Monday, March 31, 2008

Vacation Blogging

Hi, All! It's that time again...family vacation! In the name of completely leaving life behind while I took a break, I did the unthinkable and left my laptop home while we travel. It seems I always pack it everywhere and use it very little. I figured I should be a good girl and just not lug it around and worry about it. Of course, this is the vacation that my son is sick in the hotel room with a fever, so I'm sitting around with nothing to do but be at the mercy of my husband, who has complete control of the TV remote. So, in light of all that, I thought I'd sneak away to the hotel computer and do a little blogging. Now that I'm here, however, I find that the hotel computer is at a stand up terminal near the elevators. Not really conducive to clear thinking and writing. So for now, I'll say that vacation is going well (besides the sick kid) and when I return next week, I'll have plenty of stories to tell, hopefully with pictures to back it all up. Happy Spring Break!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Who's the Writer Anyway?

I love to write. I think it's fun, I think it's satisfying. I'm enrolled in a writing course and I can't wait to turn assignments in and work on something new. If I'm given free time, doing some writing always tops my list of things I'd like to do. I would rather send an email to someone than call them on the phone any day.

My husband (the Pastor) hates to write. He's a speaker by nature, not a writer. God has called and gifted him to preach, and each week he lives up to that calling. He's a great preacher. He loves to talk to people, teach a class, explain something...but don't ask him to write. He hates it. He can't understand why anyone would willingly subject themselves to something so horrible as a writing class. If and when the time comes when he's required to write something, he will procrastinate to the bitter end. Despite all that, a couple times a year, my husband is asked to write a short article for "The Pastor's Corner", a feature on the weekly "Faith & Values" page of our local newspaper.

As I learn to write, I'm learning to self edit and rewrite...and rewrite...and rewrite. My writing is really not that great. Just because you love something, doesn't make you a master at it. So, I write and practice...and practice....and practice.

My husband's article had been due first thing Thursday morning. Of course, he waited until late Wednesday night to write it. (Now, if he's reading this, he will be highly offended. So I have to add that I'm sure he was mulling it over in his head for awhile before Wednesday. But, the reality is, he didn't actually sit down to write it until late that night). He locked himself in his office for a short while and came out with the finished product. Usually, he would have had me type it up for him, but I was very sick that day, so he didn't ask. Because of that, I didn't get a sneak peek at his work. You might imagine my surprise as I picked up the paper on Friday and read what he wrote. It was fantastic! Totally not fair. I spent the day listening to everyone I bumped in to say, "Wow, tell your husband his article was great! I loved it!".

"I'm a writer, too." I wanted to tell them back. "Just because he publishes articles and I don't, doesn't mean anything." But I didn't. I swallowed my pride (and that's a big bite) and let him have his moment in the sun. Don't think I haven't given him a bad time about it, though. When my next writing assignment is due, I'm going to make him help me with my homework.

Does God Care?

I've been wondering lately if my mundane concerns matter to God. Does he care about the small things that bother me or is he looking at me with sorrow, wishing I would set those concerns aside and focus on him instead? I know the standard Christian answer is yes, God cares about all my problems. I Peter 5:7 tells me "Cast your cares on him for he cares for you.", but I often can't shake the feeling that he is somehow disappointed because I even have these cares in the first place.

Wouldn't he be happier with me if I didn't obsess about the extra 5 pounds I've gained. If he would speak audibly to me, wouldn't he gently rebuke me for focusing on my worries and my to-do list, rather than my relationship with him? Does he think my cares are silly? Maybe. But, recently, I started looking at this a little differently.

As a parent, I see my son care about some very silly things. rocks, sticks, straws, scraps of paper. They are definitely insignificant. However, to him they are essential. They are the world he lives in, and no matter how much I try to tell him that caring about a rock is silly, he still cares about it. He just does. And because he does, when I talk to him about his rocks, I treat them as one of the most important subjects we could discuss. I let the rocks be significant to me, because they are to him. I think maybe the same holds true with God. He knows our cares are silly, sometimes we don't. He sees the bigger picture. We don't. But, as a loving parent, he cares about our "rocks". He doesn't condemn us. He recognizes our issues for what they are and encourages us to cast them on him, all the while telling us that our concerns are important to him. He is aware of them and cares about them because he cares about us.

So the answer to the question I’ve been asking myself seems to be yes in both theory and reality. God knows each and every one of my cares. He knows some are silly, but still, he is deeply concerned about them because he loves me. My silliness and his love are not mutually exclusive. Praise his name for that!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Huey’s Greatest Hits

The other day I heard that Huey Lewis has just released a new version of his song “Workin’ for a Living’” as a duet with Garth Brooks. I’m a huge Huey fan. In fact, not long ago, I bought a greatest hits CD which has become one of my new favorites. Snappy songs like “Happy To Be Stuck With You” bring back memories of zipping around town in my yellow Honda Civic with the windows down and the stereo blasting. Life was carefree and good.

