Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Night with Reagan

It is Monday night and Marnie is shopping with Addie and I get to spend some Reagan/Ogram time together.

Right now she is cutting something from a coloring book. She is doing it herself. This is one of the keys to her - she is doing it herself. She really likes to do everything herself and often says "I know!" when she doesn't but she wants to do it herself.

I have a distinct memory of her about 2 years ago insisting that she could "do it herself" and put on a sleeper PJ unassisted - and she did it! But boy, was it painful to watch.

Anyway, she read to me a little bit tonight and we did a workbook together and now she got this idea to cut out pictures of a pirate and glue them together and off she goes. She is really creative and resourceful - a creative little girl.

She now has come up to me and says she wants to write something. And this is what she has written: reagan poop
What can I say? She is beautiful, smart and 5 years old.

It has been a real change in our lives to have the girls here but the truth is that it has been a blessing. They are easier to live with than when they would visit for an hour or two.

Today at dinner Marnie presented then with a list of chores for rewards as well as a list of behaviors that will give them demerits. We will see what that will do for them. I think it is going to be good.

I never would have believed that we would all be living together and that it would be going so well. God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friends and Daughters

Well, the blessing of my life is friends and daughters. All of them - Kacey, Marnie, Audrey and Lisa.

Today my friend Mary Wood came to Columbus and we went out to lunch and talked on the front porch about ministry and life and all kinds of wonderful things.
Mary has been my friend for over 15 years and she is one of the great blessings of my life. We have preached together, led retreats together and put together a Grandparents camp - together.
And it is always fun and creative. She is a great musician and fun and funny.
What a gift to me and to Chuck to see her.

And THEN I got gooooooood news that Audrey is coming to visit in 2 weeks. She will be with us for Halloween and it is going to be great to see her.

God is good. All the time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Night

Coming home from our 5:00 Gospel Praise Service

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
This service was amazing tonight.
We sang some of my favorite songs - and while we had fewer than 25 people - we SANG these songs and it was wonderful.
Deric brought a choir from Hilltop Christian Church - an African American 7th Day Adventist Church and they were wonderful. Seven women singing "Glory to the Lord" and then another song. And it was just blessing upon blessing for me and all of us.

I had to follow their music with the invitation to communion and believe me, it was done with more passion and more heart than it ever is on a Sunday morning.

And then Charles preached. He had been overcome by what God was doing and somehow he had a sense that someone in our group needed to hear: "Let it Go" and he preached that for at least 10 minutes. And I heard it with issues that had been causing me concern about myself.
I heard him saying "Let it go" and I felt like God was saying that to me as well.

Let it go and let me take care of you. you don't have to pretend - just trust me.

Charles preaching is always much more spontaneous than mine - but tonight more than ever. He ended up preaching that and reminding us that Jesus stops for all of us and will help us with whatever we need.
It was a word I needed to hear and I am sure that many, many of us were touched by this worship service.

God is Good. All the time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Marnie and Todd's babysitter is moving away and this is the last week that she will be able to take care of Reagan and Addie.

So they are on the hunt for someone new. I never worked when the kids were this young and watching this process is really illuminating for me.

Marnie is working on this - she has interviewed a couple of people already. And today we both went to see someone. There are all kinds of questions - where the person lives, whether there will be other children for Addie to play with her own age, whether Reagan needs to stay after school and get cared for there or whether she can stay at the same place. And the cost too.

It is a big puzzle. Today the woman we visited was a grandma who started taking care of children when her daughter had her first grandchild. She was very warm and obviously likes kids. We got to see where the kids play in the basement and the schedule. She seems great to me.

Afterwards I thought about how important this decision is. We want these children to be well cared for and loved and safe. If this person works out, she will spend more time with Addie during the week than either Marnie or Todd. She will greatly influence our precious girl.

What a decision it is and it has to be made quickly! I Pray that God will guide Marnie in this.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Night

Well, this is what I thought was going to happen.
I thought that right now I would be in my family room with Marnie and Kacey and getting ready to watch the debate.

