Thursday, November 10, 2016

Who I'm Really With

Another day set aside to work on what I will say to a group of women who have graciously invited me to share my thoughts and humor (and dare I say, wisdom...probably not) and here I sit blogging instead, but I need to write to get some things off my mind and heart and then I will be free to focus. (Ladies of FFBC, I promise I will say more than "Jesus loves you!" although in reality that would be enough.)

I have been so encouraged over the last 36 hours. Not because my candidate won, because I didn't vote for him, and not because she lost, even though I wasn't with her either. 

(And I didn't write in my own name, though I was tempted. This would be my platform: Coffee, drunk while still warm, uninterrupted bathroom time, and salted caramel chocolate for breakfast - this exact kind. Get some. And get me some more. And excuse the poor photo quality. Ain't nobody got time to edit pictures because as I established I'm not supposed to be blogging!)  

And I also wasn't encouraged because of any great hope I have for things getting repealed or new things being passed, or things being left as they are, or new justices, or anything government related at all. 

Because who knows? I don't have a crystal ball. 

The thing I do know is that at the end Jesus comes back, and I get to go with Him to a wedding feast. 

But even that, while unbelievably encouraging, and really unfathomable, isn't what has me so encouraged about the last 36 hours. 

For the first time in my life, I have friends, actual friends, not acquaintances, who don't look like I do, or always think like I do, or throw birthday parties like I do. Some of them could be considered elderly (although I heard 80 is the new 20) and some are babes to me. Some I can barely understand and I know they don't understand my loud southern voice. We don't have the same language, but I adore them, and I'm pretty sure they like me. They are my friends

I was a part of a group text on election night. Six of us were texting, fingers flying, being continually floored by the history playing out before our eyes, and within that group of six at least three different candidates were represented.  

I was with a lot of these people yesterday, in the brutiful school our darlings attend and at Bible study in our church home. I hugged them. I was teary with them. We discussed amounts of wine consumed the night before and how much coffee we needed to get through the day. We squeezed hands and exchanged meaningful glances. 

And at the end of a day where my path crossed the path of so many different lives and cultures and ended with tucking three freshly washed, delicious smelling girls into bed, reading the next chapter from Alice in Wonderland, and then going to find my husband, who was reading an actual book, this is the thought I had:

We are with each other.

We are not with any one candidate, or any one belief system, or even one theology. We think differently. But we are with each other. We are doing this life together.

I was so proud of all of us. 

And one day, we will all be with Jesus. 

And until that day, Grace.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Is it Plagiarism if You Speak It?

Being the if-it-isn't-on-the-calendar-it-won't-happen kind of girl I am, several weeks ago I marked off this day as a day to sit and prepare for a speaking engagement I have next weekend. Nothing, no nothing, would interfere. I would drop the people off at school and return to my cozy, clean home and write the day away.

I had a long list of things I needed to do yesterday in order to make today perfect - I didn't want to be distracted by the laundry that needed to be done and the dishes left in the sink and the general disarray of our house. 

I also planned on going to the three grocery stores I frequent regularly, buying specific items from each one so that all my coffee and snacking needs could easily be met today.

But yesterday started off with the baby, who usually bounces around for roughly 93% of her day, claiming her stomach hurt, so right off the bat the day was way different from what I planned. I did get a lot of snuggling done and even a nap and exactly nothing to prepare me for today. 

So my house still looks like this:

Send help.

As a result of yesterday's getting nothing on my list doneness this morning I tried to cram a days' worth of errands into 90 minutes and said to heck with the household chores, they will still be there when I get around to them six months from now. 

I started out by screeching through the school parking lot, kicking children out doors and screaming about not forgetting their lunchboxes and be kind and oh, yeah, Jesus loves you, now hurry up and gather your crap and get out!

Then I tore through Kroger throwing everything and anything in my cart. I bought ten pounds of butter because it was an awesome sale. I forgot bread.

Next stop was a pet store (part of Dante's seven circles) to buy a hamster to replace the dearly departed one from the first grade who lived a grand total of three days. I walked in and announced I needed a hamster stat and when she asked me if I wanted to hold it I almost threw up. (Have we talked about me and animals yet? A future post...) When she told me he could chew through the cardboard box they put him in I demanded they double box him. I careened back through the school parking lot and passed him off to the secretary (my hero) and flew home, unloaded groceries and took my first breath of the morning.  

I have several thoughts of what I want to say to this sweet group of women the Lord is entrusting to me for 20 minutes or so, so I walked around perusing my overflowing bookshelves looking for books that jumped out at me as having similar themes to what is swirling around in my head. And that picture at the top are the ones I pulled. Quite a variation. They all "spark joy" for me when I touch them or think of them or talk about them, so I'm now kinda leaning towards just pulling together 20 minutes worth of quotes from them. I don't believe I can add to "Live right on." (Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry) or "There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt." (If Life is a Bowl of Cherries What am I Doing in the Pits? Erma Bombeck) or "I'll complain and joke about parenting and kids, but every parent knows its a heroic endeavor and we participants need to laugh at it." (Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan)

Parenting certainly got in the way of the plans I had for yesterday and today. Hopefully flipping through these books can show me the humor in it, the worthiness of it, the sacredness of it.

And I just might get a speech out of them, too.

Grace for Hamsters and Speech Writers and Days That Don't Go According to Plan,