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Showing posts from December, 2012

Living the Kyrie

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As you venture into the new year, open yourself to its endless possibilities. Think back to the past year - to the joys, the trials, the things that filled your soul, the things that left you drained and empty, the people and experiences that lifted you up, and the things that beat your down or held you back. What did the year give you? What did you let go? 

Now think about the new year. Where do you hope it leads you? What do you want it to feel like? Will you be letting go of something or do you hope to welcome something momentous into your life? What one word comes to mind, describing what you envision this new year being for you? Grab hold of that word and focus on it through out the year. You'll be amazed where it takes you. 

As I was singing the Kyrie a couple weeks ago, I came to a realization. Too often in life we get caught up in, well, life. We're too busy to think, nevermind to invite God into the picture. Our thoughts are too hung up on paying bills, managing our tim…

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

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On the sixth day of Christmas, a week before Epiphany, was a morning filled with pageantry. (You sang that to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas, didn't you?)

The scenery is set. 
Angels are flitting about the sanctuary.
The shepherds are all trying not to hit each other with their staves, or at least they're trying to appear as if they're not trying to hit each other with their staves. 
Mary and Joseph are sitting quietly.
Jesus, in baby doll wrapped in a white pillowcase form, is hiding in the hay.
Jesus, the older version, is sitting confidently, his lines memorized.
And it starts: a Christmas pageant with a cast of a dozen and a half, ages 3-73. 

"It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without"

We learn through people sharing with each other; through Isaiah, Micah, Jesus, Mary, and even Boniface; through the angels and the shepherds; and through Christmas hymn after Christmas hymn, the real meaning of Christmas. 


It wouldn't be Christmas without candles, right?

It would…

That Love Built

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This is Alia.

This is Alia unwrapping a gift.

This is Alia hugging the gift that she got for Christmas.

These are the mermaids named Splish and Splash that are the gift that Alia got for Christmas.

This is Alia wearing the mermaids (on her front) and a Vamplet (on her back ) during worship on Christmas.

These are best friends who shared the gift - Fi taking Splash and Alia, Splish - that Alia got for Christmas.

This is the friendship that love built.



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Reflections

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As the year draws to an end, I find myself revisiting life through my posts over the past year. I've shared thirty of them in this post - some of my favorite memories and messages and silliness. 

A year ago I was Looking Forward to 2012. Things didn't turn out as I'd hoped. My health is worse now than it was at this time last year. My brain isn't functioning normally - my memory is horrible. Some of the things I'd hoped to accomplished proved more difficult that I could have imagined. Yet some worked out better than I could have dreamed. I have to trust that everything worked out exactly as it was supposed to.

In January I learned to live With These Hands.

In February I had One of Those Days while trying to live with RA, which didn't quite happen Like Magic

In March I promoted Child-Free Vacations, relived childhood memories, and discussed such things as suicide, Prostitutes and Whores


April brought out the Heroes among us and asked How Do You Feel?

Beware!An Inf…

Oxygen Mask

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I don't feel well. I have a scratchy throat. I'm more than exhausted. Every joint is unimaginably painful. My fingertips are KILLING me. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep all day. On top of it all, Christmas has exploded all over my house - there's packaging and wrapping paper and boxes and bags and instruction books and toys and ... all over my house. Apparently I'm the only one who can see it, who trips over it, and whom it bothers.  And I'm not even allowed to be sick because my husband has to work and there are these five children who insist I take care of them. 

But how am I supposed to take care of children, a house, and all that comes with those two things when I feel this way? How can I be an effective parent when I'm this miserable? I just want to cry. 

And then I remember the oxygen mask. 

When you get emergency instruction on an airplane, they always stress that parents should put the oxygen mask on themselves before their children. You can't …

What I Got for Christmas

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I got to spend early Christmas Eve morning listening to Christmas music in a quiet house while baking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day breakfasts and wrapping last-minute gifts.

I got to spend Christmas Eve morning snuggled in bed with my kids watching silly holiday movies.

I got to enjoy Christmas Eve brunch with four generations - from my 93 year old grandmother to my 4 year old daughter - with delicious food, good conversation, and lots of love and laughter shared by all.

I got to do Advent devotions with my family and see the joy on my kids' faces as they unwrapped their Christmas Angel gifts.

I got two wonderful head scarves made by my eldest, who was also my Christmas angel. 

I got to attend worship not once, but twice, which is a good thing since Alia spent part of the sermon during the earlier worship asking me if, when she's an angel in the pageant, we'll attach her to a rope attached to the ceiling so she can fly all over the worship room.

I got to listen to preciou…

For You...

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From my family to yours. Blessed Christmas!


Love and insanity, The Rannygahoots

An Abundance of Angels

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A Christmas Angel dropped by today, bearing more than gifts. She presented to me a box overflowing with memories, its contents to be shared with my children so more wonderful memories can be created. In essence, she shared part of her family and her husband's family with mine. Their gift to me - their gift of kindness, love, and grace - has filled my heart and soul to overflowing. 
How do you thank someone for passing on to your family something their family held so dear? There aren't words big enough, good enough - so instead we'll pay it forward however we are able. 
And then...
Needing a few things at the grocery store, I drove around and around the parking lot. The young man who was retrieving carts saw me - and a car backing out of a parking space fairly close to the store. He motioned to me to come to the next aisle over as he ran to the parking space. He asked a person who signaled to turn into the space if they would mind if a handicapped person parked there, and the …

Love Can Open Your Eyes

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Driving, alone, this morning, I realized that there's something missing from Advent for me this year. Something I was having a difficult time putting a finger on. As I drove, I breathed, I soaked in the relative silence, enjoyed the dancing snowflakes, and prayed. Prayed like I do every day. Invited God into that moment and every moment of my day. Asking, for the million and tenth time this year, I'm sure, for help, support, for peace.

And then I knew what was missing. 


During Advent, I usually have a feeling of getting closer to God as we draw closer to the celebration of Jesus' birth. As I listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, attend Sunday worship, and make my way through Advent devotions, I center my life more and more in the water and the Word. As December days grow shorter, I find myself in greater anticipation of the celebration of Jesus' light entering the world.

But this year has been different. That hasn't happened. Don't get me wrong - I…

Fourteen

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Fourteen. He's fourteen.

He is my only child born in the 1900's. That means he must be old!

He is my first ...well, my first living child. 

He taught me volumes about love, about faith, about mothering, and mostly about myself.

But there's no way he can be fourteen, is there?

My wondrous child who started walking on Christmas Day just after turning one was reading books to his baby brother by age two ... and hasn't stopped reading since.

There are things that haven't changed about Alex since he was a toddler. He's always had long hair, surrounded himself with books, and tried to subsist on peanut butter, pasta, and pizza. And dessert. And potato chips. He's always liked been obsessed with computers and video games. And he's always had an awesome sense of humor. 

Alex has gone through a lot of changes this year. His voice has gotten deeper. He's had a major growth spurt. He's (shhhh...don't tell anybody) almost as tall as me!


He's gone through a …

little sleep, lots of pain, need coffee

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Today I was trying to find something I posted earlier this year. I have short term memory problems. I have problems with remembering when things happened. On my journey through my year on facebook, I decided to make a game of it, and recorded each status my pointer landed on while I scrolled. Below are the results. 

Who stole my energy?

I'm in need of three things: 1.gf pumpkin latte delivery service, 2. a nap, and 3. motivation

Today has been brought to you by snarky, uncooperative children.


I need coffee. 

Is awakeish.

Is it bad when the person making your coffee asks if you need a back-up iced coffee for later?

Why am I not sleeping?

Vulcan fishie. That is all.

Need. more. spoons.

Today shall require much coffee.

I somehow don't think I'll be leaving the house in 3 minutes as planned, especially seeing as I haven't yet gotten out of bed.

Alia is singing "...somebody done somebody wrong..."

I need chocolate. Now.

So much to do, so few functioning brain cells.

There's …

I Just Want the Kids to Go to Bed!

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I just want the kids to go to bed.

Not for the peace and quiet it brings.

Not because I need to wrap their Christmas gifts or some other secret Christmas something-or-other.

It's not because it's only then that I get a moment to sit, rest, pray, or concentrate on any of the dozen tasks awaiting me.

It's because there is a gluten-free chocolate peanut butter confection
calling to me from the kitchen.


And I don't want to share.

Why?

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Horrific things like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School happen and people ask "Why???!!!"

Why here? 
Why us? 
Why these innocent lives?
Why now?
Why at all?
Why didn't someone stop it?
Why didn't someone know?
Why did he....?

All these are valid questions. All heartbreaking. 

I have questions of my own.

Why does it take something like this happening for communities to come together for the good of their children?

Why, after events like these, do we hug our children a little tighter, hold them a little closer, and tell them we love them more - why aren't we doing that every day anyway?

Why, in a culture that teaches and promotes violence - through video games, movies, media, and otherwise - are we surprised when something like this happens? Why don't we teach peace and understanding instead?

Why do some of us jump on the political bandwagon within moments of the news instead of allowing the families time to mourn ... instead of finding ways to meet the immediate n…

What Four (almost-five!) -Year-Olds Do

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1. Go sledding. A certain four-year-old in my life is into driveway sledding, since we have a very steep driveway. She claims that wipe-outs while street sledding aren't as bad as skateboarding wipe-outs because you wear much more padding in the Winter.


2. Get messy. Four year olds are very good at getting messy. This is perhaps why my daughter's favorite class at homeschool co-op this past semester was Gooey Pre-school Science.

3. Helping the baby nap by pretending to sleep for so long that you actually fall asleep.


4. Defy the laws of physics. Or, fall asleep standing up.


5. Hang out with friends. Everywhere. At home, the park, a friend's house, the theater, outside in freezing temperatures without shoes ... take your pick.

6. Build tall tall towers with your sister.



7. Fetch wayward toddlers and bring them back to their parents.




8. Have mamamilk. Usually in mismatched pj's, but that's not essential.


9. Eat "apple noodles" with your best friend. (Recipe for app…