Monday, March 31, 2008

a small novel

i went to the the-rapist today. i had been working many things in my head lately and so it was good to see her and have her to bounce a lot of this stuff off of. i shared with her my fear of failing, my fear of being hard it is to stand on my own two feet and how good i am at getting support in many different ways. (which sounds good but is often me numbing myself to the pain of building some independence muscles that i really should and probably need to develop....) how i wasn't always like least i don't think i was. and i understand the sacrifices i made...switching this part of me for that security. it's all good. but i'm ready to reclaim a little...well, i'm ready to reclaim it all, but a little at a time.

i will post pics of my colorful house soon...i know how to do this, but i'm taking a few days off of painting, so maybe by the weekend, i'll be finished...

i am really sad that i will not make it to galveston county to visit a friend of mine who is hosting a friend of hers for a few days. i really wanted to be there and share in the experience. but my car was the final straw that the universe sent, trying to get me to see that i am spread too thin and a four and a half hour car trip is not only not what i need, but would really, really be pushing it. so i'm staying home to file income taxes and get my car fixed, and to get my spouse's truck fixed...and he needs to register for another board exam of some sort....and i registered for the san antonio half marathon today....and we're going to get some schoolwork done which we have not done in at least two weeks....yeah, there was stuff piling up. oh shit, speaking of which, there's also a ton of laundry to do...rolling my eyes

i have a ten year old. when my thirteen year old was eleven, i called eleven the age of being "a gross caricature of everything i hate about myself"...(myself meaning me...the mom) my oldest was bossy, mean, self-interested and rigid at eleven and it almost killed me. it was like looking in a fun house mirror and seeing your worst parts magnified and everything good shrunk to tiny, tiny, itty bitty, can barely see it sizes... ok, it almost killed him at times, too. but now, my ten year old is making the journey into elevenness...i mean, he's only a third of the way there, but i can already see the caricature forming. but it's not the mean, bossy side of me he's mirroring. it's the unsure, timid, apologizing fifty times for something he had no hand in part of me. (only i'm a she, but anyway....) it is driving me crazy. and then i get frustrated and then i freak out that i'm going to smash him in my frustration (because he's all fragile, like me, see?).

my the-rapist reminded me i'm pretty tough. and pretty independent. and strong and smart and lots of other good things i wanted her to write down so i wouldn't forget. but the trick is, i think as soon as i start believing those things, i change again. although who i would become is beyond me since i've never really allowed myself to see myself that way...this is an interesting prospect all of a sudden.

there was this quote my girlfriend had on her wall when we were teenagers. it said, "but if i tell you who i am, you may not like who i am, and that is all i have." it seemed so sad to me then. but now, it almost seems like a statement of what's motivated me for the past decade or more. but i have to learn to like who i am and then i guess i'll always have that? that how it works?

i'm on this mama board and someone asked a question about whether people liked themselves and these women talked about not just liking themselves, but loving themselves. i stayed out of it because i'm older than a lot of them and i don't know that i do love myself. i mean, i feed myself, i shower, all that kind of stuff. but it's hard to really like who i am sometimes. i mean, sometimes my head is a downright unfriendly place to be. i am not kind to myself in my thoughts. but i usually look at myself like i look at my spouse, when i know he's realizing he's been a shit...and that he didn't mean to be that way even though he was, in fact, that way. and now that he sees his actions for what they are, he has to figure out how to change they reflect how he really feels. and that is how i see myself. so maybe i do love myself...just very imperfectly. i just don't know.

ok, i called this a small novel. i didn't say it would be good but i have not been taking good care of myself and part of that involves writing...even when it's bad. and this is rambling, but it's not like i'm unaware of my ability to ramble, and sometimes rambling is just what i need. and i am impressed with my ability to not go back and change this into something i like more, but i will run the spell check over it. ha


ps--got an email from julie. she is in singapore, taking a nap in their airport that has showers and beds, and will leave for kathmandu in a few hours. she's getting close.... <3

Sunday, March 30, 2008

getting it off my chest

oh, and it is a plural pronoun in this case...

i have been painting. a lot of colors. all over my house. and i really like it. but it is a lot of colors and i am generally a soft spoken person, unless i'm with people i know. but there are all different kinds of people who make their way into my house...and i do not know them all well....and for some reason, i worry about them thinking i am crazy for painting my wall eggplant. or i think they will take a look around, and as my friend hope describes it, think two painters got in a mexican bar fight...or something like that.

but the real news.... my friend julie....she is the one in the red bandana in this slightly outdated picture from 2005

is presently on her way to adopt this little boy, also in a slightly outdated picture, from nepal...
i talked to her last night, and was surprised by how similar the feelings were as she was preparing to fly halfway around the world to become a mother and the way i remember feeling toward the end of each of my pregnancies. anxious, excited, doubtful, sick, worried, joyful, scared... but this "pregnancy" has lasted her almost three years. she got to meet him last year at this time, but had to come home without him. with all the unrest that's been going on in nepal, i worry about her. because she's four feet tall and feeling quite vulnerable now that she's facing motherhood, i worry about her. so i offer her up for prayers, positive energies....

everything else can wait. i am tired and feeling emotional today and just don't want to go into anything else...i'm fairly certain i'm just blowing it out of proportion, anyway...

so, peace...

Friday, March 28, 2008

earth hour

so i just thought i'd post that tomorrow, march 29th, people will be making a statement about the energy we use and the world we live in. they're turning off their lights for an hour starting at 8pm...whenever that is, wherever you are. small statement, i realize. but a statement nonetheless...and just think of all the fun stuff we can do in the dark for an hour...



i didn't make it back to my blog last night. i was hurting. it's an awful feeling for your head to hurt soooo much...i mean, your brain is in there and it's really important and it's just a weird feeling for the area around your brain to hurt like that. feels kind of dark and foreboding....

so i was horizontal much of yesterday, reading the golden compass, which was a beautiful story. so well written. i want to hand it off to my teenager, but i admit i know he's a big questioner himself and i worry sometimes about putting things in his hand that will bring about questions i'm not ready for. but i can see just from reading that how foolish it sounds...because there are so many things that make it into his hands that i don't even have a clue about. and i really, really did like this book. but i know he'll get impatient with me to finish the others, and i do think, as the thirty-four year old in the house, i should be able to read the series i bought for myself first....without the thirteen year old giving me a hard time. i guess we'll see...

a few quick prayers of sorts...

for mama hope and her big visit...

for my sister (the one who does not have certain bodily functions) and this relationship with her ex she is trying to figure out...

for my spouse...(yes, i said my spouse)...

and that's all i can think of...but i am functioning without tylenol right now, so i'm sure there are more, my head's just being squeezed in the part of my brain where they reside...

Thursday, March 27, 2008


i am headache-y and sinus-y and grouch-y and's not a question of do or feels more like live or or them.... (ok, i'm a bit sarcastic-y, too)

so i'm going to blog tonight. because for whatever reason, i've been blogging in the mornings and i just don't think that's my best time right now. i feel better at night, although i freely acknowledge that trying to put how i feel into words in the evenings may very well screw with it. but it's just a chance i'll have to take...

sigh, groan, grumble....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

to think or to do, that is always my question

it's been a busy week. last wednesday, i drove my kids about two hours to meet up with their auntie and yaya (chinese paternal grandpa) to spend the night. my friend brought them home the next day and then she stayed with us until easter. that friday, my nephew came and stayed with us and started running fever. saturday we worked really hard in the yard, building a fence. sunday, we celebrated easter in this really great, holy, low-key kind of way and then came home and finished the fence. i also painted a lot last week. monday, hope radio came up with her kids. but a friend of ours didn't make it because her son broke his elbow on the way. (that sucked) hope and crew spent monday night. e started running fever monday, too. tuesday, lanatron and her dh and four kids came up and became part of the mix and we went rock climbing...all twelve kids. (well, minus e who was still warm and just sat in the ringsling the whole time.) lanatron and fam spent the night while hope drove home last night and this morning, lanatron and crew left and e's fever broke. and a partridge in a pear tree was in there somewhere, too....

