Monday, January 15, 2018

Thinking spring....in the middle of a snowstorm!

Ken came home from the store with these really amazing tulips.  Don't they just scream SPRING?  The problem is that the truth is very far from that.... we are having a snowstorm!  As of right now we have a bit over 4" and more is predicted. It's not a blizzard or anything, but still, it is enough snow to have to bring out the snowblower.  Our back yard looks like this...
Ken and I were both thankful that we did not have to leave the house this morning.  It is a holiday, but it is also very nice for Ken to be able to sleep in and not worry about cleaning off the cars and the driveway and then driving to work in nasty conditions.  So, for today, he is enjoying retirement.  I got to stay in today since Gwen has the day off of school.  We had planned a fun activity with the kids for today, but the roads and weather caused us to cancel   The kids were quite sad, but we promised them a reschedule soon.  

Today I am so grateful to be able to live my life in the "think spring" in spite of the circumstances looking very wintry, mode.  With hope, with vision, you can see beyond what is right in front of you.  Somewhere around Christmas, I passed over another blog milestone - 700 blogs.  That hardly seems possible!  When I started this blog way back in 2013, I really had no idea where it would take me.  I just received my 5th blog book in the mail - one for each year I have been blogging.  I am so thankful for these printed evidences of the work and time that I have put into this blog.  More than that, it is a printed record of the pictures and words that I have shared.  I realized early on, that there was more to this blog than I originally thought.  People all over the world are somehow interested in what I have to say.  It had to be a God thing, since I am just an old grandma, sitting in her craft room, typing words that I thought were only for me!  Along the way, I have interacted with some amazing people.  Comments and emails have come from almost every corner of the world.  I have had readers in places that I had to look up, since I had no idea where they were!  (For example Macao, which is actually part of China).  I've said it before, there is more to this blog that what I thought.  

Recently, I received an email from a gal who lives in Australia.   It was an encouragement for me to continue to write and even expand what I am writing.     I don't know her personally, but we have corresponded several times over the last few years.  This certainly was the push that I needed to both continue blogging and also work on some other writing projects that I have had in the works for quite a while.  It was certainly a "God thing" to me when I read the email.  So I am finding that I have a renewed vision for this blog.  And it feels a bit like a springtime break through.  Just like those tulips are bringing a bit of a break from our wintry weather.  

No promises, but you might expect to see more frequent blogs from me in the weeks ahead.  Suddenly it feels like I have so much to share.  That is a welcome feeling after weeks feeling like I should stop putting words on a page.  Please pray for me.  I am sensing those angels surrounding me, even more clearly than before.  Going forward, I want to be sure that it is the correct words being shared, not just words to fill a page.  Guess I don't have to understand all of this to just KNOW that Jesus has called me to this and so I will obey.

If you are feeling "stuck" right now, or in the  middle of a winter funk, take heart.  Spring is just around the corner!  And you can look ahead to that warmer, sunnier time that is really just a few page turns away on a calendar.  Buy yourself some spring flowers, it is guaranteed to change your mood! One thing is certain, the weather is bound to change!

Thank you Jesus for the means to reach the world from my warm cozy house.  Holy Spirit, help me stay true to the message you would have me share.  Remind us that we are all moving ahead, into the future. Give a renewed sense of purpose to all those who choose to share in print.  Thank you Jesus for all around the world who read these blogs.  Bless them!  Amen

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Finally, a new year message!

Ken and I received this angel ornament from Gwen, Tim and the kids for Christmas.  They got it at the "Kenyan Market" at their church and it was hand made in Kenya.   The material is apparently some kind of grass or reed.  It is a lovely addition to our Christmas ornaments.  And it is a fitting picture to begin my 2018 blogging!

It is especially interesting to me since it seems that my 2018 "word for the year" has to do with angels.    Towards the end of December, it seemed that my daily Bible reading was just filled with angels and angelic encounters.  Even in the readings from the Old Testament.  So my thoughts and my attention had been turned towards angels.  And then we received this ornament.  Kenya holds a special place in my heart.   A visit to Kenya in 2004 and then receiving visitors from Kenya during later years, and staying connected with many Kenyan friends through facebook, have just grown that connection for me.  So I felt like the Lord had gotten my attention.....

