mouse and the army of mice/rats who fight the nutcracker and surround Clara hasn’t helped because the soundtrack for my dream was Tchaikovsky’s score.

On another, more paranoid, note, I am allowing myself to be stressed out by people who surely have no ulterior motives or sinister meanings to their questions—but it seems everyone is asking the boys how much school they have, or how’s school going, or lots of homework right now??? And then they look at us as if we are slackers when they find out we are in very low gear at home.

What? No overloaded school schedule to top off Nutcracker nuttiness?? How dare we? Yeah…I’m pretty sure I’m overreacting. But the looks when told we did school in July and August (Boo was even doing school in June) so we are able to relax a little in December border on disbelief.

As we’ve entered the fourth year of the Sugar Plump Fairy drives to dance I’ve found some truths I hold evident: (cue the world’s smallest violins playing “My Heart Bleeds for You.”)

First, driving seven days a week for near two months to the same place looses its shine by about week three (or sooner).

Second, while I’m very appreciative for the socialization aspect (mine as much as the boys) sometimes I really would just love to curl up and not talk to anyone. There’s been little time to read, craft or do any of the activities I thought I might be able to. But I don’t want to go sit in the car and be anti-social, either. A couple people I only get to see this time of year.

Third, when I hit overload I can only take so much. (Insert proper whining tone here.) I’ve found the week after dress rehearsals is when I collapse. I try very hard to keep the boys from getting overwhelmed and strive to make sure sleep and eating well and smart are priorities for them, but sometimes forget myself. Or eat stupid and the hormones are in control of my sleep so there either not enough or too much—a vicious cycle, indeed.

So, here I sit stewing. I am sure no one is trying to upset me, but I wonder about the socialization of adults who don’t know how to talk to children about anything more than, “Are you getting all of your homework done?” My children aren’t allowed to roll their eyes at anyone (I’m sure they have behind my back—I’m not that na├»ve) but I’m about ready to start rolling my eyes!! No wonder we hear kids think grownups are clueless.

I actually find that the grownups most worried about my child’s schooling situation have no children of their own. What is up with that? I’m sure they are well intentioned—they just haven’t been socialized for actual real conversations with children. (And obviously aren’t aware of some of the perks and benefits of homeschooling!)

Asking kids about homework is akin to asking, “How are you?” Does the asker really want to know? Are they going to get panicked if we really tell them how we are?

What would I propose as good alternative questions? Since I’m complaining I should have thought out a solution. Well as a matter of fact I can think of several:

“Are you reading a good book right now?”
“Have you learned a new Christmas song?”
“Do you have any recitals to perform in?”
“Are you getting enough rest? How are you feeling?”
“How ‘bout them Chiefs?” (Never mind...they’re still losing.)
If one must ask about school the question could be, “Do you have a favorite subject?”

Children can be just as fun, sometimes more so, to connect with than adults. I’ve really enjoyed the students that I’ve come in contact with this year and have learned some really neat things, founds some interesting book ideas, or heard about all the family traditions they share with their family. Sometimes they have to be drawn out just a little bit.

Whew…that was a bit spewy…I’m sure it applies to no one who reads this. Just overflowing today.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grains of Gratitude

An eleven day old baby.

I got to hold one this week.

A precious, sweet new soul—tiny and fresh and a gift from God. She joined a family as the sixth and joyfully welcomed child. Her oldest brother smiled when he told me about her. Both parents have that air of contented love about them. I was grateful her sweet mama let me hold her for a while and I was grateful to listen to her mother talk about their trust that the LORD will provide for each child the things that will help them grow to what He wants them to be. What a blessing.

A one-year-old’s birthday party.

My goddaughter’s birthday party.

Family and friends, food and fun, loud and joyful Celebrating the gift of a child’s milestone of one year. She sat on my lap for a bit, allowing me to hold her as long as I didn’t squish too tight or snuggle to close. We played with a pink stuffed dog and a brown stuffed horse. She delighted in playing, “watch the grown-ups dive for the toys when I throw them on the floor.” My sons had a great time and I got to sit and enjoy good company. All celebrating a child’s life.

Can you imagine over 2000 years ago Jesus was a baby, tiny and fresh from God? Stretching in His sleep, relying totally on the care of his parents. Can you imagine that He grew the first year and just like our children, reached milestones—rolling over, sitting up, crawling, striving to walk, talk…just like our children, just like us.

I am so grateful for a Savior who felt all of our feelings, experienced all of our experiences. In this busy time of year, during this time of run here, drive there, it is easy to feel disconnected from the true meaning of the holiday that is coming. My house still isn’t ready for Christmas, but this week I was given gifts to prepare my heart.

It’s beginning to look feel a lot more like Christmas.

What are you grateful for?

Grains of Gratitude is from Christine at Brady's Bunch.

The King Shall Come

Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Friend, unto you the Lord says, “Surely I am coming soon!” (Rev. 22:20).

And what do you say to that promise? Do you by your unconscious behavior utter doubt? Does and earthbound vision deny the possibility? Are you scared to consider an end to the world?

“Can’t be.”

“Prove it.”

Sadly, the sign of our mistrust shall be
the doubt itself, together with all the anxieties and suspicions and loneliness which doubt engenders. And these will last until we come to trust, or else until his coming comes to pass.

Jesus says, “I am coming soon!”

And how do you respond? Oh, let it be as a bride responds to the promise of the bridegroom, adorning yourself for his return, joyfully shouting with the Spirit, “Come!” (Rev. 21:2, 9;22:17). Then your joy, your present beauty, your complete sense of assurance and belonging—
these shall be signs of the Lord’s trustworthiness and of our turst, signs of his love until he comes in glory.

“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

The King Shall Come when Morning Dawns

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.

Not as of old a little child
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun
That lights the morning sky.

O brighter than the rising morn
When He, victorious, rose,
And left the lonesome place of death,
Despite the rage of foes.

O brighter than that glorious morn
Shall this fair morning be,
When Christ, our King, in beauty comes,
And we His face shall see.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And earth’s dark night is past;
O haste the rising of that morn,
The day that aye shall last.

And let the endless bliss begin,
By weary saints foretold,
When right shall triumph over wrong,
And truth shall be extolled.

The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light and beauty brings:
Hail, Christ the Lord! Thy people pray,
Come quickly, King of kings.

Set to the tune: Morning Song/Kentucky Harmony

This is the tune, the words in the video are to Nunc Dimittis

Also set to Morning Song/Kentucky Harmony

Awake, Awake to Love and Work

Awake, awake to love and work!
The lark is in the sky;
The fields are wet with diamond dew;
The worlds awake to cry
Their blessings on the Lord of life,
As He goes meekly by.

Come, let thy voice be one with theirs,
Shout with their shout of praise;
See how the giant sun soars up,
Great lord of years and days!
So let the love of Jesus come
And set thy soul ablaze.

To give and give, and give again,
What God hath given thee;
To spend thyself nor count the cost;
To serve right gloriously
The God Who gave all worlds that are,
And all that are to be.