Thursday, August 31, 2006

Locked doors, secret knocks, passwords and dress codes

I have a good friend at work – someone I do a lot with. She is one of the kindest, most caring, loving people I know. She knows what I believe – we talk about it sometimes. She knows what our other friend D believes too, and sometimes I think she feels a bit left out – tho we never intentionally do that. I mean I think she feels it’s just a part of our lives she doesn’t share. We still invite her to church things etc. – very low key, no pressure, just here’s the info we’d love it if you’d come. So last night we asked her to join us at D’s church for a celebration honoring the church’s volunteers. There was a great comedian there, and the three of us love comedians, and love to laugh. But, she said no. Basically it boils down to this:
~She felt she would be going for the wrong reason. To see a comedian, not go to church. And that seemed to really bother her. I wanted to say that’s ok- we all go to a lot of events/places for wrong reasons and end up having a wonderful time and being blessed. But I didn’t.
~She felt that she still had past church hurts to work out, and things she didn’t understand – like certain tragic events in her life. I wanted to talk about suffering – the reasons, but yesterday wasn’t the time.
But the one that really got me was this one:
~She felt there were too many things in her life that she had to get straightened out, get fixed. She felt she had to get cleaned up before she could go to church. She felt she was not good enough, that she wouldn’t do or say the right things, and her life was too much of a mess to go to church. Kind of like cleaning your house before the maid comes so she won't know what a slob you really are.....
I know that she’s not the only one that feels this way. How sad that is. How do we undo all the damage our churches have done – expecting people to know the rules; expecting people to obey the unwritten laws, to dress right, act a certain way, have their act together? To know the formula? It’s so frustrating to have a friend so in need of God, someone who is struggling with life and big questions, yet someone who doesn’t feel she has the right to darken the door of a church. Why can’t we quit being an exclusive club – all dressed the right way and saying the proper things? I think it’s extremely sad that something set up by God to reach out to others is now an insurmountable object to many. We need to stop distancing ourselves from those we haven't deemed worthy. We need to lower the drawbridge and welcome the world instead of hiding behind protective walls.
Fine. I guess I will have to do what I can. D and I, we may be the only believers she ever lets in. The only way she will see what a church should be. Our lives and beliefs may be the ones that get her thinking. I will just walk beside her and listen, help as I can, love her and just live life with her. I will be her friend. I will let her see that I am not good enough either – none of us are, but God is gracious and merciful. I want her to know I will accept her where she is and as she is – no matter how messy. Because I love her.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Did Murphy have a law to cover this?

So, last night I was exhausted. I planned to go home and veg big time. My Veronica Mars second season DVD's came Tuesday and I hadn't had time to start watching them yet. When I got home tho, I felt guilty - no food. I hadn't gone grocery shopping in 3 weeks and everyone was getting impatient with me. Why? My philosophy is, if there's no food in the house I won't eat.....
Anyway. I decided to be a good mom, and took Kelsey and we went to Cub Foods. I got home about 4:40, put all the stuff away and made dinner only to find out Chris and Carissa would not be home. Chris was going to a movie straight from work, and Carissa had been home and was already gone. So I fed Kim and Kelsey, drove Kelsey to Winfield, came home, got some popcorn and pop and went to put in the first DVD. Time to put my feet up, sit under the fan next to the puppies and relax. Yay me. Only the DVD's were gone. Yep, in her coming and going, Carissa had taken them with her to her friends to watch them. I was not pleased. I actually came very close to crying. Best laid plans and all.
When she got home at 10, I said - "did you know what I planned to do tonight?"
"Watch MY Veronica Mars DVD.."
To her credit she looked sheepish and felt bad. I couldn't yell at her after that. So, tho it shouldn't have to be said, we now have a new rule. If mom buys the DVD's, they don't leave the house til SHE is done watching them. All your friends can come here and watch, but the DVD's DO NOT leave the house.....
Plans for tonight?
Veronica and me baby.... :D

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Philip Yancey

Last night I went with my friend D to hear Philip Yancey speak. Way cool. And he actually had his new book there - selling and autographing copies before it's general release. (Oct 1st according to Amazon.) I didn't have the time or energy to stand in line and wait tho. Anyway, his new book is about the very thing I have been wresting with since last spring:
Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?
Time constraints kept him from going into any great depth last night He just scratched the surface. But it was enough to make me want to read the book to see what his thoughts are on the complex issues and questions concerning prayer.
I would love to hear him speak again sometime when time isn't pressing......

Thursday, August 17, 2006


It's been a long time since I've been tagged.....this is kind of a cool one. :)

1. One book that changed your life?
Finding Faith - Brian McLaren. Simple, yet it got my mind tracking on a whole new course and I never looked back.....

