45 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-28-16

  1. Good morning….
    We are going to our place in Centerville today with Scott’s family. His sister lives in Chicago, so it’s a real treat for her two boys. They love looking for bones–and exploring the woods.

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  2. Good morning Ann, Chas, and AJ. Hello to everyone.

    Art, Wesley, and I hiked around 2 miles yesterday. It was mostly on flat soft ground, and we took many stops along the way, but still, it was very nice to see that Art is able to do that after so many years of not hiking. I think his spirits are lifted.

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  3. The scene at top looks extremely different from what the same picture would look like in summer. The flowers (coneflowers) would have pinkish-purple petals, the birds (goldfinches) would be vividly yellow in their summer attire, and the snowy deck would be wood.

    I particularly like two things about this photo (one you’ll see more later): one, it could be a black-and-white photo except for the hint of yellow in the finches’ winter plumage; and two, I was in the right place at the right time with my camera focused correctly. I was preparing to photograph the bottom bird, with my camera on action mode, and not yet zoomed in all the way, when the other bird entered the upper part of my lens. I pressed the button as the bottom bird took off, probably with the bird version of an expletive (you can see his open beak), and got a series of five shots, with this being the first. I really like this one . . . but a later shot in the sequence is one of the best bird action shots I’ve ever gotten. Not sharp enough to be perfect enlarged to full screen, or I’d send it in to a photo contest, but not at all what I was expecting to get when I had one lone goldfinch on the seedheads. I was very happy I hadn’t yet zoomed in closer and could be in the right position to get action.

    But I do really like this one, with the bird at right clearly signaling his intentions and the one on top waiting to see if he’s able to back up his threat with something more than nasty words.

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  4. Michelle, exercise can actually lift the spirits (or so they tell me). This morning before I got up, I was wishing the mini trampoline had not been put away to make room for the Christmas tree, since sitting inside in the winter months is not actually ideal, but there’s little incentive to get out and walk when it’s around freezing and everything is either potentially slick (if there is still snow and ice around) or gray and blah (if there is not). Our snow melted really quickly Monday when it got up to 56 degrees–it was still covering the whole yard, with but two small grass patches showing, when I went to bed the night before, but I slept late and most of it was melted by the time I got up, with virtually all of it gone by noon. And that makes a dull, dry landscape when the snow is melted in a region that gets snow. (In Phoenix, we had leaves on our trees, and so snow wasn’t as big a “need” to keep things pretty.) I’d more happily live in a climate that gets it rarely–Nashville’s typical one snow per winter was more my speed–but farm country with no crops and no snow is dreary for walking in, especially when it is also cold.

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  5. Good morning. This week is planning week for resuming school next week. I also planned some music activities to do with 6th Arrow for about a week, from just a little past Christmas until her regular piano lesson next week. She’s been playing mostly Christmas music since late November, so it’s time to resume her regular piano studies soon. I ran out of steam yesterday, though, so what should have been Activity Day 1 got skipped. I might just leave the activities for January, and restart her usual piano studies a week later than planned. It feels like there are always too many things to do, and that a vacation is never a vacation…it’s only time to plan what comes after the “vacation.”

    Bah humbug.

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  6. Which is why I am happy to do the chores. Yes, ideally the small folk would do them to learn the important things, but they are a tad too small and their minds are not yet engaged so it is good for me to fill the gap between the olders doing everything and the youngers taking over. Almost every day, fifteen year old is walking at least a mile with the dogs. Unless it is below zero with the wind blowing and I deem it too cold for the rat terrier. And everyday, the others are out doing the rounds with me, helping where they can. So we get exercise of at least an hour a day. It does help with the attitude. I try to find more things for the fifteen year old boy to do. Chopping wood, stacking wood, moving hay. Things to get the blood flowing. Shoveling the basketball court, shoveling the decks, shoveling the driveway.

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  7. Music. One of our guests over Christmas is quite the musician. He plays for us when he comes by. This time he played on the old Wurlitzer that somebody gave us a few years ago. It sounded wonderful.

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  8. I’m going to take a long walk later today which will fill the exercise gap. I really need a down day after a tumultuous season and preparatory to four exhausting days involving 1000 miles of driving, many conversations and a packed house.

    I was aiming to not even leaving the house–it’s 30 degrees BTW–but realized I don’t have a card for my gift, so I’m going to return books to the library (such a joy to be able to walk there in 20 minutes) and stop by a shop for a card.

    Other than that–the six items on my list, and hopefully time to relax in the recliner with a book and not a care.

