Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another book. Another question.

All day I've been pondering the stats that were mentioned last night (at church). They were awfully depressing if you're a single church-going mom.

The numbers are the result of an independent non-Christian Swiss poll done in '94. I didn't take notes during the sermon, but this is what I remember ...

The likelihood of children staying in the church (once they're out of their teens) if both their parents are regular, faithful attenders is 33 %.
(Or, if they have 3 kids, one of those three will continue to attend church once they are on their own.)

Yeah. What a lousy stat, eh?
Of course, I have friends who are blowing those statistics out of the water by having 3 for 3 remain in the church. So, for those of you who are fortunate enough to have 100% of your kids remain faithful to their belief system, know that you are the (lucky) minority...

The next statistic...
The likelihood of children staying in the church (once they're out of their teens) if the FATHER is a regular, faithful attender and the mother is not-so-much committed to going is 44%.
Yes. You read that correctly.

Oh the power of a dad.

And the last stat that depressed the hell out of me:
The likelihood of children staying in the church (once they're out of their teens) if the MOTHER is a regular, faithful attender and the father is not... is 2%

2 friggin percent.

Oh the power of a dad.

So, girls. Can we talk?
And by "girls" I mean those of you who still have tiny bums, unwrinkled faces and high school diplomas.
Choose your boyfriends/husbands wisely.
(Because I KNOW you are thinking about becoming moms.)

Does the guy you have a crush on go to church because he wants to? If his parents or best friends are not around, does he attend anyways? Why does he go? That's a good question to ask him, Why do you go to church?

And, I know, just because he might give you a solid answer, now, when he's 20, doesn't guarantee he'll feel the same way when he's 38 ... but at least you'll know he's not going just because he wants to see you on Sunday mornings.

I was chatting with a newly dumped mom recently, and when her Christian (elder in the church) husband left a few months ago his parting words were, "the kids don't need me anymore, so it's not a big deal if I leave."

Hello? Teenaged children don't need their dads anymore? IN WHAT WORLD? True. They don't need you to change their diapers, teach them how to tie their shoes or ride their bike or tuck them in at night - but good lord man. Being a dad is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. Where do I even start?

Deeeep sigh.

Oy. My stomach gets bunched in knots just thinking about it.
Two percent.


In December I ordered a number of books off of Amazon. I was intending on buying just one, but they have this thing, where, they let you know what other people are ordering who bought the same book as the one you just ordered. So, I took a chance and purchased a number of novels written about Bible women. (And these books were not written by typical Christian - book-store- authors).
I finished this one this evening:

Apparently she was the sister of the prophet Ezra.
Never heard of her before.
After finishing the book, I actually picked up my Bible and looked through Ezra to see if she's mentioned at all. She's not.

I didn't like this book much.
At all. I didn't like this book at all.
I wasted 5 hours of my life.

Although, now I know what Ezra is all about.

This is what Publishers Weekly has to say:
Halter ambitiously tackles portions of the complicated biblical book of Ezra, which centers on the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple and calls Israel to ethnic and religious purity. In the Persian town of Susa, the beautiful Lilah dreams of marrying her Persian lover and childhood sweetheart, Antinoes. However, her beloved brother Ezra, who has immersed himself in studying the laws of God, refuses to approve of their union since Antinoes is not a Jew. As the story unfolds, with scenes full of rich detail, Lilah becomes the unlikely instrument of gaining royal approval for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the holy city. However, once there, Ezra orders all non-Jewish wives and children driven away in what is surely one of the most heart-wrenching episodes directly from scripture. A horrified Lilah repudiates her brother and leaves with them. As the cast-off women wander unprotected outside the city, rape, murder and mayhem ensue. There is plenty of highly charged sexuality and some imaginative storytelling. Unfortunately, the story trails off, and the ending is unsatisfactory.


Now on to today's question.
Are y'all getting tired of this? Almost done... just a few more to tackle.

What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

Oy. How transparent do I have to be?
I mean, how will you know if I don't share my biggest regret, just one of my regrets? See what I mean? Will you ever know?

Well, I guess some of you (those that overlap my blog life and my real life, that is) will totally know.

I regret that I didn't lose weight.
I regret that I didn't complete more of the items on my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days.
I regret that I didn't get the trim on my house painted cream.
I regret that I didn't buckle down and buy a new vehicle last March like I promised myself I would.
I regret that I didn't take an Adobe class last Spring, or last Fall, or last Winter.
I regret that I didn't settle in a church. (Although, I guess, what does it really matter? My main motive for doing so was to help get my kids settled too. And as a mom, it clearly doesn't mean a thing. At this point, it will be up to their peers to invite them and up to them to respond. Seems that once again, my job is to pray.)
I regret that I stopped taking "writing" seriously.
I regret that Max moved out.

And now I'm tired of writing about regrets.
And the second part of the question - what am I going to do about it?
Yeah - that's what I want to know. What am I going to do about it?

Let's not leave this post on a downer.

Thinking of something happy ...

Still thinking ....

Two things.
I was over at a friend's house last night and was telling them about the stats I'd just heard an hour earlier at church, and they were as sad about them as I was. And then the husband says to my friend, "You know, I should call x (their 20-ish year old daughter) and clear things up." Apparently they had disagreed on something at dinner and she'd left to go out with friends right afterwards. He excused himself from the table and made a quick call.
How awesome.
No, really. How very awesome. On all levels.

So that's a happy thought.

Know what I did today?
Besides read a dumb book and mull over depressing statistics?

A friend and I drove out to the Abbey in Mission. We were both without cameras, so I felt naked and the trip seemed a little bit pointless, but we did get alot of talking done on that long drive so it wasn't a total waste. We did decide to go back when the Rhodos are in season, because it would look spectacular up there.

I remember going there in the Spring of 1980 with my roommates from Bible school to sit on the lawns and study for our upcoming finals. But nothing about the grounds was familiar to me when I drove up this afternoon.

I was happy to be there again. With a friend who'd never been there before. And then we stopped in at two bookstores, so the day was a winner.

And with that, I'll end.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Drew helped me figure out how to use the blue tooth ear piece so I can talk and drive.
2. Love Hearts candy
3. Ice cubes



ramblin'andie said...

This is where I call you out on something. Remember that time we met at the ABC in Abbotsford? And I lent you some books? You reading about Lilah reminded me of my experience with two of them. Thread of Grace in particular, though to a certain extent Year of Wonders as well. Good, historically based stories. Oh, I dunno where I'm going with this. But if you do decide to read them, I'd like to hear what you thought.

Anonymous said...

:( This post made me sad.
I second Jane's advice to all the young unmarried ladies out there.