Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Toward Discipline

I would like to become better at prayer, fasting (well, this one will have to wait until March or so), silence and meditation in an attempt to orient myself toward those things which truely matter. My heart is so cluttered with things that I either have no control over, that don't matter, or that I cannot do anything about at this moment anyway. These thoughts (namely, trying to figure out a balance between finances and being mom; do I need to get a new job? Do I work part time or full? How do I give Steve enough time off being a stay-at-home dad so that he can get his research done? Where is my career going?) distract me from thoughts of Him, from discipline that would ultimately bring me closer to Him. There is a place I'd like to be, and it is not where I now am.

So, friends who are more learned than I regarding those saints who have gone before us, can you give me any advice from their life? How does one work to become disciplined in prayer/silence/meditation? I read some of The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers this weekend and it was somewhat inspirational. Little tidbits to focus on which help reorient ones being.

I am not who I would like to be, nor am I fully who He made me to be. Any advice or encouragement would be appreciated!

Monday, October 23, 2006


I enjoyed spending this weekend with other UNC friends at the beach. (In NC "the beach," for you Minnesotans, refers to da big beach, the super long beach, aka the ocean.)

Pictures are below to make you jealous.

I had fun playing games, baking (I made three loaves of bread & a batch of cookies, all of which didn't make it more than an hour before being totally consumed), singing some good old fashion hymns, swimming (but not "too far out"), crocheting a baby blanket (until I ran out of yarn) chatting with friends, doing homework on the beach (no better place), reading Brother's Karamozov, and bird watching with my hubby. While going for a sunset swim, we had a flock of pelicans fly directly (I'm talking 2 feet) above our heads. BEAUTIFUL! (Hubby was elsewhere bird-watching and missed this.) We also discovered that everything written on Wikipedia about our gracious host (Dr. Brooks) is true. He'd never checked out his Wikipedia page, wasn't even sure he had one. Using the neighbor's wireless, we fact-checked. We're happy to say that, at least in this case, the site is right. We then discussed whether or not making it on Wikipedia was a worthy life goal. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I have nothing else to say today. Except, less than six hours until I go to the beach! WOOT for Fall Break!

Friday, October 06, 2006


I just did the math. When Dad was my age, he was a father of two.
(I'm falling behind!) When I was the age dad was as the father of two, dad was the grandfather of 5.5.

Welcome to a new year of life. We love you lots!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Solution to "shadow" 2a. (see below)
Thanks, Ten, for the nice reality check in regards to the weight "problem." That, combined with the solution outlined below, have eased anxiety. I can now dance around my living room again without feeling like a hippo.

SOLUTION to feeling really really super huge b/c of pregnancy:
Go to an event where lots of other pregnant women will be. Last night Steve and I did a walk through of the maternity ward. Of the half a dozen women there, I was by far the skinniest. One lady asked if I was even sure I was pregnant. :) I was, I think, the only women there in my second trimester, the rest of the women were due sometime between early November and early January. One woman looked EITHER like she was due two weeks ago, OR like she was about to pump out triplets. Neither was the case. She assured us her due date was not until the beginning of November, and that "it was like this with my first one, too." Her first one, the cute four year old red head with lots of questions, could have lead the tour by the time the evening was through. Another woman demonstrated to me how to know that I was REALLY big. "When you get to the point where you have to crane your neck around your belly to see the scale, THEN you'll know what it is to be big." She then demonstrated; it looked like quite the feat. I'm going to have to limber up so that I have the flexibility to do back-flips to read the scale in a few months. Then again, by that point, I don't think I'll want to read the scale anymore. :)

It was really nice to have an image of where the end of this whole pregnancy thing will take us. It was like seeing a big package wrapped up underneath the Christmas tree, and sneaking a peak and seeing that it's for you. Granted, the unwrapping of this particular present will be a little more painful than tearing off paper, but it'll be worth it. :) Steve and I both were impressed with the quality of the room. Steve eyed the loveseat when we walked in. "That's where you sleep" I joked. Turns out, I was right. BUT, it folds out into a very long couch, so Steve'll be comfy. They even will bring sheets, etc.

