I’m pretty sure they don’t have chicken nuggets in the Congo.

 

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Ok, here’s the deal.

I never have done Lent.

There. I said it.

I have, perhaps, said I was going to do Lent… you know, chocolate. Or Coke. That kind of thing.

But then… I would go home and open a Coke and eat some ring dings and my brain just kinda went, “La lala la la laaaaa, Jesus loves me it’s all good,” and carried on.

I just have a really, really hard time with discomfort, y’all.

Discomfort is so… uncomfortable.

So, some of you may know that this Lenten season my pastor’s wife totally suckered me into teaching a class on fasting. I don’t like her anymore. She is manipulative and our friendship is done. DONE, I tell you.

No, not really, but still. She has a newborn, and I think I was cooing at her (the baby, not Kate) when she asked me to co-teach, and honestly, I woulda said yes to anything at that moment because babies are all sparkly so basically SHE USED HER BABY TO GET ME TO DO THIS.

I’m eating like the Congolese for 40 days. Lord help us all.

The Congolese do not have:

  • chicken nuggets (that’s a kid thing, but more on that later)
  • butter.
  • La Croix
  • Strawberry jam
  • and the worst – hazlenut creamer

They also do not have clean water and readily available medicine and soft mattresses and schools on every corner and, oh my goodness. The Congolese are so far away from my heavily coffee-creamered life, I tell you.

Every morning, as I drink my black coffee (which they do have, thank you, Jesus from whom all blessings and caffeine flow), I am reminded of this. Also, as I eat rice and beans for lunch. And, as I eat rice and beans and a banana for dinner.

The book that we’re using for the class is Chris Seay’s A Place at the Table.

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Notice, there’s a cup of coffee in the background. WITH NO CREAMER.

Ok, so either this Seay guy is nuttier than a fruitcake (which they also don’t have in the Congo, go figure), or he is onto something here.

Because here is what I am learning, on day eleven of my fast:

  1. Comfort is an idol. It’s actually just as big and hairy and hulkie as food or alcohol or shopping or any of those other, more see-able ones.
  2. I thought I could not do this because I gave up alcohol, so how DARE anyone ask me to do MORE – I did my Lent. I do it all the time. I don’t drink anymore, Ok? So I’m good down here!
  3. I’m not good down here. The weeks and months prior to this had been a tangled time of leaning on a bunch of things for comfort and they were taking over.
  4. Rice and beans are not that bad.

Sometimes I like to think that my life is this giant checklist, and that once I get one big God task done, He checks it off, gives me a star sticker and we’re done. I like star stickers. I live for them. Uh-oh. That might be another idol. If there’s anything I’m addicted to, it’s the great big Star Chart of You’re Awesome. This whole fast has taught me that as well.

Seriously. This fast has taught me about fifty majillion things. I will be sharing them with you once in a while, as well as my newfound and very deep love for bananas.

Bananas, y’all. Did you know? They are soooooooo good. I never really KNEW. I used to think they were just a vehicle for ice cream and hot fudge but when you’re really hungry? They are all yellow and delightful.

And don’t even get me started on the avocado. Praise you, Jesus.

Ok, so I’m going to say here, on day eleven, that Chris Seay is not nutty (also not a lot of those in the Congo. Especially hazlenuts. Of course.) And my friend Kate is not evil (she’s a pastor’s wife, so evil is not a part of her genetic make-up.) And that I will continue to be smushed up, and stretched out, and pulled and pushed in all sorts of ways because God doesnt really do star charts. “We’re not done here,” God tells me. “But I love you like crazy, so if you really want a star chart just grab a banana and go out at night and look up. Boom. Biggest one you’ll ever get.”

God is a bit of a smart aleck sometimes, isn’t he?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday and Monty Python

My darlings, all of them, have been a bit sickie lately.

Don’t worry, it’s not really dire or anything. It’s just this:

A never ending, wet hacking that sounds like a seal with smoker’s cough. I tried to google that, and you would be shocked, SHOCKED at the images that popped up. Thank you, interwebs.

