My children all love books. It is a Crawford thing. Each day, members of the Crawford family each take a book and disappear to read. This was a novel concept to me when I began dating Dan. My family read too but I mostly talked, and my house was loud. It was difficult for me, the socializing instigator that I was, to concentrate on a book. I never wanted to leave the hub of activity and conversation in our family den. But Dan's family loves to visit and talk and then politely leave one by one, to be alone to read. On my first visit to their home, I could not figure out where everyone was. Had I missed an announcement? Where was everyone? Reading? Really? I didn't even bring a book!
But now I do. We all bring books when we visit. We laugh and play games and watch movies and then escape to quiet places to read. It's so peaceful. I have learned to love that option. And our kids understand that. They know how to unplug from media and from conversations to escape and enjoy quiet reading.
Jesus often found a quiet place to pray. He separated Himself to talk to the Father. He stepped away. That is a great practice for me as well. As a socialite, I require quiet to read and to write and to pray.
As I prepare for the school year as an English teacher, my thoughts are often on reading and writing. And I am often praying. My prayers include thankfulness for my mother, the writer, who transformed my brown paper lunch bags into keepsakes. (One day I will share those poems, riddles and stick people cartoons with you.) She has written volumes of letters to me, exhorting me to march forward with the Lord. Her personal testimony has been shared with many seekers, and her original phonics songs have helped many learn to read. Her gifts and communication skills are unsurpassed.
More heartfelt gratitude to God for my husband, the writer. Dan is a songwriter and a quick wit. He can weave impressive dialogue for a screenplay. He can concisely share something in passing about a Scripture that he recently read. His small observation will change my perspective for years. His creativity is contagious.
My 89 year old granddad writes new poems every week; almost everyday he calls my parents to read his latest piece. A lifetime of wisdom or a moment of silliness may come forth in his rhymes, but his experience is valuable.
His precious late wife once told me that poetry was challenging work. Grandmother taught me that poets had to make each word do the job of several other words as well. She fine tuned her daughters' and my works so that we could be proud of our accomplishments. Her diligence was admirable.
The Lord is dropping hints about what I should share with my classes this year. My hope is to share the gifts that were kindly given to me: a quiet place to learn and think, communication skills, freedom to be creative, wisdom, and the diligence to finish what you start.