Saturday, January 27, 2007

Greetings from the Infirmary

Now that the pneumonia is resolved, Luke is the healthiest of us all. The rest of us have this incredibly stubborn cold that is finally abating. In other health news, I had dental work done yesterday on a bridge (that earlier required a surprise root canal!) and my copay is now up to $1600 ... This is the bridge that I got when I was 14. (I'll spare you the long, gory story) It has served me well for 30 years, so I guess replacing it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. But, dang!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm the Only One

Today is Luke's birthday. He is four now. Oh my goodness, the baby years are slipping away so quickly ...

Luke has a habit of jumping around like Tigger, even if he's not excited about anything in particular. And sometimes he sings the Tigger song in his best Tigger-ish voice.

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of bubbah! (sic)
Their bottoms are made out of strings! (sic)
insert a bunch of gibberish .... then triumphantly:
I'm the only one!

Fittingly today, Luke dispensed with the whole thing except for "I'm the only one!" as he hopped around anticipating cake and presents. I love Luke's hop. I love Luke's beamish outlook on the world. Happy birthday, son. You are the only Luke. You are a gift.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rude Awakening

I awoke later than the usual 6 bells this Sunday morning. My duties were light at church (only an interview at the 6th grade Sunday School on what it's like to be a Pastor) -- so I slept in a bit. The first sign that something was awry this day was the sound of what I call Micah's "wheedling" --- a sound somewhere between a whine and a cry that is totally forced, and completely aimed at annoying the person who is denying him his current wish. The situation was dealt with, and then along came Luke.

His cheeks were completely flushed, and his hand was over his left ear. I swept his hot hot body up into my arms and carried him to the bathroom for a dose of Motrin, promising that Daddy would take him to the doctor, and I would check on him as soon as I returned from church.

Having given all the necessary instructions and insurance cards to Eric, I flew out the door, now running late. As I walked up to the garage, the side door was open ... and the car door was hanging open. "Did I forget to close that after I unloaded groceries last night?" I wondered. Then a split second later realized what had happened. The console was all busted up, the ashtray on the passenger seat, and the cup holder in pieces on the floor. The front panel of the stereo was gone.

Ran back to the house, gave Eric the bad news, and then ran off. Nothing like leaving a mess in your spouse's lap. I felt terrible; couldn't concentrate ... At the 6th grade class, I shot off my answers with rapid-fire delivery, and one of the girls' only "question" was, "Wow, you talk fast." So I tried then to slow down and be in the moment, rather than worrying about Eric and the boys. But my head and my gut were in a twisted mess.

Worship was a gift. At the 11:10 contemporary worship, an African American family had come, and their participation in the music, their total, visible engagement in the service reminded me of why we were all there. Songs that might other times get on my nerves, "Yielding," "The Sweet Sweet Presence of Jesus" suddenly spoke to my spirit and soothed me. Pastor Kelly Chatman preached on the wedding at Cana. Jesus invites everyone to the party, and he makes gallons upon gallons of wine because he wants everyone of us to get our groove on! What a playful, refreshing take on that story.

The news from the doc is that Lukie has pneumonia. I always feel a twinge of guilt at a diagnosis like this, like, how did this get past me??? He honestly has been his cheery sociable self, except for a nagging cough for a couple of weeks. We spent a lot of time on the couch today, read lots of stories, ... the Zithromax is kicking in, and he'll be fine in a few days, hopefully in time for his fourth birthday on Wednesday.

So, life goes on ... I must admit that instead of the violation I expected to feel in the face of the break in this morning, I feel a bit smug. Ha ha, no stereo for you, thug! And honestly? I'm glad the doors weren't locked, because this single-minded thief would have smashed them to get what he wanted. The police confirmed that. If we want to keep thieves out of the garage, we need to install a steel door with a huge bolt (or three). At the moment, it hardly seems worth it. None of our garage stuff -- hard-earned as it is, seems that important to protect to that degree. Now on our house ... with precious lives enclosed, that's another story.

And at the end of this weird day, I still feel incredibly blessed.
And don't you love the sound
Of the last laugh going down?
- Mark Knopfler

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lutherans and Biblical Hermanuetic

I reluctantly left the Saturday morning nest today to be present at a Minneapolis Area Synod Council meeting. Expectations were low as I settled into the Fireside Room at Woodlake Lutheran Church, but I was given a couple of gifts today.

First of all, my very own copy of Evangelical Lutheran Worship inscribed to me by Bishop Craig Johnson himself. Very cool.

Secondly, a very stimulating talk by Dr. David Lose, professor of Homiletics and Academic Dean at Luther Sem. In one and a half hours, David whirlwinded through a history of Biblical interpretation, leavening it with humor and brilliant insights. At points, Dr. Lose's eyes glistened with emotion as he witnessed to his understanding of the scriptures. I can't possibly capsulize all that he said here, but a couple of points that rung especially true:
  • The most offensive thing Jesus did was to forgive sin. We would rather die than admit our need for forgiveness ... God will not accept that. Jesus conquers death, and comes back with the very same message: "Peace be with you," (i.e. I forgive you)
  • The church is about telling the truth twice: The first truth is the condition of the world: I know you. The second truth is simply, I love you.

Lose goes on: "We most deeply want a relationship in which we are deeply known, BUT we all deeply fear being deeply known. Yet we can't be loved fully without being known fully. To be truly known is to be vulnerable to the point of death." Dying to self, Dying to pride, dying to the lies I tell myself and you about who I am. And then real love can breathe life into this dead soul.

Good stuff. The room felt electric after Dr. Lose spoke. Our intellects and hearts were completely engaged and spoken to.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Snuggling In

Well, here is is, the first really cold day of this Minnesota winter. What better time to batten down the hatches, snuggle in with my laptop and start a blog?

Actually, I've resisted the urge to do this for a long time. It's always seemed a bit narcissistic to me. But a few friends have pioneered this strange land before me, and have inspired me. So -- for whatever reason, I'm feeling the need to express myself, so here goes!

Today was a wonderfully domestic kind of day. I love an at-home day to catch up on the dishes and laundry ... putter around and drink hot beverages ... set up the hundredth configuration of the Island of Sodor for Luke's train fantasy ... write overdue thank you notes.

The only time we ventured out into the 4 degree weather was when Luke and I headed over to Micah's school for our Friday ritual ... hanging out in the lunchroom with about 100 totally wired Kindergartners and 1st graders. Luke, for some reason, loves this. He looks forward to it all week. Not that you'd know it when we are there. He clings to my legs while I walk around and assist children with milk cartons, orange peels and all manner of ecologically unsound packaging. Must be the energy of all those lovely, diverse children. Or the free chocolate milk.

When Micah got home from school, we three went immediately to the basement, where we slid in the Mary Poppins DVD, got under a blanket,and munched popcorn. I love this about the bleak midwinter. It is perfectly OK to hibernate and waste a couple of hours cuddled up on the couch. "Savor it," my friend Penne, a mom of teenagers advised me. Excellent advice.

I must mention here that not only am I new to blogging, I'm also new to the wonder that is Netflix. How amazing is it that you can queue up hundreds of movies that you want to see, type in a password, and for a nominal fee, ta-da! DVDs come to your door! I never have to go to the skanky video store again! I can do all my decision making (that always took forever at the video store) in the comfort of my own home. Granted, I have to wait one day for the DVD to arrive ... but for a movie loving, nay, movie-starved gal like me, this is a dream come true. So Mary Poppins goes back tomorrow, and up next in two days: The Devil Wears Prada. I love it.

So ... no deep theological insights. No psyche-probing meanderings. I'll save those for another day. I'm just getting my feet wet. Stay toasty.