“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Old Books

When you read an old book
You read it with a grain of salt
And weed out the unnecessary
Ancient words and partial faults

You take your time to formulate
Those thoughts that are eternal truths
You skim over, yet appreciate
What life was like then, as a youth

Why, then, do we swallow down
Bitter pills the Bible offers
When none of us follow every law
For who around you wears hair-covers?

And who amongst us, every week
Keeps a holy day, a resting day
Or condemns those who do not
When by God’s commandments we should pay?

My thought is this: when opportuned
Thoughts of hate and justification
Are strewn throughout our churches
In the name of laws so antediluvian

That we ourselves cannot contend
As the most righteous of the earth
As we ourselves are picking and choosing
As we ourselves ken what these statutes are worth

We should, as lovers, as friends, as Christ-followers
Unveil the outdatedness that guides our compasses
And understand and retain the morals of it
While no longer clinging to the Old Testament injustices

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:36-40

Advertisements

Three times a charm, right?

Going into this race, I had far too much adrenaline rushing though me. For the entire week leading up to it I was jittery and could hardly sleep. I always feel so undertrained, so amateur. I run with a stroller and barely hit forty miles in a week.

And I have other aspirations. This month I tried to start my schooling, and it didn’t end well. I lasted two days with Ezekiel hanging on to me as I tried to do my homework. It didn’t help that I was incredibly sick that week and lost five pounds. With no energy and no way to do my work, I gave up. The only attention Ezekiel was receiving was negative, get off my lap, let go of my pencil, give me my book, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that…

There is always next semester, and my son needs me as he grows, far more than I need to start my career. We have Nate, after all, and I have a job, and I have my art.

Back to the race:

The only test run I did was a short four-mile loop with a big hill. With the last two miles clocking in at a 5:15min/mile pace, I felt buoyed for the race.

Then Thursday hit, and I was called up for a phone interview. Since the reigning champions weren’t attending this year, I was the next “obvious winner”, as the writer put it. Cue jitters x3.

(last year’s run)

The day of the race, Nate and I bundled up and headed to the start. It was pretty cold out and I was reluctant to strip down to my shorts, but when the time came, I stood shivering at the starting line in the 6min/mile corral. I tried to find Nate, but apparently he was stuck in the bathroom line for nearly ten minutes. We had time for a quick high-five before the gun went off.

The first mile went by quickly. I felt strong and ran it in 5:29. There were four guys ahead of me at the time. I ended up passing one and then he came back to pass me at mile 7. Ah, well.

The cyclist eventually found me. He had been leading the wrong woman for the first two miles. I kinda wish he had stayed with her because he was rather distracting. He would yell to me the mile times and, while I had felt strong in the first half, once we started back and ran into the crowds behind us, his incessant bell-ringing was a needle in my brain. I lost focus and slowed down from 5:35 miles to 5:55 miles.

I would start to gain momentum and then we would hit a group of onlookers and there that bell would go again. Maybe I somewhat blame the guy, but I also need to learn how to focus better. As a lone runner, I’m not used to loud noises or people talking to me when I’m trying to focus.

My body felt strong, and when I felt it tiring I would pull myself up a little taller and would feel a little lighter. It was fun to watch the people go by as they headed to the halfway point. There were two guys dressed up as Minions, a guy in a suit, my husband passing people right and left. When the last of the runners went by, I focused on the road ahead and when I turned the final corner, I came in smiling and confident in the race I had run.

I didn’t know my final time for about 20 minutes after the fact. People were shaking my hand, telling me to wait around for interviews. I sounded like a complete airhead during all of them, but I had never talked into a camera like that before. I had to tear away in order to catch my husband racing in to the finish, beating his previous time by 2 minutes.

With a final time of 57:57 in a 10 mile race, I’m feeling pretty good. I hold the new record for my age group in women’s, and was less than a minute off the actual course record set by Marci Klimek (an Olympic trials qualifier). Next up: the Eugene half-marathon in ten days.

Also, sorry for the screenshots.

Rewards

What parent doesn’t want to tell their child, “you’re the best,” or “you can do anything”?

Giving out trophies en mass teaches children that they don’t need to strive for anything to be rewarded.

And when we tell our kids that they deserve the world and the world doesn’t give them anything – they shout in frustration and wallow in loneliness and lash out.

We tell them to ignore the “haters” because they are better than them. We put one above and one below and lose equal standing.

Here we create their superiority complexes.

So then a child believes themselves to be a god and can control who stays and who goes and doesn’t understand the consequences.

(In hindsight – they understand. They always do. And then they end themselves to keep from facing reality.)

But we have created this. Us, the domineering parents. The ones whose children can do no wrong, can be the best, can ignore all else.

We cannot ignore the warning signs. We cannot give our children the world because it is not ours to give. We can teach them to treat others as equals, and to love the bullies and the loners and the popular kids. There doesn’t need to be a hierarchy in our schools or in their minds.

(There can be winners and losers in games because that is healthy competition and they can strive to be the best of their own selves.)

But if our children are handed ribbons for participation, when they are dropped into the real world they will have nothing.

And their minds cannot coincide with reality because they still believe they are the best. And so it continues…and they suffer…and others suffer.

Because we didn’t get a trophy when we were their age.

Nativity

Because the birth of Jesus was not

A quiet thing, but rather

Harsh

Real

Miraculous.

To be fully man means to come into the world as men do.

Painfully.

He wasn’t clean and bright and shiny but instead wet and misshapen and hungry.

The world was foreign and terrifying to him; his mother was only just beginning to understand the implications of his birth.

The manger was not fresh straw and clean blanket.

The manger was dirt and animal saliva and cold.

To the relief of the mother, everything went as it should (or so we think).

And when she held him in that first moment

All she could think of

Was how grateful she was for that ordeal to be over

And how beautiful her son was.

Motherhood

Being a mother brings out the best and the worst in me.

Sometimes all I want is to cuddle with my son.

Sometimes I just want to hide in the bathroom and lock the door just to be alone and untouched for once.

Sometime I am hyper-vigilant in watching him, to the point that I can catch him before he starts to fall.

Sometimes I look away too long and he falls hard.

Sometimes he is so clean and shiny and he smells wonderful.

Sometimes I can’t remember his last bath.

Sometimes I will read him books over and over again for hours on end.

Sometimes I just hand him books to play with so I can do something else.

Time spent being a mother is time spent tearing yourself in half between selfishness and selflessness. You feel like your identity is in your child and feel lost when you don’t have them near to hold. You want to do everything “right” and never fail. You don’t want others to see your mistakes for fear that they view you as bad at mothering. You will never please everyone, least of all your own self.

Sometimes you pour all your love into one defenseless, little person.

Sometimes you cry.

But that’s motherhood.

Sending Thoughts

Send those thoughts

And send those prayers

If you want to see a change

Then be the one you want to see

I’ve been just like you

So terrified

Hiding behind friendly walls

That make you feel good inside

 
They raised me “right”

And they kept me close

They didn’t mean to torment me

But I knew there had to be more

Now they send their thoughts

And they say their prayers

But I’ve been called to action

And I won’t be scared away from it

 
I don’t care

And I don’t mind

To see you looking down your nose

Maybe you’re

The one who’s blind

Maybe you’re the canine in sheep’s clothes


Marriage Is…

This is a list of the petty, silly, random things I do in my marriage. Yes, so many of these need to change and I am always changing. Both of us are.

Marriage is…

…not what you think it is when you are unmarried.

…nagging someone to the point of frustration, and then realizing you’re more annoying than whatever it was you were nagging them about.

…irrational jealousy and then when you receive attention from others you pretend it bothers you when you actually enjoy it.

…hypocritically doing everything you verbally tell your spouse to stop doing.

…crying uncontrollably in your spouse’s arms when you’re mad at them.

…waiting for them to come home and ignoring them when they arrive.

….cleaning and cooking while declaring your rejection of the 50’s housewife stereotype. 

…demanding them to do multiple things for you and then expecting a back rub when they’re done.

…assuming you will always be watching your movie and calling it the ultimate sacrifice when you watch theirs.

…having breakthrough moments when both of you cling to each other and don’t let go.

…eating breakfast with them in silence and not minding it.

…going to work and wishing they worked with you.

…arguing over who makes the most accurate animal sounds.

…watching your son and taking turns saying, “He’s so cute.”

…graciously brushing your teeth in the morning to give them a fresh kiss.

…realizing every day that you love them and cannot live without them.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: