Today we spent our Sunday on our bike! It was a perfect day to be out. We left the house about 11:30 and saddled up.
We followed a great rapids river and stopped to have our sub sandwiches along side the river watching the rafters go screaming by!
Toughest decision all day was whether to finish off the second half of that yummy Turkey sub or save it for later.
And that photo of the sign? Can you see the snake hanging from it? We walked under that thing twice without Hubs seeing it and I DID NOT point it out to him because his serious hatred of snakes may have kept us from staying long enough to enjoy our lunch there...on the rocks in the dirt!!
We stopped again on our way home for some tea and soda. A totally perfect day on the road!
Our final ministry school graduation last night was truly fun, joyful and full of LOVE! Amazing! I was really dreading it due to my sadness about the end of this job, but we were so honored and loved-on, that it turned into a party instead of a funeral!!
Hopefully if you click on the picture of the poem that was written for me by one of my students, it will enlarge enough for you to read it. Oh my goodness, it had me blubbering! Ha!
The binder is a Love Binder stuffed with letters from former students thanking us for being in their lives & remember special moments with us!
Our church gifted us with 2 nights in a B&B of our choice! We are having fun deciding where to go this next week!
The final picture of a quote by Emerson is speaking to my heart this morning. It was included in our amazing stash of gifts from the graduating students.
Yesterday morning during our first hour of school, our normal worship leader guy did not show up with his guitar and gear. Hubs and I were not really up to leading it acapella or choosing another worshipful activity, so we lead all the students over to our church sanctuary. It is a lovely place to spread out and get alone with God at the beginning of a day. The lights were low and the music (cd's through the sound system) was a mix of contemplative and some rowdy fun stuff at the end.
I found a comfy spot on the floor with my journal and leaned back against a wall and enjoyed watching our students worship God in their own unique ways. David was pacing around the large auditorium, smiling and chatting with his unseen Best Friend, Zulay was standing in front of the center altar area with her graceful hands up and swaying with the music. Nicki was sitting in a chair drawing a picture. Benny was kneeling in the middle of the floor with his head touching the floor in prayer. Hubs was in the sound booth choosing the music and reading his Bible. Jennifer was literally skipping around the sanctuary with abandon joy like a little girl rather than a forty something!
I have truly loved this job of leading these hungry ones into new and exciting relationships with God. Expanding their concept of Him, moving them from a SCARY view to a JOYFUL one. I sat there in that room full of love and wondered why in the world my good, good friend..... my God, would want to move me out of this perfect job!
So, again I asked Him that question. There was no lightening or fireworks as He gently gave me my answer....but He showed me a picture. He let me know that I was once again being broken out of a safe cocoon so that I could fly higher and experience much more than I imagined.
This was a surprise to me because I thought we had already DONE this bit. Way back in August 2008 my very first post as I began this blog was about breaking out of my cocoon of fear. In fact that is why I began this blog, it was to take you along with me on my journey into more and more freedom outside the cocoon.
Apparently I was again in a wonderfully comfy " myschool -shaped cocoon". After 10 years in our ministry school, we had it down pretty well, it has been a safe place and I thought that was the GOOD thing about it! Yah, it is supposed to be a safe place for the incoming students but safe can be a dangerous thing for a leader. We should always be challenged and reaching for more.
So my friends, here I am trying to stand up again a little taller as I push aside the remnants of my school-shaped cocoon. While at the same time, I am desperately wanting to gather those pieces around me again because I love them and I KNOW what it looks like. I have no idea what awaits me outside the limited space of that cocoon. I am not a fan of the unknown or adventure. I'm a planner.
But I have never seen a butterfly climb back into her cocoon. The truth is that once her wings have escaped the small space and spread out, she just would not, could not, FIT back into the crusty cocoon. Tomorrow is our last day of school. This butterfly is carrying a lot of Kleenex with her as she says good-bye to the past and tries really hard to turn around and smile at the unknown future.
My blog friend Diva, over at Bipolar Diva has CHALLENGED me to post FIVE favorite photos, tell why I like them and FIVE things I like about myself. First part is easy, second part not so easy, but will give it a go.
