Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Slice of Life: Why I Write

I write because I found my peeps at Two Writing Teachers, a community of fellow teacher writers. I wish I could say that I love writing, but it's not the case. Given the choice, to read or to write, I'll pick reading every time. Even today after writing almost every week for eight years, I must prod myself to pick up the computer and craft a slice.

I write to capture the beauty of our world. 

I write to try to figure out our world in all its complicated messiness.

I write to discover more about myself.

I write to share my joy of books. 

I write to reflect on my journey as a daughter of God.

I write to explore the adventure of being Grandma to three marvelous grand boys.

I write because your words on the page inspire me!  

It’s Slice of Life Tuesday!
Click over to Two Writing Teachers to read more slices!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Slice of Life: Two Year Olds and Trucks!

It’s Slice of Life Tuesday!
Click over to Two Writing Teachers to read more slices!

Last week I mentioned that my grandson Jack asked for truck books on my most recent library trip. Unfortunately some other truck enthusiast must have beat me to the shelf. The closest I could come was Chugga-Chugga-Choo-Choo! Any self-respecting two year old will tell you that a train is not a truck!
After hearing his plea several times, "Grandma, I wanted truck books," we went to the library web site and did a search for truck books. Then we scrolled through the list and he would point to the ones he wanted (which happened to be all of them). 

Unfortunately, none had arrived before his Friday time at our house. So I went to the library on Thursday evening once again in search of truck books. And I'm happy to report that I was successful!
I went to the library last night since more than a few truck books have now arrived on my holds shelf. I'm covered for truck books for the next several weeks.
I bring at least three books in our special book bag each day I watch the boys. And one of Jack's first questions is always, "Grandma, did you bring any books?" And those words are music to my ears!
(I always sneak in at least one book that isn't truck related. I love Henry Cole's Spot & Dot, a new-to-me wordless picture book.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Slice of Life: 3,000 Steps Needed!

I stopped by the library to return two bags of picture books with instructions from Jack to check out some books about cars and trucks. After picking up books on the holds shelf and spending some time in the children's section, I head to the car with (you guessed it) two new bags of books. Glancing at my fitbit and the evening sky, I decide I have time to pick up 3,000 steps in order to reach my 10,000 step goal. You probably think that 3,000 steps shouldn't take long, unless you realize how smitten I am by the splendor of fall. While I have many pics of these same spots over the course of the past decade, today's pics capture a typical gray, misty Seattle evening.

 I begin with this splash of color just outside the library.
 Two and a half blocks away
at Emanuel Episcopal 
is one of my favorite trees.
 I meander the paths around the church.
 I return to the library, one of my favorite places,
for these last three shots.
Lucky me, that I had these gorgeous colors
to fill my soul as I walked!
It’s Slice of Life Tuesday!
Click over to Two Writing Teachers to read more slices!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Beauty

It's the first Thursday of the month
and time to show up with my friends 
for Spiritual Journey Thursday. 
Karen is hosting this month and
selected the word beauty for our theme.

The first thing that popped into my mind when I read Karen's choice of beauty as our theme for this month was the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth." I love the simple rendition of this hymn in the movie "Little Women." I love thinking of all the beautiful things mentioned in the hymn - earth, skies, love, each hour, day, night, hill, vale, tree, flower, sun, moon, stars of light, love of family, love of friends. 

The second thing that I thought of was this scripture, when Isaiah speaks of the Messiah: "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3) The refrain to the first hymn, "Lord of all to thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise," and the words from the scripture, "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," remind us that praise to the Lord can indeed lighten our burdens, something that all of us need.

I can't write a post about beauty without reflecting on the difference between the world's definition of beauty and the beauty that is reflected in the face of a life well lived. It's a beauty that isn't defined by the world's standards, but rather by what is given in service to others. This philosophy is best summed up in a quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley: "I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sisters Schenk's lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

My "beauty" google search reminded me of this quote I love by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." And there's also this favorite quote by Lucy Maud Montgomery: "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."  And so I close with a dozen pics of October's beauty and magnificence!