Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Life changes:

As I was turning in my time sheet at the school yesterday, it occurred to me that the next time I make that walk, it will be my last as an employee of the school. As much as I am looking forward to retirement, there is still a pang at the thought of leaving. When I first started there, three of our children were still going to Shepherd schools. They were mortified at the thought of anyone knowing they had a mom - and worse - that she worked at the school in the library.

Melisa, as much as she protested my working at the school, managed to snag herself the position of library aide. I think she was setting herself up as "Mom monitor" to protect Nina and Sam. Every school day in the fall I would watch the runners after school and beam with pride as Melisa went by with her cross country team.

At 4th hour I would station myself at the library windows to see Sam heading from the shop building over to the main building with his group of friends.

At the beginning of 6th hour, I would watch for Nina's crowd. They all called me Mom. Nina never minded that I worked at the school, as long as I didn't do anything to embarrass her.

In late fall, Sam had wrestling practice and I often peeked in on that. In the spring was track, and after school I would watch for a glimpse of Melisa and Nina as they did their training runs.

Occasionally Anna would stop in to do some work or research for her college classes.

One by one, the younger three graduated and left. And I would feel a pang when I saw the cross-country girls, or the wrestling team, or the track team going to and from the buildings.

That's the feeling I had yesterday when I went to turn in my time sheet. As I walked down the hall past the familiar classrooms, past the students sitting on the floor outside their classrooms or milling in the commons, I realized that a big chunk of my life has been spent in that school.

Yesterday afternoon I took down the rest of the senior pictures that students have given me over the years. With dismay I realized that I couldn't remember some of their names. Their messages often said "I'll miss you, but I'll come back to visit." Some of them have, but most have not. The ones that come back seem oddly out of place and yet I have seen those same students in the halls for years. But once they graduate, something changes. To use a quilting term, they beome appliques - they are no longer woven into the pieced background of the quilt, they are a piece apart. In two weeks, I will no longer be part of the fabric of the life at Shepherd schools. When I come back, it will be as a visitor - an outsider. It will be evident that life in the school has continued without me. And as much as I am looking forward to my new life, I will - for a while - be in mourning for the old one. Isn't that always the way when we begin a new chapter?
Today is my first non-committed Saturday in a long time. I am sitting here wondering what needs to be done first. I have made my list - I'm checkin' it twice. The first order of business is to get some cleaning done. It's much easier to think clearly when the house is somewhat in order - and at the moment it is not.
My fitness goals have taken a back seat lately because so much has piled up here. I plan to start anew either tomorrow (probably not) or Monday.

Word of the day:
Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Mt 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
It occurs to me that if a person gives a gift and counts the cost, he is not really giving a gift - he is selling a product. Jesus' command to give without cost is actually a very freeing thing. Imagine the energy it takes to keep track of every single gift we have given and checking to see if we have received in kind. One can easily see why Jesus was angered when he entered the temple and found the money changers using his father's house as a marketplace. God doesn't measure his love doling out only what he receives in turn - and neither should we.

God bless our troops - who give freely without counting the cost. Thank you for your service!

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