i often feel like i don't do enough. like i think too much. that's one of the things that i love about buddhism is because there are simple actions within the framework of big concepts that free your mind from the illusion of controlling things...whoa, that wasn't what i thought i was going to say. but it's true. and i worry that i spend too much time thinking, talking, writing...(on my ass, basically) that i don't give feet to my ideals enough...test them with failure and rebuild.

but it was a busy, busy week. i did a lot. and it was exhilarating. and exhausting. i love those women that i saw, but i have to say, i love those kids. i've seen the mamas a few times and the times we've gotten together since i moved, i've seen the kids. but this time they were in my house...a slightly captive audience, and i was able to really spend time with them and i really, really miss those guys. they are all beautiful people.

but as much as i love those kids, i cannot deny that their mamas are my best friends...capable of making me laugh even when i have a young one on his second day of 103 degree fevers. and the longer we know each other, the more comfortable our relationships together, cleaning was, in a word, lovely.

and then the mama who didn't make it?...well, i talked to her this morning. her son's elbow is doing alright.... she spent some time yesterday with a friend who is dying. my friend is amazing like that. she shows up at those times when NO ONE wants to be there...and i know her. she's not one of those huggy, laughy, demonstrative type people. i bet the times she's shown up at the end, and this is the third time i'm aware of her doing it since i've known her, those folks had no idea it'd be her to do that. that's just who she is. and i told her she was so inspirational for that. for being a living example of how to, well, live. that i talk too much. she said i was wise, say wise things and i told her the truth...i'm clearly channeling someone else when wise things come out of my mouth. because if i really was those wise things, i think i'd do different stuff... she said she really only spent about fifteen minutes at the hospital and that made me feel a little better, but still very inspired by her commitment in her actions...

so i did a lot. but i found moments of quiet, too. and they were precious and delightful...a breeze caressing my face, the grass cool, the sun just right. it was, honestly, a great week. but as always, the eternal search for balance resumes. maybe by looking for it, it eludes me? did i have it last week? shit.... i may be over thinking this ....


Monday, March 24, 2008

how embarrassing (and thanks...)

(this is supposed to be a picture of a "you make my day award"'s cute...little red tulip on a blue background, but it is not working for me and i've exhausted my patience for this project. for what it's worth, hope radio was here this week and couldn't get it to look right either...)

so i've been kind of busy. and my blog's shown it. my house is getting painted and a fence got built in my garden, but my blog, she's kind of lonely...

and of course, my friend hope gives me an award during this time. i think she gave it to me, like, days ago...but she's come to visit and is like, wtf? did you get you f-ing award yet or what?!?! (i'm making this all g-rated--sort of--because our kids are here)

so thank make many of my days, mama hope.

and i'll be back in a couple of days to pass it along to five people i know and love in cyberspace.


(be back another time to get the award right)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


this is a book written by richard rohr. it is subtitled the freedom of letting go. it was published originally in german, is written by a man anne lamott says "has the best heart in the world," and i bought it last week when i went to hear her speak. there are many things in this book that grab me, touch me, and strike a chord in me. i want to quote some parts of it, knowing it's hard to completely understand a paragraph when taken out of context of the whole work, but still conveying powerful (to me) ideas...