The boys walk around in a sort of pleghmy haze, coughing and hacking like that happy “Bring out your dead!” plague scene in Monty Python. In fact, if my little urchins learned how to speak in a Brit accent and dressed in rags and cheeky British satire, we could audition.

‘Course, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is no longer. It is an EX-Monty. The Flying Circus has ceased to be.

(You see what I did there, right?)

Anyhow, I really have nothing more to tell you, except that with all this pathetic wheezing, I am feeling a bit tired. Also, it’s just possible I haven’t had a normal night’s sleep in about five hundred days. Or three. Somewhere in there.

And I told you that to tell you this. After six years (plus nine long months, but who’s counting) of being a mom, I have learned an important truth:

Mothers, you can give sleep a big fat kiss goodbye.

Yes, I have learned other things as a mom, like how to get eyes in the back of my head and quelling tantrums with one withering glance (this took practice, but it works like a charm on the hubs, every time), and how to refer to broccoli as “little trees” to amuse your children into eating it.* But the sleep thing? That’s been a tough one.

Let me illustrate for you (since I am really, really tired and pictures are easy)

SLEEPING. BEFORE KIDS:

Young woman sleeping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What? Oh. Well, all RIGHT. The lawyer would like me to state the following,

Disclaimer: Woman in bed is not actually me. She’s a stunt Momsie. And while we’re at it, my bed is not, nor was it ever, that white. And the hubs is not pictured above because, well, he would be sleeping with ANOTHER WOMAN and that is NOT the kind of blog I am running here, ya’ll.

And, also, I think she really needs to wash her makeup off at bedtime; that is so not good for your skin.

But I digress.

 

HERE’S SLEEPING. AFTER KIDS:

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Yes, I know I have written about this no sleep clause after childbirth thing before. I apologize. There are two reasons for this:

1. WELL I’M TIRED, PEOPLE.  GIVE ME A BREAK.

2. It never ceases to amaze me, children. They are, like, relentless. They just keep AT you, like for food, and endless drinks of water, and because they want to come cough on you at three in the morning. Why must they cough on us? I don’t know. (I mean, I get the food part, sustenance and all, but the coughing? Does it have to be with another?  Coughing alone is not as… fun? Coughing likes to bond?)

I once did try to convince the boys that coughing on the cat was the way to go. I mean, Steve is about the mildest, most sweet tempered cat on the planet. And so, expectorating all over him at three am seemed like a good option.

A wee problem with this was that Steve the Cat was in our bed the first time that Red attempted this. So, of course, Red got up out of his bed, grabbed his blanket, and walked his cuteness right over to the edge of our bed, and then unloaded a huge, rattling whoop on Steve, us, and the entire four state area.

All this startled Steve a bit, and he decided to exit the bed rather quickly. The other wee problem here was that he was tightly wrapped in sheets (What? He looked chilly.) and so, he got a bit zealous with his claws to get the heck outta there.

No wee Reds where injured in the coughing incident. I, however, was woken to a wired cat who decided to use my stomach as a trampoline to catapult (I AM AWESOME. YOU SEE THAT? RIGHT?) himself onto the floor.

Don’t worry, I was fine.

It was just a flesh wound.

 

*”Little trees” ? Really? This so did not work on Blonde. He just gave me a withering glance. I was so proud. He has learned from the master.

Riiiiiiiight.

 

 

 

Charlie and Noel

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Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the decorations, I would put my tree up if I could on November 1, but the husband is weird and told me I have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving.

I can sneak Christmas in. I have slowwwly started putting up a few garlands here and there, and some lights, hoping he won’t notice. Since he is an engineer which means he never notices anything unless there’s some type of spreadsheet attached, we’re probably good. If he asks, I just tell them the garland is cat toys.

Anyhow.

I do have a thing about this season that I don’t like:

RAMPANT CRAZY BUYING OF ALL THE THINGS FOR OUR LOVED ONES. MUST HAVE ALL THE TOYS!