The first picture up there on top is a favorite of Hubs & me. I took it myself as we sat in the back row of our ministry school class listening....get this....to a Guest Teacher talk about the awesome wonderfulness of sex! Yep, you heard/read correctly! It was a really fun & funny class that totally lifted off the old churchy talk of intimacy being a nasty, evil thing that should be done only to create kids. It's fun because God decided to make it an amazing & delightful thing! So Hubs got a little frisky on the back row. Ha!
The next pic is my favorite shot from the class that is about to graduate this next weekend. She is a forty something who spent the first 38 years of her life very messed up with drugs and alcohol until she got to know Jesus while in a re-hab facility. I have never met a more lost-in-love person! She is a hoot!
Well obviously, this is me getting my wonderful butterfly tattoo! I was so excited to be finally doing it that I could hardly sit still in my seat....which is pretty important to do!
Okay, Oh my heart still flutters when I look at this one. It is Writer Son with Miss M leaning on him while they sail. Back story for this seemingly mundane pic is that my son & Miss M were BEST FRIENDS for FIVE YEARS, until this last September on this boat ride when he asked her what she thought about making it their first date.
Get this....I saw the shot on Facebook a few days before he told us that the relationship had changed & it caused me to gasp in pleasure. Even though they weren't doing anything different than normal, it just felt different as soon as I saw it! Hee hee, now she is going to become my first daughter-in-law five months from now!!!
In this green shot I am in the Philippines enjoying my first coconut drink straight from the coconut tree!! It brings back crazy, adventurous memories! I had just tilted it up & made a mess all over myself as it ran down my chin.
5 Things About Me that Are Not Awful...:)
1 - I am kind.
2 - I have a nice smile.
3 - I am a "Mom" to dozens of young people, & even a few that are older than me! Ha!
4 - (wow, why is this so hard? ) (Been sitting here for 10 minutes just thinking!, C'mon I'm not a horrible person!) I overcame my fear of motorcycles a the age of 53!! Diva had this same one!
5 - I have raised two pretty wonderful young men!
whew! oh yes, now I am supposed to pass this on to FIVE Blog friends...
By the way people, my wonderful and oh-so-cocky declaration a while ago is NOT happening at all! I boldly made the declaration that I would always "Move First, Then Blog" in preparation for being the Mother of the Groom for the first time in a FEW (VERY FEW!) months.
For some reason, my WILL power is strongly showing itself more prominently in the ability to stay seated as long a possible each evening. I think I may be about to break some records! Does this sound familiar?.....
"Really, really need to pee. I'll just check one more blog first."
"Oh man, my legs are so stiff, it's hard to stand up!"
"My coffee is cold, maybe I could rig up a way to set the coffee pot up next to my writing chair?"
"The oven timer is buzzing....maybe Hubs will get it?"
"My cell is ringing.......it's just my Mom, I'll call her later."
"Just. One. More. Site."
I even took a "Before" photo of myself so I could show you how much I transformed myself in time for the wedding in October. Well, I HAVE changed.....I am bigger!!! Oh Lord!!
Isn't that a pretty award? Yes, the adorable Shawna over at My Girls has given me the SUNSHINE AWARD! She is the mommy to three little girls and I love her Subtitle "My Girls, making me crazy and keeping me sane." isn't that great?
Thank you Shawna and I hope you are able to get the comment thingy working now.
I would like to pass this fun award on to a new friend of mine who has bigger kids like I do, Bipolar Diva. Go check her out while you are off looking in on My Girls OK?
A Confession..........I really like my last post. It was about Rocker Son and I thought it was pretty funny. But it did not get a ton of comments.....so I am giving you all another chance to make me feel good about myself okay? Go read it, thanks!
(wow BS, why don't you just beg them to read you?)
This post is dedicated to and inspired by Diva over at Bipolar Diva. Diva was recently departing from her usual upbeat style postings to rant a bit, OK a lot, about dealing with her twenty-something kid and how hard it is to parent an "adult". As I commented her I did that annoying thing where the commenter tells you about their own bad experience rather than really helping you in any way!
