Showing posts from March, 2014

My View From Here

If there's one thing psoriatic arthritis (and his buddy ankylosing spondylitis) has given me, it's a new point of view. Actually, several points of view.

There's the view from my bed, where I happen to spend a lot of time. Not only is my bed my bed, but it's located in our living room and acts as our couch during the day. Over the weekend I was quite ill, and had sick children as well, and found myself in the same place, my bed, for hours on end. Snuggling. Cuddling. Enjoying my view from here.

I can see works of art created by my children, odd things carved by a relative of my husband many years ago, art I created, as well as paintings done by my husband's great-grandmother, among many other objects of art, beauty, and whimsy. I can also see the dusting that needs to be done, but that will get done eventually. 

And then there's the view from my back door. The snow is melting. Trees are budding. Skulls are emerging. Sometimes the sun even peeks out. On days my leg…

The Well

At worship a few nights ago, the pastor was preaching about the story of the Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus, a Jew, asked for a drink of water. That a Jew would ask anything of a Samaritan in those days was unthinkable - it just didn't happen. And then he moved on to talking about Lent. It was, after all, and Ecumenical Lenten Worship, where different congregations and denominations gathered to worship together during Lent. The pastor posed this question: if we of different Christian faiths could come together on a Monday night to worship together, could we also lay aside the divisiveness in our daily lives and open our minds and our hearts to people who aren't like us? Could we, like the Samaritan woman, open our minds to things foreign to us and learn to respect and perhaps appreciate different lifestyles or points of view? After all respect and appreciation for someone else's way of living or belief system doesn't mean we have to accept it as our own or even…

Making the Best of a Rotten Situation

On days like this when life hits me hard, I want to scream, to cry, to panic, and curl up in a ball of misery. But I don't. Instead I pray, and pray, and reach out, accept offered help, and pray some more. Ok, so maybe I cry a little, too. 

Years ago, I would have been a mess of worry, stress, and anxiety. Today, I choose to see this as an opportunity to get my house, quite literally, in order. To fix what needs to be fixed, replace what needs to be replaced, and have a better house in the end. 

We'll find a way to pay back my parents' generosity, should it be needed,  and will reach out to our community for whatever help can be provided. Our house may be falling apart in the most literal sense of the words, and at times I may feel like I might fall apart as well,  but I know we will get through this, just like we've gotten through myriad other tough times. Since I can't change the situation, I'll just have to change how I view it...

After all, we still have a roo…

I Would Never Do That

If there's one thing life has taught me since I became a parent, it's that just about every time the thought, "I would never do that" came across my mind, I'd end up, eventually, doing just that thing. 

"I would never let my baby sleep in bed with me!" That's much too dangerous. Right? Maybe? And then my firstborn wasn't yet twenty-four hours old and he would scream every time he was put down and wouldn't sleep unless he had physical contact with a human being and I realized that the only way I was going to sleep was to sleep with him with me. Upon our arrival home, I slept with him on the futon, as it wasn't the same as bed-sharing, was it? Finally, my husband and "The Family Bed' by Tine Thevenin convinced me that my Mama instincts were operating properly and sleeping with my baby was a perfectly safe and biologically normal thing to do. And I loved cosleeping with all of my children. 
"I would never sit my kids in front of…

To Dust We Shall Return

She sat. She squirmed. She doodled, drew, underlined, and crossed out. She cuddled, snuggled, and rummaged around in my purse for a vitamin C drop. We were at Ash Wednesday worship, very close to bedtime, on the day after her great-grandmother, her Nanna, died. 

Death was the theme of the evening, wasn't it? "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." 

Pastor Gollenberg was talking about how all of us gathered there were aliens - different, weird, set apart from others because we were at worship on a Wednesday, getting ashed smeared on our foreheads, believing in a God who was going to die. He talked about fasting, not necessarily from food, but from things that tend to take over our lives, if I recall correctly. I admit, things got a little fuzzy for a while there. Not because it was late and I was tired and my bed was calling; not because I was daydreaming or nodding off; but because the squirmy child climbed into my lap. 

She motioned for me to tilt my ea…

She Walked Powerfully

She walked powerfully through my life.

During my childhood, she went to work while her retired husband stayed home and tended house, yet got up early Sunday mornings making dinner from scratch for her extended family. Picking her up at her office was perhaps the highlight of my Saturday. There was something magical about typewriters and adding machines and the high counter in the front where my grandfather would sometimes let me sit. She planted the seed that a woman's place is wherever she wants to be.

During my teen years, she unabashedly shared her opinion and encouraged me to stand firm in my convictions. She remembered with me my history, as well as family history. Stories of my mother´s childhood, the Depression, and her own life we're the history lessons of my youth.

At my wedding when I was just barely 21, she danced joyfully with my grandfather to their song - I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five and Ten Cent Store. As I witnessed love reverberate between them, I pray…

Letting Go of Lent

Every Lent I try to have a Lenten discipline of some sort. Giving up things for Lent doesn't so much work for me, so instead I try to Do or Be or Give or Love or Resist.

This year I'm Letting Go.

I'm letting go of stuff. Room by room, closet by closet, shelf by shelf, I'm letting things go. So many things live in my house that don't need to be here - extras of this and that, things we might need someday, more VHS tapes than anyone ever needed, clothing, accessories, books, books, and more books. Day by day I will release the chaff to the wind and keep only what nourishes our bodies and souls, and what is necessary, essential to living.

I'm letting go of expectations. My expectations of myself get in the way of my own joy, my own sense of fulfillment. My expectations of my husband are often unrealistic to who he is and how he goes about things. My expectations of my children are sometimes limiting to them, and other times too wild and free for their personalities. …