It’s called Black Friday for a reason, ya’ll. Hmmmm, what else is black? Coal. Darth Vader. And, I can’t even say it. This stuff:

black_licorice_jelly_beans_313_Shudder.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

I can’t help but wonder, if we took all that money, all those Furbies and slippers and gadgets, and we piled ’em all up somewhere, maybe we could give a whole lot of that to kids who are hungry?  Or people who don’t know Jesus? Or maybe, someone who is stuck in a hospital room Christmas Eve???

I know, I sound very Mother Teresa-ish here. That was the aim. Mother Teresa and I are tight, ya’ll. We get each other.

Ok, ok, I’m not telling you to go all Bob Cratchitt and just figgy pudding it for Christmas and that’s it. You can get a few things, yes. But, do we have to get ALL the things?

It just kind of bugs me.

So, here’s my antidote. I bought a book. And here it is:

51ozB-EmL8L

 

Yes, I know. I’m telling you to buy something when I just told you not to. It is always possible that Momsie has an issue with contradicting herself, but this book is well worth it. Charlie and Noel tells an endearing story about how to talk and teach our littles about Advent. It is a sweet, spiritual, slow down, a let’s sit down and read together kind of book, and I love it. The main character, Charlie, has a rather antsy view of Christmas – he just wants Christmas to get here, already, mainly because of the presents!  Even his chocolate Advent calendar doesn’t really appease him, and Charlie cannot really help but just want the Great Day of Opening All the Gifties to be here.

“On Christmas,” he thought, “There will be much more chocolate!”

Well said, Charlie. And true, yes.  But really, we all know there’s a LOT more to it than that.

Franziska Macur has written a charming little book of twenty-five chapters, one chapter for each day in December, that helps Charlie see the point much more clearly.

My boys loved taking the time to read a chapter a day last December. We would sit at the base of our Christmas tree after dinner and read and talk. Red would lay on his back and look up at the lights twining through the branches and listen. Blonde would help read a bit and ask his usual six majillion questions. We would talk over the discussion points at the end of each chapter and I would realize that we are building traditions as we speak.

And here’s another Christmas miracle: To do all this I would have to actually stop cleaning/wiping/planning/organizing/cooking/doing for a few minutes to sit down and read with my boys.   So, Charlie is teaching me a few things too.

 

If you’d like to know more or order the book, click here to visit Home, Naturally, Franziska’s blog.

Or go here to order via Amazon.

Don’t be like this guy:

grumpy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace this season in all its glory. Merry Christmas (before Thanksgiving, even!) to you.

Monday Manuscript, of sorts. With a little song and dance.

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So, if you were up with me last night you had to deal with a lot of obnoxious Tweetings about the Tony’s.

I couldn’t help it, I tell you.  I tweet, therefore I am.  I got all twittery when the Les Mis cast started us out, and then.. Sting!  and LL Cool J rapping the Music Man! (for real, I’m not kidding, he did.) And nobody messed up Idina Menzel’s name!

And Alan Cummings had that delicious accent all over the place.  And his weird, zebra-ish suit.

Why, you ask, Why Momsie do you get so worked UP about this show?

Well, I’ll tell you.

When I got my first teaching gig a few years ago, I was all young and enthusiastic and rather, um, overly eager shall we say to get into a classroom and get GOING with the teaching career.  So, I accepted a job teaching English, yes, my major and all.

(*cough but also debate forensics and drama all areas that I had absolutely NO idea how to teach, or certification in, or any clue about whatsoever.)

Now, before the lawyer gets all in a hizzy, I will tell you this:

I DID pursue certification in those areas. I did.  But for the two years or so of my first dip in the pool of Real Employment as a Real Teacher and All…?  I was completely out of my element.

Fish outta water.

Flopping around on the shore with some lesson plans and a lot of idealistic, um, ideas, and not a lot else.