2. One book you've read more than once?
I usually don't read books more than once. So, I guess I would have to go back a long time and say Gone With the Wind.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
It may sound trite, but I think it would have to be the Bible.

4. One book that made you laugh?
Laugh out loud laugh? Maybe The Christian Culture Survival Guide: The Misadventures of an Outsider on the Inside or something by Anne Lamott

5. One book that made you cry?
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Nouwen

6. One book you wish had been written?
A book of answers for all the hard questions in life....

7.One book you wish had never been written?
It will probably be the last Harry Potter book when it comes out, because then the great story will be over.......sigh

8. One book you are currently reading?
Right now I am reading Prayer is a Place by Tickle. I intended to read a lot this summer, but it just didn't happen.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
The Divine Conspiracy : Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard

10. Now tag five ppls.
Mike, Julie, Christine, A, Darla

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

and so it begins.........

So, I've survived the last ever week of band camp, and the last ever registration at the high school. Senior pictures are behind us. The final high school year is starting next week. This is gonna be a year of lasts - probably as hard on me as it will be on Carissa. There is just something about your baby graduating from high school that is sad. The end of an era. It seems like just yesterday I was holding their hands and walking them to their first day of kindergarten. At least when my other two graduated I still had Carissa. Now all I have is the dogs......
On a brighter note: the kids are all raised and I can do things - things I want. Things I(we)used to do before kids..... Nope, even that isn't helping. I tried.
It's gonna be a paradoxical year - happy, sad, long, short, easy, hard, proud - very emotional. Cutting that final cord is hard. But I know in my heart it's a good thing. And I know she will be fine. Pushing her out of the nest will be difficult, but watching her soar will be a wonderful thing.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sick or not - nothing could stop me!

So, I've been down all week with a horrendous ear infection. But I will tell you it didn't stop me from attending DCI (Drum Corps International) finals in Madison last night. It was awesome. Carissa, her drum instructor Sandy, Dana and I went.

Interesting that all three people I went with had different favorites - Carissa loves Phantom Regiment, Sandy is an avid Blue Devils fan and Dana and her mom were Cavi's fans from way back. Took a lot of diplomacy on my part to make it through the evening!

I loved the Blue Devils show because it was Godfather. Fun, great sound, great formations - very cool.

I loved Phantom cuz it was artistic, and classic and well executed. And their drum line was excellent!

Cavi's are always technically awesome and great fun to watch. Precise and like a machine....

So here were the final scores:

Madison, WI
DCI World Championship Finals

The Cavaliers 97.200
Phantom Regiment 96.850
Blue Devils 96.550
Bluecoats 93.175
The Cadets 93.075
Santa Clara Vanguard 92.350
Blue Knights 90.125
Carolina Crown 89.975
Madison Scouts 87.700
Boston Crusaders 87.325
Glassmen 86.000
Spirit of JSU 84.825

It was just awesome to be there. I loved the show and the energy and the experience!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This is the problem....

with hanging out with people decades younger than you.

Great America 2006

Any questions?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Do I want to wake a sleeping dragon?

I went in to the city tonight with my friend to see a play. It was getting late as I was returning home. I was kinda mellow, listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter on the radio, and just letting my mind wander. It occurred to me, that I felt content, and relaxed and I realized that a lot of the stress I had been experiencing over this past year had let up. For a minute or two I was happy, and then it further occurred to me that there might be a reason. I have been quite remiss in my reading this summer, and my questioning and thinking. I have kind of put my brain on autopilot and just sort of cruised along. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. But I realized I have quit pushing, and challenging and thinking. I have quit digging and seeking and questioning. So the question now becomes do I want to throw myself back into that mode? Do I want to knowingly make my life hard? Do I want to get those difficult questions back to the forefront of my mind? Do I want to get out of the boat again? Off the shelf? Out of the box? I miss it. But I don’t miss the stress and the unrelenting questions that often times have no easy answers. Am I ready to tackle the hard stuff? Jump back into the middle of controversy? Do I want to again consider things that go so much against what I’ve been taught and always believed?
Do I want to struggle, wrestle with the hard stuff? One part of me says yes, one part of me says it will only overwhelm me…..
Why do I have to be such a questioner? Why can’t I find it ok to settle? Why can’t I just take the easy way – for once? Why can’t I be content with where I am, and what I know, and what I have been taught? Whether or not I want to, I think I will be jumping back in…..

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's that time again...

Well, another year has come and gone and I am one year older. I don't feel like it - well except for my knees...
I spent today at Band Camp. Second day this week. Unrelenting sun, high humidity, terrible heat index - actual temps around 100. The kids have done well, but the heat is beginning to wear on them. I have two more days to go - hopefully they will be cooler! We do have a lot of fun tho!
Then tonight my hubby took me to Red Lobster for dinner. Yum. I guess I forgive him for forgetting our anniversary last week....