There are dozens of things I love about my church community. This is one of them. Every week at their meeting, our staff take time to pray for certain members of the church. I don't know how many, or how they choose, or how often any one member gets prayer. I only know that every time I get one of these cards letting me know they prayed for me, it is always in a week that I need prayer more than usual. Last week was a stressful time of waiting and worrying. It was made a little easier from knowing that Deanna, Don, Sandi, and Woody talked to God about me, and believing that God was listening.
Lessons from Sitting Bull
Some days I’m amazed at what a great single mom I am.
Others, I’m frankly appalled.
It’s one of those days for me, of the latter kind. I crawl into bed at 10:45 p.m. having gotten everyone fed, ‘homeworked,’ ‘soccered’ and asleep. I pick up my journal relishing these 15 minutes I’ll be able to stay awake before passing out. Picking up my cell phone that functions as my second brain, I’m shocked to see the date. Something important happens tomorrow, but what? I try to shake the feeling of foreboding.
Then I sit straight up in bed.
Sitting Bull. My youngest son’s life-size project is due not in two days as I thought, but tomorrow. He’s sound asleep in his room, and this is my screw up. I go downstairs, speed read his book, type up the points he’s already done, adding a few more, and hunt down craft items. Stumbling into bed at 1 a.m., I set the alarm for 5 a.m. assembling the family to frantically paste on hair, jewelry, loin cloth, moccasins and a Sitting Bull face. I dress, feed kids and fend the dog off Sitting Bull until he can dry. Wrestling him into the back seat of the car, I say a prayer that nothing falls off. Privately I continue my inner chatter on what a mess I’m making of things. As luck would have it as I escort Sitting Bull into school, the principal rounds the corner and wants to see our masterpiece.
“I just love seeing these projects.” She smiles at me. “Aren’t they fun?”
I smile not trusting myself to speak and unroll the paper hoping body parts have remained in the right places. I look down to see my son beaming, and for the first time in hours give myself a moment of grace. He’ll probably never remember this Sitting Bull project, but I will. I fix a wisp of Sitting Bull’s hair and know he’d understand that life’s not always fair. Sometimes we just do the imperfect, best thing we can to take care of our own.
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
We noticed them as we walked through the dunes to the beach. Butterflies were everywhere - yellow gulf fritillaries, brown skippers and orange brush footed queens. A few brave flyers followed us out to skim over the waves. I've walked this beach many times but this was new.
On our way back, after a long, chatty walk on the beach, one of the queens landed on the back of my friend's hat and stayed. The butterfly posed on the top of her white cap for several minutes while we snapped photos. Then, off into the wind and on to another flower. It was a moment of pure delight, more for us than for Chris; she couldn't see the butterfly until we showed her the pictures of the back of her head.
We paused our walk for a moment of wonder - a piece of flying happiness. Moments like this remind us of the goodness of life and deserve to be savoured.