Just Look...

Just Look...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mayfield Wins.

I know everyone thinks their school is wonderful. And maybe they all are. But I am telling you, my kids go to a school that is just ... beyond incredible. You see, schools are the people in them. From the administration to the teachers to the custodial staff to the students, a school is only as great as its humans. And I can tell you that Mayfield Elementary is made up of people who love people.

There are so many examples I could give from our five years at Mayfield so far, but the most recent involve this upcoming trip to Cambodia. When I wrote my support letter, I knew I would send it to family and a few friends. I would never have sent it to employees of my kids' school. However, I have received specific donations from people at Mayfield toward my trip. In addition, this weekend at the yard sale, at least 7 Mayfield people came by to either shop or "pay" $20 for a cup of lemonade from Emma and Kelsey.

I cannot begin to tell you the blessing of having your children in a school of adults who love them and care for them but, even more than that, who even love and care for YOU, the PARENT! Education gets such a bad rap in America today. It sometimes feels like we are fighting against lawmakers, rumors, tests, society, and even each other at times. But you know what? Education is not any of the things you read in the paper or hear the lawmakers fighting over. Because TRUE education is about making people, not robots. And as long as you have school personnel like these who are shaping those little people, it's a win.

We love you, Mayfield. You are the good guys.

Oh, Today...

Today I...

had a most amazing morning spent in worship of my King,

delivered four seat belt pillows, planned the delivery of three more, and got orders for eight (!) more and possibly another order,

had an icky lunch at Zaxby's with my special family,

realized I was missing a $1350 check so subsequently took the house apart twice and cried and prayed to find it (never did),

took an almost four hour nap (it seems I was in great need of some sleep),

fed my kids popcorn for supper,

let my ten year old paint my toenails,

read another chapter of our summer book, a book I LOVED as a child (written in the 70's),

packed my *light beach reads* (one social justice book and two on genocide, one of which is about the Cambodian church's triumph through the genocide there),

packed the car for our surprise trip to the beach tomorrow to meet my sister-in-law and her boys who are the age of Emma and Kelsey, and my mother-in-law (just the girls and me),

hoped I have everything I need for the week.

It's been a full day that promises to begin a full week. I'm feeling very blessed to be in this life.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Me? Vulnerable? Apparently after 1 AM

I'm struggling. I'm just going to be really transparent here tonight. (That happens when you write after 1 AM...) I wrote a few months ago about the Saturday of Resurrection week and I am living it right now. Abraham and Sarah, the Israelites and the Promised Land, the disciples and His Resurrection... Promises made by God to His people but answers delayed.

I'm not the best at waiting, I'll admit that upfront. But the two things that compound the waiting that really get me are the doubts/fears and the ... man I wish there was a better, cleaner, prettier way to say this but there really isn't... the jealousy. 

While we wait for His promises to be fulfilled, those doubts creep in and those fears pitch tents. There is a scene in Macbeth in which he refers to his mind as being full of scorpions. That is one of my favorite lines in all of literature because I can relate to it SO WELL. I always stop and explain that line, take them with me into the visual imagery (they love the journey every bit as much as you might imagine, haha!)... Shakespeare could have chosen to use anything there, but he chose scorpions. As creepy as it is, imagine for a minute a vat of scorpions... would they be hanging out, still and serene? No. They would be a writhing mass, probably a little noisy as their hard little bodies clicked against each other.... constant stinging... The human mind is like that. Those doubts and fears writhe around, stinging and clanging against each other. There isn't any salve for it... no antidote to the poison. It's the doubts and fears that make the waiting so difficult.

Then... that, as Emma calls it, "green monster sitting on your shoulder". I remember a time just before Kraig and I got engaged when it seemed that everystinkingwhere I turned, someone was getting or giving a ring. On television, at church, in restaurants, in my classes at UTC. Now I sincerely doubt that an abnormally large number of people were getting engaged, but it felt that way to me. That green monster causes everything to seem exaggerated. The other thing jealousy does (I HATE that word) is that it sucks the joy out of relationships and life. It's so hard to wait on your dream when it seems like the dreams of everyone around you are being fulfilled. It's like a giant Disney movie all around and you've somehow been given the wrong part. But if you let it color the way you view other people (and yourself), it can ruin some pretty special things. 

I know I have to trust. I know He doesn't make promises He doesn't keep, and I know that His timing isn't mine. But my goodness, it's so hard right now. Hard to still the scorpions and shake the green monster and hold on. 

Tonight I keep seeing this little word dance around in my head:

It looks just like that, too. Lower case and italicized. The problem is, I'm not good at "eventually". I want "right now". "Just like everyone else." 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

That Time God Used a 4 Year Old to Make a Point

We had RFKC last week. I am still deconstructing it a bit in my head, so I'm not ready yet for a blog post on it but I will say it was absolutely the best and EASIEST year we have ever had (year 15!) and just a year that we felt the Lord's hand and presence so heavily. It was a beautiful week for all of us. 

Our summer so far has consisted of the week before camp (cleaning and packing), the week of camp (tennis clinic for the girls), and this week (volleyball camp for the girls, bathroom cabinet organization/laundry/basement work for me, back to work for Kraig) with a bit of swimming. Summer is going by SO quickly.

I did have a moment yesterday, though. A friend of ours came to swim and brought her newly turned four year old. As she was first getting into the water, she would cling tightly to her mom, then would say, "I can do it myself, let go of me." Her (patient) mom would let her go, only for her to paddle a few strokes, then quickly panic a bit and say, "Get me! I want to hold you!" Mom would get her again and in a few seconds, "I can swim! Let me do it myself." This cycle repeated over and over and over until she did finally become comfortable in the water. 

I saw so much of myself in her actions. That is totally me, all the time with God. I will have my hand in His, clinging tightly to Him, safe in His arms, then the next minute I am shoving Him away, explaining that I can do it myself. It doesn't take long, though, until I realize I need guidance or a bailout or help and I am grabbing hold of Him again, crying, "Get me! I want to hold you!" 

Back and forth. Back and forth. 
Again and again. 
Grab and push. Grab and push. 

I wonder if I make Him tired? If I do, He is still as patient as can be with me, just like Shelby's mom was with her. Those Hands are always there, open and reaching for me whenever I'm ready to let Him take control again. 

See, there's one particular topic that I just can't let Him carry me through. I have some good days and weeks and even months, then something will click in my brain and I'm frantically paddling on my own again, refusing to allow Him to help until I have to desperately scream for Him again. I had been splashing around for several days, insisting that I can "do it myself"(even when my fragile heart and my panicky brain were saying otherwise) when, on Tuesday morning, I had a God-moment in Target. He sent along the perfect person to give me the exact message I needed at the exact moment I was started to go under. Through this other person, He gently reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11 and slid His hands into mine, calming my frenzied battle with the water. It was actually the afternoon of that day when I watched my own resistance to His guidance play out in the swimming pool at my mom's house with a sweet curly-haired blond girl named Shelby. 

The difference is that Shelby's barely four. And new at swimming. I'm thirty-five and should have this thing licked. Thankfully, His Hands stay close, ready to pick me up again at a moment's notice. 

Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; 
neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear...