Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Boy Reasons with Creator.

"Please, God, we're only human ... we can drown. You made us this way. Please help the children in New Orleans not drown. Please. Please. They need you right now. You can do it. You're stronger than us. Please, please."

This was Cody's earnest prayer last night as we asked God to be with those suffering in the South. Although happy with his concern, I know that events like this bring up the flip side: why weren't you there? Why didn't you help that boy not to drown?

Life has natural laws, I know; yet, often as Christians we claim that our belief goes against those and God will break through and save the day. Often He lets happen what will happen. Disappointment, lack of faith, resentment, anger creeps into our concept of the Father who abandons. Our concept demands too much of Him. We forget that the spiritual relationship is not always a physical return of comfort, care, or life. Sigh.

Father, help stir the hearts and hands of those who will bring tangible relief to others. Please help them find as many people as possible. Thank you for creating all of us with the capability of humanitarianism. Thank you that while we live, you offer a higher solace even during grimness. Amen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My supply source for countless, countless therapeutic pie baking.
There are four other trees at my mother-in-law's that are just as promising. Isn't it ironic that there are people without such bounty in their natural surroundings? Should we praise the Lord for what other people don't have?
I praise him for nature's design, yet if these shriveled up, I must praise him still for something more than what the apple can portray.
Yet I thank him for such symbols. I thank him for the future aroma of his everlasting goodness to all who believe.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I just exited my kitchen where I've been since 5:30 p.m. today. The apples panicked and announced their pending rot if I didn't focus on peel/slice, peel/slice for four apple pies. My mother-in-law has been picking her German fingers off for me (she had wildly producing trees), and, so it was baking time. However, she and the apples drove me less than the need for therapy. I'm tired. Teenager parenting issues have been exceedingly challenging lately. So, I rolled the dough, sprinkled with flour, formed a crust, peeled and sliced the apples, combined the sugar and cinnamon, carefully arranged apples into the pie plate, and wrapped the pies in plastic for the freezer. These are for later; I haven't had one warm slice for my effort. And so, for all the past energy and love I've poured forth for my daughter, I pray that the pie analogy will hold. Perhaps later, after this horribly-received boundary setting, she will remember my care and time, and perhaps we can know we love each other and feel each other's warmth and good intent. Please God watch over her and protect her with your higher love.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It was an exceptional first day; Cody eagerly attended to all of our subjects, especially identifying the African animals in Botswana at Pete's Pond. He kept saying, "I do like homeschool." :) I kept thinking this is much better than the drifty summer where I was in one room and he in another when we were home. Today, we were on project, in togetherness. Even jumping on the trampoline together in a weird sort of game where we can't let the placed-on objects touch us (penalty of jumping jacks) was full of laughs and fun (even for me). Then, we ended the day with swimming lessons. I swam laps in the same lane as Cody and his instructor. It was pure pleasure to swim back to him and give him the thumbs up and see his huge smile before I dipped under and went back to the other end. Tomorrow, he goes to the local public school for music and p.e.; he knows the kids there, so it should be a little reunion. We'll see how it goes. So far, though, so good!

Monday, August 22, 2005 Do all mothers, while waiting on their 16 year old daughters to return home, watch the 24 hour webcast wildcam to observe the wildlife that gathers at Pete's Pond in Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve? Well, they should! Check it out! Quite amazing! Yes, I'm also busy reading the latest National Geographic and their feature on Africa. Love these glimpses for understanding into another world. Now, if I could just understand mine, and my teenager's world more .......... :)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm reading a new book called "hurt: inside the world of today's teenagers" by Chap Clark. I'm reading it because I'm 'hurt: inside the world of today's teen's parent'. (A mild attempt at humor) Yesterday, I had a setback which made me examine all of my parenting practices and made me reach for this book tonight at my church's bookstore. So far, it's explaining the phenomenon of why today's teen is different, how today's teen has been abandoned by the self-focused, self-surviving adult and placed into their own world of rules and norms. Talks about their attempt at survival. So far so good. So far, nothing new, though. Hoping for the 'what to do now' chapters to be specific.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My faith floats higher when I hear it told. Just this morning, Ralph Stanley's aged lonely-on-the-mountain voice sang to me, "Lift Him up, that's all, lift him up in his works. If you'll tell the name of Jesus everywhere, if you'll keep his name a'ringin everywhere that you go, He will draw men unto him. When Jesus met the woman at Jacob's well, he certainly had a sweet message to tell ... He will draw all men unto him." Why do we need seminaries when we have dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, old messages being told to families still in lyrical heart forms? It works for me -- despite any higher education, these songs pierce me more than anything, and I can say the name of Jesus in the old-fashioned flavorful way which means "Ah, I'm no longer your enemy but your child." So, lift Him up, that's all, lift him up in his works ... if you keep his name a'ringin' everywhere that you go, he will draw all men unto him. So beautiful, true.

This case was made for sleepin' and that's just what I'll do. One of these days this case is going to close right over you ........> ........>........>........>

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Reprieve and reward

A rosehip wreath on white,
A sonata curling up my ears,
Even a candle is lit,
My moment grants a gift.

Tomorrow begins my mothering anew;
I love them yes, their teenage spews,
Their hyper homebased needs;
Their growth will necessitate their food;
Their food calls forth my fingers,
My fingers motion for a different mood
Than now,

Where a quartet in F slides up my ears
And the candle rose-scents the room,
And the wreath connotates reward
For a commitment, tomorrow, thankfully,
to be attentively, and lovingly, renewed.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's only right to have a companion on sleepless nights, and here's mine, from the Mid-Missouri Mandolin Company, a locally created, nationally sold brand. I've found that I can play unashamedly with online bluegrass radio. My dad visits on Tuesday, so I must get the fingers pressing again.
I'll most likely never sleep now....
"Everybody I meeeeeet, seemed to be a rank stranger ..." sings Ralph and Gail and me.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Rain has decided to roll in for a good soak at the moment. A long-awaited thunder announces her visit. It's as if the Precipitation Tour Bus has parked outside and unloaded for a concert of good-will cheer. Finally. I'm sure our cracked back yard appreciates the musical attention, the rat-a-tat-tat, the sensory seep. I'm enjoying it although it's not causing me to gain that elusive sleep which has hit these last two weeks. (Why can't I double space sometimes in this blog?) So, anyway, I had some caffeinated drink at two friend get-togethers today and now it's making me pay up. I'm happy, though, because I hung out with two of my favorite friends at lunch today who make me laugh and exchange compliments and who tell all that's going on in the marital, spiritual, physical realm. They're both fashionable and authentic, and kind and edgy == they want to do things the right way, with joy and spirit. One sings and lights up her church's worship, yet she's shy in a way, just a delightful person, likes conservative talk radio. The other one is edgy, entirely depressed with the Bush re-election, funny, somewhat masculine, yet caring and kind and needy of relationships. I would like to hang out with them more and not get sidetracked by random other people which happens more and more lately. Even this morning, I went out to coffee with a friend who wore me out. One of my friendship rules is that the relationship must be reciprocal; I can't be just an Ear; I've tried to be an Ear; my Ear acts as if it's the only body part at times; yet, it never works out. The Mouth and Mind become too pissed off. And, then the Feet tell the Ear that it's taking it somewhere else ... and fast ... So, this morning, as in other recent days, my friend went on and on and on and on and on about a relational issue. I care; I want to show compassion to him, yet, my other parts want to leave as quickly as possible. I'm not sure why I'm relating this except to tell myself: relationships are a choice. Select the good ones and invest time in those who can give and take. Let them be like the rain, showing up to nourish; let me be like the rain too, a vital part of their growth. It was a gift to meet these nourishing types of friends for lunch today; I'm grateful; my Ear, Mouth, Mind, and Feet are all talking again.:)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I've been reading the latest "Time" magazine, and my brain is filled with angry buzz, the angry buzz of the creationists vs. the intelligent design-ers vs. the evolutionists. The angry buzz of the reporters with their assertions and introductory asinine clauses like "Emboldened by a sympathetic White House, Christian business owners are increasingly meshing prayer with profits..." The angry buzz of Steven Pinker, Psychology professor at Harvard, who says that "In practice, religion has given us stonings, inquisitions and 9/11." The angry buzz of Albert Mohler, President Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who says "You cannot coherently affirm the Christian-truth claim [what about the Judaaic claim] and the dominant model of evolutionary theory at the same time."

And, I haven't even read the article about the Iraqui war called "An Enemy Ever More Brutal" which shows an American tank overturned and burned in which 14 Americans were killed.

I'm a bit sick over it at all. And so, I have joined in the anger, adopted it now, because I'm angry that we pit one against the other constantly for story or for victory or for oil or for philosophical, theological, political, scientific advantage.

