Guardian Angel

My body throbbed. My pulse was racing. The bruises on the back on my legs and arms were pounding. Even though he was in the other room, I could still feel his grip tightening around my arms, pulling me back as I strained to get away. The tears finally stopped. I think I was literally dried up. But the fear and the anxiety were real. I reached up, sliding my fingers between the slats on his crib. I peered up over his mattress, he was still sound asleep, none the wiser that I was even in his room. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t have anywhere to go. I just had to make it through the night. We both just had to make it through the night safe. Then I could figure something out. I could find a place to keep us safe. I could call my parents if I had to. I just had to make it through the night.

I lay on the floor because the bed was too far away, I considered moving the bed, or the crib, or the baby. But I didn’t want to wake anyone. And I wasn’t sure I had the energy to move anything anyway. I reached over and grabbed a quilt and pillow from the baby’s bed, never losing sight of the crib, or the door. I heard a creaking floorboard in the kitchen. I held my breath.

What if he decided to come into the baby’s room?

What if he came looking for me?

But he didn’t. He walked right by. I heard the slamming and locking of our bedroom door, and shortly after that the locking of the bathroom door as well. there were two doors on the bathroom, one from the master bedroom and one from the hallway. He locked both doors so I couldn’t get in. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t leaving the baby, not even if I had to go to the bathroom.

I lay back down on the floor exhausted. It was uncomfortable, but at least then I knew that if he came into the baby’s room, he would have to go through me to get to the baby. I settled my head on the pillow as best I could. I pulled the quilt around myself made sure the baby was sleeping soundly. Then I tried to settle in for the night, or at least a few hours.

As I looked up at the door, I suddenly knew I was safe I felt a wave of peace and protection wash over me, for as I looked at the door, I saw an angel standing guard. She was enormous. She shimmered in a golden translucent hue. Her wings reached right through the ceiling and she stood at guard with her sword of protection. She nodded to me, as if saying, “I’ve got this. You are in the arms of Jesus. Rest now.” So I closed my eyes.

 

I don’t really know how long I slept, but I remember hearing Matthew stir in his crib. He looked pleasantly surprised to find me sleeping on the floor next to his crib.

“Mama,” he giggled.

“Shhh my precious.” I whispered. “Daddy’s still sleeping.” I didn’t know for sure, but I sure hoped and prayed he was still asleep. I put my fingers up through the slats of the crib again and Matthew held on tight. He seemed to know I just needed to lay there for a minute. He laid his head down popped his thumb back into his mouth and played with my fingers.

Morning had come. We were both still alive. My body ached all over. Between the tension and worry of last night’s events, and the bruising and aching all over my body, I was worn out. I glanced at the door. The angel was gone, as was my peace. But I knew she had been there and helped us all to sleep. “Thank you, God.” I whispered.

We were safe. But I knew that safety was fleeting. I had to come up with a plan, and quickly. How had I gotten myself into this mess?

 

 

 

Faith

Faith! For my daily devotional today I read Mark chapter 5. Each of the stories in today’s readings are about faith.

The possessed man knew that Jesus could heal him. Even the evil spirits in the possessed man knew the power Jesus had. The evil spirits knew that Jesus could banish them and order them out of the man. The possessed man believed in Jesus’s healing power, and was healed.

The woman suffering from hemorrhaging for 12 years knew that simply touching Jesus’s robe could heal her. “She was thinking to herself, ‘If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.'” (Mark 5:28). There were many people pushing and shoving and touching Jesus, but because of her faith, she was healed when she touched his robe. When she touched him, Jesus knew his power had been used to heal her. She believed, and it happened. Faith.

Jesus arrives at the home of his friends whose child had just died. Everyone was grieving, but Jesus told her to get up, and she did. Faith.

faith

Faith. Trusting. Knowing. Believing.

Are we willing to take that leap of faith that God is asking us to take?

Do we have enough faith in our lives?

 

Rest for my weary soul

Each morning I read a daily reading bible called The Message remix 2.0 Pause A Daily Reading Bible by Eugene Person. This morning in my devotional I began reading Joshua 19-21. This part of Joshua is about which tribe gets which piece of land. It’s boring. As I started I sighed and asked God to show me why this was important for me to read.

Writing my journal reflection after one part of the reading struck me: “And God fave them rest on all side, as he had solemnly vowed to their ancestors.” (Joshua 21:44). I started thinking about how the Israelites were given rest after years of slavery, after years of wandering in the wilderness, after years of battling for their land. They were given land. They were given a home. They were given rest.

Then I thought about my new home. I’ve often compared it to my own promised land. A place God led me to. No more fear. No more ridicule. No more abuse. Just rest. A place of my own. A place where I have safety and security. A place I have rest.

