Tonight I was reading with my son. He got my love of reading and we have been reading through chapter books together at nights all this year. We have read through the Chronicles of Narnia and have recently begun Tom Sawyer too. He picked up a copy of The Secret Garden and started it himself a few days ago. He and Ty have been reading it the past 2 nights and as he tells me about the story I couldn't quite remember it. Tonight was my turn to read and like always I loved that time! I get lost in the story and to share that with J is so fun. Curled up on his couch while he laid in bed above me, I found myself relating to Mary's description of hiding away in her secret garden. I used to do that in libraries back in the US. Sometimes I would go in and read when I had breaks from work and was between clients. I absolutely loved the anonymity of hiding away in a corner, reading and knowing that I was far away in a world all my own. We finished our chapter tonight and then I started to pray before he went to sleep. Suddenly I was hit with what a blessing it is that we have the privilege of knowing how to read. I found myself thanking God for that and for education and safety and warmth and food to eat all which help us learn by the blessing of the free education we get (well-I got and now J gets). This led me to pray for the missing girls who were taken from their education in Nigeria. Of course J started to ask questions and we talked about what happened. I also was telling him about all around the world where kids cannot go to school and what some of those reasons are. We spent time praying for those kids, for the girls somewhere in Nigeria or wherever they've been taken, and for the various organizations and churches helping educate people around the world. This comes after a dinner conversation about war in Kosovo and Serbia and the kids asking a ton of questions about "real live war" as E put it. Sometimes my kids are shocked by what is true in their lifetime. While I sometimes shake my head and wonder if we are a bit too open and real with our kids, I am glad we had these conversations tonight. While my heart aches for the girls who have been taken and their families behind, it made me acutely grateful for my own children and this precious time tonight. Even though we live in a much less dangerous world than many people around the globe, life is precious and each moment we don't know what is next to come. So tonight, for just a little while, even though I was in a bedroom in Belgium, I was really all alone with J and with Mary and with Dickon in a beautiful and overgrown little garden and no one else knew it. These are the moments that I treasure dearly and am so thankful that God blesses us with! And I go to sleep with a heart full of prayer for those who do not experience that tonight, for there are many and I know I am the exception. I cannot change that but I can pray and that's where I'm starting!
It's been a couple months since I've posted here. In a lot of ways it has been a good spring. My heart has been full and I've found I couldn't even begin to put words on a page. The longer I wait though, the harder it gets. Blogging for me is a bit like gardening (which I did tonight). I have a huge vision in my head of what can be. I see so much potential. In the garden I look at our 2 raised garden beds and I'm seeing vegetables and herbs, canning in the fall, space for larger garden boxes next year and a fruit tree or 2. However, it has been a whole week since we bought a few starts and some soil and they've sat between our garage at nights and the box by day-getting watered 2-3 times a day. I couldn't even begin because I was too busy dreaming and too worried to have it planned just right before beginning. Writing is like that too. I have often composed posts in my head. I write them while I run or while I drive. I have posts about cultural observations, funny things we've experienced that weren't so funny in the moment but now I can laugh about, answers to prayer, and events we are part of. My thoughts are often all tied together though and, a bit like the twine I used to mark off the grids on the garden boxes, when I start to search for the end the middle comes unraveled and all of sudden there are multiple loops all with possibilities. And so I write nothing, content to have my thoughts all filled up in my heart. I often read Mary's song in the gospels and marvel with her at God's plan. My heart is also full as I sit in the moment, awe-struck at how God is still alive and at work, and wonder of wonders...even using me in his great big story! For those who regularly follow our journey here, I hope that this is the beginning of some more writing. We planted the gardens tonight-even though I'm 2 plants short. We started and while I see so many more things we can do, I'm grateful and excited for what is actually to grow! I'm sure with my great gardening abilities I'll have a few posts to laugh about it all. For those who don't know me in real life, this is my first time at a garden and well, let's just say my friends do NOT know me for my ability to keep plants alive! Happy spring wherever you are-may you have lots of fresh air and new life in your world!
Carolyn & (sometimes) Ty