Sunday, September 28, 2014

A conversation with Adventure Boy

Adventure Boy and I were walking to an attraction at a famous amusement park recently when the following conversation took place.

Adventure Boy: Grandma (aka Yo Momma) is older than you.
Me: Yes.
AB:  So she will probably die before you.
Me: Yes.
AB: You're gonna be really sad then.
Me (thinking to myself: "Oh, I am no where near ready for that to happen and I'm trying not to cry thinking about that now.") Out loud: Yes, I will be very sad.
AB:  You're going to need me then because you will be alone.
Me (now desperately trying to talk around the torrent of tears threatening): Yes, AB, I am really going to need you then.
AB:  I will be there...because you don't have a husband yet.
Me (tears gone, laughter bubbling): Well, have you been looking for a husband for me?
AB: Yes, yes I have.
Me: Okay, let me know if you find someone.
AB: I will.

Sometimes the depths of this child's soul and thoughts astounds, love, love him!

Monday, September 15, 2014


A few weekends ago an earthquake struck the region in which I reside.  We are far enough away from the epicenter that we only felt the quake but didn't have any damage.  I woke up just before the rolling waves of the quake began.  The hanging plants were swaying and making a creaking sound, which is what I think first woke me up. As soon as I heard and felt the first wave, my whole body went on alert.  I was ready to pull the pillow over my head or jump out of bed and dash to the doorway.  It would have taken one thing falling for me to jump into action...been there, done that.

In the days since, I've become a frequent visitor to the Earthquake part of the USGS website.  This website shows all the recorded earthquakes in a 24 hour period around the world.  Folks, the earth is moving a lot.  Looking right now at the map, in the last 24 hours there have been 12 earthquakes over a 4.0. It's fascinating to see what is happening around the world that most of us never hear's also fascinating to see what makes national headlines and what doesn't.  An earthquake that knocks down buildings and buckles roads get a lot more press than an earthquake in the middle of the ocean.

I've been paying attention to the national news a lot in the past few weeks.  I've seen the headlines and my heart breaks.  I feel helpless, in some ways, way to privileged in others, and I've become more and more aware of how sheltered my world is compared to others.  I work at not standing in denial of the unfair treatment of others and the realities of that unequal treatment but also struggle with a sense of what I can actually do to change the situation.  So I sit back, murmuring slightly, taking a good, hard look at my own soul, my own thoughts, my own reactions, judging my own thoughts and feelings and digging down deeper to my own, dare I say it, prejudices.  I may not be in the epicenter of this particular "earthquake" but I am feeling the rolling waves and am on alert.

There are people within my circle of acquaintances, family and friends that have said things over the years that make me cringe, blatantly racist or derogatory things said with little smiles that are just plain wrong. There are times when I could have spoken up and pointed those statements out and haven't.  There are moments when I have judged someone because of their differences from me, only later to find that I was completely and totally wrong.  I have allowed my own fears to get in the way when I have heard or seen an injustice.  I've lived in my own little world and turned a blind eye, at times, to the larger world that is filled with injustice and suffering.  It's not anything I am proud of, and I could make a million excuses for not doing, saying, seeing more of what the world really is like.  But sometimes it's just like earthquakes, among the little ripples happening all the time that I am unaware of, one suddenly jolts me out of my complacency and demands attention.

I'm paying attention to earthquakes these days...those that make the physical earth shake and those that shake my social and world views.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five: The Random edition

Over at RevGalBlogPals there's a Friday Five that I felt like playing:
RevKarla says:  Hello Pals~~
Random Friday Five is back!
1. If you could sneak away anywhere this weekend, right now, all expenses paid,
where would you go and what would you do?
Do I have more than two days or am I taking a private jet?  Maui or the Big Island of Hawaii, just to sit on the beach and watch the waves and maybe go float in the waves on a pool noodle.  I would say down to the beach just a few miles from my house but that water is cooooolllldddd!!!
2. What is for lunch today? (one of the very first FF I ever played asked this.)
Lunch?  People eat lunch?
3. Along that first-FF-I-ever-played theme, what are you wearing today?
Khaki capris, a blue and white sleeveless shirt and white cardigan...cause though it's warm to hot outside the office is cold!
4. Along the Today Theme, what are you doing today?
Working...when not playing the Friday Five...and then going to the Fair.  Turkey races and fair food (to make up for the no-lunch?)  Yippee!
5. Along the random theme, what is your favorite scent, and why?
Scents are tough for me as they tend to trigger migraines if they are too strong.  However, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  I think I associate the smell of chocolate chip cookies with love.  It's my Mom's fault.  =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Filling the sound of silence

Back when I was a regular worship leader, I would lead prayers once or twice during the worship service.  At one point in time, I became aware that our prayer time was filled with a lot of person speaking for the whole group to God.  It dawned on me that we were filling up our worship service with a lot of words and music but we rarely filled the space with silence.

So I tried it.  I didn't say anything in a prayer for a minute.  An uncomfortable minute for some as they shifted in their seats with some anxiousness, a beautiful minute for others.  Anytime I was in the place of praying during the worship service, I made a point to include silence...a time to process, a time to listen, a time just to breathe.

Today I was reading the latest headlines and I came across a headline that said "So and so, speaks out on so and so."  I didn't watch the video or read the transcript of what was said but my initial reaction to the headline was "I wish they would just keep silent."  I get that the media is always pushing for words but sometimes, sometimes silence really is best.

We jump in and fill spaces with words that may have been better left unspoken.  We say things that then require apologies that we may not mean.  We jump to conclusions and spout facts that are made up or speak before we know the whole story.  It's the way of the world but sometimes, sometimes we really should just be silent, to let our hearts and minds catch up with each that our words really do reflect what we are feeling and thinking.  Silence is a good thing.

My first trip to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, the silence was deafening.  There weren't any birds chirping, nor was there the sound of cars driving by or radios playing.  During the day the sounds of construction work rang through but in the late afternoon and evening silence reigned...well, except for the teenagers in my group.  A few trips and a couple of years later the birds had returned, the cars had returned, the people had returned and busyness filled the air.

There were still times of silence.  The year that we scraped (by hand) the outside of the pretty house I spent a lot of time listening to the stillness of the air.  Being a quiet person by design, it was beautiful and refreshing to be perched on a ladder up near the rafters of an old house scraping paint surrounded by silence, while my team mates scraped the other sides of the house.  I enjoyed the moments back on the ground, laughing with the team but in those quiet moments on a ladder, I found peace.  I had time to process, to listen, to examine my own heart and mind...and be annoyed with the bird with the very irritating call that kept breaking the silence!

I think my heart, my soul is longing for that silence again.  I find myself longing to be places where I have found peace and rest in the silence...the lanai in Maui, the rocks at Zephyr Point, on a ladder scraping paint at the pretty house, in my car with the top down driving to nowhere, on a bench in D-land.  More than the silence, I'm longing for the peace that comes along after the silence.

I'm longing for that for myself, but also for this world, so used to noise that silence makes us shift uncomfortably in our seats, making so us jumpy we make up stories that aren't really true to fill the silence...and the news cycle continues.