21 April 2009

Life Gets Interesting: A Day in the Life, Then and Now Edition.


Decide to go grocery shopping on Tuesday mornings, so as to avoid the crowds.

Tuesday, 7:35 am: Wake up. Choose outfit, get dressed, pull back hair, head to living room.

7:40 am: Eat Breakfast with hubby, fill out grocery list, sort coupons, etc.

7:50 am: Gather purse, cell phone, keys; drive hubby to work.

8:00 am: Arrive at Wal-Mart, find closest parking spot to the door (which is pretty close at 8am on a weekday). Go into Wal-Mart, grab cart, meander through grocery aisles, pick up food on the list, check out, unload groceries in car, put cart away, get gas.

8:30 am: Run various other errands – make car payment, run to pharmacy, etc.

9:00 am: Arrive home, unload groceries, unwind until noon when hubby needs to be picked up for lunch.


Decide to go grocery shopping on Tuesday mornings in an attempt to fit the activity in between Baby Girl’s eating and nap times.

Tuesday, 7:05 am: Wake up. Realize I’m running late, hurry to throw on clothes, pull hair back, get breakfast for myself, fill out grocery list.

7:20 am: Get Baby Girl up. Feed Baby Girl.

7:50 am: Baby Girl finishes eating, change diaper, pick out clothes for Baby, get baby dressed (with help from hubby).

7:55 am: Hubby puts Baby Girl in the car while I gather diaper bag (checking to make sure it has wallet, diapers, etc.), sweater, cell phone, keys; drive hubby to work.

8:00 am: Realize I forgot grocery list at home. Not wanting to turn around to get it (as hubby is already running late for work), dictate new grocery list to hubby as I drive.

8:04 am: Hubby is late for work. Head to Wal-Mart.

8:09 am: Arrive at Wal-Mart, choose parking spot relatively close to the front door, but, more importantly, also close to cart return, hoping a cart is ready and waiting. Grab cart, steer back to the car, put cart cover in cart (not necessary, but Baby Girl likes it), fish Baby Girl out of the car, put her in the cart, hoping today she sits up straight and doesn’t keep falling over to the sides like she did last time. Put diaper bag in the cart, head into Wal-Mart. Meander through aisles, gather necessary groceries, while keeping new, improvised grocery list away from baby hands, as it has, at this point, now been ripped in two by rogue baby fingers. Smile as Baby Girl waves to random old woman who fawns over how precious babies are. Feel warm fuzzies inside because others like my baby :)

8:35 am: Check out. Realize Baby Girl is only wearing one blue sock, wonder what happened to other blue sock. Put grocery bags in cart, meticulously re-trace steps through Wal-Mart twice, asking store clerks, find no blue sock. Sigh. Decide lonely blue sock must now be saved for mis-match days. Head to car.

8:45 am: Load baby and diaper bag into backseat, unload groceries into trunk, take cart cover off, put in trunk, return cart to cart return, get gas. Head to library.

9:05 am: Arrive at library. Gather seven books into one arm, noting that children’s books are relatively awkward to carry in a stack with adult books in one arm, gather baby into other arm, head to get diaper bag, realize the something slimy on Baby Girl’s leg isn’t something we want to be touching. See smallish pool of poo in car seat, have inner debate over whether to change diaper in parking lot or in bathroom inside the library (with no changing station), opt for bathroom. Re-arrange arm loads so as to lessen poo impact on my own clothes, re-gather baby, re-gather awkward stack of books, put awkward stack of books down, put diaper bag on the shoulder, re-re-gather awkward stack of books.

9:10 am: Drop awkward stack of books off at check-in counter, head back out to bathroom, place baby on her changing pad on bathroom counter, with awkward smiles to woman washing her hands at bathroom counter. Clean up mess. Wash hands, one at a time, while keeping one hand on baby so she does not wriggle off of counter.

9:15 am: Go back into library, gather new library books and videos (including Baby Einstein for the little one – she’s never seen one, sounds like fun). Check out, request plastic bag for books, so as to avoid awkward book stack on the way back to the car.

