Saturday, August 31, 2013

things i learned in august {the divergent post}

she must have looked back at me a dozen times as she climbed the platforms up to the top.  every time our eyes met i gave her a thumbs up and smiled a brave smile...even though i felt my stomach tying into knots on the inside.  when she reached the top of the slide i thought she had changed her mind...
mommy - i'm so afraid.
i thought to myself - me too, baby.
but instead i said - listen for my voice. i will call up to you from the bottom.
i stuck my head into the tube at the bottom and said in the most assured voice i could muster - i'm right here waiting on you.
when i pulled my head up i saw her smiling at the top and then heard the thud of her hopping in for the ride of her little life.
when her body hit the water i held my breath too.
she popped up with a goggle-faced grin and yelled - that was awesome!  then she doggy paddled her way over to my outstretched leg.
i wasn't even wearing my bathing suit at the pool that day.  
i never in a million years would have dreamed it would be the day my barely swimming 5 year old would have attempted the giant water slides.  even without proper swim attire i was prepared to dive in at any moment if necessary.  i stood fully clothed watching with a strange mix of anxiety and delight as she went down every one of those twists and turns for nearly half an hour.  honestly i was worried...
that she might panic when she hit the bottom 
that she might find herself upside down on the way out 
that she might not be a strong enough swimmer to get back over to the side of the pool 
...but on the outside i was cool as a cucumber.  
i didn't let the franticness i felt inside show...and that's one thing i've learned this month...

1 :: when i face my fears as a mama, i give my kids the strength to face theirs too.  
sometimes suppressing your irrational mommy fears and putting on a brave smile is enough to make your kids brave too.  this last week of summer lucy and i both held fear in our hands and then refused to let it hold us back.  as jon acuff would say - we punched fear in the face.  i want my kids to learn how to face fear in the little things because i know that one day they will need to face it to do great things.

becoming fearless isn't the point.  that's impossible.  it's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point. {divergent by veronica roth}

which brings me to the 2nd thing i have learned this month...

2 :: i love dystopian literature.
think hunger games by suzanne collins {remember my obsession?}.  or if you're old school like me...think 1984 by george orwell.  after a really long hiatus from reading fiction i picked up veronica roth's divergent on a whim in the check-out line.  three days later i had flown through all 500 pages and was ready for more.

which brings me to #3...

3 :: my hunger for fiction needs to be satisfied more often.
i am a writer...but first...
i was a reader.
as a child, going to the library was like going to disney world {well...sort of}.  i would always walk out lugging the maximum number of books allowed.  i could hardly wait to get home and dive into them.  for me, reading was about learning and adventure and sparking creativity within myself.  i need more of that in my life these days.  lately i have found myself doing a lot of reading for research and for development as a mother and ministry leader but i have this little twinge of guilt that strikes whenever i think about picking up a 'fun read'.  i've been depriving myself too long.  this week i learned that taking a few days to squeeze in some good fiction can totally jumpstart my creativity as a writer and reset my heart and mind to keep me from taking myself too seriously.

4 :: you can make your blog beautiful all by yourself.  
i've been wanting to spruce up my cyberspace home.  i didn't think i could do it on my own, but guess what?  i did!  a couple of great resources i found to help me out...
how to create a button or banner using picmonkey
how to create a personalized favicon {that little picture in the address bar!}
and some great general tips {which i'm still working through}

and finally...

5 :: four days in haiti with your daughter can provide an entire month's worth of lessons.  but for those will have to wait...

august about did me in with all the things that she taught me...these 5 examples really don't even scratch the surface.  even for an avid learner like me it was almost too much for my brain and my heart to handle.  i'm hoping september will bring more time for reflection and less information overload...

what did you learn this month?  link up with us here.