I Tweet, Therefore I am.

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Y’all. I’m supposed to be fasting from social media right now.

See? See how well that’s going? This is me… fasting.

Allow me to explain:

When I started the Congo fast because my evil friend Kate suckered me into it without my full knowledge, comprehension, or understanding, and I did it out of the goodness of my heart and because I am totally spiritual and my goodness this is all a load of hooey.

ANYHOW. When I started the Congo fast w/ Kate for our Sunday school class… I thought… Well. Food. I have to fast from food for 40 days. That’s nearly impossible and as we all know I have caved like a Neanderthal about twenty times in the 40 days, but who’s counting?

As God is my witness, I thought the tortillas were going to be it.

But, as Kate has so patiently reminded me, also about twenty times, the Sunday school class does exceed 40 days. So, what are we gonna do for the other portion? Just sit around and talk about how fabulous we were for fasting?

Ok, so along with Chris Seay’s A Place at the Table, we read this gem:

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I use the word “gem” because I have so few of them now, BECAUSE JEN KEEPS TELLING ME TO GIVE STUFF AWAY.

Ok, seriously. Here’s more explaining: We decided to also tackle, along with food the other items that Jen mutinies against. There right there on the cover for you: clothes, spending, waste, stress (har har har), waste, and MEDIA.

MEDIA.

YES IN ALL CAPS.

Guys. You can take my clothes and help me recycle and give me a budget and make me eat corn tortillas ’till the cows come home (that we can’t eat)

BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO PRY MY MEDIA FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

Here is the very real conversation I had with Kate about this whole media thing, yesterday:

Kate: I’m fasting from media and it’s going okay. How about you?
Me: *leans forward to the microphone* I cannot recall.

That’s a pretty fabulous Ollie North, right? And for those of you who are too young to understand my cheap mimicry of the general and his memory recall issues, what I REALLY said is something like this:

Me: NOOOOOOO. This is so HARRRRRRD. I’m eating rice and beans – you can’t make me NOT watch Netflix TOOOOOOOOOOO.

The wailing, I tell you, was heard one county over.

I ask you, what about all my quips? Where will the quipping go, if I cannot post about it? It will be like I don’t even exist.

Really. How can I live without the tweetings?

What if my children do something adorable? (rare, granted). Or the cat? What if the CAT does something adorable (hourly). How will I live without talking about it?

So, here is my announcement: Our Congo fast and its 40 days is over this Sunday. After that, I will be walking away from my computer for a week.

I will miss you *she waves weakly* Don’t you worry about me… *fading away* I’m sure I’ll be… just… fine *drops to the floor in a heap and makes sure her pose is flattering for a selfie*

Social media, y’all. It’s addictive stuff. I mean, really. If a tree falls in the forest and no one takes a picture of it for Instagram, does an angel lose his wings?

Or something like that.

Now, the only people I have yet to tell are the children. They’ll be joining me in this fast. No Netflixes. No Wii Rockband.

The cries will be heard from two counties over.

Pray for us.

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Fight the Good Fight

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Sometimes being afraid just takes up too much time in the day.

And sometimes, we can fear the strangest things.

Y’all, I am fighting off some gunk lately. It is real, biological gunk as I think I might be getting the horrible plague-flu that is going around the boys’ school. I substitute there, and just yesterday a little sweetheart came up and coughed in my general direction and I swear I could SEE the horrible plague-germs attack me.

Also, sadness and confusion. I am fighting that. And a complete lack of confidence. I am a lump of all of that.

Here’s the deal. I am working on book 2. This is wonderful and exciting and such a straight up gift from God. So, you know Satan has to get in on it, don’t you? Satan’s all:

“This is the worst drivel you have ever written. You just googled The Spice Girls, to put IN your book, are you kidding? Who is going to read this crud? Maybe Scary Spice but that’s IT. And, you know? It’s really, really important right now for you to go on the facebooks and waste about 30 min. scrolling, scrolling, so you can mush-ify your brain a little more, BECAUSE YOU CANNOT WRITE.”