"Despite all our theology, when this sort of question [how we define God] arises the dominant culture normally carries the day. Or rather, what ultimately prevails is the human ego. We always seem to find a way to keep things firmly in our grasp. And so we've created 'God' to go on playing our game: a God who fits into our system. A God who stands outside our system and calls to us is something we can't endure. Thus, for example, we've continually required a God who likes to play war just as much as we do. We've required a domineering God, because we ourselves like to dominate. And since we're so fixated on this, we've almost completely forgotten and ignored what Jesus told us about the nature of God." ( p. 22 )

"Like many other poeple I've continually wondered why Jesus came to us as a man and why he chose twelve men as disciples. I have only my interpretation for this and no proof that it's right. But I think that if Jesus had come as a woman, and had this woman been forgiving and compassionate, and had she taught nonviolence, we wouldn't have experienced that as revelation. 'Oh, well, a typical woman,' we would have said. But the fact that a man in a patriarchal society took on these qualities that we call 'feminine' was a breathrough in revelation. So he spent three years teaching twelve men how to do things differently--and they almost never caught on. And for two thousand years many men in the Church have never caught on, because we men wanted a God of domination. We've needed a God who would allow the Germans to kill the French and the French to kill the English. A feminine God wouldn't have gotten the job done. The Sermon on the Mount was oft neglected. In the men's Church there is little room for turning the other cheek and forgiving one's enemies." ( p. 27 )

"You don't make up your mind to become powerless. If you deliberately set your sights on it, that will only strengthen your own ego. We can't convert ourselves; we get converted. We have to settle in the world in such a way that circumstances, reality, can get at us. If we're all white Anglo-Saxon Catholics with the same education and biases, no one gets converted, and everybody legitimizes everybody else in whatever stage of 'nonconversion' each one is in." ( p. 41 )

"In my opinion there are three primary things that we have to let go of. First is the compulsion to be successful. Second is the compulsion to be right--even, and especially, to be theologically right. That's an ego trip, and because of this need churches have split in half, with both parties prisoners of their own egos. Finally there is the compulsion to be powerful, to have everything under control. I'm convinced that these are the three demons Jesus faced int eh wilderness. And so long as we haven't looked these three demons in the face, we shoudl presume that they're still in charge. The demons have to be called by name, clearly, concretely, and practically, spellingout just how imperious and self-righteous we are. This is the first lesson in the spirituality of subtraction.

That lesson has many social and political implications and leads us to letting go of our political mythologies--for example, that we're the best country in the world, as many Americans believe. Pretty soon we've got to overcome nationalism. We also have to give up the compulsion to possess so many things and to have our own private stock of everything. The fact that not every one of us needs our own auto or washing machines would naturally make a good argument for physical community." ( p. 41-2 )

the thing i like about this book is that i agree with much of what he says, while i also see myself in much of what he says. he emphasizes again and again that the gospels are not about self-control (a masculine ideology) but they are about self-surrender. he says we are all who have gone before us and all who will come behind. it is poetic, but it is also heart-wrenchingly real and feels true my core. not easy...but true. God as an attachment parent. this is what i'm thinking makes sense...

this man also talks about how in worshipping our church, we are worshipping false idols. he says God is all we should worship. he talks about how, as christians, this means we have to accept that there are other ways to God than through christ. that we cannot worship the messenger over the message. i haven't fully grabbed ahold of that one. i sense its truth, but have to spend a little more time with it before i feel like i really understand the implications of that.

but in the meantime, i am inspired by this book to move forward with volunteer efforts before i start the hs volunteer group next school year. and i will keep on meditating...because i DO believe that it is through emptying ourselves that we find what is our basic truth. being active has sure helped that. but writing has, too. everything in balance, i suppose.

a little theology lite this morning...served on a large bed of faith.

