This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Side Project

I quote movies; it's what I do. Recently I was asked in a panel interview, "What do you do to relax or blow off steam? When you feel you are getting too overloaded, what do you do?" I am sure I said something serious; I am pretty sure I said I write. And, that's totally true. I am doing it right now! It wasn't until much later when I realized I actually quote movies.

Not merely when I am overloaded, stressed, or have too much going on in my brain. I quote movies all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It's my equivalent to being in a musical when one guy starts singing a song and suddenly everyone in the joint knows his lyrics and his dance moves. What he really has is a team of people creating the best scene possible with words and choreography.

Well, I don't need the dance moves. Strangers want to put me on Ritalin when I dance, so as a community service, I don't dance. You're welcome. However, if a guy spends months or even years developing what turns out to be a guffaw inducing script, I am going to steal his lines and call them my words. Try and stop me, Napoleon. (< this is a movie quote.)

This entire back story is merely my way of pointing out that, "There are two types of people in this world: those who love Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex wife loved him."

SIDE NOTE. That was a movie quote. That quote has been sitting on my tongue all day just waiting to be used. Wanting to be slipped naturally into an already happening conversation. That opportunity never came, so I shoved it in to this blog post all awkward like. Just accept it.

Again, I am off course of where I wanted this to go. I am here to tell you I have a side project.

SQUIRREL. (< this is a movie quote)

I am working with a non-profit organization to bring awareness and an end to sex-trafficking. The group is called Awaken, and this might be the first time in all of my life I am standing beside sisters doing something out-right crazy for God and seeing miracles. For reals. Miracles. But I am easing into it. "You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles." (Do I even have to say it? Movie quote.)

Anyway, I would love for you to join me. Just click HERE and jump with me to another tab to see what we are working on. See the difference that God is making. See the crazy that he has planned for just an everyday guy or gal who is willing to stand up and say, "WHO'S GOIN' WITH ME?!" as they hold their gold fish up in the air. (

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Rocky Faith

I wouldn't call my faith rocky everyday. Just today maybe. Don't get me wrong, I doubt like the turtle: slow and steady. I don't want to. But most days there's a sliver of doubt. 

Today, I had a minute where I had to remember God knows what's best. A little girl my heart melded instantly to is spending her last day in my classroom tomorrow. She needs different help than what we have to offer. I don't have what it takes to make her healthy. I have stood behind her and held my hands at silent awkward angles, praying for her secretly. I have walked behind her and laid hands on her while praying in my head for her body to be healed. For her mind to be changed. For her heart to surrender to Jesus completely. All the while she thinks I'm just scratching her back and encouraging her to keep up the good work. I call it being a ninja Christian, but my skills just weren't right. God has something different planned for her. I hope her new teacher prays. 

Then God brought to mind a discussion I was having with a co-worker. We tend to spend a few minutes of our weekly planning time hashing through the Bible. Ah, public school system, you hire some rad people. Anyway, we were discussing the authority in the world. Specifically the verse that says the only authority is that which God has put in place. We don't have to worry about whoever or whatever seems to have power or authority in our lives because it all comes from God. 

My friend pointed out that this conversation seemed to pair up perfectly with the verse I read earlier: 

Hebrews 2
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.
And then there's my favorite line of one of my most favorite worship songs. Oceans by Hillsong United says, "Grace abounds in deepest waters." This little heart breaker? She gets God, whether she knows it or not. He is holding her and planning for her and working for her and loving her and providing for her and His grace will abound in her deepest waters. God has her totally and fully in the palm of his hand, just as he does me and you and my babies and my husband and...and...and... I can't think of someone this doesn't apply to.

And yet. Knowing this. Knowing all of this, I manage to squeeze in my slow and steady doubt. Did I do enough? Did I pray enough? Were my words enough? The answer is yes and no all at the same time. Because I could never do enough. Ever. it isn't in me to be enough for this sweet girl. But God's grace really does abound in deep waters. He is enough for her- today and tomorrow and on Monday at her new school. 
And I will take a second and take stock. Did I show Jesus as much as I could have? All the time? Did I listen to the Holy Spirit and obey? I'll remember these answers next time and for the rest of my students. And I will not finish praying for this little faith filled girl. As a teacher, we meet students who are sent to change us. She is one of those for me. 
 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When The Sleep Draws Near

For a girl who wakes nearly every night somewhere in the middle- when the stars are in their comfort zones, and the moon is caught up in conversation with the man up there- I relish this minute coming over me. The sleep is drawing near.

I know it is happening because I stop forwarding the songs on my Pandora, I have to read and reread a question for clarity, and I begin pausing to think and reflect and the ideas begin to flow. Oh, are you one of those whose ideas flow when you're bright eyed and wide awake? hmm. weird. I don't know what that's like. I prefer my thoughts to be all over the place and forgotten by morning.