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Satan has a very good way of instilling fear, distracting, and then lumpifying me. Allow me to show you in a cool graphic display:

Step One:

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Step Two:

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Step Three:8182018_orig.png

 

Also, this morning I received an email rejecting my writing. It happens. It happens a lot, actually. If you want to be a writer, oftentimes you have to hold your writing out for others to see, and that merits some rejection.

Still hurts, though. Still makes Satan just rub his hands together in glee, so he can now sprinkle “SEE? I TOLD YOU SO. YOU CAN’T WRITE. GET A CLUE AND START FILLING OUT APPLICATIONS AT JC PENNY” onto my already mushy brain.

Not that working at JC Penny would be terrible. It’s just… retail does not really speak to me on a creative level, you know? And I decided, some years ago, when I laid down the wine and said, “Enough,” that my new addiction would be creativity. So, I have to have it.

I just have to. Or I wither.

Here’s the deal. Satan tries to wither us at any corner, any small space, any bit of emptiness he can wiggle into. He slides in, sneaks by, infiltrates oh so slowly, and next thing you know? You’ve start to feel fear. And then, you react.

I react by throwing a blanket over it, so I can pretend it’s not there. I try to numb it out. I poke my fingers in my ears and sing “La la la la la!!!” like I’m six.

I try all of these things and scroll on the facebooks too. It does the trick, for a while. But all the time, the fear is still there, shrouded, and waiting. So very, very patient.

Instead? Well, I want to breathe in God and breathe Him out and just sit with Him and talk about all this stuff. I forget to DO that. Such a simple thing.

Kelly Balarie’s book, Fear Fighting, gives us reminders and wisdom about all of this. It is a book that speaks to those of us who long for Control. Who Worry. Who hate Waiting. Who have felt the sting of Rejection. (These are all her chapter titles, and I re-read “Rejection and Opposition: They Have Issues just this morning.)

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I also want “rhythm with God.” I want to sit with Him in all of this, and then, get up and walk with Him and work it out. I don’t want to evade or cover up or sink into mushy, distracted, tired brain.

I am grateful for this book and for Kelly’s compassion. She’s been there. Oh, has she been there (Read her book; she’ll tell you all about it. )

Go do something un-mushifying today. I will too, with the help of too much coffee, Jesus, some good music (Sara Groves, of course) and this book.

Join the good fight. #FearFightingbook #DolifewithGod

And all God’s women said,  Amen?

Amen!

 

Good Meetings. And Good Hair.

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Me, this morning, driving to a very needed hair  appointment.

Me: Hi God. I have my Jesus music on. Let me turn it down. Good stuff. Do you think you might have a little time?

God: Really? Have we not gone over this before? Yes, my girl. Go on.

Me: Ok. So… Um. Ok, here goes. There is all this awfulness going on. Have you SEEN all of this? Like, watch the news for about three minutes. And don’t even get me started on the facebook.

God: Ah yes. The Facebook.

Me: YES. Facebook. You know it? IT’S A HOT MESS. I mean, it has cat videos. Those help. And people post about their anniversaries. Those help too. But lately. Hot mess for the win.

God: Hmm. I can see how it might seem that way.

Me: I have two little boys. They’re little. Small, right? Like, they have all this growing up to do.

God: Yes. I know them dear. We were just talking last night.

Me: Well.   DO SOMETHING.

And then, I pulled into the parking lot. My friend, who is also in recovery, is my hair dresser. She makes my hair look great. She also makes my heart great, because whenever we get together, it’s a meeting. For those of you who don’t know – I am an alcoholic, and I attend 12 step meetings. But sometimes those meetings don’t have to take place in church basements with the bad coffee.

Sometimes, they take place while you are getting flappy foils put in your hair. You look ridiculous, but the meeting is ON.

So then, I unloaded. She gave me highlights and I gave her my guts. Every worry and fear. My little boys. All the anger around us. All the people, falling apart. Falling down. Every prayer. All of it.

And then she reminded me:

“God has the mountains. Even when they seem to crumble. He is still in charge.”

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You know this verse? It’s kind of a good one. The bible works that way – it’s got a lot of good ones. Sometimes I slap a bible verse on things, like a Jesus version of a Spiderman band-aid and hope it will feel better, but this verse? It’s bigger than a band aid. Bigger than a mountain.* I know this. But there is something about hearing it from another messenger, you know?

God and my hairdresser. A good morning. Meetings happen everywhere, as long as we are willing to listen.

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*Actually – I would have to add, all of the bible? ALL of it: Bigger than mountains. Every letter.

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. The theme?

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Well. I don’t see the draw with this one. We certainly don’t need help, do we?

Har har har. Little bit of sarcasm there. In case you weren’t tracking. Sarcasm is my jam, y’all.

I was talking on the phone with my mom the other day. Normally our conversations go like this:

“I made coconut muffins the other day! Want to talk about them for the next twenty minutes?”

“Ooooooo! Muffins! Yes! Let’s discuss!”

And so on.

But instead, this conversation traveled into a scary place called the Great Angry Cat Box  Called the Political Arena.

Me: Mom. We are doomed. Doomed, I say.

Mom: I pray one thing, mainly, every day. I pray for Mercy for the United States. We need it.

Let’s face it. We need HELP.

Or maybe we don’t really want to face it at all. Thus, we have social media. Which doesn’t allow us to really face truth, in any way. It just gives us filtered versions and demands, “Now, WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?”

We need a hero. A real hero. Someone to save the day. And I don’t see Jesus coming back and then saying, “Stop! Stop all the prophecy! I mean, yes, we WILL get to that, Elijah and Moses, so just get a bottle of water and take a break. Maybe watch a little Great British Bake Off. It’s such a good show. Anyhow, FIRST, I need to fix this president thing over in the United States. Did you hear about them? They are a Great Angry Cat Box right now and I am going just head over there and clean it UP. And then, we’ll get back to Revelations, ok?”

I have no other wisdom. I can only offer this – a former student of mine said it:

“Maybe instead of watching the Republican National Convention I should spend that time praying and fasting for our country.”

Sounds good. Prayer and fasting never hurts.

When I was a girl, I always used to listen to my mom’s Simon and Garfunkel albums – one of my favorite songs by them would croon: “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” But the truth? DiMaggio was no hero. We sure wanted him to be, yes. We want someone, anyone, to show up. To BE the help we need. Our heroes are being dismantled, before our eyes, on a daily basis.

Help. We need help.

We don’t just want it. We really, REALLY need it.

This is good, all this need. Somehow, I think, this is just the place we are supposed to be. Because of all this gaping, messy need, it is good. Weakness forces us to lean. Somehow, I really do think, it’s all going to be all right.

In the meantime, I guess… help others? I dunno. I think that’s what we are supposed to do with all this. Maybe. I don’t mean to get all Mother Teresa here on this but. Well yes, I do. Because when I focus on that it makes me feel less afraid. I was told once, from an editor, “Never throw Mother Teresa into your writing. Nobody needs the reminder of who they are not. She’s become kinda, well, overused.” Perhaps, but today? She helps ME. So, she’s in here. Take that, Mr. Editor. (I don’t think he reads my posts anyhow, so I’m safe. I hope.”

Or…if the Mother Teresa route makes you dizzy and you just can’t picture yourself in the white head-dress, maybe we should just stick with discussing coconut muffins with your momma.  Both are very good options.

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Terrible No Good Very Bad Day. With Whining.

Brace yourselves. Today is for whining.

This post is all:

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WHOA THERE MOMSIE. DIAL IT BACK. NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THAT.

Ok, I promise you, I am not at “Whining Anakin.” And, yes, did you know? The internets is just this fabulous. All I had to do was google “whining anakin” and up popped sixty majillion pictures because EVERYONE HATES HIM.

(This is a terrible tangent, I know, but it’s therapy. Thank you. And please don’t go.)

All right. Here goes. The other day I posted a couple vids on my facebook page of our road trip home. It was fluffy stuff. The husband was singing some song from the 70’s and I was bored bored bored, so, as most people do when they’re bored: I posted stuff on facebook. It’s what we do. We can’t help it.

It seems, also, that people cannot help posting mean comments.

Oh, trolls. I was so not ready for you.

So far, on my beloved Momsie I have not had many issues with the Trolling Ones.

