Thursday, November 1, 2012

for the savings...

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sigh. I have been achy with a sore throat, tight chest, and my chapped hands show the proof of excessive hand washing, worried I was going to get the baby sick. I remember asking my mom once: how do you handle being a mom and getting sick (I never remember seeing her sick in bed). And she told me, "you just have to do it." That is, life continues, through the aches and pains, you just have to do it. [Sarah, we are so German, too ;) ]

I am so thankful for the advice and the old adages that we all hear over and over. Yesterday was the babe's 2 month well-check-or-first round of shots day.

During pregnancy I tried to research and I hopelessly fell into the scary world of internet information. Most of which I found was anti-vaccine. I am a hypochondriac, I don't like medicine, I don't take any, mostly because I don't trust it. I don't know how it all works, and yeah, I feel like my, admitted, ignorance is alot smarter than years of research. Yet, being the hypochondriac I am, the slightest sniffle or cough would be enough to send me into the dark world of , "what if:" What if that could be the start of pertussis?! I knew we'd be doing vaccines at some point, but when? Would I ever feel okay about this?

Then at family night, I asked in semi-desperation my mother-in-law (then NICU nurse, now Nani to 12 grandchildren) "I'm scared about these vaccines--are they safe? Can you just tell me?" And she told me (also drawing from knowledge from her pediatrician husband, Dr. Poppa), it is scary, it's usually really scary for parents, but the vaccines are really safe. And then she said, what we all have heard before, but I never understood, "You will NEVER know what all the answers are." I will never know completely what's best for my kids. But I can only try. Processing this, I realize, I really do have a fear of failure--of making a mistake with my kid. And maybe that mistake would be too great. Unforgivable. But knowing my limits as simple housewife and mom, I feel so much more freedom in NOT knowing the answers. I just have to try.

So what did it look like for me to try? Reading on the 2 mo. vaccines, knowing the diseases they protect against, taking note of my initial reaction of said research and take it all to the doctor. This year for thanksgiving, I must recognize my extreme thanks for the care that our doctor gives to little Asa. I couldn't have been more impressed with him and his nurse when we went in yesterday. And it turns out, the shots I thought seemed extra important were the ones he felt were highest priority. He told us which ones we simply didn't really need right now and I feel we all left happy after that appointment. [Except for poor Asa; I have never heard the kid scream that high before--but he was a trooper and didn't seem affected by it at all, afterwards]

I am so glad to have relations that, rather than insulate us, make us seemingly more transparent. I am so thankful that we have help in this life, that there are those of us who are smarter, stronger than us, and those who need our help. What a wonderful place to be--to experience both roles. We have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Cry-A Rant. Forgive me.

At some point I think I told myself I would never write about any thing political. I guess because it's too controversial and because I recognize i am often times way ill-informed (i kind of give up--there is so much overwhelming bs out there and i get sick of it--and give up--) But as I get older, I am less apathetic, and more sure of some things.

Politics is our national religion. God fits in somewhere after the distinguishing factor of Republican or Democrat. I would argue alot of people would say "I'm a conservative christian" or "a non-judgmental lover of Love. (translation: I was/am/could be considered a Christian but don't judge me, for I am very involved with liberal issues)" I've been both. and they both fail. They both are stuck up in being contrary to one another, and faithful to their political party.

So I see all this hub a loo about these occupy protests and critics of said protests; and I can say the right thing to my right winged family and friends and the left thing to my lefty family and friends. But we all are so greatly misguided. Righties: I can show you verse after verse about the wrath of God and arrogant cheaters and about giving to the undeserving (the entire foundation of Christianity is the sacrifice made to the undeserving), etc... And lefties: I don't know, do you know what you want? I suspect some repaying evil for evil? What do you want and what will you do when you get it? Are you poor and want to live like the rich? How will we all get what we want? I feel the driving force behind political parties is to provoke. For example, I did it, you know, first by feeling defensive and theatened by the "hippy feminists" at a war memorial in D.C. when i was 17 and then again with my unshaven pits and gospel of relativity and all at 19. But I'm not convinced by any of it anymore and I know: It doesn't work.

Nothing anyone is doing is working. And I'm kind of frustrated and annoyed and sad. I'm annoyed with christians that cry out on the streets that they have a right to work and to have health insurance, etc, I'm annoyed with christians that think "you just need to pull up your bootstraps, kids and you poor people." I'm frustrated by conscientious christians who argue for everything green and peace while they judge families who chose to have a flock of children. I'm frstrated by christians who dress up in expensive rags and shout about being the 99% from their computers and iphones bought on credit that's accruing more debt. I'm annoyed and frustrated and sad about christians who arn't pro-life and I'm equally annoyed and frustrated and sad aboutchristians who are "pro life" yet believe it's their right to carry arms and support capital punishment.

I guess that is what it is to live in America. To be constantly annoyed and arguing with each other. This is the way to keep each other on track (? there is alot of sarcasm in these past couple sentences). I don't know, it's exhausting, and maybe this is where Seth's mantra, "we're not a part of that story" is especially applicable. I don't really have to worry about all this--I can do what I believe is right. I can raise another flock in order to bring about the Gospel (don't be afraid--geez). And maybe this is where I can really rest in Jesus:

OH Lord, there is so much wrong with the world we live in today. I recognize I do just as much wrong by pointing my finger: you're wrong you're wrong you're wrong you're wrong. Deliver us. Help us not to contribute to the problems. Help us to bring about hope and peace (but not by making more turmoil). Oh come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us and forgive us. We've hopelessly lost our way. Help us to be bathed in the blood of the Lamb. Let us have Your mark.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Commitment

I have to begin cleaning out Asa's closet, because his clothes have become too tight. It's a task I don't really want to do: saying goodbye to his first clothes. And so I'm beginning to learn even more about this growing into adult thing, by watching my own child grow up.

