Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's a Start

I did it.  I bought a new Bible and journal.  Yesiree, I did!  And they're pretty too. I have a feeling, though, that was the easy part.  Now I must open them and start to process of learning how to connect with God again.  After my post yesterday, Christy and Jen both left comments involving scripture.  So this morning, I decided to start there.  Of course, despite the fact that I was up early, Owen wasn't far behind me.  But I did get about 15 minutes to read through Luke 13:34 and Psalm 130.  The one word that stuck out to me, that ironically isn't mentioned in either passage, is repentance.  I think I"ll chew on that for a while. 

If you have more scripture suggestions for me, bring em on.  Maybe I'll let my friends decide the direction I go.  It's like a call for encouragement and exhortation. What passages have been speaking to you lately?  What has God been teaching you? 

In other news, Neil and I went on a date last night.  Alicia babysat.  In order to be as prepared as possible, I decided to give the kids a bath before we left.  I bet you're expecting a long drawn out story about the debacle that was bath time.  However, it was actually a really pleasant experience, especially when I came into the boys room to grab PJs and found Owen's play clothes neatly folded on his dresser.  Seriously, for a second there, I thought we might have a ghost.  I didn't even know the boy knew how to fold clothes.  I think I just discovered a new chore for him. he he he.

What's on the schedule for today?  Well, here's what I hope it is.  We'll see what actually happens.  First I'd like to go to the gym for a quick work out.  Here's hoping they have a space for Madison right at 9.  Then I'm heading over the the Trolley Trail for Stroller Brigade.  Hopefully someone else will show up.  I'm just not inclined to walk all by myself with three kids.  Doesn't sound like an ounce of fun.  Then, I have to head to Staples to make 400 newsletters for my neighborhood.  Last, I hope we end up at the pool.  Now, this will be my first time venturing off to the pool without the helpful hands of my husband.  You guys can definitely pray for that.  The good news is that, besides Stroller Brigade, there isn't anywhere I really have to be at any particular time, so all of this is fluid.  The bad news is that there isn't anywhere I really have to be at any particular time, so all of this is fluid.  See where I'm going with that?  Let's just hope I don't give up and decide to sit at home and stare at a wall all day. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coincidence or Sign of the Times?

So it's not really a secret that Jesus and I have not been connecting lately?  Okay, really it's just me not connecting to him.  Of course,I know that the second I lift the embargo, the flood gates will open, but for some reason I'm keeping him at bay.  I wish I could say that it wasn't for a lack of trying, but I can't, so we'll move on. 

On my recent trip to Georgia, I left my Bible and journal in my in-law's car.  I promise, it wasn't on purpose.  My Mother-in-law, being the sweetheart that she is, boxed them up and shipped them off.  Ironically, they never got here.  I shudder at even the thought of a postal worker reading my prayer journal.  All my deepest, darkest secrets in one place, exposed?  Ouch!  Granted, my life is a wee bit boring for deep, dark secrets, but the point is that they're my thoughts, my prayers, my insights...and now, they're gone.  It's funny how I could go a week or so without even thinking about my journal, but now that it's gone, it's all I think about.  Alright, maybe not all, but still!

All of a sudden, I find myself desiring to journal, but I don't have one.  It's almost like a pregnancy craving, the kind that you'll do anything to satisfy.  I tried just grabbing a pad of paper, but the perfectionist in me (I know, right?) just wouldn't allow me to start writing.  It felt too open, unsafe.  Where would I put it when I was done?  What if I lost it?  How would I keep them in sequential order?  I know it sounds weird, but I've always been a journaler, even before they were prayers.  Every now and then I like to sit down and read back over the years, to see how far I've come and how far I have to go.  It's almost like a chronicle of my walk with God.  When we moved to Maryland, I somehow misplaced several years worth of journals.  I felt like I'd lost a huge chunk of my life. 

I could always tell where I was with God based on the dates in my journal.  When I was journaling every day, it was clearly a sign of good times with Jesus.  The farther they got apart, the more I could tell I was depending on my own strength, allowing the muck of life to get in the way.  Lately, the dates could sometimes span weeks instead of days.  Sure, some of it it busyness or just getting out of the habit, but somewhere in me is a lack of desire to spend time with God...possibly even a conscious decision.  Am I mad?  Or hurt?  Probably a little of both, and even though I know that none of it is God's fault per say, I'm guessing he's the easiest target. 

My mission for the day?  Find a new journal and force myself to sit down and work through these emotions that are clogging up my stairway to heaven.  There can only be so many excuses.

And if you happen to be a postal worker in some post office between Grovetown, GA and Catonsville, MD and see a couple of books lying around without a home, just send them on up here, especially if one happens to be a small, blue Bible and the other, a partially written-in journal.  I'll even reward you with a Starbucks card or two.  I would put up a bigger reward, but then I might receive every lost book in America.  And since I don't read much, that wouldn't be too much fun for me.  Though I could start my own book drive and donate them to a local library. 

If you're a praying person, then I covet your prayers.  I want to get back to that place where I actually communed with God on a daily basis, where He was my source of life, my daily bread.  And though I know that buying a new journal won't solve all my problems, it's a start.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Broken Keyboard Again

A couple months ago we were having a post yard sale, post shed building cookout with some very helpful friends.  Gosh, that totally sounded like Sir Topham Hat from Thomas the Tank Engine. Anyways, Betsy was the one to find the wounded, keyless laptop.  The shriek echoed up the stairs as I dropped what I was doing and booked it down the stairs.  I threw myself on the floor in search of it's lost limbs, scooping up a K here and a N there.  The men, hearing our moaning and wailing, come barrelling down the stairs to find us weeping for the poor, lost keyboard. 

Okay, maybe I'm over dramatizing the event.  It went down more like this.  "Hey Hills, I think you might want to see this," said Betsy from the bottom of the stairs.  After seeing the atrocity that used to be my laptop, the only thing left to say was, "OOOOOOOOWWEEEENNNNN & BBBBBLLLLLAAAKKKKEEE, Get your behinds downstairs right this second."

To my astonishment, Owen worked as a lone plucker.  Blake was released while Owen faced his sentencing.  He had to sit in time out while Paul & Allen attempted to rekey the board.  In typical male fashion, they refused to look at a qwerty keyboard.  Except for a few switched keys, the boys were able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and I had a mostly functioning laptop.

Fast forward to last week, Allison and Alicia are over for entirely different reasons.  Welcome to Grand Central Station.  You know I love the hustle and bustle.  So we're in Alicia's room eying some "genius" wall painting by my very clever and mischievous 4 year old. Then I walk out for some reason or another to find, once again, a keyless laptop.  This time, the culprit, one small-in-stature yet big-on-destruction 3 yr old.  However you wouldn't know it by how calm, cool,and collective he was just sitting there watching whatever was on the TV.  He's coy, I'll give you that, but seeing how Owen was already in time out and Madison was sleeping; there was really no other option.  This time it was Allison, Alicia and I trying to replace the keys.  This time we used another Qwerty keyboard as our guide. We were able to switch back the keys previously reversed, but now instead of 4 permanently missing keys, I now had 10.  Add to that the fact that most keys required a hard press or two before it would type, I realized that I could no longer function with a broken keyboard. 

So I called Acer, who politely told me that they would be happy to replace the keyboard.  Oh yay, really?  Yep, for $199.  What?  The computer isn't even worth that.  Can't you just sell me a keyboard and  I can do it myself?  Nope, I'm guessing they don't trust the end user with a few screws and a plug. 

Then someone said to me, "Hillary,why don't you just go on Ebay and order a new keyboard?" Oh my, the could the solution really be that simple?  Sure enough, I found pages and pages of brand new Acer 5517 keyboards just waiting for me to buy one. A click here, a little Paypal there and voila!  Now all I have to do is wait a few more days, and it won't take me 4 hours to type a paragraph.

All of that, though completely 100% true, was also a little bit of a metaphor for how I feel in my life right now, like a broken keyboard.  I can't go into all the details, but let's just say I could use some prayer.  I'm pretty sure that there isn't as easy a solution (especially since I can't buy a new me), but I would like to be fully restored, no matter how painful the process is.  Functioning right now is a bit like working with the flawed and damaged keyboard.  It probably doesn't help that I feel far from God right now as well.  Okay, it doesn't help at all.  In fact, it's probably what has gotten me here in the first place.  Regardless, if you're a praying person, please do so for me and my family.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Passion: Lost or On Hold

I can't tell you how many times a day I think, "Oh, I should blog about that," like Blake's reversal in potty training or my near emotional breakdown.  Writing is such a release for me, a chance to vent frustrations or dive deeper into my own psyche. 

People ask me all the time how I manage to do it all, be a wife and a mother, a community activist, a mom advocate, and a political junkie.  Truth is that it isn't easy, and comes with a price, more like a sacrifice.  Lately, I've gone from blogging at least every other day to maybe once a week, if that.  I miss it, more than words can even express.  You know what else I miss, spending time with God.  Yep, it's funny how the things nearest and dearest to my heart are the first things to go when faced with a time crunch.  I feel like I'm constantly managing the urgent but not all that important, like picking up the same toys forty times in one day.  But don't get me started on trying to keep a house somewhat presentable. (I gave up on clean a long time ago).

I thought maybe I could bring you up to date in a manner suitable to my current time constraint: the Glee season finale (both urgent and important...he he).
  • Kid free time was amazing, restful and downright frisky (or so Neil says)
  • I turned 32 (yuk)
  • Went to Florida, saw my mom, the beach, and ate way too much restaurant food
  • Got a tick bite that got infected and forced me to see a doc twice while on vacation.
  • Came home just in time to celebrate Blake's 3rd birthday and rock out at an 80's prom.
  • Won the dance contest at the 80's prom (well...almost)...took my mom. 
  • Blake had a pirate themed party and showed off his new jungle gym.
  • Madison got bronchilitis for the 3rd time in 3 months...hope it's not asthma
  • Hung out with Jo and Ang is Chapel Hill, which was very good for my phyche
  • Met with Vanessa and Mandy about turning More than Moms into a non-profit...more to come on that. 
  • Got a chance to work the Red, White and Blue dinner this Thursday featuring Mitt's a $200 event.  he he
  • Sent out my first press release today.
  • Owen is almost done with the Tots program and I've signed both him and Blake up for their summer clinic.  Sad and happy all at the same time.
  • Walking in Relay for Life this Saturday with Whisler Walking in memory of my dad.  Consider a donation.