Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today I taught my son how to play the Memory game. We had a very good time. Of course, the SLP in me was testing skills like short term memory, turn taking, following the rules of the game, and doing a language sample all while being the mommy. What I actually discovered is that my son is a funny little man. He would almost jump up and down every time he made a match--every single time. It was as if the success at making a matching pair of Disney characters was going to change the way we use energy on this planet. Hilarious.

Here are a few clips from today's language sample:
"Hey I got a match mom!"
"Hey you got a match too. Great job mommy."
"This is the most fun mommy. I like this game."
"Hey I got a 'nother match."
"Nope that's not a match."
"Nope that's not one either--oh wait, here it is! I got a match!" (as he cheated and turned over a third and fourth card)
"I hope I get the Cinderella one mom. I just love Cinderella." (How does he know Cinderella? We don't even own a Disney movie other than Nemo and Cars. Should I worry that he likes Cinderella?)
"Hey mom, which Cinderella is that one?" (Apparently all Disney princesses are Cinderella.)
"Mom, we could earn some money and buy some Cinderella movies." (Okay what is the deal with Cinderella??? And he doesn't even get allowance yet. But he does know that Daddy has to earn money so we can stay home and play--at least that's what I tell him.)
"But mom, we could just go to the bank and get some money if you don't have anymore." (I tried to explain that the bank doesn't just give you money. You have to put money in there first. He thought this was not only boring, but unhelpful.)
"This is a match! (Quick look to see if I'm watching him match the wrong pair on purpose) Nah, it isn't. That's silly." (Now repeat 35 times giggling all the way).
"Hey mom, I got a idea. Let's play it again!"
"But I don't want any dinner. I want you to play Matchin' with me."

The best part of this game was that we were simply having fun. It wasn't about winning. We didn't even count who got the most matches. He complimented me every single time I made a match. He was in love with the game and with fun. I consider this a great success. Now if I don't screw it up, maybe just maybe he will always have that much fun playing games.

It's not that I disagree with a competitive spirit. I just wish I had enjoyed playing games more instead of worrying about winning them or looking silly or being sad (or angry) because I wasn't good at them. I'm terrible at sports. I'm utterly uncoordinated. If I had been raised to enjoy the spirit of the game instead of always going for the win, I probably would have tried new sports/games and had a reasonably good time doing it. Perhaps I'm worrying about something that is several years down the road. I just want my son to have a good time. I want him to understand winning and losing and being a good sport. I want him to understand sometimes you get benched and not everyone gets a trophy. I want him to be disappointed sometimes, because we all have to deal with losing. But what I don't want is for him to turn into a bad winner, or a stressed out anxiety prone athlete, or worse yet quit something before he starts because he is afraid.

These days I don't play anything but Scrabble with my husband and the occasional game of Gin Rummy with my dad. Perhaps I will learn to play for fun with my son and his infectious spirit of play. He doesn't even understand the concept of winning yet. His idea of winning is that everybody gets at least one Cinderella match. Beat that!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Today is a very good day. The sun is out. My son is at school. My baby is breathing better. Tonight is Ladies Night Out and I worked out today. Hmmm. I guess I pumped up some endorphins, because I felt pretty bad about myself this morning. I'm glad I went to work out.

I hate to exercise. Really. I like to walk. I like to swim. But coordinated I am not. Sports oriented I am not. Even dance oriented I am not (although I enjoy it sufficiently to make a fool of myself routinely). But I went to my powerflex class with all the other moms (and retirees) and dang it I feel so much better.

I felt good about my lunch--I even drew of reserves of strength I didn't know I had to refuse the cookie for 99 cents and I did not drive by Ben and Jerry's even though it was close and they're giving out free ice cream today. I'm encouraged that I'm going to look good in that $100 bathing suit I just bought. I better, for $100 bucks I better look like a supermodel. I'll settle for MILF status, but that's another post and I'm over 30 now, I should get over that little hiccup. If my son ever used that word, I'd just die.