Anyway, those of you with adorable little boys and girls that do and say the darndest things; you may want to avert your eyes and go to the next intriguing blog because what I am about to share will be a real bubble burster! You have been warned!
I have two wonderful sons. I love them more than words can say, really. My youngest is Rocker Son and he is 23 years old. (Physically). I remember a conversation many years ago as I was driving him to school one morning. He was maybe 5th or 6th grade. As I look back on the question now, I realize that it was a grim pre-curser of things to come. (Young Moms, as I said, you've been warned. If you continue reading you will listen with a bit more fear to your young one's questions from now on!)
We must have had a tough morning with the ongoing battle of getting one's self clean. With all sincerity he asked,
"But why do we have to be clean?"
Me- "Because everyone knows we are supposed to be clean. It's called being civilized. Even animals clean themselves."
Rocker Son - "But who decided that? Why do we all have to do something just because everyone else is doing it? (Isn't that supposed to be my line?) Can't we all be free to decide for ourselves?"
Okay, I dismissed such revolutionary talk and attributed it to being a 12 year old boy. I figured it was a phase that would go away as he grew older and matured into young manhood. I'm still waiting.
He moved out during Christmas week. I was glad to get into his extremely dirty room and reclaim it. Now I would no longer need to lock his door when my mother or company came over. Rocker Son moved into a very old house on the other side of our small town, sharing it with 4 friends his age. I have not been inside and most likely never will. When he moved out I bought him new sheets, towels, kitchen stuff etc, thinking it would be nice for them to start out with good things. Ha!
The stories I am now hearing about their house are literal horror stories! Apparently the landlord was this really cool, easy-going guy who didn't even ask for a deposit or references! Their stove has never worked, there are broken windows and serious plumbing problems. The heat & air conditioning do not work. The bathtub recently backed up with waste water and his direction to the guys was to redirect the sewage out to the backyard!!!
They did!! And thought it was funny! In case you are thinking that the roommates are complaining or ticked off about any of this.....they are not. They think it is hilarious and that it makes it a great place to live. No worries or nagging Moms to make them put garbage IN a garbage can. No one bugging them to mow the yard...it's full of 'you know what' anyway!!
Freedom! Freedom to be a slob. To get your stuff ruined by guests or chewed up by the bulldog they got two weeks ago! Why doesn't the heater work?, I asked. The answer? "One day we were playing baseball in the living room and the ball hit the thermostat on the wall." ???????
I think they are all still 12 years old!!
Yesterday on Facebook I read that a neighbor has reported them and the house may be condemned. I feel so proud.
"C'mon God, what's the punchline to your little joke?"
After church on Sunday we go out to the car to find a good restaurant for Mother's Day Lunch.
The car did not start! This never happens to us, it is always very dependable, so dependable that we only have ONE CAR!
Two other vehicles were brought in to jump the battery....no response.
It is beginning to rain as we watch the parking lot become empty.
We live out of town from the church....only 10 miles, but it still feels like "out of town".
It is Mother's Day.
We lost our jobs on Easter week, now we lose our car on Mother's Day??? "C'mon God....punchline already?!"
Good news......a family that lives in our town has a van and they parked right near us.....we had a fun ride home.
After we got home we realized that the night before we had driven to a wedding 4 hours away and up a bunch of curvy roads to an isolated resort type place. If the car had died up there late at night it would have been a million times worse than giving up in the light of day on our church parking lot!
" Thank you God!! Yah thank you for protecting us last night and for chuckling when I sassed you a while ago."
Bought a new battery on Monday and faithful car still lives!! I realize that I really have it so good that I am pretty darn spoiled. Lose a job, lose a car....these are small losses compared to many others.
But still.........that wasn't a very funny joke God.
When my sons were little I really loved all the funny crafted Mother's Day gifts. Especially the school and church creations! I have cheerfully worn a truly ridiculous looking huge T-shirt that was finger painted all over with hand prints and hearts. I have bravely pinned an atrociously ugly cameo pin made of plastic to my pretty Sunday morning dress.
