Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

1. Education: In the book; I Am Malala, Miss Malala Yousafzai shares the story of her memories growing up in Swat Valley, Pakistan. She shares the events that lead up to her being shot by the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls education. I've always been drawn to books concerning the middle east, because of  the time my family lived in Iran in the late 70's. And when the book/story involves the middle east and the perspective of a strong willed girl- I'm on it!!

In comparison, this week I read something from our church literature addressed to the youth: "Education will prepare you for greater service in the world and in the Church. It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need. It will also help you be a wise counselor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children." What a huge differences in paradigms! My heart was pricked as I reflected on the opportunities that have been mine regarding education. And not just formal education, but as I continue to read and have the freedom to explore my life around me.The Taliban will never be successful in the long run, if they suffocate education, especially education of women

2. People that love my kids: I heard a lady once say: "The nicest thing you can do for me is to love my kids." I say, AMEN to that!! As my children continue to grow and the apron strings of their home and mother become thin as they stretch a bit further every day, I am so grateful for those that touch my children's life for the better. I'm grateful for the teachers that have praised Sarah and handed her access to her potential. The women at Boundary Gate Stables that have taken Anna under their wing and set her sitting tall on a horse and a dream. The friends that have embraced Max and infused confidence as he navigates his ever changing world. The coaches and friends that have recognized Natalie's talents and reminded her with shout-outs and bursts of "Way to GO!" My extended family that love Sadie and remind her of her angelic beginnings. Thank you for loving my kids.

3. Scott's skill set: Scott was 47 when we made the decision to go back to graduate school. Admittedly, life had to get a bit painful for all of us before agreeing  to leave our comfortable living situation in Boise, ID. Living below poverty income standards for six years and sitting next to students that are 20 years younger and 40 times quicker than you- Scott had to sense there was a method to the madness of returning to school in your late 40's. I remember one particular day when Scott was discouraged, he said: "I'm walking to class in the rain and everyone else my age is driving their Mercedes to work!" I am grateful for his determination to jump through the hoops and lower his expectations of living standards to build his skill set and glean new information for the continuing years of madness outside of graduate school and the bubble of Provo, UT. I'm grateful for Scott's financial sense as well. We graduated debt free.

4. The Love of God: C.S Lewis once said: "I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen." One of my most treasured gifts is the the knowledge that I have always known God was aware of me. In my minds eye, I remember a time sitting in my dad's orange VW Bug, He asked: "Why are you always smiling?" I heard no audible words, but at that moment, I felt God's love.