Anyway, I hope you're enjoying my "little miss mary sunshine" post today. I really hope you're having a great day too. Gotta go. Now my baby is crying. I just hope my biceps are not too fatigued to carry around my 22 pound chub of love.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lessons I Learned

I just read a funny forward from my friend Melanie. It was about the 11 lessons you need to practice and master before you become parents. I thought it was hilarious. So I thought I would take a stab at making my top 10 list of important lessons to learn. Here goes.

1. Baby weight--9 months on, 19 months off. This is a fairly accurate rule of thumb. Pre-baby weight does not translate into pre-baby shape. There is nothing you can do about this change.

2. Warm towels, cold cabbage leaves, the pump, and nursing pads are all overrated. If you're awesome at breastfeeding, I think it's the best thing you can do. If you hate it, or otherwise are having no maternal feelings about it at all, just stop. You can bond with your baby over a bottle. Life will not end. Your baby will be fine.

3. The dvd player can be your friend. There are tv natzis and then there are couch potatoes. Try to be somewhere in the middle.

4. Stickers do come off most things. It may take a little vinegar and warm water though.

5. You can wash almost any carseat cover. You cannot however get the puke smell out of the seatbelt strap. If you get puke on it, just learn to like the smell and keep the windows rolled down for about a month. You'll get used to it.

6. It is okay to leave your kids with a babysitter. You need a drink, a dance, and a double fudge sundae with nuts and kaluha--weekly.

7. There is sex after having kids. If you really want a gratifying sexual experience, or romance, send the kiddies to grandmas or get a hotel room. Otherwise get comfortable with quickies. Most movies are about 22 minutes long (without commercials). Sometimes you have to choose between sex and a shower.

8. Get up. Eat breakfast with your kids. THEN dress the kids. THEN put them in the car. THEN dress yourself.

9. Spit-up can make interesting geometric designs on your clothes. The patterns have been known to be conversation starters. The smell from the patterns will usually clear an elevator for you.

10. Most children do not go to kindergarten in diapers. You will survive potty training. Until then, give yourself a whole handful of m&ms for each unsuccessful attempt. The chocolate may stem the impulse to unintentionally shame your child. If you gain 10 pounds in this process, revise rule number one by 12 to 18 months.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cuddle Fuzz

Most of my close friends know that I don't really like babies. I like babies that are 6+ months old, sleeping through the night, and cheerful. Anything before then is pretty much a blur of sour milk on your nightgown, spit up on your last clean shirt, up all night, endless diaper changing, infant squalling, bottle making, burping, tylenol giving moments. This doesn't mean I don't love my babies. I do so much it hurts a little bit. However, I love so much more the transition to bigger babyhood when life is beginning to have meaning for them.
But my most favorite thing about babies--particularly my babies, is the cuddle fuzz. Both of my boys were born with that super fine, sweet, lighter than air, stick straight up on the top of their head downy fuzzy hair. People used to ask me if I spiked my older son's hair with gel to get it to do that. Nope, he got it honest. My younger son looks alot like Chicken Little without the glasses. There is nothing more precious to me than holding those boys when they were (and are) 6 to 12 months and kissing them on those fuzzy Chicken Little heads. It's my cuddle fuzz.
Now that my oldest has slightly heavier hair--it's still fly away bed head on a daily basis, and he is a little "too big" for cuddling unless he's tired or not feeling well, I can't seem to put my baby down. I want that cuddle fuzz to last forever. Both my boys love to give me hugs and kisses. I cherish the moments when those sweet little arms go around me and squeeze. Those are precious moments too, but no moments will ever be as precious to me as my cuddle fuzz moments with my two baby chicks.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Christmas in April?

I wanted to post this email I sent during Christmas week. I still review it periodically to remind myself of how good life can be. With us all down sick again I find remembering this magical night helps me keep perspective! Hope you enjoy the musings of a tired delirious elf who is now a tired delirious something else. The creativity wanes when the sinuses are compromised and the ears are ringing. Anyway, to the memory we go....

