Archive for May, 2011

The origin myth of the dream catcher captured my imagination over the weekend.

It is said that in the beginning of times when our earth was but an infant, an ancient Lakota priest was on a mountain top and had a vision. In this revelation, Iktomi, the great teacher of wisdom and trickster, appeared in the form of a spider. The spider, Iktomi, wove a web from the priest’s willow hoop that was adorned with offerings:  beads, feathers, and horsehair. As Iktomi the spider spun, he told the priest about the cycles of life. Iktomi explained that we each begin our lives as babies, move on through childhood and then mature in adulthood. Iktomi observed that as we advance in age we cycle back to the position that we need to be taken care like newborns once again, thus completing the cycle.

Iktomi also taught the priest as he spun his web, “In each time of life there are many forces; some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they’ll steer you in the wrong direction, and may hurt you. So these forces can help or can interfere with the harmony of Nature.”

As he finished speaking, Iktomi completed his web and gave it to the priest and said, “the web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, make good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the Great Spirit, the web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole.”

The priest shared his vision with his people.  Into modern day,  many tribal people hang a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. Legend says that the good is stored in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in drops through the hole in the center of the web.

This idea that the web sifts the contents of dreams and visions resonates with me as I work toward the goal of responsible thoughts.

Much like the legend of a dreamcatcher, I want to discipline my thoughts so that when I perceive an unfair thought, unkind observation, or negative stream of ideas, I identify it quickly and eject it from my mind.

As I try to become more responsible in relationship with My Father and my community, I seek to be clean with my words. This is something of an anathema to me as I am the same girl who formally thought of the F-word as a conversational lubricant and versatile grammarian as it readily enacts every part of speech.

My intention to become more Faithful with my words cycle back to my thoughts. Much like Iktomi the spider observed to the preist, there are developmental stages to maturity. It has been easier for me to stop saying swear words than to extinct the thinking of them. Yes, there is victory in shutting up, but if I can map my mind to reject negative thoughts, words and ideas, they are less likely to pop out of my mouth like corn in emotinally charged sitiations. Sadly, my children can attest this is a growth need of mine.

The image of a dreamcatcher lends me a visual to weave in my mind as I try to corral my thoughts. I want to dwell upon Good and maximize the people around me. In order to really be able to do this, I must surrender not just my heart to the Face of Love, but my mind as well.

It would seem that there are many layers to this Call of submission.

Like an onion, I will peel away layer after layer, until my tears and its potency bid me stop.

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah!

Earlier this week, I mentioned to The Baby, “Don’t forget Jackson’s shorts are in your backpack.”

I chuckled to myself as I considered the context embedded in this comment. If my daughter were sixteen and had come home wearing her boyfriend’s  gym shorts, like Lucy, she would have had, “A lot of s’plaing to do!”

There are so many moments like when context is all. For example, when I texted a friend over the weekend, “Remind me to tell you the story behind why your son and my daughter are naked in the back seat of the truck,” her response was a great big giggle.  She even found the message humorous enough to share with the people that she was with at the time. Imagine a mom’s delight to boast her boy had been caught with his pants off in a girl’s SUV.

There was no shame nor recriminations simply because she knew by context it was all good. Needless to say, that the kiddos had just played on a muddy slide on the soccer field and were covered from their heels to the parts on the tops of their sweet, little heads in Virginia orange-hair-red clay, not to mention that her son is three and my girl is five, had everything to do with why it all good.

Smudged lipstick on my husband’s collar is merely a laundry issue if I find the stain the day after The Middle Girl’s class play.

When I heard The Boy exclaim, “Oh, man, it’s so engorged!” to his friend as they gamed on his play station from the boy bunker downstairs, I hit the pause button. I understood he had described his buddy’s Hires rootbeer and pepperoni pizza-bloated gut, not his groin.

Context is all in communication and relationship.

There has been much embedded context in how my community has responded to the possibility of our family’s relocation. On every level, I have been humbled and surprised.

An unexpected benefit to the ambiguity of our family plan is that it has distilled to me the quality of those I loved and am fortunate to be loved by in return. It has brought what we have here in this time and place into sharp, clear focus.

Though the passageway to here has been moist and uncertain, a bold guard of friends as loyal as Marines encapsulate me. They walk this wall with me. Though they have seen me trip and falter, they got my back, and will not leave me behind or alone.

Likewise, I am as aware of the flavor of each in my circle as if I had done the Science experiment The Middle Girl just came home raving about Wednesday. Her class was instructed to pinch close their noses tightly and then chew jelly beans for ten seconds. After ten seconds passed, they were directed to unpinch their noses. The Middle Girl was simply baffled by how much more vibrantly she could taste the flavor and sweet of the jelly bean when enhanced by her sense of smell.

I feel like I am in the middle of analogous conditions. Just as the sense of smell scaffolds taste, so does transition fortify strongholds.

No one has died.
Nothing is broken.
No one is sick.

There is now no actual loss, yet the context enhances my every relationship as we wait upon the Lord to clarify our family’s call.

