Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Snow Day

After a quiet and snow-light winter, we are getting our due share. It is something of a record here at my church that we had to cancel some events on Sunday, and now have had to cancel all events for Wednesday. No one can remember that ever happening before. Either we're wimps compared to our forefathers, or it's just bad timing.

It is beautiful out, as long as you're not one of the many in the ditch. People are snuggling in for the night. I'm sure the video rental stores are doing a brisk business. I feel myself growing nostalgic for the snow days of my youth. We'd play and ski, then come in rosy-cheeked to slurp hot chocolate and snuggle in blankets. I'm not sure if Mom really liked snow days, but I remember liking having the whole family together on a week day.

I yearn for her hug and smiling eyes right now...I really miss my mom and dad. I'm grateful I still have them, but I wish we could see each other more often. There's a place in the heart that aches a little with time and distance from parents.

I hope snow days will be as magical for my daughter as they were for me. I hope when she is all grown up, she looks at snow and remembers good times with her parents, and will want to give us a ring "just because." That's what I'm going to do right now. Call my parents and tell them that I love them. Just because.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Crayon Dreams


I'm looking at an upside-down paper buried on my desk, with only one corner showing, and on that corner is the word "IMAGINE" in red capitalized letters.

I've been so tired and narrowly focused these past months, that my creativity has been neglected, like the chartreuse (sp?) crayon that gets passed over for the more every-day colors like red, blue or orange. Imagine? What? When? Why? I'm just lucky if I get through all the average everyday stuff, where's room for words like imagine?

Imagine. I look at my daughter's pictures and wonder what she imagined in her mind's eye as she painted.

As she sleeps this night, I think I will take out her crayons and color a picture. And use every color in the bucket.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

All We Need Is...Stuff?!?!

I have too much stuff. Like many, I suffer from stuff-itus. It is spilling out of every drawer, corner and closet in my house and office. How does this happen? When I first got married and moved into a tiny apartment, we had barely enough stuff to fill the place. Now that I have a house five times as big, I can't find room for all the stuff!

Now I know that this is not a new complaint. George Carlin a number of years ago actually did a very funny monologue on this very issue. There are books you can buy that tell you how to un-stuff your life. (Which I find amusing, because then you just have another book to find room for!)

More recently, though, I have felt like I am drowning in stuff. My husband and I keep talking about how we need to sort through everything, but it's one of the last projects we really want to tackle. Why do we allow our spirits, our spaces, our minds, our lives become so over-stuffed with junk? Why is it so important to us to own stuff? What are we teaching our kids? What are we doing to the world?

It's so hard to not be a consumer-driven family. It's hard to be counter-cultural. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be. We need to start somewhere. Tag, you're it!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grumbling at God

Time has come to read the lessons for the upcoming Sunday. Luke 6:17-26 tells me blessed are the poor...the hungry... those who weep... those who are hated.


I've heard these words so many times, but for some reason they're really sticking in my craw this week. Hard to swallow! Luke continues with a list of woes, woe to you who are rich...who are full now...who are laughing now...who are spoken well of. Mhmpf?

My training (what of it I can remember) tells me that this is about the great reversal, that the world as we see it is really upside down, and God through Jesus is trying to turn it right side up. So all hunger, injustice, and suffering will be turned into joy, and all greed and selfishness will be shown for the nasty mucky sinfullness that it is.

OK. So most of my people are not rich, but they're doing really well compared to a lot of the world's population. Almost none of them have had to go hungry, that they can remember. Plenty of them have reasons to weep AND to laugh. Plenty of them know what it means to be hated, but also what it's like to have people speak well of them. So what does the "Sermon on the Plain" have to say to us?

I can tell God is trying to stretch and push me, and all of us, with this one. I can feel the uncomfortable nudging. Poke, poke, poke. Like an annoying brother during a long distance car trip who just can't leave you alone, and you know that you are stuck for several more hours with him. And when you tattle about the poking, you get yelled at for not getting along. "Don't make me come back there!"

Well, I think I need someone to come back here, and help me ask our pestering God what in the world he/she/it/thou wants! 'Cause ignoring it won't make him go away or stop. (My mom always told me to just ignore my brother, if I didn't react, he'd stop bothering me. It didn't work then, and I don't think it will work now either!)

Well, no great insights or answers are appearing at this moment. So I'm going to go for a walk with my husband and daughter, and let things stew. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!