Don’t ever settle down.

Linking up with my favorite peeps today! The theme?

 

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It’s Friday. Good Friday, which as might know, is kind of a confusing name.

Last night, we took the boys to Maundy Thursday service (another confusing name – we Christians like to keep things all a kilter), and Red was very spiritual. Seven pm services tend to do that to him. He can get all quiet and sorta pensive.

It’s also possible he was dog-tired because earlier he was running about like a puppy on pixie sticks, but you know. I prefer spiritual.

Anyhow, Red was explaining what Maundy Thursday was all about, and then he launched right into Good Friday. (If you don’t know, Maundy Thursday it’s a commemoration of the Last Supper. Or, if you are Red, Maundy Thursday is about the Last Supper and ALSO grape juice! Grape juice in those little plastic cups! We NEVER drink grape juice at home so there is GRAPE JUICE COMING. Also a very dry small cracker thing. WHICH GETS TO GET WASHED DOWN WITH GRAPE JUICE OH SWEET NECTAR.)

And yes, I have just basically confessed that my sweet boy regards communion as a spiritual snack time of sorts. It’s a process, people.

So. Anyhow, Good Friday.

Red is trying to understand why Good Friday has any sort of Goodness in it. He says, “Jesus did not go into Good Friday all… ‘Hooray!’ Ok? It’s not GOOD. It’s TERRIFYING.”

Quick backstory: We are in line to go up and take communion while this conversation is occurring so it’s all very whispered and there’s a lot of “Shh-shing” in the background.

So, then Red is quiet for minute and I can literally SEE the little tiny synapses firing away, up inside his little Red head. And then, he blurts out:

“BUT IT’S SO GOOD. IT WAS GOOD FOR US. AND HE’S ALL ABOUT US, SO THAT’S IT! THAT’S WHY IT’S GOOD! I GET IT NOW!”

You know, we all get to get them, these little God moments where God comes up besides us and smiles gently and then WHACKS us UPSIDE THE HEAD with a God moment, because we needed it. And it doesn’t hurt, really. I mean, it can make us a little dizzy, but  it’s just really cool and kinda a moment to shout about.

But, back to Maundy Thursday – where we were supposed to be sort of contemplative and quiet and pondering Gethsemane and sad, and here’s Red, completely rocking out his God moment for all the world to see. And hear.

I wanted to tell him to Settle Down. I did. But instead, I just hugged on him and smiled to the little old lady in line with us, and I realized something:

There is no settling in this faith of ours. It’s big and changing and it breaks our world apart. It HAS to. And today, our world is to break. And Sunday? It will break even MORE. And it’s happy and it’s sad and it’s terrifying and it’s good. 

It’s so good. Thank you for Sunday, my Jesus. Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for loving us so deeply.  Whatever in the world would I do without you?

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When the routine is all we have.

Linking up with my people at Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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There are days when I get up, I get dressed, I swig some coffee, and I sashay on out to the world and say,

“World, greetings and salutations! I just had some coffee and my kids are dressed with 75% of their clothes facing the right way, and I’m PUMPED. Let’s DO this!”

Today friends, is not that day.

Today was a wake up, stare up at the ceiling, wish for more sleep, more coffee, more time when my brain didn’t seem to hurt so bad, kind of day.

I was not ready to face it, the day, or anything else for that matter.

I just wanted to pull my covers up over my head and hope for sleep and chocolate and perhaps a Corgi puppy. A puppy would help.

That would get all messy, though. And you know the puppy would also eat the chocolate which is bad and there would be stains on the bed and UGH WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD EVEN PUPPIES.

And that’s when I start in on the whole exhausting mental checklist of Doom:

  1. It’s sunny, but I’m still sad.
  2. My children are healthy. Yep, still sad.
  3. Chocolate is in the house somewhere. SAD. SAD. SAD.
  4. We are fed, watered, have a roof… and still there is this horrible dreadful SADNESS. GO AWAY.

I have no reason for this sadness. And I really hate that. I want it to go away. I want to fight it. But the more I do, the more I get stuck in the sadness. Do you remember that verse in the bible about temptation? It says not to engage. Don’t make eye contact. Just RUN DA HECK AWAY? Well, that’s what I need to do, I think.

But I’m too tired to run.

I hate this sadness SO much that I have a tendency to hunker down and listen to a sour, angry voice inside my head that I like to call my “Inner Asshole” (sounds so inappropriate and kind of gross, but really? It’s just who he is). And he says things like:

“You’ll always feel this way. This day is gonna suck so hard it will just be impossible to even MOVE and your kids will hate you and everything is awful and why even try. Nothing matters except that you know that you are a failure for feeling things so hard that they make you immobile, so for the love of Pete, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MOVE THEN. It’s super important when feeling immobile to KEEP ON BEING THAT WAY.”

