Friday, March 27, 2009


I've been sucked into the Destination Imagination vortex. My kids are going to State Championships and I've been spending all my spare time getting them back and forth to practices. Lately, I can't get anything else done. I'm trying to squeeze in the must-do's, like grocery shopping, into all the pockets I use to use for the want-to-do's, like blogging. Sometimes real life trumps virtual life. That's as it should be.

There are a few staples of my busy-life diet I try to keep firmly in place. If I don't, then I begin to look something like that odd ball on the playground that's been warped by time, deflated some by abuse and just won't bounce properly. No one wants to play with that odd ball. I try not to get out of whack and make every effort to remain steadfast as I roll around through life like a pinball bouncing from here to there.

Reading is one of the staples of my busy-life diet. This is something I read recently that's kept me more balanced than I would have been.

Satan dreads nothing but prayer.
The church that lost its Christ was full of good works. Activities are multiplied that meditation may be ousted, and organizations are increased that prayer may have not chance. Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the Devil is to keep the saints from praying.
He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
- Samuel Chadwick

I resolved to pray even more in my busy season and the little girl in me has been rejoicing at God's answers. What helps you remain focused during the busy seasons of your life?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Fever

It's that time of year when we all get a little "Spring Fever". Suddenly, the blessings of being home with children, running errands and making life meaningful through work and play feel like drudgery. “Spring Fever” makes me ready for change.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what fills my tank. There have been seasons where Getting Away from my children was all I needed to feel full enough to return to Motherly Duties. Other times, Getting Outside with my children and just enjoying the great outdoors, doing something educational and different than the day to day table-work has totally floated my boat. Quiet Time to myself has also been one of the regular remedies for the void I feel in my spirit with time to reflect, to read, to ponder, to journal.

However, this season of life I am in, requires something altogether different. At this point I need a jolt of Creativity; learning something new, moving forward, growing a part of me I can scarcely identify. That is what is required in this season of my life. Over the last few years, this need for something new has manifested itself in a variety of ways. But most recently, I have turned into a Knitting Nut!

I recently made my first knitting store purchase on-line. I’ve visited my local knitting store so many times now, I have one of those frequent purchase punch cards. I am in the process of knitting my first sweater, knitting a bucket (yes, didn’t you know you could knit a bucket!?) and am branching out in the area of felting! I have friends who are coaching me along and at least one local knitting officianado willing to listen to me rant and rave about what I’m learning. I picked up a crochet needle (something I swore I would never do) because a few needle tricks with the crochet hook will assist me in some of my new knitting projects.

What do you need to get out of the rut you are in? What totally energizes you? What are you doing to take care of YOU in this Spring season? What helps you survive, “Spring Fever”?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

God Answers

My husband is really "into" politics. He was frustrated in college because he "didn't know what he wanted to do with his life" and today, he wishes he had dived into a major in Political Science. He may not have known what to do with his life, but at least he would have been interested in his classes! ha! Politics, however, are not my stronger suit. I have to work hard to pay attention to his mini-sermons about the state of the world. I have to work hard to engage. I have my own views and my own areas of interest in the greater political realm, but remaining a viable part of the conversation is a stretch for me. Often, it seems overwhelmingly dark.

On a recent night out with some Girl Talking Friends, we were finishing our discussion about kids, school and daily business and the topic became the state of the world. We agreed, doom and hopelessness can be both frustrating and depressing. I had to confess, these days I am avoiding what's going on in the world. I am trying to remain thankful. I am trying to be joyful. I am trying to learn to rejoice in every circumstance. Like the proverbial ostrich, I am purposefully putting my head in the sand and looking for the light. Can you hear the echo? Are you there Lord?

The trouble is, God isn't in the darkness of my hole. No, he's out here. In the grim and grime of the world.

I went home that night and took my usual position in bed to read my evening Psalm. This is what I read in the 46th Psalm:

1.God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea,

3.though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. "Selah"

4.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5.God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

6.Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7.The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. "Selah"

8.Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9.He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

10."Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

11.The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. "Selah"

In the grim and grime of the world the Lord Almighty is with us and He will be exalted among the nations and He will be exalted in the earth. In the midst of everything, He is ever-present and He gives us reason to rejoice!

Do you hear His voice? Do you KNOW that He is God? Have you said, "Thank you?"

