Easter Sunday leftovers

My friend Tina used to blog almost every Monday and she called it Sunday Morning leftovers. I liked the concept because to do it she would have to actually go to church, pay attention, make sure she got something out of it and chew on it that afternoon or the next day enough to write about it. However, I take my kids to church with me which honestly means I am often doing anything but listening when it comes time for the sermon or “telling” as Owen likes to call it. (probably because I’m also telling him to be quiet or not color in the hymnals). And I know it is well past Monday, but I’m going to give it a shot anyways.

And this Sunday was Easter and that usually means a crowded parking lot and a big show with special music. And I have to be honest. I don’t really like a show. We got to church on time (and usually we are at least a hymn late). But on time on Easter Sunday is not early enough to park in the parking lot or get a seat inside the sanctuary. And I kind of refuse to go to church only to watch it on TV. So me and my husband decided to go to another service that was going on inside the chapel. A slightly smaller more casual service. Every one was still in new dresses and the music was probably turned up a notch. But there were still seats and coffee and we slid into our chairs.

And the pastor touched on two of my favorite things from the Easter story. And they are pretty much unrelated. Sort of. My favorite line from the Easter Sunday story is “thinking he was the gardener, she said…” (John 20:15)…about Mary as she asked the Christ where they put his body. And I’m not sure why I love it. Except that I think I miss him all the time too. And I blogged about it once. A long time ago. Poorly. But then I read some Rob Bell on it and he did a much better job here.
And the pastor read a lot of the Easter story out of John. And even though I’ve read it dozens of times… somehow I’d missed some important details. Like I remember the part about Mary thinking he was the gardener, but not the part about John and Peter running to the empty tomb even before that. And that as soon as Peter saw the cloth lying there that “he saw and believed”. (vs8). But, even though he had just been in the empty tomb. And believed. That somehow that wasn’t enough. That he still did not understand (vs9). And so they went home (vs10).

That is how Easter Sunday starts.
And empty tomb.
And his best friends believed but didn’t get it and went home. Until Mary mistook him for the gardener.
And we know the rest. That Jesus shows up. More than once. Even lets Thomas slip his hand in his side. And they saw. And they believed. Even Thomas. But they still didn’t get it or know what to do. Which is often how a lot of us respond when we get a glimpse of Christ.

And I have always been drawn to John 21 (go ahead read it). The part of the story that most people don’t tell….
And I even blogged about it once. And said mostly this…

Plenty of jumping off points and weird things to talk about in that story.
Like the fact that Jesus had already been crucified and this is basically a conversation with a dead man.
Like that fact that John is referred to "the disciple that Jesus loved" which is a pretty great way to refer to yourself.
That he asks Peter the same question three times.


That these guys who had followed Jesus everywhere just months before. Who heard him preach. Who saw his miracles and even did a few themselves. Seemed to be right back to where they started from. Out fishing. Having a pretty lousy morning.
Until some guy on the shore pipes up.


And yes. It is a cool story. Jesus shows up and of course they don't recognize him. Because they never do. And he tells them to toss their net over the other side. And they listen. Even though they still don't know that this is Jesus. Even though they haven't caught a stinkin fish all night.


And amazingly their net is full with fish. So full that the net should rip. That the boat should tip.
But it doesn't.
And finally someone recognizes the man on the shore.
And here is the kicker.
As soon as Peter realizes that it is Jesus.
He jumps into the sea.
In his clothes.
and swims to the shore.


The bible doesn't really go in to details here but I'm willing to bet that there was a pretty great reunion on the shore. With a fire and fish and bread and probably a few bear hugs.
And Peter got to him first.
Because he wasn't afraid to get wet.

But this time the sermon added a little bit more. That – maybe believing isn’t enough. That maybe we still don’t get it. And Jesus’s charge to Peter.
That it’s time to get off the boat and get to work.
That we can be forgiven for our denials. No matter how many times it takes. Three or Thirty three.
And most importantly, that there are sheep to feed…

(and you can listen to the actual sermon here if you want....)

