Archive for April, 2008

Bluebells and Home

Friday, April 25th, 2008

When my son got accepted to Thomas Jefferson High School, a shift happened in my mind.

Before this, I was still hoping for reconciliation with my husband and assumed that would mean I would move to live with him.  As I followed him for all of our married lives.  That’s what wives do, right?

I’m still hoping for reconciliation.  But now, whether or not that happens, I am making a Home here.  My son gets to go to the BEST high school in the nation!  As long as I live in Fairfax County.  We went to the Freshman Preview Night and were so impressed.  There is simply no way I’d have the heart to give him a taste of that wonderful school and then pull him out and make him go to an ordinary school.

So — at least for the next four years, I fully intend to live in Fairfax County.

And you know what?  I like that idea!  I can make a home here.

I have wonderful friends here — new friends as well as friends I’ve known almost my entire life.  I have a fabulous, loving and welcoming church where people worship God and talk about God and God guides and directs.  Tim was already going to an excellent school, and in high school he’s going to go to an even better one.  And I got a wonderful job working as a Children’s Librarian, working with more fabulous people.

Truly God is richly blessing me, right here and right now.

I had a Friday off, with Tim in school.  I work for Fairfax County, and a daily news update mentioned that it was now Bluebell Season at Bull Run Regional Park.  Shortly after cherry blossom season, the bluebells burst into bloom by the riverside.  The trees still don’t have enough foliage to block the sunlight, and the flowers turn into a sea of blue.

Well, Bull Run Regional Park isn’t far at all from my home.  (And I’d heard of Bull Run since I was a little girl — when my brother did a panorama of the Civil War battle.  Pretty cool to actually see it!)  The day was glorious.  The sun was shining and breezes were blowing.  An utterly wonderful day for a walk. 

The trail ended up being a nice loop along Cub Run and Bull Run, about a 45-minute walk with stops for pictures, and totally flat.  It was a magnificent way to spend some time, and I felt I was truly appreciating my new, beautiful home!

Bluebellcover.jpg

I’ll post a link to my facebook album of pictures as soon as I get them edited.

Not Even Fun

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I’m reading a book called The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere.  The bait of the title refers to the trap of taking offense.

I got to thinking that when we think of lures from Satan, we usually think of fun things — lust, food, alcohol, some form of pleasure.  We think of Satan as trying to get us to overindulge.

Taking offense with someone is an even more pervasive trap — and it isn’t even fun!  This trap ensnares us, and we don’t even get some pleasure out of it. 

Like all Satan’s traps, this bait is disguised.  It feels right; it feels just.  After all, that person we are offended at did something wrong.  We don’t realize that Satan’s trap is all wrapped up with our own pride.

And who suffers because we take offense?  We suffer ourselves.  Perhaps that’s why what feels like pursuing justice doesn’t end up being the best way to get justice at all.  “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord.

In Thrall to Seasons

Monday, April 7th, 2008

What Barbara Kingsolver says about seasons echoes how I feel about them, having grown up in the LA area.  I still find it so amazing that all the trees burst into bloom at the same time!  I was so delighted to read that someone else feels the same way, I’m going to copy the passage here:

“January brings the snow . . . ,” began the well-thumbed, illustrated children’s book about the seasons that my children cleaved to as gospel, while growing up in a place where January did nothing of the kind….

Nevertheless, in every winter of the world, Arizona schoolchildren fold and snip paper snowflakes to tape around the blackboard.  In October they cut out orange paper leaves, and tulips in spring, just as colonial American and Australian schoolchildren once memorized poems about British skylarks while the blue jays or cockatoos (according to the continent) squawked outside, utterly ignored.  The dominant culture has a way of becoming more real than the stuff at hand.

Now, at our farm, when the fully predicted snow fell from the sky, or the leaves changed, or tulips popped out of the ground, we felt a shock of thrill.  For the kids it seemed like living in storybook land; for Steven and me it was a more normal return to childhood, the old days, the way things ought to be.  If we remembered the snow being deeper, the walks to school harder and longer, we refrained from mentioning that to any young person.  But the seasons held me in thrall.

— Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, p. 296-297

That’s My Boy, Too!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Friday, I got word that my younger son was accepted to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology!

This school was recently ranked by US News and World Report as the Number One high school in the nation!  They have support from many of the tech companies in the area, and have things like a neuroscience lab and a satellite up in orbit that was programmed by TJ students.

The school is public, and they bus from all over Northern Virginia, but the process of getting in is hugely competitive.  First there is a test, with an essay portion.  Semifinalists, who do well enough on the test, must submit teacher recommendations and a personal statement and another application.  They choose less than 500 students, out of more than 1600 semifinalists.

So–I’m very excited that my son was selected!  And very proud, too!  What a wonderful opportunity!