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A Long Time Ago in a Land Far Far Away, there was a Boy who lived around the corner. He had a light saber, but that is another story..... That Boy became one of my son’s best friends. On February 14th, his mom blogged about him. As I was scanning the pictures of the boy around the corner as he grew up, I saw, among many wonderful shots of that crazy Boy, my little girl! Oh! What memories we have the boy around the corner and his wonderful family!

They live in Oregon now. Joe doesn’t meet with the boy around the corner’s dad to pray, I don’t get little girly hand-me-downs anymore and we no longer swap children for date-night-outs, yet Robin remains one of those inspirational people in my life. She has always had something significant to share. If you read her blog, you will scratch the surface of her many interests... you may even see how they compare with my own. We love books. We love gardening. We homeschool our children. We are infected with the knitting virus. But Robin, unlike me, is crafty and productive enough to have an etsy shop! Her aprons are so fun! Just like her. It’s easy to see she has lots to check out that etsy shop and enjoy browsing her most tangible gifts.

If you spend some time reading her blog, you will learn a little about the way she sees the world. She is funny. If you read more, you will realize she is smart as a whip. You will sooner or later notice that she has remarkable wisdom and perspective about raising children. She has an uncanny ability to focus on what matters most. She has a big heart and it’s an honest one. What I love most about Robin are the intangible qualities that have helped me see more of God and more who God is making me to be.

I wish her heart still lived around the corner from mine. Maybe it will, someday, in Heaven. If she moves in around the corner at the end of Pearly Lane Road, I will serve goodies wearing one of her great etsy shop aprons! Check them out and check out Robin, she may inspire you, too!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Learning to Play

We have to learn a lot of things in this life. Some things are harder than others. One thing that has been hard for me is Learning to Play.

When I was a child, I played at singing and violin and acting. I was part of a wonderful theater arts program in school. There, I flourished and played all the parts I was given as well as I could. In high school, I made great strides and in my performing arts high school, I made lots of friends who would go onto the entertainment industry. I can play at "entertainment".

In college, I felt it was time to set aside the things of childhood and get serious. There I intentionally gave up the things I loved. At least I tried to. Eventually I got a Creative Arts degree, with the hope at working at a non-profit arts organization. I did that. I hated it. I went back to school to teach. I did that. That suited me very well. First, I had a salary and secondly, because teaching requires a whole lot of creativity!

When my kids were little, I learned how to play with them on the floor. I was knowledgeable enough about children to know that being with them is where it's at. I learned how to relish the moments of stacking blocks and building trains and singing silly songs, but when the time was up, I was always glad to move on to adult matters of the day. My heart could engage in that kind of play for short periods of time, but never for very long. I was a grown-up and I didn't really enjoy play.

As my kids have aged, I have found myself looking for ways to play with them. I fall short, often. I'm the mom who plays the card game out of obligation. (can you hear God's voice saying, "God loves a cheerful giver?"). I'm the mom who watches a movie and tries so hard not to fall asleep, (can you hear Jesus saying, "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?"). I'm the one who prefers a neat kitchen instead of one all messed up by some kids' cooking project (can you hear Jesus say to the woman upset about all the kitchen stuff, "Martha, Martha,you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.")

How I long to not rob my children of a fun mother. I think how Jesus' might have played. What did that look like? Did He and the disciples play pick-up games of stick ball along the road to Jerusalem? Did they ever play marbles on the floor of someone's home? Did they make up skits? Did they make up ridiculous songs or recite funny poetry at parties? Did they concoct zinger trifles to eat for dessert?

I'm certain Jesus was fun.

In contrast, I have a hard time being funny. I AM funny. It's just that no one ever gets my joke. See? That was a joke and you didn't get it, did you?

But more important than wit is that ability to infuse an event with joy. For me, choosing events for the sole purpose of joy is a stretch. But I am learning.

When I moved to CO I began trying a myriad of new things, I discovered a sense of adventure. I grew (out of no where) a belief that I could be good at all kinds of things. There were so many things yet to be discovered. I thought it was time to try them, even if I failed. It was time to get out of the music box I had put myself in and become a new kind of fun. The words of my friend, Abby, ring so true, "Shirin!" she exclaimed, "You are learning how to play!"

The truth about me is that I have no right to talk back to God. Romans 9 reads something like this: "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Can't God do what He wants to with me?

What natural design has He given me? That's a post for another day. Today, I realize that I haven't been my own for a long time. I am His. If He wants to teach me to play then I will learn to play. God is shaping me in ways I have never planned on. I am His workmanship. How is God reshaping you?