The people that I love appear more vibrant to me now. I revel in their beauty against the canvas of my life. I appreciate the flavor and sweetness of each heart more clearly.

I am more aware of who we are to each other in relationship.

You all know I didn’t volunteer for this tour.

I was drafted.

However, I am amazed that even before He has made His will clear, God has borne fruit from this situation in our lives and relationships.

And even if it all goes wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of song,
with nothing on my tongue
but Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Top 10 List:  How An Unexpected House Showing is Like an Unexpected Pregnancy

10. Zero control of the timing.

9. The Mamma and The Papa cry, “Not now!” in perfect harmony

8. Escape fantasies.

7. Irrational craving for pickles.

6. Tender breast heave in aerobic upheaval.

5. You have to find a quick place to hide all those pairs of pants that no longer fit.

4. Frantic trips to the bathroom.

3. Unexpected projectile vomiting.

2. Irrational mood swings.

1.H-Y-P-E-R-V-E-N-T-I-L-A-T-I-O-N!

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

The irony that I received a fabulous, bh subscribe feature for Mother’s Day and then failed to post new content this week is not lost on me.

Generally speaking, I am a big fan of irony.

I love whimsy and appreciate the unexpected in art and film.

It’s the unexpected in life that toggles my gag reflex and that has been our recent family fare.

I’ve simply had no appetite to write about the specifics.

My processing light blinks like crazy as I digest this download.

In the expanse, my children have been the fountains of creation.

It’s May after all… and my hyper-tasked tots have managed multiple due dates for projects far beyond the scope of anything I did before high school.

There has been a research papers on pediatric insomnia, an interactive sleep clinic presentation and two spring plays; Oh my!

There have been short stories, diary entries, and Geometry quizzes; Oh my!

There has been the construction of a scale model of the Golden Temple, a prayer book and a score of testing; Oh my!

There  have been soccer try-outs, fencing lessons, and soccer games; Oh my!

There have been birthday parties, jammie-jams and whipped cream shooters; Oh my!

There is also a lockbox on my front door.

Amid the warp speed of the year end’s close, we risk a new beginning in another place.

There have also been fights, tears and house showings; Oh my!

There have also been Family Meetings, discussions with heads of schools, and heart-to-hearts with friends and family; Oh my!

There have also been plans, revisions of plans and uncertainty; Oh my!

Did I mention The Husband is out of town for two weeks; Oh my!

The irony is that I have never been more busy, nor felt like I have less to say.

This is my be quiet time.

This is my time to Trust and Obey.

This is my season to wait in the shelter of His wing and know He does all things for my good.

This hour paints the sunset of how I feel against the majestic Glory of  His ever, certain Presence.

As my family straddles the end of one school year and does not know where we will begin the next, I stand in a cold uncertainty so outside my comfort zone that it freezes my thoughts like frost on citrus and I seek just one face.

I seek My Father.

I seek His will alone.

The Sun also rises.

I will dance in His presence where ever He places me.

I will Trust.

I will Obey.

I will Sing Him Praise.

And if my voice is wet, my nose is thick, and tune is uncertain, I will still sing.

I will still Praise His Name.

Hallelujah!

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

This era of Netflicks and Hulu is also a time when young children may develop eating disorders. In a study from the journal Communication Research, University of Michigan researcher, Kristen Harrison, Ph.D., has shown television viewing to be correlated with both anorexic and bulimic symptoms.  Harrison observes that, “[t]here was a significant positive correlation between overall viewing (hours per week) and disordered eating symptoms,” among the 6-8 year old children studied. Overall television viewing was examined, which includes advertising.  “Dieting to lose weight is the norm on television, and children may glamorize it as a ‘grown up’ thing to do and thus start to do it themselves,” Harrison explains.  The study also suggests that children may engage in these copycat dieting and exercise behaviors before they internalize the message that the thin body is the socially ideal body.  Parents and teachers can minimize the impact of the diet-obsessed media by exposing children to alternative information.  They can demystify the thin ideal by teaching kids to become critical television viewers.  This weekend, instead of just asking, “What’s on?” kids should be taught to challenge the content and images of what’s on.  Instead of blithely accepting the standard thin network icon, children can learn to question its commercial motive.  Children need these TV savvy skills. Moreover, children should be encouraged to put down the remote and pick up a soccer ball.  A bad show lasts only 30 minutes, but a bad relationship with food may last a lifetime.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

I hope your Mother’s Day was filled with raindrops on roses and picnics with cheesecake. The latter are certainly a couple of my favorite things.

I trust you were amid friends and family and maybe even were blessed with a surprise gift and billet doux or two.

I’m personally convinced that Mother’s Day is one of those magical holidays that calories don’t count and M&Ms are calorie deficient.

The Husband, my tech support geek, surprised me with a gift I did not even know I wanted until a generous reader, Andrea, observed that I didn’t have one.

A Subscribe feature!

Because of his loving efforts and her fine observation, you may now Subscribe to bh.

The Subscribe button is the in red field on the top, right hand corner of the Home page.