Funny how we grown up elves, desperate to be a part of Santa's magic, think it must come from really big boxes full of multiple parts and tiny tiny screws that must be assembled in the dead of night after wrestling a very excited (and very sick) little boy into bed.

We told our oldest son that he must must must go to bed and stay there. Three potty trips and two hours later he finally succumbed to slumber. Every trip to the potty started with, "I was sleeping and I heard Santa's sleigh and I woke up." My husband is now downstairs furiously putting together a tool bench that said "some" assembly required. The pile of nuts and bolts on the floor made me run upstairs. I volunteered cheerfully to be the lookout. I already put together the play kitchen on Saturday. Although I have an affinity for putting things together, I think it only fair for someone else to exercise their following directions skills. My husband gives directions all week, it doesn't hurt him to follow them occasionally.

The baby (also very sick) has so far slept through it all. While I do not expect him to sleep through the night, we did get to watch a movie tonight before turning the "grown up room" (aka, room with the big screen tv in it) into Santa's workshop. The baby, alas, isn't getting near the pile that his older brother is. But his turn will come. Next Christmas we will need a Uhaul to get it all inside I guess. I try to pull back on the reins, but they keep slipping out of my hands.

Ah well, the magic is only for a short time. It's so much fun to be a part of. I have many many beloved memories of Christmas. Many of them about Santa, and many about other things during the Christmas season. The season almost always started Thanksgiving weekend with getting the tree. Followed quickly by the Christmas concert at school, the church Christmas pageant, and various and sundry other holiday things. My four high school Christmases are probably the most special for me. Then I had a ten year spell there where Christmas lost its luster for a while (watching your parents fall apart on Christmas Eve will do that). Then last year, our older son was finally big enough for Santa to have meaning.

This year is even more special. The magic has been rekindled for me and not just because of Santa. We're home together, the four of us, with no where to go, and nothing to do but be together. I am sad that the boys are sick, but it forced us to stay home. We made dinner and ate off my Christmas china that's been in the cabinet for 3 years and spent it's previous life traveling in a box. We lit glitter candles and turned on The Time Life Christmas Carol collection on the cd player. My son and I made cookies for Santa. The baby went to bed. My husband and I cuddled on the couch--me in my new bathrobe, he in his new slippers. Seriously, who would believe a bathrobe and slippers could bring new meaning to Christmas? Kinda like that year I got that toaster I really wanted. I was so excited to make breakfast that morning. Yes, I'm weird. I have a thing about useful gifts.

Anyway, this season has been fun and sweet. My son and I opened a door on the Advent calendar every day. I've had so many teachable moments this Advent--and not just for him. Every day that I had to explain to my son that we have to wait, I was explaining it to myself again too. It's funny how those lessons can be like a mirror if you let them. He has prayed for toys, I've prayed for peace. And this year I found it. We can all have teachable hearts if we just get out of our own way.

Shalom, Namaste, Peace be with you

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Affirmation is Important

Today I hosted the final session of my Bible study at my home. We shared a Moravian love feast and put some closure to our spiritual journey (at least until the fall when we start again). One of our questions today was, how has this small group changed you or enabled you to further your spiritual journey? How have you been fed and nurtured by this group? One of my dear friends (who is also in this group) said, "being in a group that affirms me and lifts up my life and my choices is so inspiring. Being with this group of women (who range from 28 to 82) helps me to realize that I will survive this point (mother of two toddlers) in my life."

I was struck by her comments on multiple levels. Receiving perspective and support from other women who have been there is so critical. Learning that new stages fraught with their own challenges lie ahead is also critical. It is so easy to get caught up in the fray when you're living in the moment with your children. One day we will be empty nesting moms. One day we will care for our own aging mothers. One day we will find our own health failing. One day we will watch our spouses die. It's not all snotty noses and sippy cups. There is life after laundry.

