Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A First Reading and Perhaps a First Telling.

Yesterday was amazing. I had the privilege of reading my book I Can't Sleep at St. Andrews International School of the Bahamas. I originally thought I would be reading to year 2 children but when I arrived I realized I was mistaken and I was booked to read to the year 4 children. How perfect I thought because the protagonist in my book is a little boy in grade 4! 

I cannot put into words, which is strange for me, how amazing was this first reading of my book. So instead I will give you a few highlights. 

First, the children, were amazing. They were so well behaved and intent on taking in all that was talked about and considering it was three classes worth of year 4 students that is a great feat!

Secondly, they loved the story. I loved seeing their faces and hearing their little giggles at some of the illustrations and wording of the book. I think it was a hit!

Thirdly, I think the lesson of my book was understood. We discussed what it was like to be worried and that it is a normal thing to experience. My goal was to normalize that we will all experience worry at some point in our life but that the trick was to keep it to the proper size and not let it take over.

Lastly, and this is my favourite part, these children asked some amazing questions and made amazing comments. These questions were varied and all interesting  but I wanted to share the one common statement that came up time and time again. I will call it, the telling.

Once the event was over, as it had taken place in the library  they children went about their business to find a book to check out for the week. I found my self surrounded by eager children that wanted to speak to me. More than a few times, the child I was speaking with asked me if it was okay to tell me their worry. "Can I tell you my worry?" they would speak in hushed tones. I was honoured that they felt comfortable enough to tell me one of their worries. They disclosed worries about tests, athletic endeavors, friendship concerns and ill relatives.  By their telling, they brought me into their world even if only for 10 seconds, to share the load of their worry.

What did I take away from this? We need to tell more, we need to not let ideas about what the world will think of us, stop us from admitting we have concerns or worries. By telling, we admit we do not have all the answers. By telling we share the load of our world with someone who is ready to listen and care. I was reminded today by a wonderful group of year 4 students that telling to someone who cares is an vital part of how to live life successfully.
Shine on my friends!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


 I have a devotional reading book entitled Jesus Calling; written by Sarah Young.  I find it quite unbelievable that almost every time I read  it I feel like it was written just for me, the very theme I  find myself struggling with is usually the very theme upon which Sarah Young is commenting.  Today was no different, with a list of all the things I needed to do on my "day off" today quite literally by my side but still buzzing in my head I sat down to spend a few moments reading, praying and thinking.  Sarah Young's words jumped at me  and like a cartoon anvil awaiting the cartoon cat which never misses it's target these words hit hard. "Fantasizing about future happiness will never bring fulfillment, because fantasy is unreality." "Bring your moments to ME, and I will fill them with vibrant Joy. Now is the time to rejoice in My presence!"

     I was caught, list in hand, thinking fulfillment would happen once I was able to cross off all my things to do. I was challenged to stop and remember God's presence in the NOW and stop fantasizing about the future where things were done. Really if this is my fantasy I think I need to get out more! But seriously most of us will spend the majority of our day in contemplation of things completed and dreaming of future happiness when things seem more manageable.

With journal in hand I began my prayer as I sough God's guidance as to how to best learn to live in the now. Below is my journal entry if it of use to you make it your prayer, if not make your own.

Let me give my moments to you, let me rejoice in the Now. No matter what Now is, let me rejoice in the now because you are with me. Let me not miss out on awesome moments with you because I am looking too far ahead or insist on keeping my eyes focused on the past. You are everywhere but the only place I can experience you fully is in the now. NOW. I know you are both behind me and before me in time but my limited  human brain can only let me experience you now.
It is the now that fuels the future, seeing, experiencing your fullness now gives me hope, gives me strength for what.. not tomorrow but for the now. Strength provided for the now, for what you want me to do Now.
You do not expect me to use my gifts of now tomorrow, you expect me to use it now. You will provide tomorrow's  grace when I need it, tomorrow. Let me try not to store up, hide away or hoard the gift of now. Let me live fully in it. Let me live freely in it and when tomorrow comes and my next now is given, let me rejoice again. You are and will always be to the very end of the ages with me. Now, let me go out knowing the gift of Now is the very presence of my King.

Shine on my friends,