Except:  I had a whole lotta free time, and I really loved teaching.  So there’s that.  And I had learned a very valuable lesson from my dad –

Just act AS IF you know what in the heck you are doing, and everyone else will totally buy it.  And after a while?  You will too.

charlie-brown

My first production was You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  I broke every rule possible.  I wrote in parts, added musical numbers, (sorry copyright – please don’t arrest me.  I know better now, but back then I think I just had the idea that since I was the director I could adjust as needed.  I have now learned that adjusting scripts that are already written?  NOT LEGAL.  It’s like wearing a bad bra that you keep having to adjust the straps on.  If the bra doesn’t fit, get a different one.  Don’t keep tugging.  And yes, I did just compare Charles Schulz’s and Clark Gesner’s awesome musical to undergarments. This is typical for Momsie.  Classy broad.)

Even though I was a complete imposter, and also that I was basically walking the line between teacher director and illicit rebel of the copyright, I’m still glad I choose Charlie Brown, even with all my tinkering.  I think my doghouse for Snoopy was dangerously leaning for quite a bit of each production but this just added dramatic suspense (Will Snoopy survive the next musical number?  Stay tuned!) and…

People came.  They clapped at the end.

My cast had a great time.

Even though Snoopy had developed a nervous tic by the end of each show.

 

So I stayed up late and watched every bit of the Tony’s.  I even got my toddlers in on the act (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?  SEE IT?) at least until the saucy Cabaret number then we started up for the world’s quickest bedtime routine (set to music.  I sang ’em to sleep with “Do You Hear the People Sing.”  Or… maybe they just played dead, so I would stop.)

I love the Tony’s.  Pretty things – shows with songs and dance, or plays with heroics and tragedy – they’re, well, they’re pretty but some would say they’re ephemeral.  Not important.  Not practical.  I disagree.  They fill us up with life and meaning – a straight shot of ART for Art’s sake.  And that is why they are so necessary.

We need to embrace and appreciate beauty in this world – not for its uses or its lessons…  Sometimes we just need to stop, sit, and take in a play and enjoy it for no other reason than it feeds our soul with sweet things.  I feel the same way about trees and mountains.  But I think plays and books and paintings the human trying to create a mountain of her own.  Sometimes it works, sometimes our Snoopy doghouse sways with each chorus, but still, we tried.  Like taking a break from your day and staring out the window while you eat a chocolate chip cookie warm from the oven.  That kind of action is necessary in daily living or we desiccate.  Warm chocolate chips and the sweet sounds of “Happiness” are an antidote for daily living.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Manuscript and Organize Now!

photo 1 (7)Oh little green book of organizing wonders, I have missed you!

Well, sorta.

As you remember, I had been working my way through Jennifer Ford Berry’s book with great intentions.  And no medication was needed!  I just stalwartly followed her instructions about goals and plans and such, and kept calm and organized, I tell you.

Until…  Summertime.

For me, Summertime seems to have the same effect on me as eating s’mores:  Sticky but fun.  Lots of prep work involved.  Pokey things.  And you sure don’t want to do anything industrious after because holy cow SUGAR.  Summer is the same.  It’s fabulous but it gets me all sticky and I just like to sit around in the sun and say things like, “Oh, I’ll get to those eight loads of laundry ina minute.  But first.  Let me paint my toenails with Mac’s Quiet Time (If stressed: Stare at toes.), and then I simply must google the lyrics to Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

 

The innocuous little chapter about the finances?  It was where I hit a snag. We had to take at least three weeks for that one because I have issues with courage and money and (gulp) budgeting and stuff.  It’s a tough thing, to be me at times.  My husband and I had this conversation recently:

Me:  I really need to start working on our budget.

Hubs: Yep!  Have you collected receipts?

Me: Those pieces of paper?  Yes, well, (sniffle) there’s so many of them…  they’re all crinkled….  this is hard.

Hubs:  No problem!  Just keep going and we’ll get a spreadsheet worked up.  I love spreadsheets!

Me: Spreadsheets.  They are  also hard.

Hubs:  Hmmmm.  I can help you?  Would you like a candy bar when we’re done?

Me: (Ears perking.)  Kit Kat?

Hubs:  Sure, honey.

 

Our marriage is based on chocolate bars and lots of circular conversations.  It works for us.