The Easter Story according to Paul

Nope. not the actual Paul in the bible.
Another one. A friend of mine's husband. And in addition to having a pretty creative and funny hubs -- she has two amazing twin girls. That have babysat my kids, eaten fondue and mexican food with me. Drank lots of coffee. Talked, math, physics, music and jesus with me. And now they are Sophomores in college. But once they were little and too smart for their pretty little heads and asked all kinds of silly questions. Like my son. And i'm sure this story is made up. But probably not that made up. And it's kind of long (have you ever tried telling a story to little girls!)...but worth the read.

Easter as a Bedtime story for K&K
“Girls, do you know what tomorrow is?”

“IT’S EASTER!”
“And what is special about Easter?”
“The Easter Bunny brings us Chocolate Bunnies, and Chocolate Eggs, and Toothpaste, and Stuff!” said Katie.
“And my basket has milk chocolate eggs and bunnies,” said Keeley, “while Katie’s basket has dark chocolate eggs and bunnies.”
“Daddy, how does the Easter Bunny know that Keeley and I like different kinds of chocolate?”
“Well, it’s for the same reason that Santa Claus knows that you want different presents than your sister.”
“Ohhhhh,” said the twins with a knowing glance at one another.
“Other than the chocolate, what’s special about Easter?”
“It’s the day that Jesus was reincarnated!”
“Resurrected,” corrected her sister.
“That’s right. Jesus was resurrected or raised from the dead.”
“How do we know He was resurrected,” asked Keeley?
"Well, in Matthew, one of the books of the Bible, it says that two women were visiting the tomb.”
“What’s a toom?”
“It’s the place where Jesus’ body had been placed after he died on the cross.”
“Were any of his twelve disciples there?”
“No, not that early in the morning.”
“Oh, like you sleep in on weekends while mommy gets up early and does our laundry…”
“And makes us her World Famous Cinnamon Rolls…”
“And wonders how you can snore so loud…”
“Girls, you know that I need to get a lot of sleep to be able to tell you creative stories.”
“I thought this was a Bible story. This isn’t a made up story, is it?”
“Yeah, like those stories you tell about when you were a boy…”
“And walked to and from school…”
“Through twelve feet of snow…”
“Uphill…”
“Both ways…”
“No, it’s a true story. So, like I was saying, Mary and Mary were visiting the tomb…”
“There were two Marys?”
“The Bible says that it was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.”
“Like my dolls, Baby Violet and Other Baby Violet,” said Katie.
“Was the other Mary Jesus’ mother?”
“No, in the Gospel of Mark we are told that the other Mary was the mother of James.”
“Are all the women in the Bible named Mary?” asked one of the twins.
“No, there’s Esther and Ruth,” quipped her sister.
“Yeah, but those were Old Testament women. Are all the New Testament women named Mary?”
“No, but apparently it was a common name at that time.”
“Like the name Brittany is now?”
“We had thirty-seven girls at preschool named Brittany.”
“Some were named Brittney.”
“That’s what I said”
“No, B-R-I-T-T-N-E-Y, not B-R-I-T-T-A-N-Y,” she spelled out.
“Sounds the same.”
“Nuh-uh. Brittany has three parts – BRIT-UH-NY – and Brittney has two parts – BRIT-NEY.”
“Getting back to our story, while the women were there, suddenly there was a great earthquake and an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone that covered the opening to the tomb. The guards were afraid, but the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, "He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him." This is my message for you.'"
