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Saturday, January 11, 2014

CELEBRATE SATURDAY


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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.

9 comments:

Jone said...

I enjoyed your celebrations this week. I am trying to be better about working out regularly and increasing my steps. My daughter gave me a Fitbit to help me monitor my activity and I love it. Spring will be here soon. How wonderful to reconnect with a former colleague .

LInda Baie said...

Love hearing about your re-connection with that young teacher, now experienced. Her note was a lovely thing to do, to acknowledge you. I wish everyone would think to do that! I think your walking 9 of 11 days is awesome, Carol-good for you. Some of the days have not been so pleasant, hard to get out unless you must! And finally, love hearing your quote and about the Thousand Days-a wonderful thing she did. Some of the OLW posts have chosen their words to help them slow down and pay attention to what's the 'now'. They would like hearing about this book!

Ramona said...

Carol, I love reading about your celebrations. I have the book One Thousand Gifts on my nightstand. Since I keep reading about it on different blogs, I think it's time for me to open it.

elsie said...

Making small changes in the everyday-ness of life makes an impact in the long run. You have reason to celebrate these beginning days of the new year. What an inspirational passage! How lovely to learn that you made a difference to someone. That lifts ones spirit.

Holly Mueller said...

I love that we're reading the same book! :-) I participated in a Bible in 90 Days initiative at my church in 2012, and I loved it. I need to be more disciplined in picking up the Bible!! Keep on keeping on!

Christy Rush-Levine said...

Walking 365 days in a row! That's a great goal. I love that you are not letting a couple skipped days stop you.

Crystal Brunelle said...

I have not quite met my Nerdlution goal to write and exercise every day, but I know without goals like these, I wouldn't do nearly as much, so I am still happy to be hitting my goals on most days. Great that you are working on your goals.

Ruth Ayres said...

Lovely reflection. In October of 2012, much like you, I was compelled to give my first of the day to the Lord. There has been a remarkable transformation in my spirit ever since then. Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly.
Shine on,
Ruth

Michelle said...

Carol, so much to celebrate! I read two devotion books in the morning, but I need to open God's word daily. I know it will make a huge impact in your life. Read on!

Also, I recently started reading "One Thousand Gifts" as well! My mom loved the book and gave me a copy as a gift. So beautiful!

And walking is good! A little or a lot. Good for the mind, body and soul. Walk on!