My dear husband knows the way to my heart and how to help me out of a funk. After a crazy eventful day yesterday, he made a way to give me a little rest, by working out his schedule to take the boys to school, so I could sleep in. Then to top it off, he left two glorious presents for me on the chair to my room.
I feel like I'm in a bit of a funk. It's back to the six in the morning routines after spring break. This morning started out with the van not turning over for the second time in three days, because an unknown child left the lights on inside all night. That battery is getting a Arnold type workout. My son with attachment disorder immediately picked up on my irritation over the van and ran over me like he was on his way to watch a fire. Only he wants to watch me burn down. And then there's the not eating food thing which puts me on edge. To shave my rough corners, I want to start planting in my garden, but the spicket froze and cracked over winter, so i have to wait for Buck to have time to repair it. Ain't nothing gonna grow without water. Maybe lining the paths with rocks again will provide a necessary outlet to this irk. I came across the word "kindness" earlier and thought, "Nah, not even feeling it." This puts me squarely in the stay out of the moment and into commitment to action rather than flinging about my snippy disposition. I sense a "white knuckling it" day ahead for me.
Guess what's for breakfast? Boost. And for lunch? Boost. And you guessed it, Boost for dinner. I'm not sure for how long, but I'm going to be on an allergy elimination diet because I just got diagnosed with a lovely case of eosinophilic esophagitis. So, don't call me and ask me for dinner, or I'll burst out in tears. The idea of drinking all three meals for maybe months on end does not appeal. But here I go...
I thought tonight I could levitate the black frying pan from the wooden cabinet to the top of the stove while I remained in the comfort of my bed resting my tired eyes. I dreamed one of my sons would be interested in cutting the potatoes and putting them into the sizzle and ooze of the olive oil. However, it's me that must rise and seize the moment for making dinner.
I simply can't imagine holding a full time job and raising my children when not being home two days in a row thoroughly wipes me out. Hats off to you fabulous mommies who must maneuver both worlds.
It's not hard work, but I've been testing first grade homeschoolers with the Stanford. There's monotony in the drone of "Mark the answer which tells how many shoes Juan had altogether." The bright shining eyes of these little ones makes it worthwhile, but I wish I was sharing a real story like Ms. Piggle-Wiggle with them instead of torturing those little souls with the correct spelling of the word have.
Here's the blog of my lovely assistant to peruse. If she's as good with blogging as she is with filling in standardized test bubbles, then you'll be in for a treat. Wink. She's an elegant college grad with a degree in English, so we might expect wonderfully crafted words. Yum.
I have another book recommendation. Piper gave me the book with this unappealing title yet amazing content- Leadership and Self-Deception by Institute Arbinger. It's a business book, and I suppose that explains the dry title. However, don't let that get in the way of reading this gem. The content puts into simple and practical words that which I've always felt internally to be true about relationships. It's like an entire book on living out the charitable assumption.
I was stunned to see human connection being prominently featured as key to a company's success and it's easy translation into regarding all relationships. The insight into behavior and attitude astounded me. I read it in just a few hours, and immediately ordered it's sequel The Anatomy of Peace. Piper says Anatomy even better and a finish to the concepts put forward in Leadership.
If you end up reading it too, please get in touch with me so we can talk! It contains ideas to be shared.
I'm about to jump out of my skin. Tomorrow I begin my research work again for the Shepherd's Call at a coffee house church called The Brown Cup. The "church" called me, because a parent of an attendee talked well to the pastors about his child and my work. The parent told them his children never liked coming to church so much as when they were with me in a previous Shepherd's Call setting.
So, it's like Christmas around here. I'm opening boxes stored since last year thinking, "The children are going to love this! I am going to love this!". As the 10 bridesmaids peep their eyes at me from the bottom of a rubbermaid, I smile and welcome each blue lady back to the light of day after months of hibernation and utter boredom from lack of use. When I was placing the sites of Jerusalem on the map, I thought kind thoughts of the artist Mr. Kim who made it. I remembered Buck and I making the disciples, and I giggle about the ones he says turned like Gene Wilder and Spock.
There is nothing like this work. I'm positively smitten with this Good Shepherd.
image "Go to the people!", John Perkins spoke in his raspy southern black accent. "Live among the poor with purpose with passion. Make people the priority. Give praise to God, so pride won't become an issue. Disciple!"
Chris invited John to speak to a crowd gathered at Tribe One last night. Tribe One is the inner city mission of Knoxville where my heart belongs. I miss the work, the neighborhood, and the people like nobody's business. John brought it all back for me. He sang the call written on my heart to love the and live with the poor- the least of these.
I've heard him speak a number of times, so I knew who he was when he came up to shake my hand. He's a memorable man- a saint. He loves justice, forgiveness, and racial reconciliation. I built my life around the three r's in John's book Let Justice Roll Down: relocate to live among the poor rebuild the community redistribute wealth
His words helped me mull over if I'm passing on to my children John's vision, my vision, the heart of Jesus for the poor. Suddenly, I'm thinking internships rather than summer jobs for my boys. Time with my children grows shorter, and I want to use it wisely.
By putting Tater in school recently, our family dynamics have started to change. My youngest boy, Wise One and my youngest daughter are the only ones left at home for homeschool. I have noticed over the last few weeks they have begun to play together for the first time. I always got the feeling that Wise One has never been thrilled to have the baby boss of a sister, though he's never said so. In case you are fooled by her cute little looks, she's a strong presence- with whom Wise doesn't much like to tangle.
Their relationship has taken a lovely turn. They've begun choosing books and movies together. Both of them vehemently requested I stop by the library yesterday, so that they might reserve the field guide for the Spiderwick books. I've caught them playing Earthopoly (the earth friendly version of Monopoly) and Killer Bunnies (crazy card game) for hours this week. I love them developing their ties outside the older brothers. Older brothers generally rule and these two need to find their own way together.
And how is Tater doing in school? At first it was bliss for all. Then last week, we had a meeting with his teachers who all sang his praises- until they one by one began to realize he's not really turning in work. They decided to implement the old "mom signs off on assignment" plan to which I've responded by becoming the homework slave. Until last night, we'd work till 10:30 or 11:00 on homework, so I could check it off as finished. I decided yesterday that I certainly didn't want to homeschool at night as I'd come to realize I was doing- and that I'd put him in school for a very different purpose. I told Tater I'd give him an hour of tutoring if I had it to give, and that he was on his own from there with homework. I explained he couldn't study past 8:30 in order to get night routines back on track, so he'd better start cracking the books during school. He finished his homework right at 8:30 last night with just a few helps from me in the math he does not comprehend.
One of his teachers wrote an email in response to my plea for help out of the pit of homework hell. She wrote that Tater was socializing instead of working or asking questions. Can you imagine me sending him to school to hang out with buddies just so I'd have to teach him at night? Nope. If you are the praying kind, I could use help and inspiration with this son.
During the service yesterday our pastor decided to talk about morals in terms of guidelines for us. One of his illustrations included the altitude rules of flight. He stated, "Eastbound planes fly at even altitudes." At this my husband started waving his hands and circling his arms and saying out loud in church, "No. Backwards, Brad." Brad turned to Buck mid-sermon to have a little personal chat with my man, "Oh, am I saying it backwards, Buck? Is it the other way around?" Buck nodded. Brad then faced the congregation, which by the way is hundreds of people, and said, "That what I get when one of the members of my church is an air traffic controller. Eastbound planes fly at odd altitudes. Westbound planes fly at even altitudes." I sunk in my seat and covered my terribly red face with my beautiful new lime green shawl knitted by my friend Piper, just for me. I was doubly grateful for the covering of that new garment at that moment.