“…above and beyond…”

RLA_3508These days have flown by – some seasons seem lifetimes ago, and others just a few days.  How is it, then, that it seems only a short while ago we were worried about where to send our oldest to kindergarten – charter school, public school, home school?  We didn’t know.  And then through a process of every other door shutting…we did.  And now here we are, only one week from her graduation from high school.   So much in between, yet so quickly it seems to have passed.  There will be no more standardized state tests, no more rides to/from school, no more homecoming dances, no more school plays for this one.  Part of me is excited for the next adventure for her.  And the other part of me (which seems to win most days) stays in that happy/sad place of things changing.  It is tough – tougher than I thought it would be.

But now, I am reminded of our prayer for her as she entered kindergarten, and how in God’s amazing way, we have watched it play out – even as her steps for what is next are becoming clear:c74a6c4fa41f479f6c681c2513041691

(And now…back to the Kleenex… :))

20 years of cards

Back in 1997, I read an article in Martha Stewart Magazine about Christmas cards.  They had all sorts of ways to display the cards you receive.  One that I thought was fantastic was having a long wide ribbon display the cards of that year.  I began that year by going back to our first year of marriage/Christmas together – 1993 – and have done one ribbon every year since. That makes 20 ribbons to display this year.

It is so fun to look back on the cards and see how art has changed, designs have changed, and even to see signatures of folks who have since passed.  In the beginning I would have to choose the most important cards (i.e. family cards) versus the pretty ones.  These days, I seem to barely get enough cards that aren’t the photo cards!  Maybe one day I’ll acquiesce and add in photo cards.  But, for now, we are still doing it the old fashioned way!  (And the funny part – I can’t take a picture of all them anymore because they don’t fit on one wall!

DSC_0057
IMG_5275=

IMG_5301=IMG_5160

Going Dark

Whether by conscious choice, by lack of time, or just forgetfulness, I’ve “gone dark” for the past 6 months. I could give you a few of the reasons – the craziness of time, a new job, attempting to balance all of the spinning plates without letting any fall, only to have one fall and then pick up the pieces, or simply just that thing we call life. Regardless, I have been quiet. And, I have missed writing. Like in previous posts, many writing ideas and thoughts come to my head, but I don’t take the time to write.  So, let’s try again, shall we?  This blog seems to have a positive benefit on my mental health, so that would be nice right now in a house of three teen girls who are lovely, wonderful, but oh so full of questions.  Not the questions of where is this or that (but there are some of those), but those questions about our world, people, life, God, and future (just to name a few) that can’t be answered flippantly.

For today, let’s just have a recap of life the past 6 months in pictures.  That is always fun!  Enjoy – and I’ll see you again soon. 🙂

DSC_1617 IMG_8248 IMG_1002 IMG_8304 DSC_1745 RLA_2952 RLA_3408 IMG_8670 IMG_8748 IMG_8773 IMG_4720IMG_4301

Missing

I’ve been missing.  Missing writing.  Missing my blog.  Missing days that seem to zoom by too quickly.  Missing moments because I am too caught up in the next moment coming.  Simply missing.

But, here I am now.  Choosing today to begin again and not miss my writing and my blogging.  One thing that has struck me over and over again these past months is how hard it is to be present in the moment.  Everything around me begs for my attention to the next thing, the big idea, the Plan A, the “what are we going to do … ” and “how are we going to …”  It is almost just as tumultuous to try and plan as it is to stay in the present!  DSC_1357

Just this morning, I was reminded of my Savior’s words in Matthew 6 – “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I used to think that was easy…and it some aspects it is, and if embraced can be quite freeing.  But these days, that seems to be very hard when our future looms with big life decisions for our family (you know- college, dating, adult-hood for our kids…).

Alas, though, these burdens are too much for me to carry and I am not meant to carry them.  I have One Who rules the world, Who sees the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, and Who loves me beyond comprehension.  That One is on my side and I turn to Him.  Releasing these worries and burdens and trusting Him.  He is a good God who has a plan, sees the big picture, and I can trust Him.  Period.

