Friday, May 25, 2012

We Need A Hoot!

Many of you know that my husband and I have a very, very full house right now. For the uninitiated, we have my father, our youngest son, my sister, and my brother-in-law filling up all of our rooms. There are also ten dogs involved (we run two separate packs and never the twain shall meet). 

This is, of course, the type of situation that requires creativity and humor to survive. So far, God has blessed abundantly with both. I pray that He continues to do so.

A little ritual that my sister and I have developed to keep a positive, humorous outlook is giving our household new "mottoes". When we first all converged together and were trying to develop a workable family dynamic, our motto was simply, "Go team!". Whenever one of us did something helpful for the rest of the group, my sister and I would throw up our hands and yell, "Go team!"

Some mottoes have been so fleeting that I don't remember them. However, I do remember that we say, "that should be our motto" quite a lot. The day my sister was telling me about a show she and her husband watched about dumb criminals, our motto was "brilliance abounds". Imagine us saying that with plenty of sarcasm.

Today I was telling my sister - who has still not found gainful employment - about a job listing on Craigslist that seems to be a good match for her Human Resources background. The job happens to be in the music industry (which as the wife of a former DJ, she really loves). She looked at me and used that tried-and-true Southernism: "Wouldn't that be a hoot?" My answer was, "Yes, and we could use a hoot right now!". So for the next few hours, at least, our motto is, "We could use a hoot!". 

I desperately hope that God is listening. I do not know why His plan seems to include our whole family's finances becoming more and more precarious. While a job in the music industry would definitely be a "hoot", at this point a job in plastic-mushroom farming would be a "hoot" for several of us. We aren't trying to get rich. We just want to pay all of the bills. 

So if you think about it, please lift us up in prayer. All you have to tell God is that my family needs a hoot. He'll get the joke. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Soundtrack

Since I was very young I have watched musicals - plays and movies. I have sung along with the Seven Dwarfs, The Bee Gees, Kenny Loggins, The Beach Boys, and The Smiths. ("You've Gotta Get A Gimmick" from Gypsy just started playing in my head. Oops.) For a very long time, I hoped that when I finally "arrived" in life that my very own soundtrack would start playing for everyone to hear. So far, the music is only in my head. 

Music is really the only poetry that I consistently like, and I find a certain type of quirkiness in the parts of the verse that stick with me. Most of my favorite songs are mainstream, because I have never put forth effort to go find the independent and lesser-known artists. I was angst-ridden enough as a teenager that you would think I would have raged against anything mainstream and "conformist", but I didn't. I was lazy, so I just took what came across my path and collected up the parts that caught my fancy.   

As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate more the warnings I received as youngster about being careful with what ideas I put into my head. There are things that I will never be able to un-see, un-hear, un-smell, or un-feel. I cannot ever completely undo the damage. The music I listen to falls under that warning, doesn't it?

Even as I have been sitting here typing, a friend has sent me a daily email that she subscribes to. The title for today's email is "Sing A New Song". Here is an excerpt:
What are you speaking; what are you singing? Are you singing songs of self-pity, gloom and doom or songs of joy, peace and love? The choice is yours. Speak out to others in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with your voice and making melody with all your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19) You begin by loving the Lord your God. Choose to be joyful in him and be in high spirits. If you are feeling down, if circumstances are holding you in depression, if you are in the midst of a trial choose to sing a new song to the Lord, and your feelings will be lifted, and you can go on your way holding your head high because the joy of the Lord is your strength. Praise goes before victory!
I will freely admit that I do not always follow that advice. There are many things that I feel - dark, melancholy emotions - that I do not find expressed in Christian music. I'm not saying that it isn't there. There are heavy metal and rap Christian artists that might have expressed some of these things, but in my laziness, I have not gone looking. It's much easier for me to listen to songs link "Coming Undone" by Korn. That song captures the complete inner chaos I experienced right after Mama died. But if "as a man thinketh, so is he", what am I doing to my heart by listening to music like that? What if my inner soundtrack is hurting me?

What is your inner soundtrack? Do you make a conscious effort to control what you are listening to?


Once again I am joining up with Jen and the rest of the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood over here. Why don't you come see what the rest of the girls have going on?


Monday, May 7, 2012

A High Class of Problems

Many years ago, someone said to me, "I have a higher class of problems these days." I did not immediately understand that comment. I was very sure at that time that my problems were dreadful and dire. What could be worse than the fact that I was suffering? What a melodramatic diva I was...

Today, I do understand that I have a higher class of problems. I have learned to be more grateful for what I have. I have come to understand that many people have far worse problems than I and that I should show them compassion and help when I can. Even so, I end up stressing out and loosing all sense of proportion sometimes. For example:

*Myself and several family members have found ourselves unemployed or under-employed. We are all squeezed together in one house trying to weather the storm safely. What do I end up stressing about? Whether I should use the green purse or the red purse (I picked red, in case any other divas care).

*My "adopted" son in Rwanda (sponsored through Compassion) has no way to refrigerate his food. What do I end up stressing about? The grocery store did not have my brand of yogurt and this other brand "tastes funny". (We have two refrigerators, by the way.)

* I worry about having to get rid of our extra car. I worry about having to wear sandals without a pedicure. I worry about not having money to buy more books when I have about 50 of them sitting here that I still haven't read. 

Yes, I have a high class of problems. Lord, deliver me from myself before I hurt someone with my whirling mass of ingratitude.

Thoughts, anyone?


Once again I am joining up with Jen and the rest of the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood over here. Why don't you come see what the rest of the girls have going on?


Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Anorexic Blog

I am hungry for words. Ravenous. But I won't let myself have them. And so my poor little blog is starving to death. 

What would happen if I would just allow myself those words? Would my blog be too "fat" or "heavy"? Would it not look as lean and healthy as other blogs? What if my words do not look as good as some others? Would it matter to anyone but me that I somehow failed in the comparison? Does it matter?

And so my "art" imitates my life and becomes disordered... maybe there is some clinical diagnosis for not allowing yourself to write. Or maybe I am just thinking too hard.

Poor little starving blog. You need some words.