The weird thing is that although I forget writing even a word of whatever piece I am working on, it seems to turn out pretty sense making when I come back to it the next day. The sad thing is this is what it takes to make me stop bossing and for Jesus' quiet spirit to finally be heard. oops. I am a work in progress.

Maybe if I had diamonds to wear all day long things would be different. Diamonds that glitter like stars in the sky. I say we try it; it's a valid experiment.

Here's a short glance at my stream of consciousness; don't be scared.

That fire fighter. He loves me. I need to get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

My neck hurts. I need to schedule myself a massage- oh. call the ENT for Elijah tomorrow.

My poor boy. I am so sad he has to get his broken nose fixed. So painful. I should get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

I need to turn in my calendar for my Detroit project. I wonder who else wants to come to Detroit with us. Oh. shoot. We need to get our plane tickets and I need to pray God makes that money happen. "Your will, Father. I believe I am supposed to be there. Please find us the money we need." I hope my boss is fine to give us that last day off. I am so grateful for my boss. I need to get him a card or something and write how grateful I am for him.

Ok, so what I write isn't deep. But it makes sense. To me. And helps me remember to buy cards.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Occupy Till I Come




I read a phrase tonight that came across as a military directive: “Occupy till I come.” 

Just those four words. But immediately I stood up a little bit taller. My ears perked, and I wondered at God’s meaning with this phrase. I felt like it was a challenge thrown at my feet.

How easy would it be to translate this into something that suits my needs? For all of my days I could twist this into something simple, lazy, chipper, bold, brash, and maybe some days not at all Christ-like. 

Phrases like, “Live it up,” or, “You only live once,” pop in my mind. We could modernize it and give it a nickname. “Sup? OTIC. I’m doin’ it.” Naturally when it’s come to this, it’s come to failure. Pretty sure God intended something powerful when he breathed out, “occupy till I come.”
Just before this phrase appears in the book of Matthew, Zacchaeus is the butt end of the gossip train, and Jesus is at the center of what everyone perceives is a scandal. 

There’s gasping and chest heaving and dinner. Which seems totally out of place, but Jesus invites himself to dinner with a true shady character, and of course the shady character accepts, and then believes Jesus, and his whole household is saved forever. And do you know why? Because first Jesus was occupying until it was time, and then Zacchaeus and his entire family realized what it meant to, “occupy till I come.” First they stood a little bit taller, and then their ears perked up. Suddenly they were hooked. 

They watched as Jesus came to be about the Father’s business. They took in his actions: He lived to win souls by loving for real. Man, that’s just better than any Kool-Aid out there. It’s such a small sentence and a huge summons all at the same time. 

“Occupy till I come” means you take what you have been dealt, handed, blessed with, and you do any and everything God asks. 
Say hello to that person. Take food to that family. Invite that girl over for dinner. Pay for that woman to go to retreat. Compliment that guy on his work. Hug it out with that co-worker and tell them Jesus was and is and is to come. Stop and pray with that neighbor. Babysit that young mamma’s kids. The list is unending.

All Jesus did was invite himself to dinner. What a rude gus. He didn’t even wait to be invited. He couldn’t. He was too busy occupying.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Updating

The gym? Still killing it, but now I mean I am lying down on account of a low grade infection who seems to have taken up residence in my kidneys. Don't worry, I am healing and chugging the liquids. 

And sleeping. Also I just rubbed today's mascara in my eye. 
Awesome. 
Happy Friday everyone. Make it a keen one.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's 11:10; do you know where my sleeping pills are?

OK! Fine, I don't take sleeping pills. Really, I take about zero pills. I'm one of those essential oil weirdos and proud of it. Might make that last saying a shirt. And my friend who started me on that crazy weirdo essential oils actually works for a screen printing company, so she could totally hook me up!

Not the point.

My point is it's late at night. It's been a very long day of wrangling children to school, wrangling a classroom of sweaty 5th graders who still don't seem to know they out number me, trying to muster the self-control not to eat the candies our secretary hides in her desk just for the teachers (hangs head in shame), birthday parties, gymnasium workouts, and the eating. OH the eating.

I have a busy life. Good but busy. I am busy with all the things I want to do, and possibly a couple things I could live without (aka dear dishes. Why can't you be more like paper plates and handle yourself?) But recently I joined the gym.

It's January; why shouldn't I? Of course I should. And I am killing it. And by killing it, I mean I am more aware of my rolls and I can' t stop eating. I feel one of those cyclical stories about to happen. I call this one If You Take Me To The Gym.