2017 was a year with lots of shaking and so many ups and downs.  No matter where you looked, there seemed to be some kind of disaster or horrible event happening.  It is so easy to lose your focus and to start believing that the world has just fallen apart.   Just looking at news clips or even your facebook feed can make you say "God where are you?"  But then there are the angels.....
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I have had this blog started for 7 days and I just have not been able to finish it!  There were some interruptions, some phone calls, just feeling like my mind went blank.  But I am determined to finish this blog.  Usually when I have trouble writing a blog, there is a powerful reason that I am supposed to write the blog.  I feel that way about this one.  The subject of angels is quite controversial, even though it should not be - Angels are very biblical!  Somehow you are viewed as a real crack pot or crazy person if you dare to admit to having angelic encounters.  It would not be the first time that I was labeled like that!  So here goes..

I have had several angelic encounters over the last 30 odd years.  Several were during large worship gatherings.  Sensing and even seeing angels during worship is so powerful.  One of my personal favorite "angel evidence" is Testimony about Jason Upton's "Fly"  And then here is the actual track Jason Upton "Fly".  I actually heard about this song while at a conference with Shawn Bolz  (Shawn is the speaker at the beginning of the testimony clip)  Shawn shared his experience with Jason Upton and about this song.  The track was actually not yet released when Shawn played it for us that night.  During that time of worship, that small church sanctuary was filled with angels!  It was an amazing experience. 

I have also had several personal one-on-one encounters with angels.  Each time, it was only AFTER the encounter that I realized that this was not just a man talking with me.  A handful of times, I have seen angels sitting on top of buildings as I pass by - usually following times of worship.  I have had more than my share of dreams during which angels shared important messages with me.  After a powerful prayer time for protection over my home and children, I came home and saw a large angel standing guard over my home.  Later my daughter would tell me that she saw the angel from her second floor window! 

So to proclaim 2018 as one with angelic activity is not unusual.  What is different is the kind of angelic activity that seems to be ahead this year.  While telling my small group about this, I used the description of a video war game.  It was as if I saw two different armies engaged in a raging conflict. One an army of the light and one an army of the dark.  There were many, many more warriors on the army of light.  They were easily sending their foes running away.   The message in this is really simple.   We are engaged in a large spiritual battle - whether we realize it or not.  All of the things we see happening around us in the world are evidence of this battle.  It is quite easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated if we just look in the natural.  The key is to SEE THE REAL BATTLE!  In the Spiritual realm, the battle between the angels and the demons is happening.  There are many more angels than demons.  And the demons are not winning this war!  I believe that this year we will all have greater levels of peace and calm and more intimate times with Jesus, when we ask for open eyes to see all of the angels that are fighting for us.  There are legions of angels just waiting to be commissioned to our aid, if we would but ask. 

Every time an angel appears in the Bible, their first contact is to speak away fear.  We are fearful of things we don't understand or can't explain.  Usually angels come during times of great trouble or of great need. I believe that we only see angels during these stressful times because our natural filters of unbelief are overridden at those times. So let's restate our belief in the presence and works of angels.

My 2018 goal will be to start each day asking for an awareness of the angelic activity around me.  Instead of fear or worry for loved ones, I will be asking for the commissioning of angels to surround and protect them.  Instead of hopelessness at things happening in society, I will be looking for revelation of that great army of angels fighting for us.  When news of some natural disaster reaches me, I will be commissioning angels of mercy and comfort to that region.  Each time of worship will begin with welcoming angels into the spiritual atmosphere around me.  I am ready for all that Jesus has to reveal in 2018.  How about you?

Jesus, thank you for reminding me of your great love.  Holy Spirit, help us all to accept the presence of angels around us.  Give us grace in our unbelief.  Remind us to ask for open eyes to see just how surrounded we are by legions of angels.  Jesus continue to draw us closer to you in 2018.  Amen.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017 and a long ago memory...

Yes, it was a festive and wonderful fun filled day of celebration for our family.  We decided to celebrate on the 23rd this year, and it was a great decision.  The day was calm and free flowing since we had no other obligations (sometimes we have celebrated on Christmas Eve and there is a bit of a rush to make it to church).  Since it was Grace's first Christmas it was fun to watch her during all of the crazy present opening.  Near the end of the day we took some family pictures. I managed to snap these two of the kids families.... 

but didn't get any of Ken and I with the grand kids or the entire family.  Those were taken by Gwen and Susie and I will get them in the future.  For now, these will have to do! 

As usual, we laughed so much that my stomach hurt!  Ken and I gave Lia the game "Watch Ya Mouth" which was just hilarious.   Most of us took turns at being really silly looking and trying to spit out some really ridiculous phrases with that plastic contraption in your mouth. 
                                   

