Like trying to herd cats...

Many miscellaneous meanderings of a musing mother...

Friday, April 27, 2007

This is where the miscellaneous part comes in...

Ok, so my daughter calls me out on the back deck last night from the backyard where she was playing. "I have a surprise for you!" She walks away from the stairs and heads toward the middle of the yard and says "It will only work here." She holds out from behind her back a FULL bunch of freshly picked dandelion puff balls. "I got these for you to make all kinds of wishes!" she says, all proud-like, and then proceeded to blow all those weed-bearing seeds from the puff ball over the empty patch of non-grass that the dog's pee has created. As she's doing this, she's asking me to make wishes.

Decision point: stop the weed propagation madness, or jump in along with her. Decision made.

"I wish for healthy growth!" I tell her. "Good," she says. "Another wish"
And on we went. "I wish to see you get married" "I wish for you to be happy" and then finally, "I wish for you to get inside and wash up for dinner."

Grow, dandelions, grow. I dare you.

Upstairs, I am folding laundry. As I fold a pair of my shorts, Katie asks me if those are Jeff's (DH). "Nope, their mine."
"Oh. 'Cuz their really big"


Life is glamourous, yesindeed.

I spoke to a dear childhood friend this morning, who happens to be Jewish. She is telling me about a family situation and then tells me she had to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with this person.

That struck me as the funniest thing - that, and she always gets her Christmas cards out before I do!
Come to Jesus - oh, that I pray she would!

I love the smell of hyacinth. I planted them in my front garden (which has grown, in spite of my "care"...), and I plucked one the other morning after walking Katie to the bus stop. It's in a vase portable enough to carry with me throughout the house. Love. It.
Thought I'd throw in some information you may not have known about the lovely hyacinth:
*Hyacinths are sometimes associated with rebirth. Coincidence that they bloom around Easter? I think not.
*The prophet Mohammad is reported to have said “If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul.” Well, said, well said.

Perhaps this blog is not so miscellaneous after all.

...ok. It probably is.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thirteen Things about YOUR NAME

1…. It's Jennifer
2. Middle name is your basic Lee, not Leigh, or anything else remotely feminine. Thanks, mom and dad.
3. I think one time I read that Jennifer meant "white wave." Hmmm... yeah, I got nothing on that one.
4. I think Jennifer actually means "loves ice cream and walks along the beach"
5. The Alpha and Omega knew my name before I was born, even before this apparently highly popular name was invented.
6. It is of Welsh origin, and its meaning is "fair one" - meaning, I don't cheat in Monopoly.
7. Some call me Jen
8. I can generally tell someone who has known me since childhood, or is friends with my parents, by which name they call me.
9. That would be "Jenny"
10. I once had the nickname "Pokey"
11. I tend to have a dysfunctional relationship with the clock.
12. My name in high school Spanish class was "Juanita" (pronounced by my teacher as waaaaaah-knee-ta). Would rather have gone with plain, masculinely-spelled Lee, thankyouverymuch.
13. Apparently, it seems as if Jennifer took an exreme nose-dive in popularity between 2004 and 2005 in BC Canada. What gives??

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Selfish grief?

Ok, so here I sit, drenched in news coverage about VTech - I am dismayed, shocked, almost numb to reality that one person, so delusional and angry to the extreme, has the ability to dole out such huge portions of grief and fear. The news media is encircling Blacksburg, VA. There were four different candlelight vigils held in four different locations in the DC Metro area, all with news coverage. It is front cover material for People Magazine, breaking news on every channel, headlined on every area newspaper.

And rightly so.

This is tragic. 33 lives violently taken for no reason (and yes, I included the gunman on purpose. The darkness and pain that must have surrounded and invaded him is shameful and inconceivable. He was still a member of God's creation. I am angry on his behalf for the spiritual havoc that was waged on him. I feel for his family. They have lost, too). Unexpected. Hugely unfair. So much pain. So much fear. Unbelievable. Wrong on so many levels.

And yet...

Written in smaller print on an online news web page is information about four bomb attacks that occurred in Baghdad today - 183 killed so far. 183. In one day. That is horrific. 183 names. 183 stories. 183 birthdays that will not be celebrated. 183 smiles that will not be seen again, save photos and memories. And yet, after reading that information, I am not as moved, as shocked, as numb and horrified about this tragedy as I am about the one at Virginia Tech.

Are we ...ok. Am I numb to the constant strife in that land...that I cease to mourn for the lives so violently taken there? Why do the 33 Virginia Tech students and faculty hold all the intensity of grief, and these 183 ... 183 ..people get a mere passing glance by me? They are all innocent victims (except the perpetrators). A mother with her small children, attending to some errand in the city, instantly sabotaged. Terrified. Loss and fear. A father with his son. Suddenly thrown into a war zone not of their making.

Why are we not as moved by their stories? Why did I not see their stories on headlines and news magazines? Obviously, Virginia Tech is local, and Baghdad is not. However...

However... Dear Lord ~ please keep my heart from hardening to the chaos and calamity that surround areas outside of my comfort zone and stomping grounds. May my heart grieve violence against any of your children. The woman with her small children? You know their names. You knew their hopes and dreams. You knew what they had for breakfast. You knew the details of a conversation held between a father and son moments before their world was shattered. Your heart broke for them, too. You hold their tears in the same hands that hold ours here in Virginia. Please don't let me think that my tears are more deserving or significant than theirs. Open my eyes. Widen my heart's horizons to include those I cannot see, those I do not know by name. Please don't let me grow numb to another's suffering.

God, please let my heart beat to Your rhythm, let my eyes see as You see. God, would You please show me the path of compassion and softness. Help me to trust in Your sovereignty, Your justice, Your Truth.

I lift those of Your children who are suffering and struggling under the weight of grief and loss up to You. Isaiah 53:3 tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. It takes someone who has experienced that depth of grief to be able to know how to comfort someone else in mourning. Who better to know than You? God, we cling to the promise that you will bring beauty from the ashes, and joy from broken hearts. Come, Lord Jesus, and heal our land. And specifically, please heal me, too. I am in need of Your touch. Amen.

Isaiah 61:2-3
The LORD has sent me to comfort those who mourn, especially in Jerusalem. He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts.

What does herding cats have to do with the price of tea in Virginia?

Um, ok. Trying to herd cats - what kind of blog name is that?? Frankly, (and I just love using that word...), it describes what trying to keep all the juggling balls in the air while keeping my legs shaved and vegetables in the fridge feels like. Incidentally, I saw a circus act the other day that actually involved the common housecat. Didn't know something like that was allowed in the circus. Lions? Yes. Elephants? Of course. Clowns? Obviously, it is a circus after all. Cats? Notsomuch. But train them they did, and let me tell you - the cats were non to plussed. At. All.

Anyway. Back to herding cats. I think that there is so much pulling at moms nowadays that it can seem like trying to keep all of our responsibilities, obligations, hobbies (what are those anyway?) in balance sometimes has the same success rate you would imagine herding cats to have. My hope is that, by building friendships rooted in our human-ness (put your super-mom capes away, ladies), we can somehow let each other off the hook of trying to be all, do all, achieve all - all while keeping our legs shaved and veggies in the fridge...

You ready? I am.