Archive for January, 2012

Given January’s blush remains pink enough to paint cheeks (and because I am still unable to comfortably wear all of my pants) I trust I am not the only one who wanders the path of resolutions. I remain uncertain the exact moment that my wisdom divorced my restraint in December that began my three week binge.

And I do mean binge.

I fell so hard off the No-gluten wagon that I sprawled on the floor in a messy paste of Cheeto grease and cutout cookie sprinkles. My self-control was so badly fractured that I am still in dietary halo traction. My portion-control button was also concussed in the incident. I also don’t know why I thought that I would be the one person on the earth spared this holiday season from the consequence of the over indulgence.

Same reason I knew I would be the mother to cure sibling rivalry, another job Eve botched, I guess.

The story I told myself seemed plausible enough and suspended my disbelief at the time like the fairy tales of my childhood when I still believed in magic spells and potent witch rage. The gossamer of fiction spun its own web as I advanced from bagels to pasta. (Do you have any idea what a plate of lasagna tastes like after two years off gluten? Better than sex, ice-cream and getting a hull of popcorn out of a back molar. Perfect, saucy, decadent ectasy.)

I wasn’t worried, mind you. The spell of the story bound me to the promises of Far Far Away, the land where a mother of four children can eat without regard self-control, portion or boundaries.

“You work out regularly,” I prided to myself.

“You’ve worked out regularly for years,” I amended after cheesecake was introduced into the rotation.

“Muscle has memory,” I reassured myself as Christmas abdicated to the New Year’s nachos with extra cheese and sour cream. Lots of sour cream.

“Gonna get back to it Monday,” I vowed as 2012 ushered in its new hope and possibilities.

Monday came and went. The kids didn’t have to go back to school until Tuesday, and The Husband had an unexpected, extra day off.

“We can’t bite the hand of the vacation fairy!” we chortled, our mouths already full of Layes Potato Chips and Deans Dip.

Tuesday morning came in a flourish. I dashed from room to room getting the family machine revved without any notice of the extra dribble in my middle. It wasn’t until I went to get dressed in pants with a real waist band instead of my virtuous workout shorts, that I realized my zipper was in pain. It quivered and moaned like an Olympic weight-lifter going for gold. I actually heard it cry out.

I believe it whispered the F-word.

Actually, I must  confess it cried out the F-word in pain.

“Gravy, woman!” It seemed to moan, what have you been eating?

On the other side of January, I’m here to tell you, zippers in pain don’t lie.

As such, been eating a lot of salad since that day.

Salads with the occasional handful of M&Ms. I’m not a sadist!

Thought you might want to take a peek at what happens when my girls help chop:

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Major Mommy was deployed to Germany about the same time my family moved Here.

Major Mommy is a passionate sister in the Word, a beautiful friend, and an eager Well drinker.

We survived the Beatitudes study together…

I still wish we had made T-shirts for the other ladies!

Across the globe, we join forces to read Annonymous together.

As if in confirmation of that effort, I was overwhelmed by the God wink that awaited me in an email this morning:

Hi Jael,

“One of the most difficult lessons to master as we struggle to create effective change is to
learn not to label something as bad just because it is different from what we want.”

–Dr. William Glasser on page 32 in Take Charge of Your Life.

I wish I’d had this quote when Sylvester and I were writing our book on diversity. It really summarizes the message about embracing difference.

This echoes Alica Britt Chole’s assertion to never mistake God’s silence for His absence.

It reminds me again that anonymous seasons nurture potential and prepare us for Spring like bare trees in the winter.

The challenge is not to mistake bare for barren.
Silence does not equal absence.
Stillness is not lifeless.

I am grateful for God winks.

He consistently shows up in my day to day,
especially when I need Him most,
like this morning.

Bare is not barren.
Silence is not absence.
In the stillness, there is dancing.

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!

 

Thank-you for asking.

Yes, I am absolutely crazy.

In fact, I’ve taken to describing my current cognitive condition as a non-concussive brain injury. Nothing hard or large hit me on the head, but I am nonetheless operationally impaired. My never great, short term memory is now completely shot. Like I can’t remember my children’s names shot. Never mind their birthdays, they always remind me of those anyway. Where as a recent CAT scan would prove my brain is physiologically intact, the road from the driveway There to the driveway  Here cost me at least 59 IQ points. They promise me it’s temporary. I operate like a brain injury patient who’s run away from her rehab facility. And the laundry. My physic wounding has also deleted my laundry function capacity. We live in a sea of dirty clothes piles. The children don’t even expect I’ll get their PE uniforms back to them in a timely manner. They taken to wearing them dirty and using lots of deodorant and body spray.

Some of you have seen this dysfunction in action, or should I say inaction?

It is from among that group I’ve gotten the question:

“Are you crazy?!?! Did I read that right?!?!?!?!? Tell me YOU DID NOT GET A PUPPY!!!!!!!”