If you hit Subscribe, it will walk you through the hoops step-by-step.

Easy-breezy!

Such as I love; and you, among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.

In closing, here’s a peek at another one of my Mother’s Day treasures:

“Dear Mama,

Thank you for your consistent love, kindness, faithfulness, and faith. Over eleven years, you have seen me grow and mature, cheering along the way. I really can’t tell you how much that means to me. I feel secure knowing that you are home, or just down the stairs. You have helped me in my walk with Christ, and I strive to be more like you every day. You are the most beautiful woman in the world. I love your laugh, your whimsy, your sassy frass self. You have been nothing but understanding as I have had beauty accidents and confidence fails. Today it is time to celebrate you. Your excellence, your beauty. I hope you have the best Mother’s Day in the World!

Your loving daughter,”

The Oldest Girl

I am one lucky Mamma!

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah!



From the mouths of babes.

My kids told me about it.

The Husband alluded to it in Middle Girl’s lunchbox love note.

Internet sensation.

1 million youtube hits on its debut day.

Rebecca Black.

Friday

(Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)
Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

[Rebecca Black – Verse 1]

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

[Rebecca Black – Verse 2]

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

[Chorus]

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Rebecca Black Friday lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com/rebecca-black-friday-lyrics.html

Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

[Bridge]

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today

Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after…wards
I don’t want this weekend to end

[Rap Verse]

R-B, Rebecca Black
So chillin’ in the front seat (In the front seat)
In the back seat (In the back seat)
I’m drivin’, cruisin’ (Yeah, yeah)
Fast lanes, switchin’ lanes
Wit’ a car up on my side (Woo!)
(C’mon) Passin’ by is a school bus in front of me
Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream
Check my time, it’s Friday, it’s a weekend
We gonna have fun, c’mon, c’mon, y’all

[Chorus]

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
!

Yesterday, I found within me a sharp so bitter it could twain my marriage and dismember a family.

In one gestalt twist of grievance, I realized I had the capacity to cut relationship with the detached precision of a pathologist.

My scalpel tongue gleaned against my clenched jaw in clinical consideration of the Y Cut as The Husband and I hit the first immutable impasse of our marriage like a hearse.

It was entirely mutual.

The smell of potential decay cleaved in my nostrils like carrion.

I stood in the rigor mortis of that moment and knew I had to yield or the damage I would do to my marriage would be irreparable.

My pulse races now even to reconsider how concrete was that tomb.

An expansive, vile id lurked inside me like a dark mine ready to deploy.

The Prince of Peace lives there inside me too.

It was the moment just before the moment too late.

It was taught, tight tension as sharp as a guillotine.

It was entirely mutual.

I bit my tongue hard enough to taste salt.
I drew in Light.
I put down being right.
I put away I don’t want to.
I shelved blame.
Through Grace,
by His strength alone
I chose Love.

Mercy pardoned us as we forgave each other the trespasses against us.

Nothing.
Nowhere.
Is more important to me than this marriage, this family and a life together.

If this is giving up, well then I’m giving up.

I think, however, this is what it means to Trust and Obey.

We are both entirely humbled we got to that raw moment, however, we are saved because we had the Freedom to choose each other anew.

And finally, in a way I have been unable and unwilling to before yesterday, I am ready to walk that Call out in my marriage.

And if this is giving up, well then, I’m giving up, because I won’t give up on Love.

Love wins.

Well baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

The blistering pace of May denies Physics!

I wish there were the Mommy equivalent of sunscreen for this time of year:

Time Cream,
Schedule Screen,
Help Her Not Scream,
Hope Catalyst.

Replicator,
Dinner maker,
Antiperspirant that doubles as dish washer.
Never say never.

Field Trip driver,
Anti-Anxiety Buffer
for ERBs,
SOLs,
final exams
and babies sweet
who burden to bubble
the right dot to dot.

Anti Depressant that does,
folds
and PUTS AWAY
one load of laundry
per dose.

Community service,
Carry A Meal
Love one another
Walk out the Beatitudes
_despite your attitude_
especially when it’s hard
and double time when you want to least

(That’s when it matters most.)

Promise Keeper,
Trust in Him,
our Daily portion,
Daily bread,
Living Water,
Drink deeply,
Full Cup,
Good Plan,
and Appropriate Provision.

Surrender
reckless self-reliance
for utter dependence on
His Love.

Love wins,
we can Trust Him,
Thank Him,
Thank each other,
Speak annointedly,
Pray ceaselessly.

Volunteer,
Eat ice-cream
get a manicure,
take your vitamins,
phone a friend,
sing in the shower,
dance barefoot in the grass.
Re-Cycle

Covenant of Salt,
Risk hope,
Abandon the immature notion
your own strength is enough
to guide you through this day.
Run to Him
who showed great Love.

All human beings should try to learn
before they die
what they are running from,
and to,
and why.

His is Risen
We are one with Him again
Come awake,
Come awake!

Unlock the shackles of shame,
death has no sting,
Hell has no victory
when we stand together
in His Light.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!