Friday, June 24, 2011

How I Learned to Appreciate the Beauty of Flowers

Grab a cup of tea or coffee. Come on over to my Reflections blog - and read about how I learned to appreciate the beauty of flowers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Noise in My Head

I had never thought to describe it that way until yesterday when I was talking to a couple of my kids. I don't even remember the context of our discussion but I said, "I always have to deal with the noise in my head". Naturally, they wondered what kind of noise I meant. (My first thought was, "You aren't the same way? I kinda' thought everyone was like this."). And no, I don't mean a humming or anything like that. It's more like static, but no, not like radio static. By "static" I mean that it can sometimes run interference with focusing on the moment. Again, I'm not referring to something I "hear", exactly.

It's more like there are always words and sentences, and observations and concerns, as well as issues that beg to be resolved. Perhaps it's the head of a writer, that "thing" that makes me obsessed with punching my fingers on a keyboard or wrapping them around a pen. Whether it's journaling or writing to a friend, blogging or writing an article, it seems I have to process my way through all that has happens and all that I observe.

As I've worked my way through some issues, I've learned that sometimes it's better to just let some things go. Like the time we were driving by a pick-up truck and I looked into the window and wondered if the man driving was kind or if he was mean. Catching myself, I told myself it was none of my darn business! Driving by houses, I sometimes wonder who lives there and what their lives are like. Do they live happily in harmony with their families? How do they decorate? If it's winter, do they have a fire burning in the fireplace? (Hm, I could check the chimney for smoke.) Even as a child, if I saw a group of people at a restaurant, I would try to figure out the relationships. Are they family or friends? I loved being at an airport, seeing people embracing in farewells or - preferably - welcomes.

"You should write fiction," members of my family have often told me. Perhaps. But then there are all the other issues that call to me to write about them. So, I pray for guidance. What does God want me to write about? What does He want me to do with the words and sentences that burn to get out?

And that is why I need to keep working to still the noises. No, not to extinguish them, just to quiet them for a little while each day, while I take a walk in nature or read from Sacred Scripture or go to church and talk with God. I need the silence that tells me what God wants from me. I need to listen to Him tell me, with David, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Picture Perfect Childhood - Book Review

“With all your children being adults, why would you want a book about picture books?” you might wonder when you hear that I just bought A Picture Perfect Childhood.

1. I want to review it for you!

2. I will probably have grandchildren some day.

3. I may want to write children’s books again, which means I should immerse myself in the best of children’s books.

“How would Cay Gibson’s book benefit me?” you might ask for yourself.

1. If you have children, she explains how you can enhance your child’s imagination and education in just 15 minutes a day!

2. You will find a plethora of lists of beautiful, meaningful picture books you can buy or find at your library.

3. Have you ever bought a “coffee table book”? I have found that some high quality picture books can grace our tables, as well as our lives, whatever our age. Cay Gibson explains the value of picture books for more than just young children, and she gives us examples of picture books for mothers and for teens, as well as for travel, for holidays, for cooking, and more.

For the Love of Literature - Book Review

In her friendly, warm style, Maureen Wittmann shares her depth of experience in "teaching core subjects with literature".

Maureen has a special talent for describing an entire book in just a sentence or two. In this thorough yet pleasant guide, she describes 950 of them. She explains various educational methods, from classical education to Charlotte Mason homeschooling, as well as how to make the best use of your public library and how to build your own home library.

Whether you have been homeschooling for decades as I have - or you just want to enrich your child's education - or wherever you are on the parenting spectrum: this is a book you will want to own and cherish.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Prayer Request

Please pray for the men and women who serve our country in the Air Force in Minot, North Dakota, as well as the community in which they live, as they face the danger of major flooding by June 2. The majority of our servicemen there live off base, and many of their homes are in danger. They will keep on going about their duties, regardless. Let's pitch in for them and their families with our prayers.