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I was discussing my blog with someone this week and they asked me an important question. “What’s the point of your blog?”  So this got me thinking that maybe I should do a bit of explaining.  (As Ricky Ricardo said to Lucy, “You got some ‘splaining to do, Lucy!”)  So in a nutshell, I hope and pray that this blog can be a “shade tree” for your soul, that each post I write serves as another “leaf” to the tree.  Whether I write a short story, a mini-devotional, write about nature, God, or my personal experiences, I hope it just adds one more leaf to the ever-growing tree for your soul-shade.  With that said I will let you in on a little glimpse into my world……
 
I am a home-school mommy of 20 years.  Two of my four are in some stage of college with a freshman and 4th grader still to go.  Sometimes I think I have learned more than I have taught my students, not necessarily academia, but simple truths of life.
 
My 4th grade daughter is a nature-freak and animal-lover!  Her little brain is full of animal facts.  She watches any TV show related to animals, draws animals, talks about animals, dreams about animals and wants to be an “animal artist.”  Her favorite book is Doctor Dolittle.  Get the picture?  And as a bird-lover, I have instilled the same love of birds that I have in this girl of mine. 
 
My daughter has had a bit of a struggle with math, especially division….long-boring-division, as she calls it.  It took forever for her to learn her multiplication tables and now this long-boring-division has been about to get the best of the both of us. 
 
Until this week.
 
But before this week, seated at our dining/school table that has 4 windows on two sides of it, our conversation during a math lesson would go something like this…..
 
Me:  Okay, let’s work on this problem.  I will do it with you.  57 divided by 6 is what?  Will 6 go into 5 equally?
 
Daughter:  Look, Mommy! There’s a squirrel!  He’s on your bird-feeder in the front yard!
 
Me:  Yes, I see the squirrel.  So, since 6 won’t divide equally into 5, we need to find out how many times 6 will go into 57.  What number times 6 is close to 57?
 
Daughter:  Ummm….8, no, that’s too low….ummm…..Did you know that squirrels have 4-8 babies per litter?  And the momma squirrel uses her tail for a blanket to cover her babies to keep them warm.
 
Me:  That’s cool.  Okay, back to math.  Six times what is close to 57? 
 
Daughter:  It will be 9! Six times 9 is 54!
 
Me:  That’s great! Now subtract and see what your remainder is.
 
Daughter:  Oh, I forgot to ask you something.  Do you know what a symbiotic relationship is?
 
Me:  Um……no.  (I was trying to think back to biology, health education, or sex education and see if I could even come close to remembering!)
 
Daughter:  It’s when two different animals help each other out.  Like a honey badger and a honey guide!
 
Me:  So what’s a honey guide and a honey badger?  And how do they help each other?
 
Daughter:  Well, the honey guide is a little bird that loves honey, but it can’t reach the honey in the hives.  So it lures the honey badger, which is a badger that loves honey, to the bee hive and the honey badger rips open the bee hive with his strong claws and eats the honey. Then the honey guide finishes the rest.  Now that’s a symbiotic relationship!
 
Me:  Wow! That’s pretty interesting! So how does the honey guide know where the honey is………
 
And we are finished with math at this point in our school day.  I often wondered if my daughter didn’t have this figured out, that if she distracted mom, she didn’t have to finish math. 
 
Until this week.
 
I finally figured out the problem.  Math shouldn’t be done at the dining table by the windows! The song birds, squirrels, frogs, lizards, road runners, and turkeys were too much for her!  So we moved math to another table and she quickly grasped long-boring-division!  Imagine that!  She couldn’t focus where she was.
 
I have also noticed that what my eye is drawn to will distract me (facebook, emails, bills, the evening news, or anything negative that I choose to put before my eyes) will mesmerize me with all of its negativity and depressing ideas and suggestions.  This week seems to have been full of the news covering angry people, murder, rape, and on and on, and even comments on facebook full of complaining and whining and angry words!  I noticed that I had totally become distracted by the TRUTH, what is good and right in this world.  So I began looking for better distractions.
 

Here’s where I ended up….right in the middle of a HOLY distraction!  

 

Philippians 4:8-9

(from The Message)  
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
 
I had to choose what I would allow to distract me and what I filled my mind with.  The best, not the worst.
 

 

So if you are finding that you are distracted, pick another “table” to sit at, without all of the distractions and commotion.  Focus on what’s good and true.  And like my daughter, you might just learn something new.

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