Why I can't take Yoda seriously any more

Because every time time I hear him talk, this is who I picture in my head!

Now that I have ruined it for you too, I'll be on my way.


Money Misery

Imagine that you go to the bank, and ask to withdraw $970. The teller carefully counts out the money, and subtracts that amount from your account balance. Then, they hand you $700 and put the other $270 in their pocket. And cackle fiendishly in your face. Sigh. That's what it is like living with the euro/dollar exchange rate. When we moved to Madrid, had we asked for $970, we would have gotten $1107. That's a big difference.

The whole money things tends to start a cycle of mental gymnastics. It goes like this: We can't afford to have the kids in a British school. But with the language issues Nic has, and Meg's personality, the Spanish school system would do them in. So maybe we should home school. I don't want to home school. It's probably not even really legal here in Spain, it would make us seem even more foreign than we already do, both my kids and I would go berserk. And I would have no time to be a church-planter. I AM a church-planter. I work full-time pretty much, and so does my husband. Maybe I should try to get a job here...like teaching English, or something. Again, I would have no time to be a church-planter. So maybe we should move back to America and get real jobs. But we don't WANT to, and we don't think God wants us to either. But we feel greedy always asking for money. We feel guilty our kids are in private school. We feel guilty that we have leather couches (which is a supporter gave us, but still.).Maybe we should move to a smaller apartment. But rent has gone up across the board, so even smaller will likely be more. Blah, blah, blah.

And on and on in goes. We trust God completely to provide for us, and He always has. Yet each month, the dollar goes down, and the distance between paydays looms longer and longer.

It's so easy to get distracted by things that aren't important. I read blogs where there are always cute/fun/helpful giveaways and I think to myself "Wouldn't it be great if I could just win that?"

I don't know what the answer is. I am not panicky or worried. For now, we'll just try and cut where we can, economize and enjoy simple things.


The gift of time

Wow, God is totally looking out for me! I had geared up for another crazy day and was holding out for our day off tomorrow. Last night, we were very disciplined about turning off the TV by 10 pm and heading to bed. But while we were putting the clean sheets back on the bed, we got to talking about work stuff. And bam, it was 10:45. So much for getting an early night. Then there were 2 or 3 men talking outdoors somewhere outside, close enough that they woke us up sometime around 2 a.m. Even though this morning was a little better, we still did not spring out of bed.

This was the plan: the morning fairly free, my new women's group at 1, 3:25 to school to pick up children, I was to stay for a school meeting for Nic's class, Troy would bring Nic home for a quick cup of tea, then off to speech therapy, and then we would have the marriage counseling couple over at 8:30.

3:30, I look at the school meeting schedule one more time and realize that, guess what, Nic is NOT in the same grade he was in last year (duh!) and therefore his is a key stage 2 meeting. Which is tomorrow! So I went to school to pick the kids up, and Troy took Nic to speech therapy as planned. So I had some time to get the laundry going and sit down to read a few blogs. And Troy had already changed a mentoring appointment he would have had today because we thought I had to be at school.

5ish, marriage counseling couple called to apologize that they have to cancel tonight because they completely forgot about a conflict in their schedule.

BINGO! The whole evening free, leftover pasta from lunch for a decent dinner for kids, day off tomorrow. Thank you Lord!!!

I was stressed this morning because the euro keeps climbing, and our savings from our tax return (which was meant to pay for school) has been shrinking because of exchange rate and Nic's speech therapy. But I determined to not stress about it, and trust God about. And he has certainly already shown me today that He is watching over us.


I survived

What a day. I think yesterday must have been the busiest Monday on record in the Cady house. I didn't get off to a great start, because after we went to bed on Sunday night, my mind was racing with a huge to-do list. I finally got up somewhere around 1 am to write some stuff down and get it out of my busy brain. Needless to say, when the kids crawled into bed for our morning cuddle at 7:15, I was not ready.

We dragged ourselves out of bed though, and went off to school. Both kids were happy and excited to go back, for which I am very grateful. We reconnected with Blanca and she remarked how the kids are both taller.