So – here is to hoping I am one step closer to departing from dwelling in the land of the Missing and beginning a journey to the land of the Present.

5 months…to the day!

April to September.  5 months.  150ish days.  I have been silent.  (Well, only in blog world, really).  And the most interesting part – I really couldn’t tell you why I haven’t blogged, but maybe I could circle around some reasons?IMG_6577

Possibly it was the transition from school schedule to summer schedule in our home?  Possibly it was the focus on training for another triathlon that sucked my time?  Possibly it was simply I wasn’t allowing myself the time to write to release all of those stories and thoughts in my head?  Or possibly it was simply I no longer kept it a priority in the list of things to do.  Most likely – it is the later one combined with letting life swirl re-actively around me versus me being proactive with my choices.  It is ironic to me when I look at it that way – I am supposed to know better!

So – now I am giving myself the grace to write.   It may only be read by a few, but that is okay.  It takes it from my mind to my fingers to my blog and during that process, I usually sort out a few things I have been struggling with, and that is makes it worth it to me.

So, welcome back to me.  Looking forward to sharing with you again.

13…

Our daughter turned 13 yesterday.  I knew it was coming.  I’d talked about it for a while.  But, the reality struck yesterday when the day of celebration was over.  I am the mother of a 13 year old.  I, the one who remembers exactly what I was doing/saying/writing/thinking when I was 13.  I, the one who still doesn’t have it together, yet am the mother of 13 year old, so shouldn’t I have it together?

For some reason I thought I’d be ‘over’ some of the issues I still have as a mother of a 13 year old – you know, peer acceptance, fitting in, looking the right way and not being a dork, not to mention the parenting side of worrying about money to pay for the things needed for a growing child.  Does this mean I’ll be plagued by this for a long long time still?  Ugh – I hope not.  And ugh, I hope I don’t transfer all of that to my children, but somehow, someway, I am afraid I do.  I want to transfer confidence and grace, I really do.

So, now what.  13 years of trying and I still don’t have it together.  Sure, some things are better, but I still have a long way to go!

One thing I do know, though, is that my Savior doesn’t give up on me, nor does He give up on our children.  His mercies are new each morning; His strength will carry us through; He goes before, beside, and behind me; and I can trust Him.  He is a good God.  So, I will continue to turn to the Source of my salvation, the Source of my being, and the one who created and designed me and each of my children for a unique purpose.  And, I’ll throw in a bit of chocolate along the way.  😉

The End & The Beginning

The last week of school was quite a week here in our home.  The Monday was very stressful, leading to a very busy Tuesday – Thursday.  We had graduations and parties and gifts and programs.  The girls did very well and we are very proud of them – not just for their academics, but their character.  For our family, the grade on ‘character’ on your report card, or from conversations with your teacher, ranks equal to the academics.  

I’ll never forget the time I met with one of the girls’ teachers in Virginia.  They were ready to show me all of her academic work, her grades, etc. etc.  I briefly glanced at them and then asked how she was handling herself in class.  Did she get along well with other students?  Was she polite?  Did she respect the teacher?  I think she thought I was from a different planet and stumbled through the answers.  But, you know, in life – an A in Math is simply an A in math, but if she accomplished that A in math while ignoring the teacher and being rude to students who were trying to be kind to her, I am not sure that ‘A’ was worth its’ value.

The situations the girls deal with at school, the people they interact with, and even the teachers they have are all teaching them life lessons – lessons that aren’t taught from a book, but are embedded in their minds and in their heart.  And, as parents, we pray for their protection, for wisdom in their decisions, and that the Lord will direct our guidance to them in a way that honors Him and allows our children to be a light for His glory in this world.

And now, my friends….summer begins – a whole new set of lessons to be learned…. in patience…. :).