Happy Birthday G.G.

We met my first year of teaching.  I was enthusiastic, motivated, and, without a doubt, wet behind the ears.  You had fifteen years of teaching under your belt, so you were seasoned, honed, and realistic.  I needed you that first year, your encouragement, advice, support, and not just in regards to teaching.  I have needed you every year since then too.

After meeting and talking and talking and talking, we realized we grew up only a hop, skip, and jump from one another, and I think this simply solidified our similarities.  Perhaps, the Midwest can do that to people.

You welcomed me into your home, allowed me to play with your kiddos, and invited me to your various house parties.  Come to think of it, I am just now truly making use of those stamps I bought years ago.

We laughed until we cried riding on a school bus with a driver who spent more time looking in his overhead mirror than looking at the road.  Grateful you were with me on the first field trip I ever hosted, you took the lead when a child’s mother ended up having diarrhea while this yellow means of transportation was in motion.  I, in the meantime, had my nose poked out the window in an attempt to put an end to my retching.  Yes, I was useless.

This same year, we fell in love with crew neck sweatshirts adorned with various patterned fabrics and sayings due to a student’s talented mother.  With overwhelming trust, you permitted me, with no beauty expertise whatsoever, to trim your hair in your classroom after school one day using a student’s borrowed scissors.

At the end of that first year after we had said our farewells  to the rest of the staff, we walked out the doors of this school together.  You would be returning the next year while I took a teaching gig in another town.  I remember panicking at the thought of having to teach without you down the hall and the idea that perhaps our friendship may grow apart with distance.  This did not happen;  if anything my heart grew fonder for you with the absence.

Fifteen years later, we have so many more tales to tell and so many more memories to create.  So, on this your birthday, I wish you great love and much bliss along with bus rides free of diarrhea.

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Sunday/Monday Thanks: Cards

One of my sweet Daisies, Miss Hailey, from my Girl Scout troop surprised me with the most beautiful box of cards for Christmas. I do not know how she knew, but this is one of my favorite ways to spend my downtime, writing cards and sending them to others.

To me (and my squirts), opening this box is like opening a box of possibilities.  My oldest daughter has created a book out of the beautiful cards.  My youngest squirt created surprise notes of love hidden beneath my hub’s pillow and my own pillow.

I have used the cards to thank the Daisy, thank some teachers, thank a Girl Scout leader, surprise my hub with a love letter, thank my friend who controls the bush growing on my head, thank a woman blessing who listened when I needed someone to listen, thank a woman blessing who offered to take my youngest squirt to school when my oldest was sick, and send to the women blessings on my #fmfpartysnailmail list.

I also plan to visit The Word Needs More Love Letters to see who else I can send a  card.

So, grab that box of cards gathering dust in the back of your drawer, and use your words to change a person’s life if only for the time it takes for him/her to read the card.  Every minute counts . . .

Who do you plan on sending a card to today?

Sunday Thanks: Creating Mini Christmas Scenes

With our newest family member being a puppy, we have had to think outside the box in terms of decorating for Christmas.  Miss Daisy Duke loves to chew on hands, stinky feet, fluffy sweaters, and Little People.  So, in order to find safety for our wee playthings, the girls and I created mini scenes with what we had on hand.

We collected empty vases, jars, and storage containers.  Then, as a substitute for snow, we started with the glitter we had on hand.  When the glitter ran out, we moved on to powdered sugar, but we didn’t like that material as well.  So, we decided to make use of granulated sugar.  Oh yeah;  now we were making [snow] bacon.

Then, with what Little People, miniature trees, glass beads, and whatnot we could find around the house, we designed our mini scenes.  I plan to save glass jars this year so that we can use them next Christmas for more mini scenes.

Cost: $0

Time spent together:  Priceless

Please enjoy our gallery of mini scenes and lose yourself in them as we do.

For what or whom are you thankful this Sunday?

Kate Motaung

Why do you write?:  To encourage others in their spiritual walks and to remind readers to keep an eternal perspective. We’re just pilgrims here, passing by on our way to our eternal home.

Describe where you write.:  Depends on the time of the day. Sometimes the library, sometimes Panera. Sometimes at my dining room table, or in the love seat tucked in the corner of my lounge.

Who or what is your muse?:  Other writers whose voices I love, such as Lisa-Jo Baker, Emily Wierenga and Susan Meissner inspire me to be a better writer.

Three wishes . . .:  For my three kids to grow and mature in their relationship with Christ and to trust in Him alone for salvation; that my writing would glorify God, even if only one person is blessed by it; to set my heart on things above, not on earthly things.

Favorite childhood book, and why?:  I remember really loving The Polar Express when my mom read it to my sister and me every year at Christmas time.

Explain when is your ideal time to write.:  Usually after my kids go to bed, when silence permeates the house.

Name a book you would reread again and again, and why.:  Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. It challenges me to grow in my spiritual journey every time I read it.

E-book or print? Why?:  I prefer reading print books. There’s just something about holding the words in my hands and turning the pages that makes the reading experience more enjoyable.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?:  My prayer is that they would find hope through the message of the gospel, and be challenged to seek first His kingdom.

katemotaung.com

Read a review of her book Letters to Grief here.