Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Seventeen Days of Thankfulness

I am thankful...

 for days of fog and mist and the quiet therein 

for getting lost among the trees

for beautiful butterflies

for cold morning ice on the window and that first lung-clearing intake of frost when you step outside

for the sheer joy in that laugh

for Ferris Wheels and carnival magic

for history, personal and universal

for that rarely captured smile and a boy who wears his emotions closely

for moments when hard work pays off

for ghosts

for three little princesses I know and one prince charming

for the small things and the ability to see them

for finding something beautiful hidden in nature

for the hope of finding someone to walk through life with

for a girl and her horse riding fast into the setting sun

for finding a place to belong

and for Tom Sawyer moments in idyllic settings and the wild imagination of childhood.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanks and Giving Days 2 and 3: Weekends Are For...

Soul Perspective.

Saturday I woke up three groggy, grumpy kids at 6 am to take them out into the cold for a little giving. Safe Haven is a wonderful program helping homeless families in the Nashville area.  A few weeks ago, I signed us up to volunteer for their annual Hike for the Homeless event.  I thought it would be a good way to get the sprites out into the volunteer community of our new town.  It took a solid hour (or two) for the grumpy to wear off.  We were assigned to the children's area, which meant we were moving between the craft table, the climbing wall, and the football toss.  As more people began to arrive, the sprites began to shake off the bad attitudes and have a little fun with it.  It helped that an awesome funk/reggae band started jamming on stage before the hike began.   The hike went smoothly, everyone had fun, and money was raised to help the program continue running through the cold winter months approaching.

After the event, we decided to explore the park where the hike took place.  The area was new to us.  It was a beautiful place to hike in, with tall tree lined hills that were splashed with autumn colors.  We will definitely go back for a family hike soon.  Some fresh, quiet air is almost as good for the soul as thankfulness.  I think I'll add that to the prescription for our perspective overhaul.

We ended the day with family and friends for what I'm calling "Halloween, Take Two".  Halloween night was rained out with harsh storms that kept us all inside in PJ's rather than costumes.  That night we had cuddled up on the couch and watched The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  It was a nice night but the kids were definitely hoping to go trick or treating.  Luckily the rain held off long enough on Saturday to allow for a redo.  We decided to join family and a few new friends to explore a new (to us) neighborhood.  After some frights and some looting, we enjoyed a great dinner with some great people before coming home to crash into full sugar comas.

Sunday, we spent time together, just the four of us, cleaning house, making soup, and adding leaves to our Thanksgiving tree.  I'm thankful a lovely weekend filled with good people, good food, and good soul perspective.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanks and Giving

"Thanks therapy is God's prescription for joy"

-Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience

We need some thanks therapy around here.  We've been sulking and pouting for a few months now. These months have left me soul weary.  A weariness I can feel beyond my bones.  We're spiraling into the dark hole of Oscar's trashcan.  Folks, we're grumpy.  (Albeit more real life than puppet, although there are days...)

We need some crisp autumn truth in our spirits.  We need the shedding of the leaves and the color rush of fresh vision. We need something to change. I'm tired of the grouchiness and the weariness and the pouting and the sulking and the general unease that comes with all of that.  I'm just so tired.

I'm trying to be patient with the changing.  I know that major life movement take time to adjust to.  I'm still giving it my year.  I know that it's all still too strange and unfamiliar.  I know that we have yet to find our community.  And I know that we are all still fresh with the missing.  But I fear that in the missing we are neglecting our life here, now.

The crazy truth, the thing I'm not supposed to say out loud:  I'm making up this parenting thing as I go. The thing that comforts me:  you are too.  There's no instruction manual.  There are these crazy things called intuition, logic, and love.  I try to strike a healthy balance of all of the above and hope I land somewhere near north.  I don't know how to help three kids get over a loss.  I don't know how to help them make their home here.  I don't know where their angry/sad button is or how to turn it off.  

But I do know this.  Perspective can change any situation.  I think what we need is a little November rain.  A spirit rain.  We need to find joy in the missing.  Joy in the pain of this moment.  What we need is thanksgiving.  Real thanksgiving.

So today we begin a month of thanks and giving.  We don't have a lot to give, but what we have is His for the offering.  We aren't feeling very thankful, but we will list thanks until we feel it.

All we have is today.  Let's find joy in this wild, sweet mess.