about raising kids. @ study. listening to britney.

Yes, Baby One More Time is on my airpods right now. But right before it was Hard Way Home by Brandi Carlile.

I just had the most fantastic daydream (David calls them “thought experiments”) imagining Ellen leading a musical interpretation of a favorite song in a manner which involved key musical family members and influencers. It’s always when I imagine her paternal grandpa (Richard Dempsey) and the spirit of her maternal grandpa (Terry K. Dittmer) that I get choked up. Even more so when I imagine my brother and my husband completely threading together some absolutely magical acoustic guitar – even more when I imagine the voices: mine, Lucy’s, my nieces, my friends, my mom, my sisters, my neighborhood. Put a bonfire right in the middle and some Christmas lights on top? That literally is my daydream come true.

Which brings me to realize this seemingly emerging truth about parenting: that you raise your kids in a fashion that embodies your dreams and the qualities that bring it to life. This makes the daydream as good as the real thing, the real things as fanciful as the daydream.

It also seems to give incredible opportunity to considering what you put in place for their optimal living.

For most American parents, the notion that you can shift from the American Dream to your individual one is enough to cause some sort of social re-thrival.

Ok – vanille fraise just came on *which if you know, you know.

The voice is continuing to break open here on the blog. So much gratitude to Delene for her encouragement. All my friends. The ones I FaceTimed with. So good. Miss my coworkers. Praying for their brains. For their leadership and for their communications.

I’m opting to stay put on this Director gig in Webster. I need to be something else first. But I fully intend on knowing who gets the gig. :)

May Current. My Tide of Wondering.

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Waiting for a flow waiting for a flow

(Three Days Later)

I wonder sometimes if I will always remember this season of my life. Mugs of coffee, walking Ranger in my North Webster neighborhood where there is both litter and progress on the streets, family and friends nearby.

I wonder if the feeling I have in my heart when I contemplate where I go to church, feel gratitude to who helps and prays for my family and scan my life for new paths I have to help and pray for others will stay or if the feeling (it feels like newness and curiosity mixed with patience and acknowledgement) will evolve into maybe some wise old woman type heart.

You know – like the kind of woman who knows how to cut and trim the herbs just right and what kind of Psalm to sing to her roses to keep them from getting brittle.

Is that a stretch?

I wonder, of all the friends in my active circle, who is the one with the next thing to teach me.

I wonder, of all the people I haven’t met yet but will meet in the future, who will validate the choices I am making now. In my near 37 years, there is always the validating stranger who comes in and says “yeah – that’s great – that’s like what they do in <name region of the world> to <name thing that I was also trying to get to>” and then they usually add something “you should read” or “you might like” or offer a deeper reason for said thing they are validating which helps me understand how a prayer was answered in my decision to do something.

The Pastor at AME Blackwell Church said “Don’t look for what you think the thing you asked God for looks like, look for the thing you asked God for – period.”

“Don’t look for what you think the thing you asked God for looks like, look for the thing you asked God for – period.”

Like the people that will come in and validate, there will be the storms that come in and expose me. My vulnerabilities, what is unhealthy about the things I do. I wonder when that next storm will be. And then I wonder and survey my life and see if there is any obvious place to reinforce, any obvious tool I need, any obvious gaps to close.

I wonder that about my emotional and spiritual life like I do about my house, my land, my motherhood.

I wonder how many times I will be afraid for the lives of my children and pray for a shield over them and how many times I will still – even after experiencing relief from this fear – I will be hit in the head with the practical wisdom of Proverbs and prayers of Psalms to remind me how much more power good has over evil. How my words matter. How my time matters. How the stories I tell my daughters matter. How the food I cook them matters. How the way I filter guilt and shame and speak in clear language matters. How my listening to them matters. How my hugs matter, my patience matters, my certainty and servant heart matter.

I saw the mint expanding today in its golden yellow pot (which I will likely have to move once it gets taller than the roses) and thought “I’m not going to move the pot yet”. This awareness of timing is something that has matured in my heart. The patience. The willingness to see how it goes but the proximity to be the right kind of proactive; there when the next step is ripe.

I offer all of this – a journal of today – in hopes and in prayer that we all recognize the seasons of our life, the way the day feels – and get some power from knowing it is all a part of the process.

XO, Erin