Instagram Feed

Instagram Feed

Jul 29, 2010

A Restless Faith

My faith ebbs and flows, like most people's does.

Sometimes I'm very connected to God, at one with his will. I feel at peace that I'm on the right path, am making good decisions and am others' centered. I'm good in that place. I like that me.

Other times, not so much. I can become very introspective and selfish with my time. My mind wanders easily and I, for some reason, find myself cursing more. It's then that I usually notice that God seems far away. Not because he's left me, but because I've distanced him. That's where I am right now. Damnit.

Even at these times, though, the foundation of my faith never truly waivers. I always know that I'm a child of God. I never stop loving or believing in him, just like he never stops loving and believing in me. But instead of focusing on spiritual things at times like these, I focus on earthly things. That's when my a-muck starts running.

I'm not sure when exactly it started this time, but I became aware of the distance after Pastor Derik left our church. He was the most prolific preacher I've ever heard, bar none. Every message touched me, challenged me, interested me. He was a wise, intellectual pastor who wasn't ashamed of education or emotion or digging deep. He was a great spiritual leader for our congregation. Our new pastor is a super guy and seems like he is a good leader. But not every pastor has the same gifts. And I'm just saying, I miss Derik's gift of preaching.

My faith should not hinge on who my pastor is. My faith is my own. I'm responsible for feeding it and challenging it when I'm not getting those things at church. I know small groups would help me, but I don't have time for small groups with two toddlers, a husband, a part time job and a house to keep. I need to find some things to do or read or watch on my own, but I'm just not doing that right now.

I also get restless when warm weather finally arrives, which isn't necessarily healthy for my faith. When the weather turns colder, something in me hibernates. But when warm spring breezes start blowing in hot summer winds; it awakens that something and that something is hungry. As much as I know that there are healthier more spiritual things on which to focus, the restlessness reminds me that I'm alive. That I'm not just a robot cleaning up poopy diapers, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and drowning in our schedules and routines. It reminds me that I'm a woman and I like that feeling.

I've been writing a lot lately, too. Not so much blogging, but writing my book or novel or whatever the hell it's becoming. And I love that. I love writing. But writing just begs for more introspection, mind wandering and, let's face it, selfishness. The actual act of writing is not something you can share with family or friends, although I've gotten help from both. Someone once said, "Writing is a very lonely business. You are totally cut off from the rest of the world, submerged in your obsessions and memories." And someone else once said, "Loneliness is the first thing which God's eye named, not good."

So there you have it.

I know that I will find my way back to my close and intimate relationship with God. I always do. Because he's in me, he's my father, he made me, and I love him. But I also believe that God gave me feelings and a mind and a will for a reason. If he wanted us all to be blind mice following him thoughtlessly, he'd have made us that way. Not saying he approves of where I am right now (which only lost in my own head, nothing more dangerous than that). But I'm saying he understands. And that makes me love him even more.

Jul 28, 2010


I feel strange today. Like my nerve endings are all laying just under the surface of my skin, preparing me to react to something that hasn't happened yet. It makes me want to write. Is this perhaps what creativity feels like?

Jul 24, 2010

Guns for Sammy?

I hate guns. I'm not an activist or anything, but guns have always scared me, and I hate them. Even toy guns. It's a thing with me. I've heard too many stories about bad things that happened because a gun was around.

Bad people do bad things, I know. People kill people. I know. And I agree. But those bad things might be a little less bad if the ignorant fool (or innocent kid) didn't have a gun in their hands. Can't argue with that logic.

I also agree that a person has a right to protect themselves. And I have plenty of friends and family who own guns and keep them in their homes (hopefully in locked, safe places, especially when our kids are there). We have Dad's old shotgun in our home, seemingly safely tucked away, but it's here. And I hate it. And Rich and I fight about it, but only since the kids came along. Before then I didn't mind too much, never really thought about it. Funny how kids change your perspective on so many things...

And I also agree that, when Sam and Lena are old enough, we will have someone who knows about guns teach them about gun safety, how to handle a gun, how not to, etc. Even though it makes my gut turn into a heavy leaden rock to think about a real gun in their innocent little hands, I believe that being aware is safer than being ignorant.

The reason I bring this up is because, today, I bought water guns for Sam, which are the first toy guns of any kind that we have bought for him. I've never even allowed anyone else to purchase water guns or Nerf guns or anything like that for him before. Like I said, it's a thing with me. But he's 2 1/2 now and somehow, even though I've sheltered him in this regard, he makes guns out of whatever he has - masts from his ship, sticks...anything that is bent is a gun.

What can I do? Fight nature? So, I accepted this. I just told him not to shoot people with those sticks or ship masts. That is still the rule, although with today's purchase of water guns, that rule really can't apply or what's the point.

ANYWAY, I was outside watching him play with the new water guns, squirting Daddy and laughing and having the best time. I still didn't like it, but it's harmless, right? Then Sam gave Lena a little one and, when I saw it in her hands, turning it over curiously and looking at it, that's when my stomach twisted into a giant knot.

