Friday, January 29, 2010

Making each day count

In Bible Study this week, someone shared, "the days seem long but the years seem fast." When I think about Madeleine receiving her first report card last week (she is in kindergarten), the years seem fast. When I look at my baby girl singing with Spanish Club at Multicultural Night at her elementary school (which she did last night), the years seem fast. When I think about Everett moving to the transitional preschool classroom at his school (he just turned 2 in October!), the years seem fast. When it is time for bath and everyone is screaming and ahhh! the days seem long.

If the years are so fast, then I want to make this day count!

Today I finished an amazing book, Greg Mortenson's Stones into Schools (you must read Three Cups of Tea first), and it is such an affirmation that one person can make a huge difference in our world. I want to make a difference in this world. I am so glad that Greg is doing what he is, I am so glad that people are fighting for children (especially girls) to be able to learn and go to school. May I be able to affect my little sphere, for good. John Wesley (the first Methodist) said it like this, "do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

Madeleine getting ready to sing with the Spanish Club at Multicultural Night at Moss Haven Elementary.

Life is about balance

Not too many sweets, not too many activities, not too many tv shows... life is about balance. One cupcake is okay... (Everett reveling in his one cupcake)

(video of Madeleine in tap in her pink leotard, she starts soccer next week, so that will be two activities!)

and every day there are celebrations (video of Everett successfully using the hippity hop with big sister Madeleine cheering him on and Lee and I laughing behind the camera!)

May we all continue to strive for balance in our lives...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

How do I explain to my 5 year old the importance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? She wondered why she didn't have school today and I responded that it was because of a wonderful man who taught us all that it does not matter what color your skin is we are all equal, we are all created by God, loved by God, children of God. Today I finished a wonderful book about life in Mississipi in the early 1960s. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is filled with wonderful women and when the book was over, I wanted to sit in their kitchens and hear more of their stories. There is a wonderful line in the book, "We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." May today be a day when we remember that God loves us all, we are more similar than different, not that much separates us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Celebrating the Ordinary

I received a wonderful Christmas letter from a friend and received permission from her to share (which was nice since I shared it when I preached Dec. 27!)

“What strikes me as I write this letter is how our lives are mostly filled with the ordinary tasks that never get celebrated at Christmastime! The fact that we get up most mornings and get two adults and two children fed, cleaned, dressed and out the door with computers, backpacks, lunches, folders (signed), library books, show-and-tell items and jackets (labeled) is, in itself, something of a miracle. That we reverse gears and actually get everyone bathed, brushed, Ovaltined, and in bed every night feels very much like a miracle, as well. So this year, more than trips or milestones, I’d like the celebrate the “ordinariness” of our lives.

My goal for the coming year is to stop segregating the “ordinary” from the “special” – to stop waiting for the perfect moment to arrive to stop worrying about getting everything done and start appreciating all that already is. I invite you to join me in 2010 in a celebration of the ordinary – may you find your deepest blessings there!”

Mary Spradlin, Christmas letter 2009, Pastor of St. Stephen UMC in Arlington Texas