Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Love Story

If you've read this blog for long ( and someone is reading this blog, aren't you?), you may have gathered that it's been a weird year so far at the 'House.  Not bad, per se, just...odd.
God is up to stuff.  Silent stuff. Loud stuff.  
Church stuff.  Personal calling stuff.  School stuff.  Kid stuff.  Answering prayer stuff.  
I don't know what it's all for or where it's all going, but I know it's going somewhere.
Maybe gradually, maybe all-at-once, we may find out the why.
Or maybe we won't know this side of heaven.  
That's okay, too.

Earlier in the summer, someone asked me to write my "faith story."  If it's not too late, I still want to, but I admit I kept putting it off.
I was waiting on the Big Finish, the Concluding Statement, the Object Lesson.
You know, the "Through it all, I've learned...."

It hasn't come yet, not for this chapter, anyway.
This is the faith story in progress, as all good faith stories are, really.
Otherwise we're a)not really walking in faith in Christ  or b) are already in His Presence in Heaven.

In this faith story, we're somewhere in the rising action.  The conflicts are still developing--(wo)man against herself, against the world, against the thousands of little (and large) life pitfalls that separate the real from the fictional.

It's a faith story.
But it's really a love story.
In it my Prince came, 
and He loved me.

He has written the story,
beginning to end.
He's the Hero, and He wins.  (He's won already.)
(And since I'm riding on the back of the white horse, holding on for dear life, I win, too.)
Be blessed,

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hello, Monday: Hit the Ground Running

Ever had a weekend that wasn't quite as weekend-y as you thought it would be?
Had one of those.
Saturday was a good day in some ways, but it was overshadowed by bad (no, more than bad; horrific) news, and I've spent a lot of the weekend praying to know what to say and how to say it.
Fortunately, today was a diagnostic testing day for ELA, so it was quieter than usual today in my room.

Some hellos:
Hello, heat!  

You waited until the last week of August to show up, about the time I always hope you'll go away.  Don't stick around long; I enjoyed your absence.
Hello, stomach bug.  You've arrived early, and you need to vanish quickly.
Hello, teenage hormones.  When you're gone, it will mean my kids are grown.
 I have a love-hate relationship with this truth.
Hello, tomatoes.  You're taking over the counter. 
 That means I should do something with you, doesn't it?
Hello, questions.
 Questions, questions, and more questions.

You are the faith story in progress.
Be blessed,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Laundry Room Reveal: Done is Better than Perfect

Years ago, I worked for a company that used the motto, "Done is better than Perfect".
It's become something of a personal mantra for this recovering perfectionist.
 A  perfect reveal post would have all the decorating/storage/organizational solutions photo-ready.
In this house, payday has to come before that can happen (thank you, budget envelopes), so you're getting the Almost Done version.
Call it Laundry Room 2.O, awaiting small updates.
To get the full effect, you'd need to see before pictures.

There are no before pictures.
I got busy and forgot to take them, and when I left to be with my mom during her surgery, Big Red finished the painting for me (love that man) and covered up all the paint samples. 
There were a lot of paint samples. 
I was earnestly attempting to use some leftover paint from other projects since the laundry area is small, but nothing quite seemed to work. 
 They were all too dark or too gloomy in a room with only one small window
(obvious given these blurry pictures!) ,
or they clashed with the wall that leads to the rest of the house. 
 In the end we went with the same color as the main living areas, a lovely leafy green by Laura Ashley called Apple 3. 
 (It's discontinued, but our Lowe's will still mix it.  If not, there's an Eddie Bauer "Apple" paint that's similar.)
Here's the part-way done pictures:

I didn't take before pictures because I was too busy emptying an entire bookcase of cookbooks.  
I narrowed it down to one shelf of books I either a) use or b) kept for sentimental reasons.
 I have a cookbook from every place I've lived. 
 Except here.  
I should remedy that.
Okay, so it isn't perfectly neat.  This is the Real World--and it is so much better than it was.
Then we moved about half the contents of this room to the basement, where Big Red, Man With Power Tools, fixed two closets for storing seasonal stuff like Christmas cookie cutters and my turkey roaster.
Finally, I sewed.
I'm on a roll.
My main make-over goal was covering those ugly hoses that someone--clearly a man with no thought to the future decorating issues--placed above the washer.
While I was at it, why not a new ironing board cover?
(Just hand over some thread and nobody gets hurt.)
The oh-so imperfect results:

Did I mention the fabric was (nearly) free?  I'd bought a few yards at the thrift store years ago and discovered it was the perfect amount for these two projects.

Some vinyl action and tiny lamp:

Old painting + scrapbook stickers= DIY art.

I still want to hang some photos and figure out a solution for clothes sorting.  The garbage cans we've been using just don't seem to have enough panache for our new space.  Any suggestions?
This was my one major accomplishment of the summer!  We're loving it.  
Be blessed,
Linking up at Better with Age!

Monday Musings: Hello, Again

Hello, Monday!
Hello, second week of school.  Please don't be as long as the first one.
Hello, rain-and flash-flood watch.  I can't remember a time when the ground didn't squish under my feet.
Hello, unseasonably cool weather.  I'd love for you to stick around as long as you'd like.
Hello, high school.  DD#2 is stressed to the max by you.  You're making me glad my one of my best friends does my hair color.
Hello, garden veggies!  So very glad to see you, though I find you a bit overwhelming.
Hello, migraine.  All this rain...dropping barometric pressure..ugh.
Hello, decisions and prayers.  Change is swirling around us, and yet we don't have a word yet except "wait."  So we wait. 
What's are you waiting on this Monday?
Be blessed,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

15 Seconds

By the end of the first day, 
both principals,
every teacher,
and the school resource officer
knew his name.
Notoriety from Day 1 is not a good sign.

Yesterday, after a particularly unlovely exchange,
I walked with him down the hall to the principal's office.

Then the Holy Spirit came, in that way that He does. 

Something in the words He gave me raised the veil.
For a moment 
I saw the 
and for 15 seconds, 
my heart 
welled up with compassion,
and I knew him
as a boy Jesus loved.

Today will, in all likelihood, be a rough day.
So will tomorrow, and possible every day after.
Grammar can't address his sin.
Teachers can't change lives--Jesus can.

Yet, I don't think I will forget
15 seconds 
when Christ lifted the curtain,
and I saw.

Be blessed today,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Two Weeks

Two weeks is a long time to disappear in Blogland.  
Two weeks is a long time at our house.
In that fortnight, much has transpired:
School started.
DD#1 became a licensed driver and drove her senior self to her last first day of school.
DD#2 went to high school. 
Katniss vanished.
Big Red helped a friend clean up when flash flooding destroyed their chicken houses. (80,000+ dead chickens--a sight I admit I'm glad I didn't see.)
Three students came to my class who speak no inglés . Zero. Zip. Nada.
I speak no español. Zero. Zip. Nada. 
A car salesman  rambled on to us about what a "sweet gig" teachers have.
 I offered him a chance to try it during my third period class.
Two weeks can be a long time.
Long, with a kaleidoscope of emotions and free-falling changes.

This weekend,
I read The Light in the Window all the way through for probably the 100th time,
put up six quarts of squash and picked okra,
watched Anne of Avonlea
baked a peach cobbler.

Two weeks is long enough
 for my blogging insecurities to bubble to the surface,
for the loneliness and longing of the writing to push at me,
for answered prayer and for more waiting.

Be blessed,