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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, those five...

The five for this week are: Besotted, Eavesdrop, Vein, Receipt, Piecemeal
The style I have chosen for this week: epistle

 Dear Father,


I did not mean to eavesdrop
into your life. The part of
you that you have declared 
is none of my business. I did
not mean to see you
besotted by that which 
you have decided be a permanent
part of your body
moving piecemeal through vein and artery
and soul. Who is in receipt of your
illness? Who bares the guilt and
foots the bill? I'm sorry
that I stood behind the door
watching. Doing nothing.
I should have been in your face.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Review: "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller

If I had to describe "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" in a sentence, I would say that this is a light-hearted, laid-back memoir written to inspire and encourage the twenty-something set filled with modern day proverbs and a refreshing outlook on life. "A Million Miles..." settles comfortably into the time in a person's life between adulthood and childhood, trying to fit in and know that you are okay is hard while it speaks to those of us who have been there and done that, maybe to see where we have been as average, giving us permission to look at our lives and pull out what was really important.


We are bombarded with the inflated images that the media portrays as real, commonplace, and normal. Donald Miller reeks of normalcy that we can see and touch, showing that life is so much more simple and sanguine compared to a movie. He shows the reader the jewels of living. In one chapter Miller describes bonding as something that is made stronger through conflict. And it's not just big pain that binds. It's any sort of conflict. It's any sort of common purpose being arrived at through a tough middle that brings people together.

While reading this book I took time to reflect on my own life and my own writing. ...a story, Miller writes, is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling the people around us what we think is important.

The only negative comment I have about this book is the laid-back tone. It took several chapters for me to get past language that didn't transcend into my age bracket. Maybe I'm just getting older...

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this easy read. Miller gets five stars from me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Am I THAT Woman?


As we studied, yesterday, the Proverbs 31 woman...you remember her-- the Virtuous Woman, the perfect woman... I started to self-analyze. Maybe reflecting on the things that I do. The things that I say. Because, I have tried to measure up to her. The woman that I saw in my own grandmother. Cooking and cleaning and sewing, mending, caring for her children and her husband, serving in the church, hot meals and clean restrooms, teaching Sunday School and carting children, her own grandchildren, and others' to and from. She prayed with the women and sat on the front row. She affirmed the Pastor's words with her own, shaking her handkerchief at him with a little hoot or howl and a hearty AMEN! 

I recognized my own attempts to be all things to all people. Maybe because I thought that was what grandma did, certainly because I thought that's what that Proverbs 31 woman did. Everyone that touched me, I vowed would be affected by me. I would spread God's love through my actions. Then someone would be guilty of some transgression against me and I would lash out and forget who and what I was but I would assuredly be redeemed through my actions. Right?

But it was yesterday or maybe the day before in preparation for the lesson that I heard God's voice explain to me that it is not the actions of that woman that I am to emulate, it is the heart and the spirit and the attitude of that woman that I should hold in deference. I need a mind of servitude and a heart for it. I should do because that is who I am, not because that is how I think I should be. So, with a different outlook I took on the day. Serving, as my heart sings, my husband and my children. Serving not out of obligation or title, but simply out of love. Out of Love


What a revelation to understand that He did, not because of who He is, but because of who I am, and His love for little ol' me!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Revelations

This is what I have learned this week:

1. Rest and sleep are NOT synonomous

2. If I neglect my vegetable garden it will surely die...quickly; my rosebush will thrive on ongoing abuse and produce more robust flowers

3. Sweating is most profuse when you straighten your hair

4. The savings you realize while shopping at a discount store is thwarted by the anxiety of bagging your own groceries while the checker and other customers wait for you to clear the conveyor belt

5. Six year old flag football boys do not understand how to bust THROUGH the half-time banner

6. Kindergarteners and First Graders NEED a snack EVERY day!!!

7. Kindergarteners and First Graders NEED a nap EVERY day!!!

8. Interpreting toddler's wants is the first line of defense against screaming

9. Moms don't get vacation weeks

10. When someone notices that you've lost some weight, your response should be "thanks, I've been working out", not a crazed "oh yeah, all I've eaten today is Teddy Grahams and a juice box"

Friday, September 18, 2009

5 words and a villanelle

Looking Back (a villanelle)

It was their past that would foreshadow their future.
Gazing into each others eyes
they knew they survived in spite of an ominous history.

The pain at times was just too much.
Lives relived through a series of deja vu.
It was their past that would foreshadow their future,

but they hadn't realized it then.
So they grasped at any hint of spontaneity in all that they did.
They knew they survived in spite of an ominous history.

At times she would look away,
avert her eyes as if he were simply the next door neighbor, but
it was their past that would foreshadow their future,

and he lived it as such. His pilgrimage to town for work each day
and home each evening to dine like strangers.
They knew they survived in spite of an ominous history,

each one afraid to change what had become of them.
It was their past that would foreshadow their future;
they knew they survived in spite of an ominous history.

(This is my entry for this weeks 5 Word Challenge from upsidedownbee.blogspot.com. I decided to pump it up a notch by using the poetic form villanelle.   The five words for this week are: Ominous, Pilgrims, Neighbor, Spontaneity, and Foreshadow.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm not going to make pancakes this morning

I'm not going to make pancakes or oatmeal or fluffy scrambled eggs.I don't want to wash dishes or fold laundry.

It is three minutes to six and the week has been crazy, the house is looking crazy, I am feeling crazy. I woke the kids already but they must have put me on snooze. I would wait until the very last minute and make them run around like maniacs, but they won't. They only have one speed--I'm coming. It doesn't matter if we are early or running late. I threaten and hollar, but the result is still the same--I'm coming. So in response, I'm pouring bowls of cold cereal and the dishes and laundry will just have to wait.

I think I'll fix myself a cup of coffee.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's Goin' On?


I notice around me-- everything marked with a nice pink ribbon. We have come to this place where ribbons identify causes, red, blue, pink, rainbow, purple, black, yellow. You know without asking what a person holds dear, what is close to their heart, that "thing" that has impacted their life, or maybe the thing they fear may impact their life. Could be the prerequisite for the mindset to fend off cancer or mental illness. The trophy of overcoming the challenge or the anger with which we accept that which was taken away. The inability to fight with the practical, fighting with dollars, your receipt the symbol that you carry. So that everyone is aware. Lest we forget. And in October, for 30 days we walk and run, we pray and cry, we fight and win and proudly wear our pink ribbons.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Wedding Day

I hadn't considered all the possible circumstances. I hadn't thought it might be over 100 degrees outside that day. Sweating profusely through layers of lotions, baby powder and taffeta I peeled locks of hair from my face. I stood as gracefully as one could with perspiration dripping down the backs of my knees. The minister paused as a zephyr floated overhead, snickers and laughter rising from overheated guests. I closed my eyes and reminisced of the long engagement; "time enough to plan a grand gala on the beach," I had boasted. But the day had come with a fury unknown to this part of the country. "A heat wave, out of season," the newscaster declared. I glanced across at my poor mother, trying to make the best of the situation. One of the ushers brought her a glass of water. Listening to the hum of the blimp overhead I watched condensation drip little round stains on my mother's silk dress.

(Here's the words: Graceful Engagement Zephyr Profusely Condensation)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sometimes

Sometimes, I am learning,
you have to step away from
those things that bring you comfort.
You have to move yourself into
a circle of people
who you don't know
and you appear invisible to.
And you have to raise your voice
because,
really,
what you have to say
is just that important.
It is just that urgent,
that if you don't...
your comfort zone will become
very uncomfortable.