Sunday, August 19, 2007

office ode

"I am faster than 80% of all snakes" ~ Dwight Schrute

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweet Ending to the Sweetie Saga...

Sweetie the hamster escapee has been found!

Alive and well, and apparently seeking shelter in the ample shade of our refrigerator. When she popped out at me in the early morning as I was gathering breakfast supplies, she can count herself lucky not to have been screamed at or accidentally maimed with an accidentally dropped egg carton.

Drafting both of my children into the hamster wrangling team, we manged to capture her and reunite her with the finite interior edges of her cage. My children are elated and repeatedly retold the story of their triumphant capture to their friends over the last week. It's soon to be the thing of family legend. At least in 3-and 6-year old imaginations.

... we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming ...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

What if...

What if there is a God? ONE God, not many. Not the cosmos, not the "spirit of oneness", not the awareness ofn amorphic, noncommittal "higher power, but the ONE GOD: The Alpha and the Omega - Almighty God. The creator of the heaven and the earth. The LORD.

What if Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

What if Jesus is the only way, like He said He is? Our ONLY way to eternity - to heaven - what if He is telling the truth?

What if we CANNOT be fully whole without accepting His gift? What if our life ends here without Him?

What if we cannot ever know, embody, express, understand, or share the fullness of love or life without Him?

What if we are living our life under a veil that can only be lifted by the grace and love of Jesus? What if we can't see through it until we turn on the light that can only be found through Jesus?

What if it is as easy as a prayer. A hope. Our arms reaching toward heaven in faith that Jesus will take our hands and lead us to Him?

What do we have to lose by embracing the mere possibility of these "WHAT-IF's"? What do we have to lose if we don't embrace Christ and these "what-if's" are real? Only our soul, our eternity, the purpose of our life here on earth.

What if today is the last day we have to contemplate the what-if's in our life?


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seeking "Sweetie"

Our family has adopted a handful of dwarf hamsters. And voila! We have pets. The idea was to introduce our children to pet ownership in a manageable, responsible, fun, and meaningful way - with animals small enough not to be too daunting and to allow interaction with our kids in a tangible way (we have tropical fish, but unless you have serious mental issues or your fish are somehow in the midst of some loopy Darwinian evolutionary process, you can't really PET fish).
We initially adopted one for each member of our family: Scamper (my son's), Selena (my daughters'), Salty (mine - quite appropriately named), and Sushi (my husband's). 4 little teeny hamsters. And they are ADORABLE and endearing: they crawl all over you and nestle in your neck, making tiny sounds that resemble lightly clicking bunny rabbits, and tickling you with their curious whiskers.

Unfortunately, our hamster journey has not been without its pitfalls. We've had these little critters now for a little under a month. After the first 10 days, we had to return the little white hamster that was my daughter's (Selena) to the pet store because it was an incessant biter and a fairly Selena was replaced by "Sweetie". Sadly, my daughter's replacement hamster (named "Sweetie" ) came up missing this morning, evidently the victim of my children leaving the cage open for a few minutes yesterday while I was out of the room taking out the trash. There are so many lessons to be learned there, among them:

a.) do not leave children alone for even one second with LIVE creatures

b.) taking out the trash is not always a good thing

c.) the fact it is cute and furry does not lessen the somwhat creeped out feeling of knowing it is loose in your house and may turn up at any moment - ideally not as you sit down on it

So, today found our family on a full scale hamster hunt in our house, seeking this minute little furball that is squatting somewhere in our house, even as I type. We have yet to locate any sign of Sweetie the Hamster. My daughter, ever the brilliant innovator, put up "missing" signs in our kitchen, on our front door, and in the living room. With a reward offered of $42.00. She is so tenacious and smart, this little one.

And it's not a bad idea, assuming that hamsters can read.

But if you can locate our miniature missing rodent, that $42.00 is yours. Any takers?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

blue hue boo boo

I painted my toenails blue last night.

If you've never had the experience of having azure blue toenails before, I must say it is over-rated.

I did not realize how much effort would be involved in actually getting blue nail laquer OFF of freshly painted toenails. After spending 10 minutes trying to un-blue the big toe on my left foot, I relented, repainted, and will have to wait out this "blue period". There is not enough acetone in the world to tackle this stuff, and I am not brave enough to bring out a blowtorch, which is about the level of power I think I'd need. I'll have to patiently wait for time to take its welcome toll and chip this edgey sapphire paint from my little piggies.

Whomever conceived of the whole blue toenail phenomenon concept must see merits I am decidedly missing.

In the meantime, I am rediscovering the beauty and utility of socks.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Heart-Filled Holiday


I've been on holiday for a bit.

...One of those holidays that was not so much a holiday as a time out. But it has been a necessary evil: a break from all things blogging, though I have missed both this exercise (and the benefits and soul stretching that accompany it) but also the people I've managed to bump into and intersect lives with because of the blogosphere.

I was delighted to see that some of you actually checked in here, looking for me or searching and lamenting in my general direction, whilst I was absent. Your posts and presence caused my heart yearn to come back and be a part of this sphere once more.

So, off we go: Lachen is back. And content as a clam about it.

*** note to Brandon: please resist the temptation to launch into a silent existential dilemma in your mind right now about whether or not clams - or any shellfish - are actually content. It's just a phrase. Deal. ***

If you'll forgive the sophomoric outline format, I offer a 10-point update on the notable happenings in the life and ponderings of Lachen since I last left you in rainy February:

1.) It's amazing to me how quickly time can pass.

2.) I have learned to slow down, almost as a reaction to my first observation, to actively savor the moments of my life as they happen, not in retrospect.

3.) Year one of kindergarten is behind us at Casa Lachen. And my daughter has been an incredibly strong and resilient human being through this year. I daresay she weathered it far better than her Mama, who is still struggling with the realization that her baby child is going to be entering first grade in a little less than a month. I never believed myself capable of the degree of sappy emotional longings as I have encountered in myself over the course of the last 12 months as school becomes a constant in our lives. I have also begun to rebel against it, like a caged bird will often bite those who come near enough to his beak. It's my own little passive-aggressive way of battling the forces of this world, however worthy and beneficial they may be, that seek to separate my child from me before I'm ready. I doubt I'll EVER be fully ready for my children to grow up, even as I delight in their discoveries and triumphs, nurse their wounds, and hold their hands through struggles they encounter along the way.

4.) We are now officially DIAPER FREE! After a rather frustrating combination of amusement and exasperation, sprinkled with prayerful resignation, LITTLE MAN (our son has been renamed in the blogosphere!) has taken it upon himself to learn to use the potty with consistency. We are celebrating Day 48 of this phenomenon and are taking both kids to Disneyland at the end of the summer to officially mark the momentous occasion.

5.) I had two heart surgeries.

I know.

Both procedures were unexpected and not related to heart disease, cholesterol, or any of the usual suspects that permeate when it comes to the stereotypical scenarios that pepper the brain when it comes to the words "heart surgery". They were, in fact, two failed attempts to close a congenital hole that was discovered between my ventricles, causing two strokes in the last year. Oh, yes, I forgot about that part: I had 2 strokes, too. Both not catastrophic and both relatively recoverable, although I bear scars (which I find personally humorous, not daunting, so all is well). I have bounced back from all of this remarkably and with the miraculous spirit of the LORD JESUS CHRIST at the helm of the healing process. And - the big one - even though my incredibly capable and caring doctors were unable to close this hole with all the medical might and mastery they could throw at it over the course of 2 separate surgical interventions, GOD stepped in. By 6 weeks post-op (the second time around), my body had somehow managed to grow scar tissue in an unpredictable manner, which ended up sealing the hole on one side!

To state that this is a miracle is a gross understatement of the TRUTH. This is a BIG, FAT MIRACLE. According to my cardiologists, this type of spontaneous closure has never happened before in the documented medical history of this particular type of hole. The doctor-types in charge of my care were utterly and delightfully astounded.

We are rejoicing. Copper was extremely anxious throughout this ordeal, as it is often harder to be the one in the benign state of observation rather than the active state of participation, when events like this unfold. It was hard on him, and he is thrilled to be on the other side of these last few months.

I, on the other hand, have been cloaked in a transforming sense of contentment, peace, and joy from start to finish. Though this was a scary, I just did not have a spirit of fear or of being daunted and overwhelmed. None of that occurred to me, actually. I just felt completely assured and filled with PEACE. If that sounds like a trite, uncompelling sentiment that is often heard from Christians, I do apologize for my lack of creativity. But I assure you that when faith is placed in God, and we TRULY let go, He will be our strength and will direct our paths.I have learned to live the verse that promises us that "When we are weak, He is strong".

Amen to that.

And the bonus in all of this is that, from now on, all my moments of unfortunate clumsiness, spelling errors, or general brain malaise will have a built-in scapegoat. :) That's always fun.

6.) I was in line at midnight on July 21 to pick up the 7th and last installment of the Harry Potter series. And within 6 hours, had utterly devoured it and was pretty satisfied. With the novel and with myself for powering through it nonstop. I've now manged to read it again twice since then, and it gets richer for me with every read. I am an unabashed fan of the whole Harry Potter shabang. Though my mother is convinced that the books are from the devil, and my husband chuckled at me as I left to purchase my 752 pages of literary candy in a yellow dust jacket with the face of a child on Christmas morning, I am triumphant. I enjoy the books, the movies, and the field trips of imagery my mind embarks on as I read. I ponder, wonder, appreciate, think, imagine, and create within myself as I embrace JK Rowling's painstakingly created wizard world. I admit to my own sense of delight as I approached our local bookstore at 11:30 pm and saw hoardes of people - young and old alike - gathered in raptured anticipation. Not to glimpse a movie star or attend a rock concert, but to buy a BOOK. And READ... and read, and read.

It made my heart smile. Which is a good thing.

7.) I am still drinking Dr. Pepper regularly.

I don't even know if this was a necessary update, as it is a constant in the world of Lachen. My children, God bless them, even gave me a Dr. Pepper T-shirt for Mother's Day, which delighted me. Some Moms just get flowers.

8.) Jesus rocks.

Another unnecessary update. Just gives me an opportunity to shout it out again.

9.) I am semi-seriously thinking about starting a 3rd legitimate political party, to fit somewhere in the middle between the two choices that dominate America at the moment. I find myself an alien in my own country when it comes to the political and social currents running in either direction.

10.) I took the break from the blog, in part, to give myself some much craved REST.

I am a sprinter at heart. Though I lament to admit it. I have always been better at running unyeildingly fast and hard for short distances than plodding smoothly along at a slower pace that allows for a longer race. I find myself wishing I was more of a long-distance person because I have indelible respect for those who are and whose lives bear the unmistakable signs of that capacity. But as time creates wisdom in my life, I find myself embracing what I am by default and endeavoring to sharpen and change it as I can. I am a sprinter - when I have reached the end of a particularly difficult leg in life, I need to stop, rest, and find the still place of quiet before I begin again. Resting like this nourishes me and it integral to my life. It's one of the reasons that there is never a time in my life that I do not have a vacation planned - even if it is a year in advance. It gives me a goal, a destination, something to sprint towards.

Because I know that at the end of my race, there will be a time when I can rest.

The months prior to my blog break had demanded of me so heavily that I needed to carve out a place of rest for myself before merging back onto life's freeway, refueled and ready to roll.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Guess Who's Back?

Hint: It's not Voldemort. :)

I'll be posting again mighty soon!

Love and blessings to all...

Monday, February 26, 2007

been thinking lately...

I do not want to govern a nation.

I have limited interest in making money or creating some kind of dynasty.

I do not wish to be a movie star or person of great importance in the grand scheme of things.

Rather, I want to serve the collective people of our world. In whatever manifestation the Lord would set before me.

It is with these heady thoughts in mind I have been invested in a bit of pseudo-hibernation. I am listening. And that does tend to inevitably involve being a bit more quiet and attentive, so please forgive me as I go forward in my stocking feet for awhile. God is rather busy within my soul of late.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

more evidence of the male gene at our house

My soon-to-be three year old son just approached me with a mischevious grin across his face and his hands tucked deep into the pockets of his little toddler jeans. With some work, he yanked out a rather large plush mouse toy from somewhere down inside his slacks, where he had apparently stuffed it.

With gleeful delight, he exclaimed, "Hey Mom!! I have a present in my pants!"


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

can't hear without listening

"The beginning of living the call you were born to is listening well enough to hear it."

AMEN! (and thanks, Jenn, for the inspiration...)

Monday, February 05, 2007

deep thoughts

Today's dose of Peripheral Musings (AKA, "stuff I think about whilst stuck in traffic"):

I wonder exactly how many of my phone calls to various service providers are actually "monitored for quality service". I know exactly how many calls SHOULD have been monitored for quality assurance and weren't. Way to drop THAT ball, guys.

Exactly how normal tis it to start bawling over the Pedigree dog food commercials (you know, the ones that feature those shelter doggies in cages with their little sad eyes and the caption, "we just want to go home")? OK, I LOSE it over those every single time and want to go to the shelter and adopt all of those dogs. Right now. And I am not even a dog person. My emotions are being ambushed by corporate America.

Maybe I should just turn off the TV altogether, I swear.

And while we're on the subject of *normal*, did it strike anyone else as a more than a little fish-out-of-water bizarre that the Artist Formerly Known as Prince (and what the heck is that title about, anyway?) performed at Superbowl halftime? Were we trying to balance out the testosterone rush, or what? At our house, the mute button was employed until the players retook the field. Nice little quiet 15-minute break, that.

You know, if everyone in these cars would just GO, there would be no more of this infernal traffic.

I am already missing my childrens' childhoods, even as I am living them along with them.

How in the world is that tiny little dog not flying out of the window of that car? His whole body is out the window. He looks like a Pomeranian-shaped kite.

When does daydreaming cross the line into counter-productive. I can't get thoughts of Makena Beach out of my mind right now. I miss my Maui. I miss my home. T-minus 84 days till we get to go back to the island.

Forty-seven. 47 consecutive questions in a row from my 5-year old so far on this drive. F.O.R.T.Y. S.E.V.E.N.

Does anyone really ever know the Muffin Man?

The most recent evidence of my bonafide "DORK" status is found in my giddy excited anticipation of July 13th's fifth Harry Potter film release in the theatres. Please tell me I am not the only 30-something, otherwise fairly sane individual who has already purchased advanced tickets. The fact that my mother-in-law also purchased hers, has pre-ordered the next (and - gasp! - last) novel, and that there were actually people at the last movie showing who had painted ragged "Z"'s on their foreheads is slightly compforting, though. At least I am not the King of the Dorks. Just a card carrying member. That satisfies.

I love singing hymns, praise music, and a healthy dose of Veggie Tales silly songs in the car with my little ones as loudly as we can (and by request!). My heart takes a picture and wants to suspend time. And never grow up.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

sheep in wolves clothing?

For someone who claims I do not want to think about the 2008 Presidential election in 2008 yet (and it's true, I really don't. If only I could effectively avoid it altogether...), I have been doing an awful lot of thinking about the 2008 Presidential election.


Obama. Obama. Clinton. Obama.

Pass the milk of magnesia, please.

But between those two worthy candidates of the more liberal persuasion, I am, frankly, more concerned about Obama. At least with Mrs. Clinton, there is a transparency there. Not deliberately, admittedly, but her agenda is growingly transparent because we have gotten to know her during her husband's tenure in office and as a New York senator. We understand her. We know where her mind and heart are on issues and we have come to realize that, above all, she desires power.

But Obama is, for me, more of a wild card. If you ask me (and you did, didn't you?), he has a superior chance of winning the vote of the Democratic party when that time comes. So who IS this guy? Frankly, if I choose to believe the viewpoint of him as a radical Muslim masquerading as a moderate Christian as expressed by growing numbers of learned individuals, he poses a very real threat. If I do not, then the only threat he poses is a mild, political one - where it conflicts with my opinions of how the general American system should function. Because, after all, it is not politics but faith in God that effects lasting changes on generations of people. Politics is an ineffective servant and a hollow, charismatic master at best. In seeking to understand Obama, I endeavor to get to "know" him with my eyes wide open. I encourage EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to do the same.

Know who you are voting for before you vote. Don't cast a single vote from an under-educated position. Please join me in my commitment to research the candidates until I can complete my ballot with the security that only an educated confidence can bring.

Toward that end, two books are on order and are headed for my home this week. The first, "the Audacity of Hope" was penned by Obama himself (I got it secondhand from my friend), and promises to be an interesting read. The second, "Now They Call Me Infidel", written by Nonie Darwish, exposes the agenda of radical Islam. She claims it is at diligent work within our geographical, political, spiritual, and familial borders - at work under the guise of compassionate moderatism. She warns against the violent, totalitarian threat this poses, which is being largely ignored, to our collective peril. I plan to be a rapt audience, open to what God would have me glean from these books to translate into my expanded understanding of the people whom I will likely be asked to make a decision about, come 2008.

Shoot. Apparently, I *DO* buy bikinis in January. Well, at least I try them on in the dressing room and think about what I will buy, when the world thaws out.

Monday, January 22, 2007

On Global Warming

Ten Truths I Hold To Be Self-Evident About Global Warming:

1.) God created the heavens and the earth.

2.) God is sovereign over all of His creation. Our God reigns.

3.) God clearly calls us to be stewards of His creation.

4.) We are doing a spectacularly poor job of fulfilling our obligations as stewards, as we regularly fail to obey Lord and care for His creation and His people.

5.) We cannot intelligently expect to continue polluting our fragile, intricately woven, and life-sustaining environment indefinitely without expecting to eventually harm it irrevocably.

6.) Since the creation of this planet, there has never been one nanosecond when the climate, tectonic plates, land, sea, air, ocean levels, temperatures, weather, conditions, and life on this planet were static and unchanging. There has never been one moment when we stood still at some elusive point of pristine inertia.

7.) No amount of compost piles you have in your backyard or the act of driving your electric vehicle around town is going to hinder the next tsunami, earthquake, flood, or tornado.

8.) It's still noble and honorable to do whatever we can, to the best of our abilities, to answer God's call to steward this gift He has given us: this planet. And the lives we live upon it.

9.) When I was in elementary school, we were taught about the impending reality of the next Ice Age. Which was imminently going to cause global climate changes that would bring about catastrophic events that culminate in the destruction of all life on the planet.
Now as I sit here in my mid-30's, we are being taught that the polar ice caps are melting. Which is imminently going to create global temperature changes that will bring about catastrophic events that culminate in the destruction of all life on the planet.
That we are newly noticing the sometimes dramatic degrees to which our climate and earth changes should not cause us to embrace a global panic like a bunch of lemmings. After all, who created this earth? Who maintains control over all of creation, and promises us that He knows each hair on every one of our heads and intends to care for us, not to harm us? Do we really believe by faith these powerful promises of our Lord, or are we more compelled by the tangible drama we notice around us? Where is our FAITH?

10.) I reject the burgeoning sensationalism and delusions of human capability we are at risk of falling prey to when we adopt an "inconvenient truth" crafted by human beings when it conflicts with the real truth of the Bible. We're just so confident that we have perfectly defined this "global warming" problem and have all the answers to it, aren't we? I'll openly tell you: that kind of rabidly narcissistic meandering always sends up red flags for me. Certainly, there is common ground between the commonly digested human perspective on this and the Godly one. But in the end, God is in control. This is HIS Creation. Our sin prevents us from admitting our own powerlessness over His creation, and so we grapple with alternative ways to address it without actually having to admit our own powerlessness. We want to exert control, don't we? And that is where we fail. We are not in charge of this planet - God is.

The extent of our control is found in our total, humble submission to His will.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Blog Party Pitch

You may have noticed my new little linky thingy over there on the left side of my sidebar under the Sesame Street US Terror Alert (which always makes me grin), about a BLOG PARTY and wondered what that was about?

Well, the gals over at "5 Minutes For Mom" are hosting a bit of a blogging get together this March. EVERYONE with a blog is invited, regardless of age, gender, religious preference, blog type or title. It is a time to meet new people, engage with other bloggers, listen, learn, and have fun. Oh - and they also seem to have stockpiled a LARGE list of prizes over there too! Just click on the link to take a gander and plan to take part.

NO RSVP or black tie formal wear is required. Join the fun!

ClinBama? A tale of frostbitten bikini wearers

So, anyone want to take a vote for exactly how long it takes before Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama join forces, combining their Election 2008 hopes into one uber-ticket: HillBar? Or Clinbama?

Rolls rather trippingly off the tongue, doesn't it?

In the last 48 hours, I have heard quite a bit of actual news, and even more of the requisite ponderances /opinions / commentary that passes for actual news these days, about Senator Hillary Clinton's strident entry into the 2008 Presidential Election Race. She's "in, and she's in to win!", evidently. I find myself responding to the news with a familiar, unnerving sensation that hit me this week as I visited a Target store for the first time since Christmas. The store was stripped bare of every vestige of winter whatsoever, and was decked out with a rows and rows of the latest and greatest bikinis, summer clothes, suntan enhancers, and beach umbrellas.


In January.

Clearly, considering I went into Target for another fireplace log to heat my house against the 24 degree weather, what the store is trying to sell me does not meet my needs. To the contrary, they are missing the mark big time.

So, too, are these political messages in JANUARY, 2007, aimed to draw our attention to an election that will happen in NOVEMBER, 2008. Good grief - give it a rest already, all of you! You may not have noticed, but we're kinda busy right now with actual immediate obligations to humanity that we are trying to attend to: The war, the children dying of hunger, thirst, preventable disease and poverty, the AIDS pandemic, and horribly pointless genocide (such as in Darfur) all over the world. Those in our own neighborhoods who cannot afford to feed, clothe, and care for their own families. The archaic tax system in this nation that punishes, not supports, Americans and discourages hard work, savings, and charity. The toxins we continue to pour into our air, water, and soil - polluting the very elements that support life. The precious children who are killed before they draw breath in the barbaric, inexcusable practice of abortion-by-convenience. The children who are forced into slavery and sexual exploitation all over the Indo-Asian continent and beyond. The random guys from such groups as Al Qaeda, PLO, Hamas, Abu Sayaff, Hezbollah, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade who keep running around the globe, blowing people up.

All of it more worthy of our attention right now than your political aspirations. There are mountains of problems that face us imminently as people, as Americans, and inhabitants of one connected planet? Clearly, the reality is that it is bitterly COLD outside. But on the TV, what do we see? Bikinis.

The act of voting for an individual to represent us as our President is no longer a guarantee of lasting solutions to any of problems that face us all. Thus, I find myself quite unimpressed with this Election 2008 hoopla. And even less so with would-be Presidential candidates that capitalize on the poor state of things as a means to bolster support for their proposed brand of solutions - their bikinis, if you will - their way of doing things, which they assure us, will serve to rescue us all! Personally, I refuse to vote for any individual who revels in laying blame for the current problems on anyone but themselves, but is reticent to actually jump in and DO SOMETHING. Or who bristles at all proposed solutions pursued by those with the wrong initial (D) or (R) behind their name on the Congressional roster.

For me, all this politics talk is premature by a long shot, and accomplishes little more than to leave a bitter tang in my mouth. Seriously, folks, it is minus 78 degrees outside and they are thrusting the approximate 4 inches of brightly hued fabric tied together with dental floss that apparently passes for swimwear at us, and expecting a rapt audience? Um guys, the timing is off. I am just not ready to think about a certain-to-be-heated Presidential election which is over 18 months away, frankly. I realize that there is a relentless business to politics whose grind drones on regardless of the sentiments of the constituency it would aim to "represent" and "serve", which are, at best, WEARY. But I cannot be expected to tune in with any degree of concentrated effort, to this politics machine, from now until November 2008, when all of this comes to a climax and actually matters.

It's disconcerting to be starting this whole circus this early, if you ask me. No matter what Hillary or Barack or any of the rest of the field of candidates do or say right now, I just can't be bothered to think about the strategy, politicking, sound-byting, jockeying, or positioning until the actual election is a littler nearer - at least within the same calendar year, OK?

So, a quick note to ClinBama and all other 2008 Presidential hopefuls: Keep this simple concept in mind, guys: Bikinis sell a lot better in August than in January.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Croc is rescued from bush, details at 11:00

Just a quick postscript: my beleagured left shoe has been rescused from the prickly shrub over at Tom's Gas. No worse from it's night spent outside in sub-freezing temperatures within the bowels of the evil bramble, it has now been happily reunited with its mate.

I arrived home from my shoe-excavating adventure in time to watch the new episode of "The Office", to bask in the ridiculously inept blunderings of Dwight Schrute and Co. And to continue to marvel at how the producers of this show have managed to infiltrate our lives for the last decade - because they have CLEARLY based the character of Jim upon the antics of my sarcastic, prankster, warm-hearted, goofball husband. It's eerie.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the goofball within gets paroled

Main Entry: goof·ball
Pronunciation: 'gü-f&bah, -ll
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps alteration of "goof"
Definition : blunderer, klutz, jester, card, buffoon

When you find yourself making people laugh when you're not trying to make people laugh - what is the word for that?

Accidential comedian?

Sardonically talented?

or just...

I've-been-cooped-up-in-my-house-too-long utter goofball?

It's a big grey area I am evidently inhabiting with ample panache over the last 24 hours.

Put it this way: at one point this morning, there was so much black ice on the ground that lost my balance while filling up my car at the gas station. I did manage to grab something to help reduce the impact of my fall, though. That would be my windshield wiper, which promptly snapped off. While walking to the window to pay for my gas (because the automatic machines always break down when it is 28 degrees outside) I met up with the slippery ice again had an impromtu game of "bowling for people", managing to knock down three perfectly innocent bystanders. Rushing to try to help them get back up, I managed to get my foot stuck in a rather prickly frozen bramble. I was only freed from the demon bush when one very nice guy (one of my icy slip-n-slide victims, no less) yanked me as hard as he could, leaving my left shoe behind. All of this effort was met with the scattered laughter and some applause of everyone at the gas station.

My shoe is still buried deep within the evil bramble bush at the gas station. My pride is out there with it. If it gets warmer tomorrow, I plan to go back and retrieve both.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

cash guzzler

There are a number of healthy reasons I will never own a Lexus automobile. If you happen to own a Lexus, I tread carefully in hopes that you do not harbor an unusually intimate connection to your car and will now dislike me indefinitely for maligning it. If it soothes you, by all means feel free to snicker at my ordinary, clearly substandard method of transportation as you whiz by me down the freeway.

The first, and potentially most obvious reason: Any given new Lexus has a price tag on it which trumps the mortgage on my first house. And I did not buy my first house in 1948, either. This car apparently has gold plated engine parts. Or an trunk full of cash, which is one of the only explanations my frugal-to-a-fault mind could logically accept for the radically exorbitant cost of this vehicle.

The next reason centers around my beloved police Sergeant husband, who tells me that Lexus' (or is it Lexii?) are among the most commonly stolen cars here in our-neck-of-the-woods, California. Though the Highway Loss Data Institute reports that the most commonly stolen auto in the whole US last year was the Cadillac Escalade, locally, it's any given Lexus on any given day. That information does not thrill me ~ who wants that pressure of that kind of stress, you know? It's like driving with a giant red and white target branded to your hood.

And rounding out the list is that the manufacturers of this particular brand of automobile do not seem to be concerned with how to design and build a car that has anything to do with my life. Case in point: the catalyst for this rather grouchy-toned post. This lovely frostbitten January evening, as I innocently channel surfed, I came across a Lexus commercial extolling the virtues of the newest luxury feature offered in its' newest 2007 model sedan: automatic parallel parking. Yup, that's right: this car will actually parallel park itself with no driving skills required from the human being at the steering wheel. All for the bargain price of around $80,000.

I'll tell you what. For $80,000, not only should this car park itself, it should wash itself, be able to fill itself with gas, and then go out and get a job in order to be able to pay for itself. Because that's the only way it would ever find itself on my driveway.

...for the whole 4 days it would apparently be allowed to park there before some hoodlum stole it.

giving thanks \ thanks giving

Thank you SO much, my dear friends (and you random anonymous readers from Taiwan and Ireland who, according to my blog stats tracker, visit this blog eerily often) for your prayers for me and my family.

As this week comes to a close, I find myself juggling intense joy with brokenness. Joy for myself and my family. Joy for my love of and relationship with the Lord that so sustains and nourishes me when the path I thought I was walking in life takes a sharp detour. Joy that translates into courage: if this surgery is meant for me again, by faith I will navigate it on borrowed strength. This is off-the-chart joy, even for me. I am ELATED that the Lord stepped in to become my strength in the face of a rather daunting series of events. I am joyful that the well I drink from is never empty and that my faith does not depend on me.

But brokeness and fresh bewilderment are also jockeying for position in my soul. Sadness for those loved and cherished ones in my life who do not know the Lord. Who do not know what it is to rest. Who have never tasted of this rich and lasting peace and grace I know. Who do not know what it feels like to reach out in darkness and to feel the grip of the Lord so powerfully yank them into the light. Who seek solace in humanity's hollow answers that pretend to address powerful questions which can never be satisfied by our own limited understanding of the universe and the God who created it. Whose diluted version of "truth" is entirely a fabrication of their own psyche and does not exist beyond themselves. Who do not realize that the very ground they stand upon is quicksand, so deceptively enticing, but - in the end - so dangerously, devoid of substantive truth.

I hurt inside for my inability to share enough with others the real truth, the lasting nourishment, the peace I know. I ache for my own failure and for the barrage of barren belief that exists out there, masquerading as truth. Pretending to be peace. A corrupt, cheap mirage of "faith".

It is a familiar brokenness, I believe, shared by most who love Jesus. I believe with all my heart that we are meant to be transparent - to shine light for a purpose beyond our own. And I yearn to honor that - to fulfill that - to BE that. So why do I instead find myself in tears of inertia, crying for all those I love whose peace and wisdom is as finite and fragile as their own heartbeats? Whose reality exists only unto itself?It is for all those precious people with whom I share this planet that I find myself so keening tonight. I stridently seek to share this gift I have been given with everyone whose heart is open to receive it. To share the source of this peace that passes all understanding. To demonstrate love in it's purest agape form. To point my life's arrow squarely in the direction of Jesus.

I praise God for keeping His promises - again - for never leaving me and for allowing me to dwell in a deeper sense of peace and grace than I could have imagined in this time of scary medical struggle. I pray that everyone could know this hallowed place of grace. I am sure dang thankful I am here. And grateful for every person who continues to keep me and my family in your prayers as we face an unclear path which will involve at least one additional heart surgery. Even my random Irish and Taiwanese blog stalkers...


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Woudn't take nothing for my journey

I am here! I've just been taking a little well-derved rest.

This approximate two-week absence from my blog is, in this instance, rather meaningful. You see, this most current leg of my life's journey has involved some rather stormy seas.

We found out just before Thanksgiving that I would be facing heart surgery in January to repair a congenital heart defect that was causing blood clots. A bit out of left field and not the manner in which we hoped to begin 2007, certainly. But face it we did. We knelt in prayer quite a bit in the time leading up to this week, asking for strength, courage, bravery, and peace. We drew near to the comfort of the Lord and of family and friends. I tasted grace in the face of fear. A new level of my faith was born.

And this Tuesday morning, between 10:22 and 12:56, I was laying upon an operating table at the hospital, surrounded by seven men in aqua and white scrubs and plastic face masks. I was having surgery on my heart.

Unfortunately, I experienced a complication, and despite all their medical expertise and efforts, the doctors were unable to repair the hole that lies between the ventricles of my heart and is cauing me to have strokes. So while I recover here in the toasty comfort of my own bed, I am met with the reality that I will almost definitely need to have this surgery all over again within the next 90 days.

And so we are again in prayer.

But as interesting and painful as this particular portion of the road has been, I wouldn't take nothing for my journey (thanks Maya) because I only see the path behind me and perhaps the step just ahead. The Lord alone is the author and FINISHER of my faith, my life, my steps, my path. He alone knows where He will lead me. I won't waste my moments complaining about the darkness that surrounds me at midnight, because I have faith that the sun will rise again soon.

I covet your prayers for peace and grace as we face this leg of our journey, and may God bless every one who happens upon this blog page.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Birthday Blessings...


Thank you for bringing JOY to the world.

Thank you for anchoring our souls to the authentic HOPE that only you can offer.

Thank you for being the first and only remaining authentic Christmas GIFT.

Thank you for LOVING us beyond earthly measure.
We love you, Lord! Happy Birthday!!
And, as an aside: my little daughter would like to know how old you are?
All I could subsantively offer is that we definitely would not have enough candles to put on our cake.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

never send a man to do a woman's job...

Thsi post is alternatively titled: The Present Procrastination Polka.

OK: A.) I am not sexist.

B.) I am not a feminist. At least in the modern American, uber-ridiculous, anti-Biblical implementation of the concept.

I can't, in fact, think of many "ists'" that describe me. Perfectionist, possibly. But certainly none that would include me amidst the raging bandwagon that likes to elevate women at the expense of men for the sheer thrill of the exercise.

That being said, there are tangible differences between the genders. Many, many multitudes of them.

As this Christmas morning and all its' celebratory present-opening-package-tearing-into glee races towards us with insistent abandon, my darling husband is tracking down last minute gifts. Which are the only kinds of gifts Copper buys, actually. For him, all gifts are purchased at the 'last minute'. It is as though he can't be bothered to engage in any present-purchasing nonsense whatsoever until he has the occassion for said gift clearly in his line of sight.

He does this same Present Procrastination Polka with birthdays, weddings, Christmas, anniversaries, Valentines Day... All holidays or dates of special remembrance which traditionally involve some kind of an acknowledgement in the form of a gift or card, Copper can be counted on to be shopping right up until the deadline (and sometimes after it). This morning found us heading off together to pick up the "last minute items" on his Christmas list (read: 'everything on his list').

Copper and I share the task of Christmas gifts annually, with me doing, say, 90% of the shopping, and Copper picking up the final 10%. I try to divide the burden so it is not overwhelming, as the prospect of shopping fails to thrill my beloved husband, even when the proprosed gifts are intended for people he loves above all others. This year, his Christmas list consists of four people. Two women and two men; his mother, his father, his brother, and me. As he is related to each one of us, he's gathered ample ideas of what might comprise an appropriate gift to each of us. He also is aware that two of the recipients on his list are women, without a shred of masculinity.

I must explain a basic tenant of gift-giving a la Copper. You see, in Copper's ideal world, the entire process of finding, procuring, wrapping, giving, unwrapping, and receiving of a gift should all take place within the same 24 hour period. It is extremely rare (as in, Hailey's Comets happen more often) that Copper will have a gift chosen and purchased more than a day or two ahead of the anticipated time of giving. It is not that he does not care - in fact, it it the opposite. The prospect of contemplating what to buy for any given person he loves, stressing out about not being able to give them something personal and meaningful, planning what to buy for whom, actually taking the time out to drive all around doing the shopping, and wrapping each present deeply daunts and exhausts my sweet Copper than for almost anyone I know. He puts his heart into each gift and really wants to give to each person that one, perfect, ideal present that will make their eyes light up like they were seven years old. He seeks so much to give to others in a way that equals sheer JOY that his expectations make the whole process quite overwhelming before it begins.

So, as a means of self-preservation, he skips every step of the process except the buying and the wrapping. And even the wrapping part is becoming optional. Thank goodness for gift bags.

Keeping all of that in mind, as I arrived to collect him from work this morning to embark on our shopping odyssey together, I did not know what to expect. A frustrated, resigned man? A jovial and happy Santa-like husband? It was more of the latter: Copper greeted me with an exhilerated look of deep satisfaction on his face. I smiled and relaxed. But then he uttered words that caused the prickling sensation of worry to creep up my spine,

"Honey, Home Depot opens at 9:00. Let's just go there - we can buy everything we need for everyone on my list in one store."

Now, I may be well-known for being extremely practical, but I'm dang sure neither I or Copper's Mom have ever included on our Christmas wish list such banner items as circular saws. Or a toilet seat, nifty-thrifty-handy-dandy socket wrench, duct tape, or even that snazzy extension ladder (which was kind of cool, but it was an EXTENSION LADDER). When shopping for someone whose DNA does not contain a "Y" chromosome, it should be a fairly well-understood piece of common knowledge that the "Home Depot" is not an appropriate place to be browsing the aisles, hoping for inspiration. Ever.

Giving a power tool as a gift to 99.9% of all mother-wife-women types is akin to sending a burly guy into a day spa for a "day of pampering". The vast majority of men would run screaming from that spa seeking significant beer and sports on TV, in order to effectively recover from all the Frou-Frou McGoo stuff that happens in there. The stuff that women typically love, by the way.

I desperately and deeply love my husband, but I think maybe I will need to take greater responsibility for all of the Christmas shopping next year. Either that, or we're splitting our whole doggone list down the middle by gender. I will shop for the girls. And he can shop for the boys. All of whom can probably expect to receive a laser level and some industrial grout sealer. Or maybe even a power tool.

Or an extension ladder.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Dr. is out

Today is the first day in over 2 years that I have not had a taste of Dr. Pepper.

And I survived!

It seems flippant, even simple, really. But it marks a meaningful milestone for me. I am amazed at how easily we slip into patterns of living that are not necessarily the healthiest. Dr. Pepper, while the world's most perfect beverage, has become a dependency for me.

So, today I tried an experiement = no Dr. Pepper. And you know what? Though I had a raging headache all day long, I'm still standing.

Please excuse my little happy dance ~ I am tickled with myself.