Monday, April 30, 2012

My Shopping Cart is Full

For a season, I hated grocery shopping.  Actually a couple different seasons.

I hated it after Noah died.

I hated it when we were near bankruptcy.

I hated it when I felt fat or didn't like myself, but would shop because I had to provide food for my family.

Now I don't hate it.

I kind of like it.

In fact, I really, really like it because I do it with this guy:
...and grocery shopping with him means smooches and giggles and out-of-nowhere hugs and constant "Moo moo's" as he points to pictures of cows hanging in the dairy department (which we pass by) and "Neigh neigh's" as he asks with a questioning voice inflection, wondering if there might be pictures of horses at the which I say, "No, Lover, they don't sell horse at our grocery store..."

"Hooo hooo, ha ha?"

"Yes, Lover, those are bananas."

And he smiles so proudly at himself, and claps his hands in pure joy.

And I smile at myself, because my shopping cart is full.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


In the year 2006, the year Noah was admitted to the hospital, the Mayo Clinic put out a statement that said, 
"97% of all diseases are caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the body at some point."  
Keep this in mind as you read this post...

Alright, that's it!

I've seriously had it and don't feel like staying silent any longer.

My disclaimer is I am not a scientist or biologist or biophysicist, so take it or leave it.

I have researched the world of viruses and bacteria now for almost 6 years.  When your kid dies of "unknown causes" but Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) antigens (Lyme's Disease) were found in his blood and yours...not to mention dozens of mice died at the CDC as a result of being injected with your son's stool,  well, let's just say, your former life of caring about what's going on in Hollywood is shadowed by your secret love of research and the world of biology.  Geeky, I know.  But I eat it up!

I'm not a conspiracy theorist like some out there who think the FDA and CDC are out to kill everyone, or make millions off "creating" or releasing diseases for which, they in turn, design a drug to kill it off, and make even more billions.  That's not my gig.  Entertaining movies.  Whether it's true or not, life's too short to waste my time wondering if Big Brother is Satan or not.

And, I do not think everyone and their dog has Lyme's disease, though a lot more people do than they realize.  But Bb, (a spirochete) or the spiral shaped organism inside of a tick, biting fly, spider or mosquito, (not just ticks, people) which passes to a victim, whether it be an animal or human being, is only ONE OF OVER 300 spirochetes researchers have discovered, each of them contributing conditions and symptoms which either present or mimic an already existing disease, thus, why we have a plethora of misdiagnoses in the world today.  (This will have to be a chapter in my book...)

This only scratches the surface of why I'm worked up today, but a friend posted this on Facebook.

One, this isn't the 80's.  It's not "Forrest Gump," people.  Everyone in Africa does not have AIDS just like everyone in Russia or Ireland is not an alcoholic.  Just like every Italian guy in America isn't in the Mafia.  Just like everyone in Asia doesn't have Bird Flu.  Just like every person south of America's borders does not have Tuberculosis.  Just like every citizen of Connecticut does not have Lyme's Disease.  Just like every person in San Francisco isn't gay.  Just like every woman in Texas isn't a "Good Christian Bitch."  Just like everyone who attends church isn't righteous.  Just like every homeless person isn't unfit for society.  Just like all Right Wing Republicans aren't crazy...just like all Left Wing Liberals aren't crazy.  Just like...just like...

Just like every other ignorant stereotype that causes fear to rise up in people, often truly crippling people to the point of disease and disability, incapable of living this life to the fullest, because they are paranoid and gripped by fear.

Fear because of only knowing some of the truth, though believing they know it all.

We have friends who adopted twins from Uganda.  They were born HIV+.  They are flourishing now in the US because they have a loving family, balanced diet, and access to great medications.  And their numbers are undetectable.  If we lived in the same part of the country, you better bet your ass we'd have them over for barbecues and birthday parties and slumber parties, and I'd be devouring those sweet babies with smooches like crazy!

But guess what?!  They aren't, "My friend's kids with HIV."  They are my friend's kids.  They have names.  They are created by God just like you and I.  They aren't even defined by being adopted.  They are my friend's kids.  She doesn't have "biological kids" and "adoptive kids" she has KIDS!

