Just got back in from seeing the sunset as my son (pre-drivers licensed son) drove us around town to run a few errands. I sat in the passenger seat trying to encourage him to leave at least an inch or two for mailboxes, and practiced my breathing. He’s my last of 6 children to teach how to drive, and well, let’s just say we need quite a few more hours of practice driving under his belt before he goes for his test. But overall, we’re making progress because I didn’t feel quite so much the need to will the car to stay on the road and I was able to take some photos as we (oops, I mean “he” ) drove.
The week had lots of highlights. There was lots and lots of time well spent with four of my six children. And do you know what some of my favorite moments were? Coming into the kitchen and seeing all 4 of them sitting on the deck talking …for hours. Yep, I’d say that’s time well spent. Then they took goofy pictures and laughed.
This next photo was taken when I had just finished talking with their brother in Sweden and shared some crazy news with them about some of his fun adventures…Here’s their reaction…
….and then, here’s the traditional posed shot…
Hope and Josh got to catch up after not seeing each other for a long time…
Yep. Thankful as all get out. I also got to see my parents after not seeing them since Christmas, and that was time well spent as well. So fun.
There were some sweet surprises this week. On the way back home from church, we saw a doe and a fawn…still had spots. I was amazed at how tiny the little guy was, and he didn’t get more than a few inches away from his mother. When I stopped to watch, they watched right back, and I was amazed at the lack of fear. I even had time to grab my camera and take a photo.
The mama doe sure looks proud and protective. I know just how she feels…
So after the weekend, Monday was full of fun as we celebrated with students at school. We had awards ceremonies and parties and celebrated victories. One of my favorite moments was when our therapy dog, Skye, granted us one last visit. She comes twice a month to my classroom for reading, but mainly, it’s for connection. So many of my students have some difficult backgrounds and are pretty emotionally detached. Sweet Skye helps bridge those gaps for a lot of the students, but especially for one little guy. He hardly smiled, except when Skye was around, and he was totally engaged when reading to her. So on this last day of school, he got to hug her and walk her one more time and we all were thankful for the time well spent.
The next day the staff corralled children and tried to keep them occupied which wasn’t easy without much structure in the day. At 11:00 the teachers lined up and waved gleefully at the buses leaving the campus. (Dare I say that some of the teachers even danced!!) And then, we as a staff were off to…an entertainment center to celebrate as a team! I almost missed out on the fun because my list of “to-dos” was longer than I could stand, but reluctantly went because this team of teachers and staff are a team worth celebrating with. And I’m so glad I went. We got to choose from bowling and putt-putt and laser tag, and I chose…laser tag! Was so much fun I couldn’t stand it! And I came home and announced to my boys that we should all go as a family soon so I can show them my skills, ha! They laughed so hard and seemed shocked that I’d choose laser tag over bowling or putt-putt. Not sure if I should be offended by that or not, but I’ll let it go for now.
I also got to hold a sweet little brand new baby boy. Has been a while since I’ve held a little one in my arms. And, it so reminded me of all of the little movements and mannerisms that little ones have. The sights, the sounds, the smells…nothing like a baby. I got to hold the little guy for awhile, and when I gave him back found myself just thanking God that I got to be a mom for all those years with little ones in my arms and at my feet. They’re so grown up, now, but my heart and mind can go back to those days in a moment’s notice. Sweet sweet memories. Well, most of them, anyway!
So, the next day, Tan’s baseball game was cancelled and I felt relieved that there was a little space in my day. We (he) drove, and we ended up down at the Greenway for a walk. It was absolutely beautiful, and so fun to spend time catching up with Tanner.
The sun was just going down and seemed to dance on the water. Loved our time. We even got to see one of his favorite teachers who also happens to be the mom of one of my older children’s friends. Was so good to see her and catch up a bit. Yep, lots to be thankful for.
The next day, the game wasn’t cancelled and we got to enjoy a good game. Well, actually, it might not be classified as a ‘good’ game cause we lost 16 to 2. But boy oh boy did we cheer for those two runs, and every victory. One of the little victories was a catch that Tan made out in left field! (It was after missing two out there and when the ball started flying over shortstop my heart started praying like crazy that he’d make the catch.) He made it and I said “Phew” and a grandmother sitting near me on the bleachers smiled a sweet smile at me and said, “I bet these kids prayer lives are getting pretty strong out there.” Yep. Probably so. And probably their parents’ as well…Oh, and it was cool to hear, “You got this kid” when the “kid” saying it was my kid coaching his younger brother. Chase is out there for every game helping the team. Love that. He’s the one in the photo holding the clipboard and giving me a goofy look. I guess that’s what I get when I ask to take his picture…
So, that brings me to today, and the ride with Tan, and the conversations. He and his teen-aged bearded scruffy self did pretty well driving.
We made it home. Another big “Phew” for sure. At times it doesn’t feel like such a small miracle, especially when there are 6 cars behind you and your son seems to be looking at them in the rear view mirror more than he’s looking straight ahead. Great analogy…not good to spend more time looking back than living in the moment of the day and moving forward. Nope, not good at all, especially when the car seems to have a magnet drawn to all of those perfectly straight mailboxes centimeters away from an encounter with a moving vehicle. So, yes, more praying through things. The little and the big. Thankful God doesn’t discriminate between the two, but hears it all and says, “Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.” Love, Love, Love that.
So, I have a heart of gratitude. Period. For this moment, right here, right now, and those moments in the week when I’m so aware that life is a gift. Period. Sometimes the moments lead me to pray hard hard hard urgent prayers, and sometimes, they lead me to just thank God big time. And sometimes, I just find myself clinging to the fact that I am clueless about the next minute ahead but thankful that God isn’t. And that chases fears away…sometimes quickly, sometimes not. Amazing the catalysts for prayer like baseball and driving. Praying that God will use the moments of our days to bless and build up and move forward. Thankful that the ordinary is extraordinary when seen through eyes of faith knowing that we are not alone and not just our own. How big is that truth? I don’t think that any of us can really grasp the enormity of that. But thankful for the glimpses.
Well, I’ll close for now. Thanks for sharing in my little stories of the week..
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”