Friday, October 31, 2014

Well than..

I don't think I've ever gone on record with this. My life is good. So blessed am I, every single day, that I feel like it just cannot last. I think about that a lot.  My brain tells me that bad and good have to be in balance. Probably this is a symptom of some psychosis but a life this good feels like it's bound to be short.

On a lighter note... is this a pun?
Genesis 26:22
He moved on from there and dug another well. But no one argued about that one. So he named it Rehoboth. He said, "Now the Lord has given us room. Now we will do well in the land."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Girls.

Note: A thirsty camel can drink 30 gallons and there were 10 camels in Abraham's servant's caravan. Rebekah must have been buff.

Genesis 24:19-20
After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll get water for your camels too. I'll keep doing it until they finish drinking." So she quickly emptied her jar into the stone tub. Then she ran back to the well to get more water. She got enough for all of his camels.

...

We were watching a show called Handy Manny and the talking hammer on the show was trying to find his "hammer family". I was cleaning and talking to myself and I said "he wants to hammer his family?"
And Marley turns to me and says, "No. Not the verb hammer. He means the noun."
So matter of fact was she.
Like she wasn't just a tiny baby six short years ago. Like I wasn't just learning about nouns and verbs myself 22 years ago (because I learned it in second grade, not first like her).

I love her!
...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just the five of us (on one mattress)

Frequently when I go out in the company of 2-3 of my children, persons who have only one child will comment about wanting more kids but worrying about the extra work, extra money, not enough time, not enough room, don't want to be outnumbered, or the ever popular fear of returning to the world of diapers.

While lying uncomfortably in my own bed last night something occurred to me.
I never get enough room to sleep in perfect comfort. That's a fact. However, there are several other important facts that accompany this statement that I think people who make statements like those listed above, should know.

1. When I was in high school and had two loving parents paying my bills and providing me with food and a private room and a queen sized pillow top mattress for my exclusive use was the last time I had enough room to sleep in perfect comfort.
2. As soon as I added another person to this arrangement... it was all downhill in the sleep quality department. I'm looking at my husband on this one. But even with the addition of a 6'3" adult man whose oversized uvula and resulting snore-decibals have amazed sleep researchers, I've found sleep comfort. Because, hey, I'm with my loving companion and we enjoy the warmth and secure feelings generated by tandem sleeping.

3. When co-sleeping with a baby (and following all co-sleeping rules as suggested by the Institute for Common Sense) my sleeping body will remain unmoving. No tossing, no turning, no minute movements that would prevent my arms from becoming concrete blocks filled with pins and needles. Is co sleeping comfortable? No. Uh-uh. But I do get more sleep and I like nothing so much as waking up to that little smooshy face.
4. Then I go and add another kid. Then there are more rules from the Institute for Common Sense. Keep the infant and the toddler apart with an implacable yet responsive barrier (re: Me) So now I have the pillow top queen size mattress (that is on the floor to help prevent the problems only gravity can cause) and it's pushed against the wall (see above comment about gravity). So, in this order: wall, infant, mom, toddler (sleeping in whatever orientation makes the least sense), and snoring man companion. Happy family.
5. Then those kids grow a little and I have the above layout except add about 70 pounds to the collective and occurring less frequently because occasionally the kids accidentally sleep in their own bed the whole night. Tired mattress, cuddles on demand.
6. But then I add that third kid. The one who tips the scales. Now there is more child than parent in the equation. But, man companion and I shelled out big bucks for a king size mattress. Not a pillow top, but still very nice. So with a new bed we have more resources to throw at the problem. The problem being "where do the 5 of us all sleep when 3 of us desperately want to be laying directly on top of mommy?"

Do I have more room now?  No. Despite the addition of 18 more inches of bed, I am still usually in a body position that looks like a particularly difficult asana at yoga. Example. Last night my infant slept through the night, in her crib. My 6 year old slept on her own (queen sized pillow top) bed all night. My son, post night-terror, landed in the middle of my bed. So? The of us. I should still have about 2.5' all to myself right? Nope.
Wall, body pillow for keeping the baby from hitting the wall when she comes in in the morning to nurse, me, pillow to keep me from getting kicked by the child who spins like a can opener all night, pillow to protect man companion from said child, man companion. And beside the bed, the dog licking himself noisily.

What is the point of this patchwork dissertation of digression and musings?  No matter what resources you have to begin with, you'll use them to make your situation work. And that isn't just having enough, it's thriving. It's success, it's winning, it's overcoming. It is love and it is worth it. Believe you have the wherewithal and you will. If you're a survivor, you'll roll with the punches. ETC!

...
As for the whole hating diapers thing, I can't really help you except to quote Paul Reiser when contemplating the alternatives, "Thank God for diapers."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Journey

Genesis 12:1
The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country and your people. Leave your father's family. Go to the land I will show you.

It's easy to skim through Abram's story. Through the whole chapters dedicated to travel and genealogy. Those parts of the story are the journey and the brain may be tempted to coast as we skim them. We must be careful not to do that with our own lives. We must be present in the everyday grind of logistics and survival. Must not become so focused on a point distant on a map or calender that the path set before us each day by God becomes only a means to an end. It demeans the value of each day, something we can't afford because none of us are promised a tomorrow.

It isn't the way we act at their high school graduation, it's the attitude we have driving them to grade school each morning. It isn't what we feed them for dinner,  it's the spirit with which we offer them food. 

And it's hard. When you're running late, no energy, anxious about something, anxious about everything. Even you have legitimate powerful heaviness on your heart, it's difficult to treat these least of days the way you should. God help us! Jesus have mercy on us.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I hate water.

He's promised us and His other creatures. My jaded, overly processed mind almost fails to appreciate the beauty of this imagery, of the significance of His intent. My immediate reaction is to dismiss this as incidental because of the specificity of the message. But, it is beautiful to know something further of God. This is something He chose to do and then chose to never do again.

Genesis 9:10-11, 13-15
I am making it also with every living thing that was with you in the ark. I am making my covenant with the birds, the livestock and all of the wild animals. I am making it with all of the creatures that came out of the ark with you. I am making it with every living thing on earth.  "Here is my covenant that I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never destroy all life again. A flood will never destroy the earth again."  I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living thing. The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Love

Our family went and visited with Granny and Popop and Aunt Jenny and James. And I am happy to say that when my little overachiever decided that she was going to pull herself up and stand on her own, I wasn't the only one watching. James and Granny saw it too. So, The milestone master continues to run ahead of schedule just to keep me on my toes and watchful for bad bouts of gravity... seriously, not even seven months old and she stood for the first time?! ? !

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

If you can find nothing else to be glad about, just be glad you were not around for Genesis 6.

Genesis 6:5-6 NIVUK
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
...

Lately I've been working on laying out the goings on in book two, working on logos for the business, and working to determine the best possible method to get glitter onto the ceiling in the entryway. Also... I painted Sylvester Stallone on my steps.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Quotable Boy

Me: I love you. I don't know if you remember this but you're very, very special to me.
Solo: I'm still not going to give you my pizza.
...
Solomon (yelling): I love this guacamole!!! Me: Those aren't guacamole.
Solomon: Well what are they?
Me: Olives.
Solomon: Oh yeah.
...
Sage is the fastest learning baby I've ever seen. She sees you eat a pancake on Tuesday and she's a pancake-eating master by Wednesday. ;)
...

I finished doing the first major edit on the first book in the ZipCity series. I'm working on the timeline for the second and third books (by far the hardest part of the process for me). Trying to keep the ideas for the next book series idea at bay.
...
Had an interesting conversation with my mom today. I was trying to decide if it was a big deal if I killed someone... fictionally speaking. Not sure if there's a right answer for that one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Easy

Genesis 3:6 NIVUK
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

It's easy to malign the Hebrews for their whining in the desert, or Samson for his selfish self absorption, or the crowd that cheering sent Jesus to the cross. It's with disapproving self-righteousness I wonder why Eve had so little self control.
But how easy it is to be tempted by something that tastes good, that looks good, that promises me knowledge and status. I choose to eat at restaurants despite the hungry and poor.
I preen before a mirror though vanity and pride will lead to death.
The pseudo tolerance taught to me by my culture sneaks into my life. Teaching that I should deny all religions rather then believe one that may result in the exclusion of others.
Sin is easy. Judging, even easier. God, help me to deny myself both of these in my daily life. Though the flesh is weak and anything that denies self love is out of fashion.

Dave

Psalm 104:2-4, 33-34

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.
I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord .

I don't know for certain if the selection above was written by David. But other psalms that are, always make me feel like I understand David. Made special by God's love and important for the part God empowered him to play. At times brave, at times hiding in fear, painfully honest in one moment, lying the next, off and on in his gratitude for being blessed beyond his own deserving. Persecuted, conniving, poetic, practical, impractical, romantic... this man is us. This man is me. The lover, the murderer, the bold child, the sneaking adult. David always mentions God's creation with awe for the actual creativity of it. The sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, and creatures...
But God help me to not be like David the father of unruly sons.

