Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Greatest Lesson From Fifth Grade

"Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed." Psalm 119:46 The Message
Shy. Bashful. Sensitive. These words defined my early childhood and restrained my voice until I met Mr. Peterson, a month after my parents divorced.

I stepped off the noisy yellow bus for the first day of school, careful not to scuff my new shoes on the metal steps. I toted a square metal lunch box that sported the flying car from the latest Disney movie, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang in one hand and an empty red book bag in the other. I scurried past the grin of the nodding principal, up a short flight of stairs into Mr. Peterson’s fifth grade classroom. The familiar scent of white chalk dust, yellow number two pencils, and pink rubber erasers greeted me along with Mr. Peterson’s warm laughter as I took my seat near the windows.

Laughter filled his classroom and washed over my heart like a healing salve. His silly antics relieved the pain I carried from my broken home. For a few hours a day, I remembered that joy still existed. But there was one problem. Mr. Peterson soon discovered I didn’t laugh out loud.

(Shuffle over to Children's Christian Author's Blog and find out what Mr. Peterson taught me. Just click here.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

God’s Dream for Our Children

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Luke 2:52 NIV
I placed my daughter on a plane with strangers heading due east across the Atlantic to Uganda. Luckily for her, the organizer limited parental good-byes to the church parking lot where I choked-back fears and sobs.

She’d been born for this—appointed in my womb for this day—I knew it full well. She befriended the needy since kindergarten and shared the gospel during childhood sleepovers. At age fifteen she announced her call to go to Uganda after two weeks of summer camp. I pondered all these things in my heart. Like Mary mothered Jesus, I didn’t quite understand.
God appoints all of us to a specific purpose – one that corresponds to our heart’s deepest desire – in order to advance His kingdom on earth.
So, as parents, how do we recognize and nurture God’s call in our children’s lives?
Today is a double header...join me for this discussion at Encouragement Café. Just click here.

One Day At Band Camp

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11 NIV

Familiar melodies - the likes of John Phillip Sousa with brass horns and big bass drums - waft through my open windows. I stop whatever I'm doing as memories barrage my mind and listen with a smile.

While some preferred football or field hockey, my kids chose high school marching band. Armed with their brass instruments, a fat chalk stick, and a water bottle they took the field and marched their August days away with precious few hours to spare before the night session began. Fourteen straight days  of band camp in all types of weather, this little army of instrument-playing soldiers followed orders and practiced routines until their music and marching synchronized into one harmonious movement.

Some might argue that marching band is not a sport or that playing music and marching does not afford your child the same disciplines as other sports. I beg to differ.

Put on your marching shoes and join me over at Christian Children's Authors blog for the rest of the story, won't you? Just click here.

Today's a double header. In an hour, you can join me at Encouragement Café for my second blog on nurturing God's dreams in our children. Stay tuned!