Friday, May 15, 2009

God Provides

Many entries of this blog this past year have been devoted to saving money. While I do not aspire to become a blog dedicated to frugality, it is the reality of our life right now. The intent of this blog is to share our lives with family and friends. We really do have a rich life that includes a multitude of close friendships (Oh, the stories we could tell). With the busyness of life it is difficult to stay in touch, thus this blog. And, I really like to get things on helps me process.

Today's blog post is dedicated to my incredibly responsible, amazing and beautiful daughter Hannah. She and I have been on a journey the last two years. When she began sixth grade, we decided we wanted to homeschool her. Our decision to homeschool was born out of a desire to relationally connect with her. It has been fun to be a part of her world and see her developing into a godly young woman. I hope she looks back on this season with fondness!!!

One lesson Hannah has learned recently I wanted to share....God provides!! It is a lesson I need to remind myself. It seems that since we started trying to be careful with our money all powers of Hades have conspired against us (I will refrain from going into all of that right now). But I digress....

About six months ago we explained to Hannah that she would need to earn money to pay for any youth trips she wanted to take starting this summer. This girl loves her youth trips. She accepted this challenge quietly and courageously. After all for a thirteen-year old with little earning potential paying for anything over $10 seems a bit daunting.

She babysat here and there, but one day recently she expressed her concern that her babysitting opportunities were limited and she wondered how she would EVER save enough money. My heart went out to her. She was not complaining. She was being realistic and honest.

Then, literally out of the blue our neighbor approached Hannah and asked her to tutor her preschool son to help him get ready for Kindergarten. Of course Hannah jumped on this because it was a weekly job. (I admit I was a little nervous). But, the truth is she was prepared to do this job. She is a great teacher to her little brother. She also has volunteered in the preschool class where I work for a year.

But, let me say that Hannah has blown my expectations OUT OF THE WATER. She tutors three times a week for thirty minutes. She communicates with the mother via email. She plans the lessons. Recently I eavesdropped and she was teaching him all about a penny. Here is what I heard her student say in response to questions asked of him. "A penny equals one cent." "Abraham Lincoln is on the front of the penny." "He was the sixteenth president." "He lived in a cabin log (yes I typed that cute)".

As of yesterday Hannah has earned (and truthfully she has worked hard) enough money to pay for her camp this summer ($250). How does a 13 year old do that? God provided her an opportunity. She worked hard and was faithful with that which was entrusted to her.

As she looks back on her homeschool experience, I hope she remembers the year when she was given an impossible task. I hope she remembers that God provides!!! I hope she remembers that with God nothing is impossible. I hope she remembers that hard work and diligence pay off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Turtle Trauma

We have a new pet....Tina the Turtle. Our daughter Clara seems to attract stray animals. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. Tina the Turtle was found by Clara at the baseball field.

While I'm not a big fan of turtles, I must admit that Tina is growing on me. She's little and has a cool orange stripe down the sides of her neck. And, she runs really fast. Tina has been living in a picture box while we figure out what type of habitat she needs to survive (I tried to say she would be happier outside, but no one is buying that!!!).

Yesterday when Clara came home from school, she came running into the room frantic that her turtle box was tipped over and Tina was missing. (Did I mention we have a cat?) So a search and rescue mission was mounted. We looked for Tiny Tina over an hour in Clara's room. It seemed a turtle was roaming freely through my house much to my dismay.

We were about to head into another part of the house when I moved a small shag rug that was folded in the floor of Clara's room. When I picked it up, I was excited to see Tiny Tina. But then upon further inspection I noticed what seemed to be a strangely twisted turtle neck and a very still Tina. So, I explained to Clara that the turtle seemed to be dead and she needed to leave the room. The death of the turtle sent my sweet tender-hearted Clara into an emotional crisis. It really tore my heart apart to see her so sad.

I comforted her and asked if she wanted to see Tina (why do we name these animals) or if she just wanted me to put him in a box and wait for dad to come home. She opted out of seeing twisted-neck tiny Tina. Off I went with a heavy heart to pick up a dead turtle. You must know that I have never in my life picked up a turtle.

Imagine my dismay when I went into the room to see tiny Tina trucking around the room. Alas the seemingly broken-necked turtle was alive and kicking. There was much rejoicing!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Car Conversation

Last night we were on our way home from a soccer game and here was the conversation.

Clara- "Mom, when are you going to get me the Starbucks you owe me? (a reward for some well done venture)

Noah "Yeah, I want a Starbucks blended Cherry Lemonade" (FYI--no such drink exists)

Clara - "You can't have are too young"

Noah "Mom, I want Starbucks"



Monday, May 04, 2009

Life is Fragile!!

My previous post was about our daughter Clara's birthday. Today's post is more difficult to write, but I really want to do so. This past Thursday, April 30th, my grandmother, "Mama Clara" breathed her last breath here on earth. As you can guess our sweet Clara was named after her great-grandmother.

Our family went to visit Mama Clara the Friday before her death. I wish I could capture for you the way her dear face lit up when our family walked into the room. It was one of those priceless moments. She was a godly woman who loved to spend time with Jesus, she had a gift for creating beauty, and she loved her family fiercely. She lived for 88 years.

As I type this, I'm looking at a piece of embroidery in my kitchen that says "Life is Fragile, Handle it with Prayer". One summer when I was younger I went to visit my grandparents and I remember my grandmother creating that piece. When she moved from her home into an apartment a few years ago and was getting rid of some of her things, it was the one thing I requested. Why? Because it is a sentiment that I believe in strongly.

One of the greatest compliments I received at the funeral on Saturday was how much I favor Clara. You see I have her red hair. I'm really the only member of the family that has it (well my dad has her red hair...but he's mostly bald, so that doesn't really count and he's a guy). My desire is that in addition to favoring her looks, I would also favor her in character. She was a strong woman. She was committed to her family. She was diligent with her hands. She endured hardship with grace. She loved Jesus with her whole heart.

I'm thankful that she taught me at a young age that "Life is Fragile, we must handle it with Prayer". I'm thankful that she taught me how to love my family. I'm thankful that she taught me how to cook (I only wish I knew how to make her homemade fried pies). I'm thankful she taught me how to enjoy the moment.