Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What If Wednesday. . . .

What If Harry Potter had never been written??. . . . . Life would be dull and plain and children wouldn't be nearly as excited or willing to wear glasses. Red hair wouldn't be as cool. Daniel Radcliffe probably wouldn't be on Broadway right now. Thousdands of children might not have discovered reading and English tourism would have missed out on a serious moneymaker. Thank you J.K. And for the record I want to make it clear that Stephanie Meyer doesn't deserve to clean up after your chocolate frogs. Sparkly, chilly vampires have nothing on Harry's humanity and Snape's conflicted courage. And as a note, if you haven't listened to the audio recordings of Harry Potter--run, don't walk to your local library to check it out. It is completely entertaining. I could listen to them over and over again. Contrast that with when I tried to listen to a Twilight book on CD and couldn't keep my eyes on the road because they were rolling so much.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Can you guess what this is???

I'll make it easy for you. Multiple Choice:

A) My best one mile time ever

B) A secret code I created using the 6th chapter and 14th verse of every book in the Old Testament that predicts how many children I'll have and their sexes

C)How long it took me to sing 3 lullabies tonight

Drumroll please. . . . . . . . .

I really wish I could say it was A, but unless I was riding on Michael Johnson's shoulders, that is completely impossible. And I could say it was B, but then it would be breaking the secret so the code might not work so even if it is a secret code I can't tell you because then I would have to send out another secret code that would melt everyone's computers.

So, I guess it must be "C."

Some nights, I just want to throw the children into their respective beds and sprint to the door, ending the day as quickly and painlessly as possible. Please tell me that you are nodding in agreement right now. You have been there, right? But they want songs. They all do. I've been singing them songs since birth. I've been singing lots of songs. Hymns, broadway tunes, my college choir classic, "Shenandoah," and other favorites. They all sleep in the same room and they each get to pick a song. One night, as I was tempted to skip the tunes, I decided to time myself to see just how long it would take to get through three melodies. It took six minutes of my life. Six minutes to create memories, connections, and tranquility. Not too shabby. The fact is, one day these three little rugrats clamoring for my attention and my mad singing skills will want nothing to do with me. Sure they'll hug me when noone is looking, but will Isaac want me to sing "I am a Child of God" (all 3 verses!) to him when he is fifteen? Doubtful. These are fleeting moments and sometimes they don't just slip through my fingers, sometimes I take my hands away completely just to speed it up. Tsk tsk tsk. It is only six minutes, but every night, every song, every moment carves a place for love and memories. It creates one more thread of connection that will hold fast, even when they are telling me I am lame, uncool, and totally horrible. Deep inside, my voice will mean love, peace, and comfort. Somewhere in their soul they will hear me singing to them that they are children of God, that dreams really do come true, and that castles can be built on clouds. That is worth a few minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The First Ten Minutes

I am no Olympian, but I have gone on a few runs in my life. . . some of them rather lengthy. And I've learned one thing: It doesn't matter if you are running 3 miles or 20, the first 10 minutes stink. Your legs are heavy, your stride feels uneven, and your mind wanders, sometimes wondering if you can make it the next mile. . . or 10. But, if you push through, if you let your body warm up to its own rhythm, then sometimes you feel downright light and breezy. Sometimes you don't, and the entire run feels heavy, but more often than not, your body settles in and the elusive runner's high finds you.

As I was running the other day, smoothly enjoying the last twenty minutes of my half hour run, I began to think about what else follows this pattern. . .

Cleaning pretty much anything. . . the first ten minutes feels overwhelming and depending on the project, impossible. The sink is much too full, the floor beyond cluttered, and the bathroom is too messy to even begin. But give it just ten minutes, and you can find your groove.

Caring for a sick child. . . . they are crying, fussy, inconsolable, and for ten minutes they claw and fight. But then, they rest. Then you hold them and after ten minutes you realize there are worse things in the world than letting go of every other important thing you need to do to just hold a child that will be a little bigger tomorrow.