 

So, I am a bit slow on the organizing the finances part.  This is mainly because I am convinced that facing money issues versus just pretending we have Warren Buffet’s checkbook (is he at ALL related to Jimmy Buffet? I have always wondered.  That would be cool.)  is a much better route than, you know,

ACTUALLY DEALING WITH LIFE.

Also:

Summertime.  Summertime blows my ever-loving mind, I tell you.

Know why?

 

CatInPool

I WOULD RATHER GO TO THE POOL.  LIKE ALL THE TIME.  EVERY DAY.

Also, I take my children with me.  Which means:

UTTER EXHAUSTION WHEN WE RETURN.

It kinda cuts into my being productive and running a smooth ship.

Well, to be honest, my ship was never exactly smooth…  Our household kinda ran on the “Hey!  We’re not on the Titanic lifeboat yet! Bonus!! Anchors aweigh!” kind of ship.

This week, I am combining the following chapters from Berry’s book:

Organize Your Receipts (yes, those annoying, crinkley things)

Organize Your Files

 

The good news:  both areas of our household have been nudged/purged/tidied enough by me that taking them both on this week will probably be a snap.

The bad news:  I will eventually have to tackle the husband’s strange filing system.  Over the years I have sloooowly taken over many of his attempts at household management because I am the Master Of This Universe, buddy, and also:  He is an Engineer, albeit a Cute One, and For the Most Part I Just Don’t Get Him.

 

Perhaps it would be a good idea to demonstrate a little marital compromise this week.  I’ll stock up on Kit Kats and make sure to communicate my system.

Wish me luck.

*The lawyer would like to remind me that just because someone does something differently does not mean it’s Wrong.  He also suggested that marriage should not be based on bribery and miscommunication.  I did try to give him a Kit Kat, but he would have none of it.

The weirdo.

 

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Monday Manuscript – Reclaiming Eve

 

Adam and Eve by Domenichino courtesy of the Web Art Gallery

I love this painting. Adam’s shrug. The snooty horse. The weird cupid heads… And of course, pale Eve.

 

October 6, 2008, 3: something in the morning, I am trying to do what mothers have done since, well, Eve.

I’m trying to have a baby.

It was all so different from what I thought it would be.  Babies tend to trump that whole “not what I expected” thing across the board.  I realize this now, but, as I recall, birthing plans were laughed at, time just seemed to groan, and pushing for what felt like four days was producing no baby.  I’m not going to give you all the details, but let me clarify this:

I don’t like pain.  I was allllll for the epidural.  However,  I must have ordered the half-price brand because my epidural only worked on half of me.  And whatever half was left out, it was the wrong half.  This was a very big problem.  Ya’ll, I’m not brave.  I can’t even go to the dentist without contacting my church’s prayer group and cancelling at least two times.  Last time I did a yoga pose that caused a twinge I just simply downward dogged right to the floor and stayed there.

The whole birthing experience thing ended with me being raced down a hallway on a gurney, groaning like I was on my own ER episode except it WAS a real live emergency, and then bright lights and lots of shaking and a c-section that I think happened, right? I do have the scar to prove it.  Well, it was a bit painful.  (THIS IS PUTTING IT LIGHTLY.  It’s like saying, “Bungee jumping?  It’s concerning,” or something.)

Moms to be, I am sorry.  It is painful.  But worth it.

(Don’t you worry.  It all worked out.  I am now the proud owner of a bouncing five-year old.)

My theory is this:  if pain occurs, there must be a culprit.  It makes the pain more bearable, I guess, to pin it on someone.  Y’all know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

This is all Eve’s fault.

Now, granted, on October 6, 2008, at four:something in the morning, I wasn’t going to delve into theological query about Eve’s culpability.  I was too distracted by all the beeping and the way they kept making me roll from side to side like a peevish beached whale.  But guess what?  18 months later, I found myself anticipating another little bundle of joy (we like to pack things close together in this family; we’re full throttle like that) and so I had a full nine months full of hormones, difficult sciatica, and searing heartburn from water (WATER) to ponder the unfairness.

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Bedside table: Chapstick, glasses, lotion, notepad, and a good book

 

 

I’m posting today for Beacon Hill Press as an Off the Shelf Blogger.  As so often happens in my life because I’m not very smart, and I think God has to send me object lessons really, really often, the book I chose has been a game changer for me.

Reclaiming Eve:  The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God by Suzanne Burden, Carla Sunberg, and Jamie Wright, set me straight.  But kindly.  I have to say, it was a book that reframed a lot of my thinking about my role here on this planet – and I am grateful.  I had a “focus” problem with Eve, as do a lot of us.  I tended to focus on Eve’s sin, and somehow, the book suggested, somehow that sin and that burden and that big messup – sorta was defining and weighing down my daily walk with God as well.

I really had no idea.

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My “grudge” with Eve started when I first became a Christian, and thus I had to find another Christian to marry.  I just had to.  First of all:

1.  If you are a Christian and you don’t get married and have kids – what good are you?

2.  If you are a Christian and you don’t get married and have kids  – what’s WRONG with you?

It only took me EIGHT YEARS OF CONSTANT LOOKING before I “found” my sweetheart.  I do realize that whether or not I had found him is not really the point here, and that God’s plan needs to be in play in my life.  The book kinda talks about that.  A lot.  But my gosh, I really lost sight of that at times when I was single.  The FEAR of being alone – it was dizzying.  Sorta like bungee jumping.

But I digress.

My grudge really solidified when I became what all the neighbor kids call me:  “RedandBlonde’sMom?”  (Always with a “?” on the end, and you moms know why.  Mothers rarely get to just have conversation.  87% of our verbal utterances is answering requests and questions.  We’re like Google, only we also make snacks.  It’s our thing.)

I had these kids, and I found myself at home, not teaching, not working, with my entire day planned and molded around these two small whimsical tornadoes, and I lost… me.  And yes, I do see the irony now about how I thought I wasn’t “teaching” or “working” anymore.  This whole Mom thing is the biggest teaching gig ever, however underpaid.  At least I’m union.

Suzanne Burden digs deeper into this:  “… I realized that for many if not most of us, it is Eve’s sin that defines her.  Those irrevocable moments when she sought wisdom apart from God.  If only she hadn’t listened to the serpent.  If only she hadn’t pursued her own self-importance (me: gulp).  If only she hadn’t eaten the fruit.  If only Adam had stopped her.  If only. 

     Here’s the difficult truth:  Eve’s disobedience colors the way we feel about ourselves as women, even when we don’t admit it.  I’ll say it again another way.  The way you feel about Eve reflects the way you feel about yourself.  If Eve is dangerous, you are dangerous.  If Eve is gullible, you may be gullible too.  If Eve is inferior, then surely something about women in general is simply not up to par.

So tell me, what’s a girl to do with the problem of Eve?”

This chapter goes on to explain that we have largely put Eve in pause mode – forever stuck on that dreadful moment with the serpent and the scratchy fig leaves and the most painful thing of all – separation from our Father.  Burden suggests we need to go on and “press the play button, unfreezing Grandmother Eve.”  And then, it occurred to me, I have Eve in a very tidily labelled box:  “Selfish.” And the hardest part was accepting that “Selfish” was… also me.  Being selfish and being a mom are contrary and just plain painful.  Those little ones came along and my universe became very crowded.  Marriage had shown me a couple of key lessons about selfishness vs. service.  But, babies?  Babies asked me to get my Ph.D in selflessness, and then start my own school with open enrollment.  Not easy.

Reclaiming Eve outlines a view of Eve that helps us see her (and thus, ourselves) as the “ezer” we can be.  An “ezer” means “helper” in Hebrew, and as you recall, it’s in that famous verse, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper for him” (Genesis 2:8) from which “ezer” is taken.  Here’s the best part:  “ezer” translates to “strong power.”

Huh.

