Monday, May 28, 2007

A minute ago...

Ten minutes ago there were half a dozen things flitting around in my mind that I wanted to blog about. I'm going to have to try and remember them.
Maybe it's that my brain is just tired. Not from too much activity but just from lack of sleep. We went down to Birmingham this weekend for a wedding. We saw so many of our mids from the class of '05 and their spouses. It was great. But there were some gapping holes...some of them are in Iraq and they were missed. I'm not sure that the mids (they will always be mids to me, even if they make Admiral someday) know how much they are loved by me. Their lives move on, and that's good, but I long to remain a part of their lives. I think it's much the same with parenthood. It's a process of letting go. It's a challenge to do that gracefully. And it's a delicate tension to show interest and care without being intrusive.
There were two babies there. I spent a good bit of time with one of them in my arms. The most precious memory I carry is of one of them that had been asleep on my chest. She woke up and my first thought was "I hope she doesn't cry." Instead she pulled her head back, looked me in the eye and grinned at me. It was a sweet moment.

I've read a couple of good books lately...a biography of Lady Emma Hamilton., Paradox of Choice, Freakonomics, and now I'm reading The Earth (World?) is Flat. The bio was a little embarrassing to check out of the library, but I'm glad I did. It was easy to read and really opened my eyes to some things.
First, debt is not an invention of the 20th century. I was amazed at how people even then lived on the brink of financial ruin. And decadance does not belong to our culture. It is intrinsic to human nature. It also made me think about morality and circumstance and the impact of one on the other.
Paradox of Choice is great. I don't know how many times I've mentioned it in conversation. It seems that some of the principles mentioned are applicable to multiple life situations.
Freakonomics was interesting reading. I'm just not sure about some of it. He says that who you are (genetics) makes a difference to how your children turn out but that what you do is irrelevant. On the other hand he says that the upsurge of abortions in low income areas has dramatically reduced crime in our nation. So then, by his logic, is he saying that those in low income areas are inherently criminal in their nature? If so, I don't buy it. They are no more so that any of us. And I cannot believe that the way we train our children makes no difference. Nonetheless it was an interesting book. I just wish I knew enough to check his 'findings.'
I'm now reading The Earth is Flat. It's a bit of a tougher read if only because I really don't understand the Internet. I had no idea prior to this that the World Wide Web and the Internet were two different things. I didn't even know that fiber optics transferred information through pulses of light instead of electrical currents. I feel a little dumb. So in that sense I'm really glad Im reading it, it's just not as easy as the other books.
While we were at the wedding we met the guy who led the groom to Christ. I started talking to him and found out that he and his wife have a ministry to nomadic homeless kids. Pretty incredible if you ask me. As he talked I was amazed that this subculture exists in our country and I'm not even aware of it. These kids hop freight trains and hitchhike to travel the country. They get together by the thousands in national forests for gatherings. It's almost a tribal mentality. We were touched by what he had to say.
As we drove back to our hotel we were telling our girls about what he and his wife do. We said that these kids travel, often by night, with just their backpack and sometimes a dog. They look unkempt, that's often on purpose. The smell of soap gives them away to search dogs. Just as we were talking we passed a young man walking by the side of the road with long hair and a backpack. We saw him walk into a gas station. My husband followed him in and said, "I'd like to buy you ten dollars worth of food." The guy said something to the effect that he didn't know what to say, no one had ever done that before, he couldn't think of what to buy. So my dh helped him make some choices. Then he told Dale (the young man), "Remember that God loves you, and when you get to the end of you rope, Jesus will be there for you."
I hope I remember to pray for Dale.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another day

It has been beautiful in Annapolis. The weather has been cool, the sun warm, the skies blue. Even the rain we got was the best kind, a torrent of water whipped by the wind and lit by lightening. And then the next morning the cool temps and blue skies were back again. I'm enjoying every minute of it.
Tori had a softball game today. Softball doesn't seem to be the fastest moving sport. Maybe that's just my ignorance, but it seems like about five minutes of exciting play packed into two hours. But usually Tori has at least one play that is enough to get my blood pumping. Today there were three. First, the ump called a strike on a ball that was down at her ankles. Okay, so that wasn't her play, but it did get me excited! But then when Tori was playing second base, she made the most amazing catch. It should have been on tv. She had to jump to get the ball and then she fell with it and I think she rolled, but she held on to the ball. And then she had a great line drive, but that catch was the best of all! Thursday night we go to hear Christiana's choir. She'll be singing the high C part...I'm not musical but I'm guessing that not everyone can do that. I know I love to hear her sing. She just doesn't like to sing solo's though I know she could. It's fun how different our kids are.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Psalm 13:2

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Headlines for the Halvos

Betsy is sick with a fever of 103.

Paula has found three ticks after a walk in the woods in Tennessee. One spot is bruised where the tick was imbedded.

Tori has a fast pitch softball game.

Jackson was found floating in his crate this morning. When will that dog be trained?

Christie continues to take AP tests.

I constantly have questions as I read the Bible. Several came up this morning. In 2 Samuel 24 it says that God caused David to take a census and then His anger burned against him. In 1 Chronicles 21 it says that Satan caused David to take the census. Which is it please? The two are quite different. Several times it says that God sent an evil spirit on Saul. Do we have a problem with interpretation here or what?

I pray regularly for wisdom and understanding in reading Scripture. I'd better keep praying because I have so many questions.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Forgiveness in letting go

I was just washing my kitchen floor. Deep subject, right? But as I washed I had to move the rug in front of the sink and I felt the frustration, the tension, once again.
I used to have some padded carpet pieces that I loved. My floor is tile and I have feet and a back that are often in pain. Those padded rug pieces saved me. They weren't beautiful to look at, though they weren't ugly either, just sort of nondescript. But I loved having them there. Then someone threw them out. To my knowledge there was no good reason. I was left with hard, cold tile under my feet. I was angry. I fumed. When the one who did it didn't seem to care I got frustrated. I got angrier. They should admit that they had done wrong, that it was unloving, and they didn't.
To make matters worse, for a gift-giving occasion, I was given a rug I don't like and that doesn't have padding to put in front of the sink. It doesn't match my kitchen. But I was supposed to be thankful for it. I wasn't.
And so today, probably three years later, that rug still causes my grief. What a waste.
The person who threw out my rugs was wrong to do so. Sure it would be nice if they realized it. But it's up to me to let it go. I can't force someone else to my viewpoint nor convince them of their guilt if they don't want to be. All I can do is let it go. Not deny it was wrong. Not say I'm making a mountain out of molehill. But after I've confronted the fact that it was a wrong thing to do I only punish myself by hanging onto that hurt. It's not good for my blood pressure and it's not good for my heart.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hypocrisy and Christianity

Well, maybe not necessarily hypocrisy, but certainly failure. I can tell you dozens of stories of failure just in my own life. If you expand that to my acquaintances the number increases accordingly. So what does that mean? What does Christianity have to offer?
I come up with one thing, and one thing only. Forgiveness. Our very failures prove the fact that Christianity is all about. We can't do it. None of us can. How can I possibly look at the world and believe that mankind is intrinsically (sp?) good? How can I look at myself and believe that? The honest truth is that I can't. Even at my best I have problems forgiving, I take offense, I make poor choices, I give in to the temptation of the moment to indulge my tongue or my heart or my whatever.
So what's the point? The point is that it isn't me. It's that it doesn't have to be me. Sure, I fail. In fact, I sin. I don't just 'make mistakes' I downright do wrong things. And that's why I need a Savior. Not because I will then be perfect, but because I will be shown mercy and grace and forgiveness. It's too good to believe.