The Struggle is Real

We say it as a joke, a snide comment, a way to relate to others, but it’s true. Struggles are real. We can dress them up in pretty smiles and say we know it will all work out, but that trudging through the mud of disappointment and questions is not really very funny. It’s kind of hard. Continue reading

Rising to a Smile: Ms. Nelson Part 2

I realize now that Ms. Nelson didn’t just love her students. It wasn’t simply her care and attention that made her memorable to us. She seemed to have an ability to challenge us that made us do things we didn’t know we could do. I loved every afternoon when she read to us. We were sweaty, mussy, distracted and tired after the mid day recess. She knew we wouldn’t respond to demands during that part of the day, she lead us to sit, to rest and to relax while she read “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” to our eager ears. Continue reading

Assigned Seating: Ms. Nelson Part 1

Once upon a time there was a beautiful teacher named Patricia Nelson. She had thick, dark hair, a bright smile that produced dimples on her cheeks and sparkles in her brown eyes. She was slender and seemed confident just by the way she carried herself. She wasn’t afraid to tell jokes, tear up over a story or let a classroom of 4th graders wander away with their imaginations lit up far beyond the subject at hand. Continue reading

Ants, Attitude, and Anne

I’ve been reading L.M.Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. I’m almost done with the third one. If I begin writing a little too flowery, that’s why. I lifted my head from the book this morning and thought, “I’m afrost with delight o’er the thought of what will be accomplished today.” Continue reading

Making Lanterns

I stepped outside the church on a Monday afternoon after getting some papers signed for my kids to go to church camp. We were under the awning, waiting for the rain to let up so we could run to the car. A woman was standing there, she had attended a funeral in the building earlier in the day and was trying her best to hide the cigarette in her hand so my boys wouldn’t see her. Continue reading

You Can Start Over

I got the call as I was walking into the karate dojo for an early afternoon lesson with our youngest son. It was my middle son’s first grade school teacher. She wasn’t happy. I could hear the frustration in her tone and she made no attempt to hide it. It must be bad. She is the most patient and fun loving teacher, and she adores my son, for him to make her call me during the school day was a big deal. Continue reading

Suspended

The other day I was mentally scanning the last several months and how there are so many uncertainties. We live day to day, we know God has a plan and even a prize around the corner, but we don’t always know if the next step is the right step, or if the corner is close, or miles away and uncertainty breeds things like fear. My imagination, if allowed, will wander off without my good sense and ask things like, “what if the bottom falls out of this box and we have nothing left to stand on?”

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Dads with Dented Fenders

I was at Kroger getting gas when a silver mini-van pulled up at the pump next to me. Before I saw the driver, I saw the dent. It looked like it had been hit pretty good, and then, to save some money, had been banged out to a useable shape. It was probably like that for a while because rust had started to color the cracks and give it a crinkled look. Were it an old dresser, or an antique dining room buffet we would have called it “distressed” and made it a feature in our home. But when it’s a mini-van, we only wish we could trade it in, and try our best to be thankful that we have a reliable vehicle, no matter what it looks like. Continue reading