Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blue skies

Considering my location in this time zone, the time of year and resultant length of daylight, it gets dark here between 5 and 6 pm. I mean dark. You can't hunt. You don"t walk the dog without reflective gear in place. It's dark.

About a week ago, between 5 and 6 pm, I walked past a window hurrying to another destination  in the house, when a flash of blue caught my eye. Brilliant blue. The kind of blue that makes you dream of tropical vacations and warm breezes.

The sky was supposed to be darkening, yet there it was, brilliant blue. I grabbed my camera and ran outside, snapping this rare moment like a crazy ... um, blogger.


Which made me think ... just because all the rules of nature say that the sky is supposed to be dark
 this time of day, doesn't mean that unexpected moments of brilliance and beauty can't happen.

And so it is with people. Life isn't over 'til it's over. Don't give up. Don't stop dreaming and reaching. God gives us each day to glorify Him. What will we do right now?

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quality time

Quality time or quantity time ... that has been the age-old struggle for all of us who have loved and worked with kids through the years.

Though I have opinions in that debate, quality vs. quantity hasn't had much play time in my brain since my house became an empty nest.

Until Sunday.

I am the teacher for the 3-4 grade Sunday school class. I tell the Bible story and then a classroom assistant takes over and does the worksheets with the kids. Last Sunday, the story was about Moses, Mount Sinai, and the People of Israel preparing to stand at the mountain and hear God. The story went well ... multiple trips up and down the colorful, flannel-graph mountain for busy, flannel-graph Moses. Lots of discussion about the distance covered, the lightning and the great cloud that was to be God's cover. Then on to the business of racing to fill in the worksheets. The clock hit time-to-go and we started to pack things up.

That's when it happened ...

My budding-artist-student stood up and said, "I want to draw on the chalkboard." (Said chalkboard
stands floor-to-ceiling and is rarely used, so the request was surprising.) I handed the dusty chalk to her, she plopped right down on the floor, and went to work drawing the mountain that kept Moses so busy during our story.

The real shock came when my assistant plopped down beside her and said, "Well, I want to draw the mountain too!" And there they were, like two arty buddies working on an installation, drawing their separate versions of Mount Sinai, adding clouds and lightning, and groaning about the messy chalk.

I stood there and watched the spark of attachment form between the two. Head to head, they worked well beyond the allotted classroom time. Laughing, they disappeared down the hallway to find soap and water to wash the colorful dust from their hands.

A quality moment, after the class. Nothing in the teacher's book about making art, but blessings on my sweet assistant! Because of her, that young girl will have good memories about being in Sunday School -  a place where people love God and her... enough to get down and dusty for some fellowship.

Then they that feared the Lord spake often to one another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and thought upon his name. Malachi 3:16