Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Give blood to strangers

I gave blood today. That in itself isn't particularly special; what was cool was the conversation I had with the girl who dd my work. She is majoring in piano performance; she works this job 10 hours a day with about 15 minutes for a break; she still has 2 years left at school. We simply had a fun little conversation.

Sometimes you can go for weeks (or months or longer) without making a connection with someone, especially with a total stranger. What a great treat it is when you can share a small moment like that.

If it's been a while, give blood.

Need more motivation? Read some stories from recipients.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There's some growing goin' on!

Every morning, my kids love to play around before they're ready to go to school. Nobody does this more than Tolman: he might talk, walk, or even just sit doing nothing rather than simply get dressed and get all ready to walk out the door. So I every time they talk to me, I tell them, "Sorry, we can't talk about that until you're all finished getting ready."

This morning, Tolman came to me and said, "Dad? Oh, nevermind. You won't like it until I'm ready for school."

Wow. After dozens of repetitions, there's a glimmer that something good is happening.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Creating a small logo

It's a small thing, but I took about 30 minutes and finished a graphic I've been envisioning. It's such a small thing, but I'm happy to have completed this little creation; I guess it's been a while since I've felt that kind of satisfaction creating something.

(If you're curious about it's meaning, you can find it with a bit of searching through my stuff. Cheers!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guidance in 2 Friends' Lives

I had dinner last night with two long-time friends. It was marvellously entertaining, and part of what made it great was that they spent a minute talking about gifts from God. They are each convinced of His divine intervention in their lives, and they shared a few stories. One was a small thing, being directed to look for an item while at the store, but it was a notable blessing because she was not well and it saved her a trip to another store; I could tell it was a huge help. Another experience happened while organizing a long camping activity for young people: the leadership was stuck trying to determine some assignments, but as soon as they replaced the assignees in question everything came together nicely. There were other experiences, involving having children and creating presentations and selling homes and organizing a charter school.

Now, I don't see God doing much for us; if He does, he certainly isn't looking for recognition by the vast majority of us, so we make our way without looking for Him to help. But I do believe we all have perceptions beyond the five senses; at very least, you have to admit there are parts of our humanity that we continue to learn about all our lives. So we all get these kinds of messages that are felt in our "soul", and it's important to learn and listen to the ones that direct us for the good.

So that's why I'm telling of our little discussion: my friends are touching examples of looking for and following inspiration, so this was a great reminder for me. In addition, it was fun to feel their gratitude and share in their wonder about some of the special incidents in their lives.

I'm so grateful for fabulous friends.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Small Moment: Crayon Physics

This morning I experienced a real treat: I planned to play some games with the kids, and they didn't exactly want to do what I expected, but it provided a few pleasant moments. Then a few minutes later I sat down at the computer for a minute to play Crayon Physics; this is a marvelous little game where you draw shapes and they fall, roll, and bounce off each other as if they were physical objects. You should try it out.

Well, the last screen gives you a flat area without any objective, so I decided to try a few things like balancing blocks and seeing how high I could stack them. So I called Ella over and challenged her to a contest: let's see who can stack the most blocks on a teeter-totter. We stacked them, balanced them, drew tiny ones, made mounds of the tiny ones, exploded mounds of tiny ones (by drawing large items in the middle of the ground, which pops them up rapidly)... It was a good time. She even tried to make a house, which is hard when there's almost no friction!

After it was over, I realized that we had just shared a small, special moment where we both played at something, we each enjoyed it, and it even included some eye-opening discoveries for both of us.

How cool is that?

PS: If you can't find the game, try this link.

Exercises to try:

- Plan your next time to play on someone else's schedule, doing their interests (for at least 30 minutes).
- What kind of open-ended play do you have available around the house/yard/workplace?