Monthly Archives: March 2013

Parenting.

We had a few friends over tonight, enjoyed some delicious corned beef and related items, and kept all our kids up way too late. We had a fantastic time, and now I’m wiped out.

But what I might remember most from this night, is the question my son asked me right before I turned the lights out and closed the door.

I sent Ian and Ana into their room to settle down and read some books, while I finished up the dishes. As I tucked the kids into their beds, said a prayer, and gave them kisses, Ian sat up.

With his gorgeous light brown eyes, he asked, “Mommy, is being a mommy hard, or is it not hard?”

Without thinking about it, I simply answered, “Ian, I’m tired. A lot. But I will always love you, and that will never change.”

I picture God saying that to me sometimes. I must wear Him out with my whining and worry. But in the end, He loves me unconditionally because I belong to Him.

So really, this post isn’t about my OWN parenting. 🙂

I need to learn how to rap. Like, out loud.

Do you ever wonder what they think

they who bore you

nursed you, fed you

clothed and kissed you

they who sang and danced with you

they who cried and laughed with you

Do you wonder what they think

when we curse and scream

when we impatiently dream

when we fight over trivial schemes

I wonder what they’d say

to our social activism and riots

our naturo- vege- pleasure-free diets

to our sold-out, black and white,

radical need to fight

for everything we read

let alone tweeting and posting,

pinning and boasting

as screen zombies and their children

“talk” to their “friends”

Yes we are

an educated, brilliant generation

hopes and motives fuel our fascination

we ache and work for perfection

run in every direction

Yes we are

a connected, inventive breed

the offspring of the very seed

that fought for human cause and right,

religious freedom, nature’s plight

We are

the daughters, sons, and heirs

the path we walk was also theirs,

and they deserve much more

so much more

than to be disregarded,

What would they say

about the patience

we discarded

Do you wonder what they think?

To Friend or Not to Friend.

Yesterday, after multiple years of using Facebook, I happened to discover I had 773 Facebook friends. This was shocking to me. Not because I don’t think I deserve that many people wanting to “friend” me though… it was more like “I know 773 people?!”

I decided I’d scroll to the very bottom of my friend list, and start deleting.

Not so easy.

As I scrolled through them, fond memories of my life began playing out. One girl was in my cabin the first year I counseled at Lakeside Bible camp. Another was an elementary classmate of mine. I spent a little time playing fiddle for a Canadian country music artist, and then there’s all my teammates from years past, and coaches, former teachers… the list goes on.

If its a testament to how much I care for people, I couldn’t delete a single person off my list. I don’t necessarily equate “unfriending” with “omitting from my life entirely”, however the thought of removing anyone from my friend list just sounded absurd. I deleted ONE, simply because it was a double entry.

I guess part of this post is to say, to some of you in my life who never hear from me… that you matter. A LOT. I am terrible at keeping in touch, even with some of my dearest friends and family. And you know perfectly well who you are!

I guess I feel that even holding on to the most distant friend, teammate, classmate, etc… is a little way to hold on to someone who is a part of my own life story. I love looking back on every twist and turn, every success and failure, every victory and every heartbreak, because each person who was part of that, helped me become who I am today.

… which isn’t perfect, but its me. So thank you to my 772 Facebook friends. Facebook really is the silliest thing; a world we seem to live in despite the actual oxygen and living organisms surrounding us. But it also connects us–and KEEPS us connected–to the people who play a part in our own life story.

Joy in the Mud.

DSC02223Today was one of those days. I woke up filled with thoughts of desperation, rejection, and sadness. These were obviously not messages from God; because as I looked around me and reflected on my life, my feelings upon waking should be much different. I should feel joy, hope, and laughter. Fortunately, I’ve become awesome at shaking it off and quickly distracting myself.

But tonight, as I turned the lights off and headed to bed, the feelings were even stronger. Perhaps it was the sudden quiet atmosphere in my usually noisy household. In any case, those sad feelings mixed with exhaustion suddenly felt really, really heavy.

Which makes me wonder: have you ever played in the mud?

And I mean… rolled around in it, covered your clothes in a thick layer of it, made mud pies, threw some mud at your siblings or friends, and rubbed it out of your eyes? By the end of playtime, you end up soaked, caked from head to toe in a thick layer of goo. Its actually pretty uncomfortable to move in in your mud-plaster suit by the end. And now that I think about it as an adult, its really pretty gross.

Do you remember what makes it fun?

I do.

It’s the people you play with. Sure, it’s fun to play in the mud by yourself. But after a while, you get cold and bored. But, when you add another person to the mix, it’s a whole new experience. You daydream, and fling; you roll and squish and laugh. You don’t seem to notice the dirt under your nails, or your cold, damp toes because you’re in it together, laughing and not caring about the world.

I watched my kids run through the mud today. They giggled, got stuck, got messy, and cried a little. At one point I heard a scream from Ana that she had lost her boot in the mud, and Ian quickly jumped in to save her sinking sole. They had probably the greatest time playing that I’ve seen in a while, all while caked in mud and slime.

I reflected on this and I realized our lives aren’t much different than the mud adventures we had as kids.

Yes, we in fact are living in mud. Its all around us, and often covers us. It gets under our nails, and sometimes in our eyes. It comes in various forms of texture and discomfort, and seems so innocent, yet without the right treatment, it can stain and infect.

In careers, we grow weary of our schedules and our salary. In school, we study for hours on end just to make the grade (at least in college we do). In relationships, we grow weary of pain and rejection, often leading to complete alienation. We just can’t seem to find the right church or community group, and constantly complain about the silly details as if they mattered.

But the thing is: we’re all in the mud. And, we can choose to walk, play, and work in it alone, growing tired and weary; or, we can embrace the muddy hands of those around us, and accept the fact that we all walk in it together. We CAN find joy in the mundane, in the heaviness… we just have to look for it. And while we’re looking, walk alongside people searching for it just like you.

Here’s my plea for all who read this: if you’re not connected in some way to a group of people who care about you and love you for who you are… go find one! And if you know someone who lacks that mud support network, be his or her friend! Its amazing how one more friendship can change the loneliest soul.

Oh and, no need to wash off the mud… that’ll happen later.