* Day 20

It’s been 20 days but feels like a lifetime of H3N2.  My doctor said I am still contagious so don’t lean too close to read this.  Now I’m on antibiotics for a rough ear and sinus infection.  Secondary infections, courtesy of this Mutating Monster.  I know this is TMI, but how does an ear produce so much gunk?  Fortunately, I still have a tube in there.

A dear one sent me this and made my week.  My biggest heartache is that my precious student and his parents are struggling mightily.  We text throughout the day, survivors’ lifelines.

Get well soon

Another lifeline from Jesus:  Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me (and my student and his family).  Yet not my will but yours be done.  

* Day 15

Today is Day 15 with H3N2, a mutating monster of a virus.  One step forward, two steps back.  I am sharing daily progress, woes, and prayers, with a dear student and his family.  The kiddo is on Day 18 and his parents are just behind.  This is a killer of a virus.  The mortality rate for my age group is hardest hit (see that red line?) but my medically fragile student, at age 11, has suffered enormously and his situation is far more precarious than mine.

CDC flu

We spent some agonizing time in the ER, but my dearest flu widower always has clever jokes to make us laugh (and then we cough like crazy).  And what a joy to love and care for one another in times like these.  My student’s parents are the bravest, kindest, most determined people I have ever met.  They are fighting minute by minute to keep their son alive.  Sleep deprived, flu-ridden, heart broken, and clinging to faith, they are simply amazing.  I do not know how they have survived these weeks.  I am barely crawling along and I don’t have to take care of my sweet student throughout the day and night.

ER 2

I know the Lord is holding us in his hands, whatever the outcome.  Better times await.  

* Age is not the enemy- song bird songs

Modern western culture portrays old age as somthing scary, ugly, the end of all the good stuff, to be fought veheminately. Celebrities go to great lengths to stave off its onslaughts with diets, creams and cosmetic surgery till they look like walking skulls. I remember the East where old age is venerated due to its […]

via Age is not the enemy. — Song Bird Songs

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* New Year’s Revolutions? Got it!

That’s not a typo!  I think New Year’s Revolutions is a far better paradigm for what I typically resolve to accomplish in the twinkle of one year to the next.  A revolution means turning, circling from one thing to another.  Forget the resolutions because I am already adept at spinning my way from point A to M to Z!  In fact, I flitted merrily throughout 2017 and will most likely continue!  What a relief, knowing I am set for 2018.

For the current school year, I happily revolved through 6th grade math, ELA, science, social studies, and economics!  Whee!  I admit that sometimes I felt like teaching was me desperately spinning plates, trying to keep all of them from falling.  But in my heart, I loved the constant stimulation and creativity!

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I have revolved through SO many books  this past year (three yesterday!) and will most likely continue in 2018.  I read just like I eat, greedily and wolflike.  Yum!

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My primary revolution in 2017 was change through grace.  I am so grateful for every God-given reminder of selfishness, vanity, seeking approval of others, and pride.  I am spinning from grace to grace as Jesus works in my heart to complete the good work He has begun!  My dearest teaching widower is Jesus-with-skin-on, arms of love and patience and yet more grace.

Thank you, dear readers, for following my revolutions.  I will flitter my way through 2018, maybe picking up some of the threads I almost posted in 2017.  My list of unfinished drafts keeps growing, but hey, I am happily spinning along.

Happy New Year’s Revolutions to you!

* Sharing my world

I love to participate in Cee’s Share Your World blogging challenge.  How does she do it. week after week?  And her blog is filled with so many photographic gems!  Wow!  here are this week’s questions.

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?  In my adolescence, I wanted to move to Russia.  The music, the dance, the art- they all captured my soul.  Then I read “A Town Called Alice,” which perhaps gave me a romantic notion about gorgeous Australia.  Once I learned of the poisonous critters swimming offshore and those cane toads plopping everywhere, I changed my mind.  Now?  I think I’d live in northern Canada, bundled up in furs and learning to walk in snowshoes.  (Yeah, talk about stereotypes….)

What color would you like your bedroom to be?  It’s already got one blue wall, which is the first thing you see when you walk in, but I’d like to change the tone of that blue to a warmer hue.  Some day!

What makes you happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.  I am never happier than when I’m worshiping God, especially with fellow believers.  My dearest teaching widower is the greatest joy in my life after Jesus.  And I am so happy when I’m teaching.  What a gift!  I think chocolate comes next.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.  I teach a gifted but medically disabled student who has remarkable perseverance and determination.  I can’t imagine being in the continual pain and dealing with other serious conditions which are a part of his daily existence.  He is an amazing kiddo who has defied all medical and educational expectations.  I adore him and it’s a joy to be in his life.  His parents are also amazing (they’d have to be!) and I feel so loved by them all.

Engineers

Celebrating a special day as engineers of learning and fun!

* Move!

Michelle Malone has posted another Inspirational message for Mondays.  She challenges us in goal-setting and accountability.  Plus, there’s a cool video from Toby Mac, one of my favorite musicians.  Enjoy and be energized!

Happy Monday, friends! Are you well rested and ready to tackle the work week? Silly question, huh? Of course you are! So get up and get moving. Don’t stay stuck in the same spot you’ve …

Source: Move!

* 323 wisdoms, lessons & tips for life

I saw this posted on Bob’s Cabbages and Kings blog, and had to share it as well. Don’t be intimidated by its length. It is worth the read. Wise woman, this one!!

The Qwiet Muse

IMG_0122.PNGI have an amazing mother; she’s smart and wise and good. She spent her life trying to teach me how to live mine, I think she did a bang-up job, truly.

I’m a mother as well, I’d like to think I’ve done my job in a way that would make her proud. I took what she taught to heart and learned new things along the way, all of which I’ve tried to tried to teach my own children.