It was a busy work-day, with staff meeting and office hours, both of which were full and productive. Back to school at 3:45 to pick up the kids. The walk home was stuffed full of happy chatter and the kids taking turns telling us about their day.

Once at home, Nic changed and had a quick cup of tea, and 2 cookies (the minimum multiple in which anything can be eaten!) then we were off to speech therapy by 4:20. I was a little afraid he would be wiped out after a full day at school but he did great.

Back home again, a Spanish worksheet for Nic, quick supper, prayers and bed-time. Then a few minutes getting the house whipped into shape for Troy's theater group. And the most important event of the day, the making of sushi.

I had heard a horribly sad rumor that my friend Mary had never had sushi, and I could not live another day knowing she was so deprived. So when she came over last night for our mentoring time last night, just had to have sushi :) She liked it, and we had a great time hanging out. We're going to be going through Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline. And we decided it's very cool that he is a Quaker.

The first week of school is always crazy with beginning of term meetings etc, but my absolute least favorite thing to deal with is the covering of the notebooks. This year the kids brought home EIGHT notebooks of varying sizes that I had to cover in clear contact paper. Ugh. I finished the last of them this morning; hopefully no more will come home today!
Later I'm off to help move some supplies for our upcoming Serve the City
and then I have some office work to do, (I SO owe my friend Rachelle an email!) but right now I'm going to enjoy a little peace and quiet. And thank God that Monday is over!


A Prayer

A colleague recently sent me this prayer, and I thought it was definitely worth sharing!

I bless the poverty in your heart, that knows its own emptiness, because that gives me space to grow my kingdom there.

I bless that in you that touches others gently, because everyone responds to gentleness, and gentleness can capture even hardened hearts.

I bless that in you which grieves and aches for all that is lost or can never be because that is my opportunity to comfort you with my much greater love.

I bless that in you which longs and strives after your own deepest truth and after truth for the world, because even as you pray, I am constantly satisfying these deep unspoken longings.

I bless you every time you show mercy and forgiveness, because that is like a window in your heart, setting you free from resentment and opening up a space for me to enter and to heal.

I bless the purity of your heart, because that is the elusive centre where your deepest desire meets mine. That is where we meet face to face.

I bless the peacemaker in you, that in you which seeks the peace that passes understanding, knowing the cost of its obtaining, because that is what I sent my son to give, and in your peacemaking you become my child.

I bless even those things in your experience of journeying with me that feel like persecution and abuse and misunderstanding, because they are the proof your faith is no illusion.

WHERE you are (however unchosen)
is the place of blessing.

HOW you are (however broken)
is the place of grace.

WHO you are, in your becoming
is your place in the Kingdom.

End of Summer

It's the last day of summer vacation and I am wondering how this day arrived so soon! It's been a good summer, with a definite slowing of pace around here.

As usual, I look back at everything I had planned to accomplish over the summer, and very little of it happened :) But it hasn't been a total bust.

Meg has gotten down the basics of typing correctly and even asks to practice quite often. She has been reading a lot this summer (and writing! I need to scan her latest project and post it). We've also noticed that she is starting to develop the gift of sarcasm :) (Even though I am the queen of sarcasm, I try not to use it with my kids, because I don't think sarcasm is really appropriate for kids. They just aren't emotionally equipped to deal with it and I think it just hurts and confuses them.) So far it has been light, and cute, but we'll definitely keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get out of hand. If it does, Mom will have to do some serious tongue-curbing.

Nic has continued in speech and language therapy and is doing really well. We've noticed big improvements in a lot of areas. I'm so thankful that even after a hard year last year, he is excited to start school. That is a huge answer to prayer for me. He has such a good attitude and willing heart.

So it's Sunday afternoon and we're well on our way to being ready for tomorrow. Before bed tonight, backpacks will be ready (with snacks already packed), clothes laid out, kids bathed and groomed, etc. Mom will have to go to bed at a decent hour so that 7:30 am breakfast doesn't kick her too hard.

I am looking forward to schedule again!