Gwen actually took some videos, that are sure to be archived for the future.  Let me just say that I discovered that it is impossible to say "Pompous" with that crazy thing in your mouth.   Lia and Tim were the clear winners at this game.  Win or lose, it was just so much fun!

Zeke received an old pair of binoculars from us that had once been destined for donation.  I was correct that these would entertain a 6 year old boy!  So glad I thought to save these! 

We ate lots of great food, we snacked on so much wonderful goodies, we talked and played with the kids.  It was an exceptional day for our family.  

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were very quiet and calm for Ken and I.  It started to gently snow on Christmas Eve and progressed to a measurable amount of snow.  It was so nasty that we decided to forgo the Christmas Eve church service.   I was very grateful that Gwen and Tim's church does a "live stream", so I was able to attend a wonderful Christmas Eve Worship while tucked warmly in my bed!  It was extra special since Gwen was leading worship.  Christmas Day was FREEZING cold, so Ken and I never ventured out of the house.  We watched a couple of Christmas movies and just had a lazy day.  I made a couple batches of cookies and we snacked our way through the day.  No big dinner for us!  

Yes, this has been a transitional year for us in so many ways.  Ken is still "on vacation" technically - since his retirement doesn't officially begin until January 1.  There was one point last week when neither Ken nor I could remember what day of the week it was!  I actually had to stop and check!  Both Susie and Gwen are off of work for the holidays so even my "routine" is off.  Susie took advantage of her time off, to have Ken show her some photo editing software that he uses.  So I got to spend a bit of time with Grace at OUR house!  
We had so much fun playing while Susie and Ken talked all things camera!  So glad that I got a bit of Grace time in during this holiday time!  

I can't help be feel so thankful, looking back at this last week.  Our family was able to have a wonderful day together - with no one sick!  This is really something to be thankful for since so many families had virus' and colds and other ickiness.  I got to thinking about my own family and the many Christmas memories I have.  Interestingly, I realized that it has been 40 years since I had Christmas with any of my siblings or my mom and dad.  After my folks retired to Minnesota in 1977, I never had another "family" Christmas.  I think that is why it is so important for me to make the time and make sure that I am spending time with my children and grandchildren.  

The first Christmas that Ken and I spent with no family was Christmas 1978.  I was pregnant with Gwen and we had just moved into this house the previous February.  Our neighbors Roger and Carol, felt really bad that we had no family plans for the holiday.  So they invited us over for Christmas Eve.  They had several family parties on Christmas Day, but made the time for us on Christmas Eve. Their little boy was just a few months old.  Carol decided to make a duck dinner when she heard that we had never had duck.  We enjoyed the dinner and returned home shortly after, since the next day would be busy for them.  Around midnight we received a phone call that both of them were really sick with stomach troubles and they feared it might be food poisoning.  Thankfully, both Ken and I were feeling fine.  I offered to come and get the baby since they were both so sick.  So that Christmas morning, I was caring for a sweet little two month old boy while wondering what the next Christmas would be like with our own expected baby.  That was a most welcome diversion for me, since it would have been a really sad holiday for me.  I often think back to that day and marvel at God's provisions for us, even through a sick neighbor and a baby that needed someone to care for them.  Jesus knew just what I needed.  And he also knew that Roger and Carol would need someone to help with the baby.  Thankfully, neither Ken nor I ever got sick!  Quite the memory from so many years ago.  

We are entering into a new season in 2018.  I imagine that next Christmas will seem very different than now.  After Lucas died in 2014, it seemed that Christmas would never be the same.   But the truth is, every season is different!  Each year holds memories and laughter and joy all their own.  Even if you hold fast to "traditions", everyone is a year older next year!  Time marches on.   

2017 Christmas was the wonder of a "first" Christmas for our family.  It was laughter and fun.  It was calm and peaceful.  A perfect holiday and a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  

Jesus, thank you for families and your plan for us to be together.  Holy Spirit, remind us all that Christmas is about peace and love and how much the Father cares for us.  Thank you for lights and glistening stars and yes, thank you for snow on Christmas!  Amen

Friday, December 22, 2017

What a week....leading up to Christmas.

