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Thoughts from Choose Joy

I've read several books this year, but one book has touched me deeply.
I've had this book for quite a while.  I never read it because I thought it might depress me.  Usually books about people with terminal illnesses are a bit heavy.
Two weeks ago I decided to read this book.  I knew it would be good.  I remember when the lady who wrote it passed away.  From what I read this lady's life was such a blessing of hope and joy despite having an illness that caused her to be homebound and in excruciating progressive pain for several years of her life.  Her name is Sara Frankl.
She didn't publish this book.  She wrote a blog from home after being a professional writer before her health stripped that away.  The book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts is a compilation of Sara's most meaningful writing. Co author Mary Carver weaves in her personal stories of encounters with Sara and insight she personally gained from Sara throughout the book. This book was…
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Life with Mac

I like to  make sure to write down things my kids say.  Last week I found myself making notes with crayons listening to my third girl talk.
I lost the paper, but the writing down helped imprint the words in my mind.
That's the reason I write about my kids.  Just so I'll remember the details of their lives, special moments, and words to treasure.  It freezes their phases and perspectives. So you can revisit them later when you want to remember the good about whatever was growing in their minds and hearts at that time.

Mac reminds me right now of a little lion. His hair is wild most of the time with gold kissed curls spilling over his neck and collar. I am so glad he has wild, curly hair.  Funny I remember being a middle schooler and being smitten with a two year old boy at church who had the same gold curls everywhere.  I think his name was Noah.  I thought he was the most beautiful child I had ever seen.
Now I have a boy with a crown of gold curls and I love it.  Especially w…

If

When I read the word for the week I instantly went to Rudyard Kipling's famous poem.
My dad has read these words to me and with me.  Pondering over each stanza.  It was at one time the favorite poem in Britain. It's easy to see why...

If you can keep your head when all about you        Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,     But make allowance for their doubting too;    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,     Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,     And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;        If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster     And treat those two impostors just the same;    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken     Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,     And stoo…

Ocean

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to my oldest friend Jenna. With states and busy lives between us we don't get that luxury often.  Maybe once a month or two months.  Usually on someone's way to drop off a baby and race to work or driving home from work. Whenever I see her name flash on my screen I try to drop everything and hide in  a corner and take the short but meaningful call.  I sat yesterday on my basement steps trying to hear her over the noise in my house. We usually get past the details of what's going on and right down to whatever is on our hearts. I don't know what my life would be without Jenna in it. A constant for all of these years. 
Yesterday after we finished our chat I went looking for the scrapbook she handed me on my wedding day. Jenna was famous for her scrapbooks.  Filled with pictures capturing moments with the perfect captions.  Midway through revisiting the pages I found a group of five girls in bikinis staring back at me.  Eighteen and…

Restore

Whenever I hear this word I have a few main thoughts. I think of Psalm 51 and David's plea with God to restore the joy of His salvation to Him. "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you." I see a few things about restoration here. A lot of times joy is missing in our lives when we stray away from God.We looked for it elsewhere.We need the joy of the Lord to keep our eyes fixed on Him.Our eyes stay on Him when we are looking for joy in Him.Another thing I see is the asking of a willing spirit to sustain Him. I guess that's because a life on the path of restoration is hard and filled with ups and downs.God restores us in an instant but the path afterwards is many times quite a trek of discipline mixed with grace.God has to sustain us to make it through.Lastly in this verse David lists the outcome of His restoration.He will tell other people about …

Labels

Last week I sat on the floor of the art room with the last task of clean up.  Go through all of the manila oversized folders that lay on the floor and find a place for them.  Go through my stacks of art history papers, how to draw sheets, and examples and organize them accordingly.  Place a semesters worth of work into some kind of organized system. 
In the first semester I had labeled most of my folders.  Some read Klee, Kandinsky, and Kahlo.  My organizational enthusiasm waned as the stacks of paper accumulated. Instead of a label most of them just found themselves in blank folders.  None were lost. Just waiting for a folder home. 
I considered scratching a name on some of the folders, but decided against it.  I kept finding different ways to classify things.  Different places categories should go.  Some of the labels I created in the fall didn't fit the material any more and I just wanted to sharpie through the label and start over.  
As I went through the stack of folders tha…