But this morning, I did this:

“Hey, Inner Asshole, shut it. (Again, kinda gross.) I gotta go teach a bunch of college kids how to write good.”

And I got up, got dressed, even brushed and flossed (win for me AND the college kids) and got to work.

I didn’t want to.

I really just wanted to stay home.

I kinda hate parenthetical citations, really.

But sometimes? The routine is all we have. And we get up, and floss, mutter the serenity prayer six times, and talk about parenthetical citations, and we hold onto all that stuff as a tiny, bobbing life preserver.

Not a big pink floatie in the shape of a flamingo, folks. Just a tiny, yellow, beat-up life preserver. That’s it. That’s all you get.

The sharks are still out there, but by goodness, I am going to float the heck out of that preserver and paddle on. 

NOT TODAY, SHARK.

NOT TODAY.

 

 

Provide.

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today at Five Minute Friday. The theme?

Setting: the dinner table. AKA the military zone.

The characters:
Blonde – AKA I Think He Eats Air
Red – AKA He Changes His Mind About Things. A Lot.
Momsie – AKA General Momsie

Momsie sets down a cheesy chicken burrito in front of both boys.
And… the first shot was fired.

Blonde: It’s too cheesy.

Me: You don’t like cheese?

Blonde: I do like cheese. But not when it’s gooey.

Me: It’s melted. It’s gooey. You devour pizza so very often, and it has gooey written all over it.

Blonde: I don’t like gooey when it’s mixed with chicken.

Me: So, it’s the chicken. The chicken is the culprit.

Red: I like chicken! But this chicken is too soft.

Me: IT’S SHREDDED CHICKEN. THE CHICKEN HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER.

Red: Can’t I just eat blueberries and six pickles for dinner?

Me: Red, you ate THIS EXACT meal two days ago and you loved it. And yes, readers I am now admitting that I feed them on repeat. They LOVED it two days ago. I was hoping for a return to greatness. And also, the husband has been out of town for a week on a business trip and it’s been pretty basic around here. I did, however, make home made ranch dressing for them to dip their teensy tiny carrots into, so I am winning in some way here, right? Right?

Red: Wow.

Blonde: Our mother feels guilt about a lot of things. Her ranch dressing is a way to absolve that guilt.

Red: Wow.

Blonde: So, can I just eat tortilla chips? There’s corn in there. Healthy.

Red: This chicken and cheesy stuff is too creamy. I don’t like creamy.

Me: I don’t know who you are anymore.

As God is my witness, someday I will make a meal that they both like at the same time.

I provide for my children. Every day, I make horrible, awful, creamy cheesy things. It’s what I do.
It’s what we do.

Let’s face it. I’m tired.

too tired

This is a List of Things That Make me Tired.

By: Momsie

  1. People who just say, “I’m just sayin'” at the end of an obnoxious statement, thinking that somehow “I’m just sayin” makes it not obnoxious. I’m just sayin.
  2. Instagram pictures that involve abs and something called an Acai bowl.
  3. Commercials during football games. Beer and Viagra. On repeat. It confuses my children.
  4. When Kansas City Royals players just LEAVE us for OTHER teams simply because of MONEY I mean where is your LOYALTY. You must STAY WITH US FOREVER.
  5. The fact that the Royals players make so much money and that they are actually in a place where they think like this: “Well, I make fifty kajillion here, but over there I could make sixty kajillion so it’s actually a negotiating point, that last ten kajillion,” where I am thinking my head would explode if one kajillion just sauntered by and just waved at me.
  6. I need to get off my Royals kick. Sorry guys. I love you, Royals. Hugs!

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7. When my student turns in an entire paper he cut and pasted off of the internet and then insists that somehow he had no idea how that could have possibly happened. (True story. Just happened today. I’m still processing.)

8. Those shirts without the shoulders? They just make me feel cold.

9. When my post starts to double-space without permission and now I’m stuck in double-space land for some reason.

10. Whenever I go a little crazy and say something like, “Hey kids! Let’s make these cookies/craft/happy family project together. It’ll be fun!” because then, within about five minutes, it is so not fun. It’s all a conspiracy.

11. Any sort of situation that involves me calling customer service in any capacity for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter how good I’m feeling, how great my hair is, how wonderful the weather is outside, once I start pushing 1-800 on my phone my life loses all meaning and I no longer feel the will to breathe.