I’ve jotted down a little list of things I’ve learned and tried to teach, just a few hundred random bits I thought others might need to know, or be reminded of. Some are simple, some are deep – all important in their own right.

A few things I wanted my children, and YOU, to know ~ 

Wash behind your ears and clean out your belly button, that’s not just something moms and…

View original post 2,157 more words

* Sharing my world, thankfully

Cee’s Share Your World challenge is all about gratitude this week, a perfect match with Thanksgiving!  She made a funny comment about writers; it also applies to teachers, so check out her post for details.  What am I thankful for in:

  • My home life?  Love and peace. A life that provides a glimpse of heaven.
  • My family?   Our sweet son and his adorable wife, my precious sister and her amazing husband, and all the trillions of kiddos.  Well, it sometimes feels like there are trillions, in a good way!  We have the BEST extended family as well.
  • My blogging community?  Oh, so many kind bloggers who read and like and comment.  Wow, I am blessed.
  • My city or immediate area in which I live?  What a gorgeous place to live!  Our neighborhood is special, there’s an awesome lap pool not far away, and people are genuinely friendly.
  • The regional area in which I live?   Another positive!  We’re midway between mountains and beaches, not far from many places to hike and explore.
  • The country where you live?  I love this country, with our tapestry of folks who embrace such a wide range of beliefs.  I am thankful for our freedom and the efforts of those who seek greater freedom from prejudice and injustices which still abound.
  • Me?  I am happy in my skin and growing more so every day.  That’s a huge change from the tortured soul I used to be.
  • God.  (I added this one.)  Where would I be without the creator of all that is beautiful and good?  Where would I be without His death so that I might live?  Thank you, Jesus!  I am also grateful for our family of believers.  When we broke ground for our larger building recently, my widower and I inscribed rocks (without looking at each other’s first) which have gone into the foundation of the building. His is on the right.  What a precious man!

* Seeking approval

dog with frisbee.jpgAs an older dog, I’m grateful that I can still learn new tricks.  I am fearless with technology.  I tackle new academic challenges with joy.  OK, I take exception to counting backwards from 100 by 7’s.  I’ve had to perform that nasty subtraction task multiple times since a period of amnesia, so now I’ve memorized the responses.  Whew!  Some new tricks remain tantalizingly out of reach, like juggling.  I can juggle scarves like nobody’s business, but oranges?  Splat!  I do feel confident that if I practiced, I could master oranges AND apples.

But what about the Approval of Others “trick?”  My fruitless efforts began at day one in my savage home.  I grew up without approval and love, no matter how clever, obedient, and slavish I was.  Sadly, I continued my desperate hunt for approval long after leaving home.  My search even led me to fly in the face of approval, spitting on social mores.  Although I’ve been transformed in many ways since being saved in 1988, I continue to battle a need for acceptance of others.  This Bible verse was easily memorized but impossible to live by: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but by trusting in the Lord, one is kept safe.”

Living on the approval of others is an empty and dangerous path for me, leading to lies, heartache, and fear.  It saps the joy out of serving others.  It drains the satisfaction out of accomplishments, for the approval of others is counterfeit- pyrite instead of true gold.  Living for the kudos of people is a vain exercise in every sense of the word.

What’s the solution?  Where’s the hope?   Trust.  Trust in the Lord, unattainable by my own efforts.  The incredible news is that God is helping me to trust him.  Step by step, moment by moment.  My current frustration with fear of man (a King James phrase, if there ever was one) is a clear sign of how God is moving me towards freedom.  He is teaching me to trust him ever deeper.  He hasn’t clubbed me on the head or made me a pariah.  No, he loves up on me.

Feel free to “like” this post.  Or not.  I won’t live or die by that.  Mostly.

* Following Michelle’s advice

In her recent post “Everything is About to Change,” Michelle Malone challenges me to “seek, identify, and track the signs of change in your life rather than ignoring them. Whether you’re about to experience a fallow season or a bumper crop, seek, identify, and track the signs of change. Then move through this season — praising God for the opportunity to live, to bend, to change, and to grow.”

With Tikeetha Thomas’ style in mind (she’s a very organized, thoughtful lady who also responded to Michelle’s prompt), here I go:

  1.  I am gradually moving away from the gut-wrenching fear of losing my dearest teaching widower.  He has heart disease, horrible heart disease from nasty genes.  He was given a short life expectancy after his first heart attack and 5-bypass surgery.  By God’s grace, we are still together.  After the second heart attack, I tried to live as though each day was our last together on this earth, but I was worn out and nasty by 3 days.  There’s no being perfect.  I’ve stuffed my fear and cried my fear and talked my fear and prayed my fear.  Recently, I have seen more clearly that my precious husband has become an idol.  Not a gold figurine that I bow down to, but someone who took the place of God.  My husband cannot save me, love me unconditionally, and keep us I together forever, but God can and will.  For the longest time, my heart simply couldn’t trust God with that truth.
  2.  I am a self-absorbed person.  I don’t want to be.  I recognize the swill that flows from living near the center of my universe.  I bump into my self-centeredness every day and attempt to thrust myself out of this useless orbit.  With God’s grace, I am changing ever so slightly.  You know the trajectory of a rocketship that starts off with a minor degree of error and ends up far from its destiny?  That’s good news.  Jesus is propelling me away from that Katharine-centered universe and into other-centered worlds.

Some of you may have seen the J-word and already gone to another blog.  I would have done the same for half of my life.  I was a scoffer and mocker extraordinaire, until I came to the end of everything and found a new beginning.

m-and-me

My dearest widower prefers anonymity.  His universe does not revolve around himself, for sure.