“That is so cool that God sent an angel.”
“And he talked to Mary and Mary, but not to the Mary that was Jesus’ mother?”
“You’re making the story unnecessarily complicated.”
“Am not.”
“Are too.”
“Am not.”
“Are too.”
“Girls, calm down.”
“Were Mary and Mary afraid like the guards?”
“Well, it says that the women left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy.”
“That describes how I feel when I’ve been caught by Mommy eating too many of her World Famous Cinnamon Rolls.”
“As the women ran to tell the disciples, Jesus met them, and they worshiped him.”
“Just like we do at church?”
“That’s right.”
“Why were there guards at the toom?”
“They were there to keep people from opening up the tomb.”
“I guess they weren’t expecting an angel to show up.”
“No, apparently not.”
“How many guards were there?”
“Probably six.”
“You’d need a lot more than six guards to keep an angel from rolling away a big stone.”
“I wouldn’t want to tell an angel that he couldn’t have something, even if it was Mrs. Bonjour who had told me to guard it.”
“Did the guards get in trouble?”
“No, I don’t think so. The people who had wanted Jesus to be crucified gave them a large sum of money to tell a story.”
“Do you get paid for making up your stories?”
“No.”
“Well they’d have to be good stories if Daddy was going to get paid for them.” Both girls giggled.
“Hey, my stories are good.”
“Do you get paid for them?”
“No.”
“Point reiterated,” stated Katie.
“Yeah, what she said,” added Keeley.
“What story did the guards tell?” asked the girls.
“Well, a better description for what the guards were bribed to do was to tell a lie, as in a story that wasn’t true.”
“Ohhhhhhhh. That’s really naughty.”
“I bet they didn’t get any chocolate from the Easter Bunny that year.”
“They were told to say that the disciples came in the middle of the night while they were sleeping and stole Jesus’ body.”
“If the guards were sleeping, how would they know that it was the disciples who took the body?”
“And why would they admit that they were sleeping when they should have been on guard? That’s like telling your parents that you dropped the cat from the loft because you were doing an experiment for a school project to see if a cat really would land on its feet instead of just admitting that the cat jumped to escape one more attempt at being dressed up as Mulan. The lie would get you in more trouble than the truth.”
“Mommy would never be duped by a lie like that.”
“Yeah, but it would work on Daddy.”
“And how would the disciples be able to roll away a big stone and not wake up the guards?”
“And what are the chances that six guards would all be asleep at the same time if they had been given that important a job to do?”
“If there were six, the probability is 46,656 to 1 that all the guards would be asleep at the same time,” said Keeley.
“What if there were twelve guards?” asked Katie.
“I can’t figure that out in my head. Daddy, do you have a calculator?”
“Well, the point is that it would be very unlikely that they would all be asleep at the same time.”
“That’s a really bad lie!” exclaimed Katie
“All lies are bad. Mommy says even telling Daddy that his stories are good when they aren’t is a lie, and something we shouldn’t do.”
“I meant ‘bad’ as in ‘ineffective’ – a really unbelievable story.”
“Daddy, why would someone believe a story like that instead of the way that Matthew told it in the Bible? It makes no sense.”
“Well, some people find it difficult to believe in angels and that Jesus was actually raised from the dead.”
“Well, I believe in those things.”
“Me too.”
“I know you do. Goodnight girls.”
k&k now.