Life hasn’t been terribly carefree for me this week and being “Stuck With You” took on a whole new meaning this morning (Although, it was more like “Stuck On You”). I suppose I better back up a few days. Last weekend, I ran down to Kohl’s for a big sale they were having. I bought a couple of shirts (for work, of course), brought them home, and clipped the tags. I left the tags, along with those little baggies with the extra buttons in them, on the edge of the bathroom sink.

I usually try to tidy up the bathroom each day, but as I said, it was an especially bad week. I had a server crash at work and put in some long, stressful days while trying to recover everything. Needless to say, cleaning up the bathroom wasn’t my highest priority. So, the tags and baggies were left to sit. This morning, while blow drying my hair, the air from the dryer unknowingly blew one of the button baggies right onto my extra hot flat iron. The baggie stuck and melted on to the flat iron. (Have you ever accidentally got the bread bad too close to your toaster or stove? You get the idea.) In addition to a gooey, sticky, mess, I had a really bad hair day.

I guess it’s not completely fair, but I’m going to blame the whole incident on the fact that I was “Workin’ for a Living.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Been a Long Winter...

I like to tell myself I’m not that old. Sometimes I console myself with the fact that I own an iPod and digital music is my format of choice, but there’s a secret place in my heart where I remember the days of record albums and 8-track tapes. Thankfully, they weren’t mine (although I have a vague recollection of owning an “Air Supply” 8-track, but I’m trying to suppress that memory). At any rate, the collection belonged to my parents and along with some Neil Diamond and Jim Croche, my earliest music memories are of, you guessed it, Barry Manilow. My Mom had every Barry Manilow record ever made. “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana” were standard fare at our house. Yes, my Mom is a Fanilow.

Last night I was driving home from work (with my seat heaters on and my sunroof open, of course). The sun was shining and I actually saw robins flitting around. When I got home, I cooked dinner as the light from outside spilled into the dining room and kitchen. After dinner, I watched my husband do the dishes (take notes, ladies) and still the sky was light.

I figure that just about now you’re asking yourself what in the world Barry Manilow and long sunny days could have to do with each other. Yesterday, as I observed the sunshine, I caught myself doing what I do each and every year when Daylight Savings time starts… I spontaneously broke into a rendition of “I Made it Through the Rain.”

If you’re not familiar with it, maybe you can borrow the 8-track from my Mom.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bliss

It might be hard for you to believe this statement, but every now and then, I drive my husband a little crazy. I don’t do it on purpose. Somehow, he and I just don’t see eye to eye on some things. He has no understanding of the importance of owning the same pair of shoes in both black and brown. He can’t figure out why I eat sugar free ice cream then dowse it in chocolate syrup and peanut butter. He doesn’t see the need for rearranging all the furniture in the living room, just because I’ve bought new throw pillows for the couch. I do many things that he simply cannot fathom. (Come to think of it, I’m not sure I understand some of it)

I think, though, that the coup de grace, the grand-daddy of all my offenses is when I drive with the air conditioner on “high” and the windows rolled down. On a beautiful, summer day, that’s my favorite way to ride. It makes perfect sense to me. I get all the benefit of the fresh air, yet keep myself perfectly cooled. I love it. It’s bliss.

With the coming of spring and a new Jeep to be cruising in, however, I’ve discovered a new bliss. When I break this one to my husband, he’s going to come uncorked. I suppose I could just try to cover my tracks, but I know I’ll be forced to share my secret, as he regularly reads this blog and so it cannot be both kept and blogged. It’s probably better I break it to him myself anyway, because sooner or later, my son is going to spill the beans.

My new bliss… Heater blasting, seat warmers on high, sunroof wide open. That’s springtime driving at its finest!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Molenator

It’s funny how parents and children can have completely opposite views of the same events. My son has his first loose tooth. He couldn’t be happier. He’s looking forward to a visit from the tooth fairy and being able to chew his chicken nuggets normally again. I, however, am not that thrilled.

As I have observed my baby becoming a toddler, my toddler a little boy, and my little boy a bigger one, I’m tempted to view each step, not as a normal childhood development, but instead small pieces of him that are being slowly taken away from me. I suppose it's a little of both.

I'm happy to see him growing and maturing, but the thoughts of seeing him with those jagged, too-big-for-his-mouth teeth that are characteristic of so many 6 year olds, makes me cringe. Not only do I have to endure this "growing up" process, but to rub salt in my wounds, I have to cough up the money to pay for it!

(Kudos to you if you get the reference to "The Molenator" in the title of this post!)

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