5 years ago

7 Quick Takes Friday #8

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I’ve never had dreams of food -that I can recall- however, I dreamt of melting butter last week, when I had meant only to thaw it.  Then, in real life, I woke up going  ”hmm, that’s strange.” because I am a diligent thawer of something as delicate as butter.  And wouldn’t you know, later that day, I melted the two sticks of butter I’d sat out to thaw.  GAHHH TWILIGHT ZONE!

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And then I took a Tarjay Vacay.  I have been waiting for nearly 4 years for Disney’s Peter Pan to be “released from the Disney Vault” and come out on DVD in order to have more boyish movies for my children.  Aside from the racism, sexism, negative ideals about the family, smoking and violence I never noticed until now displayed in the cartoon,  I love it! So, little me strolled up to the movie section, gazing at the rows and rows of the de-vaulted Peter Pan treasures, and texted my husband, asking him if he wouldn’t mind me purchasing a BR/DVD for our boys.  
He responds with: “Jif! Crunchy! Juice! Granola Bars!”

So I say to myself, okay, he approves and also requests a few other things… crunchy peanut butter… etc

I walk in the door at home and present my husband with his crunchy Jif peanut butter and he blurts out, “Why did you want to get Peter Pan?”  
“uhhh…. for the boys. You know I’ve been talking about getting it for the last few years! I know they’ll love it.”  I pulled out the DVD and a look of confusion followed by a look of hilarity crossed over his face.  
“OHHH, I was talking about Peter Pan peanut butter!”

…let it be known, that I never, ever discuss peanut butter brands with my husband, nor have I ever purchased the Peter Pan brand.  

Blinded by the belly, my dear. PB&J on the brain.

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I want to put out a visual of what a typical evening with my boys may look like.  As this was happening to me on Monday night, I oddly wished for the moment to be captured and saved, to laugh at in later years:
some may visualize me, hair curled, eyelashes curled, makeup brushed, rosy cheeked, while the children play and the baby giggles and blows sweet little raspberries in a nearby Moses basket, as I gently hum the tune of Debussy’s Clair de Lune and stir a decadent, simmering pot of spaghetti sauce…

En réalité:  I am barefoot. Yes, that’s about the only thing correct from the above speculation.  My hair is unwashed, frazzled, and some part of it has swung and is caught by the corner of my mouth.  I try to spit it out as I realize I am also spitting into the frying pan currently sizzling and possibly burning the vegetables I was single handedly trying to sauté.  

In the other hand is, of course, cradling my 5 month old, who is currently nursing my left boob.  At five months, Collin is too big to simply cradle with one arm.  So how am I nursing him and stirring my vegetables at the same time?  
Barefoot I am: one foot, flat to the floor, the other, hoisted up, toes grappling onto the oven door handle while my leg is bent at a 45 degree angle, supporting the lower half of my nursing 5 month old.

Spitting, sizzling, nursing, slurping, sweating.  To top it off, my 3.5 year old nonchalantly waltzes into the powder room, right in front of my nursing/cooking spectacle, swinging his arms happy as a lark, bellowing, “I’M GOING TO DO A POOOOPY-POOP!”, which means to me that in 2 minutes or less, he’ll need his fanny wiped clean.

“Well, sure.”  I replied.

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I can’t guarantee much about life, but something I absolutely guarantee is that if you’re trying to blog with an infant who is learning to use his limbs, he will make sure you stay disciplined about time spent writing by slapping your device, inadvertently erasing an entire unsaved draft.  ”1, 2, 3….” deep breath. It stunk anyway.

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I want to share this beautiful piece I read earlier this week.  Sarah Mae posted it on FB.  It weaves itself further into my Lenten effort of magnifying the Lord, lessening myself, and serving my family better. When Craig and I argue, it always helps each other when we acknowledge that we are both still trying to fill the occupations into which we’ve placed ourself: A mother, a father, a housekeeper, a provider. It wasn’t like we were married and BAM! “Carolyn possesses all the grace, patience, and selflessness needed to be a mother and wife!”  and likewise for my husband.

We got pregnant, got married (yes, in that order) and BAM! I found myself saying, “WHY do I have to be the one searching under the bed for all Craig’s dress socks!? WHY can’t I have a half hour to give myself a manicure?!”

“One of my biggest adjustments to motherhood was the constant giving, giving, giving. […] I did not even know I was selfish because I had lived my life pretty selfishly all of my life and had never really been accountable to anyone. But then when I had my children and they were always always always there, I did not have anything in me that knew how to handle the burdens.”

Something I could have been told 50 times by veteran moms all around me, and I still could not have sufficiently prepared for, is the LITERAL giving of myself: body, time, thoughts and words. ALL OF ME.  My morning coffee. A moment of silence to collect my thoughts during a time of high stress. The well laughed about peeing-alone. My prayer time. My personal space. Anything I enjoyed to myself, I have given to my children, or I have set aside for them.  Babysitting or nannying couldn’t have even prepared me for it, because baby sitters get to go home at night and sleep a full 8 hours, uninterrupted, and return the next day, having enjoyed the solitary moments of applying makeup or showering. 

“I had never faced my own selfishness until I had children.

Now as an adult, I can see that my children have been my training grounds for building godly character in my own life. Jesus wanted me to learn to be like Him so He gave me children.

When I was so very helpless and overwhelmed and wanted answers, I turned to Him and to the Bible. How did He influence His disciples? How did he lead them in such a way that they all gave their lives to His cause?

Oh, how I wish the answer had been an easier one–Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.

And then, He, the God of the universe, knelt down on the dirty floor and washed 120 dirty toes of men feet, the night He was going to sacrifice His life for these very same men!

Oh, Jesus, I never knew this is what it would take to be a true Christian–a believer with integrity. But, if giving up your life is what you did–as you said, for an example for me to follow, then it must become my own standard-the way to reach my own children–to lay down my life….”


This is a hard truth.  And if someone is a person of material comforts, it would be enough to say, “…and that’s why I’m not having any children.” or, “..and that’s why I’m only having ONE child…” 
Those words are reflective of a very empty sadness. An empty sadness that I have been guilty of allowing myself to be deceived in the past.  I used to not want any children, if you’ve not read my past posts, for the above reasons. 

My children bring my husband and I to Christ.

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I have to postpone my final installation of my 3 part piece, Simplicity, Sanity, & Supermoms til next week.  I’ve had allergy issues this week, or maybe an oncoming cold, rendering me foggy-minded.  It’s taken twice as long to write my 7 “quick” takes.

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I’d like to use my seventh take to ask for prayers for a couple my husband and I look to as mentors: for their ill son, who’s currently hospitalized.  I don’t feel comfortable sharing details, but please pray for their son’s health and his parent’s peace of mind and trust in God’s will.  
Also, join me in prayer for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI during his last week in the papacy. The only other pope to voluntarily step down was Pope Celestine V, in the year 1294!  That’s over 700 years ago!

“Pope Benedict felt a great affection for St. Celestine.

He declared a Celestine Year from August 2009 to August 2010 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the saint’s birth and he visited the saint’s relics twice during his pontificate. During a trip to L’Aquila in 2009, Pope Benedict placed the long woolen pallium he received when he was elected on the saintly pope’s casket and left it there as a gift.

Pope Celestine is mostly remembered for “his reluctance to take up this sort of burden of the Apostolic See” and “actually flees when he hears word he is going to be made pope,” Birk said.

He was plucked at the age of 79 from his secluded life as a Benedictine monk and hermit and thrust into the pontificate after the College of Cardinals broke a two-year-long deadlock and elected him in 1294.

While he never fled, Pope Benedict never kept his reluctance to become pope a secret.

The then-78-year-old pontiff told a group of German pilgrims the day after his installation that he equated the growing consensus among cardinals to elect him pope as “an axe” getting ready to fall on his head. He had been looking forward to a life of peaceful retirement and said he felt “inadequate” for a job that demanded great “dynamism” and strength.

Pope Benedict’s coat of arms features a bear carrying a pack, symbolizing the weight of the episcopate. Pope Benedict has said the image gave him the encouragement to carry out his ministry like a beast of burden, but with confidence and joy.”

Source here.

I find this all extremely interesting and am left in wonderment about BXVI’s spiritual role in our time, especially for the duration of his life from this point on.  I agree with Elizabeth Scalia of Patheos blog, that Benedict XVI may be The Quiet Pope.  But it doesn’t follow that quiet be uninspiring, or unmoving. 

I just edited my entry and am disgusted that each Take begins with “I WANT” “I’D LIKE” OR “I HAVE” ….Cue the Beatles song, I, Me, Mine.  Yuck. 

Have a great week!  Go check out the 7 Quick Takes Friday linkup over at Conversiondiary!

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