Friday, September 23, 2011


I was reading a story to Lily a few days ago, and one of the pages said, "And since you are so special, God wanted to put you in just the right home. Where you would be warm when it's cold, where you'd be safe when you're afraid, where you'd have fun and learn about heaven." (Max Lucado) Now I love Max Lucado, don't misunderstand that, but this has bothered me for a few days. I'm just thinking that if I was from a home where I wasn't kept safe or warm or well fed, then the natural logic from this text would be that I'm not special.

Now, I am warm or cool, whichever I prefer. I have a sizable house, hot and cold water from multiple faucets, plenty of furniture, enough food that I can be choosy and let even let some ruin, health/dental/life insurance, and friends and family who love me. I have a car (two even!) and enough money to put gas in it whenever needed. There may not be money for extravagant purchases, but I have everything I need and a great deal of what I want. However, I am no less special than someone who lacks every one of these things. I did nothing to deserve to be born into a working class family any more than the orphan in Rwanda did to merit being born into genocide and poverty. And neither of us is more or less special to God. 

This isn't the first time I've struggled with this. For the first few months after we chose to sponsor Yeimi through Compassion, I would wonder, especially when I looked at my kids, why God would put her there and me here if He loves us all. It wasn't a passing question, I really puzzled over it for a long while. Finally, I got a clear answer. The answer was that I have all of my needs met with money left over so that God can take care of Yeimi through us. She is just as special to God as Lily is. Now I have to make sure that she stays as special to me. The grace is free for the taking, but we just can't choose to keep it for ourselves.

Weekly School Update

I've decided to start documenting our school happenings on Fridays, just to document then fun, what has worked well, and things that I would like to change. This week was a little different, because it was the week after vacation. Kayla had requested that we do school during vacation, but when we got there, she changed her mind. This meant that I had a week's worth of school already completely planned when we got back. What I didn't foresee about skipping a week was how good it would be for just letting things settle in Kayla's brain and how bad it would be for Lily just by getting that far off of routine.

This week, we started talking about fractions and equal parts. It came much easier for Kayla than I had imagined. She actually hasn't struggled a bit with the whole concept. We also hit the halfway point in our reading book, and we were pretty proud about that. If nothing slows us down, we should finish the book by Christmas, so it's time for me to start thinking about what to do for the new year. We finish our Kindergarten math curriculum sometime in December, too. I don't expect every year to go this smoothly, but it is obvious that she was just really ready for this jump into Kindergarten level work.

Since we were at the beach last week, I had planned an Ocean themed lapbook . It has been a lot of fun talking about the different things we find at the ocean I have learned a few things, too.We aren't quite finished since we took a day off yesterday for that whole socialization bit that various people keep harping on. Maybe I will post a picture of it after we're done. Now if I could just decide what to do next week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Listening to God

I need to be a better listener. And I need to make time to listen. This week of vacation showed me a little bit of what life could be like if I did more of that. I got a few very clear messages from God this week, and none of them came during a scheduled quiet time or prayer time. So I think what I have is a receptivity problem more than a seeking problem. And if God is continually drawing us to Himself, this makes sense to me. Not meaning that I'm off the hook for seeking God with all my heart. I just think that part of the seeking is more about listening than I realized before.

I need to find ways to help me do this, to stay tuned in and receptive to God's voice. I'm not quite sure what that is going to look like. But it has to be more than 30 minutes in the mornings before the house comes alive. My first thought is to find another book to read and study. Maybe not a bad choice for everybody, but it can certainly be a cop-out for me.  I don't have any answers on this yet, but I do know that it involves both one-on-one time with my God and time caring for other people. It also involves less wasted time and energy and maybe some new habits. It's all still being flushed out, but I'm writing it down so that I don't let the week come and overwhelm me until I convince myself to forget the spiritual productivity of this past week.