Monday, March 17, 2008

bowel analogy

consider yourself warned, ok?...

i've told a friend of mine lately a few different times that i'm feeling emotionally constipated. being for real constipated is not a pleasant feeling in my bowels, and being emotionally constipated is not a pleasant feeling in my, well, the rest of me. i feel kind of toxic, and then i eat toxic, and then, well, then i'm just constipated all around...woo-hoo! fun stuff...

my sister this week had the opposite, she had the runs. then she was constipated. now she has the runs again. this is so me emotionally. stop. start. i usually have an okay-semi-balanced-feeling time, but then the stop. start. stop. start. comes again.

but you know what? i don't care. i mean, obviously, i do a little. but i am really working hard at not being identified by my feelings. and just working through them. so i've been painting. and gardening. and cleaning. and eating crappy food...oh wait, that doesn't exactly count. and when i look around my house, i think, "yep, this is where i'm supposed to be. a lifetime of shit to do hardly requiring a word..." :) but there's a lot i want to do. and i'm grateful for the chance to be active (and therefore think less, but that doesn't sound right...).

i'm also grateful for some things we are working on in our community. it has long been a dream of mine to get the kids involved in's something i did for five summers of my teen years and i really think it is what grounded me and helped me find my own voice and my own feet (even if they did prefer to walk on the toes of others for a long time) so it looks like it may start happening. they are finally old enough for all of us to do it and i am pee-my-pants excited about this. not that my excitement defines me...snort. (it really doesn't...i'm exhausted and don't even look in the least bit excited)

so that's where i am. started this post to talk about how constipated i felt and it turned out i had a touch of diarrhea...i'm not even surprised anymore. (now i'm smiling with my half-lidded sleepy eyes)
g'night and peace

Saturday, March 15, 2008

defeated perfectionist

this is a term dr. kevin leman uses in the birth order book. he says first borns are perfectionists and when people tell him he's wrong about that because they're married to a first born who is a slob and not a perfectionist, dr. leman corrects them that their partner is a defeated perfectionist. someone who has their expectations set so high that they fail rather than try.

i am, at times, a defeated perfectionist.

i am also, at times, an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, but that's an anne lamott term and i'm not talking about that part of myself today. (you probably wouldn't want to hear it anyway, would you?...snort)

anyway... i think there is wisdom in waiting before you act. and i have certainly had a lot to think about lately and it's probably been a good thing to pull my feelers in a bit and breathe through some of the million or so thoughts and feelings that have been going through my mind. but i'm also a bit motivated by a frantic need to do the "right" thing and the absolute certainty i will, well, fuck it up. and i don't know why it's so hard for me to just say, "hey! i fucked up! it was an honest sorry." but it is. i mean, it balls up in my throat. i don't know why i feel it so deeply and personally that i am all wrong when i make a mistake instead of just that mistake wrong. but it's the kind of thing that makes my toes curl and my head pound before i've even begun to realize what my problem might be...

so today's advice for myself...go ahead and fuck up...just do it. i mean, not with the kids...that happens enough accidentally. and i'm not saying i need to fuck up big time.

like, for example, my sister says i need to quit worrying about pissing people off. (yeah, i'm a sailor today) that people will get over me pissing them off. they will survive it and i will survive it. (that made me get all lumpy in the throat when she told me that....) there is some little kid in me that is so scared and hurting. i'm so glad i'm getting well enough to parent her, too. all this time i've wanted a daughter...all this time i've had one, i guess.

so a fuck up...let's see...well, i did paint my living room walls periwinkle. and while this may not seem a fuck up to some, it was not a raging success in my world. but it's drying a little more on the sky blue side and this i'm ok with. i still feel a little jittery inside...will other people like this color? but i can hear my sister so loudly in my head..."fuck 'em" ok, ok...for today. i'll at least try a few pictures on the walls before i declare it a failure. black and whites to kind of dull it a little might work...


ps--i didn't want to post this because i felt like it sounded so stupid...and i really want to give all six readers of my blog something interesting...but i just had to get this crap out. breathing has gotten a little easier... and thanks for reading. <3

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sharing space

so, i shared some space wednesday night with anne lamott. not a very close space and there were many people sharing it with us, but it was still really cool. she's beautiful. in a white woman with dread locks kind of way. she could be my stepmom from the neck down. she was funny, and generous, and kind, and holy, and so, so normal. it was inspiring, really.