Being a woman is complicated in so many ways. We are so often called to give of ourselves we forget to take care of ourselves. One of the best ways to take care of ourselves is to form a small group. A close circle. A set of women whom we can call whenever for whatever reason. I have several of these circles and each group serves a different purpose. I do however draw an amazing amount of spiritual strength and comfort from my Bible study group that I do not find elsewhere. I am challenged by these women to get out of my comfort zone. I am comforted by these women when life throws me a curve ball. I am uplifted and spiritually fed by these women who pray for me and share with me their own faith journeys. One of the greatest challenges and greatest joys of being a Christian is the call to "be in community" with each other. When you have a community to give to, joy seems to bubble up from within. When you need to rest in the arms of that community, gratefulness such as you have never felt pours out from all over. I encourage you to find a small group who affirms your worth, your will, and your place in community.

Monday, April 21, 2008

How I Feel About My Job

You know my tenth college reunion is upon me. I am excited about reconnecting with old friends and meeting spouses and seeing pictures of children and kissing a few babies. If I am totally honest, I'm also a little apprehensive. I mean it's been ten years and what do I have to show for it? I'm a stay at home mom with machine washable labels on my clothes, an unused Master's degree that I'm still paying for, dishpan hands, and a few wrinkles.
I was fortunate to meet my husband in college. We married young and more or less grew up together during our twenties. After a year chasing a corporate ideal that was never going to happen, I cheerfully got married, and not so cheerfully started traveling with him to pursue his career. They say the early years are the sweetest. Maybe so in some ways. We were young and in love. But I was miserable taking a bunch of dead end jobs and I felt left out of the whole "what are doing with your life" race. So, with my husband's full support I went back to graduate school.
I loved becoming a speech-language pathologist. I finished my degree and was ready to embark on my new found career--and had to move again! This time we moved to a city that has the number one university program for speech-language pathology in the country. A state that turns out over 150 graduates in speech path a year. Needless to say the job market was saturated. Again I was disappointed. But then something else amazing happened. I got pregnant. Daycare was exorbitantly expensive and I had no family to fall back on at the time. Without a secured job it was foolish to even think of working. So I stayed home that first year. Again I was delayed in my future career. I don't regret that decision though. I learned so much about life. I think my son and I will be the better for it someday.
When we finally moved to the place we call home, I started my career. Putting my one year old in day care was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But it was the right decision. I had to complete my clinical work or face starting all over again from scratch. I became pregnant again about 5 months before I finished my hours. Doggedly I finished the hours and am the proud owner of a Certificate of Clinical Competency in Speech-Language Pathology. It looks nice on my wall. I haven't signed the first document as CCC-SLP, but I'm hopeful it will happen.
Currently, I am a stay at home mom. I do crave working, but I know that being at home in this moment is the right choice for now. I hope to go back to work again, but I have all I can say grace over at home.
So when people ask me what I'm doing at this reunion, I'm going to say I'm an engineer in child growth and development. Many will laugh and ask to see my kids' pictures. Some will not get the joke. Others will think, oh what a waste. It's okay. I've been in all of those moments before. Right now, I'm changing the world one diaper at a time. During the writing of this blog I have wiped a bottom, wiped a nose, consoled a baby, played trains, and have been invited to play in the play tent (a coveted invitation) after I finish my "work on the computer". It's not glamorous. It's not always that much fun. But my boys are gifts that keep on giving. I can't imagine my life without my them. I have high hopes of returning to my career, but I'm not going to quit my day job.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Matchbox Cars

