Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You When

September 11 was a date I had been anticipating for a week or so. It was going to be the first teacher's potluck luncheon of the school year. Endless goodies in the teacher's lounge for hours on end. My first break was at 10:30 central time when my first graders went to music.

The party room was remarkably empty. Undaunted, I filled my plate with a few good snacks and some obligatory vegetables, and sat for the first time that morning. A few minutes later, the librarian walked in, looked at me enjoying my full plate, and declared, "You haven't seen a TV yet." I confirmed I had not. Any teacher will tell you when you close your door in the morning, you create a world separate from reality, limiting your connection to a rare drop-in by the principal or another teacher looking for extra supplies. We likened it to being in a cave.

I remember her telling me two planes had flown into the twin towers and they had "fallen down." I had no comprehension of what she might mean. "What do you mean 'fallen down'?" I asked. "I mean they are just gone," she answered.

While I still couldn't fully understand (I was envisioning the top third of the buildings broken off), suddenly my plate was not so appetizing.

I did not see a replay of that sickening video of the crumbling buildings until arriving home that afternoon. What I remember most clearly from that day was the thought immediately brought to mind: "God you are all-powerful! You are in control!"

How could this be my reaction to such a gut-wrenching scene? Because of the grace of Jesus I understand that my God is more powerful than those who brought on this great tragedy, more powerful that the engineers that designed such marvelous buildings. He is still in control in the most horrific of situations and weeps with those are hurting. He allows free will and the consequences that are brought upon because of it, but he is not overcome by it!

We said then "We Will Never Forget." I sincerely hope we don't. It is a story that I have begun to tell my little class at home. But the lesson goes beyond US history or even the stories of valiant heros who faced tragedy. They are a part of His story.

It is about a God who is all-powerful, always in control.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Passing of Summer

I keep hearing people talk about the weather: how great is the weather, it's so nice outside, I love this time of year. Yes, it's nice, I agree. But with this weather, at this point on the calendar, it only means one thing. Summer is over.

I like summer.

I know it's hot. I know the kids get restless. I know it's tornado season. But life in the summer is just easier!

You get to sleep in. (Okay, well I do. I have trained my kids to allow this to happen.)
You can send the kids outside to lower the noise level.
You can get SOOO much accomplished.
You can do nothing.
You can plan things in advance or at the last minute.
You can fit clothes for the whole family into one overnight bag.
You can suggest to grill and have hubby end up cooking the entire meal!

It just seems that in summer everything is easier. But for me it's more than that.

Summer is the epitome of youth. Carefree freedom... Windows down... U2 blaring.... Every relationship holds mystery and expectant longing.

The smell of a river or sound of the cicada's song diverts me back to a time when life was simple and the possibilities were vast. The humid wind blowing through my hair as I drive seems to clear my head of all the grown-up junk that clutters it, making me feel, if only for a moment, like I am innocent and frivolous again. The giggle or hollered "MOM!" from the back seat that pulls me back to reality does not disappoint me, but rather brings my years of experience and responsibilities back to mind. There is no doubt: I would not trade now for then. But the moment has been sweet.

So with the passing of Labor Day and with the autumnal equinox rushing towards us, I lament the passing of summer. While winter days hold a certain allure for me, they are not nearly as charming as summer.

So, Summer, thanks for the perspective. Until next year....