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Monday, January 30, 2012

Let dogs delight to bark and bite


I am a reluctant homeschooling mom.  There, I said it.  

I homeschool my kids in spite of my serious limitations and lack of the requisite patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, etc.  (at least all my friends who don't homeschool assume I must have ample amounts of these virtues to do the deed; I argue that homeschooling might just be my refining fire in these areas).  

However, today I was able to practice those beautiful fruit qualities.  My weekend of yoga stayed with me and I was oh-so-serene on the inside.  Apparently, the daughters didn't get the memo that we were all zen and namaste.  

"She was sniffling, and it annoyed me," says the teen.  "Well, she lassoed my lego building with her rubbery eraser," declares the ten-ager.   Are you kidding me?  And then the clincher..."but then, Mommy, she (finger pointed, glaring eyes) shoved me."  Well, that's it.  I had to get ruthless.  I mean, really.  Girls don't shove.  They left me with no choice.  Cell phone for the teenager--buh-bye.  Ipad for the ten-ager--ixnay.  

Actually, it felt kind of lovely to discipline succinctly and without raised voice (a rare occasion, indeed).  

I must remember to feed the one who is currently living in her room!  (just kidding...no kids were harmed in the writing of this blog).  

P.S.  Additional punishments include copying and memorizing the poem below.  That, my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling.  

Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite
by Sir Isaac Watts

Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
          
For God hath made them so;
        
Let bears and lions growl and fight,
          
For 'tis their nature too.

        
But, children, you should never let
          
Such angry passions rise;
        
Your little hands were never made
          
To tear each other's eyes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

soul-full: Fully Alive

soul-full: Fully Alive: I have been pregnant for four years. I have been PREGNANT for FOUR YEARS. I have been pregnant for four years . (We are learning about...

soul-full: Yoga say what???

soul-full: Yoga say what???: I am in a yoga teacher training all-out bootcamp, butt-kicking weekend. Practice #3 of the weekend with some kind of crazy pose that I can'...

Yoga say what???

I am in a yoga teacher training all-out bootcamp, butt-kicking weekend.  Practice #3 of the weekend with some kind of crazy pose that I can't even begin to contemplate is coming up tomorrow.  What was I thinking when I signed up for and PAID MONEY to do this???

Yoga means union.  It connects body, mind, and spirit.  If you're a runner, like me, it's mile 16 and it only takes 2 minutes to get there (as opposed to 2 hours).  Just breathe.

When I attempt some kind of crazy asana (pose) that there is no way my tight hamstring-ed runner body could even think about doing...and I get there, somewhat, with no judgment, just breathing, it's amazing.  It's Holy Spirit--wow--God is with me amazing.

So that is how I'll be worshiping tomorrow morning.

(With a dose of Advil just in case).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fully Alive


I have been pregnant for four years.
I have been PREGNANT for FOUR YEARS.
I have been pregnant for four years.

(We are learning about good openers in our homeschool writing class.  That one’s called a shocker.)

Yes, you read it right, a four-year gestational period, similar to some kind of steroid-pumped elephant. 

We, and by we I mean I, began adopting again from China about four years ago.  So in adoption circles, once your paperwork has been turned in to the powers that be in China, a.k.a. the CCAA, you are paper pregnant. 

My beloved wasn’t, apparently, as enthralled with the idea of a third adoption as I.  He agreed, likely to keep me from assaulting him daily with my vision for abundant family life.  Did I mention he’s a pastor?  Or that I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who really likes fashion?  Unfortunately, I learned that there is NOT a tree in the backyard that grows money.  Bummer.

And then the process stalled.  Adoptions literally began to trickle out of China.  Wait times went from about one year to over 4 years.  And, my beloved rethought the idea.  Well, I rethought it too. 

So now we’re early 40’s instead of late 30’s.  We’ve got a teen (when did that happen?) and a self-proclaimed ten-ager in the house.  And I did something very dangerous and wonderful.  I perused our adoption agency’s website and stumbled across a “Waiting Child” section. 

Did you know there are literally hundreds of children with minor, correctable special needs that are paper-ready to be adopted?  No, me neither.  Did you know many are boys?  Did you know they are often abandoned in the first days of their precious lives? 

So I prayed.  I tried to shut up.  I entreated.  And the beloved said “Maybe.”  Really?  Maybe???

Wantonly, I asserted my womanly wiles…quite well, actually, and he agreed to fill out a medical needs checklist (step 1).  Four days later, we had a file to consider.  It didn’t feel quite right.  One month later, file two to consider.  It feels really right.

He’s beautiful, with soulful eyes and expressively-arched eyebrows.  And he’s a he, in this hormone-laden house that oozes femininity.  He’s perfect and needs care to repair cleft lip and palate.  He is wooing me.  It’s the eyes, I tell you.

“How are you doing with this?” I ask my beloved.  We, and by we I mean he, are taking some days to pray and wait and be quiet and sure.  “Well,” he responds, “I can see it.  Feels good.  And then, I kind of feel like, (arms lifted, head shaking, shrill tone) AGGGHH.  AGGGHH.  AGGGHH."

So really, isn’t that what parenting or life or anything worth having is?  It feels good, and then AGGGHH.  It’s the sweet, sloppy puppy kisses (feels good)/I just stepped in dog &&$$ in our front yard (AGGGHH).  It’s a family fun night watching Kung Fu Panda 2—good flick by the way (feels good)/three nights in a row of the ten-ager howling at 3a.m. because she doesn’t feel safe (AGGGHH).  And don’t even get me started on the “I don’t feel safe” line of attack for sleeping in the parents’ room. 

Perhaps the prayer and quiet and the AGGGHH is where the unfettered abandonment of a life well lived is birthed.  Cultivate stillness.  Practice prayer.  Be quiet.  And then buckle your seatbelt!  Here it comes...life in all of its wild, unpredictable glory.

Here’s to praying and waiting and being quiet and sure.  And AGGGHHdoption.

“The glory of God is man/woman fully alive.”  Irenaeus