Learning Turn

Learning often involves a curve, but this week it involved a turn. Learning rarely, if ever, comes in a straight line for me. That bothers some folks, but that’s okay. The quality of learning which most intrigues me is that it never stops. I thank God for my desire to learn and for my creative spirit. I’ve hidden it at times because it has gotten me into trouble, especially in school settings (as both a student and a teacher:) I learned to conform as a child, but not when it came to my teaching. A dear friend reminded me several years ago that a sacred imagination is a great thing. I see the same spirit in the girls, and I hope to help them see it as a beautiful gift.

Learning should be fun. I had a lot of fun learning alongside my amazing students for thirty-three years. I loved learning from them as much as I loved helping them learn. Children are the very best teachers, and my sweet granddaughters have taken teaching to a whole new level. They teach me something new every day and remind me that delight should always accompany learning.

Mylah is almost two and listening to her learn to talk has been an especially sweet blessing lately. She shocked me yesterday. When I picked her up and gave her a big hug, she said clearly and seriously, “Is it done raining for now?!” I laughed and told her that I certainly hoped so. We’ve had the wettest summer ever, and I’m as ready as she is for some sunshine! She gets a sheepish grin when she is speaking and realizes her words aren’t coming out the way she wants, but she just loves it when the words come out clearly as they did yesterday. There’s nothing better than watching her and Lillyann grow and learn on a daily basis; I thank God for my little live-in tutors:)

Learning can be painful at times, so it helps to have those in the path who are learning the same tough lessons and understand my heart. I am here to hear the stories of others and learn from them, and I’m also here to allow others into my own story. It is what witness is all about. That was the beautiful lesson God taught me this week. When the service at church this morning involved the elders sharing their stories with the congregation, I had to grin at God’s timing. He’s definitely the Master Teacher. My learning took an important turn upward this week, and I found myself a little closer to God and to those in my path because of it.

Praying Attention:)

Lillyann has an amazing imagination, and I love following her chain of thought. We were sitting at the dinner table yesterday when she said, “Look, it’s a fish in the tree!!” I saw the leaf she was referring to and even saw the semblance of a shark in it. She processes information as I do, and I plan to encourage her to keep on seeing what she sees and not worry if no one else sees or appreciates it. She has a beautiful creative spirit, and I know God will use it to bless her and others in her path.

I love to look at clouds and find all the wonderful shapes within them, and I’m fascinated by wood and the many images hiding in the grain of each unique piece. Sacred imagination is the best because it is the way I communicate with God and is a powerful component of my prayers. It shapes my prayers into sweet images which are very similar to those clouds and wood grains.

The heart is between the soul and the spirit, and Jesus fills my heart with His sweet presence. When I am praying attention, I see the images He places before me:) As I draw nearer, I see and hear more clearly. I marvel at how God knows and loves me, and I thank Him for allowing me to get to know and love Him more. He knows I’m a visual learner, and I know He is the Master Teacher. It’s a beautiful combination.

God’s reality is better than my imagination at its very best. I’ve allowed my imagination to carry me through difficult times, and I thank God for giving me a creative spirit. It blesses me and helps me draw nearer to Him. It is a gift I have learned to embrace, and I know I can help Lillyann as she embraces her own sweet personality. It is tempting to get caught up in the imaginary at times, and I’ve allowed myself to get trapped there when my reality was unbearable, mostly in matters of the heart.

I’m learning to let His reality become mine, and that is the best of all. Lillyann and Mylah are so very different. Mylah will lay on the floor in complete contentment as she decides how something is put together. She and her sweet daddy share the desire to take things apart and put them back together again. I love their unique expressions of spirit so very much and can’t wait to see how God will use those gifts.

The lessons this week have been pivotal as I have turned my attention to God and focused upon seeing His will in all things. I have been awed by God’s presence as I’ve let the things of this world fade away and embraced Him as never before. I sometimes feel the need to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming lately, but that’s been a great side effect of living in His reality. His truth cut deeply into my heart this year and continues to do so, but His reality is a sweet balm that heals as nothing in this world.

I plan to continue looking at clouds and wood grains, and I thank Him for the creative spirit He has given me. He is the Ultimate Creator, and I am created in His image. It follows that I should create:) I pray I will use all the gifts He gives to see Him and myself more clearly while helping others do the same. There’s that nudging again! Giving up the need to be who others desire for me to be is taking off the blindfold, unstopping my ears, and getting off my treadmill. I haven’t liked all I’ve seen and heard this week, but I don’t plan to go back to the blindness, deafness, and busyness that keeps me from seeing and hearing God as He desires. Praying attention is a beautiful thing:)