o&t. and they may not be twins, but are still super cute and can wreck a story almost as good as those two above.

three times is all it takes for me to take a hint

Yesterday I got an email from a friend with this link:

http://melodygodfred.com/2011/04/15/a-mothers-prayer-for-its-child-by-tina-fey/

Telling me to read it. And she usally passes on only the good stuff but, I had a crazy busy day. Meeting after meeting. Papers to grade. Husband out of town. Not nearly enough sleep. And some looming deadlines.
So I didn't click right away.

Then not too long later I got the same link emailed from another friend. But they both know each other and I figured they had just sent it to each other, and kept passing it on.
But this time I bit. I clicked. And saw this picture.

And if you have ever been in my house or seen my desk or met my daughter....maybe it wouldn't take much to look at this mess and think of me.  (and I've been known to hide under a desk or two).

But still. My day was busy. I was reviewing like crazy for some big tests coming up and didn't take time to actually read the post. But I love me some Tina Fey and a good mess so I passed the link on to a few people even without reading. Making a mental note to read it later. Like during lunch.

And then, I got another email. From an unrelated third party. Saying they read this and thought of me immediately.
I figured it was time to read it. (and for lunch)

And Tina did not disapoint.

A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child By Tina Fey



“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.


May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, dammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.”
-Tina Fey

And I laughed outloud. And shouted out my own "Amens" and tried to pick a favorite line.  I think it's a toss up between the grape cutting, that dry humping can wait, and the name calling in front of Hollister.
And this time made a note to watch some 30 Rock, buy her new book, Bossypants, and thank all three people that sent me link.

writing bad blog posts

I belong to a writing group. And they are all better at it than me. Most have had things published or at least have their feet in the real writing world while I just type away on my laptop while my kids watch cartoons.  Some of them have written for magazines, newspapers, taught writing classes, workshops and show up to our meetings with manuscripts in hand, while most of the time I have to ask if I can borrow a pen. And we try to hold each other accountable for writing. For posting. For improving. For moving forward. We make goals and check in each month or so. And there are much more to our goals than post numbers. And thankfully no one makes goals that have to do with stats or comments or followers….but we go around the room and they say things like 4 posts per week. And I say 10. Thinking it will be easy for me. Because usually it is.
But not lately.
And I do everything fast. I read fast. I write fast. I hit publish or send fast.
Which means I am messy and sloppy and have errors and put out a lot of bad posts.
And I’m starting to think that is ok.
And yes, I value quality over quantity. Usually.

But I am in a dry spell.
And not because I’m not chewing on stuff. I totally am. But it isn’t all stuff I want out here. And I have been busy. And had less computer time. And so I've been a little absent in this space. And the longer I wait to write a blog post it seems like the less I have to say.

It is holy week. And last year about this time I wrote something EVERY day. And a few of those posts sucked. But one or two were ones I was really proud of.
And today I read a blog that said the secret to being funny is saying a lot of unfunny things.  And if that is the case, I think I must be hilarious.
Also, I have lots of photographer friends. And when they take pictures of my kids they takes lots and lots of pictures. Sometimes hundreds. And one of those friends always says, that at the end of the day you just need one really good shot. That if you click enough times, surely there will be a good one in there somewhere.

And of course that applies to most things. In soccer, usually the team with the most shots on goal ends up with more in the back of the net. Stephen King had a whole wall papered with rejection letters.

And so maybe I should apply that to writing. Put down enough words. And some of them will be good. They don't all have to be keepers. That maybe the secret to being a good writer is writing a lot of really bad blog posts.

And what I wrote this time last year, that I don't think sucked at all....

Holy Thursday: Just Me

This morning I left my house at 6:11.

About 20 minutes earlier than usual ( ridiculous time to go to work I know, but that is a topic for another blog post).
And I pulled into my church parking lot.
An almost empty church parking lot.
I read in my church bulletin last week that they chapel would be open from 6-8 am for anyone who wanted to take communion on this Holy Thursday.


I love the act of communion and have been getting up early every day this week to observe Holy Week. And so I thought that this morning instead of sitting on my couch reading and quiet that maybe I should go to the chapel instead.


But after I pulled in, I immediately thought about turning around and getting a coffee instead. I was a little uncomfortable about the idea of showing up at church at 6:27 am.
And I didn’t know what to expect.
If this would be weird.
If I was supposed to say anything or do anything special that I didn’t know about.
And I worried about who would be there.
If there would be a lot of people, businessmen off to work, or those really religious types doing some serious prayer or a bunch of old ladies who couldn’t sleep. Or if I even had the right day.

It wasn't too late, I could still just go to Starbucks.
I had to keep telling myself to get over the awkward and just to go in.
And so I walked into the chapel.
Which was totally empty except for a minister in a robe reading in the front pew.
She welcomed me and told me to kneel at the altar.
Just me.


And she read aloud this passage from Luke 22:7-20.
For just me.


And she offered me the body and the blood.
Shed for me.

