Last Friday night my son was working so my daughter-in-law and two grandsons came to our house for dinner.
We got Chinese take-out and gorged ourselves on Lo Mein, General Tso’s Chicken, curry, egg rolls, and dumplings.
After we finished eating, we needed movement so we headed outside to watch the boys ride their scooters and bikes in our driveway and lightly-traveled street. My hubby has been asking my oldest grandson Brycen to allow him to remove the training wheels from his bike for a year, but he always responded he was not yet ready.
On Friday, he must have been feeling brave, because when Hubs asked, Brycen’s reply was “Go for it!”
My hubby ran alongside the bike for 10 yards then Brycen told him to let go, so he did. Brycen rode his bike like a pro, without a hitch. We all clapped and cheered like he had just won the Tour de France.
I was so proud of both of them – Brycen for riding his bike and Hubby for being patient and not pressuring him to ride without training wheels before he was ready.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.“– Proverbs 4:23
This bit of wisdom, given by King Solomon to his son, called to me this month. Our heart (or our thoughts) often determines our actions.
My thoughts determine the type of life I will lead, how I will react to certain situations, my attitudes, and my character.
King Solomon knew right actions begin with right thoughts. Positive thinking includes positive self-talk. Being as compassionate with myself as I am with others is a good place to begin “keeping my heart with all vigilance.”
Several months ago, I was inspired by a TED talk to try a new “something” for 30 days each month. After learning how to juggle last month, I needed something much more low-key this month.
Juggling was fun but addicting. Once I began practicing I didn’t want to stop. If I had a good juggling sequence, I was excited and wanted to try more; if I had a bad juggling sequence I wanted to keep going until I got it right. There never was a good stopping point.
I will keep practicing juggling even after my 30-day learning period expires. I can now juggle three balls, but not for very long. My goal is to be able to juggle continuously.
My new “something” for this month is to learn how to whistle with my fingers. I can do this sitting down, which is good. Sometimes after a long run, retrieving dropped juggling balls from under furniture used more energy than I wanted to expend.
Whistling with my fingers is a skill I wanted when I taught school. I thought it would have been so cool to get my class’s attention with a loud “Twee-eeet!” Unfortunately, teaching full time left me with little time to practice whistling.
Now I have the time, so I researched online whistling instructions and began practicing. So far, I can just make a breathy sort-of-whistly noise, but the instructions assure me that is a good starting point. A bad starting point, apparently, would be to spit all over myself, which, happily, hasn’t happened so far.
As always, my motivation for learning how to whistle with my fingers is to impress my grandkids. I will keep you appraised of my progress.
Last month I was unenthused about my reading selections; this month I read not one, but three books I really enjoyed. I stayed up way too late many nights in June finishing “just one more page“.
“The Alice Network“, suggested by my sister, is a historical novel about a network of female British spies operating in occupied France during World War I. This book, told from alternating points of view by a former member of the Alice Network and a pregnant, single, college girl on her way to have an “Appointment” to get her “Little Problem” taken care of shortly after World War II, was gripping, suspenseful, and satisfying.
Jumping back and forth in time from 1915 to 1947 was handled well by the author. I never felt disoriented or confused by the changes in dates, which occurred in alternating chapters. When the two women’s stories collided, I absolutely could not put the book down until I finished it.
“Charming Billy” was the second book by Alice McDermott I read in two months and my favorite one so far. The action begins at Billy’s wake, with his long-suffering widow, his friends, and his family reminiscing about his dissolute life.
This book, about family, love, and the ties that bind us together, examined how even well-intentioned lies can become woven into the fabric of our existence, changing forever the courses of the lives they touch.
Before I read “The Color of Love” I was skeptical about reading another white woman’s views on racial justice. “Really?” I thought “Wouldn’t this book be more meaningful if it was written by an African American woman?”
My question missed the point of the book, however. This is about Cara Meredith’s journey towards her understanding of racial justice. Cara, a white woman in an interracial marriage, writes with unflinching honesty about mistakes she has made as she learned to appreciate the “unique cultural identity” of each person. This book is a wonderful addition to the conversation about race in this country.
I enthusiastically recommend each of these three very different books.
I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.
Also linking with Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, InstaEncouragements, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Purposeful Faith for RaRa link up, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday, Random-osity for Communal Global, and Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends.