Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have been quiet lately which translates to two things, one I have been busy and two I haven't had much I wanted to say that was publishable. I do have a list of topics I would like to blog on I just haven't gotten to them.

I have been pretty overwhelmed by moving, day to day life and the distractions I let get in the way of it all. I feel like there is a mountain to climb and I can't find the starting place. Then I just want to cry.

So today I am battling my urge to crawl under a blanket and hide and I have turned off my phone and I think my computer isn't far behind. I made a plan of attack for the rest of the day. How to utilize nap time most effectively. I already made good use of the Sesame Street hour.

Hopefully I am turning the corner in letting everything overwhelm me.

Today I am grateful for my girl even if she doesn't sit still ever and delays nearly everything I want or need to do because she is after all my little answered prayer.

May you be blessed in seeing your answered prayers when they take the form of a jelly splatter on your face or wall or floor or new shirt. You get the idea.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I would like to say that the British Royal Wedding doesn't seem news worthy to me. I get kind of annoyed that it takes up a good portion of any news program these days. I saw last night that people are camping out on the streets for days just to have a good spot to see the princess to be pass by. That seems a little crazy to me. I also can't imagine people camping out to see my wedding party drive past. Talk about pressure! The whole world wants a piece of your wedding. I wonder if it goes to your head?

On the other hand, how cool is it that Kate Middleton is marrying a prince? Who didn't spend at least five minutes of their childhood thinking that they would marry a prince? I wouldn't be a good royal and as an American I don't know if I would even be allowed to. It is however cool to see a commoner marry a prince in that there is still a part of me that believes in fairy tales sort of way.

Today I am grateful for a sense of humor.
May you be blessed with laughter today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

True Story

Yesterday was one of those days. You know the kind where random stuff goes wrong but in a funny sort of way. I went out walking with the stroller and the pooch fairly early to beat the rain I thought was coming and never did. As we were walking my lovely little pooch saw a rather large pooch behind us. She stopped dead and refused to walk any further. This was a set up for complete disaster as my little pooch thinks she is big and plays nice to get the other dogs to come on over and say hello and then she tries to eat them. Now I am wrestling the dog to get her to walk, unsucessfully. The lady walking the other dog is trying to have a conversation with me and I can't hear her because of the wind, I looked like a total witch but I had just minutes before her dog was nose to nose with Trin and that my friends would not have ended well. Did I mention this whole ordeal was taking place next to an active lacrosse field? So I am trying to make sure my human child doesn't get hit in the head with a fast moving hard ball. So I scooped the dog up and balanced her on my arm and the stroller and walked on until she was decently distracted. The other lady was close enough to hear now, she said I will go the other way. Too late.

We got home and played out back for a bit, then Miss Lilia was cranky and tired we tried to get her to nap but she wasn't having it, we resorted to a car ride, it was a long one but she fell asleep. I ran into the Dollar Store while Paul waited in the car. It was really crowded I heard the life stories of at least three loud strangers. I was mistaken for an employee. Sounds were starting to rip through me like a knife, lady crinkling papers, another jingling her keys. I needed to get out of there fast. I go to pay and realize I am out in public with one finger nail painted because the night before I was testing a color, go me! I get out to the car now that I have taken 20 minutes in the crowded store and there is Lilia sitting on Paul's lap eating jelly beans. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She woke up and was ready to go.

We headed home and after hours of fighting sleep and a second car ride got her to nap for just an hour. I was pooped. The house was a mess. I did what I could. She woke up as I was making dinner and video chatting with my niece about her upcoming nuptials. (Really is that how you spell it?) So there I was video chatting away making some chili, and I decide to have myself a nice girly drink. Then another. Then I realize it's Maundy Thursday and I have to be at church in an hour and I am totally buzzed. I scoffed dinner went outside and played a bit then I had Paul drop me off just in case.

So I am sitting there in the most somber service of the year. I start having some pretty big thoughts, like Judas really gave Jesus up for 30 pieces of silver? Doesn't this strike anyone else as odd? Jesus says in many different ways give it all up and follow me. So it seems to me like these followers have already had to make some sacrifice, it's seems like they had to be all in. Why was it that the silver lured him? It doesn't make sense. I wanted to stand up and say something is missing here. Some part of the story is left out. It can't be that simple. Then it hits me Judas no matter what his motive was an asshole for selling out Jesus. I mean even if those 30 pieces of silver were the equivalent of millions of dollars today, would you send your best friend to their death for any amount of money? (If you answered yes to that this probably isn't the blog for you and let me know who you are so we don't become BFFS!)

Here's the shocker though, Jesus forgives him, the way I see it multiple times. There it is laid out for you, the meaning of Jesus in the story of Judas. Jesus loves Judas the A-hole who sold him out for a bag of silver, just as much as he loves us. It shocks you and then you remember that you are the A-hole sometimes to someone, even if the end result isn't death. It's a good thing Jesus loves us anyway, huh?