My week began at my favorite place to be - Chicago HUB on Sunday evening. The worship at HUB was wonderful - led by one of my favorite worship leaders, Steve Mitchell.  It was a free flowing time of worship, truly led by the Holy Spirit.  The interesting thing for me was,  I felt as if the particular songs and the direction of the worship were just for me.  I imagine that I am not the only person who felt that way, but there was a very personal message as one song flowed into the next.  I had walked in the doors that night feeling distant from Jesus, distracted by all the stuff of the season and alone.   I left that night feeling a close, intimate hug from Jesus, focused on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and knowing that I was connected to a very large "family".  What an amazing Christmas blessing.

On Wednesday there was another Christmas treat!  I got to watch Anna perform in her first ever Christmas Program.. 
There is nothing better than seeing these preschoolers up on the stage, singing and sharing about the baby Jesus.  Anna is only 3 years old, but her personality showed through in her performance. Anna was the line leader for her class and she knew just where to go on the stage.   She was singing and dancing and knew all of the words and motions to the songs.  She was not one bit afraid - even though the church was packed with family members.  I stopped and picked up Lia, Ellie and Zeke so they could see the program.  Because Gwen is a teacher at this preschool, she was already there - directing the program!  

Most of the kids in Anna's class did more standing and staring rather than singing and motioning.  Anna told me that she was especially excited because she got to be on the "stage". She is a determined little girl who makes very clear decisions.   I am sure we will be seeing much more of her, front and center, and leading the way for her peers.   I have no doubt that she will be a "mover and shaker" later in life.  I truly believe that everyone would have a much calmer and sweeter Christmas if they attended a children's Christmas program.  You can't help but feel wonderful after watching these sweet little faces share the Christmas message.  

So, here on this Friday, December 22, our family is anticipating our Christmas gathering tomorrow.  
Our time together is never about the gifts that we exchange.  It is about the fun and the laughing.  We always share memories and stories from past years.  There is always food and time for silly games.  As I was talking with Lia, Ellie and Zeke in the car on the way to Anna's program, I was shocked to realize that Zeke never knew my mom.  Lia and Ellie always talk about her, but Great Grandma Nona died a month before Zeke was born.  It was one of those times when I really was missing my mom! Somehow the time just gets away from you and suddenly, years have passed without your loved ones.  Our Lucas would be three years old now and he is missed every day.    I loved that Zeke's final thought about Great Grandma Nona and Lucas was simply, "I know I'll get to meet her in heaven!  And baby Lucas also!"  

Yes, heaven is possible for us all because of that little baby, wrapped in strips of cloth and sleeping in a feeding box.  Jesus started life among us as a child and the message of his coming is simple enough to be shared by children.  The Father knew that the message of love and joy and peace on earth would be best carried to the world by the voices of sweet, innocent children.  

Anna's program ended with the children singing "Joy to the World".  Which is a fitting end to this blog.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
And heaven and nature sing!
And heaven and nature sing!
And heaven and heaven and nature sing!

Jesus, thank you so much for the voices and the smiles of little children.  Holy Spirit, help us all to slow down, relax and remember the best gift that was ever given - Jesus.  Holy Spirit, show us how to prepare our hearts to be open to the joy and peace that Jesus brings.  Give us ears to hear the voices of the angels saying "Peace to the people of earth".  Thank you for this amazing season.  Amen

Friday, December 15, 2017

We all need somebody to lean on....

This week my small group gathered for our annual Christmas luncheon.  It was a wonderful time of sharing, as usual.  Most of our group has been together for more than two years, but we have added a few more friends along the way.  We were missing a couple of gals on Wednesday, but here is a picture of us after our celebration...

As I was preparing to write this blog, all I could think about was a very old song from 1972  - Lean On Me by Bill Withers.   Here are the lyrics to that song.  I think I should recommend that my group makes this our theme song..... (But instead of CALL ME it should say TEXT ME)!

Sometimes in our lives, We all have pain, we all have sorrow,
But if we are wise, we know that there is always tomorrow.

Lean on me when you're not strong, I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on.
For it won't be long, Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on.

Please swallow your pride, If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs, that you won't let show.

Just call on my brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you'll understand, We all need somebody to lean on.

If there is a load you have to bear. That you can't carry.
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load. If you just call me.

I can't express just how true the words of this song are for our group, how much they apply.  Each one of us has our ups and downs - our pain and sorrow and our joys.  But in that, we all know that we can lean on each other.  Because we are such a diverse group of women, we understand so many different problems and situations.  It is an amazing thing to see how the Lord put our group together, because he knew that we would all need each other in different ways and at different times. Each bringing something so valuable and unique to the group.  

