I started this series last week, and I’m going to try to keep it up to help myself focus on all the positives in my life and all there is to love every week. I hope it helps you think on those things in your life, too.
It was actually kind of fun this week to plan what things I was loving (and then to try to narrow it down to only five things!). Here goes:
Thursday at Nana’s
I work every Thursday afternoon teaching a writing and literature class to home school students, and one of our questions as we plan the schedule each year is where the kids will be when I’m working. I don’t want to work unless it’s a good fit for our whole family, and I know our kids are in the best care while I’m away.
Well, this year they get to be with their Nana, and it has made Thursday a highlight of the week for them. Every Wednesday evening they get excited about “Nana’s house tomorrow!” David does a “Brain Book” activity there, filled with the mazes and puzzle activities he loves. He also gets his weekly piano lesson from Nana. Elanor likes to do sewing cards, matching games, dress-up, and general rambunctiousness. (Last week my mom said that with every stitch in the sewing card, she was trying to do a forward roll on the couch.) Even though Brennan is breastfeeding and sometimes refuses bottles, and being away from him for a few hours was my primary concern going into this school year, he has done really well getting to know his Nana and adapting to a routine there.
And, I get a fresh cup of coffee before I teach, and conversation over dessert when I get back (it turns out Thursday was a great choice of a workday since my mom almost always has leftover dessert from her small group the night before). I’ll admit I’ve thought about that upcoming piece of cheesecake more than once while in a difficult classroom moment!
Thursdays are busy days. I won’t lie; it’s not easy to have three young children and to work part-time. Sometimes in the middle of the crazy schedule I forget how blessed I am to visit with my mom every week, and to work a part-time job that uses my skills while the kids are soaking up their Nana time. I am definitely grateful to my mom for investing that time in us each week, and it is definitely something I love this week and every week!
These hardly need explanation. Elanor and I saw them at Costco, and it was like an immediate magnetic pull between them and our cart. Love them, love them, love them. Trying not to eat too many and to actually savor them. The combination of sweet and salty has always been amazing to me. And I love mint. And these make me excited about the holidays. Okay, enough said.
Elanor spends one or two days a week at preschool. Last week between Veteran’s Day and a teacher work day, she didn’t go at all, and we all missed it. This week it was nice to get back to a normal routine, and she went on Wednesday and Friday. She comes back full of songs, stories, and crafts that she did. Her boundless energy and need for interaction works well in a preschool setting. And I get a quiet day to prioritize writing, catching up on deskwork, and home schooling David (who is gone on Monday, which is my special day with Elanor).
I’m grateful for a preschool arrangement that is working for our family and is a win-win for everyone right now!
Philippians Bible Study
This fall I volunteered to help with the youth discipleship program our church has. I haven’t really done this kind of thing since college, and sometimes these days, to be honest, I feel like the un-cool mom with baby brain and nothing to offer. (Ever felt that way, mom friends? Be honest.) But I wanted to be brave, and our church has given me so much that I wanted to give back.
I’m grateful to be paired with a senior high school student who has such a heart for the Lord, for His Word, and for others, that she is an inspiration to me. Together we are studying the book of Philippians, and knowing we will meet together keeps me accountable to do the work every week.
The focus this week was chapter 2, about prioritizing the interests of Christ Jesus and of others, and I was challenged by how self-focused I can be. That’s my default mode—to be preoccupied with self, often with a fear of other people’s rejection and a desire to earn their approval—basically to have gaps that I am looking for other people to try to fill. I can see how God has grown me in this over the past decade, and I want to become the kind of person who is so fulfilled in Christ, and so focused on the work I have to do, the people I have to serve, and the message I have to deliver, that I am confidently humble and don’t have any room left for self-preoccupied fear.
Lauren Daigle’s song "Loyal"
I love the deep quality of Lauren Daigle’s voice, and a few weeks ago I was really liking (and constantly replaying) her song “First.” This week, though, it was “Loyal” over and over again. Especially when beginning my morning with a few yoga exercises.
Our pastor mentioned in his sermon this morning that the Hebrew word chesed which we often interpret “lovingkindness” encompasses the ideas of both love and loyalty. I am so grateful for worship songs and how they help me to focus on and internalize truth, even in the middle of the everyday.
So that was my week. What are you loving this week?