Saturday, September 28, 2013

31 Days

October's almost here, and all around the web, bloggers are posting for 31 days on every topic under the sun.
This year, I'm trying to be one of them.
There's a slight concern.
What, after all,do I have to talk about for 31 days straight?
Lesson plans?  Most of you, as far as I can tell, aren't teachers and might be bored into a coma.
Pinterest projects?  I'd like to say I'd get that done, but we both know that would be an epic fail.
Devotionals? Maybe.
Photos?  Could be doable.
Chocolate recipes? Hmmm....
My mind flitted from one idea to another until inspiration struck this morning right in the middle of my second cup of coffee.
Why would the World's Most Overwhelmed Blogger attempt 31 days of posting?

For a while now, I've been running on grace and a Saturday sleep-in, and I had my eyes focused on the King.
But school started
, and we had eleventy-million parent conferences in one week,
 and I got behind grading papers, 
and 116 blank stares looked back at me when I explained topic sentences.
Then in a meeting
 I sat all by myself out on a limb 
(where I'm pretty sure God put me), 
and it wasn't fun in the least bit (though necessary),
 and I cried
 and discovered that once I started, 
it was difficult to stop.
Like most perfectionists, when I get overwhelmed, I shut down. 
 Doing anything productive takes longer than  a bill through Congress.
Planning my errand list this morning, I realized it was time to do some things I'd been putting off,
 and that made me think of other things I'd avoided,
 and I knew I wanted to get focused.
In the Gospels, Jesus talks a lot about following and focusing-
 following Him and focusing on the right priority (Him).  
This month, will you walk with me 
as I follow hard after Christ and refocus on Him?  
Click here to see all posts as they come up!  Thanks for joining me!
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Be blessed,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Favorite Fall Mantel

Now that September is nearly over, I'm finally here to show you my favorite fall mantel evah, my accidental school-themed mantel.  It was a bit like the best of lesson plans, uninspired at the outset but ending with an ah-ha! moment that makes the whole thing work.
It begins with a few pencils and books and the antique chalkboard that appears here regularly.  

There it sat until I hit the jackpot in my basement, where my rummaging around unearthed class pictures from my mother's college and teaching days. 

 Strung from a twine and miniature clothespins, they added the perfect vintage touch.  

Don't they all look spiffy?  
They look considerably more pulled together than I do on my best days.
I love it when my favorite vintage looks are also meaningful.
I wish my mom could see it, though if she's anything like me, she won't remember anyone's name.  
(I have trouble with kids I taught last year; sixty years later isn't looking hopeful!)
Be blessed,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pebbles and Boulders

Some days are full of pebbles-
a myriad of small, stinging pains,
any one of them minor,
together an onslaught that flings dirt in the eyes, 
draws tears,
leaves a thousand tiny bruises.

Then there are boulder seasons-
breathtaking, crushing things 
too large for my finite mind,
blocking the view,
impeding progress.

These are boulder days.
Church issues.
A friend's heart and home shattered by infidelity.
Administrative changes in our school district.
A senior and a freshman.
Students in darkness breaking the surface as anger 
and kids in darkness masked by a pleasant demeanor.

Amid the boulders,
I cry out to Jesus--
to be salt and light,
gentle, winsome, truthful, faithful--

but mostly just for Him.

Do not tremble, do not be afraid.

    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.

Isaiah 44:8

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nose in a Book

The 13.8 seconds that I've had for reading the past few days have been devoted to this:

Read it.
Be blessed,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Letter from God

It came in the mail this summer.
With a cryptic return address and no signature,
it might as well have appeared out of nowhere.

It was short,
but it spoke volumes,
shouting the voice of my Father 
when things had been very, very quiet for months.
 Though it resonated those first few days,
it has become increasingly meaningful as months have passed, 
and I see the nuances that have woven their way through this strange summer.

Not long after it came, I learned who sent it from someone else
blessed with a word
 (a very different word than mine, I might add) 
 from this anonymous author.
Surprisingly, knowing who wrote did not diminish its power.
you see, 
the author was not someone I know well.
She doesn't live in my town,
and there is absolutely no way she would have ever known,
ever guessed
that I needed those words
she had spent much time on her knees
talking to my Father 
about me.
Be blessed,