Now all that brought me to another thought. When I was about 8 or 9 someone either my Grandmother or my Aunt Chalena told me the Easter story. I didn't go to church so it wasn't like I had heard it before. I didn't get the whole idea of Resurrection or salvation or grace or forgiveness. What I did know was from what I was told Jesus was a pretty good man and some people killed him. I was pissed off! So I went out into the back yard of my grandparents' house with a little picture of Jesus my Aunt had given me. I dragged together some lawn furniture and made a court room. I was putting those Romans on trial. I of course was the Judge, the angry judge. I sat there by myself talking to myself and yelling at the Romans for killing such a nice man, who was innocent. My grandmother must have heard my yelling, knowing I was alone and came to see what I was up to. I told her I was mad because they killed Jesus, so it was court and I was sending them to jail. She replied something along the lines of, "Yeah, don't play like that." Then distracted me and brought me in. I got the sense that it wasn't a good idea to mess around with Jesus.

I was a strange kid. I had a huge imagination. I had a built in sense of justice, which thankfully has evolved a bit. I always had the God longing. I always asked to go to church, I wanted to wear my nice dresses to church. We got dressed to the nines on Easter and Christmas but didn't go to church. Go figure. Now I can't get away from the church or God. Nor can you get me to dress up or wear a dress.

So there I sat in the most somber service of the year, giggling to myself because I put the Roman's on trial as a little girl and totally freaked my grandmother out.

Then it happened my stomach started churning. HERE IS YOUR WARNING LEAVE NOW IF YOU ARE FAINT OF HEART! Basically I knew I wasn't making it home I had to go to the bathroom because some ungodly pile of poo needed to come out. I made it through what felt like the reading of the entire bible to a hymn, I had a plan, I would go to the bathroom next door because you would be able to hear what was happening in the bathroom in the sanctuary. I stood up for the hymn made it through a verse and had to go to the bathroom, I started walking and I wasn't making it to the other building, I had to go to the bathroom right there. So I went in as quietly as possible. There is a problem though, this wasn't a normal bowel movement, it was well let's just say the loud kind. So there I sat, timing my loud bowels to the hymn which of course had dramatic pauses. Some times I tremble... tremble... tremble will never ever have the same meaning to me again. I waited to hear everyone leave in the dark silence and left with a little dignity intact.

The moral of the story here, I sucked at lent this year, I didn't make good on a single promise or goal I set out for. However, I did have some great theological reflection and some good memories relived. The fact is before my stomach went AWOL on me, I really felt Jesus and the meaning of it all. I think that is what it's all about. That for a moment, God transcended all logic and touched my soul.

Well that showed me to post a blog saying I had nothing to say, now didn't it!

All that being said, today I find myself grateful for my Aunt Chalena, who was herself a very devout Presbyterian, occasionally bringing us her Sunday School left overs and telling me the stories of the bible when no one else thought it important. May she rest in peace knowing she made a difference in my life.

May you be blessed with a sense of humor to endure a day like the one I had yesterday and still be able to see the beauty of God in it all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Got Nothing

I am sitting here wishing I could write something profound, ok really just anything with substance. I must have ten ideas a day about blogs I could write. Of course I don't write down those ideas. So I am sitting here this morning, staring at the screen that connects me to the electronic universe, and nothing is coming to mind.

That being said, today I am grateful for a good nights rest and the space to say, I got nothing.
May you be blessed with some excellent rest!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Countdown & Distractions

It's no secret that I have a lot to get done in the next 3 months or so. I keep finding myself distracted in things that don't need my attention. Last night I spent a good hour just thinking about what the new apartment will be like, and if I want to decorate it in a way that is different from things I have done in the past.

It seems like I can continually find ways in which to distract myself from what needs to get done. I live in a state of constantly second guessing everything from moving, to which stuff to purge and sharing the moving truck to save money.

It is my prayer that I will find my focus again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy News

Yesterday my eldest niece called to tell me she is getting married. I will admit I was a little surprised! However I am really happy for her. I had some quick doubts but I hushed them. I have decided that instead of being the jaded cynic, I am going to be joyous and supportive. Besides, what do we know of someone else's love? Nothing because we aren't a part of it.

If by some small chance you are reading this and you know all those involved, here is your fair warning, save your judgement and cynicism. I think unfortunately because of her age, she is going to get a lot of crap from people who have no business in her business. This is something I have been noticing a lot about people lately and in my tell it like it is spirit, I am going to let them know when they are crossing the line.

I am exhausted by the negativity some people have towards, well everyone but themselves, which really just screams of insecurity.

Today I am grateful, that although rocky at times my relationship with my niece is solid. So much so that I was called right away when she wanted to gush about the happy news.

May you be blessed with some authentic relationship of your own.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Out of the Loop

I am not sure what's going on. Maybe this all has to do with the fact that I never moved with a child before, I have never had to set up childcare or travel arrangements for family that will be coming in to help with the move.

I have sent in gobs of paper work and I don't know when I will hear back on things like when housing will be ready. If I will have financial aid. I did find my tentative schedule for August and the Fall online; different than I anticipated. I need to set up childcare or at least a schedule that Paul can use to look for work. I feel like I am in the dark. I don't know which classes will be required vs. which I can take later. Will I have the freedom to schedule around Paul's work? If my mother in law comes to stay with us during a few weeks to help with childcare, can she stay in our apartment?

I have lot's of questions, no answers. I don't know who to ask for the answers. Guess I have some research to do.

Here is a random thought I had last night, when we visited out there in the fall, it seemed that there weren't many people there from the North East. There were a few but not too many. I did notice a ton of people were from Texas. I wonder if my hard New Jersey persona will come off as stand offish to their big old southern hearts. People were really friendly there. I try not to make eye contact with my neighbors. I don't know half their names. We very much just move fast and forward minding our business. It's our life style here and I know it's different because I have lived other places and felt like everyone was moving in slow motion and over sharing. I wonder if I am aware of this, if I can be more open to people, slow down and blend in a bit.

Today I am grateful for the answers I do have.
May you be blessed by meeting someone with open arms today.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Emotions Run High

1.Yesterday, I found myself in a room full of gay men. Let me start by saying I wish they were my friends as I had a fantastic time hanging out with them. As we traded stories I tried so hard to avoid talking about going to school for my Master's of Divinity. As anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows, we Christians don't have the best reputation in their community, rightfully so. It was unavoidable though it came up. It was insanely awkward because in that room I felt like I needed to be a closet Christian, because people have hijacked Jesus and some how a message of Love has turned hurtful and at times persecuting. So I am left with the question, being a Christian who believes that God made all of us, God loves all of us, just as we are, how do I enter into that conversation. I wanted to scream, listen we are cool, and just for the record I think God's ok too. I won't try to cure you or convert you or say how I will love you but hate your sin. I will just love you. I skirted the details by saying, I believe in Love and that the threads in every sacred text boil down to love. That I felt religion has been misused and then I excused myself.

When I left I was almost in tears, because I hated that moment. I hate the hurt. I hate that people have hijacked Jesus to a point where people feel unaccepted. I hate that I didn't feel like I could talk about who I was fully. I wonder if in that moment, the tables were turned? I want to know what you would have said?

2. Last night after a long day I happened upon the summer and fall schedule which will dominate my life. I went into a full on freak out about what to do with Lilia. Paul was in and out of sleep on the couch so here I sat alone spiraling into the depths of every emotion possible. I went to bed with thoughts of just backing out now, quitting while I am ahead. Maybe if I slept on it, I would feel better in the morning. No such luck, I was a sobbing fool by the time I got out of the shower. I gave myself a pep talk and made it to church. There is a part of me that thinks maybe throwing in the towel and taking up party planning and gift basket making would be an ok life.

3. Very glad I went to church, overwhelmed by the thin spaces.

I can do this.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Randomness

Good Morning Blog-O-Sphere!

I have a random smattering of thoughts for you this morning.

1. Last night I discovered that a deadline for a writing piece was changed to next month. I was so happy. I really wanted to submit a piece to this publication but with my first job in two years being today, I haven't had time to really bang out a well refined piece of writing.

2. I am working on a little something called a baby shower in a box. That's all I can say but I will post a step by step guide when I finish. I am having entirely too much fun with this. My ideas seem endless.

3. I was creeping on facebook last night when in my news feed popped up a status message. It said that this person's kid had seen a person begging for change and said he should get a job we shouldn't give him out money. I think the kid is all of 6. It gets better the parent posted, I am so proud! Really? Really? Selfishness and the lack of compassion might just be the most disturbing thing to me. I just wanted to scream! The long and short of it though is that if Lilia said that I would cry. The whole thing makes me really sad. I didn't try to engage said person, it's pointless. Hope they are never homeless, because if I see them begging on the side of the road I am going to yell out the window get a job you bum! I don't know, people think I am naive because I don't live in a place where homelessness is right in front of me everyday, although it is here. If you read here regularly you know that I struggle with how I react to homeless people. That all being said, the drunks, druggies and prostitutes all are human and have stories. No one sets out to live on the street. In this economy, I bet there are people with no addiction issues or mental illness that have been driven to the street. Have a little compassion would you! When I see stuff like this I think about how if I had all the power for just one day, that homeless dude would live this person's life and they would live his.

I am after all the girl who felt incredible guilt using five pounds of rice as a weight in centerpieces that I wouldn't be able to reuse because it was full of glitter. That would be a lot of meals for some African homes.

Today I am grateful for work and that extended deadline. Also that even in this hard world, that my sense of compassion hasn't been hardened like a rock.
May you be blessed by some small act of compassion.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh Boy, Or Girl

First, lately I feel like just maybe I am getting a hold of this whole motherhood thing. I went through a season where I felt like I was really bad at it, pretty much every day. Lately though I have mastered things like food shopping and dog walking with out another fully grown person around. It's not that I couldn't do it before, I just couldn't do it with out getting all tense in my back and sometimes even sweating. I can take my girl out alone with confidence. It was little but it made me feel better about how this whole motherhood adventure was going. I also just keep falling more in love as I watch my peanut begin to verbally communicate and I watch her ability to recognize and name things.

Secondly, I have been praying for myself a lot recently. Normally it would sound something like this, Lord thank you for my many blessings, grant me patience to make it through the day. Lately, it sounds more like this, I am here God I am listening, help me to hear your call, your will. This is usually in reference to ordination but not limited to. Show me the way Lord, is a popular refrain as we prepare for a move so I can attend seminary. I don't know if I can Lord, but I hear you and I am following. I am here willing to follow this call but I don't see how I am paying for it so show me how. The list goes on and on, mostly all move related.

Then, somehow in the middle of all this moving, job hunting, party planning fiasco a new prayer just came out of me. You have laid adoption on my heart Lord, let me pay attention and not grasp too hard. These words just kind of came out of my pen as I was writing in my prayer journal. Woah! You laid it on my heart? I don't even say things like that. It's true though lately I have been thinking more and more about adopting children. I am not sure it is a coincidence that while this was there on my heart, I accidentally happened upon three separate blogs and organizations that deal with adoption and/or orphans. There is a blog I read that has a link to a Christian Orphan organization of some sort, that happens to be having a conference in, Louisville. I clicked around the site a bit. Then I was searching for party ideas for a birthday party I was hired to plan. I found some pictures on a blog that chronicles an adoption in a post about a first birthday party. This morning as I went to blog that is part of a Lenten Blog Tour that I have been sort of following when I remember to, it was by an author who adopted her fourth child and is releasing a book about it this summer.

So all I can say really is OK God I hear you. I have always thought about adoption. It seems though that it is catching my attention and maybe I am just one of those crazy religious ladies or maybe I am in tune with God working in my life, but I feel so strongly that God is in this. It is hard to describe the strong feeling you get when you feel something is of God. I am not sure I can find the words. It's a movement in the heart more than anything.

I have to ask though, why now Lord? What are you preparing my heart for? I am here getting ready for seminary to start in just a few short months. I am prayerfully considering the ordination process again, even though it proved to be so disappointing and painful last time. I really thought/think this is where I am supposed to be. What is up with the adoption curve ball that has come out of no where? Maybe it wasn't no where. Maybe it just that my baby certainly, undoubtedly is a toddler and there is that weird mom thing that happens when your baby isn't a baby anymore. Usually you want to have another baby, not me, I get adoption brain.

Instead of trying to find a hundred ways in which to write off what I am feeling, thinking, praying... I think I am going to try really hard to just sit with it, notice it, love it, hate it, live it but not act on it or get it in a death grip.

We aren't ready to adopt right now, the mere mention of it to Paul and he changed color. He came out with statements like we can't afford it or how will we do it? I am OK with that for two reasons, the first is that my dear Paul is always overwhelmed by the big picture, so much so that he shuts down in ways and fails to see the many tiny pictures that make up the bigger picture. That is until I shove just a tiny picture in front of him. Secondly, I should say clearly thought that Paul is with me when we put it like this, adopting one day. We have always talked about it, it has always been on the table and it will stay there. He wants more kids, that is for sure.

Out there in the world in some place we don't know, our future son or daughter could be waiting for us. Or they will be one day. That thought is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Remember though that sweet Mirembe taught me how deep love flows from and in these veins.

Lastly, we prayed long and hard for our little Lilia Grace and that prayer evolved into a prayer that sounded like this, we are open to your will Lord, we will love a child no matter how they come to us. We had to surrender to God and then we had our little miracle. NOTE: I don't think surrender is a guarantee of the results you desire, it is a posture that allows you to accept any result no matter how heart breaking or overwhelmingly joyous. It taught us a lot. When God's time was right we held our baby girl. This leads me to this conclusion, when God's time is right we will have more children, adopted or biological. We really have learned to trust God in that way, matters of having children. Now if only we could do it with everything else.

Today I am grateful for the God nudge.
May you be blessed by noticing God some where you didn't before.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Give it to me Straight

Do you ever wish that you could just tell people like it is, all the time?

I do.

All the time.

I courtesy edit.

As to not hurt feelings.

Or be a bitch.


I am thinking I might try just saying what I really think in the best way possible. I am not saying being mean, just calling people out on their shit and them calling you out too.

Wouldn't it be better if we just said what we needed to say? If we weren't so politically correct and just said, you need to watch your kid because he is drawing on my wall, if you are going to talk shit like that I am out of here, you need to find yourself and live for that not everyone around you.

Those are just random things. I mean I would have to get a thicker skin because if I dished it I would have to take it but I don't know, I still kind of long for that.

I am grateful for the 2-3 relationships I have where this happens.

May you be blessed by honesty in relationships today, even when it stings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Divorcing Your Parents

Let's be clear I am not talking about 16 year olds who think their parents are ruining their life-ah. Actually I am not talking about children at all. I am talking about those of us who have reached adulthood, who have at least one living parent, and maintain some sort of relationship with them.

I will be clear it is not a bad thing to be close to your mom. It is normal to seek your dad's approval. Sometimes though it becomes unhealthy. It is not normal for a mom to want to control every decision her 23 year old makes. By 30 your parents shouldn't be making any decisions for you or with you. Sure seek their advice and opinion if it is important to you, but ultimately you have to make the decisions.

Recently I have encountered several people who are adult children dealing with issues with their parents. Way more people than you would think one would encounter, more than five people. All of their respective issues are different. Many I can relate to, many I can not. One such person I am married to. He recently had to make some tough decisions about his family. The same is true of me, over the years I have had to make some tough decisions about family. I only have one parent so maybe it is a little less complicated for me. I do however make up for lack of plural parenting in siblings. What I am saying here is I am not merely writing about an idea, I am writing from experience.

I swear if I hear one more time, I can't do that because my mom, my dad or my parents, wouldn't approve, would freak out or wouldn't let me, from an adult child, I might flip my lid! Secondly, your parents (or anyone for that matter) can only continually hurt you if you allow them to. Those are some hard words to swallow but they are true. I need to repeat them to myself often.

Here is what I am thinking, at some point we all need to divorce our parents, emotionally. At some point in growing up we realize our parents aren't perfect. We tend to over look that. At some point though we also have to emotionally detach ourselves. This doesn't mean never talking to them again unless maybe the situation requires it. Parents if you have done your job you have raised a fairly well adjusted responsible being whom you have taught to make good decisions. Trust that those decisions are good and let your little birds spread their wings and fly, especially if they are in their late 20s or early 30s!

Adult children, you are a grown up. You can in fact function with out your parents. Your parents might not be ready for it, but you can tell them how you honestly feel. It doesn't mean you will get the results you want. They may shun you or shut you out or claim your spouse is mind controlling you. They may not actually hear a word you are saying, they may cry foul and hurt. However you can't let them continually hurt you.

You also can not let your parents control you or your family. Some times parents are so over involved that they try to control your friends. I recently had a parent that was not my own try to guilt me into killing my dreams, living here for ever and staying close to the people I already know. Now I know this parent was speaking from their own fear and maybe feeling a little protective of their own adult child. I was a little appalled though. I answered very clearly that I did not feel guilty for leaving and that I was making decisions that were going to help my family, meaning Paul, Lilia and I. I would miss people terribly but I will not feel guilty because I am leaving people I love. I would hope that just about anyone would leave us in a heart beat to pursue their dreams and make choices that will help their family thrive.

Here's my point it isn't easy, ever. At some point though you have got to stand up to your parents and hold your own. This is something I wish I had learned a little sooner. It worked out well for me, for the most part. I still have my moments. However I can make my own decisions and live my own life on my terms.

Today I am grateful for rocky territory gone by and the wisdom to know that any new such places will provide growth and be passable.

May you be blessed with being heard by your parents and having a healthy two way relationship.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Financial Ethics for Pastors?

Over the weekend I had a conversation with someone who goes to a church in the same denomination as I do. Frustration was expressed about the pastor flaunting wealth. The pastor in question apparently takes trips all over the world, belongs to an exclusive fitness club frequents Starbucks and generally lives well. The frustration wasn't because this person could afford to live like this but rather how it was regularly spoken about in church. A congregation where many of the members who give to the church can't afford those sorts of things. I will point out that I don't know what is going on here for sure, I heard just a singular account of the life of this congregation. It peaked my interest though. It made me ask myself a lot of questions. I have always struggled with what is an appropriate sign of wealth for clergy. So what is ok?

Honestly my studies will prepare me to be a pastor if I so choose. The jury is out on that, but I will let you know. I am not going to lie, it is my hope that when I finish this next degree it will help open doors to a job that offers a stable income, to help bring us to a place in life where we can live more comfortably than we live now. It is not my intention to rake in the dough. I want to get to a place of stability, where we can give our daughter decent opportunities. A place where we can give more to those in need.

I have heard similar things said about the Pastor of my own church. However, I happen to be friends with with that Pastor. I think every Pastor has an inner circle with in their congregations membership. It's human nature, so in my case, I am very comfortable saying I am a part of the inner circle. Which is a first for me. So here is the flip side. I saw how the very nice house started out. It wasn't pretty, it was practical. It became beautiful with a lot of hard work over the course of several years. I share all that because I want to show the whole picture, if I hadn't seen the house evolve I might be tempted to pass judgement.

All that being said, I know of a lot of pastor folk, who live very well. Considering the pastoral life style myself, I am left with two questions:

1. What level of wealth is ok? Is there any level that is ok? Meaning should you starve in poverty?

2. Is it appropriate to regularly talk about your life which easily shows your life style, in a congregation where not everyone can afford to live as you do?

Bonus: What does it mean that we live in a culture where Pastor's can frequent Starbucks, travel abroad, buy nice cars, and new toys? If we live this way, is it ok to ask our Pastor's not to? What of the people who can't live that way? Lastly, what about what Jesus has to say about wealth?

If you think those are a lot of questions, you should have heard them pouring through my head in church on Sunday. It is an avalanche, if Pastors should have no sign of wealth, what about churches? Why are there names on our fancy stained glass windows? Why did we need fancy windows in the first place? Who are the people that put their names there?

I wish I could be interested in a field where I didn't have to ask about the ethics of money. I guess all these questions are just preparing me for what lies ahead.

Today I am grateful for all my questions.
May you be bless with some of your own questions.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Depressed

This week as I was out side in the back yard playing with Lilia and Trinity. All I could think was I am taking them away from one of their favorite things. I felt incredibly guilty for taking them away from their yard. Almost so much so that I want to put the kibosh on the whole dam thing.

Then my mother started giving me a hard time about two things involving my-week-before-we-leave-birthday-bash-for-our-soon-to-be-two-year-old. She wants to sell our lawn furniture before then. Um no. We live at the corner of Grand Central Station and Penn Station... we can sell them five minutes after the party. The second was when I said I planned on sequestering the smokers to a far patio in the yard. She flipped out it's my house you can't do that. I said it' my kid's lungs you can go out that day. I know I am the uptight bitch about all this stuff. I was forced to live in a house full of smoke and a car full of smoke with the window cracked if we were lucky. The smoke still builds up even outside when you have ten people chain smoking. It builds up with one person smoking. Then I got heckled by her boyfriend-who-has-no-business-asking about-my-stuff-in-her-house because Paul left tools on a work bench that he saw in December. I am totally dreading her arrival home. I don't think it is going to help at all. Also if these party shenanigans keep up I am going to either cancel it or have it at the freaking park or church and forget to invite all our blood relatives!

Next up peas. I freaking hate peas. You couldn't pay me to eat them, well maybe a couple thousand dollars and I would consider it. Paul also is not a fan of the pea. Lilia didn't like them when she was little. However in an attempt to woo her back into eating vegetables, I bought some. Tonight it worked she ate a ton of peas. However, it sent me flashing back to the time I went to visit my father in the nursing home and they had given him a fork to eat peas for dinner. He was legally blind, wheel chair bound and had very little strength in his hands. Why the hell would they have given him peas to feed himself? I showed up, happened upon the situation and fed him the peas. I also brought him meals he could easily fill up on and feed himself once a week. Food from the outside like Burger King, Pizza and sometimes iced cream. That way my seventeen year old self knew that he had a good meal at least once a week. Well good in the sense that he could get it into his mouth. What a miserable existence, left to die in a nursing home being force fed nasty food. He wasn't the same after the coma, but his long term memory was fine. So he sat there knowing full well what he was missing out side those miserable places. With the emotional capacity of a 12 year old. It must have been living fucking hell. He longed to be with his family, who never came to see him. Just the site of the peas launched me into remembering all of this and I felt the tears coming as my breath caught in my throat. I willed them away. I hate that he had to live like that more than anything in the world. Currently I hate that seeing my daughter eat freaking peas opened the flood gates to all of that. Now I won't be able to shake it for days. You know him being sick, Dale being sick, Tim being sick, Pop being sick, Grammy being sick... and all but Dale dying. I could handle that, but why did everyone have to throw him away. Why did everyone take the easy route out.... out of frigging sight out of mind. The suffering alone for all that time... that is what gets me every time.

Moving on, as you can see I am not in the best mood. However I was hired to do a first birthday party. I was sitting here working on it tonight. Crafting away making some personalized decorations. I had to pull out some of the stuff from Lilia's first birthday. I swear it feels like that was five minutes ago. Anyhow, I feel like I could have done it so much better, I bought so many store made decorations. I guess I just went with the kind of stuff I wanted as a kid. I have found that I am getting much more creative this time around. All this stuff I am telling you about here in my I-am-so-depressed-I-want-to-cry-myself-to-sleep-but-I-have-more-paper-to-fold-blog, this bothers me the most. I feel like crap I am throwing some other kid a better first birthday than I did my own. WTF? Her party was ok but I feel like I wasn't game on with it. I could have been so much more creative than I was. Maybe it was those glittering "1"s? We all know I can not resist glitter, another one of my very few, typical girl traits. It kind of reminds me of how I felt about my hair and pictures post wedding. Why is it the parties that don't really matter I can get right but the ones that do I can't?

Today I a grateful for the time spent with my dad housing Rodeo Cheese Burgers and Big Macs. Even if it was in a skanky ass nursing home multipurpose room.
May you be blessed with cheap bad for you food and great company to share it with.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Visiting the Easter Bunny

When I was a little girl my Aunt Mur volunteered at the Fire House. We would go and eat breakfast or lunch and visit the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny of course was not the real Easter Bunny, it was an Easter Bunny helper in a costume, just like Santa. The Easter Bunny is way too busy to come all over for pictures. So one year, I am not sure how it happened but my Aunt tells me it involved a bribe with German Chocolate Cake, my dad was to be the Easter Bunny. He was picked of all the people to be the Easter Bunny's Special Helper.

Somehow I knew it was going to be him. Someone must have told me, probably because I was the kid who at 4 years old said that isn't Santa that is Uncle Doc I can see his hair. I would probably have noticed my father missing. So I was keeper of the secret, my dad was the Easter Bunny. I was maybe all of 5. I was never one of those kids who was afraid of the Easter Bunny or Santa. I saw my dad dressed as the Easter Bunny and I freaked out. I was a mellow kid, shy and pretty quiet. I had a full one hysterical fit of crying and sheer terror. I don't remember what it was about my dad in the bunny suit that made me loose my cool but I was so scared that I had to be convinced to go sit on his lap. There is a picture of this somewhere. I should look for it.

Today I was excited to take Lilia to the same Easter Bunny lunch. I find it really cool to do things with her that I can remember doing as a kid. I was very excited to take her. I wasn't sure how she would react to the over sized human like rabbit. She did incredibly well. She was so excited to see the bunny walk by while we were eating. Phew I thought no tears. She was pretty energetic because she had just napped on the way there. After she ate she was running around having a grand old time. I scooped her up and was chatting with my Aunt. I felt my side get warm and thought I need to change her diaper now. Then Paul starts freaking out what is going on. She was still peeing and it was running down her legs and sprinkling all over the floor right next to people eating. There was pee everywhere. So I said Paul clean the floor and I ran off to the ladies room to change her. All of her clothes save her t-shirt were wet. I had to change her into a jogging suit that was in the diaper bag. It took a while but I got her all cleaned up and headed out to the party. My shirt still visibly soaked in pee. The kicker, the diaper was still on and secured. How this happened is beyond me. I am just glad she didn't let it go on the bunny!

We got a fantastic picture of her with the Bunny in her little jogging suit.

I guess the truth is we can't go to an event like this with out one of us making it extra memorable.

Today I am grateful for time shared with Lilia, especially when our activities are ones I once enjoyed.

May you be blessed by a little pee pee shower of your own!

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Love

When you have been with someone as long as Paul and I have been together it is really easy to over look the little things you love about each other, at least this is true for me.

Today while in the throws of planning a birthday bash right before we move, I learned that two of our favorite little people wouldn't be able to make it that weekend. So I told him I don't want to upset the kids maybe we should move the date. With out skipping a beat, he said of course you have to move the date, we can't have it with out them. They really love her. They need to be here.

I was blown away. Paul has a huge heart. Since becoming a dad he wants to save all sorts of children. I have always known he has a huge heart. In that moment though I was highly impressed because he had a strong opinion on something that I didn't think he would. That opinion was straight from his heart. So there was this little twinkle of recognition...this is why you are with this man. He loves your family as much as you do. He wants them to feel included and loved.

Do I even have to say it?
Today I am grateful for Paul and this sparkling moment of recognition.
May you be blessed by some deep compassionate love.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Does God Care?

I have been reading a lot lately. I am not sure if this is preparing myself for the reading assignments that are awaiting me in just a few short months or if there is just an abundance of good reading out there right now.

As I read mostly about God and theology, I have been left wondering. Does God care who we have sex with? There is so much debate out there about who is in and who is out because of who they get it on with. There are those of us that say, hey God made you and you are just fine by me, then there are those who say you need to be cured. I wonder though if sometimes if we ascribe our caring to God as God's own?

Look around you at the world. There are children suffering terribly from hunger, poverty, unmet medical needs and horrific abuse. There are women sold into the sex trade. There are people tricked into slavery. The are young men and women the world over fighting in wars. There are the sick. The dying. Those suffering because of natural disasters like Japan who just this morning suffered another earth quake while the recovery from the last one is barely started. Genocide.

So I ask you again, do you really think God takes time everyday to look at who is sleeping with who?

I don't mean this to be God says go have an orgy. I really believe we are called to live morally. I just wonder sometimes how it is we as human get stuck on an "issue" like homosexuality, which really isn't an issue at all. Shouldn't we leave God to the judging? I am sure with all that is going on in the world, that God has a pretty full plate. At the end of the day I think we humans get caught up on the wrong things and then somehow we believe that God is hung up on the same exact thing as us.

It just doesn't make sense to me. I am sure there is something that I am caught up on that I ascribe to God that isn't God's at all. I think we all do.

This just really started bubbling up. I don't know why, so stay tuned.

Today I am grateful to be able to see that my side isn't always God's side or the right side.
May you be blessed today with some sort of revelation of self.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leap. Of. Faith.

I am a planner by nature. It is just how I am. It is how I have always been. Even as a child I was planning well into the future. I spend months planning parties for my loved ones. I plan for holidays. I plan for trips. I plan events. I plan well in advance usually with lots of lists. I can say this for my planning neurosis, it helps when game day arrives. My planning ahead has made many a camping trips run smoothly. It has helped me maintain a very small budget for events. Planning ahead helps me shop around and get the best price. I have a decent imagination too, I tend to dream big way out of any budget I will ever lay my hands on. It usually inspires me to find a way to have my big ideas and stay on budget. I like lists. I like big ideas. I like dreams. I like having a plan.

Wedding planning was a breeze for me. Preparing for baby was a little more difficult because you only have an idea of when they will arrive. There is no set date to have all your ducks in a row.

I should tell you also that all the planning and budgeting I do, I am a terrible financial planner. I can stick to a budget but trying to plan finances well into the future blows my mind.

This morning while preparing further for our big move this summer. I wrangled Paul into a kitchen chair and we filled out all the financial forms for school this time around. I sent it off with hope that the news we receive back will be positive. The thing is this paperwork isn't even due until June 15. That means we likely will not hear anything back until we are actually in the process of moving. I have the move pretty much under control. I won't know how it is I am paying for school until we arrive! I have to take a leap of faith on this one. I have to have faith that(WARNING CHEESY CHRISTIAN PLEASANTRY TO FOLLOW) if God brought me to this place God will ultimately get me through this place. It's hard to rely on God, to trust in God and not find yourself drawn to the cheesy sayings you find in sympathy and get well cards.

This whole move though is a leap of faith trusting in God and I guess this is just one more step on the way. Trusting that above all if I am meant to be here, now in this place, that I will find a way to pay for this round of education. I have always managed before.

That has always been my prayer, God I hear you, I will trust you on this, but lead the way, show me because I don't see it.

I prayed that prayer often while going to MSU and preparing for my time at PTS. I still feel the same call if you can believe it, God hasn't given up on using me. Which still surprises me regularly. It's five years later and I still can't shake the seminary bee in my bonnet.