Here’s the deal. The vid is not really all that … flattering of me. Did you know? I am not all that gorgeous when sitting in a car for 6 hours surrounded by junk food and wrappers and 70’s music and highway?

And also this: I am just not all that gorgeous. Boom. It’s true. I don’t mind. I like my face. I think I am in the “Cute and Loveable” level of face- appearance and that’s cool. I don’t really try to be Hot any more, by any standards because who has time for that crap? And also, my husband still calls me his “widdle freshums” which, honestly? I have no idea what that means but it seems kinda flirty so I’ll take it.

I have chins. Most people have just one. I have multiples. It’s like twins. With chins.

Doubly blessed, then?

I have HAD these chins since I was minus one year old. Back then, at baby-hood, the chins thing? So not a problem. Let me show you:

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Now, if that’s not a widdle freshums I don’t know.

But guys, the chins are still there. And even at my teensiest weight (read: before wedding, must fit in dress weight) I had them. And, really? The only way to get rid of ’em would be to SUCK THEM RIGHT OUTTA MAH FACE AND DONT YOU KNOW IT I HAVE RESEARCHED THIS.

You can even see it in the videos. At one point I am holding my chin with my hand (and yes, the angle was awful. What have selfies taught us, people? Shoot from above! Shoot from ABOVE! Any sniper will tell you that!

No. No chin-suckage will happen in this post, I promise you. And neither will it ever happen in my life because EW and also CRACKAMILLION DOLLARS.

So, my chins and my HUGE FRECKLES (read: sun spots) are a part of me. We’re buddies. We’re LITERALLY stuck with each other. So anyone who has to comment on that is kinda… well, stating the obvious, right? Which means… you are kind of dumb or mean or both.

There. I said it.

I know everyone is all frazzled up about gorillas right now. A week ago it was bathrooms and prior to that Starbucks cups and etc. And damn people, could we all just relax? I think perhaps the internet has spawned a great big fat, multiple chinned monster in a lot of folk: the I WILL JUDGE WITH MY TYPING folk.

Anyhow. I was so whiney about it earlier, the trolls who came and puked all over my page. But now? I’m kind of glad. It at least gives me a moment to realize this:

It could be worse. At least, if I really wanted to, I could suck my chins right outta there.

But you can’t suck away mean and dumb.  That crap holds on.

Good luck with that.

Phew! Whining done, and thank you for listening. Carry on with your day.

Oh, and always remember:

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Surrender is not an option.

Well. I am going to do it. I am going to write about politics.

This clearly goes against my contract. It states, in article 42, section 7:

“Any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, warlike act by a military force or military personnel, destruction or seizure or use for a military purpose, and including any consequence of any of these. Discharge of a nuclear weapon shall be deemed a warlike act even if accidental.”

Um. The words “discharge of nuclear weapon” and “accidental” don’t seem to fit together, do they?

Also, there is:

“For services rendered and to be rendered, it is agreed between the Author and the Author’s agent that the Author does hereby irrevocably assign and transfer to said agent and agent shall retain for the life of the Work a sum equal to fifteen percent (15percent) as an agency coupled with an interest of the gross monies accruing to the account of the Author per the Agreement and any subsequent agreements for the life of the Work in all its editions, revisions and adaptations, prior to deductions from or charges against such monies for any reason whatsoever.” (No, this was not my author’s contract. But it was close. It made my head hurt.)

Oops. Wrong section. I found all that charming legalese  here.

Section EIGHT says:

Momsie doesn’t do politics. Politics are whack.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday, today. And wouldn’t you know it? The theme is:

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Well played, Kate Motaung.

All right. Brace yourself. I am now going to talk politics for the remainder of this blog post. It’s a rare and rather frightening event, much like spotting Big Foot, but also if Big Foot was going to knock on your door and ask to SPEND THE NEXT FOUR YEARS HANGING AT YOUR HOUSE.

Here are my thoughts on politics:

  1. I never really knew what a caucus was until this year. This admission is making my father and at least ONE of my old students who now teaches Social Studies growl at me. I always thought a caucus sounded kind of risque and salacious. Therefore I avoided them. Momsie doesn’t do salacious.
  2. I now live in a small town. The caucus does not come to me. It must be searched out, hunted down and fought for. Cue up, again, the SAME movie clip that I seem to use for every blog on here ever:f92e423d19364d85f10361f51b9c717d

Hey, if the Last of the Mohican moccasin fits, wear it.