My son loves matchbox cars. At first I was concerned about the fixation on the cars. I mean, isn't it a little OCD to spend hours lining up cars in a row--in the same way in the same order and freaking out if someone comes and messes it up as a two year old? However, we have since discovered other toys we like and his continued obsession with small brightly colored metallic objects with four wheels is echoed by every boy I meet.
So, to all you moms who have boys who are fixated on cars, relax. You may not be aware of all the wonderful language skills and problem solving skills your son is developing while he plays with his cars. As a speech-pathologist I should have arrived at this conclusion earlier. Alas I was blinded by "first-time mom" syndrome and over-looked the positives of such fixations. My son learned categories on many levels. First it was big and little. Then he divided by color. Then we graduated to cars or trucks. Soon after this was mastered, he started dividing according to type--construction, rescue, race cars versus regular cars, transportation, and air and sea. My son learned how to make a straight line. Then he made circles. Then he made parking lots. Then he made traffic jams (also known as "jam traffics"). Now the cars all have stories. First it was plain old jam traffics. Then we graduated to jam traffics at Disney World or Walmart. Then it was traffic jams on the interstate due to a wreck. Now the cars go to the car races and drive in movies. They park at the ocean and at the airport and at the zoo and at the park or at the car wash. My son spends as much time making up the story as he does lining up the cars. My little speech therapy heart is just bursting with pride at his narrative skills (story telling ability).
So for you moms with boys and no prior experience with boys (I only had a sister), take heart in what your son is learning with his cars. It may look like pushing around little plastic things, but I promise those wheels are turning--in the brain and on the floor. For the low price of $4.97 for a 5-pack of cars at your local Walmart, you can create a therapy session on your living room floor. At least until stumbling in the dark to make a bottle for your other son you accidentally step on one and break the wheels off, while bruising the underside of your foot at the same time. I would venture to say even if you swear off cars in the wee hours of the night, by morning you'll be back at Walmart for another one. :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I love to read. I read alot. I would rather read than watch tv, sleep, or go to a movie. I like the way reading transports me somewhere else. Don't get me wrong. I love my life. Sometimes, I just like to be somewhere else. I also read the same books over and over again. While I am always looking for a new author or a new series, I have some oldie goldie favorites that I never ever tire of reviewing. My books have broken spines, pages taped together, worn covers. It's like having a shelf of old friends ready to pick up in my life where we last left off whenever I'm ready.

I've been told that this is not only ludicrous behavior, but also self-indulgent. I've been reminded more than once that I am so often disappointed in life because I set my expectations too high. "Life is not like a book or a movie you know," others say. Perhaps happy endings are only for books or feel good movies, but I think happy endings are for everybody. If someone could dream up the story and write about it, why couldn't it happen? Maybe this thought process is what keeps me away from scary movies or horror flicks or Stephen King novels. Some things just shouldn't be thought up at all. I have a really difficult time with movies that depict suffering or portray any kind of senseless violence against people particularly children. I've read some books (only once) that gave me nightmares for weeks and to this day I can tell you exactly what I read, which part of the book it was in, and what it was in particular that frightened me so badly.

Maybe happy endings are just for books, which is why I like to read them so often. I like being happy. I like to laugh. I like a good joke or a funny story. I think storybook justice may be simplified, but it's justice. I guess I crave order and sense and happiness in a world that is too often a scary place of unrelenting drama that never makes sense to me.

So here is a list of my favorite books. You'd know they were my favorites if you saw them, because the spines are broken, the pages dog-eared, some pages are stuffed in where they fell out, and the covers are so worn you'd think the book had been left in a rain puddle (it might have been). Sometime when you have time, or you're just looking for some good airplane reading, or a book to drop in your bag for the doctor's office, public transportation ride, beach trip, or afternoon in the hammock, check out these titles. All these books are easy reads. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Where the Red Fern Grows
To Kill A Mockingbird
Anne of Green Gables
Little Men
Jo's Boys
At Home in Mitford
Southern Discomfort
Riding Shotgun
Fried Green Tomatoes
Standing in the Rainbow
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
These Happy Golden Years
Song of the Lark
My Antonia
Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend
Caddie Woodlawn
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Do you ever feel like your life is like the big red sand timer in "The Wizard of Oz?" One minute you think that first six weeks of your infant's life will never end and the next minute your baby is 8 months old smiling and laughing and trying to squeal. You think getting up in the middle of the night with a teething infant will never end and the next minute you're still up in the middle of the night with a four year old's earache. A wise friend of mine recently said of motherhood, "the days drag and the years fly by." Truer words were never spoken.

This time of day (2:30 til bedtime) is the hardest part of my day. It absolutely drags with all ten toes, droopy eyelids, and a rolled out bottom lip. I admit I resort to movies if playing outside isn't an option--and even if it is. I mean just how many trips down the sidewalk can one make in the wagon? But somehow, once the boys are in bed and I am on my way to bed I wonder where the time went. What was it I did all day that has left me exhausted and strangely bereft? Did I miss an opportunity to teach them something? Did I miss a moment of fun or a funny statement or a glimmer of a new skill? I grieve for just a second knowing I will not get the day back. Then I grieve because I don't have the energy to give my husband the attention that he needs. Then I go to bed too tired to go on, knowing that in exactly 6 hours somebody is going to be up and that last two hours of sleep I so desperately need will slip into the daylight and dance away.

Somehow, the concept of time is almost worse than the concept of guilt. For mothers, time is as much as enemy as guilt, or exhaustion. There is much too much of it and not enough of it all in the same breath. I never seem to give myself permission to let go of time the way I have finally conquered guilt. I really need to work on this. I am working on staying present and being in the moment. Unfortunately, often times the world will not wait and things do have to get done. Sometimes one of my children needs me more than the other, but the other cannot comprehend why this is so. Another girlfriend calls it "the need triage." As a mother of three under three, two of them twins, she said she had to learn to let go of somebody at least once each day. You can't meet every need every second every time. Life goes on. It is sage advice. Now I just need to follow it!

Maybe, just maybe, Hermione will let me borrow her "time turner" from The Prisoner of Azkahban. Of course, then I might see myself yelling at my kids and have to fly myself straight to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies. I look quite fetching on a broomstick. Until that day, I will just have to learn to let go of time. Turn off the phone and cell. Turn on the answering machine. Take off the watch. Leave the keys in the purse. Eat when we get hungry. Change activities when we're bored. Sleep when we're tired. If it works, let me know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh be careful little mouth what you say

Remember that song from preschool? "Oh be careful little ears what you hear/Oh be careful little ears what you hear/Cause the Father up above is looking down in love/Oh be careful little ears what you hear." Then there is a verse for your mouth and your hands. Anyway, I need to have that song tatooed on my head. My son internalizes everything I say to him. He must understand most of it because I promise you, it comes back to me in the most original ways. I am humbled almost daily.

For example, when he starts driving me crazy and I start yelling, he absolutely slays me with: "Don't talk to me like that mommy" or "Now be nice mommy" or my personal favorite, "You don't have to yell I'm right here."
His favorite comment, "NO" has been replaced with this gem: "I will be so happy to do that mommy in just one minute. I need to finish what I'm doing." Hmm, do you suppose I've said this a few hundred times?
And today we're pulling into the McDonald's parking lot and my son sees a tow truck a few spaces away. "Why is that tow truck there mommy? Do you think someone had a wreck? I guess that weren't paying attention. Do you think that's it?" He's very interested in why people aren't paying attention. Every time he gets in trouble for not following directions, he is asked, "were you not paying attention?"
Then there are those emotional zingers: "I'm just so sad mommy" or "I'm not talking to you right now!"
This morning after we finished in McDonald's my son says to me, "I'm not sad anymore mommy. [I didn't know he was sad, whoops.] I really had a great time at McDonald's. What was your favorite part of the trip mom?" I don't have to teach my son to say thank you. He thanks me just by taking up space on this planet. All I did was give him a jelly biscuit and let him play in the playground for 15 minutes.

How did this happen? Where is my toddler? My heart is strangely warmed by his statements. He has taken my admonishment to use his words to heart. At the same time, I am thoroughly ashamed. What else is he saying when I'm not around? I am not a perfect parent. I've been known to drop a few choice words in his hearing on more than a few occassions. Not only that, when I lose my temper, I really let the words fly and they are not always nice comments. You know sticks and stone make bruises and break bones, but you can't ever take back an insult or a hurtful word. Those words are out there forever. I truly hope I haven't scarred my son for life already!

