Our summer vacation begins officially on Wednesday afternoon when the school year ends, and we can hardly wait! I’m very excited to have my children home with me for unscheduled time. The summer is usually a crazy balancing act of enjoying family activities and keeping up with freelance work for this short season of play and fun. 75 days. That’s how much time we have before another school year begins and they continue the inevitable rush to growing up. But, for summer, we all seem to stand still and just enjoy each other. I’m determined to take advantage of every minute — even those minutes when we are doing nothing special. Last year, in my daily journal, I wrote the number of days remaining in our summer vacation in the corner of each day’s box. It was a bittersweet discipline of watching these precious free days with everyone together, and recording our adventures. This morning as I added the countdown numbers to this week, I was reminded of this favorite quote from Thornon Wilder… “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Here’s to a summer of seeing and soaking up treasures!
Elisha and I have just finished up reading The Horse and His Boy, the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. It’s a great romp with talking horses, war lords, intrigue, battle scenes, lion chases, and a peasant who finds out he’s the heir to a throne. Last night we read to the end where Bree, the proud, talking war horse who was captured and taken from Narnia for most of his life, balks at the reality of returning home for fear he might not know what it’s really like to be a Narnian after all. Elisha commented that Bree was really just looking for a way to fit in. Aren’t we all?
At various points in the story, Aslan, the great sacrificial king of Narnia makes himself known to the characters as more than a myth. We see that he has been by their side throughout the journey, protecting, pushing, shielding, and even inflicting pain in order to ensure not only the unfolding of their stories, but the strength of their character. Finally, as we see Bree struggle with his next steps, Aslan reveals himself unexpectedly and bids the humbled horse to “draw near.”
“Do not dare not to dare!” Aslan implores him.
What an amazing admonishment! We all have struggles. We all have humbling experiences and seasons of life. We all look for ways to fit in. We all wonder if we can. And, we all wrestle with being fearful of what comes next. I love this lesson that often the greater risk comes in NOT daring to step forward.
Happy Hump Day, friends! Here’s to believing in the beauty today 🙂
Today I’m beginning my first work week of the new year! Yesterday capped off our two-week holiday vacation with family and togetherness, and the children’s first day back to school is definitely bittersweet. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful and sometimes challenging holiday season with many moments of joy with my babies, as well as a few moments of grief and melancholy. I don’t know where that comes from or why I still experience it, but I’ve learned to accept the feelings my spirit seems to need and allow myself the grace to live in each moment as part of our on-going process.
My lettering practice is the start of a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem I read today. It’s serving as a great reminder to savor each moment and each day. To embrace it for whatever it brings and to leave it fully spent. A very apt goal as I start 2016.
Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Although I’m not a Catholic, it’s been pretty amazing to watch the historic visit of Pope Francis to our country this week. It strikes me that what really resonates about this head of state and leader of a world religion is his humility and wisdom. Yesterday, while I was working, I watched Pope Francis address the joint meeting of Congress on a live feed. I was very moved by his message, and probably equally moved by the slow, deliberate and even soft-spoken manner in which he delivered it. It seems pretty rare to hear a message completely void of bravado in a setting like that. Yet, he delivered it. If you haven’t seen the message, there is a transcript posted by the Washington Post, and it includes a video of the address. Pope Francis said many things that were very inspiring and challenging for how we live out faith day to day as humans and as a nation in our world today. This quote was just one of them.
It’s a cloudy, drizzly Monday in Starkville, and the succulents are providing a breath of inspiration. And this quote form Erwin McManus in The Artisan Soul.
Some Friday encouragement this week! I continually try to remind myself of the true uniqueness of each person, each day, each life. We do ourselves a continual disservice when we are satisfied with following.
No foolin! Today’s practice is a little encouragement toward good thoughts and getting over the hump this week — from Roald Dahl. I’m not sure why the orange was so shaky this morning, but it’s all good!
Happy Vernal Equinox!Just a little reminder to be who you are and add to the loveliness!