Archives for posts with tag: Little things are big things

kindness2

So, this little guy didn’t get to go on his field trip with his class today. He was pretty upset. Rightly so. Wasn’t because he had been disrespectful or not done homework or anything of a punitive nature. He just hadn’t brought back the permission, and we couldn’t get a hold of mom. When I went in his room, his coat was all the way over his head and he was so not happy about his plight. I wouldn’t have been either.

But he came with me and he spent the morning with me and other students and seemed pretty happy….but oh-so-incredibly fidgety, as are many of my students, and sometimes their teacher as well ūüôā¬† So when it came for my planning time, this little guy and I went outside to the walking track. Correction, walking track for me. RUNNNNNNNing, JUMPING, sKiPpInG track for him.

And then after walking a bit, I asked a question. I said, “Would you like to pick some flowers for your teacher?”¬† And that running, jumping, SPRINTING child listened and smiled and was actually incredibly quiet and STILL for a minute…………………………………..¬† “YEAH!” he says. Big smile. HUGE smile…and then, …..

And then the RUNNING, JUMPING, sKiPpInG boy circled and looped the inside of the track for tall dandelions. He scanned and searched and stooped and picked then scanned and searched some more.¬† And then he organized them in a beautiful little bouquet and QUIETLY and happily and with great focus and attention made sure that they “looked good.”.

And we skipped and walked and he ran and looped our way back to the school for the next group of students and lesson. (Am convinced he probably took 4 or 5 steps for every one of mine…not just because of his gait, but because of his looping around and around as I walked a somewhat straight line.)¬† I’m thinking he’s going to sleep well tonight.

I’m thinking I will too.¬† No, it wasn’t a fun field trip to a science center, but it was a good day. My little right hand man assistant and I had a pretty good day. I’m thinking his teacher might smile when she sees the dandelion bouquet in her box as well. Thankful that sometimes, the little things really do feel like big things.

Blessings~

Heather

Wordless Wednesday

(I’ll do better with the ‘wordless’ part next week…but hope you enjoyed the photo ūüôā )

 

 

 

IMG_5312

Thankful for …Reunions. Reunions of siblings who happen to be my children. Surprises of seeing a son who has been in California for 8 months who, with the help of his sister, surprised us with a sweet, sweet visit. (Heard banging at 6 something in the morning and came down to see them both in the kitchen waiting ūüôā¬† Hope had gone to the airport at 4 to get Aus…¬† Sooo good to have him home for a time…Thankful that the trip coincided with birthdays of his younger sister and brother and included lots and lots of sweet surprises with family members who celebrated way more than birthdays. Thankful for my oh-so-different but oh-so-similar children who love each other and their differences and similarities. And thankful that we’ve had lots of time to catch up and sit on the deck and drink coffee, and laugh, and remember, and look forward a bit. My cup runneth over for sure…DSCN5545.jpg

Thankful for…once-full, now-spindly impatiens giving way to pansies as one season gives way to another. Thankful for the constant changing of seasons in the lives of those I love…. Am aware there are so very many transitions in the lives of 20-somethings…(and 5 of our 6 ‘children’ happen to be in this category right now, with the youngest only a few years away… )¬† Transitions are good as long as we’re reaching and moving forward. Momentum is good. Good not to fear change. Good to see the beauty in the old, but embrace the undiscovered things awaiting in the new.¬† Fear has a way of looking back, faith has a way of looking forward, empowering the now.New seasons in my life and the lives of those I hold dear that keep changing way more than four times a year. Praying for guidance with¬† doors opened and doors closed…and courage to run through them when they are open wide and wise, and to stay away when they are open wide but not so wise.¬† Prayer is a good good thing. So is counsel with those who know us. So is listening to our conscience and gut…and moms of course, ha!¬† (most times anyway ūüôā )

Thankful for …Laughter. Yes, out-of-control-laughter precipitated by familiarity that my new very favorite commercial brings up in me. Sometimes people may move at a bit of a s l o w e r pace than we might prefer.¬† I happen to work with a few of those children who are so very loved, but who definitely have their own pace.¬† Thankful for the awareness that my pace¬† doesn’t take precedence over another’s. Sometimes slowing down is a good thing…even when it feels a bit like this:

Geico Sloth…moving a bit slowwwwwww

 

I’m thankful for my youngest “child” who is now a co-manager for the basketball team. Thankful for this kid and for his friend, the other senior co-manager.¬† Tanner knows that connections and belonging are good, good things. He seeks them out. He knows that being a part of a team takes all kinds of skills, and that even though his best skills don’t include three point shots and lay-ups, he can still toss a ball or clean uniforms or take film of the games. Yep, love that we need all kinds of folks with all types of skills, and all kinds of paces (fast, medium, and even sloth-s l o w w w w ), for true community comes when we build on strengths, not play on weaknesses.¬† Oh, and I’m thinking we all have things that we’d be sloth s l o w w w at. Take me for instance… I might take a LOT more time to figure out a computer program than your average Joe, but if¬† you need a poem written or a dinner whipped up in 10 minutes, I might go at record speeds. Yeah, community allows for differences and celebration of strengths to be used for the common good.¬† Thankful my Tan man is finding his way.