    We’ll see.

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  9. Meanwhile, this is lengthy, but I’d appreciate comments on what you would have done in this situation had this been your daughter, on a member of your congregation, or a friend. How would you have responded to John and/or his wife?

    WHAT is the church’s role here?

    J’s story–as posted by her on FB:

    The church service was over. I had left my purse on the pew to go chat with a few of my friends. When I returned, several trinkets had been placed next to it on top of my Sunday bulletin…a porcelain figurine, a stamped penny, a couple of seashells. I had no idea who placed them there and thought it was strange that the gift giver hadn’t left their name. Then I started receiving more gifts and notes and discovered that they were all from “John”, an older, married man in the congregation. My family had been friends with him and his wife for several years, so even though I felt a little uncomfortable with the gestures, I assumed he was harmless. I believed that he would treat me as a Christian man should, with respect and purity.

    I was wrong.

    The gifts continued and the little notes turned into two page letters, dated and written in cursive. Items were placed on my car windshield almost daily. John called my workplace several times to ask where I was or if I was working. When I changed jobs he came to the new store in person on my very first day and the discomfort grew. My dad told him to stop contacting me several times, but he persisted.

    He asked me in his letters to call or meet with him and made bizarre references to our “relationship”, one that existed only in his mind. Not only that, but John chose to believe I had been molested as a child and that by spending time with me he could somehow help “heal” me. I was never molested, but the fact that he was having such perverse thoughts about me, thoughts that had no basis in reality, deeply disturbed my already frightened heart.

    My parents didn’t allow me to tell anyone about the situation, especially within our small church congregation.

    “Nobody needs to know about this,” they told me numerous times, more concerned about offending John than with protecting me. That hurt. I wanted my mom and dad to defend me as their daughter. I deserved to be their priority but they feared causing a scene within the church or community by pointing out what John had done. So they stayed silent about it and told me to do the same.

    Church became a place of fear and intimidation. John would stare creepily at me after the service and linger nearby, sometimes even coming up to talk to me, even though my pastor had also asked him to stop. Since I was not allowed to share what was going on with members of my church, no one was there to look out for me before or after the service.

    I went away to college but the problem followed me there. John sent me packages and letters instructing me not to tell anyone he had contacted me. He asked my friends detailed questions about me and discussed my school with them. He had even researched my professors. Every visit home for holidays and vacations filled me with fear that I might run into him.

    This went on for over two years before I finally reached my breaking point. After those years of feeling violated, of daily anxiety and slow trauma, years where I was not allowed to share my burden with anyone, I told my parents that I would contact police with or without them. John hadn’t responded to my dad or my pastor, even when they threatened him with police action. The fact that he continued in spite of their threats frightened me. I wasn’t sure what I could put past him or what he might try to do to me. I wasn’t sure just how dangerous he was. I had to feel safe.

    My parents finally took the situation seriously and helped me file a complaint with the local police department. I talked for nearly an hour with a detective and shared with him what had happened. As we spoke, he told me all the things I had desperately needed to hear for so long:

    “We’ll make sure nothing happens to you from now on.”

    “What he did was wrong and it was not your fault.”

    “You’re safe now.”

    He wrote down all the details I had given him and helped me create a timeline of events as evidence. He made me feel protected for the first time in years. And then he put words to what I had experienced.

    “You were stalked,” the detective told me, “and that is a crime.”

    Stalked.

    I hadn’t thought it possible for an older, married Christian man to stalk a young woman in his church, especially since he had been a family friend. The idea had crossed my mind, but no one validated my concerns or made any effort to protect me, so I figured John couldn’t really have stalked me. But he had.

    Shortly after, John was confronted by police and threatened with a year in jail if he continued contacting me. He was then removed from the church because he chose not to repent of his actions. I wish that these measures took all of the fear and anxiety from my heart. I also wish that all the times I went unprotected by the people I trusted most didn’t leave me resentful.

    John’s unwanted invasion of my privacy and the failure of male authority figures in my life to defend me caused damage that only a Great Physician could heal. And He is healing me. He sent three kind, compassionate, Christ-like men on staff at my college to restore my trust in men. He brought resolution between my parents and I where I had once harbored bitterness. He led me to a therapist whose godly counsel has blessed and empowered me. And in His faithfulness, God has already used me to minister to others through my experiences.

    It could have been easy to grow accustomed to fear and accept its daily effect on my life. But I have come to believe and know with my whole heart that God has the perfect ability to heal anything, to redeem all hurt, and restore what was stolen. He desires healing. And He is making all things beautiful in His perfect time.

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  10. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I experienced 6 Degrees of Separation with Michelle last night. She tagged me in a post for a friend looking for a restaurant in Gulf Shores. Turns out that friend wrote a book with my friend. 😉

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  11. Sorry to hear of people’s post-Christmas blahs. I decided last week that since many businesses were closed Monday and calling that “Christmas observed,” I would take Monday off, also. Well, sort of. Our firstborn and her new husband came over to open gifts, and so I fed lunch to the crew . . . but it was soup I made ahead of time and reheated, with some various tasty finger foods on plates as well (sliced apples and orange sections, cookies, walnut-stuffed dates, their aunt’s homemade caramels). And then since lunch was dinner, and for supper it would just be my husband and me since our younger daughter would be working, for supper we went with something simple. I didn’t do housework, my husband washed the dishes, and I didn’t do editing. Other than the hours they were over, I spent most of the day reading and didn’t feel at all lazy about it.

    Going into Christmas was a little harder–we knew it was almost certainly my father-in-law’s last Christmas, and really wanted it to be a good Christmas for Mom. And yet my husband was sick and my younger daughter sicker last week . . . both pulled through and were able to attend, though my son-in-law was sick Saturday and didn’t go to Christmas Eve. We also had a hint of another possible family tension (someone trying to manipulate what people would do over the holiday) and that stressed my husband, but it turned out OK. Also, we’d missed two Sundays at our own church with weather and illness (the first of those two, my husband didn’t feel well and it was actively snowing, and so I chose to stay home too; the second week, there was a lot of ice near church and so it was cancelled), and our father-in-law wanted us all to go with them, and so we did. But we missed our service and our church family, and found theirs a little hard to sit through (the pastor didn’t sound like he had prepared a sermon but was just winging it, including taking one of his cross-references out of context).

    So, for me, there is now a bit of relief–it went well, and now it’s over. Even, for my father-in-law, a bit of a sense of “Now let your servant depart in peace.” Not that he is on his deathbed, but he has several things in his body failing, and it would be better to have him die peacefully than have him put into a nursing home where Mom won’t be the one caring for him. So we wanted him to have a nice Christmas at home, and then it’s in God’s hands how long he remains with us, whether it’s weeks or months.

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  12. Wow Michelle. I don’t quite know how to answer this. I was molested as a child and through my life there have been other men that I would have climbed through a window or walked through first to get away from. With two of them I have been proven right to trust my “crawling skin”. Based on that I would say that if a situation makes you feel threatened there is a reason and trust yourself.
    Second, as a parent, you should always err on the side of your child. I would rather find out I made a mistake later than not believe my child.
    As for church? If I had gone to my priest with something like this I would have expected something more than it sounds like this woman got. It’s not like she didn’t have proof in the letter he had sent to her. It would cause me to leave that church, but then I have zero tolerance for something like this.
    For her I am glad something was finally done and that she is healing.

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  13. It’s incomprehensible to me as well, Kim, and I know all the people in this story–most of them well. They’re all very devout, wise people–one is a retired sheriff–and I can’t believe they didn’t go to the civil authorities within weeks of John not ceasing.

    As for John’s wife–I can’t imagine what she went through. I have no idea if they’re still married. But then, this all took place 16 years ago and I only learned the basic facts of it several years ago. I learned a number of things from J’s post which troubled and surprised me this morning.

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  14. These are our Mexican Baptist friends from the mountains east of Saltillo. Their singing will convict you. Their mountain is steep.

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  15. Scary story, Michelle.

    I’m staying out sick today, not sure if it’s a cold and/or another infection, but I was up a good part of the night feeling lousy. I also ache from the step-ladder job on Monday followed by a long walk the length of the fishing pier on Tuesday for an interview. And I’m tired of not having a decent bathroom (real estate pal is hoping Spanish-only speaking guy can be negotiated with, but I’m afraid there’d be communication problems unless we have someone around who can translate).

    Meanwhile, I had a dream last night that I was still renting from the woman attorney who was my landlady at my last house (it was her family home but her husband was killed in one of those horrible airliner accidents a few years earlier, Aeromexico I think, and so she bought a condo nearby & decided to rent out the house just to get some emotional distance from her life with him — she moved back into the house after I left).

    So in my dream she also owned this house, though I seemed to be under the false impression I owned it. I was hit with reality when she and her adult daughter showed up at the front door saying her daughter had decided to move into the house so I’d have to leave.

    They were walking around and literally gasped when they saw the gutted bathroom.

    I tried to explain, but realized also how odd it was that I’d spend all that money on a new bathroom when it turned out I didn’t even own the place.

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  16. Michelle, I can only imagine. Something like that alters the way a woman feels about herself and the way she handles being around other men for the rest of her life. I cannot tell you what age I was when I was being groomed to be molested. (Fortunately my parents clued in before any physical damage was done and I was removed from the situation). I can tell you that at a certain age in BG’s life I became hyper vigilant. I would let her go to her godmother’s house but made gm swear that BG would at no time be alone with her husband (I had no reason to suspect him of anything and no he didn’t make my skin crawl. I liked him. It was just better in my mind not to take the chance). I would let her spend the night with my dad and stepmother but at no time was she to be out of my father’s sight. I didn’t trust one of my step-brothers. I was crazy until I could get her to an age I could explain that anything her bathing suit covered was private and no one could touch there there. No one could hurt mommy nor daddy. If anyone made her uncomfortable she was to keep telling someone until something was done about it. I have also refused to let her spend the night with friends from school or in other places explaining that things could happen that I couldn’t pay for enough therapy to fix. I was accused more than once of being a bigot. prejudiced (against people who lived in run down trailer parks), and a couple of other things but it was worth whatever they threw at me to keep her safe.
    One of the things I love most about my husband is that when we were having a really difficult time with her he asked me not to leave him alone with her because he didn’t want her to accuse him of anything inappropriate. I respected his wishes and also told him that if she did accuse him he was out the door. Fortunately for all involved it did not become an issue.

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  17. That house I rented also was a small, early 1900s house, charming on the outside but it had been completely redone inside — we’re talking aluminum louvre windows, metal sliding glass door (no patio) and a pink ceramic tile bathroom (even the toilet & bathtub were pink). A comfortable spot for me to land for those years, though, following my mom’s unexpected death and my having to find a place where I could keep her dogs.

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  18. Husband has been looking for inspiration to create some artwork. That picture is it – hopefully I will be able to share it on here once it’s done. I hope that’s okay with you, Cheryl. If not, please let me know. Also, if you’d be willing to email it to me that would help him greatly, but I also understand if you don’t want to, as it is your artwork.

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  19. Husband received some art pens for Christmas that are all different shades of grey – that picture would work so well with his new pens – just needing to add some yellow at the end 🙂

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  20. Creepy story, Michelle. My teeth were on edge, and I was trembling some, reading it.. I’m glad she is healing.

    There are two men in my church who give me the creeps. Both very friendly, smiling individuals. One of them in particular loves to strike up conversations with people, and he and my husband are friendly toward each other. If my husband is not right at my side and the man says hello to me, he’ll also touch my arm as he greets me. I don’t feel comfortable with that, and now try to keep my distance from him, especially after the time he placed his hand in the small of my back as he faced me and said hello. Ewww. And yet I find it so hard to say, “Please don’t touch me” or anything of the sort. My “friendly” gene overrides my “Back off, creep” inner voice, and I just act friendly while looking for a graceful way to escape.

    My daughter was invited to a going-away party a few years ago for a foreign exchange student friend of hers whose host family was that man and his wife. The party was at their house, and I made d**n sure his wife would be at home during that party before I allowed daughter to go.

    The other guy in our church about whom I don’t have a good feeling is someone who seems to have an unhealthy interest in our special-needs son. This man seems like he might be a bit cognitively challenged, himself, so sometimes I think I’m being a little paranoid, that maybe he just doesn’t understand socially acceptable behavior, and behaves strangely as a result of some such deficit, rather than with subtle and evil intent.

    My son likes to sit at the end of the pew — it’s one of his rituals, and we allow it — but one time we came back from the communion rail to our bench, where our youngest two children were sitting alone, and that man was standing in the aisle, several rows ahead of where he had been seated, talking to our son while we were away for those few minutes. The man waved a friendly hello to us when we returned, and then left to sit back down where he had been.

    I didn’t like that at all, and the next few weeks’ services, I had 5th Arrow sit in the middle of our family, rather than on the end. He adjusted to that change well, and since the time our son has moved back to the end of the pew, that man has not approached him during the service. I don’t know if our temporarily moving him to the middle was a deterrent, or if an usher or someone told the guy not to be getting up during the service to go elsewhere and chat, or what, but he doesn’t do that anymore.

    My mother alarm bells went off, though, one recent week during Sunday morning Bible study. There are several studies that go on between our two morning services, which is also the time Sunday School meets for the children ages 3 through 6th grade. 5th Arrow is in the 5th grade class, and the week before their Sunday School Christmas program, all the kids met in the sanctuary to rehearse. I could see when the children were heading back to their classrooms, because I was in a room with a window in the door.

    Very shortly after all the children had walked past, I saw that man coming from the area the children had just been, and he headed down the hallway where my son’s classroom is. There’s no reason for an adult who is not involved with the Sunday School, which he is not, to be headed down that hall at that time, in the middle of the adult Bible study period. None of the Bible studies are held in that area, nor are there restrooms or fellowship areas for adults there.

    My mind completely off what we were studying in our ladies bible study, which my best friend leads, I quickly got off my chair almost before I was aware of the thought, and hurried out the door to see if my son was back in his classroom.

    He was, with his teacher and classmates present, and the man who had gone down the hallway was nowhere in sight.

    I hate feeling on edge at church, but one can’t be too vigilant when it comes to protecting one’s children from predation. Church can be such a dangerous place for that, filled with people who want to think the best about others. Predators count on that. 😦

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  21. Kare, I don’t think I have your e-mail address. If anyone on here who has my e-mail address has Kare’s, could you e-mail it to me? (See 12:41.) If not, I occasionally still check the e-mail account I set up for World blog (extra dot extra at juno dot com–only done in e-mail format, with periods, no spaces, and the “at” sign). I can send you the whole series if you like.

    I was surprised to see AJ didn’t post the “fight” photo from the sequence, but another goldfinch sitting peacefully. Maybe he thought it would disturb little children? 🙂

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  22. That man would certainly have made me uncomfortable, and shame on the parents for not working to make her feel safe! For myself I too am inclined just to adjust my responses to someone rather than say anything, but if it’s my child?

    I once had a co-worker who was a bit “touchy.” Nothing inappropriate, really, just a hand on my arm. But after a couple of times, I simply made sure it was physically impossible for him to touch me, which is fairly easy in an office setting. Talk from the other side of a desk, or holding an armful of books, or otherwise find a physical barrier. I knew it was innocent, so it didn’t scare me; I simply chose to avoid it. But to have an adult man stalk your child should seem a bit scary, and even if you think it’s nothing to worry about, you still take your child’s concerns seriously!

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  23. Michelle, the story sounds familiar – I’ve heard and read variations on the theme. Predators are known to target churches due to fact that the close knit character of a church means that insiders have unlimited access to others. The truth is that it is very paralyzing to suddenly realize that a trusted friend is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. My youngest sibling’s family attend the same little church my parents do. In the last couple of years, when the new pastor came, several new people showed up, attracted by that fundamentalist style of preaching. They made me nervous, as I sensed some were chronic church hoppers (they turned out to be just that by their disappearance after the pastor resigned – including the single man certain people tried to set me up with). Youngest sibling and family live in an apartment owned by and connected to the church, and many of the congregation would stay and eat lunch after the service. My parents and I would have rather gone home, but we stayed to help watch the youngest siblings’ children. We had an agreement that the children would never be left alone with any other adult other than us. Others could talk to and even play with the children, but at least one of us would be present. Are we ever glad we did so. Among the newcomers was a person who is now convicted and imprisoned for abusing a child many years ago. We did not know of this crime until the person was jailed. There is more to the story and it plays into the sudden resignation of the pastor (the pastor did not know of the crime either and was genuinely horrified) but I will be happy when my sibling and her family no longer live in the church.

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  24. 6Arrows I am of the opinion that if someone makes you uncomfortable or makes your Mommy Alarm go off….I don’t care what kind of scene I make. ESPECIALLY if one of your children has special needs. They are more vulnerable.
    If someone touches me in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable I make sure they can’t ever do it again. If someone gives me the creeps around my child I would kill them first before I would take the chance.
    In my church no ONE adult is ever alone with a child or children. If you serve the church in ANY capacity you have a safety training program to go through to protect yourself from accusation and to let you know what to do if someone comes to you with an accusation. I had to go through it when I served on the Vestry

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  25. So I guess we’re going with the tile guy who speaks no English. Should be interesting. He’s coming tomorrow to look at the bathroom and says through a translator he can start on Tuesday.

    Real estate pal says he does beautiful work, he’s tiling the bathroom for a rental he’s representing right now with subway tiles, very similar to what I want. The job should be pretty straightforward for him, hopefully, and he charges less than others.

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  26. Kim, totally agree that special needs makes a child more vulnerable. I worry about him, and am not confident in my ability to effectively teach him about such dangers. It’s really hard to help him understand things he hasn’t experienced.

    If I had my way, he wouldn’t be in Sunday School at all, but my husband wants him to be, so he is now. (Though this is only his third year in it — we started him much later than he could have gone. He didn’t go the years he was eligible but non-verbal, or for a number of years after he acquired some reasonable language skills and the ability to carry on a conversation.)

    I learned something important recently through a conversation with one of our pastors, for which I am thankful. In our church, all of the 6th graders take a Bible history course. The children who go to our church’s school receive the instruction during the school day, and the children who don’t attend our school meet once a week in the evenings during the school year for their instruction.

    Pastor asked me this past August, before the school year was about to begin, which grade 5th Arrow was in. (Chronologically, he would be 7th grade if he were in traditional school, but developmentally, he is behind that in many aspects.) I told him we planned to put him in 5th Grade Sunday School this year, as that was sort of “middle ground” — about halfway between his chronological and developmental ages. IOW, only a little older than his classmates, and only a little below an average 5th grader’s abilities. (About two years difference on both counts, rather than three or four years off either his chronological or developmental age than if we’d enrolled him in a grade that closely matched one of those ages, but not the other.)

    Anyway, pastor’s question was would we be interested in concurrently enrolling him in the 6th grade Bible History course this year. My husband and I discussed it, but thought it would be best to wait another year, and have him be in it when he’s also in 6th grade Sunday School.

    He agreed that would be a good idea.

    Then several weeks later, I don’t remember how we got talking about it, but I think I asked Pastor how the evening Bible History class was going this year, and he said that there is no class now, other than the teacher emailing the lesson plans to the one 6th grader in our church who does not attend the school. They canceled the on-campus class because there would have been only one child (a girl in this case) meeting with the instructor (a man who’s been teaching the course for several years), and they did not want a set-up like that, one-on-one, adult to child.

    A very wise idea. I am glad they took measures like that.

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  27. I know of a piano teacher, now deceased, who videotaped all his lessons, and sent the DVDs home with the children for parents to observe. Of course it helped them review the musical concepts at home that they’d learned in their lessons, but it was also a safety measure, giving parents a window into what was taking place in the studio during their child’s one-on-one lesson time.

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  28. When I was in Chicago, I had children coming to my house all the time. But one of the safety measures my roommate and I set up was that we never allowed a child to come in alone–there was always at least one other person present.

    One day during a block party, two girls came by. They were girls who were not among the children who came to our house, though I recognized the older girl and I’m assuming she knew our house was a “safe place.” Her little sister, three or four, was in desperate need of a bathroom. It was an awkward position for me, since our usual rule was that kids couldn’t come in unless we knew that their mother knew where they were. But with a block party going on and a child’s need, I chose to let them in. I deliberately left the front door unlocked and showed the sister where the bathroom was but then withdrew; it seemed unwise to offer help in the bathroom, as I normally might do with a child that young. Two or three minutes later, the mother came bursting in (without knocking) alarmed, and as she took the children out the door she chastised them up one side and down the other. I was glad I had been super cautious. I suspect the fact that I was white might have meant something to the mother but not to the children.

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  29. As long as I’ve been mentioning 5th Arrow today, here is a little something more, on a happy note.

    When the older children were home over the weekend, we were sitting around reminiscing about when the kids were younger. Conversation at one point segued to “Remember when [5th Arrow]…” (couldn’t do this, or was afraid of that, or spoke a long string of syllables, same ones, same rhythm, every time, that no one could understand, etc.)

    To see the smiles on all the kids’ faces (even 6th Arrow’s, who could remember some of what we were talking about, despite her being 3 1/2 years younger than he), as we remarked on the incredible progress he’s experienced the last few years, was priceless. The joy and relief that things are going so much better for him (and for them — I forget, actually, can’t fathom, how hard life must be for the siblings of special-needs children, too) was plainly visible on their faces. We can smile at those hard days now.

    God has given my son victory over numerous debilitating phobias, over language barriers, and so many other things. There are still some fears to conquer, some skills to master that haven’t come yet. Some of them may never come, and accepting that possibility, or reality, if it becomes that, will be something we will all need to learn.

    But in it all, and through it all, there is hope. God has shown Himself to be faithful. Again and again.

    And He will again.

    Amen, and thank you Lord!

    Liked by 7 people

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