Friday, April 19, 2013


I used to scoff when the "experts" said in parenting magazines and blogs that raising children only gets harder after the toddler years. I read those words going on maybe two hours of sleep, worrying about whether my child will ever stop (choose a word) or ever start (choose a word) worrying about SIDS and cancer as I've known it to terrorize the children of friends and acquaintances of mine.
Now as Caroline is 6, I'm starting to get it. The nuances of her gaining more information about our world from places other than myself, the way she's able to make choices without me there right next to her to give her limited options that will keep her safe/protected, and to have the tough conversations that come with just living.
I'm jumping into this next phase of parenting with both feet...just like at the pool, feet first, my eyes shut tight and  holding my nose as to try and keep from drowning. Some days I come up feeling refreshed and renewed, some days I'm left coughing and sputtering from the way I handled it.
God threw me multiple life preservers yesterday, an encouraging friend who can relate to this exact stage of parenting with her own advice, a group of ladies to laugh at my silliness and to encourage me, and Caroline asking at the end of a long day "How does God forget our sins when He knows everything?" He whispered in my spirit to tell her "He chooses. He loves us so much and is so almighty that He chooses to forget. We get  to remember to not choose the same path next time. But we have forgiveness so we can live free of shame and guilt." I try to remember those words apply to myself as well...
As she sleeps upstairs, a new day dawns, and news of fear spreads across Massachusetts and the U.S...I count and say a quick pray before...1, 2, 3...jump!

This was written as part of 5 Minute Friday, a blog prompt that whoever chooses can write for 5 minutes straight with no backtracking, revising etc. Join up or read more here!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cheating Myself

I cheated during my workout today. I know there are times that you have slow down because your old bones are aching or you can't catch enough breath, but no, this was not one of those times. I just didn't want to do what the instructor was asking us to do. I knew no one was watching me, so I just half-way...okay I should quit sinning...just one-third of the way, did the side shuffles--until the instructor came closer to me. That changed the game.
I knew she'd make me work harder.
I knew she'd push me to my limits.
I knew she knew my name and would call me out.
So I got to work, bent my knees deeper and finished the track...stronger than I would have been if left alone.

Ever since I began college eons ago...okay well, remember when we partied like it was 1999, because it WAS 1999? That long ago, I have been learning to be a life-long learner. I'm almost sick of the phrase. Not because it isn't a worthy and important aspiration, it's just one of those phrases that gets thrown around in every education course, text book, classroom and portfolio I come across until we can all talk knowledgeably about what it means, but are we really living it out? Are we showing by example to our students that we don't know it all, but we are striving to learn more? To apply it better? To keep reaching? I think many educators are doing so, but I had kept closed a part of my heart. For many reasons which I'm sure I'll be pouring out in a later post, but the number one reason being fear. I was afraid to admit how much I enjoy writing.

The Time Has Come.

So here it is:
Hey everyone, 
    Guess what? I love to write! I love to feel inspired all through the day by common and not-so-common occurrences and write fifteen incomplete posts in my head until I've come up with three different words for the word epiphany and then forget what inspired me and move on to the next thing and possibly write a poem about it--oh no, wait-that's not me, how could I do that? and then get inspired again by that thing the wal-mart checker outer said to me or that cloud up in the sky or the way Caroline says "Blow down my window" instead of "Roll" and then I need to make dinner and then love on my kids and then spend time with Tyler and, oh yeah, I forgot the towels in the washer, again...and then...zzzzzz.....
And it's a new day dawning, and what? I haven't written anything down except for a grocery list in two weeks?


So on a whim and a loving nudge from my husband Tyler, I signed up for an online writing course.
The class starts Monday. Life-long learning just got real up in here, y'all.

I've learned so much about myself in the last couple of years. I had NO CLUE I could ever join a gym or actually enjoy -gasp!- working out! Yet, it happened. With the help of knowledgeable instructors and Nike dry-fit clothing.
I know myself well enough now to know it is time to have some accountability in this area of my life. Just like our awesome Body Attack instructor motivates us, pushes us through the pain and eventually into a new body, our writing instructor Elora will be pushing and encouraging us to fine tune our writing muscles. I have no clue where this path is taking me, but I know it is God-driven and it gives me extra energy just thinking about it. (And, boy can I think and think and I have to start typing?!)

It's such a magical experience to pursue a passion you didn't even know was in you, or perhaps for me it was ignoring that it was there.
I've been creating syllabi for my college students for ten semesters now. It's time for me to face a syllabus again as a student. All I know right now is that I have a LOT to learn.

ps There's a badge for Story 101 on my blog if anyone wants to be a life-long learner as well. : )