Thankful for…provision on our most recent venture to Myrtle Beach. For old cars with no payments that sputter to the finish line of a 5 hour trip only to be welcomed and fixed by a family member who is anti-sloth-fast at mechanics and had the shop to do it. Thankful for brother-in-laws who are kind and patient and giving of their time to fix broken things. Thankful that that car could’ve broken down anywhere, but did it within an hour from where we needed to be. Thankful for humor and think time and sensors and lights on cars that give at least a little direction to this driver who had a husband on the other end of the line who called just as the car sputtered and ….STOPped. Yikes.¬† I like telling him about things AFTER they happen and are all fixed. Thankful that¬† I knew his anger was more fear and out of control frustration than anger…. Thankful for experience and years that remind me that things often only feel urgent and so incredibly heavy when the gravity of the situation outweighs the grace of provision in the midst of it. Thankful for a son who didn’t freak out but trusted my judgement in the middle of our little pit stop… He was just fine eating his lunch as his mom checked fluid levels and gages and sat ‘for a minute.’ Thankful for the perspective and realization that maybe I really am thankful for this old car after all! Yes, thankful for old cars with no payments and low insurance rates that can give reminders that we should be thankful for them too. Perspective is everything…

DSCN5136

Thankful for time walking with Tan man on the beach one morning. For walks and talks and sand and wind and crashing waves and the freshness that came with all of it. Thankful for freedom of running and laughing and watching birds fly every which way as Tan man charged on through.

DSCN5126

Thankful for…old friends and new who know your roots, your past, your beginnings, and for those who come later on the journey, and keep in step with you along the way. Thankful for times when that path seems narrow and bumpy and hard, and then respites, like today, when the path feels wide and smooth and dare I say, easy. Thankful for days when things just feel…easy.¬† But thankful that, like with my car, it’s all relative, in terms of what is or isn’t “easy”.¬† For what appears an easy path for some may be a difficult one for another.¬† We all have our own path. Our muscles and hearts and minds are prepared on prior paths for the paths ahead. Muscles developed on the not-so-easy paths are strong, ready, and prepared for the ones that might leave many by the way side. Thankful that path ahead is mine. Lots of choices to make even when you’re not a twenty something. Lots of opportunities taken or lost. Lots of amazing things to be involved in, and lots of things that also probably need to go by the wayside. Goals help to choose which is which goes or stays.¬† And prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.

Thankful for dark nights with skies full of stars and the reminder that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves. Thankful for the realization that as I stepped outside one night to get a little perspective by looking up, that a son of mine was out doing the same thing. Yeah, it’s good to look up…and to see the vast grand sky, but to know that each star has its part, it’s little space to light up. Yep, a good reminder for sure. Thankful that morning light comes after the dark of night.

dscn5883-e1510515657859.jpg

Enter a caption

DSCN5779

Thankful for early morning walks, and quiet, and wind, and cold. For time to think and pray and process and just walk with no major tasks at hand. (Except maybe finding a way around a rabid raccoon…but that’s another story…yikes.¬† Big time yikes.)¬† Yep, love early morning walks…and then I love coming home to light and warmth and not-so-quiet.¬† Good to have a balance.

DSCN5547.jpg

Thankful for surprises like this bloom that keeps on blooming despite winds and storms and cold temperatures. Resilience is a good thing. It’s even better when that resilience is wrapped in a package that adds beauty to the world around it. Yeah, thankful for little things like flowers that beat the odds.

Thankful that I’ve got a full week ahead and a full week behind, but it’s quiet here right in the middle of it. It’s a gray, cold,drizzly Sunday afternoon with candles going,¬† dinner is on, and I have a must-read book that I must read by Tuesday. Deadlines, well, am not so thankful for those, but will push on through.¬† (The book is on trauma…yikes. tough read, but necessary for me in my position with some amazing students who are much like my mandevilla…trying to be resilient and beat the odds when surroundings make it difficult.)

Thankful for sweet readers who actually wade through these words…and the fact that we’re all in this together, and sometimes it’s the smallest of things that can remind us of that.

Blessings ~

Heather

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
Psalm 73:28
(…on a Sunday…been a full week…)
 

 

 

.

DSCN2747.jpg

So this past week, I was really convicted about something.