And in this moment it was just me.
And the realization of what Christ did for me in particular.
Not a church filled with people.
Or believers all over the wold.
But just me.
Shook me in my soul.


And I lingered at the altar a bit. And the pastor returned to her pew and reading. And I walked out to my car and wept for what Christ did for me.
Just me.
And you too.
Just you.

He gets it from me

Have I ever mentioned that my kid is funny.
Really funny.
Sometimes even on purpose.

Here are a few of the conversations we have had just this week.

earlier this week when he only made it half into pjs and wandered in the living room to watch some cartoons.
Dad: Put some pants on kid, no one wants to see your junk.

O: That’s not junk. Those are my private parts.
Me: Keep them that way kid.
this morning before school....
O: I’m tired. I need to get better sleep.
Dad: Go to bed earlier then.
O:That’s not it. I need a tipperpedic. (as in temperpedic mattress).

the other day on the way home from school
O: My teacher says you should even brush your dog’s teeth.
Me: We have a dog toothbrush somewhere. Have at it kid.
O: I already used Tess’s.

The spirit of the game

Somewhere in the attic is a yellow pinstriped shirt with a front pocket. In which I kept a little black wallet with a red and yellow card. I have long since lost my line flags, but still have and occasional wear the knee high black socks with the tell-tale white stripes across the top.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I used to ref. Soccer. And I was pretty bad at it and mostly only reffed 12 and under games or college intermurals. But I had the uniform and the whistle and my very own stopwatch and the power to make a break a game for a team.

And they don’t give just anyone that yellow shirt (actually anyone can buy one), but you have to take a class and pass a test to earn your badge. Or get official jobs. And there are forms to fill out with every game. And you get an awful knee tan. And everyone pretty much hates you. The only plus was a decent workout and some cash in your hand at the end of the day.

My days reffing taught me a few things:
That the angles on the field and the ones on the sidelines are not the same.
When you can’t see how kicked it out it is always best to call it in favor of whatever side you are closest to.
Not to hesitate or waver on your call – do it fast and with confidence even if you don’t have a clue.
That it isn’t cool to yell at your kid. But it is really cool to yell at the dad who is yelling at his kid.
That it is really fun to give someone a card.
That almost every spectator thinks they know what off sides is, but almost none of them really do.
That it hurts bad, to get hit in the back of the head with the ball.
That extra time is discretional.
That sometimes I could run off the field faster than any of the players if I thought there was going to be trouble.
That no one likes a team that runs up the score.
That there are lot of rules to keep straight and weird what if scenarios, but more importantly than any that I found in my 37 page manual was something called “spirit of the game”.

Because in soccer there are lots of clear cut rules. But there is also lots of interpretation and discretion. There is also something called advantage. Unlike basketball, if a player is fouled, but the fouled team is in good position possibly to score you don't stop the game for the penalty. You let the fouled team play on.  Sometimes you don’t call a bad throw in or an accidental handball or a flop. If a ref stopped the game for every teensy violation – soccer games would take forever and be almost as slow to watch as baseball. A bad ref makes too many calls and impedes the flow of the game OR not doesn’t make enough calls and let the teams get out of hand. And as a player you know within the first 10 minutes of the game how rough the ref is going to let things get. Too rough and people get hurt. The rules are there for a reason. For players protection.  A good ref knows when to make a call and most importantly when not to. And makes good decisions all based on the “spirit of the game”. Because whether it is a professional team out there on the pitch or the cutest five year old I know. It is still a game.

And I teach school. We have a giant handbook full of rules. And they are all there for a reason. Most of them I even understand and agree with. But sometimes we have to remember why we are here. And it isn't listed in any code of conduct. And not everyone sees it this way. There are plenty of people in my building who are strict rule followers. Some of my best friends are. They insist that consistency is key and that you have to show your kids that you mean business. And that you follow the rule in every situation and scenario regardless of the situation.

