Thursday, August 18, 2005

One of those days

We drove down the highway this morning, on our way home from errands and piano. After a particularly stressful moment of defensive driving on my part, my nine-year-old asked me, "Mommy, what was that boy doing with his finger?" It's been a long time since I have been the recipient of such a gesture, but it pretty much summed up my day. It's been one of those days that needs to finish, and quickly. We're still sick, my mother is now sick, and we are grouchy. But, as I spent an hour blowing my nose and scrolling through some of my favorite online spots, I got this encouragement:

From Miz Booshay, the proprietor at Quiet Life
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~Christopher Robin

This quote touches on all the dark voices in my head that like to tell me what a big loser I am. Christopher Robin, once again, has just the right thing to say. Thanks, Miz Booshay (who earns the award for Most Encouraging Blog in my corner of the world!)

From Dr. Grant's blog:
However long it takes, whatever the costs involved, however hard the task, and whatever the risks, principled leaders finish what they start. They fulfill their responsibilities. They are in it for the long haul. This is one of the hallmarks of maturity.

The most important part of homeschool planning for me is not the charts or the lists; it is to remember why I am homeschooling, who my children are, why I value and cherish them, what kind of treatment is acceptable between us, and Who is empowering this lovely sailing vessel that is making its way through sometimes murky/sometimes smooth waters. Sure, I make lists and charts (preferably with neat colors and little boxes to check things off); when I don't, I lose track of someone or something. But, this focus on leadership is what I needed to hear. I am a leader (duh!) and I want to show maturity to my group of leaders-in-training.

He also had this bit of kindred confession:
Winston Churchill once quipped that “In order to lead, one must read.” The best preparation for times of difficulty--and believe me, leaders will face times of difficulty--is a well-rounded, well-trained mind. Sloppy thinking is a terrible handicap in the day of testing—whether that day of testing is the loss of a job, the birth of a child, an unexpected medical diagnosis, the beginning of a new semester, or the resolution of an intractable conflict. I have always found that when the pressure is on my best course of action is feed my mind with provocative books. Of course, I need to maintain my spiritual disciplines, eat right, get plenty of rest, make sure I get out and exercise, and stay connected with those God has placed around me. But, if I am not reading, most of those other aspects of a healthy life seem to fall by the wayside.

Amen, Dr. Grant.

From: I Have to Say
My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather with a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear. When I look back at some of these early resting places...I can see how flimsy and indirect a path they made. Yet each step brought me closer to the verdant pad of faith on which I somehow stay afloat today.
Anne Lamott from Traveling Mercies

A beautiful description, and the picture -- you have to go see the picture. I love the photos on this blog!

And, finally, from our friends at Wittingshire:
How can we avoid painting our loved ones with dull colors?

"Humility is enough," Tolkien says.

Great words for parents, for children, for lovers. It's too easy for our view to get distracted; let's strive to keep the colors clear and vivid and rich.

On this crummy day, I say thanks to this assortment of virtual encouragement. My vision is restored!

Farewell, Thursday!

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