So here I am God, wide open, trusting in ways that are uncomfortable, that this is where I am called. I am following. Show me the way Lord. Show me the way. I am done, for now, with the digging in of my heals.

Today I am grateful for the patience, grace, love and call of God.
May you be blessed by a little bit of at least one of those things as well today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nagging Wild Goose

As you may have already gathered, I have been hemming and hawing over attending the Wild Goose Festival this summer. I have decided to go and not go at least three times. To be honest and I am not sure if this sort of honesty is breaking some sort of code but, personally I have been annoyed by the total lack of response to my two questions I sent. I should say that eventually after complaining on twitter I did get a response to one of my questions. The other I was able to hunt down when there were website changes a few weeks later.

This has kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. It makes me skeptical about what will go on once we get there. Will we be left to fend for ourselves if we have questions? Then I read that the focus would be prison justice. It's not that I don't think this area of justice is important. It is really important. I just don't know if I want to add it to my very full plate right now. I know that is selfish. I know Jesus probably is shaking his head art me because I know better.

Here is the thing that is bugging me. I have pretty much decided against going. It's both a timing and financial decision. Then all at once people start promoting it and I feel like if I don't go I am going to miss something huge. Like I should be there.

I wonder what the divine invitation might be there?

Today I am grateful for all that I have, even my indecisiveness.
May you be blessed with some of your own.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pondering Limits

I found myself this weekend wondering if we have limits we are born with. It really is a silly thought but a serious question.

When I was a little girl my grandmother would feed me as much ice cream as I wanted anytime after lunch. She would let me have it again after dinner. She would give us huge bowls full. My grandmother really loved ice cream, she grew up during the depression so something like ice cream was a real treat. She made sure though that we had plenty and she wasn't shy about having some either. She ate it nearly every night summer or winter. I stayed with my grandparents a lot while my brother and father were ill. I ate a lot of ice cream in those years.

This weekend I was at an event where we were playing a getting to know you game of sorts. You picked a question out of a bowl and everyone in the group had to answer. I don't know why but recently almost every where I go when we are doing introductions people ask what is your favorite ice cream flavor. Then I have to be to awkward one who says I don't really like ice cream but if I had to pick it would be pumpkin pie or coffee if it isn't the fall. I eat ice cream maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I wonder if maybe in your life time you are born with the ability to enjoy something only so many times. I wonder if I used up all my love for ice cream as a kid? Could it even work like that?

I also find myself wondering frequently if you are only born with so much patience for certain situations. I feel often times like I wasted all my patience for children on other people's children because I really seem to lack it with my own child. I spent no less than 15 years working as a childcare provider. I spent hours patiently dealing with the most difficult of children. Then I also volunteers for years as a youth worker. Which if you have ever worked with teenagers and didn't off yourself, you know takes patience like you wouldn't believe you had. Why is it then that when my baby gets fidgety during a diaper change that I find my patience running short? Seriously did I use them all up?

Lastly, Paul hurt himself this weekend. I had to put my busy weekend plans on hold to take care of him. Something I have done before many times in my life. I have taken care of a higher than average number of sick, dying or injured people in my three decades. There isn't really a situation I haven't seen. I found myself really struggling with it this weekend. I don't think anyone enjoys it but I have always been able to suck it up and do it. This weekend I didn't have the patience I once had. We survived and he is back to doing most things for himself now. I have to wonder again have I used up all my tolerance cards?

What do you think?

Friday, April 1, 2011


Yesterday I encountered three references to dating. One was on a blog, one in a magazine article and one on the radio. Gasp, yes I still listen to the radio! Anyhow this is a pretty ordinary thing to see or hear. Our culture can be a little obsessive about dating and finding "the one". This morning when I looked at said magazine I had this thought, I would be terrible at this thing called dating.

I never really dated. Paul and I started "dating" in high school, which pretty much meant we hung out after school. Sometimes we saw a movie. We almost always paid our own way. We rarely went out to a dinner that didn't involve a drive through. We were after all kids just 16 and 17. I guess we got it right though, because here we are 14 years later.

I have never had to survive a break up. I broke up with someone once but that's it.

I started thinking about how awkward dating would be. Going out with a stranger and trying to impress them. Maybe it's trying to build a connection but it seems like a big game at times. Then who to go out with and where to go and who pays? What if it lasts a while, then you have to decide if you want to have sex with the person. Which in my case might be a bit complicated since my future profession requires stronger than average moral standards.

What about if you aren't interested in the person? You have to let them down. That can't be easy because no one sets out to hurt someone when they agree to dinner. Or at I hope not. What if you get dumped? Is it really devastating? I guess that all depends.

The thing that most blows my mind about it all, is there is a whole period of time where you didn't know this person. You really don't know much of their past. What if they are a stalker? A murderer on the run? How do you know anything they say is true? Paul and I we grew up together, and most people even those from a city like Paul, don't commit major crimes at age 11.

I mean I know that dating is doable and I am sure enjoyable.

The whole concept to me though seems foreign. I guess that just shows where I have been. What my life experience has taught me.

You had to see this coming, today I am grateful that I am married, to someone with whom I share so much history.
May you be blessed with a good date with your spouse or other wise this weekend.