Tuesday, December 29, 2009

a bad mommy moment

don't you just love those shining moments in life that serve to remind you that you are off of your game. my most recent reminder came this evening as i was in the office on my computer reading the news on the npr home page. now i have to admit that i was being a little smug, patting myself on the back, for not only keeping up with recent events but doing so on npr. how smart and sophisticated of me... (i actually changed my internet homepage before christmas because i hated all of the ads on yahoo, msn, etc. for aesthetic reasons) so, here i am in my smug-laden state when i hear from the family room..."boys, go get mama's plastic stripper shoes out of the lego box." (in a very southern accent a la joy turner from the trailer park). my name is earl was on and my seven year old was watching it...for god knows how long, no wonder it was so quiet. i love tivo and i don't love tivo. i do tivo my name is earl, a very guilty pleasure, but not for public viewing and not for my seven year old. i am sure it is only a matter of time before i get asked the question, "mom, what are stripper shoes?" wonderful.

Friday, December 25, 2009


the week between christmas and the new year always feels like, to me, a week spent living in limbo. the big hoorah of the holidays has past and in my spirit i feel an anxiousness to get on to what's next. it's not that i always know what's coming next, i am just really good at anticipating. some people might say that i have a problem with delayed gratification. perhaps. but if i could be allowed the luxury of explaining myself, i'd have to make the argument that i love do-overs. i love it when things are new and i love how the universe is concomitant with the do-over, the second chance (or third, or twentieth, or the hundredth...), the reset button. we see it in the cycles of the moon, the seasons, and in the earthly lives of humans. there are deaths and births on this planet everyday. so, i know that it's coming. my clean slate. my chance to do it again and get, some of it at least, right this time. so, with that said, someone might think that i have a resolution list a mile long this year, but i don't. not one single thing. what i do have is a word. one word...commitment. instead of declaring my intentions to lose 20 pounds or keep my car clean (i'm not giving up wine, sorry mom.). i want to commit myself to living a life that is lived well, this year, and every year, for the rest of my life. i want to commit my life to other people: to my kids, my husband, my friends, to people in need. and also to myself. because sometimes the failure to commit hurts us the most. we cheat ourselves and that is most egregious injustice of all; when we waste this precious gift that god has given to us.

instead of a resolution list, i have complied a list of things that i have learned about myself over this past year:

1. found out that i am no longer allergic to cats. who knew? apparently, your allergies change every couple of years. this info comes from my cousin, allyson. allyson has many allergies, she would be familiar with this information. i am so happy about this as i took in two strays early this fall. see lulu kitty: ( stray cat number two left for greener pastures, i hope).

2. being a mom is the single most significant thing that i will accomplish in this lifetime. i would do anything for my daughters. i am grateful that god saw fit to make me their momma.

3. sometimes, when we pray, god has a totally different idea as to what the answer to said prayer will look like. about a year ago, i prayed for community. there were some major shifts that happened within my personal universe, but it is all for the best. god absolutely knows what s/he is doing.

4. speaking of god. i rediscovered my faith this past year in academic bible classes at a "secular" university of all places. (thank you wayne coppins and beth lorocca-pitts) i learned that jesus was (is) a revolutionary and i believe that the example that jesus lived in his earthly life is the way in which i want to follow. not some denominational version of jesus. the jesus of the words in red. the jesus that spoke of love. the jesus that had compassion for the sick and impoverished. the jesus who called the religious establishment a "brood of vipers." i could go on...

5. i learned that i do have the fortitude to follow through. after working toward a degree for over a decade, i finally graduated from college, with honors. you can do anything you want to do; work hard and pray harder.

i also learned that:
i love running on trails better than pavement. ( thank you, david ray)
i like brownies, a lot. perhaps, too much!
i like sitting in silence. nothing bad comes from an absence of sound.
true friends are more valuable that any amount of money.
stuff is just stuff. we really need so little to be happy.

thanks for reading my blog. i really enjoy writing, another thing i have learned about myself this year.

may god continue to bless us all in 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Main Entry: 1ca·thar·tic
Pronunciation: \kə-ˈthär-tik\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin or Greek; Late Latin catharticus, from Greek kathartikos, from kathairein
Date: 1612

: of, relating to, or producing catharsis drugs>

ca·thar·tic·al·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

so, maybe i should have looked up catharsis.

1 : purgation
2 a : purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
3 : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression

i have been hearing the word cathartic a lot lately. it's just been one of those words that has been on my radar. thus, i have been prompted to use the word cathartic randomly, whenever i get the chance to throw it into conversation. further, i have been prompted investigate all things cathartic that happen in my life. ( and now that i have looked up the official definition of cathartic/catharsis, i feel prompted to investigate the word 'purgation'. great word. i think i'll try to use it in a sentence this week.) so like i said, i have been thinking about things that are cathartic. i know lots of people who are going through lots of stuff right now. and not fun stuff. the kind of stuff that sucks out loud kind of stuff. friends who have family with cancer or have cancer themselves. people who are loosing their homes to foreclosure. people have lost their health insurance. people who are out of work. (i love uplifting blogs!) so in this season of catharsis i find myself doing things like drinking hot tea because i like it and it's good for me. i make brownies on a regular basis and i enjoy them even though they are not good for me. i find that my home practice (that's yoga practice for those not in the know) is better and more consistent than it has ever been. i hang out with my cat and dogs. i laugh and sing with my daughters and i snuggle up to my husband when he is sleeping. the heat that comes off of him when he is asleep is like the soothing warmth that comes from a heating pad. it always makes me feel better. it is cathartic. but the definition of catharsis involves 'purgation' (see, i used it in a sentence. yay me!). so, when i get angry with someone, or i need to get something off of my chest, i write a letter that i will never mail. i sing songs at the top of my lungs. i cry. and i scream. in fact, if i find that slappey girls have been guilty of exchanging some bad juju with each other (ie. have been unkind) we scream it out. as this scenario usually happens in the car, we turn the radio up. loud. and proceed to scream. and scream again. and again. usually we end up laughing. occasionally, one of us has to stop and pee. but always, i end up snorting. and snorting my friends, is cathartic.

but mostly, i think that catharsis is about being kind to yourself. i think that catharsis is realizing that you are a child of god and then living in the grace that is available to all of us. especially from within ourselves. we all have the choice and then the ability to show grace to ourselves. catharsis is also about surrounding yourself with people who understand this principle and thus, live accordingly. it is about surrounding ourselves with people who are good for us. people who speak life and truth over our lives. much like a blessing.
about a year ago, a prayer grew from within the very center of my heart. i asked god to surround me with people who loved god and understood the principles about which i have been writing. i wanted to cultivate a community of individuals that could pray for me if i asked them to. i wanted a community, of women, especially, that, like i said, spoke life and truth. women who possessed wisdom. it hasn't happened the way that i would have expected, but i have that for which i prayed. and it is more beautiful than anything i could have created myself.