Wednesday, February 27

Where is God?

At Pentecost, they were not submerged in God,

nor did God override them. God was God and they were they;

but Person flowed into person,

Will into will,

Mind into mind,

and they could scarcely tell where they ended and God began.

He was closer than their blood in their veins

and nearer than their heartbeats.

If they should reach out to touch Him,

they would reach too far.

~ E. Stanley Jones, The Art of Mastering Life ~

A Teri Pic

Sunday, February 24

Garbage Bag Goo

The garbage bag goo ~~ you know, that runny stuff that somehow seeps out of the bottom of the sack and onto the floor, or into the bottom of the bin ~~ has been washed out of my shoe. An innocent tug on the top of the overflowing Glad bag found my right foot swimming in days-old muck; my Croc (that hole-pocked fashion abomination) ably absorbing the thick, runny stuff through its' many accommodating holes.

It's all better now. An eyesore those rubber shoes may be, but they're a dream to clean.

Today I'm wishing that my thoughts were so easily given a wash.

February is "Heart Month," "Black History Month," "Friendship Month," and, so my email inbox tells me, a month honoring several other recognition-worthy endeavors.

In my house, February is "Oooh, look. Mom's Freaking Out About Every Little Thing," month. My rankle over too-brown lawns and filth covered streets presses on my beauty-starved mind. The task of schooling children at home is very task-like and lacks all charm, vision, and purpose. Faith is elusive. Friendships are taxed as people everywhere feel the strain of winter.

I do all sorts of mental exercises to redirect my downward-spiral thinking. I pray. I thank. I thank some more, hoping that if I pummel my bitter mind with gratitude that it will pull itself up by it's taken-for-granted boot straps and cheer up already. I consider and contrast my oh-so-easy life with the lives of those in Kosovo and Afghanistan and the unforgiving streets of my own city.

Beauty can be found, too. A walk in a cared for part of town. A quick drive into the country. Striking photographs taken by keen-eyed artists. Hours spent with boys discovering the hilarity of "Whose Line is it Anyway?" for the first time. Laughing at their laughter ~ no sound compares to that of your own child's uninhibited joy!

It's not all garbage bag goo, after all. While a long winter can feel a little heavy on the trash side and little light on the awe inspiring beauty side of things, the lovely stuff is there for the finding.

Tuesday, February 5

Soda Pop Pinwheels

Seven-thirty a.m. and my feet are sticking to the floor. I put a hand out to steady myself and find it sticking uncomfortably to the chair. The morning's mental fog quickly clears as I remember why my entire kitchen seems to be coated in a sugary goo. It seems to be, because it is.

It began, as these circumstances so often do, with a mother and her son preparing for target practice. I'm sure you can relate? The weather had warmed to a roasty -12 degrees and my thirteen year old was impatient to get out into the field to shoot some pop can victims. His arms were full of guns and ammunition, so I generously offered to carry the pop (we shoot the cans when they're full ~ the effect is explosive and looks really cool on fresh snow).

Speaking of explosive, covered from head to toe in winter garb we started for the door. And then I dropped one of the cans. It just slipped. Right out of my gloved hand and head-first onto the floor. It punctured immediately and began to spew it's pressurized contents upward and outward into the kitchen.

A most dramatic thing happened then: it began a pinwheel spin, powered by it's own gasses, and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed it's sugary mix in a perfect circle. 'Round and 'round it spun. Soda coated the walls, windows, dogs, dog dishes, dog beds, tables, chairs, and plants. It soaked the door, the door mat, the pictures on the wall, and the venetian blinds. It sprayed the lap top computer, and tiny droplets of no-name cola showered the cupboard doors and kitchen taps.

Sudden. Dramatic. Thorough. So very, very thorough. Winter clothes were stripped away, weapons were set aside, and cleaning commenced. For thirty minutes my husband, my son, and I washed and re-washed surface after surface. My husband thought it was all very funny and chuckled to himself the whole time. I'll admit, my own dialogue sounded more like expletives than "chuckles".

Seven-thirty on a Monday morning, and I've got some work to do as yesterday's scrub really only served to smear 300 ml of sticky brown soda over every conceivable kitchen surface. The redeeming factor in all of this is that I win! Our family has a long-running contest regarding accidental spills, and mine are always the most destructive and far-reaching. This one will put me at the top of the list for sure!