School is in Session

August 5, 2008

Well, so far, everyone around here is surviving and/or thriving in their new schools.  My youngest seems to be fitting into the flow of high school and comes home happy, a runner’s high from a two-hour practice.  My granddaughter declared her first day “Magnificent,” and is happily reciting all her new friends’ names.  My grandson doesn’t really want to tell me about his school day, but his mom says that he’s okay but would like his old teacher back.  Nothing bad about the new teacher, he would just like things to be the same.  Change is not always the friend of a sensitive soul.  I’m sure that before long his new teacher will have hung the moon and, next year, he’ll want her back too. 

School is in session for me too.  No, I’m not attending, but I am subject to everyone’s schedule.  You know: the drop offs, the pickups, the practices, and soon the meets and programs.  Back to school effects most everyone with children in the family.  So, while I’m asking them the mundane questions like “What did you learn in school today?,”  I have to ask myself something similar. 

Another year looms ahead.  What am I going to learn this year?  What progress in spiritual growth will I see?  I seem to be taking one called “Walking Through Difficult Moments, Advanced Placement.”  There is no standardized test for that at the end of the year.  And, for me, the tests came early.  God has allowed a challenging curriculum in my spiritual walk and beliefs lately.  I think I’m passing, but, if not, fortunately God uses a grading process known as “Grace and Mercy.”  Therefore I don’t have to fear.  Just to learn.  And, just as fortunate for me is the fact that I have a great instructor, the one who took the highest honors in dealing with difficult moments.  My learning opportunities are endless. 

So, what classes are you taking this year? 

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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Back to School Shopping

July 31, 2008

I have been indulging, okay dragged kicking and screaming, in the annual back-to-school shopping ritual.  First, I should like to say that it’s possible that I’m not a “true” woman, since I rarely like to shop.  And, pair me with a child with a mind of their own (any child out of infancy and verbal), and I lose it. 

Yesterday and today I shopped with my teenager. 

I’m not sure anything else needs to be said….

Okay, I’ll say it.  Or ask it.  Do I have the only child on the planet who will first drive you crazy about when we are going, and then, once we go, practically refuse to try anything on?  I had to cajole, insist, and down right order her to try things on.  She’d frown, I’d say just try it, and after an obligatory period of resistance which usually included a lot of muttering, she would finally try it on.  Whatever it was.  Then, more than likely, she would like it and we’d buy it.  I felt like a professional shopping wrestler by the time we were done. 

Part way through the day, I decided to accept things.  My daughter is a glass half-empty and I am a glass half-full person.  We will see things differently.  Shopping together will always be a challenge.  Maybe I need to make it less of one.  After all, I can only control my attitude.  I stopped reacting so much to every negative response and just pointed out what was needed or not.  Gave her choices to buy it or not.  Placed boundaries and called for decisions pleasantly. 

I am way too uptight about this kind of stuff.  I need a new mantra.  Something like “Shopping is fun.”  By the end of the day yesterday, we had accomplished that day’s tasks.  Today was easier.  And went faster.  In 35 minutes we had two new pairs of jeans, a vest, and a new shirt.  A world’s record for this duo.  My change in attitude was a big part of that.  What a surprise! 

Now, we’re off to open house.  Finally, along with the rest of our county, we’ll get school supply lists.  So, I can go shopping with my teenager in Wal-Mart with too crowded aisles and crazed mothers trying to conquer the list. 

OR

Maybe I’ll just send her dad with her….

I Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient and  love is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails.