Being Kind

(From last Friday)

Patty counseled me for a year . . . Then she mentored me for another year . . . . Then she told me to simply call or email if I ever need her . . . .

And these were some of the words she has spoken most often to my tender heart . . . “be kind to yourself”.

It’s surprisingly hard for me. But I’m growing.

And this was a week of kindness to myself.

After the sprint towards graduation (last Monday!) . . . At the end of the marathon nine months of learning and growing and taking in . . . . . We spent last week in a five day marriage intensive. Sixty hours dedicated towards personal and marital growth and health. And it almost did us in. Well, not really. But we find, a week later, we are still struggling to take in what God did during that time. To process the sights of the dark side we were allowed to see. And to begin to walk in the healing we were given. We are still coming to a full awareness that our nine months of supernatural school are over and that a new way of life is just beginning. And that God is leading us in new directions that haven’t yet taken shape or form but will require still more faith and determination.

And so this week we did nothing. Well, not really nothing. We got David’s mom back to San Francisco after her week of Grandmothering here with us. . . . .we bought a newer, nicer, perfect-for-us car which we are naming “ Serendipity”. (the definition is REALLY worth a read.) We changed our health insurance to Northern California so we can finally use the medical system again! And we nursed two sick children back to happiness. But there was a whole three hours at the coffee shop with Naomi simply being; playing computer games and talking and knitting and reading. There was one morning when all I did was watch cartoons with Quinn. There was another afternoon when I snuggled up with him on the floor under our duvet and dozed. There was a lot of grilled cheese and soup eaten. And a very slow reclaiming of the house from it’s layer of dirt and accumulation that has piled up over the last two weeks.

Last night, Quinn decided to make soup. He wanted nothing to do with recipes. He simply wanted to pull ingredients from fridge and shelf and combine them. We talked about melding flavors, smelling spices and protein inclusion. We ended up with a modified beef stew, made with curry powder and mint! It was delicious. And Quinn’s joy was complete. Today he and I are heading over to Trader Joe’s to buy ingredients for gumbo. He has never had it but he loves the sound of it and is determined to make his own version.

It’s our anniversary weekend and we will yard sale and check out some Siamese Himalayan kittens. We are going to a jazz concert by one of our favorite artists at a wine market and restaurant. We are going to drive around in some obscure and fun neighborhoods. We are going to visit local shops. We are going to catch the last night of the Creativity Conference. We’re going to generally have a pretty amazing weekend of doing Nothing Much.

Note: I was inspired and motivated towards the more joyful and beauty-filled living of life with my children this week by reading the book Mothers by interior designer Alexandra Stoddard. Highly recommended.

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