I smiled and gave thank you hugs for a teeny tiny plastic painted bird of some sort that one son bought in a drug store (What was Hubs thinking?). I had no idea what to do with it so I think it ended up with a Christmas ornament hook glued to it so we could use it at Christmas time? As they grew a bit older, my gifts became desperately creative. Of course the always popular "coupon book" of things they will do around the house that they are supposed to be doing anyway. One year I received a grocery sack full of my favorite candy bars.
BUT....my friends....let me give you hope! There will come a day, when the kids are finally old enough to do it right (on their own!). The yummy looking photos you see up there on top are the amazing box of chocolate covered strawberries that Writer Son had sent to me!! Aren't they wonderful? Each strawberry is huge and covered thickly with white chocolate and dark chocolate and other goodies! The company is called Shari's Berries. (www.berries.com). Oh my goodness, this mama's heart is a happy one!
Hubs and I got home late last night and entered the house through the garage. Then this morning as we were leaving for Sunday morning church, Hubs happened to go around to the front porch for some reason and there was a box delivered with my name on it! It had been delivered on Saturday and sat out on the porch all night! So very glad we noticed it before leaving for the day today! Writer Son moved to Texas about a month ago, so this was an especially sweet gift from my far away son!
Rocker Son surprised me by calling on Friday and saying that he did not have any money for a gift, so he thought he'd offer to go to church with me on Mom's day as my gift. So sweet! The idea of him being in church is not that big a deal for me, though he has refused to attend for several years (He is 23), but the desire to just be with me & do something he figured I would like, really touched my heart.
I am a writer. I mean, I really AM a writer! Are you familiar with that unexpected & unexplainable sense of thrill as the perfect words begin to pour our of your mind, heart and fingertips? I believe it is a unique writers thrill. Well, painters, poets & songwriters probably experience the same thing I suppose. It is a zone that you enter with no clue where you will end up or no idea even where you may want to go. But it happens again and again. It's not a fluke or accident that your result is beauty.
I can sit down to write something without a plan, but the inner need to write, or a need to write that has been assigned to me by someone else! Maybe that is the part that has made me realize that I really am a writer. I can write reasonably readable stuff even when I am not in the mood or especially passionate about the subject. That is something! Not every one can do that. At least, I don't think every one can do that.
There are two recent evidences of my new realization. I am now being paid a small sum to write articles for a website. The subject of the website is baby products. They sell baby gift baskets and wedding gift baskets etc. So you can send a beautifully wrapped & decorated gift online anywhere in the world. The theory is that the longer the business can keep a customer on their website, the better the chances are they will actually buy something.
I know that some professional writers very seriously look down on this type of writing. It is called web content writing and it is seen as a form of selling out for commercial means. For me, the key word there is "selling"!! At last I am being paid to use my skill of putting words together! Are graphic artists selling out when their designs are used in commercials or ads?
Here I am, a fifty-five year old woman who had her last baby twenty-three years ago! And I am being paid to write about baby care, baby showers and teething. I am doing this by research and memory of my mommy days. To stay relevant I have asked for input from the many young moms I know in my church and circle of friends. I am loving it! And I am getting paid! Because I am a writer.
The second evidence that I am a writer is a letter of transition I wrote & posted yesterday on my school website. You all know that I have been walking through a difficult shift in jobs and you have been so supportive and encouraging. I thank you bloggy friends for all your kind comments and understanding.
In my letter I say good-bye to my old job; directing a ministry school for 9 years and I welcome the new replacement school. It is important in this situation that my former students know that I am totally behind the new school even though it is actually a painful shift for Hubs & I. As I wrote the letter I entered that wonderful zone of being lost in getting the words clear and conveying what needed to be communicated. I did it and I did it well! Because I am a writer.
I have received so many wonderful comments on the letter, from my higher ups and from close friends who know the situation. My sister, whose shoulder I cried on, said that she could not read one tear between the lines. I am proud of me. I am a writer.