Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I submitted another story for consideration in the myriad of Chicken Soup books. That makes four in less than a week. And this one I got in just under the wire. Submission in no way means acceptance, but writing ANYTHING these days is a big deal for me. To write four stories, good or bad, is huge.
I actually feel sorry for my stupid cat. I think she was traumatized. The good news is the vet said they don't need to see her for another year. I'll be sure to budget her in with the GNP of a small country for 2010.
I'm having fun with my Strep-y kid. If I didn't actually have to teach him anything, I'd keep him home for school. However, once I try to bring out the books, I know his surly twin brother will show his face. I guess I'll keep sending him off to his teacher (to whom I had to confess that she knew him better than I since I thought he was faking).
Now, I'm off to do my study on Corinthians II. Only six days late. But I'll finish, yes I will.
Monday, March 30, 2009
In my grand process of decluttering I generally start with toys, work my way though kids clothes and adult clothes (isn't it nice how much more objective you can be with your spouses wardrobe than your own?). I usually try on books and make it through about three shelves before I give up and just buy another bookcase. I've rid my kitchen on nearly every unnecessary gadget I can part with (contrary to popular belief the strawberry huller is a necessity).
But my latest cause has been my spiritual life. What God really wants from me. How I should be serving him. What is a calling and what is filling a man-made role. I just want to obey, ya know? And somehow my faith became religion and it frustrates me. And working at it just makes it more complicated. So when I got the chance to read Clutter-Free Christianity, I jumped at it.
Here's how the back cover opens:
"Your greatest desire is to please God, but with each passing week, your spiritual to-do list grows longer. As you strive to fulfill a never-ending inventory of requirements for being a godly parent, spouse, voter, employee, and more, you feel increasingly disconnected from the God you're trying to serve.
When did the Christian life become so complicated?"
I'm still a work in progress, but at least I'm a work in progress. It's better than being the room that Abba walks by as fast as he can and tries not to think about.
What? That's just me?
Fess up. Now you want to read it too, dontcha? Well, here tis.
Nonny's trip to the vet: $389. Including the very comforting call that she made it through her surgery "beautifully."
The fact that the mommy guilt runs high this afternoon because I was certain he was faking is a whole nuther post.
(Someone out there, not naming names, will think this is passive-aggressive hinting. It isn't. It is complaining. Pure and simple.)
Husky Pants: Target put their Cherokee dress pants on sale this week for $10. I go to the store to buy pants for my child that needs a 6 waist and a ten length. That, my friends, is a 10 Slim. Since the Cherokee have adjustable waistbands, a 10 Reg would work, not well, but it would work. What do they have? HUSKY. Husky, Husky, H-flipping-usky. Not just in the 10s. Oh, no. Six all the way up to 18.
Yes, I know, America has gotten fat, and if I don't live in the fattest city in America, I'm sure I live in the top 10 because the papers are always telling me so, but for crying out loud, carry SOME-THING for the slim people to wear, ya know? We're talking about an eight year old boy here. Don't most eight year old boys still run and play?
Easter clothes: Call me crazy, but didn't people used to wear pastels for Easter? Isn't that part of the reason for wearing white shoes on Easter? WHY, I ask you, WHY can I not find something SPRINGY to wear for Easter for my family? Princess I can find. She is a seven year old little girl. They still make a few spring-y dresses (not many, but a few) for a seven year old little girl. But what about the mama? She wants to match me on Easter and I can find is freaking black and white or navy and white or green and brown (the closest thing I can find to an Easter color and Princess thinks green and brown is "not so much").
I'm not even asking for pastel. I'm not. But royal blue, red, black, they don't count. Not on my boys, not on me. The one ALMOST Eastery color I found was Aqua. Two XS and one XXL. My boys are medium. Wanna guess why they don't have any mediums? PROBABLY BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY REMOTELY EASTER COLOR THEY CARRY and I'm not the only freakish one to believe that.
That Darn Cat: Let me just lay it on the line here: the $90 the animal shelter wants for you to adopt a cat. BARGAIN. It's a STEAL! PAY UP! DON'T TAKE IN THE STRAY! YOU WILL PAY MORE FOR THAT BLAMIN' CAT THAN YOU PAY OUT FOR MEDICAL CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN. Not only that, the people at the clinic act like the stray cat is part of the family. They call you to let you know your cat made it through surgery. They take blood to make sure the cat will survive the anesthesia. (Yes, I was heartless and asked, "So what's the worst case scenerio here if we don't take that blood? She dies? Yes, let's skip that test.")
I spent the morning snipping at my kids because I had to get the cat to the stupid vet "between 7:30 and 8:30" no other option. Kids needing to get off to school, be darned. And my kids that can't remember to feed the cat once in a month, fed her this morning when she was supposed to have "no food after midnight." And I shrieked, SHRIEKED people, "NOOOOOOOOOOO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! YOU CAN'T FEED THE CAT!" Freaked out the cat. Freaked out the kids. I'm sure they all think she will die.
The one thing that ALMOST makes this cat worth surviving the stupid surgery is when we left the vet's office without the cat, poor little Charming was crying, "Nonny." Boo-hoo. Darn cat better survive.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
"Yeah?" I looked up from the coupons I was going thorough and smiled at her and realized she was looking at me instead of Charming who kept asking "Ca-Ca?" (cracker).
"Him, or me?" I asked.
"You," she declared incredulously.
Yes, Charming had asked, in a normal, non-whiney kind of way, for crackers ever since he saw the box go on the conveyor. Possibly 25 times. And to each request I responded, "Cracker?" He'd say, "Yeah." I'd say, "In just a minute. After I pay." There would be 2.4 seconds of quiet when he'd again ask, "Cracker?" (wash, rinse, repeat) But there were no theatrics. No crying. No whining. No reaching. Just repeated conversation as if he was saying, "Now?" "How about now?" " Done yet, Mama?" And I was thinking about other things, as moms do, like where-is-that-yoplait-yoghurt-coupon-anyway-must-be-home-on-the-counter-where-all-good-coupons-seem-to-be. And, gee-should-have-picked-up-one-of-those-I-didn't-remember-I-had-that-coupon.
Come on moms, you know you can have intelligible conversations with your toddler without actually paying attention. Fess up.
So she was amazed at my patience in answering the question I wasn't really even listening to.
I told her that he was the patient one. He was asking politely.
I don't think she bought it.
What really gets me on this is how, just minutes before, I was praying, "God, please give me the patience to get through and out of this store before I let loose on one of these people."
The elderly, God love 'em, had taken over Price Chopper and it was busier that it often is on a Saturday. Except it wasn't busy with busy, fast walking moms and their lists. It was congested with slow walking people stopping to read the signs and swerving back and forth across the aisles. I think one of the local assisted living places must have brought a bus. (I'm serious.) And, as I said, love elderly folks, but my rambunctious toddler has a time limit at Price Chopper and we were nearing it. Halting every few steps because there was no way around, over, or through was trying my patience.
And then I got complimented for being patient about something that wasn't bothering me a bit.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I woke to remember that I made extra meatballs on Monday.
Where were those meatballs?
In the oven.
Where I left them to brown while I ate supper.
If you see my brain, would you please return it to me?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
My Starbucks card.
"Mmmmmmmmm, Mama! Mmmmmmmm! This!"
That's my boy.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I'd never heard of the book. I didn't know the premise. I knew no-thing. So I had nothing to base any thoughts on, whatsoever. Other than that I basically trust the person who was so offended by the book. As he'd brought it up in a writer's group, there were several opinions thrown around and the gist I got was that The Shack was heresy and I should avoid it at all costs.
You can imagine my surprise, then, when my God-fearing MIL began talking about this book as if it had something of value inside. It didn't drive me to read it, mind you, but it made me take another think.
Fast forward a few more months and who is recommending that I gotta-read-this-book but my youth pastor's wife! I thought, for the love of all things holy, don't the people in my church know better? Heresy!
When the book Finding God In The Shack came up for review I thought it MUST be time for me to explore a bit more.
I have to say, that Mr. Rauser has tipped the scales and I am now officially intrigued. He gives a lot of scriptural references and thought into his book and I'm ready to tackle The Shack, with my reference at the ready.
I'm not saying for sure what my final decision on The Shack will be. That has yet to be determined. But if you are feeling as conflicted as I was regarding it, you might want to read this one first.
The wobble when I walk, the pain in my hip, all those sleepless nights, a dozen or more doctor visits, not knowing what happened to my hip ! It happened, it sure did, and it has been in a painful mist just out of reach in my memory. Wal Mart?? Could it have been Wal Mart??
Memory repression, regression or something like that. But last night it came back to me in a dreadful dream. Real, perhaps - perhaps not, but most likely true when I look in the mirror at that radiant sun rising on my hairless head. Yes, definitely is was Wal Mart. For Sure it was Wal Mart and the little elderly lady with coke bottle glasses walking toward me in the sporting isle with her walker - creaky yes. Deadly - Definitely!
Thinking I heard her speak to me, and being the gentleman I am, I took off my hat before speaking to her, then it happened! When she saw the sun
rising on my head, she thought I was mooning her - Yes Mooning her. Hormones or pure hate - what motivated her. Doesn't matter really.
Before I could contain my startle reflex, that walker was whamming me from every direction and I was laid out down in the isle screaming for mercy, and trying to grow an emergence head of hair - all to no avail.
The next split second she had a baseball bat off the rack and was walloping my hip. Yes my hip - over and over and over. As the security forces pulled her off of me I mercifully went dark - very dark. But I did hear them saying I would be bared from Wal Mart for LIFE _ or perhaps longer. They didn't need sunbeams insulting their clientele.
Needless to say, I have not been the same ever since. Mercifully, I can't remember when since was, I only know my hip hurts. Plus, I'm grateful she didn't see the golf putters with those long grips. She might be mostly blind, but I'm guessing she would have found a place to put the putter. O Lord, it's getting dark again.
There I was, overnighting in an airport for some unknown reason, finding myself going to an unknown church and who is up on the stage but Mrs. Lemon leading worship. We both figured it out at the same time and she stops worship to introduce me. And then later totally doesn't understand why I would want a photo of the two of us to post on my blog.
Almost makes me feel like a crazy stalker. And I might, if I'd been to ANY blogs in the last week.
Spring Break's a doozy.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I know, I know, I hate doing dishes and it sounds like I'm making excuses, but no, really, it hurts me. If I do them, I'm on the couch for the next hour.
I think I'm too tall for the sink and I have to shlump to do a proper job.
If only Hubs read my blog.
I think, though, that he would tell me that he makes more money doing other things than the dishes than the chiropractor costs.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Swinging a bat.
They are obvious. They are natural. You expect to have trouble with these when you "throw out" your back. Well, not the moles, they are trouble all the time.
What I have noticed is that the poor ole back is underrated. Think about the things you never have associated with your back.
Doing the dishes.
Using the facilities.
Pulling up your pants.
Holding a child on your lap.
Blowing your nose.
Wiping the table after dinner.
Getting the mail
Sorting the mail
answering the mail
paying the bills
rolling over in bed
sitting up in bed
pulling the blankets over oneself in bed
laying a child down in his crib
putting a child on the potty when he is screaming "dee!"
changing a diaper
carrying a glass of ice water while walking across a room
cutting the plastic off your fifth frozen pizza in a week
opening the oven door
looking at the piles of crap all over your floor that you can't pick up and put away
getting up off the floor
sitting in a folding chair
standing to sing a song in church
holding a book to read
pouring milk on cereal
holding a baby
cuddling a child
hugging a spouse
Backs are sorely (no pun intended) underrated.
Please, back, please, return to me.
I've got things to do.
A South African minister from
"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power, my die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of Jesus. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me - my banner will be clear."
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Jill, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Mark and I have been married 25 years and we have five children. Anne is 24 and married to our wonderful son-in-love, Matt. Evan is 21 and married to our beautiful daughter-in-love, Julie. Erica is 18 and a college student at Heartland Community College. Kolya is 15 and in the 8th grade. We adopted Kolya at the age of 9 from Russia---the God story about his adoption is included in the Real Moms…Real Jesus book. And Austin is 12 and in the 7th grade.
Tell us about your newest book Real Moms...Real Jesus?
Real Moms…Real Jesus is a book designed to help moms understand that when Jesus lived on this earth he was fully God, yet fully man. We don’t often think about the fact that he was a human being and he lived the full human experience: pain, hunger, fatigue, frustration, betrayal, disappointment. He experienced it all!
There’s one verse in the Bible about Jesus that simply says “large crowds followed him everywhere he went.” Well, isn’t that the life of a mom? Large crowds follow her to the bathroom. They follow her to the kitchen. To the grocery store. She’s in high demand! And when Jesus lived on this earth, He was in high demand, too.
Why did you want to write this book?
Most of us long for a friend who understands. Yes, we need girlfriends who understand what our life is like. But we also need to understand that we have a friend who understands in Jesus. Too many of us think of God as being distant and unable to relate to our daily struggles. But nothing could be further from the truth! He understands and he wants us to build our friendship with Him. He wants to not only be our Savior, but also our Friend.
What do you hope your readers will gain from this book?
I hope that readers will gain a new perspective about their relationship with Jesus. I also hope to weave God’s truth into the daily life of a mom.
What unique elements will the reader find in Real Moms…Real Jesus?
Each chapter looks at some character trait in Jesus’ life that can help us in our life as a mom. In between the chapters are interactive vignettes that provide brief, refreshing glimpses into our real, messy, busy lives.
There are also questions at the end of the chapter for further consideration and suggested Bible reading in the book of Matthew. If the reader chooses to pursue the suggested reading, she will have read the book of Matthew completely by the end of the book!
There is also a leader’s guide in the back of the book so it can be used in a group setting.
This is a Hearts at Home book. What is Hearts at Home?
Hearts at Home is an organization that encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood. Hearts at Home encourages moms through annual conferences, our extensive website (www.hearts-at-home.org), a free bi-weekly electronic newsletter, a radio program, and an entire line of books designed to meet the needs of moms all over the world!
Any closing thoughts?
I am very excited about this book! I believe that if a mom can strengthen her relationship with Jesus Christ, she will feel more equipped to be the mom she wants to be. I’m also offering an online book discussion on my blog beginning Tuesday, April 7. If you’d like to join us, you can subscribe to my blog at www.jillsavage.org.
I’d love to hear a reader’s thoughts after they read the book, too! You can connect to me through my blog at www.jillsavage.org.
Thanks, Jill, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your real mom, real Jesus moments with us.
You can purchase your own copy of Real Moms…Real Jesus by clicking here.
And be sure to check out Hearts at Home, their conferences for moms, and all their online resources here.
Monday, March 09, 2009
It's hard to believe that it's been TWO YEARS since I was in labor at my own baby shower at Mrs. Nurse Boy's house (I'm so glad I'm not in labor!).
It's true what they say: It goes so fast. And especially so with this one.
I love you little boy.
TWO! Can you believe it?!
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Last week as I was sitting in the airport, delayed for several reasons, I could not conjure up irritation. No one was picking us up from the airport. No children were in my care. We were already scheduled to get in in the middle of the night...what's an extra hour? And I was reading a fascinating book.
You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of
The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched.
The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.
"You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe." He leaned back off the table. "And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work."
As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.
A couple hours later, I finished that one and started in on the sequel, A Day With a Perfect Stranger. How interesting, I thought, to read this book, that takes place in airplanes, while in an airplane. I don't think it was the circumstances alone that made the read so meaningful.
What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself?
When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.
On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.
As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?
David Gregory is the author of the best-selling books Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger, and coauthor of two nonfiction books. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning graduate degrees from The University of North Texas and Dallas Theological Seminary. A native Texan, David now devotes himself to writing full time.
Though both of these books are written from the perspective of agnostics, at best, they really cleared my vision for the first time in a long time. We've made faith so hard. Being a Christian is so HARD sometimes, isn't it? Do this. Don't do that. Talk a certain way. Dress a certain way. Have fun, but not too much fun. This life isn't the one we're after, you know. In all circumstances, smile.
We're so busy doing, we forget the one person this is all about: Jesus.
I strongly urge you to go out and have dinner, or a day with this perfect stranger. You might be surprised how unburdened you feel once you are finished.
My Grandpa is probably on his way to the Kingdom.
Hubs seems to have caught whatever the boys had over the weekend.
My house is trashed.
I have stuff "due."
So....I'll be back when I can get back.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
that Hubs, always trying to sneak in places he doesn't belong...but I think the horse was a bit over the top, even for him.
yes, that sign does say "Bare: Adult Pool Lounge." We still aren't sure if it was clothing optional as the name suggests. We went at night when all was closed. We hope it was a joke because you had to walk past Bare to get to the zoo-like-thing which I assume is for kids as well as adults. Yes, you had to be intentional in looking, but still....
Yes, that is also a Victoria's Secret bag in my hand. I forgot to bring my unmentionables. It was the first store we passed that carried panties for less that $100 per. Nothing kinky. So sorry to disappoint. But is is apropos considering the photo op. Or not, if, say, the pool really was a nudie pool. What would I need with a kinky suit?
Monday, March 02, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
"Oh, gross, Twizzlers."
"At least it landed on the linoleum."
"If I left this for morning, would it be more disgusting, or less?"
"Seriously? It had to drip back here to the toilet paper? It was nearly a full roll! Why can't those kids keep the paper on the wall mount? Hmm, I wonder if the toilet paper will wipe up the puke....nope. What a waste. And they call themselves absorbent."
and then the conversation begins
"Surely, God, there's an easier way to get me to mop the bathroom floor."
Obviously not, Jamie, you had company over tonight and it didn't even push you to get out the broom.
"Too true. Too true."
(What? You're telling me God isn't sarcastic with you?)
And then after I've climbed back into my bed, hoping that sticky wet substance on my feet is Lysol disinfectant wipes and not puke....
"Oh, good grief, I didn't even so much as touch Eldest to console him."
I handed him clean clothes. I handed him a drink. I handed him a bowl to puke in. I did not hug the child.
The guilt, it gets you every time.