12. When anyone, anywhere, says “I am shook.” Only Beyonce can say that. If you learn anything from this post; if there is any sort of takeaway at all, it’s this: Don’t mess with Beyonce.

13. When I take the car into for an oil change and they ask me if I need my fluids flushed. I NEVER KNOW. I NEVER KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS EXACTLY AND IT FEELS TOO PERSONAL FOR THEM TO BE ASKING ME THAT.

14. When I make homemade macaroni and cheese with butter and cream and all sorts of momma’s love and goodness, and my son says he doesn’t like it because it’s “slippery.” I just nod and tell him, “That was what I was going for, son. Slippery.”

15. Moms who bring homemade cake pops in the shape of ALL the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to school for their child’s birthday. I love you, moms. I do. You go, with your baking skills and knowledge of pop culture. I’m just gonna sit over here with a cup of coffee and my Little Debbie.

16. This post. It just goes on and on. It’s tiring.

17. People who say things like: “The trick to getting up at 5 am to work out is to sleep in your workout clothes.” Like somehow, sleeping in a running bra will make me more vigorous in the morning. Instead, I just feel… constrained. And thus, more grumpy. Plus, I slide all around in the sheets because spandex and that is not proper bedtime etiquette. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

18. People who actually try to get away with saying, “Nudge nudge wink wink.”

19. When one of my wee children approaches me and says, “Mom? Do you want to discuss Minecraft? I gotta free hour and a powerpoint presentation here. Have a seat.”

20. Nothing about you. Nothing ever ever about any of you poor darlings, my sweet readers, who actually made it through the randomness that is this post.

 

Today’s post was brought to you by:

  1. Not enough coffee.
  2. Grumpiness and kinda a total feeling of disbelief due to #7.
  3. Kate Motaung and her Five Minute Friday wonderfulness. And yes, today’s theme was:

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Privilege

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

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I’ve been working a lot on gratitude lately.

Do you know what? The thing with gratitude is, if you work it, it really works!

Say that fast five times, I dare you.

Gratitude is a conversation with yourself and God about how blessed you are. Here are some other things I am learning about gratitude:

  1. It’s just like a three pointer – you really can practice it and improve. Or, if you’re like me, you can practice it and get real close to the basket but feel better about it.
  2. It should be a daily thing.
  3. It should be an hourly thing.
  4. It’s really a minute by minute thing. You get the idea.

I think gratitude is my simplest way to worship. And privilege is right in there. I mean “privilege” in a good way, not in the “I’m taking over the world” kind of way.

It’s a privilege – to walk down the street every morning and teach my kids about writing and thinking (hopefully at the same time). It’s something I don’t take lightly. It has strings attached, little 18 year old souls that need more than just teaching. It’s a privilege to be with them and learn who they are and learn their stories.

It’s a privilege to relate with my husband. Notice I didn’t just say, “HAVE a husband” because we’re past that now. I have him. I done had him over ten years ago – snared like a 6 foot rabbit in a trap. A rabbit that was in looooove.

He’s still in love, and it’s a privilege to keep walking that path with him – the one where we figure out how to stay in love and work on it and screw up and keep working and on and on. Marriage, y’all. It’s hard core.

It’s a privilege to have these two boys. Red and Blonde. Don’t even get me started. They are just the sweetest, most intelligent, perfect adorable nuggets of humanity. While, at the same time, they are also frustrating and sometimes they have me at: “I don’t even know what to say here. Go to your room. Stay there for two years.”

It’s a privilege. This whole life is that. I was granted special permission by Christ, about twenty years ago, to have a life with him IN it.

And, it’s also totally not, because he never said anything like, “Well, I’m only going to offer out this relationship to a few folks. The special, super elite ones – with the good hair and a really great grasp on the the Old Testament.”

And thank goodness because I am very often 0 for 2 on the hair and the bible thing.

It’s a privilege to talk to Him every day. I ask him stuff and complain and then remember to thank him and keep on talking, and he actually listens.

I have a lot of blessings in my life – I am a healthy, financially ok, employed, white woman with a lot of perks that a lot of people in our world don’t even get to consider.

Realizing this, I am privileged. Blessed. Made alive with hope and wonder with the daily business that is faith.

Amen.

 

 

Surrender

Linking up with my favorite place today – Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme?

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When I first decided to walk with Jesus, instead of just waving to him from across the room, I had a few life-changing things that happened.

Ok, that’s a totally wrong. All the life-changing things happened. Like, all OVER the place. But one of  the most immediately obvious was my taste in music.

Dana, Before Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? Isn’t that just Carmen and Amy Grant? It’s dork-city.

