Enjoying Getting Caught in the Rain

My kids and I, like all good Chicagoans squeeze the most fun out of our summer that we possibly can. For us, part of that means trading in the 4 wheel drive, for a pedal-powered two-wheeler. We have this awesome dutch style cargo bike, CETMA.

So last week I loaded the kids up and we biked over to my parents new condo to have a picnic dinner on their terrace (By the way, I am so excited they moved here! They are great parents and amazing grandparents!). But as we were riding home, it started raining. Some children might have cried, but not my boys. We laughed and we talked about how we didn’t know it was going to rain and we didn’t have an umbrella. And I tell you what, Lincoln has told me the story of us getting caught in the rain about 100x since then. He says, “Remember when we were riding home from Amma and Uppa’s and we didn’t know it was going to rain, and we got all wet?!” “Yea,” I say, “I do remember, that was so funny.”

Why does he ask me that? He asks me, because it’s a great story. It’s bonding. And, it’s the kind of memory I want his childhood to be made up of…

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton. And as the final afternoon session ended, it started to pour. It was raining side-ways, there was lightning, there was thunder, and the parking lot where I parked was two feet deep in water in about  fifteen minutes.

We hundled in the entryway waiting for a break, until by twos and threes we realized needed dinner. Or, like me we needed to save our cars, and show up for our dinner appointments. The rest of the night we looked like-half drowned cats. But I couldn’t help thinking of how much fun it would be to tell Lincoln about it the next day.

Not only do I want my children to enjoy the surprises in life, like getting caught in the rain, but I want to hold on to that childlike joy too. Don’t you?

CREATED TO CREATE: Creative Living is for Everyone


1024px-Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)One of my favorite pieces of literature, and currently my favorite passage of the bible is the creation account in Genesis 1. It is a poem passed down for thousands of years about how God created the world and then created humans–in God’s image. And being made in God’s image we were created to be creators. Loving the Message translation these days:

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature…
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Last week, as I mentioned, my book group discussed Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearThough I loved the book, our group gave it mixed reviews and for a good reason that I had overlooked.

Though Gilbert’s starting point was that we are born with this inane desire to create and it will come out weather it is bathroom graffiti or designing a skyscraper, 80% plus of her examples of creativity are fine art. Being that she is an writer she talks a lot about writing, but most of her other examples are things like painting though she does mention her neighbor who’s creative outlet is tattooing her body.

Still for my book group–a group of newish mothers most of who do not consider themselves artist types the book became inaccessible. All that to say, my message is that all of us–every single one of us where made to make! And part of truly living is getting in touch with our creative side.

For Tall Dark and Handsome (T.D.H. also known as my husband Joe) his creative side is accessed in cooking, in building things (wooden furniture), and even in coming up with creative ways his company can run more efficiently. Some day, he hopes to use his creative energy to start a business. IMG_2981

For my Dad his creative energy has been used over the years to perfect his public speaking–preaching. He spends hours in research, prayer, and preparation of sermons. He also uses his creativity to reinvent himself for the context he is ministering.

IMG_0224My mother uses her creativity to writes letters to people and to God in her journaling. When we were growing up, she used her creativity to make healthy meals for our family on a shoe string budget. She could also turn someones castoffs into household decor or toys–and that takes creative energy. Just this last year she tried something new–painting and really likes it!

It is so easy, especially as exhausted mothers, to be caught in lifestyle of consumpution and rarely enjoy the experience of creating. Sometimes it may feel like the most rejuvenating thing to do is to “netflix and chill” but that rest doesn’t seem to last or satisfy.

Go out and prosper! Knit, cook, garden, build, write, arrange, scrapbook, sew, make music, dance–whatever floats your boat.

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