(Don't read Time magazine this week, or perhaps you'll feel the same way.)

But yet our depravity and our dimness about things in general call me back to the things of this puzzling world where everyone is striking out in confusion. And, I want to entreat Divinity, nothing less (and nothing more can be imagined). And I want to say to this Intelligent Soft&Sadist Being:

If you created us, oh God, if it took seven days, if all the animals mutated at once (along with our eyeballs). If you cared for us, and sent the Incarnate to redeem our violence; if you watch over us, like a sleepless Shepherd, please calm the flock, send the good, make us warriors of understanding and peace. Amen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
A.A. Milne

My table as seen below and unseen counter and guest room are in the throes of productive wonderful discovery messy bondage. It's fun to piece together Cody's curriculum and school year. It's fun to imagine the possibilities. And, imagination will be one of our key words this year ...........>

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Albert Einstein

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cassie insisted on being part of the curriculum decision today. Her paw points me to an amazing science kit that only costs $65.00. Her fine tastes have not accepted the fact that I've decided to borrow instead of buy most of our school material. If she keeps insisting, I'll have to put her into the utility room and shut the door. :)

Friday, August 05, 2005

I want my house's door to be swinging with kids coming in, going out, feeling safe. My neighbor's middle schooler camped out at my laptop today at the kitchen counter, Millsbury-ing a likeness of me, showing me things as I cleaned, ordered pizza, left for a ministry meeting. I like it that she's practically part of our family. She wasn't here when I returned, but she may be back tomorrow when her family is busy, when her teenage sister is cra-zy, when she's had a bad school day in the fall. Today, I went to coffee with an older friend-mother who makes me feel safe too. I lamented to her that I may not be doing friendships well in general. Seems like there's tons of people in my radar, and am I focusing on deep friendships as well? She understood exactly what I was talking about and commented that she's just glad we can be ourselves around each other and commisserate about the same things. I can unload. I can camp at her kitchen counter and just be a blob if I wanted to be. I have before. She's one of the few people who I can call and they will drop everything to be with me for a cup of coffee if I need it. I wasn't taught to ask for help, but she makes it allowable. Thank you, sweet God, for open hearts and doors.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ring toss champions of the Ozarks means outhouse sprinting at midnight!

The thing to notice is in the lap of the person in blue. Baked goods at the Church Women's stand! I bought homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so the little lady on the left wouldn't have to cook again. So were my dreams, yet no one was hungry in the a.m. but me. Those rolls shore were tasty!

I tried to turn this picture upright, but couldn't, but then decided that this is Cody's perception of the world perhaps, a little sideways, a little off-kilter.
Here's Cody at the top of his game: he won lots of old, unwanted glasses at the Dime Toss stand. The glasses are now washed and ready for loving usage in my cupboard. Cody also won the hat he's wearing at the Ball Toss where smallish 4-H boys let him stand way too close.

A river boy jumps from the top of the bridge and dives with his shadow to the watery depths ... only to come out smiling up at us. I showed him the photo when he walked back up: "Yep, I'm flyin' alright!"

at the river

We went to the river, to a huge steel bridge on the North Fork. Lots of river boys from around the surrounding hills go there. Notice their fun? See the guy on the bottom center? He's just jumped in to splash the unsuspecting canoeists. Who needs anything but air and water for mischief?
We went to a community picnic down home. Farm-capped men sat on lawn chairs barely hearing the bad-speaker bluegrass. But, the men happily jawed at each other, telling jumbled jokes (my dad related) which couldn't be heard, but needed to be responded to by a grin and a "Well, yeah ....." My daughter and cousins ran around winning 2 liters of soda by ringing them with canned lid rubber rings; my son won three crazy hats and a million old ugly glasses which are now unfortunately in my cupboard at the dime toss. My sister and I were propositioned by at least one hillbilly a piece. And, at the end, right before home, all of us girls acted completely silly and took pictures of random people while we posed by them. I haven't laughed so hard since my Europe group all got on the bed in the hotel room and the bus driver cuddled with a 69 year old prudish lady for the camera. But now, life is back to normal, and my daughter and I have fought for the last three days. She wants more freedom, to go out almost every night until 11:30, and I say no. She wants, and I say no. I hope that in the morning she will be more understanding of my boundaries. I hope in the morning that I will be more understanding of her desires to have all confusing things figured out and filed.