Monday, December 10, 2007

Top 5...

Well, it's about time.
And this may be somewhat random.
But the truth is that there have been lots of things to write about in the last 2.5 months, somehow it just didn't happen.
So here's hoping.

5. 19 years is a long time. More than 2/3 of my life. I was at hockey practice on Saturday morning and the kids were supposed to be skating a hard lap. One of the boys slowed down and came over to me and I tried to hustle him on, telling him that he was supposed to be giving it 110%. And he looked at me and said, "But I just wanted to wish you a happy anniversary!" I apologized profusely and allowed myself to recognize the blessing of my kids in my life. God uses them often and when my eyes are open and my heart is loving Him and loving them, I am overwhelmed by His goodness to me through them.

4. Report cards suck the life out of a person. Don't get me wrong. I love writing them. It's time that I wish I took more often to sit back, to reflect, and to see how much growing and learning and loving and working is taking place in the lives of my kids and in my own life. But it's exhausting. I finally feel like I'm getting my life back and now I'm supposed to go to Christmas concerts/parties/and do the shopping and decorating. But my head and my heart are back, I think. And for the record, they were finished in a more organized fashion and earlier than ever before in my 5.3333333333333 years of teaching.

3. My friends are God's gift to me each and every day. In the last couple of months, I dare say that I've had some pivotal moments with more than one of my friends. Conversations that challenge me, conversations that encourage me. Conversations that call me to be better and more, conversations that remind me that even when I could be better and more - I'm still doing some things right and good. Conversations that demonstrated deep vulnerability and tears. Conversations that let me in deeper - and where I let others in more deeply, too. There have also been moments of grace. Sharper skates, picture frames, emails, prayers, bedtime stories, homemade chicken noodle soup, and words like "warm", "trust", "thanks", and "I'm sorry."

2. We are part of a story. Our message Sunday morning was a reminder of the story God is writing and has been writing since the beginning of time. Each of us is part of the story - we are not only characters in it, but co-authors. If we want to really make our part of the story the best that it can be, we need to allow God to be at work in us - trusting that He will keep writing and editing, and serving Him as best as we can with the different gifts He has given us. Trying to be a different character in the story won't make the story better.

1. Belgic confession article 21 (I think - we read it last night at church and it was in that confession somewhere!) says something to the effect of "He died for sins he didn't commit...". I've been going through the prophesies of Isaiah with my kids at school. I love the prophesies. They scream out of a God who keeps His promises - over and over and over. Tomorrow we start week 3 of Advent (a little early I know, but we run out of days at school...) and we will be celebrating the candle of joy. God made Himself human for us. We're quick to throw blame elsewhere - when we've done something wrong we often have to force ourselves to own up to it. How hard can it be to say sorry? He didn't just own up to what He'd done - because He hadn't done a thing. "He died for sins He didn't commit." Gets me every time.