I've been participating in Ruth Ayres "Celebrate the Week" almost every Saturday since it started last fall. Head on over there and read some more celebrations.
I made two resolutions for the new year. First, I wanted to get back into starting every day by reading the Bible. I did that for many, many years and then somehow, after I adopted the boys, it went by the way side. This year, I promised myself that the first print I read every morning will be God's word. And so far, 11 days in, I've done it. And I'm really thankful for the peace and insights that it brings. I'm praying that somehow opening God's word is going to make me more "open" to His will. And since "open" is my word for the year, it seems like that's a good place to start.
Closely related to that, I'm reading Ann Voskamp's ONE THOUSAND GIFTS right now and am totally loving it. Voskamp is a farmer's wife, a home schooling mom of six, who was challenged to track one thousand "small moments" of gratitude. They're really simple things- morning shadows across old floors, jam piled high on toast, the cry of a jay from a blue spruce tree. The book is speaking loudly to me and I've started my own 1000 gifts list. I think I want to get a special journal though, so that may be a project for tomorrow. Here's a passage that particularly struck me:
Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. And when I'm always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time's river slows, slows, slows…
And the blind eyes see: It's this sleuthing for glory that slows a life gloriously. It's plain, bubble straight through: Giving thanks for one thousand times is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with weight of full attention. In this space of time and sphere, I am attentive, aware, accepting the whole of the moment, weighing it down with me all here…
Thanks makes now a sanctuary. And I take my vows. I will not desecrate this moment with ignorant hurry or sordid ingratitude.My other resolution was to walk 365 days in a row. I'm not doing quite as good a job with that resolution, but I'm not doing too badly. I've walked 9 of the last 11 days (it helps that I have a crazy lab that starts giving me those really sad eyes the second I walk the door from work). I missed January 5th, when it was super, super cold and I didn't get home until after dark, then again on the 9th when I worked a 14 hour day and was just too tired. I'm not beating myself up, because I think 9 days is pretty darn good.
This morning, I taught a class for my district. The woman I taught with was someone I first met years ago, when she was a baby, baby teacher. Last year, she wrote me a really sweet note about the impact I had had on her career. She's now writing professional development classes for the ELL department and it's really fun to see her moving into a leadership role in the district. I also ran into a young teacher I mentored a few years ago. She was a Teach for America candidate, and actually left the classroom to work for TFA. She's back, though, and it was really good to see her. She's a natural and we really need her in our profession.