Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who is My Neighbor?

I teach our preschool Sunday School class at my church. Last week's lesson was on the Good Samaritan.

During the early hours of Monday morning, I awoke from a dream. In it, I was disagreeing with someone over abortion--I think it started with a disagreement over something else though. But as I awoke, I had only one thing in my mind--one question really...

Who is my neighbor?

It was so strange to awaken to that question, but all during this week I have remembered to ask myself that question at various times. When I saw the homeless man with a sign a couple of miles from my house...he is a neighbor. I discussed that idea with my oldest son right there in the car.

And as I see all the people I disagree with over personal convictions (a lot of them in DC today), I realize they are my neighbors, too. No matter if we see eye to eye.

It is very humbling to look at all people and see that God loves them. Our children, our actual neighbors, our pastor, our friends, our enemies, the people with whom we disagree, criminals, terrorists--God loves them all. It makes identifying your neighbor easier said than done.

This story of the Good Samaritan is not so simple when it is actually put into practice.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Far From Home

I grew up about 4 hours from where I live now. Some days it is difficult to be so far from home.

Like when there are complications with my brother and sister-in-law's pregnancy. Doctors are discussing the possibility that it is Downs Syndrome. And oh, how I wish I was there to sit beside them (and my Mom). Not so easy to do through the phone or on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hiding Place

I am blessed to have a not small walk-in closet. It isn't the biggest thing, but it is adequate. I am not talking about just clothes here. I have four small bookshelves in my closet--every one packed with books. Books I had in divinity school. Books that I have acquired since divinity school that are sermon helps. Books I just want to read because everyone else is reading them or they sparked some interest in me.

I have a giant floor pillow to lean against, and I can just read right there in my closet. It muffles the sounds of the rest of the house. It is a place to think, but mainly it is a place to get away into the world of a book. Getting caught up with the characters, and forgetting that I'm even in my closet.

When my husband and I have a disagreement, I sometimes escape. Sometimes, particularly after school, I go there to escape my boys' whining. They all know where to find me, but I think they realize that Mama needs a time out sometimes, too. Sometimes when my oldest son needs to read his book for school, he gets to go to my closet. It may end up being scared space in the house as we search for a place to pause and think and read and dream.

I designated my half of my closet as my own place in the house. I think it is very important to have a place like that. Silence is good. Self-reflection is good. It can bring renewal.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sleeping Child

My 2-year-old feel asleep in the car Saturday evening around 7 PM. I managed to get him in the house and in his toddler bed without waking him. He got up at 8:30 AM Sunday morning. What a good sleeper!

This child is so funny about his new toddler bed. Only one day in the past week that he has used it has he gotten out of it in the morning. Usually he is just laying in bed waiting for someone to come and get him.

My older boys would never even sleep in a crib. But with the pressures of having more children to care for, I made sure that baby #3 was "crib-conditioned." He never knew anything else. In fact, he cannot sleep unless alone in a room on a crib mattress. Such a change, but it has been refreshing for his mama. When Mama gets sleep, too, life is much more pleasant. And since his older brothers sleep so well together in their full-size bed, I never would have believed that we wouldn't have sleep issues with three youngsters in the house.

It just reminds me how life can surprise.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I hate cooking. Now that my husband has quit his second shift job, we have to cook most nights. I am getting by. Menu planning helps a lot although I usually just worry about the main dish and not the sides. The best thing though was that my husband started cooking, too. The traditional Chinese chicken soup like his mother makes, my husband can make that now! Also, we have the method for preparing green beans like my MIL.

When my in-laws were here a few weeks ago, my husband asked me to get them to show me how they cook (the foods that my husband likes). I refused to do it unless he learned as well. So we didn't learn. Instead my husband has been relying on memory and some spoken instructions. And we are doing pretty good at this cooking thing. We have been figuring it out for ourselves.

I have been trying out several new recipes a week--some have been good and others are not so good. I have to go to the grocery store more now, too. But that is okay due to my extreme couponing, so our food bill hasn't increased that much.

Maybe one day I'll actually enjoy cooking. But I'm not holding my breath about it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Crying over Kindergarten?

My best friend's daughter started Kindergarten today, three weeks after my son started. I have other friends and acquaintances whose children have started school. They all say they cry about it.

Really? Crying over Kindergarten? I say save the tears until you are driving them to college.

Truthfully, I never cried when my oldest started school, and I never cried when this second son started school. I have kept the philosophy that my goal is to teach my sons to be independent. Kindergarten is a step along that way. And I've not cried one tear about it.

But I do have one more son at home. In three years, I'll let you know if there were tears.