1. Find your grateful and stand on it. Defend it against anything that stinks of lies, anything that tries to minimize it down to something you don't even notice. Like today, I could have gulped that hot cup of coffee after mistakenly taking Nora to the park after church (it LOOKED warm). I could have wrapped my hands around the blue mug my mom made without seeing it as medicine, exactly what I needed to make it today, a moment to still, to receive. His gift.
2. And when I tell Nora, "No." And she answers, "I'm tired of you and your 10 commandments." Well, I just have to say (after hiding a smile), "Nora, you are not the first person to have said this. You still have to vacuum up all the popcorn on the couch, and after that we can talk about why there are rules in this world and how they have to do with two things: safety and love. So, what's it going to be, kiddo?" Luckily she didn't answer, "I choose danger and hate!" Well, on some days, a four year old tantrum on the lawn outside the Seward Courthouse can SOUND like danger and hate, but really it's a little girl trying to figure out the complicated situations surrounding her heart right now. And, yes, I will be there trying to make eye contact when she's pulling herself out of feelings she can't name with kicking boots and raging tears.
3. I am holding a shared prayer with a woman many, many miles away. Her prayers are lit with the Spirit. They stun and still me, and I know His peace through them.
4. Here's to gentlemen. (Anna, your post reminded me that I don't mind having a little help with my coat either.)
5. For a minute, I felt far away from Him, flailing. And it wasn't good. I see now that He was calling me to something I didn't know about Him--but I had to reach for it. He had stepped back for a moment, so He could see if I was brave enough to swim out toward Him, this deeper side, and there He could show me what I would be willing to do to find Him, and He would teach me about the deeper well. I hope that makes sense.
6. Grading is a relationship. Lord, help me as I approach it.
7. The end of the semester will come to me suddenly, and I will regret not having done more, and I will long to spend more time with those who are leaving, and I will be proud of what we made together, and I will leave it with a kiss, yet again, toward the classroom and a prayer for those who made it bright.
8. Emmylou Harris' album Cowgirl's Prayer -- a chance find like a warm cup of coffee in a blue mug after church.
9. I am thinking of you, and I thank God for the gift of your friendship and all that you share and all that you don't share and all that I learn from you and how you are also blue and warm.