Thank you God for fulfilling your promise to me and giving me a home where I can find rest. Rest for my weary soul.

Blessed

IMG_3580 This is a picture that I took of the sunset last night. Yes. I am lucky enough to be so close to the water and a place where sunsets like this are fairly common occurrence. As I watched the sunset last night with some friends, I realized how truly blessed I am.

The past few years have been kind of rough. Going through a divorce is never easy. Having been through it twice it can break you, if you let it. But sometimes getting through the hard times is what allows you the distance to reflect on where you are in your life and appreciate the amazing people who are a part of your life.

I definitely have some amazing people in my life.

I have friends who have known me forever. Friends who are Facebook friends with my dad (yes – he’s on FB and I’m not). And friends who are just getting to know me (and trying to get me on FB).

I have friends who have known me before I ever got married, those who have known me and supported me in varying stages of marriage and divorce, and friends who have never known any of my ex’s and just know the me I have become.

I have friends who held my babies when they were born, built snowmen with my sons when they were just kids, and friends who have become family supports to my boys as they have become amazing young men.

I have friends who stalk my blog, friends who comment and discuss my blog, and friends who are common inspirations for my blog.

As I look back on my journey of life I think about the random happenings, the twists and turns, the agonizing decisions and the split second decisions that led me to where I am now. And I wouldn’t change a second of it. Because each of those moments have made me who I am and connected me with the people who love and cherish me.

So as you read this blog take a moment to enjoy a sunset.IMG_3583

Count all of the blessings you have in your life.

Don’t forget to count the people who have touched your life.

Those who have been with you through it all and those who have just begun walking with you.

To all my friends, both new and old, I love you and thank you for sharing a sunset with me.

Creating Depth of Knowledge

 

Photo borrowed from: http://theologyforum.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/scripture-where-elephants-and-lambs-swim/

 

This summer at church we have been focusing on the many parables that Jesus tells and how we can apply them to our lives. Our pastor often tells us that parables are shallow enough for children to wade in and deep enough for an elephant to swim in. I have found this description beautifully simple and profoundly insightful.

Parables were used to help make sense of some very complicated ideas. The idea is that even for a small child, they can hear, understand and enjoy the parables at their own level.  Yet as we revisit those parables throughout our lives, there is still enough depth to them that we can continue to get greater meaning and insight from them.

As an educator I think about this concept all the time. How do you make an idea both simple enough for the child, beginning learner, to grasp and yet deep enough for the elephant, the advanced learner, to immerse their whole selves in the learning? It is about creating depth of knowledge for all learners. It is the struggling of trying to take all students from where they are at and make each lesson important and relevant to them.

I am no longer in the classroom, but now I am an administrator and I find this challenge even more daunting with my staff. I am constantly pushing myself to find a way to help all of my teachers improve their craft, or at the bare minimum, get something out of my meetings.

With every concept that I present or discuss, I have teachers who are only beginning to wade in the ideas, others who are ready to dive in deep and explore and still others who are already swimming around.  This dichotomy is even more pronounced with the integration of technology. We are beginning a 1:1 technology program at my school and my biggest challenge is going to be supporting all of my teachers from where they are at to where they need to go.

So this summer, while I prepare for the start of school, I will continue to seek the ways in which I can provide my teachers with the different levels of support they need. For some I will offer them the opportunity and encouragement to get their feet wet and to begin to wade into the vast world of technology. And for others, I will help them to navigate the deep waters and help them to take on the challenges of swimming further away from shore.

Hopefully, through the course of this year they will all gain the confidence to take the plunge.

Unrevealed…

“Unrevealed until its season…”

In church today we sang a song that hit me for some reason.

In the bulb there is a flower

In the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise;

Butterflies will soon be free.

In the cold and snow of winter

There’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season,

Something God alone can see.

In the Bulb there is a Flower – by Natalie Sleeth

The song was so beautiful and it made me stop and think about myself. I know that I am a work in progress. I know that I’m not finished and I think that in many ways I too am “unrevealed”. I’m hoping that my time will come and that I will be able to bloom into something amazing.

I’m certainly working on it. Starting this blog has been quite an adventure for me. I never really thought of myself as much of a writer. I guess that’s a family thing. We are math and science people, but we never really focused much on writing. I never thought I was a great writer (I still don’t think I’m a great writer, but I find pleasure and comfort in my writing, that I’m going to keep doing it). But to my own surprise I find joy in writing and sharing experiences with people. I hope that you find some joy in reading what I write and maybe you will be there when my time comes to be revealed.