Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Weeping is good.  It means I recognize that things are not as they should be... 

Until I own my pain, I will never turn to Christ."

This, is where I am. 

"In the end, peace is not found with solutions or next steps or making and reaching goals or consuming pleasure, peace is found in one place, Christ, and being in Christ's story."

[Follow the link above to listen to Richard's Easter sermon.]

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I am currently scheming as how to never have to grocery shop.  Once a quarter at best.

If all goes well, we'll have fresh produce and dairy delivered to the front door.  We'll have fresh eggs in a few months just outside the kitchen door, thanks to Moe, Maxene, Munk and Mabel. And I'm hoping we'll buy half a cow and freeze it.  With that, all we need to buy is dried goods and we could stock up on those quarterly at Costco.  Oh yeah, we have a Costco card.  Our "other, married half" put us on their membership.  We're basically adults.

Goodbye 5am and 9pm shopping trips. Hello fresh, local food and laziness.

I imagine in this wonderful dream world, I sometimes get up on a Saturday and stroll through the local farmers market for some delicious vegetables, raised with love by the community garden down the street.  But no more lines, no more florescent lights and 90's hit music at ungodly hours.

So far... my plan is not going as well as I intended.  Smith Brothers delivers to "almost all of the Western Washington" - almost, means not Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Laurel Heights, Northgate, or Maple Leaf.  And "Blake the Milkman" who is their independent supplier to these snuffed neighborhoods, only delivers to orphanages and families that apparently consume copious amounts of milk each week.  :/

I will not be defeated. Commence emailing request for "special exceptions" to Milkman Blake. Follow with second personalized phone call.  If needed, make additional promises. I will have my milk delivery.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I grew up with a "teacher" mother as evidenced by the snake skin in a jar kept around the house for years.  A little something along with many other little somethings that I willingly forgot over the past two decades.  Until this morning.  Leaving jobs in our 20's can feel like shedding that layer of skin.  They say snakes shed to allow room for more growth, and to remove parasites.  Both seem oddly consistent with my past experience. (Yes, I guess I just called myself a snake.)

My mom would refer to the snake by name.  In fact, she would refer to his skin in the jar by name. He had shed many memories in our garden over the years. At least, this is how I remember it.  You have to keep in mind I was five when we moved away and left that good friend behind.  I didn't see the jar again either. So perhaps I remember it all wrong.

But this morning, he came to mind. We grow like mad in our 20s, leaving skins in offices, apartments and sometimes relationships. The air around us getting too tight, squeezing us until the time we can crawl out of it.  And it's bitter sweet, leaving a shell of ourselves in each place.  Saying goodbye to a part of who we are, who we've been and accepting the cold air on our new unknown skin.  It is vulnerable just as it is exciting.

I'm feeling squeezed and there will definitely be some fresh skin soon, but right now I'm trying to figure out what to shed.  And how to shed it.  Leaving an environment, closing a door becomes the obvious and easy solution for change and growth for our generation.  We don't like it? We leave it.  But what about when we could change it?  And is everything worth changing? Or are we wasting our youth and energy?

Someone taught me back in college about the truth of trajectory.  It's not about where you are, it's about where you're headed.  Once you grasp that, you realize that every small decision you make in your youth can drastically change where you wake up in your 40s.  Little decisions can be big.  And big decisions can determine a lot more than your salary.

But the whole trajectory truth would be a lot easier if you knew exactly where you wanted to wake up at the end.  You could just work backwards from there.  Some do.  I don't.

Thank God for counsel and wisdom but now, I need increased vision. And vision has to be your own, no one can give you your vision. I have to decide to step one way or the other. And while Mr. Frost would have you believe it's the one path least traveled that bears the reward, he missed the fact that no one else has the two unique paths to choose from that you do. They are both untraveled as of yet.  You choose. It's not least or most, it's left or right.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Endless Years - United Pursuit Band

I will hold you tight
When all is done;
When the world is gone, 
And its songs have been sung. 

You will be with me, 
Through endless years;
We will dance and sing, 
When your heart is fulfilled.

So, don't you close your eyes, 
Don't you lose your way,
Don't you miss all the gifts 
That are unfolding. 

I'm your anchor and shield.  
I'm the wind in your sails.  
I'm the song in your heart
That calms the seas.

Songs don't speak to me as often any more.  Instruments sometimes do.

This one finds just enough words and all enough melody and only enough rhythm to communicate with the locked parts.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Inclusive: Hard Working Women

Warning: This is a bit of a rant.  But it's sincere, thought out, and not actually intended to hurt or cause more division. It's aim is to draw attention to perhaps an unrealized harm. Also, it's on my own private blog. (That's kind of the point of the whole post.)

I have a habit of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram as I fall asleep at night.  After an almost 9 hour work day, I went home and cleaned and folded laundry for about 5 hours. It was a long day.  Past midnight and the last Facebook post I looked at as I tried to quiet my thoughts said something like "Hey Mommy Friends, when do we get to stop? It's 8 and now that the kids are in bed, the dishes and laundry still need to be done."  I get it.  I do. Or I don't.  (I probably really don't.)  But I considered deleting my Facebook account last night. When did it become a mom's chat room?  Here me.

I want ya'all to talk, but that's what moms groups, private messages, gmail, gchat, iPhones or anything else is for.  Women who aren't mom's - also work crazy long days, to come home and start cleaning at ridiculous hours of night, and grocery shop through empty aisles because most of the world is at home asleep, or worse, grocery shop during "rush hour". So maybe start the general Facebook posts with a few less exclusives, maybe write "Hey lady friends" or maybe just "Friends"?  Because life gets busier and busier... even for those of us who aren't moms.  And dear God, when I think of all the women who are these people's friends... who maybe can't have kids, who unknowingly stumble into an internet mommy group every time they open their Facebook, just trying to glimpse through that small window to say hello to all the people dear to them and instead get ambushed with posts beginning "Hey there all you mom's, what do you do when...."  Google it.  That's what the rest of the modern world does with their problems! Then, ask your mom.  Or call your friend.  Or send out a group email.  Don't all you mom's have each other's emails?  Or create a Facebook mommy group!  Please, for the sanity of the rest of us - create a Facebook mommy group.  So that when I fall asleep at midnight, with a 6am alarm to get to work early so I can make that deadline and get home in time to grocery shop and get dinner ready before the out of town guests get here..... I don't feel excluded from the 'real hard working class of women' who just so happen to have the daily privilege of raising tiny humans.

Many of us would love to be doing that - and we get that it's hard work - but we're working hard too.  And we don't get the reward of a child.  Sometimes, I even like the mommy posts and mommy talk coming up in my feed.  These are my friends - and it's their life.  And I want to be a part of it!! But it's getting excessive and borderline inconsiderate.   Just think about it.  Try to find ways to be inclusive.  I feel like that's a good lesson to teach kids - and maybe moms.

The rest of us don't want to feel like outsiders every time we open our Facebook, or sit in a room where there's a majority mommyhood.  Keep posting, keep sharing, but maybe ask yourself a few questions first.  Who all is going to see my post versus who is my post addressed to? Is this the best way to communicate to my specific audience?  Is it going to hurt someone, and if so, is there a way I could do this without hurting those people?  (eg, a different media or different language?) I know you're all moms and you 'have a heart for other moms' and want to support and encourage one another.  But maybe expand your vision.  Because there's a lot of women who aren't moms, who don't have support groups, who still need you.  Women who would love to see an encouraging note of camaraderie on Facebook, that included them.


As a side note, just to overturn a few things I've heard women say about the difference between being a stay at home mom or a career woman: There are bosses who are as needy and demanding as children (not mine currently), and while the thought commonly exists that you can just quit.  That's not exactly true.  And most jobs aren't just hanging out at work and chatting with friends.  They aren't 'chasing dreams'.  It can be a real test to find purpose in it. And to find friends in it. Women aren't good at compartmentalizing - you know this - so don't expect working women to have this thing that they just go do for a minimum of 40 hours a week and then have all this awesome fun freedom the rest of the hours.  Most careers aren't that way.  We're still always tied to it - thinking about it - being measured by it - and most likely, being emailed about it.  At times, we get talked down to, we have unrealistic expectations set on us, personal boundaries tested and a whole hell of a lot demanded from us nonstop.... at work, and then at home.  Because no one at home knows the big thing you pulled off at work.  You get to prove yourself from scratch, twice a day. You get to learn to be you, while living a very divided life, split between two separate worlds that really don't want you to talk too much about the other.  So, in closing, support and encourage one another, mommys or not.  Please. We already feel like we miss out on enough.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

I felt a bit like a single mom this morning. To four baby chicks. Change their clothes (water), pack their lunch (pick the poop out of their food dish and replenish for the day), make sure the temperature in their coop is right. Bring the trash bins all up to the front of the drive (all four of them, Good Lord!). Water the plants sitting on my front porch (okay, I didn't because I ran out of time, but I should have and meant to). Get myself dressed and make myself a cup of coffee to go. Catch the bus. Catch up on email on my commute. Start work day.

Meanwhile, think of the laundry I need to finish when I get home, dishwasher I need to run, and other various errands to be accomplished before sleep. Including changing said water, food, and coop wood chips multiple times before sleep. And maybe cuddling my fluffy little babies and posting numerous photos of them to Instagram for Morgan. ;)

Did I mention I looked at puppies on Craigslist yesterday?

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Oh hey, that's my sister.  

Also, this is the first time I've ever included the tag "ACLU" on anything.  It's for you.  Kristin, I love you and love what you're doing!


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.  Inspired and Sad.  Not sure if there is much more for me to say about this book.  It didn't light me up like Fahrenheit 451 did a few years back,  but it definitely made me uncomfortable.  Primarily, it has me evaluating the role of beauty and truth - which I have always put at the top of every priority.  And Science - which Beau places very high if not at the top, which I've thereby begun to value more and more as well through our conversations and debates. Here, in this futuristic world, they find that beauty and truth are enemies of happiness and comfort.  I can't help but think of Byron and Keats - would they perhaps agree and choose the pursuit all the more for the danger and pain that is implicit and required?  I think perhaps so.

If you have not yet read it, you like classics and books that discuss topics such as above - then yes, read it.  After all, it is a short book.