If you take me to the gym, I am going to work up an appetite. And I will probably ask you for an omelet (which means I will just snack on these pretzels and mound of almond butter while it cooks). Of course he saltiness of the pretzels will make me thirsty, so I will ask for a glass of water.

When we are at the fridge getting the water, I will notice the orange juice and ask for a small glass. After I gulp down my juice, it will remind me of how much I love oranges and that I still have at least three minutes left until my omelet is finished, so I will eat a Cutie.

That itty bitty orange will remind me of that time we had mini-muffins, and I will ask you to check to see if there are any in the pantry. You look and find one. It's blueberry and delicious. My omelet is finished, and as I carefully adorn it with A-1 sauce, I realize my mind is elsewhere.

I begin eating my omelet, all the while thinking of those blueberries. And, naturally those blueberries remind me of a most delightful spinach salad I took to lunch last week which just so happens to be filled with quinoa, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and, you guessed it, blueberries. I'll ask you to go to the fridge to get me one.

There is one left, which I devour in three minutes. It's amazing, and I have to tilt the miniature plastic ball to get every drop of the vinaigrette dressing. I realize I haven't even bothered to close the refrigerator, and peak in just in time to see the almond butter on the top shelf. Seeing the almond butter makes me want to dip a salty snack in there, so naturally, I head for the pretzels. And chances are, if you give me those pretzels, I am going to need a refreshing drink of water to wash them down.

I realize this story doesn't get me back to the gym, but let me just be frank and tell you I am going to the gym about 4 out of 7 days in the week, and this runaround comes from one day's workout. Now multiply that fat camp by four workouts and let me lie down. With a smoothie. Because I am hungry.

All

the

time.

And because I am a Gooney, Goonies never say die. No. Goonies say, "Can I get just one more bite of that?"

Saturday, January 03, 2015

What's A Motto With You?

The best part about that title is I am not even really speaking of mottoes. I couldn't help myself.

Moving on.

I am a total New Year's resolution girl. Every year, growing up, we used to sit with paper and pencil in hand anxiously. We would divide the paper into three sections: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Then my entire family would spend 30 minutes or so racking our brains trying to think of what we hoped to accomplish in the coming year. It was such an organized event that we would pull out the previous years' goals and see where we accomplished or straight went awry.

My parents taught me the craft of a goal board. They taught me what baby steps were well before Bob Wiley came on the scene. They made a resolutionary out of me.

Yes. I made up that word. Just now. And I stand by it.

I am completely and rebelliously a resolutionist.

I did it again. Did you see that?

Yeah, well, you can thank me when you drop that new word off at the water cooler tomorrow at work. People may smile and call you "Quippy". I would like that.






Moving on.

I do my best to make my goals just close enough to attain them and not so far off as an endlessly dangling carrot. This line is fine.

I also insist that the goal be worthy of my time. Because, guess what. Extra time is for napping. And guacamole.

Last year my goal was to floss every night. I grew up in a non-flossing home. It's been a difficult habit to embrace. I used to turn to floss when I was desperate. My floss and my priest were basically on the same level: a need to know basis.

OK.

I am not Catholic, but my point is I never flossed regularly. I'm a new woman. That goal was attainable and worthwhile, and quite frankly cut about 20 minutes off my bi-annually dental cleaning appointment.

On the heels of this success, heading into the new year, I was thrilled to come up with a new resolution.

Everything I thought of seemed too cliche. Too BAH. I mean, I will likely get back into the gym. I will start bringing my water bottle to work. I broke up with donuts ages ago. I have added a silly amount of vegetables to my diet already. And I cut out all the foods to which I am allergic or intolerant. BO. RING.

And then my friend said something a little crazy and against my usual. She said she isn't a resolutionist. OK she didn't use that word because I hadn't made it up yet. But she would have. She could have. She should have.

Anyway, she doesn't choose a goal. She chooses a word. Isn't that wild?

Maybe it's normal, because as we were texting, another girl hopped into our conversation and said she does that same stinking thing. WHAT!? Yeah well. All right then. I can get on board with this. I think.

I can forgo a year of resoluting. Just one year. I think.

So. I've spent the better part of the conversations in my head throwing out words that represent my year to come. Some were deep. Some were sheer lunacy. But I think I found it.

My word this year is
COURAGEOUS.

Mostly the kind found in Joshua 1:9.

Have I not commanded you. Be strong and very courageous.

I've stepped into a few uncharted territories. I need to pull myself up by my Bootstrap's bootstraps and be courageous. This is so clearly a goal I will never achieve on my own. I'll be looking up. I'll be jumping in. I'll be screaming like Bob Wiley on his first elevator ride. And hopefully, by this time next year, I will be able to look back and mean it when I say, "I was courageous."