I am 35 years old today. It's been too long since I've written, so I figured there were like 35 things I wanted to say. Let's see if it's true. . .
1) You really should introduce yourself to All Sons and Daughters radio on Pandora. Listen to my current favorite song by this amazing group here. Go ahead, open a new tab, and do it now while you're reading. You're welcome.
2) Allie said a really hilarious funny today. She's my almost-thirteen-year-old. We were talking about how Satan can be deceitful, according to the Bible he even disguises himself as an angel of light. She said, "But he wasn't deceitful in the Garden when he straight up came to Eve as a snake. He was like, 'Hey Eve, I'm Satan. Satan Gonzales.'" HA!?!? I was like, where did that come from? She said it sounds like a fitting last name. HA!! (sorry if your last name is Gonzales. It's a great last name. I just thought that was the funniest thing I'd heard in quiteawhile.)
3) I stumbled across a passage in Jeremiah the other day that said, "Teach your daughters to mourn; teach them to lament." (Jeremiah 9:20). I have been thinking over what that really means. What should we teach our daughters to mourn and lament about? Certainly not trivial things like their weight or their shortcomings or how others rate them on a popularity scale. We should teach them to lament over much more important things. To have compassion for the hurting. And to take that passionate lamenting and channel it into doing something productive about it. Thoughts? I would love to hear them.
4) You should also introduce yourself to Brene Brown. I've been reading her book The Gifts of Imperfection, her guide to living a wholehearted life. And I've realized that, thank the Lord, I do live life pretty wholeheartedly. There are a few things I think that have helped me do it:
5) I have a morning ritual. I have for years. The details of it have ebbed and flowed a bit over the years, but for at least the last year it has gone like this: I get up at 4:45 a.m. while it's still dark and everyone else is still asleep. The house is quietest then. :) I fix some coffee. I get my journal, my Bible, and usually a couple of other books out that I'm reading through. I spend the next hour reading a portion of the OT, the NT, a Psalm and a Proverb and writing in my journal whatever stands out to me from it. I do the same with the other books. I list, usually just in bullet form, things I'm concerned about, and one by one I give them to God. Then I take the second cup of coffee out on the porch and watch the sunrise. I can hear the windchimes on my porch and the rooster crowing next door. I walk through the garden, the roses, the herbs and see what all is growing. I get the scent of herbs on my fingers. Usually by this time I'm being called inside to fix breakfast but I'm ready. I'm in a good place. :)
6) I also try not to miss a sunset. It's magnificent almost every single night. And never the same. I like going to bed as soon as possible after the sun sets, and I think it's good for the kids to be in the habit of the same- up with the sun, down with the sun, etc.- but when I can, I also pay attention to the moon. Whether it's waxing or waning, whether it's ascending or descending. I have a cool app on my phone called Lunar Phase that has taught me a lot. I guess basically I'm an avid watcher of the skies. My kids are too. :)
7) Go ahead back over to All Sons and Daughters and hear their song Brokenness Aside, here. You're welcome. Keep that music streaming.
8) I don't own a scale.
9) We don't have a TV.
10) My friend Jessica told me a few months ago that she intentionally went through her facebook and deleted everything that wasn't positive. She wanted to open up to positive messages only. I liked that idea and I've been doing the same. I've been on the lookout for positive things to send to my inbox, like updates from http://thelittleway.net/
11) My friend Amy, who is pregnant with her 8th child, took her whole morning today to bring me a Dingo from Angel's Island Coffee. That's a lot of effort. We sat in our camp chairs and chatted about life while our 13 children played. She rocks the free world.
12) My parents took me to lunch at Mexican because they know I love me some Mexican food. And tonight, my hubs took me to Surin of Thailand for the coconut soup. And not just that, he mentioned to a friend that he wanted to figure out how I could make it so I could enjoy it all the time instead of just the rare occasion that I was at a Thai place, and the friend had lime leaves and thai basil and some kind of root that he can't remember the name of right now, that she dug up and gave to me so I could make this much-loved soup tomorrow at home. Life's good.
13) Speaking of Brene Brown (because we were, weren't we? :)), she said that our goal should be authenticity. And that authenticity is a practice; a conscious choice we make day by day. It is the mindful practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we really are. It is the practice of showing up and being honest.
14) According to 2 Corinthians 12:9, His grace is sufficient. It is enough. It satisfies.
15) I like words. Particularly Greek words. The Greek word for peace is "eirene". It means the absence of strife and anxiety. It only comes from God. As in, "May God grant you grace ("charis", by the way), and peace." 1 Thessalonians 1:1
Woops. Time is up. Kids need momma. Part 2 soon? Because I'm sure I can come up with a #16-35. . .