We've reached a lull in our summer, two weeks of nothing on the calendar and I am relishing the breezes and the sunshine and no agenda. Thankful for the ways I sense God moving in my spirit and in our family, for time to reflect and the changes in routine which keep my perspective fresh, for the conversations and relationships that bring new things to the surface. Thankful God is always the same and always doing a new thing, Lord give me eyes to perceive it.
Giving Thanks . .. the energy of my kids and their imaginations, everything summer.
Thinking About . . . How to be most intentional with my life . .. my day . .. this hour.
Noticing that I thrive most when I can find myself within a story, but that I tend to droop or flail when I lose the storyline.
How to fall more in love with God and my neighbor and what does that mean practically?
A way to create a better art space for the kids.
I am thinking a lot about the unaccompanied child refugees from Central America, and how to help. I can't imagine the horror, as a parent, to sending your child on such a journey as their only hope. A book I read recently described such a scene between a mother and her son during the Holocaust, and I am haunted by it. So far I have found no opportunities in Ohio for fostering children who've crossed the border. If anyone reading this knows of anything, please let me know.
In the School Room . . . We are only reading aloud the month of July. Our dining room will be our school room again and I am trying to figure out how to organize our school things so that it isn't always torn apart. Searching craigslist for a bookshelf or cabinet. Wondering how to hang a white board so that it isn't too tacky. (If it were up to me the dining room would only be a classroom. If it were up to Jim our school work would be done on slates and that's all. ;-) )
From the Kitchen. . . a triple batch of zucchini bread in the freezer. (This recipe)
I am Creating . . . working on the novel. Finding my way again.
I am Working On . .. choosing the best thing over many good things. Being more playful and less purposeful. Finding one-on-one time with each kid.
I am Reading . ..
A study of the book of James with our small group
Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming
Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education by Stratford Caldecott
Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type- and Become a Better Parent by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger
The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris
Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge Five stars
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick Loved reading this. A quirky, fun, snappy read with gentle, flawed, lovely characters.
Watch With Me, Wendell Berry Classic Berry comfort food.
In Falling Snow, Mary-Rose MacColl
Praying . ..
Iraqi Christians and Shiites
Israel and Palestine
Central America and the children
Our friends the Johnsons
Listening . ..
A Life In Grace podcasts- I loved all of these.
Clicking . ..
A Difficult Generosity- The Rabbit Room
The visions set forth in the books (and paintings and songs) we turn to for hope are offerings of love, given in the recognition that we truly are members of one another. We all bear the same hunger for eternity. We all walk forward in the dark of doubt, reaching for something we can’t quite name. We yearn to discover who we are meant to become, what it is we hunger to find in those midnight hours when our hearts will not be sated. But the artists and storytellers and makers of song offer the inner vision they have known as a sign of hope to the hungering world. They invite us into the sacred, inmost rooms of their minds and let us stand at the windows of their own imaginations where we glimpse, ah, wonders we might never have dreamed alone.Around the House . .. open windows, ceiling fans running, endless toys, paper scraps, markers, grassy floors, sandy rugs, trying to look the other way . ..
One of My Favorite Things . .. Quiet mornings. The kids sleep past seven most mornings and I can get in nearly three hours of quiet. My mothering graces are multiplied for every hour of quiet I've had before the kids are awake.
Plans for Next Week . . . our last free week of the summer. My plans are to try very very hard to be lazy and slow and indulgent and to read a lot of books and eat a lot of watermelon.