9:25 am: Put diaper bag and book bag in driver’s seat, set Baby Girl in back seat (not car seat), gratify her with singing Leap Frog toy while cleaning poo from car seat. Place Baby Girl in car seat. Move diaper bag and book bag back to back seat.

9:40 am: Arrive home. Lay Baby Girl down for nap. Unload groceries from the car onto cluttered kitchen counters (with dishes still from Sunday). Put milk and frozen pizza away. Take car seat out of car. Figure out how to remove car seat cover from car seat, hoping I will remember reverse process later. Spray car seat cover with Shout, put in washing machine.

9:50 am: Unpack groceries. Sit. Grab computer. Blog about how interesting life is post-baby, while waiting for car seat cover to finish washing so it may drip dry while baby clothes get washed and for Baby Girl to wake up from nap to eat.

10:00 am: Smile to myself knowing life is good.

15 April 2009

My Way, Right Away

While completing the last day of study for my Wednesday morning women's Bible Study focused on Shaunti Feldhahn's "For Women Only," I had an epiphany. So I chose to reveal this to you. Congratulations. You're SO lucky!

First, let me start with a story. While baby-sitting last week, my young, five-year-old charge decided she wanted to do an Easter Egg hunt. So, I hid the eggs and we both (aka, she) found them. Then, she hid the eggs and we both (aka, she) found them. Then, after quite a few turns of this, she started getting more creative in her hiding places: in the bathroom, under her pillow, in the high chair. And, again, she was quite the little detective in finding these eggs she hid herself as I followed her with my own basket, marveling at her skills of observation. But then came the surprise: as I hid the eggs this time, I was to hide them in the same places she hid them. I clarified, "Do you mean the same rooms or the exact same places?"
"The exact same places."
Uh oh.
See, I hadn't exactly seen where half the eggs were hidden, as she was the one to collect them from their hideouts. So, I improvised. I put the ones I remembered in the correct places, but with some of them, I opted to mix it up a bit. Instead of under her pillow, I hid one about a foot away, under her blanket, just for a little bit of a challenge. As it turns out, a challenge was not what she was looking for. As soon as her eyes popped opened, the first place she headed her tiny toes was toward her bedroom, right for the pillow - prepared with her "surprise" face for when she found the prize. But there was no egg. The surprise face turned to anger. Fury I didn't know could exist in a little five-year-old body.
"Why isn't the egg there?! I hid the egg under the pillow! I told you to hide it in the same spot!"
I tried to be game and apologize and point her best I could to the real location. She bristled and moved on to the next one. There was one under the couch. She didn't hide one under the couch. There was one in the highchair - finally the right place! But wait -
"Why isn't this the same color as the one I put there?! Why didn't you do exactly what I did?!"
"I tried, sweetie, but I couldn't remember every place."
"Well, next time you need to pay attention!"
Needless to say, that was the end of that game. I refused to continue playing someone else's game if they weren't even going to appreciate the effort. We moved on to a less demanding activity, instead - but my frustration was not quite over and I did not have the same enthusiasm for anything else the rest of the day. I was exhausted.

I only realized today how often I am that five-year-old when it comes to my husband.
I want romance, and I want it my way.
I want flowers. He never gets me flowers.
And then I complain.
He has cleaned my car, he cooks dinner, he changes diapers and he reads bed-time stories to our Baby Girl - but I want flowers.
I've told him this - why doesn't he pay attention?!
I've hinted at other things I want to do and, yet, he's never done them.
Why isn't he paying attention?!
Meanwhile I wonder why he seems to be giving up on playing my game. Wow. How immature can I be?It's time for me to grow up.
My husband is awesome. He tries, and does an amazing job - just because he's not following my orders doesn't mean he's doing a bad job at the game. And, besides, what fun is getting a "surprise" when I've planned every detail myself? I can be pretty lame.

08 April 2009

I Walk the Road

I was in Bible Study this morning, studying the passage about the two friends on the road to Emmaus when Jesus appears to them post-resurrection and I feel like there was a torrential downpour of revelations flowing into me that I hope I can somehow put together into words that make sense outside of my own head.

The passage we were referring to was in Luke, Luke 24:13-35 to be exact. Here we find a familiar story of two friends traveling to Emmaus after the crucifixion of their dear friend and leader, Jesus. They are discussing the events when a stranger approaches them. We, as the omniscient readers, know this stranger to be Jesus and too often we dwell on that and forget to see this story from the point of view of the two men. This man was a stranger to them. They did not know from whence he came or why he was at all interested in traveling with them. On top of this, he has the audacity to ask them why they are sad – to which one replies, “Are you the only one who has no idea what’s going on?!” Our friend, Jesus, asks them to enlighten him.

This is where the story begins to be something we can relate to, only I’ve never noticed this before. They begin to detail for him the events that have recently unfolded – there was a man who they believed to be the redeemer of Israel who had walked with them and taught them and they had placed all their hope in him as the true Messiah – and then he died! Just like that. He never put up a fight; he didn’t rain down fire on the Romans; he didn’t start this glorious uprising – he just died! And NOW, women are claiming to have seen him arisen and they don’t know what to do about that.

Just imagine! These men, and almost anyone who truly believed Jesus was the Messiah, spent the whole time they were with Him just waiting. Waiting for that magnificent moment when Jesus would rescue them all from the lives they’d been living. Isn’t that what the Messiah was going to do? So they waited. He was arrested by the guards and they waited. He went through the trial and they waited. He endured humiliation and torture and they waited. He was nailed to the cross and they waited. And then He breathed his last.

And it was like losing that breath they’d been holding for the last three years, waiting. And then they remembered – He had predicted this! He was going to die and then be risen again! Surely, that’s when they would see His awesome power and He would show the world who He was. Surely. And then these women come and claim to have seen Him alive?! Surely not! Surely when He arises it will be powerful and without question the most amazing thing anyone has seen. He would surely not simply come to life and talk to a couple of women without grandly announcing His victory.

But that wasn’t His style.

Jesus was never flashy and did not feel the need to overtly express His strength. He was a gentle spirit who had come to seek and save the lost.

How often are we those two men on the road – just waiting. Waiting for God to come into our miserable circumstances and sweep us away to victory. Yes, we may be in the valley but we just know God will bring His chariots of fire to rescue us. Surely He does not intend for us to stay in this valley and endure it to the end. Surely not.

God never promised we wouldn’t have to walk the road of sorrow – He only promised He would walk with us, whether we recognize Him or not.

- - -

Remembering this, then, that Jesus was not the mighty sword-wielding crusader they were expecting, I thought back to the stories we know of Jesus, especially in dealing with the lost. How often do we see Jesus telling the lost they're doing everything wrong? Explaining to them they are the most despicable creatures on earth, but if they turn around, then He'll associate with them - then He'll show them love? I'm pretty sure I missed that Bible story. Do we see Him outside the brothels with signs, picketing? Do we see Him boycotting because the tax collectors are greedy liars? Pretty sure we don't. In fact, when do we see Jesus angry? Stop. Think about it. When do we see Jesus throwing a fit over the way others are acting? I'm pretty sure it's not with unbelievers.

The accounts we have of Jesus ready to spit fire, throwing over tables, and calling people out is only when He is dealing with those in the church - the ones who are crushing down those who are already oppressed. The ones who are blatantly disrespecting His Father and the lost sheep He has come to find.

How often do we act as less of a representation of Christ and more a representation of Peter, pulling out our swords to cut off the ears of anyone who acts against God - rather than allowing God to take care of it? We were not called to be God's rabble-rousers. Read the Old Testament - God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, His power tore down the walls of Jericho. I'm pretty positive He needs no help from us if He sees immoral disbelievers that need to be taken care of.

What He does call us to do is to be Jesus to others. Be the relational extension of His hands and feet. Feed the hungry, embrace the unclean, the untouched. Show them love.

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2:5