In Ephesians 6, Paul details the Armor of God.  in verse 13 it says....
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Part of that armor is the shield of faith,  described in verse 16  - with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  

My friends and I have discovered that sometimes that shield of faith is really heavy.  When you are in midst of tough circumstances, when you have grown weary and been struggling on for so very long, when things seem hopeless - it is really hard to have enough faith to be protected from the attacks of the enemy.  So, we have decided that, just like the Roman soldiers did, we would "Lock our shields" together.  Together we are much stronger and we can all "lean on each other" when times get tough.  
Earlier I said that the song should say "text" instead of "call" - and that is just so true.  Our group has a group text that carries prayer requests, urgent cries for help (which we simply have to text 911 to our group and prayers will immediately begin) wonderful good news, answered prayers, and often you see the phrase "Shields locked" show up!  Simply put, that phrase says that we are standing with each other - we are helping carry that hard load - whatever it is.  To us, it means that when you have a deep need, all the rest of the group will encircle you with their shields of faith raised to help protect you. This year, we were so blessed by one gal with this physical reminder of that phrase.  

I am convinced that everyone needs somebody to lean on.  If you don't have a small group or even just one or two close friends, I encourage you to seek it out.    Being isolated is one of the ways that satan has to knock us down.  It is so worth it to find people with whom you can be open and honest.  Jesus never intended for us to be lone warriors.  We are all so much better when we are surrounded by those locked shields.  Yep, I am going to be humming "Lean on me" in the days ahead!

Jesus, thank you so much for the blessing of close friends.  Thank you for drawing us all together and being the creator of our small group.  Holy Spirit, reach out to those that feeling lonely and those that don't have a support group.  Lead them to exactly the right place for them to meet others who they can lean on.  Jesus thank you for caring for us and knowing that we need friends.  Amen  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An amazing night...

Yesterday I did a whole lot of driving, but it was so worth it!  I was at Doug and Susie's house with Grace yesterday during the day.  Last evening was Gwen's kids Co-op Christmas Program.  So I drove from the far west side of the Chicago area to the far north side - even beyond Gwen's house!  It was an interesting two hour plus drive on roads that I seldom drive.  Thankfully, I made it to the church in time to see the entire performance.  These two sweet girls did a wonderful job! 
Lia was in a Musical Theater production called "My King and Me".  She was incredibly nervous about this performance because she had a lead role that included singing solos.  I had helped her practice on Monday, so I knew that she had done a good job memorizing all of her lines.  The play was a cute adaptation of the Christmas story, centered on the people of Bethlehem building an amusement park for the expected crowd of people coming for the census.  The songs in this production were great.  Some were tradition carols modified a bit.  But the main song was amazing.  The director had taught the kids hand motions to this song that was basically telling the Gospel message.  This grandma has to confess that I got very teary during that song.  It is really powerful to see these kids sharing Jesus.  I couldn't help but think of the promise for Lia's destiny.... that she would be a voice to her generation to share the love of Jesus.  

Ellie and Lia were both in their Spanish classes performance of some modern Christmas songs in Spanish.  This is a beginning  class but both girls knew these songs well.  Such a fun way for the kids to express some of their new Spanish while singing meaningful songs about the birth of Jesus.  So proud of Ellie for not only walking onto the stage, but also for singing!  Quite an accomplishment for this sweet girl who would rather not be in the spotlight!

It's a grandmother's role to pray for her grandchildren.  Seeing the children that Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna have in their "school" (they are home schooled - so this Co-op is their school) gives me reason to be incredibly thankful.  I could not imagine a better place for them to meet new people and make friends, than this Co-op.  There are no clear "age" divisions, since most classes are multi- age.  As a matter of fact, this Spanish class that Lia and Ellie attend is mostly junior high age kids.  The Musical included kids from 1st through 6th Grade.   There is a "one room school house" feel to the co-op.  Actually one of Ellie's other classroom teachers is in the High School Spanish class (that performed with them). Some high school students are actually teachers!  Talk about great mentors.  It was wonderful to see some special needs children included in the performances.  How could you ask for anything more for these kids?  Home schooling and this co-op are certainly an answer to my prayers.

Even though the program was quite long (and I was pretty tired from my long day - and I knew I had an hour and a half drive home) I was thankful that they did a short Christmas Carol sing along.  I really don't have any place to sing these familiar songs, so it was quite a treat.  The very last song that we sang was "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  Really a nice end to the day.  