But I don’t really care about meaning business.
I care about teaching them. And I just care about them period.
So occasionally, I ignore a rule in the spirit of the game.
I give them the advantage.
And I don’t think I should have to apologize or defend this.
I worry about them first, then my content, and then the rules. And a lot of teachers go in the opposite order.
And maybe they have higher test scores than me. So be it.

And a lot of Christians look at the bible the same way.
Rules first, content second, and then getting down to loving last.
Which I'm pretty sure isn't the order it should go in.

And I’m pretty sure I made more than my share of bad calls on the soccer field, and maybe I should bust a few more kids for ids or tardies or cell phones.
And I think that rules are important. In games. In schools. In society. And even in within our faith.
But. They were never meant to come first.
Maybe not even second.

this is my sad face

We don’t have to live very long before we experience disappointment. I seem to disappoint my kids at least a dozen times a day. They don’t always get to watch cartoons, or to eat candy, to play on my phone or to stay up as late as they want. Most of these decisions are made out of the best interest and safety of my child, rather than what they want temporarily. But sometimes I really disappoint. I forget dress up day. Or am late to a game. Or I say things I wish I hadn’t.

I am a lot older than my kids and at least slightly more mature, but I still find myself disappointed over the same types of things. Not necessarily the lack of cartoons or candy, but over not getting what I want or things going quite as I planned. God, of course, always has a better plan than the one I came up with, but in the moment (and sometimes even the weeks or seasons that follow), it is so hard to remember. Nothing feels worse than being disappointed by someone you love, but it always happens. Spouses drop the ball, friends say things that cut and parents make mistakes. And I think they are part of the package of loving people. People are going to disappoint. And hurt. And possibly the more you love someone the more potential that have to hurt. And we are going to do it right back. We can’t escape our sin nature. It creeps into every relationship we make. As much as it hurts – I think these disappointments are necessary. If a family member or friend could love you perfectly, we might not realize our need for the one who is love.

Christ loved perfectly and completely. Yet, he still managed to disappoint. His family, his friends and an entire nation of people. He was not the kind of savior the Jewish people were expecting. Some are still waiting for him to show up. He rode into town on a colt, not a stallion. He taught with stories not with an army. He spoke of love, service and forgiveness rather than power and retaliation. I can just imagine the disappointment on the disciples’ faces as they watched him hang on the cross. They had seen him perform hundreds of miracles. They were probably thinking things like this, “How could he let this happen?” Why doesn’t he do anything to stop it?” Without the cross the Christian faith is pretty empty. No grace, no forgiveness, no redemption, no empty tomb. Even though it wasn't what people were wanting or expecting it was far more powerful than any savior we could have imagined or hoped for.

Christ experienced his share of disappointment as well. His family didn’t get it. His hometown rejected him. His closest friends couldn’t manage to stay up and pray with him in his hour of need. His friends fought over trivial things and never quite understood what he was trying to say. One of his closest friends denied him, not once but three times. And another betrayed him for just thirty pieces of silver. Despite all of this, he still laid down his life for them. For each of us and every single time we have managed to disappoint our God.

And in good churchy lingo people (especially around Lent and Easter), people are always telling us to approach the cross. To lay down our burdens. To receive forgiveness. To leave it all at the cross. And I could be wrong here, but I'm not sure the bible actually says to lay anything at the cross.
But.
We are  told to carry one. (Luke 14:27). To forgive. To follow.  
And the act of laying it down is important.
But so is picking it up. Not what we set down, but…
Receiving forgiveness at the cross so that we can grant it.
Leaving our burdens at the cross so that maybe we can help someone else carry theirs for a little while.
Letting go of our disappointment at the cross so that we can love a little bit more like the guy who hung on one.