Dana After Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? It must be on, all the time, twenty-four seven, dorky or no. I am praising my saviourrrrr all the day lonnnnnnnnnnng!

Still don’t like Amy Grant music though. Sorry, Amy. You are a wonderful person.

Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin, Watermark, Phil Keaggy… I loved them. Still do. I think I even bought a few of those WOW! ALL CHRISTIAN! cd’s because I needed a bit of variety and their plastic covers were so bright and dorky. I found out something. Walking with Jesus meant I could finally stop trying to be so darn cool about everything and embrace my inner dork, and you know what? The DORK IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE.

And so, one day, I found Sara Groves.

And her music cracked me open, and then put me back together, on a daily basis. I own every one of her albums. We played her song, “Fly” as “our song” at our wedding. I reference her song, “Toy Packaging” every Christmas for those who need to know the struggle is real, with the toy packaging.

I just love her. She is my best-friend musician that I have never met. She writes songs about marriage, and fights with husbands, and family, and the bible, and all of it is threaded throughout with a voice that is strong in faith but still has a lot of questions.

This is me. I have a strong-ish faith. But I have a lot of questions. Like, a LOT.

Long ago, before marriage, before recovery (I am a sober momma, because me and wine broke up long ago and that’s a whole other story), before children, before a lot of things, my heart was broken into a million pieces by life and love that was lost. I am pretty sure that’s a thing that has happened to all of us – heartache so profound it threatens to scoop us up and throw us out with the trash. It’s that hard.

I would lay on my bed, feeling tears drip warm down the sides of my face and pool up by my ears, too tired to wipe them away. Sometimes my dog Norman would jump up there with me and snuffle the tears away. He was such a good pupper.

And I would listen to Sara’s song, Remember Surrender. 

You see, I was walking with Jesus, yes. But I was still hurting. And this song seemed to understand that. And with each listen, I got a little better.

Just so you know, there were ther things helped me get better:

Reading the bible. (Walking with Jesus now, duh)

Prayer. (Double duh)

Reading just about anything by Melody Beattie.

Going on long runs with Norman even when I didn’t want to (He always did, so he would drag me. We made it work).

Talking to friends. DUH.

Crying with those friends. And then praying some more. (Quadruple duh. And thank you, friends, for always listening. And always offering to pray with me. And gripping onto my hands hard while you did so, so hard that it almost kinda hurt but in a good way. I’m looking at you, Katie.)

And so, I would like to share this song with you today. If you walk with Jesus, but your heart is still sore and sad, and you just want something so badly, but it can’t be yours… Listen and get a little better.

This version has some pics with the video. They’re a little dorky. But, as you know, I like the dorky.

What’s Your Motivation?

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today, Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

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Back when I was young and vastly much more energetic, I used to teach high school theater.

Those days were pretty nutty, and involved a lot of plays that took on a bit of a wonky Little Rascals, “Let’s put on a show!” kinda vibe, but you know. I remember once, (and only once) asking a sixteen year old while we were working on a scene, “What’s your motivation here?” He stared at me blankly.  And then I think he answered, “Well, I’m not doing basketball and my parents made me do something extracurricular.” I let it go. Plus, it was for Bye Bye Birdie, so, you know, I bet his true motivation was to break into song and dance at random points without his voice cracking like a sheet of ice.

So, the basic lesson here: Never ask a teenager about motivation. They never really know.

Also: It’s totally fine to ask a Momsie what her motivation is. But sometimes… I too, never really know.

There’s the quick answer to the above: Love God, and love others.

But also, there’s my recovery, marriage, my kids, my service, my writing, my book, my church, my fire baton routine… (Ok, just kidding about the baton part. I can dare to dream, however.)

I think moms have this ever-cycling wheel of What’s Most Important circling in our souls – our children… our husbands… our careers…. our ability to bake the best casseroles for church suppers… And repeat.

It’s an endless cycle of Where Do I Put All My Energy? Energy doesn’t do so well when it’s slathered all over the place, like thin margarine on toast.

Here’s what I would like: when I wake up, I would like a plane flying overhead, with one of those banners behind it, saying something like: DANA. FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS.

Or…

DANA. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BALANCE. BALANCE IS FOR GYMNASTS. GOD HAS YOUR BACK.

Or…

DANA, YOUR CASSEROLES WILL NEVER WIN ANY PRIZES. LET THAT GO. GOD LOVE YOU ANYWAY.

Or, simply:

LET GO, LET GOD.

My motivations can get tangled. Thus, the airplane banner thing would be helpful. I need visual, and large, airborn reminders, I guess. But, it would be kinda weird. The rest of the neighborhood might need a heads up.

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