Thinking Thursday – What Gave You a Boost Today?

This has been a long, kind of sloggy week.  New schedules, new information, new routines and things to learn – my head is full, and I know my poor G and Little G are feeling overwhelmed.

There is SO much to keep track of when a new school year, or new term, or new endeavor begins!

My G has a year’s worth of retirement (and bureaucratic) information to learn, analyze, and plan through.

Little G has 7 brand new classes and teachers and course schedules to adjust to and remember – and please keep in mind how fast things change when you are a teenager.

I have two busy courses with presentations, papers, discussion posts, etc that are all due in 8 weeks’ time – while also trying to bump up this blog and look into future career choices.

WHEW.

But in the midst of busy, we find bits of bliss.

A friend shows you their beautiful gown for a ball, the phone rings with good news, your own fussy and fuzzy pet is relaxing calmly despite his age.  Today, I even received some valuable feedback and a wonderful kudo after I shared this blog with someone who knows what he’s doing.

So today’s question is this –

What gave you a boost today?

What made you happy?

What made you smile?

What gave you joy, or peace, or a lift?

I’d love to hear from you.

Grumpy Old Man

Doesn’t look a day over 112. (16X6)

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Mrs. Dasse and the Friend Who Will Never Leave

This morning in church, we sang, “I love to tell the story” and a tiny snippet of the sermon referred to the way “dispersed Christians” were able to tell about Christianity because they had been pushed out of Rome.

Not really kicked out of Rome...but it might feel like it.

Not really kicked out of Rome…but it might feel like it.

That was just a lead-in to the rest of the sermon.  Yet it stuck in my head because of what I thought Pastor might be leading up to – which is whether we, as Christians, are telling others about why we believe.  Or even what we believe.

Some of this has been brewing in my mind for a while because, once again, God and the Army have decided my friends needed to move.  And off they went.  Just this summer, four dear friends have moved.  The last minute lunches, or help cleaning out the freezer, or texts while they were on the road…  Those precious last hugs lasted a little longer because this time, I am not likely to be PCSing or moving again with the Army.  I don’t know that we will ever live close to each other again. Two husbands retired, so those friends are in their forever homes.  Another has at least one more move, she thinks.

But they have moved.  And our city feels a little more empty because of it.

You may be asking what my friends’ moving has to do with dispersed Christians and telling the story of our beliefs.

Here is the thing – I have been watching friends move away for what seems like my whole life.  When I was really little, my Grandpa Casey (one of my first and most patient friends) lived with us for a little while, and then he was gone, and then he came back for a while – and then I only heard from him at Christmas and birthday.  Then, when I was in third grade, my best friend Julie M. moved across town, and then all the way to Ohio.  Growing up in Arizona, Ohio seemed impossibly far away.

My story is this, and it’s one I should love to tell.  When I was 7, I had a Sunday School teacher named Mrs. Dasse.  (DAH-See)   When I’d had chicken pox, she and her husband took care of me when I was healthy enough for Mom to go to work but not healthy enough to go to school.  I adored her.  One Sunday, she talked to us about a friend who would never leave us.  She talked about how, if we asked Him to, He would come into our hearts and be with us always.

Now, I was liked by some and not liked by others.  I was kind of an odd, studious, and adult-thinking kid, and making friends could be difficult.  Someone might be friendly that day, and not the next, as sometimes happens with girls.

Of course I wanted a friend like this.

The need for a friend like this was nearly painful.

Mrs. Dasse talked with me behind a bulletin board that day, while the other children finished their worksheet or craft project or whatever.  And we prayed together.  From that time on, even when the moving trucks pulled away, or the deployment bus took my husband – there has always been a friend in my heart.  He has never left, nor forsaken me.

That friend, of course, is Jesus.  He lives in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, but when I was a little girl Mrs. Dasse just told me He would never leave me.  And that, in the sometimes scary complexity of life, is the most important part to remember.

I admit there is a lot about the Bible and even about God that I do not know nor understand.  I admit that I am often confused when church says one thing but it does not match up with the love I know God feels for us.  But I have always known this friend in my heart, and I believe in the comfort that He can bring.  I believe in the tight connection that we can feel, when the nights are long and the darkness is scary.

It is not difficult to ask Him into your heart.  All we need to do is tell Him we need Him.  I can’t do this on my own, I need you, please come into my heart.

Because Mrs. Dasse asked that question on that day, I have never been truly without a friend.  And that is why, as I watch my friends move on to the next part of their life stories, I knew it was time to tell others my story.

moving van

Thinking Thursday – What Changes are You Facing?

This time of year always feels more like “New Year’s” than January 1. In some areas, the air is beginning to chill, the trees are changing, the birds are gathering for their journeys.  Even in hot, arid Texas, the sense of change is inescapable.

Change is not always scary – this is one time of year when change is embraced and celebrated!

It’s a wonderful, exciting time for most of us.  I have always loved fall, both because I enjoyed school and because of the sense that anything could happen.  The wind kicks up just a little crazy, the leaves dance, there is a scent of smoke (yes, even here in Texas and also in Arizona where I grew up) – so much possibility.

So tonight I ask you –

What changes are you facing?

Is it a new teacher who might approach your child in a way that just “clicks”?

A new job?

A second chance?

Perhaps you, too are in school – is there a class that will ignite your passions?

Are there scary changes you are facing?  Can I pray for you, or with you?

We know there are big changes coming for us, and we know there are big opportunities waiting for us.  For now, we watch to see when the leaves begin to dance – and then we will join them.

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Thinking Thursday – A New Routine and Weekly Question

So I’ve wanted to have a weekly blog post that would get other people to think a little bit, about their lives or things they know or even things they don’t know.  What I came up with was this:  Thinking Thursday.  Each week, I’ll write a prompt – sometimes a question, sometimes a quote, sometimes song lyrics.  And then I’ll write my own thoughts.

What do you think?

This week’s Thinking Thursday is all about the first days of school.  I’ve always thought that this seemed more like New Year’s than January First.  It seems to do it better. Even if you don’t have kids or if you’re not in school yourself, you can’t help but feel the surge of energy that back-to-school brings.  Plans are made, goals are set, calendars are re-written and sometimes created.  It’s an exciting, refreshing/refreshed time.

So here is my question for you:

What are you most looking forward to, at this moment?

Little G is headed to her second year of high school, and I am getting ready to begin my LAST TWO classes of my Master’s Degree.  Big G is beginning his classes for ACAP, which is a fancy Army way of saying HE WILL RETIRE SOON.  🙂

Did I mention this is all on the same exact day?

All in all, there is a lot of “beginning” in our lives.  It is like springtime, in that the first signs of it are small and fleeting. We have to pay attention to the little things – the first day of school (wherein I will work hard to convince Little G to let me take a photo), the initial posting to classes, the paperwork that will result from both My G and Little G’s first days.

I look forward to beginnings.

The new notebooks, the fresh pens, the excitement and absurdity of those first nervous moments in a new venture or a new school year…there is so much hope and strength and courage in these first few moments.

My friends have been posting first-day pictures, and my teacher friends have been showing off new classrooms – there is such courage in the beginnings!  We all have had less than stellar “first days,” and less than amazing years – but we head into it again, with our kids or with our jobs or both, and we do it anyway.

So here is to amazing first days.  And to facing that second day, no matter how the first day went.

What are you looking forward to?

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