In chapters such as, “Identity” and “Alliance” and “Sisterhood” and “Wholeness” we learn about overcoming and healing and love.  And I learned, very quickly, that I needed to pray about all this.  I told God I was sorry – because lately, I think, I had become a rather Eeyore, NOT “ezer” version of Eve in my household.  “Oh, Ok…  don’t worry about me… I’ll clean that up and do all this over here too… that’s what life is  like as a Mom… let me walk trudge about and sigh a lot…”  You get the idea.

It wasn’t a happy house.

I’m working on a “StrongPower” me.  I am a wife, and a mom, and a sister, and a writer, and a runner.  But first? A woman.  A child of God.  And Eve was my Grandmomma.  This family line was not random – God worked it all out for a reason.  So I best pay attention and, as an “ezer” truly restore myself to God’s image of me.  As Carla Sunberg stated in the epilogue:

“It seems that for far too long God’s ezers have been like the light that has been hidden.  In Matthew 5:15 Jesus said, “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”  We as women are God’s light and we are to be set free to shine the message of hope and freedom into the world.”

 

Claiming God’s identity is not putting on a mantle of weight and obligation and heaviness. It’s a freedom and release to be His. Some day, Eve and I are going to sit down over a tall glass of sweet tea (of which there will be an unlimited amount) and she might say, “You know? I am forgiven.  I am loved.  I was the very first picture of grace.”

It’s a beautiful painting. And we’re all in it, together.

 

Poissy, Women in a Garden-1

Paintings:

Adam and Eve by Domenichino courtesy of the Web Art Gallery

Poissy, Women in a Garden by Maximilien Luce courtesy of the Web Art Gallery

 

 

 

Monday Manuscript

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Monday Morning, Easter After.

Still celebrating.  Shouldn’t we all?  All the time?

I spent what could have been the best Easter I have had in quite  a while – more explanation of that (with too many pictures, some pool noodles, and lots of chocolate fudge icing) tomorrow!

For today – I offer this song for you.  I listen to it every morning as I run.  Every morning, ya’ll.  It fits the slap slap of my feet hitting pavement perfectly, AND –

It has the greatest chorus ever:

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he’s alive! he’s alive!

I do have to admit – at 5:30 a.m., I have been known to run with this blasting from my earphones, arms upraised, singing along.  Especially that last line.  I do hope I didn’t scare anyone, because I am pretty sure what was coming out of my mouth was NOT a pretty sound at all.  Probably kinda sounded like a whale trying to find the key of C.  A very spiritual whale.

My version:

Oh deaaaf where is stingHUH? (gasp)

oh HELL where victUH? (gasp)

Oh Churchwoeooooflesss lightUH! (gaspgasp)

OurGODESSSSNOTDUD…HEAWIV…..HEUHWIIIIIVVVE! (ergggggasp)

All the whales in the neighborhood, can I hear an “Amen”?

Anyhow, I don’t care.  It’s 5:30 am.  If you’re up, you can deal.  I am kinda of the mind set that if anyone IS up and mucking around at that hour they won’t mind a bit of whale/Jesus music,  or he or she might need it.  I did run into (almost literally) a poor college kid coming home from the bars who was, shall we say, rather green about the gills.  (GET IT?  GETTTTT IT?  YOU SAW WHAT I DID THERE, RIGHT?)*  I sang my whale/Jesus song at him and lo, he was healed.  Or at least he walked a bit faster.  Yes!  Praise the Lord!

But I digress.

Enjoy the song – and remember:

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love.

You might see why I love this song so, in terms being caught and being free, and my recent post about glitter (the funny part) and alcohol (the not so funny part – although there have been many funny parts.  Many.  But that’s a post for another day.)

  Happy Easter.  Every Day.

Amen.

And Amen.

And Amen.

 

 

*Lawyer has reported in.  He says whales don’t have gills so my pun is off. He’s litigious, that one.  I still think the pun holds.  Oh well, water under the bridge.

DID YOU SEE THAT? WHAT I DID RIGHT THERE?  I DID IT AGAIN!  I KNOW,  RIGHT?