Instead it is me by myself - I hope Marnie will join me. Kacey is on her way home with Jackson and Alyse. We had church meetings tonight - Kacey, Chuck and I and Marnie stayed home and watched the 4 kids. And Brett was going to come home from Cincinnati and pick up the kids.

Instead Jackson hit his head on a door and had a big big big goose egg. So, Kacey left her meeting and entered into that quandry that all parents have to face at times - is this something to call the doctor about? Is there going to be a concussion here? Or is this just something that go away. She did call the doctor and she is on her way home.

Reagan and Addie are in bed and I am waiting for the debate.

Ellen just called and suggested that we all take a drink every time we hear the word Maverick.
Sounds good to me.

This weekend we will be babysitting Jackson and Alyse on Friday night and Tom (Brett's dad)and Lynne will take them on Saturday night and Kacey and Brett get a whole weekend together without kids.

They need it. It is not easy to parent little kids. MUCH Easier to be a grandparent.
I am so glad that they will get that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Slow Down

Last week I watched Oprah when she had on the woman who inadvertantly left her child in her car all day and the little girl, of course, died. She was an assistant principal, it was the first day of school, her husband usually dropped the little girl off at day care and she completely forgot that her daughter was in the car.

It was the saddest story to me. And unfortunately, completely understandable. We all get so busy and so distracted we can completely miss what is happening.

Right now Chuck is checking over our vans - he quickly drove out of the driveway and forgot that I was parked there and ran his new van into mine - just a little smudge I hope. But it is the same thing. Slow down. Live in the moment.

We all do it. I do it. I get busy, too busy. And don't see what is right in front of me,
Behind me, all around me.

In my class in wellstreams we had a chart describing the movement from compulsion to contemplation - here are some of the examples

Compulsive Living Contemplative Living

control and rigidity Surrender and sponteneity
self absorbed Self aware
Srong defenses Necessary defenses/vulnerable
Dealing with people Relating with people
Inordinate desires True Longing for God
False self Authentic self
Emphasis on pleaure Emphasis on true joy
Past and future oriented Living in the present
Holding on; possessive Letting go; freedom
childish childlike
partially living fully human and alive

We had to reflect on the areas in our lives where we tend to be more compulsive
what characteristics of compulsive living are most alive in us
what characteristics of contemplative living are most alive in us

In a world where we are rewarded for multi tasking, living the contemplative life has to be a choice. It will not come naturally.

But it is what we need. What I need.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weird Wednesday

Well, something very strange happened tonight at church.
Last week we started a 5 week intergenerational program - from 6:30 - 8:00 Pm on Wednesday nights. I could not go last week because I have my class in spiritual direction.
So, this was my first time.
I had heard from Jerry that someone came by last week and needed help with a motel room and Jerry had given him $25. Tonight, that person came back again.
So, I got called out of the program to meet with this person.

We frequently have people come by the church and ask for help. We do not give out money. We do have groceries and sometimes gas cards. Occasionally we might arrange to help with rent or utilities but not on the spot. That takes a couple of days. And my experience is that when we (members of the church like last week) give cash, people do come back for more.

So, I first ended up talking with another member of the church who had apparently given this person help with a motel room and gas for his vehicle in the past two weeks. And I wondered what his expectation was going to be for us to do this week.

What I learned is that this man is the same person who three years ago stole checks from me.
I suspect now that he took them out of my purse at church. At the time, his wife wrote several to check cashing places and one of them called me and I told them that she stole the checks and they called the police and arrested her.
He later called me at home that night to "apologize" and to tell me that he felt bad that his wife was in jail for something he did. But he was on heroin. That was a strange time. he was at church asking for money! I explained to the member of my church that Ihe had stolen checks from me and I did not trust him and that the church was not going to give him money. I also informed the wife that this man had stolen from me.

It seemed to make no difference to them. They still left with the idea that they were going to help him.

I did not tell him that we had a history - because I did not want a confrontation or another lie.
I just told him that our policy is that we do not give money out - which is true and offered him groceries. Which he didn't take.

Afterward, I keep thinking - does he not remember that he stole from me or was he so high at the time that he doesn't know? Or is he so brazen that he didn't think anything of it.

Very strange. All of it.