2 letters and a playlist

i got this card in the mail yetserday and it made my day. mostly because it is so true.....

and this is a letter owen wrote to his friend maddy at church. it says "do you like good? i do." and it took me a at least 10 minutes to realize he meant to say God. so stinking cute. He realized his mistake and wrote it again. which is great because it means i can save this gem til he is 30.




and just because i think my kids are the cutest...

edited

In high school and college when I had to write papers, I almost never read them through before turning them in. I was afraid that I’d see too many errors and have to spend even longer fixing them. So I just hit print (or ripped it out of my spiral) and hoped for the best.

Usually when I send emails or texts I just hit send without a preview. I’ve been known to even send them to the wrong people. Regularly.

I am not a big editor. In the sense that I think spell check is going to catch enough. I don’t use a thesaurus. I don’t cut enough. I write in fragments. I start half my sentences with the word and or but. I use too many be verbs. I never refer to MLA or whoever makes the grammar rules these days. I like ellipses. When I write I try to get it all out as fast as I can and then I hit post before I change my mind. I have never been a detail girl and figure if you can get my point that is good enough for this girl with a couple of science degrees. ( and maybe this is why I still have my day job )

But in terms of content. I filter and delete and change words and even occasionally take some artisitic liberties. For example in the last post I wrote, the real email had a few things I refuse to put online. Partly because they might hurt other people, but mostly because I’m afraid they will make me look bad. So what gets posted is the version where I am supposed to be open and honest and cute and funny and real and authentic, but only if it isn’t going to embarrass me too badly or make me look too awful. So maybe I’ll let one bad word slip but not four. Often, I will type out things just so that I can sort it all out in my head. But if it ever finds it’s way online, I have usually cut out the personal stuff. Which sounds ridiculous because it is all personal stuff. But the stuff that I don't want other people seeing. Online we have the liberty to edit. To pick and choose. And present only peices of the reality.
And we do this all the time. Pick the parts that we want to show. No one makes a scrap book of pictures that show their double chin or where someone’s head is cut off. Those pictures we throw away or delete and hope no one ever sees. No one ever puts, I gained 2 pounds this week as their facebook status. Or I just yelled at my husband or I cheated on my taxes. We give the jeans that make us look fat to Goodwill. We wear make up and masks try to put on our best show.
Because everyone else is.
And sometimes I wonder what it would be like if no one did.
If we all took off our masks and stopped pretending.
If just for one day everyone's status was what they were really thinking. Not what they thought other people wanted to read.
And I’m not saying that is all bad. It would be really dumb of me to put every thought out here. It would hurt people I love. I’d probably lose my job and most of my friends.

So I pick and chose and edit. Here and in real life.
Often not even enough.
Sometimes I should keep my mouth shut and I don’t.
Sometimes I should iron my shirt before leaving the house. Or at least put on some mascara.
Sometimes I just don’t care. When I should.

And I think there is a line. A fine one somewhere. That is the difference between showing people more of who we want to be and pretending to be something we aren’t. And I don’t always know where one ends and the other begins. But picking and chosing gives me the liberty to be more of what I want to be. And editing my life, just like my old English papers, can sometimes make it better. If I’m willing to face the mistakes and put in the time to improve them.

But for fun. Here are a few crappy photos and moments from my day:

Tess locked herself in her room and Shaun wasn’t home. I said about 17 bad words while trying to pry her doorknob off with a screwdriver. She was screaming so loudly though I doubt she heard them.

She also colored all over herself in marker. Again. I saw her doing it. But didn’t feel like getting off the couch to stop her. I also didn’t give her a bath tonight. Because just a few hours earlier she played in the sprinklers. I figured that counted.

My son has probably played about 3 hours worth of video games today. His dad even more.

Shaun and O had fun nighttime plans, so me and Tess went to the store just before they were supposed to leave. I took both sets of keys. Oops. No Pink Floyd Laser light show at the planetarium for the boys. Which is probably a good because I think mostly only college kids on acid go to that kind of thing.




check out those forced smiles. this will not be making it to a frame or even facebook.
owen isn't best photographer. and my hair has had much better days. i won't even mention shaun's expression.

ok. so i just thought this one was funny.