Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Honor the Memory

The kids clamor to see what I see at Itasca State Park -- one of hubbies favorite photos. Does it look familiar? This is the location from which I took the header photo.

I have recently read the book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. He desires for people to reframe their thinking about stuff. One thing he talks about is honoring the memory that is attached to the stuff that makes it hard to let that stuff go. Give it a place of honor.

Summer statue photos:
We are one at the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis; the kids bi-annual photo with Paul Bunyan at a rest stop in Northern Minnesota.

And so this weekend I will begin to transform my cluttered photo table into honored memories by scrapbooking for 48 hours with a good friend away from it all. And so I begin by displaying four random photos from the last six months.

The trophies and cars from the Third Bi-Annual Jaeger Classic Derby Christmas Day Races (I think we need a longer name for this!).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Overflow from the Dining Room Table

I like traditions. Both my husband and I grew up eating dinner every night around a table. It was a non-negotiable event. No music. No TV. Everyone who was home was seated around the table. Still when we gather with extended family, much reminiscing and laughter happens around the table. We do this now with our four children -- dinner every night around the table.

I like tradition. I grew up in a liturgical church that celebrated Advent with candles. Occasionally the church I attend now does an Advent wreath. When I saw Leila and Joanne celebrating Advent around their own dining room table, I knew I wanted to implement this, too. (Okay, I know that Christmas is done but my blog was just born!)

So I put together the Advent wreath above with supplies from home and what I couldn't find at home, I found at the Dollar Store. Whenever we were home for a regular meal during those four weeks before Christmas (there seem to be a lot of non-normal meals throughout the season), we would light the candles, sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel and read the suggested Scripture (from a bookmark I downloaded from Joanne's blog). After reading the Scripture, we would sing another Christmas carol or two based on the passage.

One night we read the familiar Luke 2:8-14 passage. And the obvious song choice was Joy from the Seeds Project that put Luke 2:8-14 to music. As we listened to it, tears began to trickle down my cheeks. I looked at my husband. He had tears, too. The song emphasized the joy and the peace that was ours because Jesus was born. We sang this song several times during Advent.

Then, the kids decided they wanted us all to sing the song for the extended family on Christmas eve. So we did. Kip learned the guitar chords. We played and sang from the overflow of our dining room table. Nothing fancy. Not the best performance in the world. Not for the stage. But six hearts praising God.

I heard the Christmas message in a new way this year. At my own home. At my own dining room table. We meditated on the Joy that will be for all people and peace to us.

Not that it happens all of the time. Most of the time the dining room table is loud. Requests for more food, not for this food. Squabbles between the siblings. My table is like your table. I just took a few moments do something else here and there. It would get late. The kids would complain and ask "Why are we singing this?" "Do we have to keep singing this?" But as I am still treasuring this Christmas moment from the overflow of the dining room table, it makes all the meal efforts worth it.

It encourages me to keep pressing on in the midst of the squabbles, the complaints and the mundane. To add a sparkle here and there. We didn't do all of our Christmas traditions. We didn't keep up as well with our usual Advent calendar or make Christmas cookies.

But we did sing as a family from the overflow of our dining room table where the praise started. And somehow that seems right and worth it all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blur to Focus

On Tuesday I went to the eye doctor. It took two hours to get a new, crisp prescription. Once we arrived at the new prescription, I was able to put the contacts in my eyes because they had them in-stock. New clarity. But only for a moment because the doctor put The Drop in my eyes.

I agreed to this drop. I marked The Box -- The Agree to Dilate My Eyes Box. It was for a good cause. It was for my eye health. I know it will only take a few hours to clear up. But there did seem to be irony in blurring my vision in order to get clearer vision (or really to make sure the eyesight stays healthy.)

It also got me thinking about life. And that sometimes the path seems to be the opposite of where I thought was headed. Even though I ask God for clarity about the path, I don't always receive the nice, clear explanation about when this really will clear up (in two or three hours or days or months or years).

Instead I need to trust the Guide of Life, the One who said, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. " Isaiah 55:8

Sometimes trusting Him is the only way because I can't understand the explanation. I need to trust. Just like a child trusting her mom that we needed to make your eyesight more blurry so that it can be more focused later.

Sometimes it seems we are going down to get up, going left to go right. So I keep trusting. I am glad God has told us that His ways are different than ours and too high to really understand. It does help. Especially when things have gotten fuzzier just when you thought they might clear up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Blog Was Born

"If you are going to spend so much time reading blogs, you should write one yourself," said my husband of 16 1/2 years. My oldest son nodded vigorously in agreement.

And a blog was born.
My blog. Here it is.

Now I have the first post done. Now I can go on to writing other things.
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