Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Call of the Wild

I recently read a really great book called A Different Kind of Wild by Debbie Alsdorf. It was a really good read for me and has challenged me quite a bit. Often I read books like this that inspire my heart and then they get put on the shelf as I pick up the next one. I forget to look back and reflect. I choose not to do the 'work' that would take me from where I was before I read the book to where I want to be after I read it.

I don't want this book to be one of those. I really want to live wildly. So I'm going to interact with this book on my blog for the next bit as I process. Lucky you, you get to hear me think out loud! I am a verbal processor, and there's no better way to be verbal than to have a conversation, so what better place to process a book than on a blog!

I've already wrote a post about this book on the Book Club page for the women at my church. I'm going to borrow just a section of it to start of this verbal processing here. (If you'd like to read the whole thing the link is www.gacbookclub.wordpress.com)

"That’s probably because of the way this book has led me to define a different kind of wild. To me the author was saying that living a wild life is being completely sold out to the process and totally leaving perfection on the back burner. To be content to be caught with my hair in curlers and my make up not on. To be comfortable saying; “I know the Bible says this somewhere I just can’t remember the address right now.”. To be propelled by the next step in the journey not the destination. To be motivated by doing exactly what I did yesterday just slightly more excellently.

Living a wild life calls me to live by a different kind of normal. A normal characterized by devotion to God, surrender to His plan, serving beyond what I feel I can give and daily re-creating the New Testament experience.

We must learn the importance of informing our thinking with the Word of God. We must learn to take the Word in, dwell on the truth of God’s Word and ponder its meaning and implications. Then we need to explore its implication to our very own everyday life. In other words we must make it a goal to put God’s Word in our brains to think about, then put it into practice. This is how we focus our mind on God and his ways. We must become convinced that the way to real life is through faith and that faith comes from hearing God’s Word.”

In the past I may have said a wild person was like Tarzan or Mowgli but now I see a purely wild example in Noah or Esther. To know from my mind to my core what God has said. Then to take that knowledge and boldly let it inform my life. That is the way I desire to live."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Beginnings

In Ontario we currently do a thing called 'graduated entry' for our kindergarten kids. It's a long slow process that drives both kids and parents crazy. I wonder if the teachers even like it? This is how it works: week one your child goes for a half hour individualized visit with their teacher. Week two your child goes for half a day with half their class. Week three they finally start school going all day every other day.

For the first two weeks the parents are responsible for getting their kids to and from the school, even those kids that would normally take the bus. Kathryn, Nolan and I took Bella and Brooklyn to their scheduled times and each time Katy put on her best puppy dog eyes and begged to go to school this year. Then she spent the entire time at home asking if it was time to get the sisters yet.

It's going to take her some time to adjust I think. But she plays well with Nolan and I greatly enjoy getting to hang out with her and play to her level as well. This is a new beginning I'm looking forward to. (Although I know it will meet it's challenges as she'll find her voice and is turning three which actually is the peak of the terrible twos).
Isabella is clearly humouring me in this picture. That's sort of been the theme of our summer. We have had a rough, rough few months. Her attitude has been completely out of control, and mine has matched it far many more times that I wish to admit. She was a compliant child when she was little and I always considered myself lucky. I knew that at some point she would rebel and our relationship would be put to the test. I thought it would happen when she was 13 and that our arguments would be over things like clothes and music and social events.

I have no idea how to discipline an attitude. Is it effective to put a child on a time out because she tells you she is going to put you in jail so she can get a new mom who will let her eat jelly beans at 8 am? I don't think it is. But I have no idea what an effective option would be.

I need to be making wiser choices in how I respond to her antics and I need to stop letting her get the best of me. A little bit of time apart each week will be good for our relationship. Time when I can breath and think and actually accomplish things on my to do list will free up that mental space I need to stay consistent, stay calm and stay the course.

This is a new beginning I'm looking forward to.
Brooklyn has been eagerly awaiting her turn to go to school ever since the first time we took Isabella to the bus stop. I was a little apprehensive about putting her in school this year, just not sure if she was academically ready. She spent 20 minutes with her kindergarten teacher who deemed her 'more than ready for this'. She played shy while we were standing in the hallway but as soon as she was away from me her personality showed up. In no time I will be getting phone calls about how chatty Brooklyn is, I'm sure.

She only knows one letter of the alphabet and notices it everywhere. She does not call it by its proper name, 'B', but rather tells you 'that's my letter!'. Numbers are a totally abstract concept to her and rhyming words are a means to make one giggle.

The beginning of her academic journey is a new beginning I'm looking forward to. It blows my mind to imagine the things she'll know by December let alone June.

I like new beginnings. Especially when the 'same old' is wearing you thin and you just need a change. Hurrah to September and to the new beginnings it brings.