and the people watching was great. i kept looking around thinking, "so, this is what annie's other readers look like..." one woman had dread locks...i couldn't help but think, "come on sweetheart...find your own identity..." snort...i am a crazy one. but it was a beautiful crowd. mostly women. some husbands dragged along....made me think of when i drag N to indigo girls concerts and he's one of two straight men in the whole concert. the women dressed differently, carried themselves differently, had on different jewelry which really becomes the stratifier in a socio-economic way...but they all had these great smiles on their faces. it was cool. i tried to remember to smile, too. it seemed required of annie's readers... :)

ok, i am swamped in the head, so i chose to write about the highlight of the week. i think it lacks feeling and that would be because my feeling is all bound up in about six different issues right now, only one of which lives directly in my house, but it's with the mister, so it's a big one. i am so glad i went to anne lamott's reading and book signing because i really needed something great to look back on that i was able to do alone, even when i really didn't want to go alone. hopefully, i'll find a little peace through some hard labor this weekend and won't be so emotion-tied next week.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


so, i have a friend whose life started so completely falling apart last night, all at one time... and now i find myself unable to settle on any one issue in my life enough to draw anything from it, reflection, a laugh, a good old fashioned harrumph....

part of it is that my friend caused a little of this for herself through choices that she made, although that does not in any way mean she deserves the totality of this clusterfuck she is faced with. the other part, i think, stems from the two hot dogs i ate for lunch and the hypertensive episode that i am probably experiencing...

i am supposed to go see anne lamott tonight and am trying to stay in a somewhat festive mood for that. but i am really overwhelmed by how crazily fucked up my friend's life has become in a matter of twenty-four hours and i'm just not one of those people who feel untouchable because of some decision or combination of decisions i've made that are so right. it can be a scary world out there and we're all pretty ballsy folks for participating...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

life check

i am tired. i guess it's daylight savings, sort of, but after 34 years of doing dst, i just kind of don't feel like bitching about it anymore...maybe next year.

but i am the weepy kind of tired...not a negative weepy, though. just a deeply feeling kind of weepy. i almost cried that i made myself a sandwich for breakfast...and it was a good sandwich...and this made me so happy, i teared up. (do you see what i'm saying here?...chuckle)

my friend julie is going to nepal this week to adopt her son. she's been working on this for almost three years. she's four feet tall (yeah, that makes her a dwarf). her son's a dwarf, too. i think traveling to foreign countries is hard. i think doing it when you are four feet tall takes A LOT of balls. she is scared and i could tell and that made me all emotional because i am proud of her for doing this, angry that it's so damned hard, and, frankly, relieved it's not me. (i know, i know, how's that for fucked up? but it's true and i am just so not in the mood to lie today...) i have a whole blog about this that i wrote a few days ago, but i didn't like it and need to tweak it and haven't liked any of my tweaking so here's a paragraph. if you have any room in your prayers, you could insert julie (and sawyer if you've got two open spots)....

i went to my the-rapist yesterday. that was good. but i didn't realize it was good until about ten hours after i went...i was a little slow on the uptake yesterday. i actually thought it wasn't good and was considering whether i should just find another the-rapist, but last night, talking to hope radio, i realized how much i had gotten from the appointment. i started to tell her about it, but then stopped, because i was afraid if i tried to capture it all with words, i'd just screw it up... but it was good. i will not wait five weeks til i see my the-rapist next time...that's a lesson i can write down.

there are all these babies born this past month on this mama board i'm on. and every time i read a story, am overwhelmed by the beauty of that birth story and have my paradigm shifted a bit, well, another story comes along that blows me away again. it has been such an honor and a joy to be a part of the community right now. welcome little killian, aubronne, jaxson, and leo james...