And that word “convicted” stuck out to me. ¬†I mean in the Christian realm we can use that word quite a bit. We say that we are convicted of this or convicted of that. Oftentimes it might be the ‘little things’ like eating too much or wasting time or saying things before praying through. And I thought about how so often when we (I) say we are convicted of something, we (I) STAY convicted of something because sometimes there’s a release in the admission…and we (I) leave it there. ¬†We (I) just leave it there.

So here’s the thing that struck me. We use the word “convicted” a lot and that’s all well and good, but logic follows that if we are convicted, we are a …(here it comes) convict. ¬†A convict? ¬†Yep, a convict….one who is convicted of something. Not the verb, the NOUN. ¬†Now THAT word has a bit different connotation. It also has lots of visual imagery of prison bars and jail cells and men in orange jumpsuits. And it struck me that if we (I) say we (I) are convicted without moving into the rehabilitative phase after the conviction, we (I) stay a convict. ¬†Yikes. We stay stuck. I stay stuck and choose to inhabit a¬†prison of sorts if I (we) don’t learn from the conviction, the guilty feeling, the conscience speaking and move beyond it.

It was always a no-brainer when dealing with my children. I mean, if they are truly sorry for something, the behavior will change, right? As a mom who loves them, I needed to help them to learn and turn. Learn from the behavior (with not so fun “lessons” via time out, restrictions, etc.) and Turn. I expected that from them and helped them see the reality of what would happen if they stayed stuck. Loving them and wanting good things for them helped me see and act with clarity and resolve. (Most times, anyway.)

Do I do the same thing with myself? ¬†As an adult, I’m amazed at how much I can rationalize things. That’s so not good. The “no big deal” phrase and cultural norm can keep me stuck. If I feel truly stuck in something, convicted, convinced of sin or a lack of wisdom, I will own it. ¬†If I own it, I will hopefully change the behavior, transform the thinking, move beyond the being stuck, imprisoned and convicted, to being rehabilitated, changed, free.

And it takes honesty. And it takes work. And it takes not listening to what the world says about things and truly listening to, seeking out, and bathing my heart and mind in the scripture that is the Truth that sets free. And it takes praying through and surrendering and being very honest with myself. It takes shoe leather (or canvas or whatever they make shoes out of these days). It takes action. Determination.

If I were to share the thing that convicted me with a lot of people, so many would say, “Oh brother, that’s no big deal….” ( I hate that phrase when it comes to things of the heart and actions that can free us..but that’s a thought for another day…) ¬† My conviction had to do with¬†priorities,…an awareness that my ‘go-to’ for encouragement and a lift¬†wasn’t ‘seeking ye first the kingdom of God”, but was more seeking others’ words, others’ thoughts rather than me going first to the Source myself. Not a bad thing,¬†but not the best thing. ¬†Christ-followers need to be attuned to when we’re veering from the path, getting a little off track. Because the little steps lead to the big journeys. ¬†And the watering down of priorities can lead to horrific outcomes. ¬†I know that and have seen it and don’t want to live it. Being stuck is no fun. ¬†So many times it can lead to others being stuck too. Not good.

So today, I put my running shoes on. Figuratively and literally as a reminder. I’m doing a little inventory on myself and being honest about my priorities. I’ve gotta pray before I quickly say things or hit “send”. I’ve gotta seek the Source and not put second or third or last things first. I’ve gotta be honest with myself about time and be aware that each day is a gift that can be wasted or used to honor the God I love. So many things are simplified by merely putting first things first.

So today starts with coffee and scripture. And do you know what else it starts with? ¬†A new morning, a chance to start again…a new beginning. It starts with gratitude for being able to ‘learn and turn’ and enjoy the simplicity¬†of lessons learned and new goals set. It starts with a determination to make the most of this beautiful Saturday knowing that this day, this moment will never come again. ¬†But the things I do and the steps I take? ¬†They will lead me. They follow me. And I’m thinking that I want to choose to stay on the simple narrow path that leads to freedom. Yep, I’ve got my running shoes on. ¬†Thankful for being a runner in this race of faith…and that goals with determination lead to destinations. I can trust God with the destinations as I honor Him with my steps. The big ones and the so little ones. They lead. And when the race is over, I want to be thankful for where those big and little steps lead.

Blessings~

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, ¬†fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33

P.S. ¬†Wanna know something funny? I thought this would be a paragraph post. Maybe two. Maybe another goal of mine should be to take a writing course on editing which focuses on “abridged versions”. Yikes. To those who made it to the end, thanks for staying with me!

P.P.S. Just a little note of clarification. The journey I speak of today¬†has nothing to do with earning God’s love at all. It has everything to do to responding to His love though… It’s not about salvation, but sanctification. It’s about the way we run because He ran to us. The way we love because He loved us. The way we live because He died for us. My steps, right or wrong, can’t change His love..But they can lead me closer to Him and further away. Here’s to the moving closer…

%d bloggers like this: