Monday, April 21, 2008

And with that, she started blogging again.

from "Grace for the Moment" by Max Lucado -
April 20th's thought ...

Want to know God's will for your life? Then answer this question: What ignites your heart? Forgotten orphans? Untouched nations? The inner limits? The outer limits?

Heed the fire within!

Do you have a passion to sing? Then sing. Are you stirred to manage? Then manage. Do you ache for the ill? Then treat them. Do you hurt for the lost? Then teach them.

As a young man I felt the call to preach. Unsure if I was correct in my reading of God's will for me, I sought the counsel of a minister I admired. His counsel still rings true. "Don't preach," he said, "unless you have to."

As I pondered his words I found my answer: "I have to. If I don't, the fire will consume me."

What is the fire that consumes you?

Uh, blogging?
If I don't do it, I combust?

Let the mocking begin.

Anyway, after taking some time off to pray REALLY HARD and SAY THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER TO GOD, I'm ready to blog again. I'm pretty sure He heard me. And me repeating myself about the same thing might be interpretted as nagging. So I'll assume He's on it, and when He's ready, Something will be done. I'll keep praying, don't get me wrong. But I'll blog too. Because if I don't, I'm going to start phoning people at midnight to talk. About books. And movies. And random thoughts. And rebellious children. And sick-but-getting-better parents. And blue flowers. And snow in April. And ...

Have you seen this?

Oh my goodness.
I watched it on my little portable DVD player in bed. I started it at 2 am, and finally turned it off at 4:30 am, determined to rewatch it on a bigger screen, with surround sound, when I'm more alert, and with some friends who will sigh along with me.
It's not even mine. I borrowed it from Sandra BRAND NEW. It was still sealed.
Girl's night anyone?

I've been reading books. Four of them. Want to know which ones? And what I thought of them?

Have I mentioned that Gayle is my mom's first cousin?
She is.
This book is her first novel not intended for teenaged readers.
I hearted it.
Know why?
Because she writes about being a Mennonite in Chilliwack. These are my people, people! Nickels, Doerksens, Peters, Wiebes. Borscht. Hymns like Trust and Obey. Sarcastic teenaged children. Friendship. Tragedy. Marriage.
I just got lost in the whole story. Read the entire book in one sitting.
Even if your maiden name isn't Klassen, I think you'd like it, because she is a darned good writer. For instance:
"Des and I behaved ourselves. There had been a snowfall the night before, and we were dying to go sledding as soon as possible. Valley snow has the lifespan of manna - so the better we behaved, the sooner we could go."

Valley snow has the lifespan of manna.
LOVE that.

I also read The Woods, because sometimes a thrilling murder mystery is the answer.
Twas a good read. With a bit o' a twist at the end which is always nice. Althought, maybe not so nice for the dead guy, but you know what I mean.

Then, there was The Shack. Which I really, really, REALLY wanted to be moved by. I wanted it to be profound, and enlightening, and rich and deep and highly recommendable, and underlinable.
But, it was meh.
Maybe my expectations were a tad unrealistic.
But one of the reviews I read assured me that by the time I closed the back cover, I would be changed. And I guess I wanted to be changed.
But. Really? Only the Bible has that power.
I would recommend you read it, if only so that you can form an opinion on a book that is going to get alot of attention. I agree with some of Julie Klassen's thoughts.

And then there's Anne.
Anne Lamott.
Can I say something here? Seeing it's my blog 'n all?
This woman's writing has the ability to make me cry. And laugh. And be disappointed.
The laughing part? She shares an experience she has on a mountain, skiing with her son. Or rather, skiing on the same mountain as her son, with him being no where near her. She was on the chair lift and didn't get off when she was supposed to, so she hopped off after it had left the dismount area...
"I experienced a moment's confusion, born of hormones, high altitude, and a light snow falling. By then the chair was 4 or 5 feet off the ground and rising. But I did not let this stop me. I took a long, deep breath, wriggled to the edge of the chair, and flung myself off into the snow - flung myself ...
I estimate that I was five or six feet off the ground for the timeless instant of eternity before I crashed down into the snow. I landed hard, proving the theory of gravity once and for all.
I do not imagine anyone had seen anything like this before, someone hurling into outer space with such force, from such a low starting point.
I am ever my mother's daughter, so my first impulse was to smile with confidence to the few who were watching, and wave like a politician campaigning from a rarely used horizontal position. "

Are you not giggling?
Maybe you had to be there.
On that mountain. Doing a sport you have no business doing. With sons who are nowhere to be seen.
I felt her pain.
And could not stop laughing.
Belly laughing.
Crying laughing.
In my backyard on that sunny Saturday afternoon - I sat on my lawnchair, and for the first time in months totally lost all my composure and laughed til I couldn't breathe.
Thank you Anne. I love you.
The disappointing parts? Most of the middle of the book, where she rants about Bush, defends abortions, and describes the act of assisting in a suicide. You know, all those grey areas in life.
But the part of the book that touched me way down deep in my core?
The chapters at the end where she talks about being a parent.
(She's a single mom.)
"... I was stunned by how afraid I felt all the time. Children may bring you the greatest joy you ever dreamed of, but you will never again draw an untroubled breath.
I knew that children would teach you how to pay attention, but by the same token so can shingles."
And then she talks about her 17 year old son, Sam.
"Recently I have begun to feel that the boy I loved is gone, and in his place is this male person who pushes my buttons with his moodiness, scorn, and flamboyant laziness. He used to care about everything, but now he seems to care only about his friends, computer, music, and most hideously, his cell phone - the adolescent's pace maker.
I started calling out to God, "Help me! Help me! I'm calling on You! I hate myself, I hate my son..."
(You've got to wonder what Jesus was like at seventeen. They don't even talk about it in the Bible, he was apparently so awful.)"
She talks about a fight that the two of them had and it was so real it could have happened right here in Murrayville. I needed to read that. That someone else is struggling with this whole parenting thing. I needed to read, "I know what it's like to be scared to death that your child seems out of control."
I needed to read how she handled it. "I did everything I could think of that helps when all is hopeless. I ate some yogurt, drank a glass of water, cleaned out a drawer, bought a new People magazine. I was willing for the Spirit to help me forgive myself, and for Sam and me to forgive each other, but these things take time. God does not have a magic wand. I kept my expectations low, which is one of the secrets of life."
Anne and me. We're tight. We talk the same language. And while I don't agree with most of her beliefs, I love her honesty and openess to talk about those not-so-pretty moments in life.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Twenty one years ago today, I became a mother. The four of us celebrated Clint's birthday this evening and it was wonderful.
2. Grape Hyacinths.
3. Spring-like feeling in the air.


raych said...

If you ever stopped blogging....I don't know what I'd do. Probably eat a box of chocolates and watch a sappy movie in your honor. Have I ever told you that every time I visit your blog, I read your 'About Me' paragraph because the last line makes me laugh so hard?

I love you.

Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that the expectation low thing was NOT our idea?

ramblin'andie said...

I tried to read The Shack too. Didn't live up to the hype AT ALL in my mind.

And I would LOVE love love to watch that BBC movie.

I'm so glad you're back to blogging. Life just isn't the same without my daily Jane fix.