David is by far one of my favorite people in history. (Samson being probably my least favorite character of the bible, if you were wondering.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Listening skills: nailed it.

Wyatt from PBS show Superwhy says to the television audience, "My name is Wyatt. Now say your name!"
Solomon (who has had practice at this): Solomon!
Katie: Solomon!
Cameron: Solomon!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I ramble

Genesis 3:22
The Lord God said, "The man has become like one of us. He can now tell the difference between good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick fruit from the tree of life and eat it. If he does, he will live forever."

This verse reminds me of a story my sister recently told me about her van full of kids, all playing a rhyming game. Then they started to make up words that rhymed with 'truck'. Which ultimately lead to one of the darlings repeatedly yelling her submission. A word which happens to be considered in polite societies one of the naughtiest of utterances (though she had  innocent intentions.)

She had not known. The sounds she made were only to try to keep with the rules of the game. She was happy. Then one of the worldlier children explained to her she must not use the word because it has negative associations. She discovered her word, while it did rhyme, was certainly not one she should be yelling (particularly right in front of her mother).

I don't think using cuss words is a sin. Possibly rude, possibly ineffectual, at times deeply satisfying, but not a sin. Using them to curse people surely is. My point is just that, like my niece, we discovered our sin in the garden that day. We gained some knowledge, some contextual understanding... and look where it got us.

Not happier certainly.
Should we cling to the possibility that ignorance is bliss?

No. We can't afford to. But should we be prepared for what knowledge brings here on this side of the curse? Yes. You must take care with what your mind consumes. As it says in Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility. So to with knowledge and understanding.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heavenly father


Is this the sort of thing that God delights in? Is it His joy to see the way we experience His creation? To listen to us and hear our ideas? God is worthy of all of our praise.

The Lord God had formed all of the wild animals. He had also formed all of the birds of the air. He had made all of them out of the ground. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give them. And the name the man gave each living creature became its name. Genesis 2:19

Things to come...

Being worked on in the now-present and the then-past for the future.


“Take Woodstock for example.”
“What’s Woodstock?”
“It was a music festival that occurred in North America in 1969. It was meant to promote peace, spread awareness for disparities in social classes and harbor a personal interest for civil rights in young people.”
“That sounds wonderful.”
“That was exactly the problem.”
“How do you mean?”
“Everyone thought it sounded so great that afterward people who heard of it wanted to emulate it. Of course this was impossible and lead to what we now know as the Three Hundred Years Funk, during which, at the best of times, everyone sat around yelling at each other about how interested they were in peace and at the worst of times, worked on developing new weapons to kill each other in order to achieve a more harmonious environment.”
“So what did you do?”
The People’s Collective of Ideas for the Improvement of Things in General for All Peoples headed a small special-interest group to figure out how to resolve the issue. They determined the best way to prevent the Three Hundred Year Funk was not to stop Woodstock from ever happening as that would have resulted in several key persons never being born. Instead they altered the size of the effect the event had.”
“How did they do that?”
“They sent a Future Agent of Past Loss Prevention to assassinate Arnold Skolnick.”
“Who’s Arnold Skolnick?”
“An American artist who was responsible for designing the promotional material for the event. Without his simple yet intriguing design, the event failed to ever gain much momentum. The resulting impact was minimized and so lead only to the persistent personal unrest of the  handful of people who went. Additionally it saved the lives of two entertainers who cancelled their performance when the event failed to draw much of a crowd. A musician named Jimi Hendrix, who enjoyed brief popularity after 1969 but not long after and a hoola hooper enthusiast named Olga Fursted. After the events of Woodstock were adjusted, Olga’s performance ended up being quite a show stealer and attracted the attention of officials, who were then in power in the Middle East. She eventually became one of the wives of the head of the regime. Their resulting married bliss is credited for the peace that region has enjoyed ever since.”

Reflect

Isaiah 43:25
I am the one who wipes out your lawless acts. I do it because of who I am. I will not remember your sins anymore.
...

My house is a germ fest. Bad colds, pink eyes, ear infections, stomach bugs. I really can't help thinking how blessed I am though that this is the sickest I have to see my children. I have not had to watch them waste away or their hair fall out. I pray I never will. God, thank You for our colds! I'm so glad and thankful for healthy kids and healthy parents. Can it get better than that?
...

Book one is finished. Book two has about three chapters completed and an outline in progress. Book three has some dialog and a general concept. The next books are in the works and are currently being brainstormed, and has dialog that has been writing itself.
...