If you think I'm a crazy, over-emotional wreck of a woman because of this, you're probably right. But I challenge you to look at some pictures of the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda. You will find photographs of kids ranging from what looks like 4 years old and up, carrying guns. And shooting people. A 5 year old boy executing a person. Because he's forced to do it. Forced in I don't even want to begin to imagine what horrible ways, but that was life down there. And that was only several years ago. I'm sure the same thing is still happening in lots of places right now.

So how can I as a person who knows these things, let my kids play with toy guns when there's a kid only two years older than Sam being forced to use a real gun to kill another human being in a country not so far away from here? How is that okay? Is what's happened/happening in Africa really that far removed from us that it's okay to treat even a toy gun so frivolously? What does that teach Sam? And it's not like he doesn't have 1,500 other awesome, fun toys to play with. It's not as if I'm robbing him of his childhood fun.

So I'm throwing the water guns out tomorrow. I haven't told Rich yet...I'm sure he'll be pissed because he's one of the people who think I'm an over-emotional wreck over such a trivial thing as a toy gun. But all I'm trying to do is be a responsible citizen of the world and raise my kids that way. And since I've seen pictures and watched documentaries and written articles and done charity work for Darfur and Rwanda, that means I know better. And when you know better, you do better. Right?

I'm trying to talk myself down with this blog, I guess. Thinking maybe once I read my rantings I'll recognize how ridiculous I'm being. But it's not working. I just keep thinking what would Jesus have me do here? Would he be all right with our home being a no gun (even toy gun) home? Would that hurt anyone? Would that teach my kids a bad lesson? Would our family be any less protected if we didn't have an unloaded shotgun in a fairly inaccessible place in the house? Isn't that why we have a security alarm? Guess I need to talk to Rich more about it. And pray more about it. I just can't seem to reconcile it, though.

Jul 22, 2010

Our Long, Hot Walk

We decided to go on a walk after lunch this afternoon. I know, it was 90 degrees. But I just couldn't get it together this morning to walk while it was cooler.

It was a sweat-dripping-down-your-stomach kind of hot, but ended up being fun. We sang and laughed. Sam rode his Clifford dog most of the way, but crapped out several blocks from home. But he carried his stuffed dog with him the whole way, while scooting along on Clifford and when he was walking beside me. What a trooper!

And Lena was so excited, she actually smiled for a picture. Smiled! Just look at her. I don't have too many shots of her with a grin this big on her precious face. She's so sweet!

My Little Jedi

Sam had his 2 1/2 year check up yesterday. He got a big boy gown to wear. I had to take a picture of him - he looked just like a Jedi.

Jul 17, 2010

Sam's Big Boy Bed

Sam's first night in his big boy bed - success! He woke at 5:50 am, but we heeded my sister's advice and put up a gate outside his closed door, so when he opened his door to find that, he just stayed in his room playing and talking and singing to himself until our wake-up time: 7:15 am.

Sam's first nap in his big boy bed proved a little more troublesome. After several escorts back into his bed, I ended up sitting beside his bed for moral support, I guess. That's all he needed, because after two minutes, he was fast asleep (going on 2.5 hours).

We think he is ready for the transition, so we're just sticking to our guns and being firm and patient as we get him used to his new powers of two-year old decision making.

Pray for more success tonight!

Jul 15, 2010

Hello Tomatoes!

We bought porch tomatoes this year, some kind of hybrid between cherry tomatoes and regular sized tomatoes, I guess. They are LOADED! They're clustered like grapes. I counted at least 30 on this plant alone. Look at this...

Everything on our porch is GINORMOUS. We put too many plants in the boxes this spring to begin with, but that coupled with monsoons and the jungle heat; it's like some prehistoric flora back here.

Jul 5, 2010

Hanging Out

Happy Fourth of July!

We went to Gahanna's 4th of July parade on Saturday with the Wingers. It is a great parade. Someone gave the kids little American flags and Sam started waving his when the parade started. It made me cry a little, it was just so...American; a little boy waving his flag as military and fire men marched down the street, surely something Norman Rockwell painted.

Then we all headed over to Dillon State Park, halfway between here and Newcomerstown, and met Mom and Dad for a picnic. It was the most gorgeous day and Mom and Dad saved us a great spot on the hill. The beach sprawled in front of us, beautiful trees surrounded us, the breeze from the water cooled us, the leaves of the sycamore shaded us...a perfect day.

Of course there was sugar...

And wrestling...

Happy boys...

And possibly a dead body floating in the water...
Or maybe it was just someone's cooler dropped overboard, or maybe the Loch Ness Monster? Alas, we will never know and the mystery and intrigue of it all will remain.

Summertime, And the Livin' Is Easy

Lena watching Sam on the slip and slide.

Sam slipping and sliding.

Flowers on the patio.

Porch tomatoes.

Cooking dinner.

It was a good dinner.