An Ordinary View has moved!

I have moved my blog to my own page. My new website is www.danaherndon.com. I am so excited to take this next step. If you are following anordinaryview.wordpress.com I would love for you to follow me on the new website.
Thank you for all the great comments and encouragement!
Dana

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5 Things About Turning 39

turning39Yesterday, I turned the big 3-9. Just one step away from that giant milestone of 40. More and more I see that with age comes wisdom, accomplishment, and trivial things become just that – trivial. I think in their late 30’s into the 40’s and older most people are settled, accomplished, and comfortable in their own skin. With age comes wisdom; experience is a great teacher. With my quasi-milestone birthday this month, I have been thinking a lot about 39.
5 Things About Turning 39
1. No one believes you ARE actually 39.
When you tell someone you are 39, they do not believe you. You get laughs and are asked how many years you have been 39. (People are so funny.) I really want to pull out my driver’s license and show them that I am really 39. (Ask me how I feel about this next year.)
2. You are not 40 . . . yet.
With all my waxing poetic  about wisdom and aging blah, blah, blah, I am sure my forty-year-old friends would agree that turning forty can be a little daunting. Or maybe not. Maybe that is just my view of it. Regardless, I will embrace 39 for the next year and hopefully 40 will live up to my nicer expectations.
3. Fun takes on a new meaning.
Okay, this has really been one in the making throughout my 30’s. I have never been a particularly “wild” or “party” person anyway, but I am partial to having “old person fun.” Recently, we bought a new-to-us car. It is a certified pre-owned SUV. It is very pretty and very red, but here is what I loved most about it: the third row seats, the hidden compartments for storage, and it is still under warranty. When we were signing the papers, I was almost bouncing in my seat because we have a 5-year warranty on our new car. THAT was the most exciting part for me. Other excitement this week included picking a particular place for my birthday dinner because I had a coupon. To quote Phoebe Cates’s character in the movie, Shag, “Y’all, I am wild.”
4. Trying to convince your kids you are young.
I recently had a conversation with my fifteen-year-old about how I feel young in my head. It is so weird to me to have conversations with my kids that I remember having with my parents when I was their age. In my head, I am like – “Wait, what? I am the parent here? I am on the opposite side of this conversation?” Again in my head, I think I am still around 20. My kids disagree with this assessment.
5. Being settled, but open to new things.
Back to my original vein of thinking, 39 (and even 40 and beyond) are not so bad. Although it may be a little distressing to see a few more wrinkles and a few more gray hairs staring back at me in the mirror, I did earn those wrinkles and gray hairs. But there is a feeling of being settled with the maturity of age. Settled, but open to new challenges and new adventures. Now I do not plan to go skydiving, climb giant mountains, or any other extreme sport. My new adventures (so far) include getting my master’s degree, writing, and training to run a 10k.
All in all, 39 is not bad, and 40 doesn’t seem so scary now. Whatever our age, we should work to be achieve new goals and embrace new opportunities.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. Proverbs 3:13-14

Play in the Rain

I was a “yes” mom today. Which is a big event around here. I am rarely a “yes” mom (I think this is unfortunate sometimes). I feel like I am always saying, “No, No, No.” I am very type A – a rigid rule follower and rule maker. I want rules, and I want my rules (and schedules) to be followed. (Ask me how often this works out.) I was the person who said, “When I have kids they will NEVER act this way.” HA! If you don’t have kids, don’t ever say that. Some things I have had to say to my kids:

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Mud Tag

“How did the potty seat get stuck on your head?”

“Yes, if your finger is up your nose – that IS picking your nose.”

“You ATE deodorant?!”

Still I try – we need rules, rules, rules. Now don’t get me wrong, kids need boundaries. Boundaries and guidance are very important. However, boundaries can be flexible. We parents should allow our kids to be kids and not rule following robots. I do expect my kids to be well-behaved, show respect, and do their best at school; however, I do not have to throw a book of rules at them to achieve this. Sometimes, this can be achieved by simply saying yes.

So today on a rainy day during Spring Break, I said yes.

At first I did say no.

I had sent my youngest out to put her bike in the garage. She put her bike back but did not come back inside. When I went out to get her, I found her playing in the rain and splashing in mud puddles. Having a great time. (Splashing in the mud without a care in the world is totally her personality; she was the one with the toilet seat on her head.)

My first reaction was, “What are you doing?!” (My brain reacted – mud, wet, mess, agggh!!) But then I remembered how she is always wanting to play and splash in the puddles. I changed my thought process. Hmmm, it is not storming, it is pretty warm, and it IS Spring Break. “Go for it. You can play in the rain.”

“What?” she said, obviously shocked. “YAY!!”

The other two quickly jumped into the action. “What? We can play in the rain?”

All three of my kids ran outside and jumped in puddles with wild abandon. Soon a rousing game of mud tag had begun. They played until they were soaked and had a great time.

Now they are in the kitchen creating some chicken dish for lunch and have prepared a banana nut cake for dessert.

I think I will have to say yes more often.

Mmm . . . cake.

Mmm . . . cake.