I know that I often say this, but I am so, so thankful for the chance to spend time seeing my grandchildren.  It is great to see them on just a regular day, but it is also wonderful to be able to attend these special events.  I love this verse from The Passion Translation, Proverbs 17:6a

Grandparents have the crowning glory of life: Grandchildren!

Today was certainly one of those "crowning glory" moments for me!

Jesus, thank you for being able to experience Christmas through the songs of children.  Holy Spirit, help us all to be aware of the children that we encounter on daily basis - in our neighborhood, our communities, our churches - as well as in our families.  Remind us to enter into this busy holiday season with the awe and wonder of children. Jesus, thank you for answered prayers.  


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Let's go fly a kite - even if it is December!

 Monday was December 4.  But because this is Chicago and you just never know what the weather will be, it was a really wild weather day!  It had been very unseasonably warm during the week before.  Like weather in the 50's - where you didn't even need a jacket.  But then on Sunday night we had a really odd weather shift.  The winter weather literally BLEW in!  The wind was just ridiculous!
Ken texted me very early on Monday morning (like 5:35am) to warn me to be careful driving up to Gwen's house because of the high winds.

But when you are a six year year old boy and you hear the wind blowing, what is the first thing on your mind?  Flying a kite!  So, even though it was December, we dragged out the kites from the garage and did some assembly.  Zeke's tractor kite did not come with a tail, and my years of (attempting) kite flying, I knew we had to find some way to add a tail.  So we tied two winter scarfs together and tied them to the kite and stepped out into the wind tunnel (back yard)!  Now when I say wind tunnel, I am not really exaggerating very much.  There were 50 mile an hour winds with even higher gusts.  I warned Zeke that it just might be too much wind.  He was determined to see that kite fly!
I just had to include this cropped close up of Zeke's face in this picture.  What a look of shear joy and wonder at that kite actually flying!   And boy did it ever fly!  Ellie found a much smaller plastic kite that came with very long tails attached.  This kite also managed to fly - at least for a little while!
By the end of two hours of mostly watching the kites dive bomb into the grass, the kids and the kites were pretty well done in.  And so was this grandma! We retreated into the house with somewhat crumpled kites, plastic pieces that were bent and frayed from the wind and lots of tangled kite string.  But also three very happy, smiling kids and one grandma (who looked like she had been standing in a wind tunnel for a couple of hours)!

It was a wonderful way to spend two hours on a Monday morning - when you are blessed enough to be home schooled so you are not sitting in a classroom, stuck in a desk.  This is especially true given the fact that by Tuesday morning, snow was blanketing the ground.  There will not be another chance to fly kites for several months.

You can sure learn a lot from a determined six year old boy (and equally determined 8 and 11 year old girls).  The rational adult in me said "It is too windy to fly a kite." and "It is December so we should not be flying kites."  These determined kids found the kites, got them assembled, figured out a tail for Zeke's kite, untangled some kite string, and then worked together to get these kites up in the air and flying.  What an accomplishment!

I have to confess that it is not only the adult thing that would have kept me from flying those kites.  I would have been very sure that it just would not work.  I like to think of myself as a realist, but actually I am more of a pessimist.  Thinking that things will never work.  And I am often so fearful, that I would not even try something.  What a blessing it is that I have been given the opportunity to be with my grandchildren.  They push me into situations that bring me so much joy and wonder.  Things that I would have missed out on, if I wasn't around them.

To recap some lessons that I learned from this....
*It is never too windy to fly kites!
*It is good to fly kites when you also have winter scarfs (for kite tails) and winter gloves (to keep that kite string from burning your hands) readily available!
*Never pass up an opportunity to do something slightly "out of season".  (That may mean running through the sprinkler when it is 70 in October OR flying kites when it is December)
*Don't be afraid to take chances.  You just might actually succeed!

Looking at Zeke's face in that picture gives me a little insight into why God so often used children to accomplish his plans.  When David was facing Goliath, he didn't think about the difference in their size.  He just knew that if God had told him to do it, he could do it.  The little boy with the loaves and fish didn't look at his lunch and think it was worthless.  He took a chance and brought it to Jesus.  I want to approach life with that same attitude - no matter how windy or stormy it is - no matter how impossible the situation might seem. I want that "Can Do" attitude! Yes, I will be remembering this kite-flying day in the future.

Jesus, thank you for giving us the chance to learn from children.  Keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to all that you have to teach us.  Holy Spirit, help us all to move when you give us that prompting to go and give us more courage to step outside of "normal" into your perfect plan for us.  Thank you for kids and kites and very windy days in December.  Amen