on that same board we talk about birthing issues, which are important to each member for different reasons but are important to me, in part, because that's what N's chosen to do with his life (and ours, sort of, hey?). i learned this week to listen to all of what each woman has to say and not take it personally because it is their personal stories...and i appreciate the sharing and opportunity to, again, broaden my understanding. i cannot tell you how healing it was to learn this...and how much there is to be given and shared once the shift comes.

oh, and then hope radio's knuckle head military guy got home from iraq last week. i think they're all called jar heads, but this one is america's first knuckle head, or something like that. it's been another opportunity for widening horizons as i've watched her support these soldiers, with my own ambivalence about war--not soldiers, war--and try to figure out how to help, what kind of prayers to pray, how to add something to the positive energy being sent forward.

and then my kids...they're all growing so much. i am proud of them, released by them, relieved by them.. there are just those moments when you realize they are on their own journeys. they are their own people. and it is wonderful and terrifying and exhausting and exhilarating...

all these shifts...broadening, widening....makes me think of birth itself. but it also makes me realize how fluid life is. how much it really does flow. and maybe that's why i'm feeling so liquidy inside...

Saturday, March 8, 2008


it's been a busy day. spouse went to the driving range and i ran on the treadmill. o played another soccer game...another trampling. his coach lost his mind just a bit... hope he'll apologize next time we see him. set some posts for the garden...might just pull this off yet. now we're cooking. oh, and a friend of mine who's been working on an adoption in nepal for the past two years just found out it's going she's on her way up here to borrow a suitcase so she can fly friday. wow! that's really, really exciting...

so here are two songs i've been thinking a lot about and wanted to share...

this one is called deconstruction.

and this one is called pendulum swinger. it is my favorite song off of their last cd...well, for today anyway.

these are just the two songs that've been on my mind and in my heart the past couple of days.

ps--mama wear me out! i love you, you drive me bonkers, and i wouldn't trade you for the world...peace to you, woman. <3

Friday, March 7, 2008

life church

i knew shortly after moving here that it was a very christian place. a lot of businesses advertise that they're christian...mechanics, therapists, second hand stores. it's everywhere.

i've known since i started homeschooling, that texas is a very christian state. and a lot of homeschoolers homeschool for religious reasons. and i've shared a lot of space with homeschoolers who homeschool for religious reasons even though i am not one of them. we've cheered kids on at baseball games, watched our kids play their hearts out in p.e. classes and on playgrounds, and also watched them learn robotics side by side.

i've loved some of these friends. and i can be respectful of their beliefs, and other beliefs of people i haven't met, when they are quite different from mine. i will admit it's often better if we don't discuss how different our beliefs are...i know there are people who think homosexuals will go to hell...and even though i don't believe in hell to begin with, it still hurts me to hear this because there are people i love deeply that are homosexual. so there's that....

today, i walked into my teenager's room to find him shredding something up. i asked him what it was and he got teary eyed. he said it was something a young man at rock climbing gave him and that it was stupid. we talked about it. apparently, it was a pamphlet asking if he was good enough to get into heaven and what my son walked away with after reading and pondering it for two weeks was no, he wasn't. it defined faith and love in ways that were impossible for him to embrace and while he didn't agree with it, he was still tremendously frustrated and angered by the message that he wasn't good enough if he couldn't embrace what this pamphlet said. at the bottom of the pamphlet, it made sure to say that it had been given to him by someone who obviously loved him so that he should be sure and share his love....

i cannot fully describe how i feel. i feel a lot of things. i held my thirteen year old son while he sobbed because he was so afraid, in a deep, deep place, that nothing he does will be good enough, not even for God. and obviously he didn't just develop that from reading a little pamphlet. i know he feels this way. so there are all those feelings...did i parent him too harshly? did i expect perfection or something too close to it? but i believe much of that is just who he was always meant to be. i don't deny i've had a hand in it, but i also don't claim to be able to sort out exactly what it was. we are too complicated.

