We rented paddleboards on the Tennessee River this past weekend and there are no pictures to prove it. We took the kids and we met up with dear friends, but you won’t see any selfies of our imperfect formation in the wake of a passing motorboat. We traded kids and played in eddies and explored McClellan Island. We balanced and wobbled, we fell in and then we dove in. But there is no hashtag #riverlife to accompany the nonexistent Instagram post. We didn’t have our cameras. We didn’t bring anything save for our sunglasses and our holiday spirits.
Here in this digital space, The Blog or whatever is most en vogue to call it, I purport to preserve life’s moments and lessons. But this all is a pantomime, a chasing after the wind with a plastic bag from Tarjay. I am merely a scribe pressing key to pad, uploading and downloading, but never truly etching anything of real permanence. Nothing is solidified in amber here. There is no fire to singe or moth to destroy this album. There is also no firewall strong enough nor anti-viral software to guarantee its immortality.
This past weekend, we smelled all the seasons of putrid sweat that our life preservers absorbed. And we tried to absorb the life that we could not preserve.
There was no perfect filter to best capture the glistening waves, the silhouette of the Market Street Bridge.
No likes, no faves, no hearts, no mentions; only the feeling of total insignificance against nature’s majesty. And the wonder of having captured nothing but being filled up full of every good thing.
I am in a season of massive clean-out. If I were pregnant, I’d call it full-on nesting mode, but nobody preggo here. Except for maybe my garage (recently purged of students’ hockey sticks stored for the summer and other detritus). My garage might be pregnant with possibility. Yikers. I’m also cleaning out my office at the university–more on this later.
Marie Kondo (Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up) told us to examine the joy that sparks from our possessions and I imagine like most folks, it’s a whole lotta junk. The following, however, are a few of the things that are sparking joy in my life. Some affiliate links may follow but this is in no way a paid post. Kendraspondence is merely a wannabe lifestyle blog, just waiting for Gwynnie’s goop level status.
1. The famously oh-so-buttery LulaRoe leggings. I was skeptical about the one-size-fits-all leggings since my stubby legs result in a BFF relation$hip with my tailor. Color me surprised when the LLR leggings my friend Kimberlea sent me fit perfectly with a delightful cuffing at the ankle. If you don’t have a LulaRoe consultant yet, consider joining my friend Kimberlea’s FB group. Shoot her an e-mail (lularoekimmy at gmail dot com) and she may add you. She does Pop-Up shops on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
2. The First Five App. Lysa TerKeurst just wanted her kids to dig into the Bible first thing each morning. Her daughter, a new college student, told her mom what a difference her Bible study mentors made in encouraging her to spend the first five minutes of the day in the Word. TerKeurst was inspired to create this app that serves as both an alarm and a five minute-ish devotional on your phone. The devotionals are very focused and the app itself is aesthetically lovely as it is functional. Available on Apple/Android.
3. Pley.com– This service has saved summer. Parents, you know how Lego sets are uber spendy and the proprietary pieces are all very clever but half the fun is just putting it together for the first time? Pley.com lets your kids “test-drive” just about any awesome toy under the sun. Then you send it back and get another. The website reads, “It teaches children to share and conserve the planet by reducing the amount of toys that ends up in landfills.” Obviously we had the most noble of interests at the fore of our reasons for queueing up this subscription-based “service” for the wee ones this summer and it has been a huge hit. Hat tip to Loverpants who was all over this biz.
4. This recipe. It was just so stupid delicious. Even though it’s 104 degrees with 500% humidity right now. It’s worth turning on your oven.
5. The Shalom in the City podcast with Osheta Moore. I met Osheta at a conference this past fall. Her heart for shalom–creating wholeness where there is something lacking/hurting–is sincere. The guests she interviews are chosen carefully and the questions she asks are erudite. I’ve learned about so many things anyone can do to bring shalom to his/her community. One takeaway has been that if you are a parent who cannot always serve as a room parent, you can offer to help with auxiliary tasks for your child’s classroom or for an under-resourced school. Examples include cutting out letters for a teacher’s bulletin board during your weekend free time, or offering to do any outside-the-normal-business-hours chore that a teacher needs for his/her class.