Posts Categorized: Peace

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Pour on Water! Pour on Water!

When I was in elementary school, a lady at church had weekly choir rehearsals for children who sang in the kids’ choir in Children’s Church. I remember going, sometimes, and what I recall most is learning the round “Scotland’s Burning.”

“Scotland’s burning! Scotland’s burning! Look out! Look out! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Pour on water! Pour on water!”

We were pretty good at it.

I had a “pour on water” experience last week. Involving fire ants.

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X’s & Y’s

 

Sugar and spice and everything nice/snips and snails and puppy dog tails

kidsWe learned those poetic lines, when I was a child, to describe what little girls and little boys were “made of.”  But, maybe the parents of boys were offended to think that their sons did not have all sorts of nice things included inside them, also. And maybe parents of daughters thought that an appreciation of nature and God’s good world was an appropriate topic for girls, too.

All in all, it’s really inappropriate to tag an entire people group with identical qualities, whether positive or negative. “All blondes are unintelligent.” “Left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people.” “All men are (fill in the blank with your idea).” “Women should always (include your own belief here).” We all have some biases, and sometimes they’re really wrong. We’ve grown up with the attitudes and viewpoints of the people around us, some may be spot-on, but some of them may be truly inaccurate.

There’s lots of information about the differences in male brains and female brains. And there’s lots of information that says all those differences end up being negligible. Some experts say that boys are hard-wired for some behaviors and girls for other behaviors. Other professionals say that those differences can be attributed to how boys and girls are raised.

There’s research and there’s also anecdotal information. My sister’s older son’s first purposeful sounds were the vroom, vroom sounds he made as he pushed toy cars and trucks across the floor. Her younger son’s first sounds were bang, bang sounds as he pointed his fingers around the room, as though to shoot things off the walls. Her third child, a daughter, who lived in a world of vroom-vrooms, and bang-bangs, made first sounds that were the gentler mews of kitties and babies. Interesting. (The daughter grew up to be a teacher. The car guy became a lawyer. And the gun guy, after high school, became a soldier. And after college, he became a police officer. Also interesting.)

Maybe more important than the x chromosomes and y chromosomes that we hand down to our kids, are the genetic messages that hold the information for physical traits that encourage different heights and weights and body types and eye/hand coordination, or the mental genetic wiring that helps with math or reading or an ear for music and rhythm or for ease in learning different languages. Kids come with some inborn abilities, but there’s so much else that parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and neighbors and school friends and teachers and so on and so on, give to our children.

All that said …

That amazing zoo was created a couple of years ago. Last Sunday, for “God Created Animals,” I put the zoo animals in the block area again. These boys also made a zoo.

I’m sure the kids have seen instructional videos and learned about the cycle of life. Lions do eat zebras and giraffes, and tigers do chase after deer and antelope and wild boar. And that pacing jaguar Peter and I saw at our local zoo last week may indeed be considering a jail break attempt. It’s just really interesting to me how different the play of boys and the play of girls can be. Not all the time. But sometimes.

 

 God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (The Message)

 

I understand that this passage refers to spiritual gifts. But everyone also comes with some innate abilities or leanings or interests. Some of what we have is honed by our family situations, our school experiences, our neighborhoods, and how we are encouraged or discouraged as we grow. I want to provide an environment where kids can choose interesting things to do and work alone or with others as they are creative and purposeful in their activities. I want to make good choices myself as I’m deciding when to say, “That’s a good idea,” and when to say, “That’s enough. Time to make another choice.”

Follow the Tidy Brick Road

I got the new tidying book, Spark Joy, from the library. It’s what I took with me to the urgent-care center last week. I read about half of the introduction and got re-tidyized. I know I’m not doing it the official TIDY way, but I absolutely canNOT take every item of clothing out of my closet and drawers, pick up each individual item and hold it close to me to determine if it “sparks joy,” and then put it in my closet (if it gets a “yes”). Conversely, I do NOT have time to hold each reject, one at a time, close to me and thank it for being part of my wardrobe and wish a fond farewell as I put it lovingly into the Goodwill bag. I certainly can, however, identify the places in my home where, when the tidy bug bites (as opposed to those other kind that send you to urgent care), I need to treat it. And the tidy bug has noticed my office/miscellaneous storage/can’t-find-any-place-else-for-it closet.

Lest you think I staged this for dramatic effect, no, I just opened the door and snapped the photo.

Lest you think I staged this for dramatic effect, no, I just opened the door and snapped the photo.

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Skeeters and Spiders and Antibiotics, Oh My!

What I *used* to think of as a nice, safe, pleasant place to sit and read.

