I think this might be my very first "Seven Quick Takes" post. Since I usually put all my random thoughts in Daybook posts, I've never gotten into the habit of a Friday collection of my mental post-it notes. But I have time today and tomorrow is Friday, Seven Quick Takes it is. Thanks to Kelly for hosting. Warning, this one is likely to be heavy on "book notes." It's been awhile since I've blogged and there is a backlog of books in my brain.
I posted an Instagram picture this morning of Sarah joining me during my morning quiet time. This new habit was entirely driven by her. After years of sitting on my lap or scooting in next to me and signaling to me that my treasured quiet was drawing to a close and it was time to get on with the day, she asked me a few weeks ago if she could start journaling in a Bible, too. I'm discovering that one of the very lovely things about know for sure that you're homeschooling your last child is that she can write in the books. Where previously, I was all about preserving resources for the next child, Sarah is devouring resources. Our children's Bibles are no exception. She has our family copy of The Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories and she's eagerly underlining our Lord's spoken words in red. Then, she's making notes in the margins if she likes and, finally, she's narrating the story on a separate sheet of paper. When she reads, she insists that I follow along in my Bible and that I write in my margins, too. Karoline is using the DK Illustrated Family Bible for her reading and then she's coloring the margins and underling in an Inspire Journaling Bible. We have a plethora of Old Testament Picture books, so when the story calls for it, I break out one of these for further reading. It's all very relaxed and very, very sweet. I love that I've pulled them into my most treasured moments of the day.
I miss summer. Mostly, I miss the time to take really long walks and soak up lots of Vitamin D. School schedules and a car accident definitely rocked me out my rhythm. I have resolved to somehow find my long walks again. The new dance school is really close to one of my favorite walking routes. I went yesterday and fell headlong into Beth Moore's first foray into fiction on audio. I know that before too long it will be too dark to walk there after I drop the girls off, but for now, I'm going to soak up some pretty fabulous sunsets.
The days have been long this week. Mike has been in and out of town and when he's in town, it's brief and in the middle of the night or before dawn. Yawn. I don't do well with sleep deprivation. That's when I'm most likely to get impatient and the voice I'm trying to squelch starts screaming inside my head. So, let me tell you how nice it is to have that friend who can receive this text and bring me back from the brink of crazy. Half an hour with Nicole, a cup of peppermint tea, a solution to the contacts-versus-glasses problem, and then a bonus sunset on the way home and I'm a good mom again. I don't have a tribe of girlfriends and lots of girls' nights out and book clubs and mom dates (my lifestyle kind of makes all those things impossible), but God has blessed with me with a friend at a time in all the right places.
Mary Beth is taking a break from school, starting next week. She began college classes her last semester of high school and she hasn't taken more than two weeks off since then. She was on track to graduate super early. This little pause, from now until the end of the year, will mean that she'll just graduate early instead of super early;-). I told her today that I'm so excited for her to be able to read for pleasure at last. She has a stack of books I've been recommending her way. I gave her all my favorite Marisa de los Santos books when her foot was in a cast two summers ago. School reading crowded out summer reading so she didn't get to them. And I want her to read Reclaiming Conversation because I think it's pertinent and fascinating, but I think it's too academic for a school break. And I really, really want her to read The Sea of Tranquility... so many books, so little time.
I read this article in the New York Times last week. It has stuck with me in so many ways. Often, I worry that we don't do enough to minister to the poor or the lonely, especially where children are concerned. For as long as we've had a house, though, we've had a revolving door of extra people at our dinner table, particularly teenagers who find themselves hungry or without someone at home. Honestly, you'd be surprised how many kids are without a dinner table, even in a town that knows no poverty. And every one of my four older children has been known to bring home people who need a bed for a night or two or three or a year. I'm so grateful for those people who make our table richer just by being there. I'm grateful for the ones who have embedded themselves in our family. But gosh, I hope and wish and wonder if maybe someday, we could have something that looks like what Kathy and David do. Hospitality is a ministry. I'll keep opening the door and stirring the soup and changing the sheets and telling God I'm good with however He wants it to grow.
Michael and Kristin and their girls are coming for a long visit. We got a quick day and night last week before Kristin headed south to her folks' house. They'll arrive here again this weekend to stay awhile. After our somewhat disastrous maiden voyage, we have very low expectations for this go 'round. Really, truly, we are just fervently praying everyone stays healthy. Kristin has already declared that all she wants to do is hang out and talk and sew. Have I ever mentioned how much I love this girl? I think back just five years to all the worries I had about the two of them and I feel rather ridiculous. One thing they've taught me is to trust my kids with decisions of the heart. Even in the last year, I've really adapted the way I "interact" with all their relationships. I listen and I express observations, but I don't carry the same worry I used to carry. They'll learn a lot--we all do-- and they'll make mistakes--we all do--but I trust them and I look forward to welcoming the young people they invite to join our family.