I'm a bit excited now. Not for the next three months, but for the month or so after that, yes. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This may not be an appropriate rant, and so likely I'll delete it before it's been here too long. This is me using this blog as a journal entry. Don't read any further if you don't think blogs should be used for this sort of thing. After all, this blog is said to be just a way to keep in touch, not a way for yours truly to unbury her past.

Fall is a BEAUTIFUL time of year. I LOVE the 70 degree weather and sun of the south combined with the colors of the north that hits us this time each year. (Yes, I AM, indeed, saying something positive about NC weather here... I'm not a TOTAL MN die-hard).

As I reflect on the general state of my life, only three things cause a shadow to fall on my face.

1. Family is far away – I miss you all!
2a.I now weigh more than I ever, ever, ever in my life have even been CLOSE to weighing. (A couple "hippy commune" friends suggested a "200 pound party" as a bench mark of my "success." I politely decline, thank you very much!) -- This, honestly, though, is only half a shadow on my face, as it's not really that BAD of a thing, just an unfortunate side-effect of a very good thing. I’m just worried it’ll never come off.
2b. Steve has not got a dissertation topic yet, this (also) is only half a shadow, as he's working hard, and I'm sure he'll find one soon. It's a shadow only insomuch as it's bothering him, so therefore it's bothering me too.
3. I have been betrayed by a former best friend. (This will be the longer rant, read on only if you dare.) I do not know how to approach this brand of betrayal or this person. I don't know if I should let this one sit in hopes that Friend will approach me, or shake my friend so hard that Friend must give me some reason for this wrong done. Our friendship at the point of betrayal was not as close as it had been previously. As such, this did not hit as hard as it would have in years past. Indeed, I would have the ability to accept this blow, if but friend would acknowledge (a) that it was a purposeful blow and (b) that it was not (or that it was, whatever the case may be) retaliation for something I did or said. If it is retaliation, I'd like to have the opportunity to know how I have wronged Friend, and have at least the opportunity to feel Friend's pain and say that I am sorry.

To have someone formerly so close seemingly suddenly turn, without any reason that I can guess, is causing quite the cognitive dissonance. It's also casting a shadow that I don't like on the memories of the last decade of my life. I no longer take happy memories at face value; I try to see the betrayal lying in the shadows, try to find something that would foreshadow this blow, thus making it less severe.

In case said friend happens upon this post, I am not asking for the friendship renewed, I think it's clear that's not what you'd like. I'd just like a bit of closure, I'd like the smallest amount of respect and Christian affection that says, "Hey, I know we were once close, we're not anymore and I don't want to invest time in this friendship. We're both at a new point in life, so I'm going to draw some distance between us now." I'm ready to draw that distance, too.

As it is a song on the radio or a picture in my album will remind me of Friend, and make me smile, then make me sad, as the mystery of why this friendship went sour returns, and again my brain tries to work out the math, replay all of our last interactions. I understand Friend moving on, being less close, but I don't understand Friend's betrayal. Friend, I miss you. I have a band you introduced me to, a band you love, that I have come to love. Nearly every time that band finds its way to my radio, a smile and sorrow hit my heart and a prayer is said for you.

Want to help?

Friends who are not Friend, if you have had a friendship built on solid years suddenly turn, and have either advice or consolation, feel free to offer it.

If you have a dissertation topic for Steve, feel free to give it.

If you have a way to not gain 25-40 lbs during pregnancy, feel free to share the knowledge.

If you have a way to make Thanksgiving (and thus family) come faster, do share!

And finally, if you find you can experience peace, joy, and love for your fellow man – no matter the circumstance – rejoice because you are blessed. Shalom to you all.

Oh, and remember Autumn ROCKS! [If I was really cool, I’d put a picture of autumn rocks here. Maybe I’ll edit this post and add a pic later.]

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