November seems to have arrived for me quicker than usual. The holidays are just around the corner and I’m still trying to recuperate from the month long writing challenge. If you missed the posts from my #write31days writing challenge on Wisdom From the Animals, you can find all of them here.
October was filled with writing, reading, and teaching. I think, at last count, I was participating in four Bible studies. Obviously, God is working on me and knows I need constant surveillance!
On books, I’d recommend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I reread and For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. I really enjoyed both of these books.
For movies, my recommendations for old releases are The Good Lie about the lost boys of the Sudan starring Reese Witherspoon and The Big Year which is a comedy about amateur bird watchers and the competition to count the most species in a year starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. The best new release that we saw was The Martian starring Matt Damon and based on the book by Andy Weir. So excellent!
In the music category for October, I downloaded a lot of Andrew Peterson. I particularly like The Burning Edge of Dawn CD and Behold The Lamb of God CD. I’m pretty excited about Adele’s new music too.
We went to see our son at the end of the month. I was so glad to see my boy. I missed him. He is doing great and school is jam packed with study. He is pursuing his doctorate in Geographical Information Science from the University of Illinois. I have no idea what he does but I’m proud. His advisor is tops in the world in this field so I think he is getting the education he needs as well as an introduction to Chinese since his advisor and most of his doctoral candidate group is Chinese. We ate at some great restaurants in the Champaign/Urbana area and learned a lesson: Never-ever-under-any-circumstance book a hotel room just off campus on a Halloween weekend. Bad idea. 4am. Two nights in a row. Enough said.
Jack got his undergraduate degree from U of I so he was pretty excited to be on campus again. We took the Amtrak train with a sleeper car. An excellent way to travel. You do need earplugs since the train whistle blows at every intersection.
Delta spent almost 2 weeks with my parents in Arkansas. We affectionately refer to her time with them as doggie boot camp.
That rundown concludes the days of October that fell like fall’s leaves and ushered in November so quickly I barely got a chance to notice.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV Bible
Wisdom From The Animals: Day 14
For meerkats, family is important whether the family member is biological or not. These affectionate and social creatures recognize each other’s voices and depend on one another for survival. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” applies to the meerkats because they look after and babysit each other’s children.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28
I was fortunate in my childhood years that I spent time with my extended family. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that others didn’t experience the same upbringing. I didn’t realize how special those times were because those times were my normal. Family was highly valued. When I became a Christian, I entered into a different family that included people not related to me by blood. Those who didn’t experience family bonding growing up became part of my faith family. I value them as much as I do my biological family. All of us as children of God are raising one another up to a mature faith.
To view all of my posts from the 31 Days Writing Challenge 2015: Wisdom From The Animals, click on the icon above. I hope you’ll come back to visit over and over again. I’d love for you to follow me on the blog or any of my other social media sites. Thanks!
Both of my children moved away this week. Each pursuing the dream of furthering their education. My son left for the University of Illinois to pursue a doctorate in Geography/Geographical Information Science while my daughter left for Mississippi State University to pursue a masters in Biological Engineering. They will be separated by many states this year for the first time.
As parents, we hoped and dreamed many things for them over the years. We watched from the sidelines as these two developed very distinct personalities. So much so that others are often surprised they are siblings. Yet both are unique, intelligent, and creative with an independent spirit and possess a kind heart that is motivated for the good of others.
They have stood by one another and supported each other through the good and the tough years. They celebrated one another’s accomplishments even when one more scout ceremony and one more dance recital was too much. They have comforted, laughed, irritated, exasperated, and loved one another. Co-conspirators, these two.
As they each went their separate ways to college, they didn’t grow apart but found ways to stay connected while allowing each other to grow and change. They embraced one another’s quirks and accepted one another regardless of them. They have challenged each other to excellence and critical thinking and refuse to accept mediocrity in one another.
The older they have become, the closer they have grown towards one another and value each other’s opinions. They often seek each other out for guidance. More than siblings, they’ve become friends. We thought our empty nest would occur much sooner. But one or both of them have lived with us even after their marriages. These two that have now become four enjoy the companionship of one another and value time together.
The time has come. They’ve flown. What more could we hope for as parents? And it happened in the blink of an eye.
“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children-” Psalm 103:17 NIV Bible
She was no bigger than a sprite. Audrey Hepburn, or more commonly called little black kitty, weighed about 5 pounds but she was everything a cat loving family would desire in a pet. Gentle. Affectionate. Playful. Rodent Hunter.
We lost her this past week unexpectedly and traumatically. We catch ourselves looking for her in her usual places. One of the amazing things about pets is how we can become so attached to them, isn’t it?
She was 6 months old and a young mom of four babies, when she adopted us as her family. She was almost 10 years old when we said goodbye.
I think the reason that we view pets as family members and grieve the way we do when they’re gone is love. No big mystery— only love and we loved this cat.
And she loved us.
“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24 NIV Bible
One week turned into two, then three, and now its been a month since I posted last. We had a wonderful time with our children on our beach trip. The weather was perfect and the water beautiful.
We watched the sun rise
and we watched the sun set.
We breathed in and out,
letting go of stress that had been mounting for months.
A much needed rest for the soul.
“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'” Exodus 33:14 NIV Bible