Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jungle Mind - Where's that Machete?

My thoughts have been such a jumbled mess that I'm not so sure I know which way is up anymore.

I went for a walk yesterday and listened to the Pastor's Roundtable on Issues, Etc.  It was about the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Seed Growing.  It made me think about my role as a parent and how, like a pastor, I can't guarantee an outcome.  So, maybe I should try to remember to do my job and drink a beer.

I went for that walk because I needed that walk.  The sweat, the ache in the muscles.  The being out of the house alone with what I wanted to listen too.  I've been eating way too many carbs lately and I'm beginning to think that, for me, it shows up in my inability to have hope.  Will try to see if this guess is accurate as I watch more closely what goes into my pie-hole.

Speaking of pie - I made four strawberry pies this year.  I didn't freeze a single berry, nor make any jam.  The day we planned to go, we arrived at the field shortly after 6am and found the farm had received 4 inches of rain the night before and the neighbor's culvert broke and was also flooding the field.  This in addition to the 6 (?) inches of rain they received a week earlier.  I feel so bad for that family.  This is their lively-hood and this was the peak harvest time.  They graciously gave us some berries from the cooler that were picked two days earlier.  And so I made pie.

Do any of you feel like you can't control your own days anymore?  That this, that, and the other thing, all converge and conspire to trap you into obligations and responsibilities you can't say no to?  And for those shaking their heads, saying, "Yeah I remember that."  Is this just another stage in the game of life, and if so how long should I look for it to last?

I thought there was more to write, but well that jumbled mess became too tangled to make my way through.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saturday's Excursion

Go look at the fantastic pictures my daughter took while we were at the air show on Saturday. She is quite the photographer and I am slightly jealous.  Okay, not really, I'm glad she has such talent because she takes such neat pictures and doesn't mind answering all of my questions.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Pastor Esget wrote about the distraction of Facebook and emails and texting.

I had inklings of this before my trip to Europe.  The uncomfortable feeling of someone grabbing their phone or iPad or iPod to "check something" while in conversation with me or other people.  I'm just as guilty as they are because I know I've done the same thing.  I'm sorry.

The on-line "connectedness" is addicting, and in my case, it took being forced to be unplugged to see just how addicted I was.  While in Europe we didn't always have access to the internet.  And when we did it was only at the places we stayed.  So all day, every day, we were out seeing, and doing, and living, without a cell phone, or iPods, or iPads to distract us.

Wow was that nice.  So that even when we checked emails or Facebook or wrote blogposts in the evening, it felt weird.  Yes we enjoyed "seeing" everyone again, but it really opened my eyes to how fake that life is.  I'm not really connected with those people.  Yes, I can read what someone is reading, or what someone "likes" or see pictures of themselves or their family, but that doesn't make me any closer to any of those people.

Those on-line friends whom I care about the most are all ones I've met in person.  With whom I've shared personal emails, phone conversations, and late-night chats in each other's home. I'm thankful for my on-line friends, especially those ladies who are part of the homeschool group I am a member.  They have helped and supported me in many ways.  I don't plan on pulling the plug on my on-line status.  But I do plan on limiting that on-line time.  To live in the present, seeing, and doing things in this life, in this day.  To remember to make a point of using this great tool of the internet to connect with others, without disconnecting with the real-life people around me.  To make plans whenever possible to meet these friends in person. And most of all, when I am with people, family or friends, that I connect with them, not the internet.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Favorite Crucifix

While in Erfurt, Hannah took a picture of me with this crucifix:

It is the one I have had on my sidebar every since I visited Erfurt in 2007.  It is still one of my favorites.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Sunday Wiggles

Having spent the last three Sundays worshipping in churches in Germany, I have a greater understanding and empathy for child wiggles during the service. I am a toddler myself when it comes to the German language. I know a few vocabulary words and like a toddler seem to use one word for everything, or stare blankly, or just get louder and louder when someone doesn't understand me. Okay so I really didn't get louder and louder, but boy I sure felt the same frustration!

Back to sitting in the pew. . . Knowing only a few words makes it hard to sit still and pay attention. As an adult, I can sit still better than a toddler, but paying attention was still a challenge. I would catch a few words, but as the majority simply went in one ear and out the other, restlessness seeped in. This was greatest during the sermon. Like a toddler I didn't get much out of the message the pastor preached.

But the liturgy brought me back out of mental wonderings, and like a toddler who has been nudged by their mother, I knew when to fold my hands for prayer and say, "Amen." I could sing the Alleluias. I could see others kneeling and do likewise. I could learn by watching and imitating.

Thanks be to God that His Word does it all. I don't (and neither does the toddler) have to understand to be forgiven. I am! And that Word spoken and preached will grow faith even as the toddler grows and understanding increases.

So you, dear mother who faces another Sunday with squirming little ones, take heart. I pray for you. I understand the challenge, both as a mother, and now as the toddler. Keep trudging along. Keep bringing the children week after week even though it seems like he isn't listening. Keep encouraging your child to listen, to fold hands for prayer, to watch the pastor, to sing the Alleluia, and to say "Amen."

And when the wiggles are driving you the most crazy, remember that all these words are more than they can comprehend right now. But also remember and take heart for "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of Christ."