Again, however testily queried, thank-you for asking, and trust I admire the emotion behind your multiple use of the exclamation point and question mark/exclamation point combo.

Very, “Really? Really!”

We did, in fact get the kids a puppy for Christmas.

Here he is:

Check out that sweetie-boy-face!

He’s of the smallest of Japanese breeds, Shiba Inu, and his name is Hoshi.

Hoshi is the Japanese word for star.

He is our widdle, shiny Christmas star.

Hoshi fulfills a pre-relocation promise The Husband made to the children. Much like Obama, The Husband vowed our babies would get a dog if we came to live in this little ,white house in Far Far Away.

Hoshi flashes us back to past years with newborns complete with nocturnal crying, potty explosions and scheduled time for tummy play.

I understand why you would ask if I was in my right mind to introduce a puppy into our transitional mix, but I already admitted that I’m really not.

Really.

And that’s OK.
It’s even good.
Not easy, but good.

It’s a time that challenges me to Trust Him more,
go deeper into The Word,
and always,
always,
always,
carry a plastic bag
when walking outside.

‘Cause poopy happens.

Well maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who’d OUT DREW YA
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

 

I sing along with Addison Road’s beloved Praise song, What Do I Know Of Holy this morning:

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

Our ever Patient, Holy Father ministers of me this week. As ever, He heard my plea for intercession and has bathed Light into darkness. In fact, He downloaded a treatment plan and bid me follow.

Just like the Grinch on the Christmas morning, I puzzled, How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!

Selfish, little, Burning-Bush-girl me, was admittedly disappointed in its simple, righteous stock. Nonetheless, He was as clear as a prism breaks Light into rainbows:

Foolish, Baby Girl,
You’re never gonna pull this off
on your own strength.
Aren’t you tired?
Get off the gerbil wheel,
Re-read Anonymous,
Get back into the Word,
Turn to Me,
My Will is sufficient enough plan for your life.

Fallen, broken and selfish I may be, but stupid I am not, and I AM tired.

Monday I began to Re-read Anonymous,
get back into the Word,
Turn to Him,

<Again, and again,
and again,
a combination of prayer
and thought redirection….>

And seek spiritual confirmation of His Sufficiency in my life.

It won’t surprise you, sweet fellow Sojourners, that His scandalous Grace is more abundant than the stars in the Milky Way.

Every day since, I found Him waiting for me in Alicia’s text as He used her teaching to burst open the Word to me anew.

In random moments, He’s prompted me with a thought that helped to nurture an insight.

Again,
and again,
Yesterday,
Today,
and Tomorrow,
that be how He do.

He comes without ribbons! He comes without tags!  He comes without packages, boxes or bags!

Just as He came, born in a stinky stable as lowly shepherds bore Holy surrender to His Grace, fallen into the skein of man, but entirely God.

He comes to me today as He came then, a certain presence of divine Love.

When I turn to Him,
Genuinely wide,
He shows up,
Every time.

The palpable pulse of the Living Word feeds the hungry and draws water for the thirsty from the Well of Life.

My Jesus is still too shiny to be any good at hide-and-seek,
but I do have to look for Him,
not just with my eyes,
but with an open heart
and every breath a hallelujah.

When I catch a glimpse of who He might be, the slightest hint of Him brings me down to my knees.

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!

 

 

Where in the hell have I been?

I lead you on.

I tell you that I’m going to write
and I don’t.

Am I a blogger or a bad man?

Ah me, pray tell not a bad blogger!

December slapped me on the bottom so hard it was like being born again.

Not in the good, shiny Jesus kind of way.

In the bad, gooey, birth squall,
OH-GOD-IT-HURTS kind of way.

Suffice it to say the banal intersected with the tragic and fried my mother board.

Triage became the cycle set on my washer and, like the rest of you,
I just ran loads and tried to stay even:

Boxes,
Baking,
Shopping,
Wrapping,
Gingerbread Houses,
Quiche,
Wish Lasagna,
Family divided,
New roles assigned,
and the C-word,
Again.

Amid the sorts there were also:

Prayers,
Joy,
Sweet reunions,
Happy babies,
A new puppy,
Surprise glazes,
Hotmilk Cake,
Telescopes,
Sacred text,
Time together,
and
God winks plenty enough
to o’r pour my pitcher.

Because of His Strength and Grace alone, I celebrate that I came through intact.

The Husband and I gave our children their first Christmas Here well.

God be praised.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and His call upon our lives,
but in December,
that was all that I had in me.

There were days I felt like a child forced outside to play.

I sat on the teeter-totter
of depression
and
shimmied,
twisted,
squirmed,
and scooted
for purchase,
for balance.

Through His stength alone I did not fall.
In fact, He carried me.

I am so grateful.

Tired,
happy enough,
and still Here.

Thank you for praying, texting, emailing, calling and even making plane reservations!

Thank you for caring.

I missed you too.

I love you.

So.

xoxox

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!