Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good Stuff

Here is a blog I read, by a lady who is smart and funny, and knows a few things about adoptive parenting. A few of her recent blogs have resonated with me, just because they ring so true. Sometimes we don't need answers, we just need to hear the truth. Here in our world, we know that truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

How to Pray...

I so appreciate those of you who respond via comments, emails, phone calls. It seems as though I have touched a nerve, because I know it, and I'm sure many of you do too. We are not good "prayers", as a rule. We say things like, "I'll pray for you," but what does that really mean? In my case, I have to confess that it means I'll think about it once in a great while, and toss up a quickie if the moment permits. I have the attention span of a gnat in prayer. Which is why I make a fine liturgical the least the formal prayers keep me focused for a time longer than I can do so myself. But I am a lazy sack of crap too. This is a favorite family insult, and someday I'll tell you all the story of how it got cemented into our family vernacular, because trust me, it's a good one. But I digress. I am getting sedentary, and lazy about what I eat, and not surprisingly I feel like a slug. A slug with a sluggish digestive system, and weak, achy limbs. But do I DO anything about it? No. I just whine about how tired I am, and how old I feel.

At this point most people I know rush in and tell me I'm one of the most energetic, organized people they know. They point out that I look trim and healthy, and we all know in most books that's what really matters. I look the part of an energetic, youthful woman, and I look the part of one who has her act together spiritually. It would probably be simpler if my house was a pigsty and I was getting quite fat. Then, in some ways, it would be hard to deny the problem. But you know what you know, and I know that a slug lives here. I don't even know what I ought to be praying for. I have this list of things that worry me...sort of nibble away at the edges of my mind. I suppose they might make the list. I have some BIG CONCERNS. Definitely on the list. I have some vague impressions, about things I ought to be doing, places I ought to be going. Do those make the list?

Then what do I do with my list? Should I even have a list? Of course I should. God made me a list maker, so I'm pretty sure He "gets" my lists. Do I pray over my list? It always seems so selfish to focus on what I see as important. Plus I feel like I am reviewing my grocery list. Other people say they will pray as well. What does that mean? Well, not much if their prayer life looks like mine.

Can I warn you that this is one of those vague impressions, that has difficulty making its way onto the list because I'm not sure how to word it or explain it to myself, much less anyone else? I think prayer is the key to everything, and we are all walking around with it in our pockets, not using it to open anything at all. I think it is because we are afraid that the key might actually be a stick of dynamite, and if we set off the charge it will blow us and our lists up. I think some of us walk around with our hand in our pocket thinking, "I might just light this stick of dynamite some day, and see what happens." I know I do.

P.S. Please don't send me a comment telling me to read a certain book about prayer. I've read a lot of great books about prayer, but I still walk around with my hand in my pocket, wondering.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What if...

Let me preface this post with a small disclaimer of sorts. I am not complaining about life such as it is. I know many people who are mishandled and mistreated by the "helping" professionals in their lives. This is not the case for us. Our helping professionals try very hard, and treat us with respect. It is not to say that we don't have a support system of caring, Godly people who uphold us in many ways. We do. It is not to say that we have taken our eyes off the prize and slipped into something else...well, we all do that at times. But we try and stay focused.

But what if...
  • What if I took every hour I spend scouring blogs, and websites, and books for fragments of information about adoption and its challenges...what if I instead spent that time scouring God's word and His world for insights into the broken human condition?
  • What if I took every word spoken in frustration to sympathetic (and unsympathetic) ears in the name of "support", and instead poured it out to a heavenly Father who knows and understands better than I do?
  • What if I stopped trying to focus on "change" and "measurable progress", and let God have His way with my loved ones...and me?
  • What if I took every hour I spend chasing and demanding professional helps and services, and petitioned godly men, women, and children to pray for the plight of all orphans everywhere, but especially for those they know personally, who live their lives in and out of our broken Godless foster care system?
  • What if I finally realized that I was searching for a miracle? That degrees, and programs, and money can't buy a miracle? Ever.
"Some trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
To each his own won't lead you home and prob'ly never will."
Jennifer Knapp, In the Name

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Caulk and Paint

Queen B and I have been busily sweating away with paintbrush in hand all week. Of course she is at her house many miles away, and I am at mine, but still I can feel the kinship and smell the fumes. Paint and caulk are wonderful things in my book. You can fix a multitude of messes with them, and old tired rooms can be bright, and new and clean smelling again. It's just the darned contrast that's the problem. You paint one thing, and it just seems to highlight how shabby another has been getting. So you paint that thing too. While painting, you note some minor repairs that need to be done, and you caulk up the gaps and seams. Next thing you know, you're five miles away from the first thing you painted and probably into it for a hundred gallons of paint. Why, oh why can't it just STAY a simple two day job?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Free Advice

Don't let the cat help you paint the walls. They will try, but it never ends well.