Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest time!

What fun it is to harvest in the fall!! We had a cool summer, so harvest is smaller, but it's filling us up with fresh, organic, delicious, life giving food!

This is just a sampling of today's picks...the tomatoes are coming on too...haven't dug up the beets or potatoes much, but they await our dinner table, sucking up the last of the nutrients.
Collard greens, lettuce, swiss chard, yummy with garlic and olive oil sauteed up to perfection,
Herbs, glorious herbs!! Basil, surrounded by oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and chives.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's all good...

Had another epiphany from God today on my run....probably should credit the epiphany to the 2 hour yoga class I did with over 500 "yogis" on the Deschutes River today instead as that's where a lot of these mini thoughts started coagulating in my mind.

God is so clever in the way he gently teaches me. It's always little lessons, spread over months and months, and the final "aha" doesn't come until the exactly perfect time when it all comes flooding through my mind and finally the dots are connected. I always smile up at Heaven at this point, thanking Him for his unending patience.

At the end of last school year I had all but decided that I had given this full time teaching thing a good, honest try, and "thanks, but no thanks", I best be on my way now. However, God divinely whispered to my heart that that might not be the answer and that He'd like me to speak to a couple of fellow teachers. I obeyed, made some phone calls, did some talking and a ton of listening and knew in my heart that I was to return.

So why then, did I spend such a big chunk of the summer dreading this decision? God, where's the Peace that follows after your will? I wrestled with this all summer.

Then God placed another little angel in my life in the form of a stranger on a bus. We had just finished another major backpacking trip - one in which we needed to take a bus to the trailhead - and were on the return trip back to our vehicle - when I just shared openly with the lady next to me about my internal struggles with taking on full time teaching again. She listened attentively and then turned to me and said, "YOu are going to have the best year of your life."

Woah!! That settled hard and fast in my mind and as I pondered her spoken blessing over my life for a few days, I knew it, FINALLY, in my heart! It's a choice! It always is. God is just waiting to hand us His blessings, but we need to choose to receive them as grumbly, hard little hearts aren't capable of it. I will choose to wake up each day and grab God's hand and say, "with you God, I choose Joy.:

The final person in this string of mini lessons (we are up to 3 people already- I am a slow learner), happened today after an invigorating 2 hour yoga class on the Deschutes River, and this time it came from a sweet older man in his 70s, with gray hair, and a thick Spanish accent....and it came in Spanish. We got to chit chatting about the weather and I laughingly admitted that I am a hot weather gal, I love it hot, and am not looking forward to this next winter which is predicted to be a real snowy, cold, and wet one. I said I'd love to live somewhere hot, where coconuts grow on trees and mangos grow in my backyard.

He stopped. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You can't leave us. You belong here. You are supposed to be in this community right now, blessing those that you encounter, HERE. Don't push against what happens - like the winter - learn to embrace it, enjoy it. No, you can't leave us. We need you here." (keep in mind, I met this sweet man 5 minutes before he boldly lectured me)

Es la verdad!!

After all of this, I needed a good trail run on the river. I knew God needed to put this all together. And here's what He told me:

We need each other!! Every one of these conversations spoke life into me. And because these people, along the way, spoke life into me, I am now ready to spend a school year, hopefully, speaking life into my students.

As we seek God daily, He fills us up with His life and then we go out into the world and have thousands of little moments, full of hundreds of interactions with other people, and we have the chance to speak life into each of these moments, into the people all around us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer sun has set

We play hard. We do.

A 2 month road trip (5,000 miles of road gravy!)? There were some moments when I might have wanted to dilute the concentrated togetherness, when the trailer or tent seemed a bit too cozy, and when I did wish I could just drop them off to play with someone else for a change. I knew I would and sure enough I am, kicking myself for even daring to think these thoughts. In these precious few years where I am still "Mama" and the playmate of choice, I am so grateful that our lives allow for such concentrated time together. So, YES, I will go toss the football with you all afternoon after swimming with you all morning. YES!! Summer months are rather liberating for kids, I think, because the adults in their lives can say Yes more - sure we can have icecream for lunch, why not! - sure we can get up, skip chores, and bike all day, why not! - sure we can swim all morning and eat berries and honey all day - why not! It's that blessed time of year where "No, it's a school night" turns into "YES!"

We were not indoors (other than our trailer or our backpacking tents) once. But what we were doing is a lot of looking into each others eyes, holding hands, eating every single meal together - all day - laughing - a ton - swimming, running, jumping, and of course....
walking miles of trails, getting gallons of water out of pristine streams, seeing God paint the canvas above with insane colors every evening...
Courtesy of

To get to these locations, we had to also work. Work hard. (100 trail miles for the Sprouts!!) It's that gentle tug of balance - play hard, work hard - and God smiles down. He seems closer when you are up at 11,600 feet after boulder hopping and climbing your way up, up, up for an entire day, seemingly reaching for Him. His sunsets up here inspire awe. Instant awe. The surrounding ragged 13 and 14,000 feet peaks that surround create humility. ("God you are so huge...yet you know ME and love ME!")

It's these moments and the thousands of other moments we just cherished together as a family, as a team, conquering mountains, lakes, streams, together that have filled us up, refreshed us and will send us forth this year to work hard, to bless our classrooms full of precious children, and to keep our family team thriving in His Love.
courtesy of

Light light light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me You are with me
I I I can't deny
No I can't deny that You are right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see You all around me
Light light light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me

From the Afters song, "light,light,light up the sky"