What I *used* to think of as a nice, safe, pleasant place to sit and read.

Even though it’s really hot here in Central Texas right now, the mornings aren’t too horrible, and I sometimes go out and sit on the pew on the front porch and read. It’s in the shade until early afternoon, and I even might eat lunch there, while I’m reading, which is what I did last Saturday. If I’m going to be outside working in the yard, especially in the back yard, which has some low places, I always use insect spray. We don’t have standing water, but I’m not so sure about the neighbors. But, sitting on the front porch, I don’t, ordinarily, until recently, use that precaution. So-o-o-o, after enjoying a relatively pleasant time of reading and lunching, the temperature escalated and I went back into the house, and noticed how my left forearm was itchy. Really itchy! And, being a responsible adult who knows better, I went ahead and scratched it. It was REALLY itchy. As the afternoon wore on, I would idly scratch the itchy place, not particularly paying much attention to it. When I actually looked at the thing, I saw that there was a pretty large red (itchy) patch, and in the center of that, a smallish raw, gooey circle in the center. Hmmmmm. And I went to bed.

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I’m Going on a Trip

 

Actually, I’m back from the trip, but I’m not a hip modern girl with a laptop and a tablet. I only have my phone. And that’s no way to write and post a blog each week. So, before I left home on May 21, I had to get three blogs ready to go out on the three Fridays I’d be away. So, let’s pretend that it’s three weeks ago, and I’m getting ready to leave. Okay?

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Do Unto Others? Pay It Forward?

walmart logoI was at Wal-Mart the other day, with a friend who was purchasing one of those giant bags of flour (for a school project). The checkout lines were long and she said, “Let’s do the Self-Checkout.” (Fortunately, she is much younger and stronger than I, and was pretty easily handling the really GIANT bag of flour.)

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Here’s How Old I Am

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then is age in the heart of the beheld? (Or, you’re as old as you feel.) I’m 66.  When I look out and think about people who are 66, I think, “Wow. That’s really getting on in years, isn’t it.” But when I think about myself, I think, “Sixty-six. Not so bad.” Or else I’m thinking, “Sixty-six!! Ollie, Mollie, Gollie! How did this happen?

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The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God

photo credit-www.ask.com

I guess that, when I was growing up, there were thunderstorms at all times of the day. But, I don’t particularly recall any daytime or afternoon showers. I do remember those that occurred in the dead of night, the crashing, house-quaking thunder, and the giant jolts of light at my windows. Those were scary, scary things. And I was not about to live through them all by myself. Nothing sent me scurrying faster to my parents’ bed than a middle-of-the-night storm.

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Tidy, Tidier, Tidiest—(I Wish)

220px-CheaperByTheDozenJoAnne says that one of the most influential books she’s read, and she read it as a child, was Cheaper by the Dozen (not anything like the movie with Steve Martin). It’s about Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their family of twelve kids. The Gilbreths were Motion Study experts, pioneers in the field of being efficient at work and creating a work environment that eased physical stress. Books about being well organized have been popular best sellers for years. And still, lots of us struggle to reach that elusive goal.

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Happy Easter Weekend

I thought that Kevin and April (and PETER!) weren’t coming for Easter. But, then, they decided to!!! Which made a good weekend even more anticipated, more delightful, more satisfying.

I had Peter all by myself on Friday. There was a little shopping. A little napping. And a surprise! April’s birthday is coming up soon, and I thought we could make a surprise for her. I planned to make treats to serve on Sunday. However, when a three-year-old prepares a surprise on a Friday, you just have to have that surprise on a Friday. I asked what kind of cupcakes he thought Mommy would like. White. And what kind of frosting? White. With sprinkles. So that’s what we did.

 

Saturday was a beautiful day.

 

 

Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Sunday morning–We have a large cross that stays in the Worship Center all the time.

We have a tradition of putting fresh flowers on it on Easter Sunday morning.

 

 

 

 

I handed Peter over to David when I arrived at church. Then I went on along to my Sunday School room to prepare for preschoolers’ arrival. As I was rushing around the room, suddenly, something seemed a little odd.

Of all the things we do at my church, and maybe ever have done, my most favorite is how we do baptisms these days. Instead of sitting in our pews and watching from afar (well, it’s not that far), we gather forward. Kids in front, so they can see well. The rest of us packed behind them, on the platform, on the steps, pressed together.

Welcome, young lady. Welcome into your faith family.

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“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”

Matthew 28:7 (The Message)

Christ is risen. Christós Anésti, or Χριστός Ανέστη. (We have Greek relatives.)

Let’s face it, for people who love Jesus, every weekend is a happy Easter weekend.