Eternal Progression. Go with me on this one. It, more than any other quest, seems impossible. We are flawed, impatient, grouchy, natural creatures, and we are trying to become meek, pure, loving, enlightened souls. That is a very long run. We are supposed to read, pray, garden, love, serve, visit, worship, and be joyful while we do it. The first ten minutes can seem awfully heavy anytime we are trying to get to the next level. But, say we give it ten minutes. Say we give it a day. Say, we give ourselves time to find our rhythm and trust that it will get easier.

Not all first ten minutes are rotten. The first ten minutes of marriage are absolute bliss, the most perfect, complete, happy ten minutes of your life. The first ten minutes with a baby is precious. They are new, perfect. . and sleepy. Lots of first ten minutes come easy, the stretching comes in the later miles. We can't really judge anything by the first ten minutes, but if we give life, and ourselves, some time, I do believe it will be worth the run. At least I'm willing to give it ten minutes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blowing my cover.

I am blatantly flawed.

There. I said it.

I thought that perhaps this was a practically invisible blog, glimpsed sporadically by good friends and my husband. Actually, I'm fairly certain he never reads it. So, when I post melodramatic statements about sweeping changes of life and diet, I have the feeling I'm talking to myself. Then I got in line tonight for the dessert spread at a church activity and several people mention my new sugar free life. . . which actually hasn't been so sugar free lately. I cringe. My plan to enjoy cookies and brownies in blissful anonymity while resolving to make them my last crumpled. I shrugged it off and got some cookies anyway.

I try to be pretty honest here. I'm not looking to build myself up as an expert on anything whatsoever. I'm just looking to build myself up however the Lord wants me built. I am striving to be filled with the pure love of Christ and that means some renovations in my soul, some sweeping of corners to make room for the light and love I crave. It won't be easy, neat, or quick. But in the end, it will be. You're welcome to come along for the ride, just don't expect perfection and I think we'll get along fine. We can renovate together.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Does this mean I'm famous?

I have reached 2,000 views. That means about 20 people that try to make me feel good click on my link over and over. I'll take it. On my run this morning, a fabulous essay brewed within. . . . stay tuned. For now, who will leave a comment first??? If you have kids, I'll write a custom story for whichever one has a birthday next--how's that? I'll just need to know what kind of stories they like to read, games they like to play, any favorite foods or characters or things they are learning about right now, and I'll write a story structured around those sorts of details. Step right up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2,000 Stripling Mouseclix

I am almost to 2,000 pageviews. That feels big. Granted, some of them are my own--until I figured out how to stop counting my own. I am my biggest fan apparently. Still, I feel so public. I feel like I should have some sort of a celebration or something. If there were a way to figure out who is my 2,000th viewer, I would totally give them something. But, I have no idea how to do that. Sooooo. . . . I will just offer something thrilling to he/she who leaves the first comment after the 2,000 mark. Go!*

*Please note that the something will not be baked, gooey, chocolatey, or involve me dealing with anything sweet. See one post earlier for updates. Thank you.

I Did It.

My heart was racing.

My eye was twitching.

My courage was flagging.

But then I hit "send." And it was over.

Now, my article is waiting to be opening by some intern at Runner's World looking for just the perfect piece for their magazine.

Right after submitting it, I got my Runner's World in the mailbox. Is that a sign?

It is flawed, perhaps too long, short, passive, or choppy. But, it is submitted. Someday I will get paid something to write something. Maybe this won't be that day, but I know it will be someday.

I've also decided to cash in on another someday. I am giving up white sugar and white flour. That someday has arrived, and it is long overdue. That process will be lengthy and sad. I've tried it before. But this time is different. I am different. My will is not stronger, but my faith is. My weakness has been brought to the surface in a raw way and my life needs more light and less food. So, take it or leave it Runner's World. I'll write more.