Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 2-Wheeled Rite of Passage

Last Day of School

First grade is in the books! The year ended with a class picnic at Mahoney State Park. It's hard to believe our little girl is a second grader now! How time flies.


Mrs. Laune - We hit the teacher jackpot 2 years in a row.

With Mrs. Bray, Dayna's Principal

Wondering Why

It's been a few months of mourning. Grieving the loss of students I love. Letting memories settle into corners of my heart. Realizing that friends I once had are friends no longer. All of this through no fault of my own. It seemed that every time I turned around, I was faced with more loss that I needed to process.

I was sharing with a new colleague some of the journey my heart has taken since Christmas. I know that God did not make this happen. He could have stopped it at any point along the way. But for some reason, I also know that He allowed this hiccup in my path. I told her that I might never know why God allowed it, and that I was trying to come to grips with what had happened.

About a week later, this new friend shared with me that she had been asking God the same questions about why my life took such a dramatic turn. I confess, it felt good to know that someone who was only beginning to get to know me cared enough to take me before the Throne in prayer. But then she told me that she thought she knew why this had all happened. "Enlighten me, please!" I begged.

Her response: "Because God knew that I needed you."

Even now, I have tears in my eyes thinking of the goodness of God. At the very time I was struggling with the loss of friends who may or may not have really been friends, God allowed me to share heart truths...tears and successes...with a new friend. One who saw the good, the bad and the ugly (more the last two than the first) in me and cares about me anyway.

And so I think of another Rich Mullins song, and I write these words for my new friend Susan:

And we both feel lost
But I remember what Susan said
How love is found in the things we've given up
More than in the things that we have kept
And ain't it funny what people say
And ain't it funny what people write
And ain't it funny how it hits you so hard
In the middle of the night
And if your home is just another place where you're a stranger
And far away is just somewhere you've never been
I hope that you'll remember, I was your friend

Memorial Day

 We were invited to a friend's home for Memorial Day this year. It was fun to see how quickly Dayna makes new friends.

A special new hairdo for the holiday.

Lessons from the Apostles

I just finished studying "The Acts of the Apostles" for the second time with BSF. At the end of the year, leaders were asked to write a letter to our teaching leader, sharing some thoughts and ways that we've been changed this year through the study. This is my letter:


The Acts of the Apostles Marathon is almost over. We’ve finished 26 miles and have just a fraction left to go. Little did I know when this year started that I’d be running a different kind of race. The trials I have faced have tested and stretched me beyond my own limits. But God held me in the palm of His hand. At times, the course changed. I told God “but I didn’t train for THIS!” There were legs of my race when He slapped a blindfold on me. And I whined, “but I can’t SEE!” But He gently whispered to me, “Even the darkness is not dark to Me. Take my hand. Keep running.”

And so I ran. And ran. And ran. I stumbled and fell. Many times. I took my eyes off God. I tried to take some steps on my own power. And He kept drawing me back. I lifted my eyes and gazed at Him. I gave myself grace when I stumbled and celebrated the successes He offered along the way. God has given me courage and boldness as I have tried to bring Him glory on this blindfolded race. I don’t know that I’ll ever understand why God allowed the events of this year to happen, but I know that I’m not longer the person I was last August when the Acts Marathon began.

So now, the finish line is in sight. Tomorrow I will be submitting a letter that will change a lot of things. I have absolutely no idea where the next race will take me. I don’t know what injuries I’ll find along the way. But I do know that I never race alone.

Thank you for coming alongside me this year. I could hear your words of encouragement cheering me along the way. Whatever race you may find yourself running, I hope you hear these same words echoing in your heart as you run:

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


Slippery When Wet

I just ran across these pictures Dan took last week. I particularly love her Kung Fu moves.

Class Mom

I got to spend a day as Mrs. Wilson the mom (as opposed to Mrs. Wilson the teacher) when I joined Dayna's class for a zoo field trip. I got to spend the day with 5 of the sweetest kiddos with really good manners. We had a blast!

 Dayna was excited to wear her elephant hat, which led to our team name, "The Elephants." Ironically, we never saw the elephants at the zoo that day.

Some of Dayna's close friends. We're so blessed by her school and friends.

Celebrating Seven

May first was a special day in the Wilson house. But Dayna wasn't *quite* ready to start the day.
With some early snuggles, she finally came around...
...and to her surprise, her floor was covered with pink balloons.
Mom and Dad tried to make special pancakes...they're supposed to be ladybugs. Red Velvet pancakes. Yum!
May 1 happened to be "Fitness Frolics" for the first graders. Dayna's daddy was able to stop by and watch the fun.
 The girl is going to have great abs!
 And she can catch some great air as well.
Happy Birthday, sweet 7-year-old!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sounds Sticky

Dayna was with her grandparents this week and saw a few of these small statues in a friend's yard. For the rest of the weekend, she was calling them the "Teriyaki Soldiers."

I think we may need to make a point of seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors when we go to China again.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Now That This Is All Ending...

After a two-year series of difficult events, ending with a nearly impossible (on my own, anyway) last five months, my life is facing a new direction. Effective in August, I will officially be on a Leave of Absence from a career I have loved. One that I was once very good at. But it has become increasingly evident that I can no longer effectively serve my family AND the needs of 700+ students at multiple schools.

While this transition is bittersweet, I admit to feeling a HUGE burden lifted, and a great amount of peace. Two of my three administrators have been supportive of this decision, and the new staff at one of my schools is really excited for me and the chapters that will be unfolding in the next year.

There's a lot unspoken in that last paragraph. I'll just say that the treatment I've received by others has left me dumbfounded and hurt beyond words. I've really struggled with some anger this week, when I realized that while I thought I was being virtuous for biting my tongue, my heart was definitely not right with God.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.(Psalm 19:14)

And while I have found some truly kind, dear friends these last four months (an entry for another day), I've become increasingly disenchanted with the number of people who are kind to my face and nasty behind my back. While carrying a box to my car on my last day of work, the words to part of an old Rich Mullins song, "Elijah" hit me square between the eyes:

There's people been friendly
But they'd never be your friends
Sometimes this has bent me to the ground
Now that this is all ending
I want to hear some music once again
'Cause it's the finest thing I have ever found 

So now that this has ended, I'm looking for my song once again. I'm gearing up for a different sort of daily quiet time this summer. Part of that will include meditation on hymns. And in that time of quiet meditation, I'm ready to hear some music once again!