I watched one of my high school best friends celebrate her thirtieth birthday tonight. I was too tired to stay past 11. Twenty year old me would be laughing hysterically at this. I'm not sure what forty year old me would think though. If I knew that I might just have the ultimate answer to the ultimate question.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sage Rage

Me: What's wrong?
Sage: Agggggh! I want to nurse!
Me: So nurse! What's the problem? !
Sage: Agggh! My mouth is doing it wrong!
Me: What? Why?
Sage: Aggggh! This is your fault!
Me: Can I look at your mouth?
Sage: No!
Me: Please?
Sage: No!
Me: Fine. But if you can't latch it's because your mouth and if you don't let me look I can't help.
Sage: Aghhh!

10 seconds of baby yelling pass.

Me: Ok just let me look.
Sage: Agggggggggghhhhhhh!
Me: Eww. You have like half a ream of paper in here.
Sage: Agggghhh!
Me: (removing spitball of epic proportions) Ew there's even more!
Sage: Give that back! That's mine!
Me: No!
Sage: Give it back or I'll never be happy again.
Me: No!
Sage: I'm so mad at... Oh look a toy car...
I want to nurse.
Me: (deep sigh)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Heaven and not yet.

"...don’t count on any remarkable sensations, either at this or your first (or fifty first) Communion. God gives these or not as He pleases. Their presence does not prove that things are especially well, nor their absence that things are wrong. The intention, the obedience, is what matters." -C.S. Lewis
...
I just read a very helpful devotional about when we feel alone or left out. In short, it suggested that when we feel alone to imagine our name written on the door in the place God has prepared for us. That's where I belong.
... 
Lying here, looking out my bedroom window at the night sky. It's mostly cloudy. The sky that can be seen is dark blue almost black. The clouds are a warm gray color with  pale linings. Occasionally lightning flashes but no thunder to mar the peace. It's beautiful. And I wonder how fair, how spectacular must the place be that would keep me from missing this?  But that place is. And there, there will be no night. 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Milestone manners

Me: Goodnight Sage. I love you.
Sage: Oh look! My thumb is in this crib.

*Three hours pass*

Sage: AGGGGGggggHhhhhh! ! !
Me: (entering room) What's wrong?!
Sage: I was asleep and then I sat up.
Me: Ok, but why did you sit up?
Sage: I need to staaaaand!
Me: (holding Sage as she plants her feet into my ribs and makes her spine straight and rigid) Right now? It's bedtime.
Sage: Staaaaaaand!
Me: (holding baby, rocking back and forth, letting her calm down over the course of five or so minutes) There you go. Goodnight little Sage.
Sage: (goes rigid) Staaaaand!

Thirty minutes of rocking pass.

Me: (gets in own bed, baby in tow) Zzzzz
Sage: (props her arms on my body and straightens lower half and sways back and forth). Yay! Stand!

Conquer

Forming habits of behaviors that are healthy for your mind or your soul or your body can be difficult.

If this is something I'm supposed to be doing, why is it so hard? We ask ourselves.

Then:
You stop flossing.
You stay up late every night to do nothing-great on the internet.
You consume social chemicals.
You lapse in reading your bible.
You forget for a time that ketchup really isn't a vegetable.

And then you feel:
Terrible.

Good things can be difficult.
Difficult things can be good.

Sometimes saying goodbye to that thing you think you love is the best possible thing that will happen to you. You have to be willing to accept that there is a future out there, for you, that you cannot imagine and that is still worth discovering.

Faith. Strength. Discipline. Love.
Not easy. Worth it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quotes and moments

For we did learn and achieve something. There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry ‘masculine’ when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them to describe a man’s sensitiveness or tact or tenderness as ‘feminine.’ But also what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human. ‘In the image of God created He them.’ Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes.
-C.S. Lewis after the death of his wife.
....

I think it would be difficult to underestimate the harm potential gossip holds.

James 3:9 NIRV
With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. With our tongues we call down curses on people. We do it even though they have been created to be like God.
...

Driving home from Marley's art class at Uptown Arts I glanced in my rearview while we waited at a traffic light. She was gazing out the window. Half of her face lit with sun. I couldn't look away for a moment. The perfection of her skin, the symmetry of her face, the large interested eyes, the open countenance... amazing. I do not forget that humans are works of art.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sleep. Pray.

He loves me. The one who made me, kept me, allowed me, rescued me, and forgave me. He loves me!

Psalm 139:1-2 NIRV

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me.  You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away.

Ephesians 1:4 NIRV

God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us.
....
....
....
I'm seeking to be faithful in prayer this week. Though even right now, like a bad friend in that dark garden long ago... I'm falling asleep.