Friday, May 28, 2010

the realization

last night as i tucked meg in, she began to cry. she pulled me down close to her, and into my ear she whispered, "i just looked in the mirror, and i felt like i saw myself again. i feel pretty." she has been wholeheartedly disfigured by these chicken pox, it was a huge relief to her to recognize herself under the clearing scabs.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

meg has been horrified at the thought of going out into public. "i'm so ugly!" i asked her if she thought all her friends loved her just because she was cute, and there was a slow and despondent head shake. but even though she may be able to acknowledge that, clearly there is a strong belief in her mind that she is what she looks like.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

i would love to blame this on our culture. the glossy ads in magazines, the stars on the red carpet, the tv ads for shinier hair, better skin & thinner thighs... and they are definitely a huge part of it. but i would be wrong to say i didn't play a roll. i am the one who brings those glossy magazines home. i have been known to trudge through the house announcing i was too ugly to go out into the world. against all my best efforts, i have had a significant hand in teaching my daughter that she is what she looks like.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

before i can teach my girls how to see themselves - and their beauty - in their laughter, their compassion, their gifts & talents, their joy of life & their kindness, i am going to have to learn to see my own beauty in those things. because they will learn what i do and live faster than what what i say. i want them to be able to look at the lives of love and compassion and friendship and generosity they will live and then say, "i feel like i saw myself again."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the question is more important than the answer

well, folks, we are fever free! hooray! of course, meg still looks like the victim of a horrible acid accident, but we are on the road to recovery! woot!

in other news, i read this in my book this morning. SO good.

"for most of my life i have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. i have failed many times... now i wonder whether i have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. the question is not "How am I to find God?" but "How am I to let myself be found by God?" The question is not "How am I to know God?" but "How am I to let myself be known by God?" The question is not "How am I to love God?" but "How am I to let myself be loved by God?" And finally, the question is not "Who is God for me?" but "Who am I to God?" (henri nouwen - 'spiritual direction')

i think it would be valuable for us to seriously reflect on those questions. i think they have the potential to turn a lot of what we think we know about God on it's head...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

i am a terrible mother

ah, sweet meg.

she has horrible, horrible chicken pox. disfiguring chicken pox. sore, itchy, miserable, fever-ridden, burst-into-tears chicken pox.

curtis said he just wants to pick her up in a ball and comfort her. he has been home a total of 6 of her waking hours of the last 2 days.

the rest of them have been me. and while i am filled with honest compassion for her chicken pockery, i just want it to stop. the only one more miserable than me right now is meg. i know that she is much more miserable than me, i really do. i love her more than words can express, & i care a LOT. however, there is only so much back rubbing and calamine lotion-ing and sympathy expressing i have in me for chicken pox. not for meg, just for chicken pox. this much hands-on, pox-tending, "mo-om!" caring takes a lot out of you.

*sigh* i am a terrible mother.

Friday, May 21, 2010

truth hurts

i work p/t as the freight coordinator for buckle - a denim specialty retail store.

this came into work this week. it hurt my heart.

for those of you who can't make out what it says:

"in lesser gods we trust
cash for chaos
this is your god"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

part II

i want to be a spiritual director.

"a whaaa??" :)

the few people i've talked to have had that reaction, too. it's not widely practiced in my particular branch of the "God tree"... it's roots are ancient & find more expression in the catholic & liturgical circles. basically, spiritual direction involves a process where one believer helps another, or sometimes a seeker, to understand what God is doing and saying. it's helping people see where God is active in their lives... how to be aware of the realities of their faith in the "moment to moment" of life, and to engage in those moments. it's like mentorship, sort of. according to wikipedia, it's "...the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with God, or to learn and grow in their own spiritual journey. The person seeking direction shares stories of his or her encounters of faith, or how he or she is experiencing spiritual issues. The director listens and asks questions to assist the directee in his or her process of reflection and spiritual growth. Spiritual direction develops a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. "

after a great deal of research, and long efforts to find a program of spiritual direction that i could (A) afford, and (B) attend, i actually came across one in durham (!), run by the faithful companions of Jesus sisters. you guys, i am SO EXCITED! it's a 2 year certification program, easily within my time & money constraints. and there was a miracle!

i called sr. joanne to ask her about the program, and she immediately replied, "i can't believe this!"

"what?" i asked, nervously.

"i was praying just this morning that God would give me one person today who would apply for this very program!"

hooray! God is mischievous & whimsical. :) and he is giving me the desire of my heart. my application was received today by sr. joanne, and the next step is an interview...the program begins in august. this is where my heart is. i want to help people realize to the fullest extent possible the love of Jesus, and his constant action in their lives.

Monday, May 17, 2010

a whaaat?

last week i finally named out loud what i want to do with the rest of my life - what i want to be when i grow up.

today i applied for the program i want. and i will tell you if you promise not to laugh.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...a slice...

i am sitting in the dim living room, listening to the sound of my childhood.

it's game 7 of the series between pittsburg & montreal (i'm talking hockey, people), and there is random coaching advice, commentary and expletives being muttered by the men i love (curtis & vincent). toss in the occasional blaring of the horn to announce a goal, and you've got a perfect storm of nostalgia.

i grew up watching my dad watch hockey. there was nothing more fiercely observed in my home than the sacredness of Hockey Night in Canada. even the sound of the theme music warms the cockles of my heart. Don Cherry narrated saturday nights in the den downstairs. although we weren't allowed to speak (until commercial breaks), we were welcome to watch. i learned to follow the puck and love the game.

second intermission, and it's 4 - 2 montreal...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

join the revolution

i love it when i'm reading a novel & suddenly something resonates with me as so true. it reminds me that "all truth is God's truth". when i read this i thought to myself, this begins to describe those of us who love Jesus. it's from 'the likeness' by tana french. the characters are discussing why one of their fathers is pushing so hard to get his son to "live in the real world!"

"You know what it is?" Abby said out of nowhere, a few hands later. "It's the contentment."

"Who said which to the what now?" inquired Rafe, narrowing his eyes to examine Daniel's stack. He had switched his phone off.

"The real-world thing." She leaned sideways across me to pull the ashtray closer. Justin had put on Debussy, blending with the faint rush of rain on the grass outside. "Our entire society's based on discontent: people wanting more and more and more, being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their decor, their clothes, everything. Taking it for granted that that's the whole point of life, never to be satisfied. If you're perfectly happy with what you've got - especially if what you've got isn't even all that spectacular - then you're dangerous. You're breaking all the rules, you're undermining the sacred economy, you're challenging every assumption that society's built on. That's why Rafe's dad throws a mickey fit whenever Rafe says he's happy where he is. The way he sees it, we're all subversives. We're traitors."

"I think you've got something there," said Daniel. "Not jealousy after all; fear. It's a fascinating state of affairs. Throughout history - even 100 years ago, even 50 - it was discontent that was considered the threat to society, the defiance of natural law, the danger that had to be exterminated at all costs. Now it's contentment. What a strange reversal."

"We're revolutionaries," Justin said happily, poking a Dorito around in the salsa jar, and looking phenomenally unrevolutionary. "I never realized it was this easy."

the point of this, to me, is that it's the attitude of our hearts that makes us truly revolutionary. the attitude of contentment and, by Grace, the attitudes of surrender & love that mark us so differently. we are, indeed, revolutionaries.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010