If Noah had lived outside the hospital in the state he was in when we removed him from life support, would he have been defined as "that kid on life support" or would he have been Noah?

To be UNinvited to a party because a person is HIV+ is probably a blessing because, though the bloggers heart is to love those people still, it's more of a lesson in knowing who your true friends are.  And knowing who your true friends are in this life is one of the greatest gifts of all...

It's also a lesson in the reality that some people get their facts from forwarded emails that have been forwarded and forwarded and forwarded without ever going to the source and learning for themselves.  Regurgitated puke.  Lovely.  Not facts.  Fear.

Here is how HIV is spread.  

UNinvitations are how hatred is spread.

Here is how LOVE is spread.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stop the Insanity!

So, I was waiting for the elevator the other day, pondering life...
photo taken at the Lifelike display at the Walker Arts Museum, Minneapolis,
artist: Maurizio Cattelan

And as I pondered (the elevator took FOREVER...) I got to thinking about the busyness and craziness that is this fast-paced, hectic life.

Often I am caught in the cycle and it takes a concerted effort to jump off the hamster wheel to assess what is good and what is plain and simple:  busyness.

I multi-task.

I would venture guess I might not be the only one, however, just because many of us multi-task, does not make it right.

In some scenarios, multi-tasking is perfectly fine.  An example might be eating chocolate, caramel and sea salt all at once.  Or, even, enjoying a bottle of wine with friends while you grill out and watch the sunset, laughing and rehashing old memories.  These types of "multi-tasking" are beneficial, I would say.

But what about the horrible thing I did to a new friend today when I selfishly put my 2 days worth of dishes from the sink into the dishwasher while the coffee was brewing and as she shared some of her story?  Is that an appropriate kind of "multi-tasking?"

NO.  It's not!

Yes, she is the kind of new friend who feels like we've known each other a while and there is a level of comfort there.  BUT!

I didn't even have the excuse of gathering clean mugs from the dishwasher for our coffee.  The problem is, I hadn't built in any margin from the previous few days and my mom was coming over to watch Ryan while I headed out to do a video shoot (that literally happened last minute) after having coffee with my friend.  I knew if I left the dishes and headed to the shoot, my mom would do them and I didn't want my mom to have to do my dishes...just because I hadn't built margin into my life.

Either way, multi-tasking when it comes to relationships is tricky.  Multi-tasking while shopping in the grocery store without a written list, also tricky.  Phone on one ear, while getting a kid out of a car seat, while holding a diaper bag, purse, coat, sippy cup, and favorite "zebra", super duper tricky...

Dishes can go 3 days, rather than just two.  If I could go back several hours today, I'd say, "Screw the dishes.  Sitting face to face the whole time is more important than dishes."

So, all that to say:  If you are grossed out by coming to my house because my dishes aren't done, but you are looking for a listener, I'm there for you.  I learned my lesson today.  Dishes will always be with us...genuine heart to heart conversation will not.

Sorry, Tracy...I hope you'll give me a second chance.  

Do you have a multi-tasking story, that, when looking back, you know stole your attention from something much more important and eternal?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lost in Translation

I'm kind of cranky about something.  It's been bothering me a while and not until I was able to listen to my 9 year old daughter's perspective on the whole thing, did it come full circle and make sense.

That's right.  I said a child taught me something.  They have so very much to teach us.  Are we watching, listening, learning, and applying it to our own lives?

Anyway, some organizations give out New Testaments.  Not entire Bibles, but just New Testaments.  In the same vein, some people only talk about Jesus.  Just Jesus.  They rarely mention the name, "God" and have forgotten entirely about that other important One, what's His name?  Oh yeah, the Holy Spirit.

For the most part, except for magazines, I read from the first page to the last one.  (I like to flip through a magazine backwards for whatever reason...)  So, I understand why sitting down in front of a Bible could be daunting.  Depending on the translation there are upwards of 1950 pages to digest.  That is a lot of pages.  And they aren't just pages filled with words but filled with stories of many historical events, people, places, not to mention Creation of the whole entire Universe and a whole heck of a lot of wars and prophecies yet to be fulfilled.  So, content is rich and thick.  It's not one of those books you just sit down to with a cup of tea and finish up over the weekend by a fire.

It's also not one of those books you read only once.  At least it isn't meant to be.

What I wonder is why some people are able to devour an entire series of pop culture books that are "all the rage" and recommend them highly to everyone on Facebook and Twitter, but when it comes to consuming the same amount of pages in the Bible, it sits there, unread, crisp and a little dusty?

I've read the Bible.  I've read it a few times.  It was my main textbook in college as a theology major.  And yes, when I became a Christian, I read the book of John first, the proceeded to read the rest of the New Testament before I read the Old Testament.  Because that's what some other people encouraged me to do.  And it's all worked out just fine.  So this concern of mine, it isn't life and death, per se...

But my beef is this:  Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."  (You can read the entire passage and context in Matthew 5:17-20)  So, for people who are ONLY reading the New Testament, there are so many things they are missing out on.  For example, the WHOLE REASON Jesus came in the first place.  And how do you know WHAT LAW He came NOT to abolish?  And how does a person know Jesus is the fulfillment of Biblical and historical prophecy if they only ever read the New Testament?

If you had tripped and fallen on some train tracks and were unable to get to your feet as a locomotive approached, you would be able to see it coming, hear its whistle, assess the situation, realize you need the train to put on its brakes which wouldn't occur in time for your cataclysmic encounter, so you would know with quite clarity that you need a rescuer.

Me:  Em, something has been bothering me lately.
Em:  What's that, Mom?
Me:  Well, some organizations give people New Testaments.  They don't give them the whole Bible.  What do you think about that?
Em:  Well, that's just lame.  I love the Old Testament!  I mean, you know my favorite story is Moses and the plagues.  And what about Joseph being sold into slavery?  Man, if people are only reading the New Testament they are really missing out!
Me:  Why do you think they are missing out?
Em:  Because even though the New Testament is about Jesus and Him saving us from sin and death, it's important to know what we've been saved from.
Me:  That's exactly what I'm talking about!
Me:  It's great that they are getting copies of the New Testament, for sure.  Don't get me wrong.  But why not just give a person the whole Bible and then encourage them with a reading plan of how to tackle the Big Book in bite sized pieces?
Em:  Yeah, I love the Old Testament!  It's my favorite!

Now, granted, some reading may think, "Well, I know what I've been saved from:  drugs, prostitution, addiction, abuse, a crazy childhood, a bad marriage, my own selfishness...."  Yes.  I get that.  Ditto.

But to have a bigger picture of the Grace which has been extended and offered freely to every. single. person. on. earth. we must not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Yeah, I get it.  There's some crazy stuff which is also difficult to understand in the Old Testament.  I'm going to be jotting down some of my personal thoughts on those here, soon.  If you are interested, come on back for more.

But Jesus isn't just the Cliff Notes.

He's the whole 9 yards.

*What are your thoughts on just handing people the New Testament?
*Do you think the message is lost without the bigger picture of the Bible as a whole?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Some Thoughts on Greatness...

Sorry I've been absent for quite some time.  I've been working on this:

And by, "I've been working on this", I mean, I'm totally and completely technically and artistically challenged when it comes to graphic design, so I don't mean that I designed the awesome circle of B's representing Bevy above.  My friend from college in his coolness and awesome style pulled this together!

I've been working on the vision, content, and getting the word out for my non-profit organization, Bevy.  Namely, the Bevy Retreat side of things.  And by "I've been working on this, I really mean, I'm collaborating with AMAZING VOLUNTEERS IN THE MIDWEST WHO ARE WORKING ON THIS..."

Anyway, here are some thoughts that have been careening through my heart and mind over the last several years, but especially the last few weeks, and specifically the last hour or so...

Happy, Happy, Happy Easter!  And when I say that, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with a sweaty creepy guy in a furry polyester rabbit suit.

It has EVERYTHING TO DO with the Savior of the Universe who made a way for me to have an intimate relationship with my very own Creator God!