i am angry someone printed a pamphlet that was so defeating. it asked all these big questions, gave them all very negative answers, and then provided a very narrow course of action. i'm frustrated someone put it in the hands of a fourteen year old boy and told him to hand it out to his friends to show his love. again, i am angered at the idea of love being something that hurts someone... i'm not angry at the boy. or his parents. his mom is nice...i talk to her sometimes. i know her son likes my son, and my son likes hers, too. i don't think this pamphlet will affect that.

i'm glad it ended up in his hands, sort of. because it allowed us to discuss a lot of stuff this morning...and he had a lot to say, once he stopped sobbing. but i think he needed to get some of that out. and maybe it'll help shape the course of his adult faith and spiritual life...i don't know.

it's just been a crazy God week. we've been invited to join "skaters for christ" a scowling woman in a "jesus" shirt. there've been horrendous arguments on a couple of homeschooling boards i'm on about the national day of silence that isn't even until april 25th. arguments centering on tolerance and inclusivity that sometimes mock those very concepts...

i am so often challenged in my own faith by being a homeschooler in texas. i've often said that faith is not a pristine white garment we put on and should expect to keep clean, even fight to keep clean. that faith is like the very mud this earth is made of...that we should be able to roll around in it, wash it off, wade back in, and cover ourselves in it. that it should be dynamic and able to flow and swirl...handle splashing and sliding and slinging. but that we should love it, appreciate it, be amazed by the amazing thing that it is.

it has been one of those of those weeks where i feel like i need to wash it off and try again. but i don't think i will. i cried a lot in the shower this morning. i had absorbed a lot of my son's energy and needed to release it and what sweet release that was. i probably even washed off a little of my faith mud. but it is what we are all composed of and i have no doubt those parts will be covered again in time.

but for what it's worth, i do have parts of me i try to keep clean. pride tells me those parts should not get dirty, be hurt. righteous indignation tells me i have a right to keep those parts above the rest of the stuff down there getting muddy. and i know in my heart of hearts, that once i allow it all to sink into the mud, then i'll know true peace.

i'll get there one day... i believe we're all headed there in our own ways.

Monday, March 3, 2008


so we were supposed to go hear jim weiss tell stories today...for two hours, with a small intermission. in person. it was a little over an hour away, but our first "thing" like know, plays, music, performance "thing" type stuff... anyway. a cold has laid us out. o is blowing and blowing and blowing and definitely sounds like he should cut back his two pack a day habit... my eyes are so puffy, my throat hurts. i think we're all getting it. cept n, and that's just because he was gone working at the pharmacy all last weekend.

so no jim weiss. we will take it easy. i will give the big two a little bit of work...nothing to strenuous, for me.

oh, did i mention the rain? it has been falling since last night...hard, never lets up for more than half an hour at a time. it's kind of cool and i really do like days like this every once in awhile. but we poured some concrete to put in posts for the fence for the garden, and well, i'm kind of wondering what all this rain will do to that...probably nothing...

and my second born is giving me a seedling update...sunflowers are easy to grow. grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are growing. broccoli is doing well. there's a little lime basil coming up. and the cucumbers have broken through the soil. all my little newborns....

ok, need to make some tea for everyone.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

forward, i suppose

so it was a get trampled in a soccer game (well, it was my eight year old's team), clean rabbit cages, read anne lamott kind of day. and i ate an avocado. what more could a woman want?

well, there was that god awful, stick ice picks in my eyeballs fight with my spouse. but really...what difference does that make in the grand scheme of things?...

where did we get this whole "two united into one" idea? jesus? was he ever even married? i know there's debate on it, but really, if those words came out of his mouth, i have my doubts... make no mistake...we are two. two united into one MOST of the time is good, i guess.....SOME of the time is commendable, really...every once in awhile...maybe that's just more realistic. i don't know. but i find that when i remember we are, in fact, two, and not one, i am better able to face whatever the hell is wrecking us.

well, and talking to my sister and using words typically associated with sailors helps a whole hell of a lot, too.

that, and the crown and coke...well, that's the progress i've made today.