Chase Your Dream

I blame this renewed writing obsession on Jon Acuff , #DoOverBook, and Jen Hatmaker, #Forthelove. (And I am not above name dropping apparently.) As I previously posted, in January I began to feel the tug of my dream of writing again. I had recently began following Jen and Jon on Facebook, and I really enjoyed reading what they had to say. Then Jen posted On Becoming a Writer at the beginning of February, and I thought that is me! (Of course I am scared to death of criticism, and I am not very thick-skinned, but I am going ahead anyway because I want to be a writer and a good one.) (That previous sentence scared me.) Then, Jon Acuff was posting about and promoting his book – Do Over. Following his Do Over theme, he was asking us what was our dream? What would we like to “do over”? And of course, writing comes up and how to be a writer posts follow. After that I was chosen be a part of Jen Hatmaker’s launch team for her new (and awesome) book For the Love, I became part of a group of 500 amazing people, many of whom were writers. It became rather clear to me that the time was right to begin again (do over?) and chase my dream.

Yesterday, I started Jon Acuff’s 10 Day Do Over Challenge. (I was supposed to receive the book yesterday, but it did not arrive as scheduled. Hopefully it will be here today!) The challenge is to “pick a single dream you’d like to chase for the next ten days” and chase it. So I am chasing it. I bought a writing journal the other day to jot down ideas when I had them, because if I don’t I will forget them. (I am quickly approaching 40, I teach middle school, and I have three kids – my brain cells are overwhelmed.) I am making myself post – I almost gave up this morning. Fear is an ugly beast. But then I read, “Don’t bury that talent, the only thing fear yields is one dormant gift in a shallow grave.” Jen Hatmaker, For the Love.

My desk today (aka the dining room table). Don't you love how my notebooks just arranged themselves in this beautiful fanned out way?

My desk today (aka the dining room table). Don’t you love how my notebooks just arranged themselves in this beautiful fanned out way?

What is your dream? Are you chasing it? If you aren’t, why not? I encourage you to go for it! I am a fairly introverted person. Publishing my actual words is terrifying to me. However, at the same time after I publish, I feel very excited. I almost didn’t apply to be on Jen’s launch team because of doubt, but I am so glad I did. Not only am I getting to read a great book before it releases, but I have met some truly wonderful people. We, and I think most women especially, try to downplay and hide our talents and gifts. Most of the time it is from fear and doubt. The older I get, the more I try to step out of my box, and do SOMETHING. “God created an entire package. It all counts. There are no throwaway qualities.” Another For the Love quote from Jen Hatmaker. Hone that talent, do something different, chase your dream.

(Pre-order For the Love here.)

Just as He said

“He is not here; for He is risen, just as he said.” Matthew 28:6a

These words give me chills at their power. They also make me want to celebrate. He is risen – JUST AS HE SAID.

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday – this weekend is a huge time for reflection and for remembering what Jesus did for us. The Gospels recount what happened in powerful, moving words. They disciples paint us a picture of events that they themselves did not understand at the time. Do we take time to realize the magnitude, the meaning, the wonder and amazement of what happened on those days almost 2,000 years ago?

There is sin and there is pain in this world – we are all acutely aware of this. But Jesus has been there. Jesus voluntarily gave it all and went through pain we cannot even imagine to save us. To save US. Do we realize the magnitude of what He did for us?

What will we do for Him?

This is from the notes I took on the Easter sermon this morning: JESUS – live for, live like, show we are His, “Follow me”

May we celebrate the Resurrection every day.

isaiahmatthew

I’ve caught the madness!

I love sports. I countdown to football season like a kid counts down to Christmas. In my opinion college football is more fun to watch than pro football, but I love both. (Go Dawgs!) I came in second in our Fantasy football lbball2eague. I have been a Braves fan my whole life. The worst-to-first 1991 season was one of the best seasons ever! I remember when Sid slid, and I was at the game when John Smoltz made his debut as a closer.  I even like to watch golf. However, there is one sport that I have never really cared for – that is basketball.

Unfortunately, my whole family loves basketball. My husband will watch any game, for any team, any time. All three of my children play basketball. We have a goal in our driveway. Basketball surrounds me.

So of course March Madness is  a huge deal at our house. We all fill out a bracket, even my five-year-old. We watch all the games; we even DVR games. Yesterday, I caught myself getting exciting because I was thinking, “Oh, the tournament will be on Thursday night! How exciting!” Only to be disappointed that it doesn’t start until Saturday this week. Wait, what? It dawned on me that I was excited about watching basketball. I’ve caught the madness.

I have always enjoyed watching my kids play basketball, and they are great players. I enjoy playing basketball in the driveway with my family, although last time I came away with a twisted ankle and a skinned knee. (Again, basketball is taken very seriously around here.) Now I find that I can’t wait until Saturday and the Final Four games; I am glad that the weather is getting warmer so we can play driveway basketball; and I will watch most any game, for any team, any time. Madness!

So go Duke Blue Devils! (Although I picked Kentucky in my bracket to go all the way, I really want Duke to win it all.) Enjoy the madness!