I have never been one to guard my mouth, but in light of all this personal reflection, I have decided to try. In the last week I've been in a small group discussion, an individual discussion, and a sermon that all revolved around seeing and saying the truth, controlling one's anger, and taking responsibility for your interaction with others. YIKES. Perhaps it's a warning light that my bad kharma is coming??? I hope that I will be more "present" in the future, especially with my children. If they can't learn good behavior from me, who will they learn it from? I do take comfort that my oldest (who can talk) has no problems throwing his little arms around my neck and saying, "I just love you mom." The best I can do to erase those past hurtful words is to throw my arms around his neck and say "I love you" right back. If we keep saying it, living it, and believing it, when we're 94 and 66 maybe there will be more positive words floating around out there than negative ones. Until then, oh be careful little mouths what we say.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Beatitudes, a guide for life

This is a journal entry from my Bible study. I facilitated a study on the Beatitudes last fall. I have altered it only enough to remove personal information about others in my group and make any quotes make sense.

This week we take a look at hungering and thirsting for God and how to satisfy these longings. It's interesting that Jesus would use something so profound as true hunger and thirst to describe our relationship with Him and with God. Perhaps this is another opportunity for us to think about the life and times of Jesus? He walked in a period of time on this earth in which most people lived a step away from true hunger and thirst--if they weren't there already. Using an example that his followers were familiar with hit home. We have to read and ponder more carefully. What are we desperate about in the 21st century? What hungers and thirsts lie in our paths? What are we starving from?
The authors of Companions in Christ: The Way of Blessedness (Leader's
define righteousness as ordering our lives rightly with God at
center. True righteousness is an awareness of three things:
1. the quality
of relationship with God for which we hunger and thirst
2. the kind of world
for which we yearn
3. the kind of life we truly desire to live
The end goal of the Beatitudes could be described as a reorientation of our focus on what it means to be in relationship with God. In these verses (Matthew chapter 5) we are asked to redefine the words: righteousness, hunger, thirst, longing, justice, humbleness, even eating and drinking. How do we connect the dots between these words? I find these words intersecting to form triangles. When we follow the triangle of listening, praying, and ordering our lives rightly, we overflow with the spirit and are ready to live out our lives accordingly. Then there is the triangle of the Lord's prayer: Father bring your kingdom to earth, let us do your will here, and give us the manna we need to do it both literally and spiritually (also another triangle--daily bread, forgiveness, delivery from temptation and sin).

Now that I've seen triangles, everywhere, here is the challenge:
Instead of lamenting the kind of world in which we live, let us focus on the world we want live in. What can we do on an individual level, on a daily basis, that will keep our pyramid (triangle) upright and in line with the kingdom? Think of specifics, personal practices, prayers, how you spend your free time, how you spend your extra income, the commitments you make, the company you keep. Perhaps together we can come up with a communal "rule of life" that will help us ponder more deeply how to make a personal "rule of life". Whether or not you define yourself or your journey as "Christian" doesn't matter to me as much as doing right by others.

I am on the quest with you. I am truly terrified, interested, humbled, uplifted, paralyzed, and so hungry and thirsty on this journey. It is only through His peace and His grace that I keep going rightly or wrongly as ably as I can. Wishing you peace on your spiritual journey wherever it takes you, however you travel, and whatever end purpose you think you will find.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

And so it begins

Well, I'm off and running. I have officially started my blog. Today's thought: I wonder how they make sprinkles all those different colors? I mean think of how small the sprinkle bits are. How do they do that? Maybe I should go get an ice cream sundae with sprinkles on it to help me think about it some more.
I don't have a funny story to start off with today, except that someone dear to me got a speeding ticket this morning, forgot their wallet, and I had to put the kids in the car, and take it to him. Besides the fact that this was extremely inconvenient, I was also in my pajamas and elbow deep in banana-berry puree mixed with oatmeal and scrambled eggs. On the ride home I was asked, "But I thought daddy had to go somewhere. Why did the policeman stop him?" And then the doosy, "but how did he break the rules? was he not paying attention either? why wasn't he paying attention?" Ah well.