Category: Religion, Spirituality

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Happy Campers

Surprise! Here I am! It's not very kind of me toward anyone who is actually
concerned about my welfare to write a big post about having my wisdom teeth
out and then disappear for a month, is it? I suppose I could spin you out
some yarn about horrible complications, hospitalization and a lengthy,
drawn-out recovery, far away from computers. Truthfully, though, with the
exception of a pretty big hole in my lower jaw where I think they used
dynamite to extract a particularly stubborn tooth, my recovery was just
about as smooth as it could be. I did go back once, because I was certain I
could see exposed bone way down in the bottom of that hole, only to discover
that it was just some of my lunch. :oops: The oral surgeon tried manfully not to
laugh at me, and sent me away with a nifty little syringe to rinse out that
hole.

Mostly, I've just been extra busy. We have a lot going on this month, and no
time to do anything extra. It's another one of those "sleeping optional"
months.

One of the things that has kept me from the computer is the week that Lion
and I spent as counselors for Senior High church camp. What an incredible
experience! It's been a lot for me to digest, which is why it's taken me
half a week to get any of it into words. I'm going to try and limit myself
to just a few anecdotes (after the jump, so you don't have to read if you
don't want to), but I can't guarantee that it won't keep cropping up here
and there in my writing.

=> Read more!

Vignettes

So, according to the 24/7 Christmas radio station, and the music playing in pretty much any store I poke my nose into, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

=> Read more!

Some thoughts on Thanksgiving

Kid: Mom, Thanksgiving is short for Turkey Day, isn't it? Or maybe Turkey Day is short for Thanksgiving.

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At daycare this week, Cub made a turkey, with each glorious tailfeather emblazoned with something for which she was thankful. In no particular order, our sweet, 3-year old daughter is thankful for Mommy (awwwwww), Daddy (of course!), butterflies (what a sweet little girl!), Princess (our cat...awww, she's thankful for the cat.), pizza (well, what little kid isn't thankful for pizza?), and snakes (really?) Of course, she was quick to add, when asked about her turkey of thankfulness, that she is also thankful for her brother. Which is good, because if she's thinking about trading him to the zoo for a python, I just might have something to say about that.

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It disturbs me, sometimes, how Thanksgiving seems to be no more than a "gateway holiday" for so many people, officially ushering in sale prices, giving full rein to the blatant commercialism that has been lining the shelves since (seriously!) two weeks before Halloween. I have to admit that I've fallen prey to that mindset more than once, chafing at the bit until Thanksgiving was over so that I could get on with Christmas. Today's small family gathering, and the trip to and from, really served to remind me that Thanksgiving is its own holiday, with its own reason for being (besides to eat pumpkin pie.)

It was my favorite hour an autumn day when we hit the road to head home. The sun was settling low on its way to the horizon, and the light had that soft golden quality that only comes with autumn. The children and I had a great talk about all the things they were thankful for, and why, and as they dozed in the back seat, all I could think about was how lucky, and how thankful I am for everything in my life. Truly, I lack for nothing.

Tomorrow, people will be shopping. People will be out spending money before sane people should even be awake. This weekend, husbands will be festooning houses with Christmas lights, while inside, wives and children deck the halls, everyone urging Christmas to get a move on, already! Not us. Not this year.

I won't be shopping tomorrow. I have to work. We won't be putting up lights, or hanging ornaments on the tree, or even making Christmas goodies this weekend, because we'll be too busy renovating (or recovering from it!) when we're not hosting our own Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay to let the Christmas season come to me this year. After all, it's not like I exactly have the time right now to go chasing it down!

Again, it's okay. I lack for nothing! Happy (American) Thanksgiving, everybody!

Retreat!

PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 10:20:56 pm

 

The Lion, Kid, Cub, Religion, Spirituality

This past weekend, we took a little road trip to some of my old stomping grounds for an all-church retreat. In actuality, it was more like 30-ish of us than the entire church, but we were still pretty happy with the turnout.

The retreat was at the church camp where I spent a memorable week of every summer from Junior High on. And because this was such a familiar place, both to me and to Lion (who'd gone up for the first time a couple of years ago to help with the yearly clean-up/fix-up weekend in the spring), we merrily set off without a map.

Talk about faith.

It was about the time that we reached the camp's neighboring town that we realized neither of us had a very clear idea where we were going. "I think we go this way," said Lion. "Are you sure?" I asked. "Nope! But let's go this way."

A little farther down the road, he was sure we'd missed our turn, when all of a sudden, one dust set of synapses connected in my head. "Keep going," I said, "I think I remember this." And sure enough, there we were.

It was more than I could ever have expected. Although a few new things had been added, the camp itself was so much the same. I was actually surprised to see it as empty as it was that weekend, since every recollection involved the entire area seething with teenagers. It's probably a good thing it wasn't, actually, seething with teenagers. I don't think I could have handled a whole lot of that type of seething anymore.

The time we spent there was great. The food (as always) was great, the canoeing was fun (although it would have been even more fun had the let us out on the river, but then, that really wasn't why we were there), the day was gorgeous, and we really got to connect on a deeper level with some of the people from our church. The one thing that made this weekend far better than any camp I attended as a kid was the fact that we got to take all of our friends home with us.

After this weekend, I'm very excited about the future of our church. I'm also very excited for Kid to be old enough to come to camp on his own (which I think will be next summer), because as much fun as he had just with us there, I know he'll be ready to create memories of his own with kids his own age.

Sometimes, I guess, you just have to retreat.

Take my hand

Several weeks ago, I read an article about a triple amputee, a man who literally only had one leg on which to stand. His disability notwithstanding, he was able for several years to operate a motor vehicle (although not while under the influence, and often with a suspended license) and hold down a job (when he wasn't in prison for selling drugs). The thing that caught my eye the most, though, was the paragraph that detailed where he was once arrested for assault of an officer, for an incident in which he kicked said officer. You always hear the phrase, but rarely get a report of one in action, a "one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest."

By the time I was through with work today (or, perhaps, by the time work was through with me), I knew exactly how that man felt. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, even on days like today where we are buuuuuuussssyyyyyyyyy.. Still, by the time I got home, it had been the kind of day that encourages a girl to go home and just pour chocolate syrup right down her throat. Not that I've ever done that. *ahem*

And so, I was feeling terribly sorry for myself about a hard day at work, the fact that tonight was the first choir practice of the season, and that, as director, I was far less prepared than I would like to be. I felt like I shouldn't have to go. I didn't want to go. I wanted to huddle at home, buried in my book, feeling put upon.

I went anyway, though, and I'm so glad I did. I cannot even begin to describe the amazing grace that I felt tonight doing my "duty." The right anthems came to my fingertips, and the six of us that were there may have been small, but we were mighty indeed. By the end of the evening, I no longer felt bowed down by the day I had today, and the one I anticipate tomorrow.

As I led Cub out of the nursery room into the darkened hall this evening, she began to whimper about how she could not see. I gave her my hand, and told her I would lead her safely through.

I feel blessed this evening, for my own hand to hold when the way seems dark and oppressive.

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