Spinning Plates…

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Have you ever had the opportunity to go to the circus, see a comedy act, or watch a Chinese acrobatic group do amazing feats of contortionism while spinning plates? The performance centers around putting a plate on a thin pole or stick and then spinning it, creating a gyroscopic effect.  The more plates you can spin the more amazing the stunt.  We “ooh” and “aah” at the ability of the “spinner” to keep more and more plates whirring and turning, then quickly jumping to the ones that begin to teeter and spin them again before they fall.  David Spathaky, the current world record holder, spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996. He had a spotter helping him!

Though I have never spun a plate on a stick, I’m absolutely certain I have spun 108 demands at some point in my life, and, as a woman, you have, too.  And while the audience in a show may find it mesmerizing and awesome to watch the spinner spin,  those in the audience of our  daily lives rarely find the process pleasant…not to mention our disposition while trying to keep all the demands and commitments turning.  We may have different plates, but girlfriend, we have them:  friends, kids, grand kids, work, volunteering, bills, carpooling, play dates, golf dates, haircuts, teeth cleanings, car repairs, keeping the house, going back to school, caring for parents, and the list goes on and on.

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Summer is Here…A Post for Moms!

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Summer is here!!!  Ok, maybe not officially until June 21st…BUT here in Southwest Florida it’s felt like summer for a while now!  As a school teacher I always rejoiced over summer.  The break from the normal routine of school allowed for a time of rest and recharging.  My days were random and relaxed.  By the end of summer vacation I was eager to meet a new group of students and get back in my rhythm.  Fast forward to life with children…while I still wait anxiously for the change of pace that summer brings, it means something different.  VERY different.  When you are a mom of young children, summer involves carefully planning activities to keep the kiddos entertained and engaged.  Sounds easy enough you might say. After all, there’s plenty to choose from.  Check out the local family magazine or Google the different camp options and you can easily fill up your summer! Well, at the risk of sounding ungrateful I still struggle.  Does summer really mean that we have to spend exuberant amounts of money running and racing to keep our kids occupied? I’ve come to realize that for me, the answer is no.  Personally, I have found there to be a difficult balance between over scheduling and enjoying summer! I feel like I battle the over scheduling and the myriad of activities all year long!  Isn’t this the whole point of summer anyway?

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Caught Between a Blind and a Window

20130611-213941.jpgSunday afternoon I decided to brave the dense afternoon heat and take a walk down the street. I needed to clear my mind and this often does the trick! No sooner had I stepped into the garage when I heard a thrashing and flapping sound. I live on several acres and encountering wildlife is one of the hazards you sometimes face. Upon inspection, I realized that a blue jay had managed to trap himself between the vertical blind and the window of the garage. My immediate thoughts were: 1. Go back inside and let things fall out where they will. My husband was due home in an hour…if the jay was still flapping, Chad could handle it, or: 2. Rescue the crazy creature. I’m not usually freaked out by wildlife, but this bird was frenzied, and I had visions of him flying into me in his desperate desire to escape. I grabbed a lacrosse stick, thinking it would be good for lifting the blind and whacking the bird if it decided to fly in my direction. (Please don’t judge me…until you are face to face with rogue wildlife you don’t know what you’re capable of!)

Ok, enough plot development…I used the stick and carefully lifted the blind that was restricting the bird, and guess what? He didn’t fly away…instead he continued to look straight ahead out the window frantically flapping his feathers out – literally! The jay was convinced his way was the best way to go! I actually (and lovingly) had to scoop the bird with the lacrosse stick for him to see that he was able to fly away, not in the direction he was facing, but by the leading that came from behind (that would be me and the lacrosse stick)…and it got me thinking about times I have been in a situation or a season that has me trapped. Like the Jay, my fleshly reaction is to start flapping (in my thought life)…sometimes it’s flapping to figure out how to control the situation or the people in the situation, other times I have flapping thoughts on how to manipulate the outcome. The truth is all that flapping just leaves me in a frenzied and frantic state with nothing to show for it but some featherless bald spots. Like the jay, I need Someone who is able to come and lift the burden and bring peace to the anxious flapping in my mind and heart. Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (HCSB) Praise God! We experience freedom when we come to the Father in prayer, with praise and petition. He is the One who is able to bring peace! His peace guards our thoughts and emotions like a soldier guards his post! So join me, ladies, in experiencing the freedom that comes when we stop flapping and start trusting!