Friday, February 20, 2009

seven quick takes volume 090220

The double seven edition:  seven days, seven lessons

Friday again already?  Where'd the week go?  Lessee:

Saturday:  Valentine's Day.  Two of three kids low-grade ill.  Cancelled date.

Sunday:  Church.  Congregational meeting.  Something else.  Don't remember what now.

Monday:  Call from preschool mid-morning.  Middle child threw up.  Not as better as we thought.  I do much laundry.  Husband out of town visiting parishioner due for open-heart surgery.

Tuesday:  Oldest is balky about going to school.  Decide to keep her home.  She's not behind.  Then she balks about missing school.  I take her in to school mid-morning.  I get my only work-out of the week.  Husband out of town in stressful presbytery meeting most of the day.  I disinfect house from weekend's bug.

Wednesday:  Oldest is really and truly sick this time.  Stays home.  I pack the truck with cardboard and soup cans drop at the recycling depot.

Thursday:  Husband off to funeral of a different parishioner.  Truck battery won't start.  Deal with AAA.  And the mechanic.  With the truck still packed with recycling.  Husband goes out of town again for post-surgical visit.  Session on anger in parenting class at church proves timely.  I have not managed to keep my temper today.

Friday:  truck back.  Verdict--bent latch in the glove box.  The light wasn't turning off.  That's . . . pathetic.  Bill--$118 for labor.  Ack.  Well, I suppose our mechanic has his taxes to pay too.  Timely call from good friend.  (Exercise--yay!  Okay, didn't expect that to make it in again this week.)  Music lessons.  Over-stressed husband catching whatever the kids have had all week.

Lessons learned this week:
1.  On the P to J scale of the Meyers-Briggs inventory, I knew I was J, but I thought I was less J than that.  I want things decided.  Planned.  I realize that I am not easy-going . . . I just plan a fair amount of flex into a schedule with small kids.  Make no mistake--it's a schedule, and when the chaos passes the allotted amount of flex, I start to freak.
2.  As per the Kevin Leman curriculum we're using for our parenting class:  anger is the response to things not going as I expect.  Wow--that sounds . . . um, selfish.  
3.  When I don't spend time in prayer things go south in a real hurry.  Starting with the length of my fuse.  All that nice stuff I like to think about myself . . . credit where credit's due.  Holy Spirit.  Not me.  I think it's a really good thing God grabbed me early.  I think he needs all the time he can get.
4.  I hadn't realized the degree that I was letting this "getting enough exercise" thing drift off its focus.  It was supposed to be in service to the rest of my life--so that I'd have the strength and health that I need to live the life God's called me to.  Also, an exercise in obedience.  The degree to which I was getting upset about getting my exercise skewed tells me that it's maybe becoming too much of an end in itself.
5.  And that I've been forgetting my early reminders to myself that it's not about results.  My job is to work at it, in obedience, to the best of my ability.  God's job is the results.  Or not.  To keep sane about this thing I need to let the chips fall where they may in terms of results.  Why was I upset about this week?  Because I've been excited to see a little in the way of actual results and don't want to lose it.  I forgot that though this week screwed up my plans, it didn't screw up God's . . . and the results are not mine to control or own.  
6.  Prayer.  The results are not ours to control or own.  
7.  Chocolate malts are one of God's great blessings in life.

7 quick takes is hosted by Jennifer at Conversion Diary.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

7 quick takes, volume 021309

The "post length comments I could have left on other people's blogs edition, or the "How easy is it to spend an entire Friday reading the 7 quick takes round up?"

1.  one of the best Valentine's Days dinners my husband and I ever had was February 12th.  Like this year, the 14th was a Saturday and you just know that the restaurants were going to be nuts Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We were living in Vancouver, BC, a great foodie town.  Thursday I had just a rotten day at work, don't remember why now.  My husband took one look at me and told me we were going out.  We headed up into downtown and landed at this incredible Tuscan place on the water--and had the entire restaurant to ourselves.  Okay, so maybe three other couples came through in the course of our entire dinner.  But we had it all--perfect atmosphere?  Check.  Best table next to the window over the water?  Check.  Head waiter with nothing to do, in a good mood, cracking jokes and educating us about the menu?  Check.  And oh, yeah.  This incredible crusted free-range chicken that I still remember as the best chicken I've ever eaten anywhere?  Yeah.   Jen's #7

2.  Things that should always get cleared from pockets before doing the laundry:  Kleenex, thumb drives, crayons, pay checks, earrings, handfuls of driveway gravel (courtesy the rock-obsessed toddler).  
Lerin, #7

3.  The "
Why I love My Husband" Edition--what a great idea!  Why I love my husband:  he's endlessly encouraging and appreciative of whatever I'm putting my hand to, and endlessly encouraging about the fact that life is in process.  If I've managed to clean, he appreciates it.  If I haven't, he rolls with it.  Whatever I cook, he loves it (even if he doesn't love the new recipe, he loves trying new foods, so he loves that I made something new--and only the ones he actually likes get repeat appearances).  And if I all of a sudden realize that it's 5:15 and I haven't gotten any farther with dinner than having a package of still-frozen meat sitting on the counter, and all that I want for dinner anyway is a chocolate milkshake, he's happy to go out for hamburgers and milkshakes.

4.  I've seen several people noting that today is a Friday the 13th.  I've always had good associations with these--my parents got married on a Friday the 13th in 1969.  They're coming up on 40 years this year.  Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

5.  I sort of wish that there was some Protestant equivalent of Daily Mass.  

6.  Project for this week:  taxes.  I'm somewhat inspired and somewhat initimidated by all those people bragging about how they've finished theirs already.  And I know that doing them won't be all that bad once I get started . . . but like a lot of other things, it hasn't happened this week.  It seems that I've got the mental/emotional energy to deal with one or two out-of-the-ordinary things in my week.  This week, it was a weekend road trip and getting the truck in to get checked against a recall notice.  Next week, maybe it'll be taxes.  And working on getting music practice integrated in as one of the ordinary things that I don't need to think about.  I think I need routine more than my kids do.

7.  and now for something different . . . have I mentioned the
lolcats Bible translation project here before?  I'm quite sure the whole thing is seriously sputten, but it does have this--it can surprise you into paying attention to passage that you may have heard so many times before that you've paying attention to what it actually says.  So in honor of Valentine's day, take a look at the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.   Nao faithz an hoepz an luvz r hear, theses threes, but teh bestest iz teh luv. srsly.

Oh, yeah.  7 quick takes is posted by Jen at Conversion Diary.

Friday, February 6, 2009

child in sweater

our first girl in a sweater and hat knitted for her by a dear friend.  picture posted in response to the question:  what do you knit for a new mom who's not into "girly" stuff herself.  Answer:  this.  Love it.  Unfortunately, I believe our friend got the pattern from a library book and I've never knitted myself, so I have no idea where to track down the pattern . . .

Sunday, February 1, 2009

coagulation of ideas--on not micro-managing our children

did you ever notice how much God just lets us do?  I was thinking about this the other day when I decided to let my five year old mop my kitchen floor for me.  Not have her help me do it.  Not stand over her and direct her how to do it.  Get her the bucket and rag and just let her go at it and see what happened.  

What happened was that she did a good job.  She didn't get the floor as clean as I would have, but it was a lot cleaner that it had been when she started.  Because while I could have done a better job myself, the truth was that I wasn't going to.  Not that afternoon.  I was in the middle of several other things.  It got me thinking about just how much I micro-manage my kids.  How much I want the "right" results.  How much I supervise and direct . . . and how un-God-like that is.

God just lets us do stuff.  The whole world is his a whole lot more than my house is mine--and he simply lets us re-decorate.  Stickers on the wall, climb over the furniture.  Rearrange for the game.  Do all of it.  He lets us fight with our brothers and sisters.  And then, if we ask, he helps us clean up the mess . . . 

the problem of pain is this:  why does God let bad things happen?  I think the answer must be in part, because God lets us make real decisions and take real actions that actually matter.  He lets us explore and experiment and screw up . . . and then forgives us when things inevitably go horribly wrong.  And he doesn't just give this gift to me, or to the people I like.  He gives it to every single one of us--and the results look to us like utter chaos sometimes.  But what he doesn't do is in any way curtail the gift of freedom that he gave us.  He refuses to make us puppets.  He lets our actions have consequences, because without them the world would be a non-sensical farce . . . endings disconnected from the beginning.  

God delights in seeing us grow . . . and it seems that true growth means, sometimes, just finding out with our own two hands what does and doesn't work.  And he seems to mind less than we do mopping up the puddles afterwards.