Yesterday I felt even more like a grown up (in some sense) as I was confirmed at Christ our Hope--I am now an Anglican! (I really like having some concrete tradition that I can say wholeheartedly that I am a part of--it's like taking responsibility and charge, I guess, of my own beliefs--and hey after all the crappy dark years, I've wound back up in a beautiful community of Christian believers.) Standing up with my husband I felt I was making a commitment like the one I made a year and a half ago. I felt the same way when Asa was baptized last week. These events are huge, and they should be regarded along the same scale as the sacrament of marriage.

The liturgy of both events mark what it is we believe about being confirmed or being baptized. What is so profound about these events is not merely ritual and going through steps of tradition and religious practice (although I think alot can be said for adhering to tradition...) but what is built into the liturgy of the service. I grew up in an evangelical tradition, and I will say, there is alot of judgment passed onto some of the more liturgical Christian denominations--passing them off as cold, insensitive, communal? That is that an individual cannot possibly make a meaningful decision about one's faith if they're simply following steps in a ritual like confirmation or when a parent makes the decision to baptize a baby. And it's in that very individualistic thinking that I find a problem and thus liturgy is kind of my answer? Corporate worship. Christianity is not an individualistic faith. We depend on others to build us up in the Faith, and ultimately, we depend on CHRIST to save us. Where does the gospel of "me" factor into Christianity or into Christian worship? Should it? I think not. And I think that's where liturgy, call and response, whatever you call it, is so beautifully symbolic of this kind of faith. A dependence on something greater than ourselves! That's why when the Bishop said to us "candidates" yesterday, "Brothers and sisters" I'm moved. Every little word fashioned in the liturgy means something--that we are doing this together, that we are now a family in Christ due to the blood that he shed. Sure, we make those individual decisions to follow Christ (I mean not to minimalize this), but that is not the end. With confirmation, we pray that we remain committed to the decisions we have made and we profess them to an authority so we can be kept accountable by our True family, the church as we mature and grow within this new community.

The Bishop prayed this yesterday at the close of the Confirmation, "God has made us one in Christ. He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts."

I am now committed to a community of believers, and with the help of our community we will, by God's Good Grace, will build up His Kingdom.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A poem for a Mom

seth read this to me the other day. i thought it was lovely.

Only she who has breast-fed

Only she who has breast-fed
knows how beautiful the ear is.
Only they who have been breast-fed
know the beauty of the clavicle.
Only to humans the Creator
has given the earlobe.
The humans, through clavicles
slightly resembling birds,
entwined in caresses fly
to the place ta night where,
rocking the cradle of cradles,
the babe is wailing,
where on a pillow of air
the stars nestle like toys.
And some of them speak.
-Vera Pavlova

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

wear the 'scars'

My sweet boy slept for 6 1/2 hours last night. I was so awake when he woke up to nurse that I couldn't fall back asleep. My mind could not fall asleep.
It may be no secret that I have not always had the highest self esteem. During pregnancy I dealt with old demons as my weight escalated. Now after pregnancy and after child birth, similar thoughts emerge. They haven't been that bad, that is, not as bad as I had anticipated--I'm being fairly nice to myself and giving myself time. I don't really feel rushed to get rid of these "remaining so or so many pounds." But, in all honesty, I worry about not having enough time to "have my body back." You know, couples usually have another baby. And the cycle continues.
I don't want to make this a discussion about birth control or how ever many babies our particular family may have, but I do want to say that I realized I really want to hold on to this notion of "my body." My 24 or something year old body. My pre-pregnancy body. But I'm really realizing that I am only going to get older. And I give up my selfish desire to retain my youth (often through vain attempts). I will have more kids. And more importantly, I want more kids. But with more kids means, more nursing, more growing bellies, more post partum bellies; a body aging and weathering. It's all kind of frightening. That and becoming more "mom like" (as if that were a bad thing)makes me a little uneasy somehow--maybe my spirited and rebellious past is still desperately trying to hold on as my more conservative present becomes more and more of a reality.
And last night as I lay in bed wide away, pondering these things, thought about this long purple cardigan I got that looks cool but in some way, matronly. But who cares? It's handy, cheap, and completely practical. Now, what's not practical? My old clothes: like, unstructured shirts, dresses (not good for nursing), minis. And how about my old go-to hairstyle? Pig tails. Moms don't wear pig tails!
I'm exaggerating. I will probably wear all these things, but I am sensing a change. So watch out world [or watch out self] I may soon be pulling out some mom jeans and a very conservative cut.
I laugh partially because I'm joking, but mostly because does any of this matter, at all? What is the fear that lurks behind this mysterious "getting older" thing? I don't know but it certainly doesn't fit into any Christian narrative and so.....

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

The knowledge of God being, in this case, 1. children are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful 2. I am a mother, I've followed the design of things, and it is naturally beautiful 3. We are raising new generations in the name of Christ. That is it. And I am already getting to wear the "scars" of the battles of motherhood. [paraphrasing from a friend:] I would certainly say that they're beautiful on anyone else, now, how about I say the same for myself.