Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Pain Worth Feeling

Sometimes, when I am flipping mindlessly through the hundreds of channels on the TV, I come across something that doesn't just move me, it shakes me.

Many times, it happens when I end up on the Documentary Channel.  Tonight, flipping through the channels while watching the Food Network (irony of ironies!), I caught the last half of the above documentary, Crayons and Paper.  The reaction I had to the suffering in Darfur, the loss, the hopelessness, the hope, was physically painful.  It is a pain that is familiar to me. 

Call me sentamental, call me dramatic, call me a wimp if you want to, but when I see the real suffering of real people, I ache inside.  I think about my comfort, my America, my obsession with my American comfort, and I feel ashamed and helpless.  And something in me wants to turn the channel, or the page, and just recoil from the painful pull I feel on the strings of my heart.  But I don't.  I tell myself,

"Don't.  Let yourself feel this.  If it pains the very heart of God, let it pain you."

I think the moments when I am closest to who God wants me to be is when I hurt for the pain of others.  Others I know, or don't know.  When I look at their lives, and I refuse to turn my head, I acknowledge the realness of it.  And how can action come if we first refuse to feel, to look, to hurt? 

I don't know what to do.  I have no plan.  I have no answers.  But I know that with tears in my eyes, I want a plan to do something to get answers.  I want God to answer my questions:

Why is there so much pain in the world of innocents? 
What can I do?
What will You do? 

Moments after the documentary was over, with me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my couch with tears coming freely, a commercial airs.  To sell me an Ab Roller, so that I can feel good about myself and my rock-hard abs.  Futility of futilities!  Show me something real, something painful, even.  But don't show me how to like myself more...I think I have too much of that already. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Call Me the Lunch Lady

No, I do not own a hairnet or look much like Chris Farley, but it is a funny thought, no?

School lunch here at our home school is my favorite meal to cook.  Mainly because I don't have to please the Husband (that carnivore), and since the kids don't get to decide what they have for lunch in schools, I figure that applies here.  So I make what I want, and the kids usually like it.  It is known that I love to cook vegetarian, not only because it is healthy and tasty, but because vegetarian food is pretty.  Sorry, but meat just ain't pretty.

Today's lunch was sooo good, and came together "zippity quick," as Tiny Love would say.

For the salad:
  • baby mixed greens
  • baby spinach
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • shredded carrots
  • golden raisins
  • feta cheese
  • sunflower seeds
  • red onion
  • black pepper
  • store-bought Light Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
There are no amounts, because I just threw it all in a bowl.  Use more or less of whatever you want.

For the sandwich:
  • Arnold Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins
  • hummus
  • sliced mushrooms
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • dried thyme
  • 2 tbs. white wine
  • provolone cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the sandwich thins on a baking sheet and toast them for about five minutes.  In a medium pan over medium high heat, cook mushrooms, onion and garlic, and thyme in a little olive oil until softened.  Add wine to deglaze the pan.  Cook until the moisture evaporates.  Spread the toasted buns (heh heh) with hummus, top with mushrooms and cheese, and heat in the oven until the cheese melts.  Serve!

The whole meal took about 15 minutes to make, and we all loved it!  Veggies are fancy fuel :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm Having a Moment...

Sometimes I need a "shining moment."  Moms often do.  While the work of raising children and home schooling is rewarding, it is often a delayed gratification.  We sow now and reap later.  The challenges are many:
Will Curlyjo ever learn to tell time?

Will Tiny Love learn to channel her persistence into something other than begging for more snacks that include sugar?

Will I ever convince them that their room should not look like an episode of "Hoarders?"

Am I doing enough?

Are they doing enough?

Are we...enough?

And then, the moments come.  The ones I need to keep me going, keep me focused, and keep me from throwing rocks at innocent trees.

Last week they were told to come to church Wednesday night dressed as what they wanted to be when they grew up.  They both decided they wanted to dress up as "Moms."  I was infinitely proud to have the only two girls in the crowd who dressed up as mothers.  Because that is what the Women's Movement is all about, people...choice.  Not eliminating choice, but allowing it.  It is honorable to want to be a mother.  It is desirable, noble, and responsible.  Now, let it be known that Tiny Love also wants to be a veterinarian, teacher (public and home), and a doctor.  Curlyjo wants to be a doctor just so she can "look at strep throat germs under the microscope, and then retire."  Obviously, in the grand scheme of things, they don't know what they want to be.  But they know that they have a choice. 

Another shining moment came today. 

Curlyjo has struck a deal with the Husband that an 'A' on a test will earn her a quarter in the jar.  She made a sign that proves such.
If  'A' = 25 cents
Then A + A = 50 cents
What time is it?
Who cares.

I am calling this an early algebra skill and depending on the invention of the digital clock to save her from a lifetime of tardiness.  We must look for our moments, and when we find them, we must hold onto them for dear life.  For the trees.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What a Month!

It has been a full month since I last blogged??!!  Lest you think it is because I have been sitting on my couch whining over my bout with strep throat (OK, there was some of that), or driving Curlyjo to the doctor for her two bouts of strep throat (some of that too), I will give you a "Quick Takes" post to catch you up on my life...because you care, or you wouldn't be reading this.

Quick Takes!

1.  We are using a new home school curriculum that requires a lot more student responsibility.  Curlyjo is reluctant but not totally disagreeable to the idea of having to take some interest in her own learning.  Tiny Love is never reluctant to being in control of anything.  We are using the ACE program, and I love it!

2.  I have been much more productive in my reading, since I recently took a Face book hiatus that made me realize that perhaps a Face book absence is in the best interest of my brain cells.  Highlights have included:
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.  Seriously, get me around a table with Jesus, C.S. Lewis and John Piper.  I might get this whole thing figured out.
  • Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi.  Totally haunting.  Nightmares for days.  You must read it. 

  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  I read it once, but I violated all of the habits by forgetting most of it.  So, I read it again.
  • The Complete Guide to Robert's Rules of Order Made Easy by Rita Cook.  No, not for leisure.  And Robert, your rules are not easy, no matter what you say.
  • Things I've Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi.  I am just about to finish this one, and I highly recommend it.  It is like a history lesson and a touching memoir all in one.  Love.

3.  Mom and Dad moved home permanently from Canada, which makes one less international connection that I have, which puts me at zero.  Hmmm...

4.  Brother has flown the nest and moved into a rental house with a friend.  He is growing up, which makes me happy and sad.  It also makes me have an uncontrollable urge to stop by his house and leave my socks in a random place, like the kitchen table, just to level the score.  But I won't. 

5.  And last, but not least, I am running for city council in the wonderful little part of America in which I reside.  I now know how much I don't know about city government, which only makes me want to know more.  I hope to be elected in April, at which point I will have a vast knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order, a heart full of hope for my community, and many legal pads full of information that I hope will make me of service to the people in my town.  I am full of interest and optimism, and I hope I retain both no matter what happens.

Now, excuse me while I go and take some photos of my kids and some food, since that what my blog is really about :)