Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I added a new picture gadget to my blog design. I may change it periodically, or I may not - I haven't decided yet. But I have to say, the moment I saw the picture of Jesus holding the child, it struck a deep chord in me. I've looked and looked for a place to buy a print of it, but to no avail, so it seems, for now anyways, that I will have to enjoy it here, on my blog. My reaction to the picture was based upon a number of things. First of all, Jesus looks exactly how I picture him in my mind - gentle but strong. Sometimes I think the masters painted him to look too gentle and frail, as if the slightest wind could knock him over. That, to me anyways, doesn't jive with Christ the teacher, rebuker, and, let's not forget, the Christ filled with righteous anger at the temple moneychangers. Secondly, there's a child in the picture - and not some idealized, blonde ringleted toddler. It looks as real as any child. My favorite part of the picture is the way in which Jesus is holding her - it has a very deep personal meaning to me. Every night since Cecily was an itty-bitty baby, I have held her and "danced" with her in her room. She has a Sleeping Beauty clock radio that plays a portion of the Sleeping Beauty Waltz. She always reminds me that we need to dance, and she lays her head gently on my shoulder EVERY time. Sometimes we sing the song together, sometimes we just sway to the music. It is absolute, pure love. Thinking of Jesus loving each of my children, and James and I, THAT much (and more) each and every day is the most comforting thing I can think of, ever. It is more powerful than any storm, any doubt.
Friday, February 24, 2012
I don't usually have the television on when I'm working on the computer, but, for some reason today, I decided to turn it on. Instead of turning it to the Top Hits type station I usually have it on, I turned it to The Spirit, a Christian radio station. Despite being engrossed in my work, the words of this song managed to catch my ear and I had to stop and give full attention to it. And, one of the wonderful things about the internet - I was able to find it on YouTube and share it here. I love the message and it resonates so deeply with me, as the classic stubborn Christian who had to be torn down to be rebuilt in Christ.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
James and I have been staying up so late, that we are later getting up in the morning than we like, which means we do our Bible reading with the kids around (sometimes I think that's good, but sometimes it can make it hard to focus). This is a habit that's SO hard to get out of, with James working at night. Yesterday, for example, he left the house at 7:30am, came home for a 30 minute lunch, and then came home for about 30 minutes before leaving for Outback at 5:45 and being at work until 10:30. When he gets home we have stuff that needs to get done, and before we know it, it's midnight. Being gazelle intense is tiring! But, we are being faithful, and I know that God will (and does) reward our efforts!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding swell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. Destruction and Death say, 'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.' God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord -- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'"
How comforting to be able to place my fears, worries, confusions, and doubts (and I'm a very doubting, analytical, look-at-it-from-all-perspectives type of woman) in God and know that wisdom is as simple as fearing the Lord and shunning evil. I can do that! Or at least I can try hard to, every day, and know that the rest is covered by grace.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Now, on to my post - my Dad called back in January to tell me that an invitation to my Mom's Surprise 50th birthday party was in the mail. He just wanted to make sure I didn't spill the beans (my Dad has such confidence in my reading comprehension skills, eh? just kiddin', Dad). But that immediately started the wheels churning. What if I actually DID show up? I called my brother, Troy, who was in charge of accepting RSVPs and asked him, on a whim, if he would be able to pick me up if I flew in on the day of the party. At that point I still didn't think it would actually happen, but it was fun to romanticize about it. I didn't speak to him about it for several more weeks, but I did broach the subject with James and cursorily looked at the cost of plane tickets. Finally, as the 21 day purchase window (where airfares are generally at their cheapest) loomed, with James' okay, I did it. I purchased the plane ticket! I decided to bring Elle with me, since she's still free as a lap traveller. Troy and his wife Becky agreed to pick me up at the airport on Friday, and all that was left to do was wait. It was SO hard, too, because I talk to my Mom quite frequently on the phone and it's tempting to just let little things slip, like why I knew what the weather was supposed to be like that weekend, and why she hadn't received her birthday cards in the mail yet. But we managed, and with a bit of trepidation (plane rides with infants/toddlers might qualify as a special representative of hell on earth) Elle, James, and I woke up at 3:50 so that we could make it to the airport in time for our 5:30 am flight on Friday, the 10th (party day). The plane ride to Minneapolis was not fun at all. I don't care to relive that episode ever again. But we arrived safe and sound at the Minneapolis airport and, for the first hour of our layover, at least, Elle charmed her fellow passengers as she played politely on the floor (see the pic above). And then I noticed the tell-tale stain rising above her waistband. I'm thinking "oh no she didn't" while knowing that yes indeed she did. She had a MASSIVE F5 level poop blowout. It was everywhere, and she stunk to high heaven. I managed the diaper change in the airport restroom as best I could (and of course airport restrooms are very busy and the changing table is not hidden in a stall but is right out in the open where everyone can see and smell it. It was so bad, I just kept apologizing to anyone who walked in. I was mortified, but really, what are you going to do? Luckily I had my carry on with me, as I didn't check any luggage, so I was able to change her from her beautiful party outfit into a sleeper. I'm not one of those uber-prepared moms who keep a change of clothes in her diaper bag. I emptied out her ziploc bag of toys and replaced it with the poop-covered clothes, prayed to God that the seal would keep the noxious fumes from overwhelming the plane, and we were back. You know how it us with a blow-out, though, the smell still kind of lingers until they get a complete bath. God took mercy on my fellow travelers though, by ensuring that the seat next to us on the commuter flight to Central Wisconsin was empty (our only empty seat out of four flights).
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Faith is a bit like romantic love. Some days, especially in the very beginning, but even after a long while of being together (if you are blessed with a fine marriage), faith feels like early love. It's all-consuming and exciting. You feel positively lit from within - like a radiant joy inside you that is there for all to see because you couldn't possibly hide it even if you wanted to it. I love that state of luminosity - don't you? I pray often to God to allow me to experience that more frequently. But I wonder if the meat and bones of faith is in the more quotidian days; like the days in your marriage where your love is more an act of conscious will and service than an inspired, exciting wash of emotion. The first blush of love is easy. There's very few people who haven't experienced it, and many people have experienced it multiple times. But carrying on when that feeling is at an ebb is something that a significant number of people have never learned - both in marriage and in faith. It's hard to learn how to do that in marriage, but, for me personally, even harder to be strong in my spiritual walk when I'm feeling anything BUT lit-from-within. As I'm trying to come to terms with a week that started off in luminosity but fizzled into uninspired parenting, housekeeping, and just plain "being", it brings me comfort to think that those types of days are tests that forge my faith and draw me closer to God.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Posted by The Merry Band of Fife at 9:18 AM
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Posted by The Merry Band of Fife at 6:54 PM
How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers!
Anti-child sentiment seems to be running pretty high these days. I think it's mostly a product of our society. Our cultural catchphrase could be "Convenience is King". It seems that nearly everything is being remade to fit more streamlined, efficient models. I could be totally behind that, if the purpose was to get the busywork of our days out of the way and focus on the important things - family togetherness, fostering a sense of community spirit, service, and meditation. But this is convenience for convenience's sake - to make space in our lives for more technology and consumption. But I digress. Children are the ultimate inconveniences, are they not? They take our thoughts and time away from work and entertainment. They have little respect for our schedules, indelicate habits at the most inopportune times (why does there always seem to be a covert poopy diaper operation just as you're trying to head out the door?), are terribly demanding and covetous of our me-time (that phrase drives me absolutely mad, by the way, but that's another blog post) and require a monstrous investment with, at times, questionable returns. It's no wonder, I suppose, that there are a lot of people out there that certainly love their children, but view them more as part of a natural life progression/stage that is to be endured bravely, enjoyed on occasion, and then checked off in life's little checklist - right between "get married" and "professional success!". I want to reject this modern mindset. I want my children to be the flowers in the garden of my life.
Posted by The Merry Band of Fife at 12:05 PM