In other words:

3. I’ll give you my caucus when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Bit over the top? Bit too dramatic? Perhaps. As we all know, Momsie feeds on sugary dramatic overstatement for breakfast.

4. Evil, and evil people, are simply those who are unwilling or unable to deal with true self awareness.

I know. Think about it. I came up with that in the shower this morning. I thought it was pretty good.

If we really were able to deal honestly and thoughtfully with you we are, we would be walking towards God. God made us that way. He crafted humans to lean to the light, to seek justice, to be clean. And, our leaders are human. No, really. They are. So, I am praying praying praying that all of those who are so intent on leading this country would really be willing to tackle their motives, their deepest heart. Their true nature. And that goodness would filter to the top.

5. Finally. It’s possible the candidate we want to win, won’t. It’s possible. Very possible. And yet, as my pastor says, “God will still be on the throne, no matter who is president.”

God is. God was. God will be.

I believe that the world seems very scary and sad and angry when we look at facebook, at twitter, at the news. It is understandable. Know why?

The world is a very scary and sad and angry place.

I also believe:

The world is lovely, loving, and new every morning. And that Good will prevail. And that glory reigns. And that, thank you, EASTER IS COMING!

I also believe: too many fearful news posts can be combated with:

  1. Prayer
  2. Kitty pictures.
  3. Or, perhaps, both,  AT THE SAME TIME.

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KITTY SCRIPTURE FOR THE WIN.

‘Purr-fect peace’. That’s cute.

Now, go vote.

Small print and lawyer-y diclosure: Momsie is not in any way trying to endorse one candidate over the other because that’s your darn responsibility. Also, the she has never been more confused and holy cow the options are totally weirdo this year so far be it from her to try and tell YOU how to vote. Good Lord almighty. Also, she is not trying to make light of something very serious and important but oh let’s face it this whole situation needs some levity else she will just have to throw in the towel. She’s going to let the other people post the serious stuff and pictures and articles and statistics and horrible clips and videos and ugh this social media thing sometimes just makes me want to go sit by a pond and feed the sweet non-partisan ducks.

When

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Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

Today’s theme:

When .

 

Oh boy. I think I might get cranky on this one. Now remember, readers, this is MY crabby. All mine. You do not have to own it in any way. In fact, if you are all, “Oh no… she’s gonna get all crabby here and I don’t have time for THAT,” then you have complete permission to back away slowly.

It’s just how I’m feeling today.

So, here goes:

 

When are we going to stop fighting about yoga pants?

When is the polarity about that 50 Shades movie going to end?

When can we stop yelling at each other about immunizations?

When will there be some quiet on how much we hate our governor?

When will we be able to meet and talk?

 

I deal in social media. It’s my job. But sometimes, I think social media has created a whole lot of shouting heads. And not the good kind. I prefer the kind of shouting where you’re at a great church service and “I’ll Fly Away” is the hymn, and the band is going crazy, and we just shout along with the love of all of it.

Sometimes, I go on the great interwebs, and I come away thinking, “Everyone is so darn mad.”

And you know? We totally have every right to be mad. I get it. And even express it.

But today? I would like for us to just be able to realize one thing (and yes, I realize too, that I am now giving MY opinion and am stepping hard into the irony of all this. But I’m not yelling. When I yell, my voice gets all shrill and I kinda sound like Meg Tilly, but not in a good way.)

Today: I would like for the great interwebs to ask:

When could we meet for coffee and talk about all this? I’ll wear my yoga pants and you’ll bring your immunization flyers and we will try, somehow, to talk politics.

Or maybe, form a book club for that 50 book.

Or not… I think I would blush so hard I wouldn’t even be able to speak; book clubs like it when you talk, I think.

 

When are we going to get there? The talking part, instead of the shouting?

As my sister would say, “Honey, when Jesus comes, I imagine.”

 

True, yes. Especially the book club part. But, it’s nice to think about, isn’t it?

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