Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Contemplations Of International Brutality

Innocent people being brutally murdered by ISIS. Yes, this is bothering me. In fact it is bothering me to an extreme level. It is such a complicated issue, and yet so simple. Why can't we do SOMETHING to stop them? I sit in my air conditioned house, doing my normal routine of house-wifery work, and in the back of my head I cannot even begin to comprehend what these people are going through.

I am severely angry and severely disappointed in what is happening on the other side of this planet that we all share. Of course, this type of brutality has happened for centuries and even happens in countries like North Korea, but we just do not realize it. The publicity that ISIS wants is giving us a glimpse into the ugly reality of wickedness.

As an American who grew up in the public school system in the 70s and 80s, I remember learning about American patriotism and Russian communism. I remember learning about Hitler and the USSR. I remember, as a 10 year old little girl, thinking:  "Why did the PEOPLE LET Hitler slaughter the Jews?" This was something we talked about as little kids on the playground at recess after sitting through a social studies lesson. I remember when we used to tell each other "We would NEVER let something like that ever happen again".  And here we SIT! We SIT. We grocery shop. We drive our kids to ballet class. We drink our coffe. We eat 3 + meals a day and complain when we need chocolate!

I feel like my hands are tied. Does anyone else feel like this?

 I sometimes feel just like this ape!

What can we do???

Of course we can pray! AND...

The other realistic thing we can do is PAY ATTENTION to what our elected officials are saying and DOING! I see them sitting on their behinds and DOING nothing or DRAGGING their feet and waiting....WAITING for WHAT!!!???

I am pretty sure one of the most significant things we CAN do is VOTE!!!

I am disgusted and angry and I hope you are too. And I hope you will vote and think very carefully about what and who you are voting for at the next election. Pay attention to history and voting records and the actions of these politicians.

I wonder...what would be different today if someone else had won the last major election? Does it really matter? Does it?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Motherhood: The Half Empty Nest Syndrome

I have found myself once again, reading a blog post about "Motherhood" and it was such a GREAT post, but when I got the end I was left hanging with this question "What about me?"

I remember those hard years with little ones; believe me I do. I had a 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and a newborn once upon a time. I have these vague memories of living in the trenches with little ones. I call them "vague" because I often found myself in "survival mode", and by God's Grace "survival mode" memories often get erased.

Today, I find myself in a very important phase of motherhood that often goes unnoticed. It is this really funky phase that is REALLY hard. I totally have not been prepared for it. It hurts and yet at the same time there is great JOY in it. My nest is not empty, so nobody seems to care. My nest is just half empty. But, do you know something! Half empty is still really hard!!! I miss my 21 and my 19 year old. My oldest is in Germany for an internship, my 19 year old is living with her friend and is engaged to be married in June!! My 17 year old is graduating from our homeschool this year and I am still homeschooling a 15 year old.

Why Being A Mom Is Enough is a fabulous article about motherhood. In fact, it might the best article ever written because it gets to the core issue and the heart of being a mom. But, when I got to the end, I said "WAIT!!! What about me?" She ended the article like this:

" A mother is the person, the woman, just like you. The woman with little ones in her care that she loves, and sometimes wonders how she loves them because they’re driving her batty, but still she does. She fights, gives, prays, works, and doesn’t give up even when she wants to throw in the towel. 
That’s you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday. I say that is enough.  It is more than enough. You are amazing."

WHAT????What about Me? I no longer fit in this category of motherhood. I don't have little ones, boo boos to kiss, kids to tuck in bed, nobody driving me batty. I DONT WANT TO THROW IN THE TOWEL. I am still a mom, but my kids are growing up. Let's face it, I am the mom of 2 adult children.

So, if the author does not mind, I have decided to add one more paragraph. It is intended for the mom who is like me. Please insert just before "That's you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday."

.... And after the "tucking in at bedtime" phase is over, once they start to grow wings, the mom is the branch from which they fly. The branch stays and and as the winds blow, she bends in prayer for those grown ones who have found their roost in another tree. They will return to visit, but your branch is now a place of comfort and rest, instead of a place they call "home".

Thursday, March 13, 2014

13 More Mom Truths

Yesterday this article popped off the page and it REALLY caught me. I had to read it!

13 Mom Truths posted on Huffington Post's Blog page. This surely will be either funny or inspirational, but as I read on and on and on, I was greatly disturbed by the fact that this mom obviously only knew some of the truths of motherhood. I mean seriously, she said in number 11: "Sippy cups leak. Toys break. Those things don't matter." 

Ok, so I am at number 11 and she is still talking about mothering a toddler! Really? There are so many more levels of "Mom Truths" than toddlerhood and grade school aged kids! I am still hoping that by number 13 she might have some incling of a "truth" about being the mom of a child who is actually taller than you! But, to no avail, my craving for something about being an older mom was not satisfied. She was spot on with her 13 points, but I suppose the title is what threw me  off guard. I was hoping that the article would include the many layers and seasons of motherhood.


Welcome to my season of gray haired mothering! I decided to continue the "Mom Truth" Saga where she left off. Allow me to list her first 13 before I write my commentary response.

In case you don't want to click on the original article, here are Rachel Martin's excellent young motherhood "13 Mom Truths" in a nutshell: 

1.  Your house is not a reflection of your parenting skills. 
2.  Sometimes you just need to read the same book over and over again.
3. Meltdowns in the store happen. 
4. You will be tired. 
5. Some days will be tedious. Other days normal. Other days challenging. Other days amazing. Motherhood is like a roller-coaster ride of days. 
6. Kids get sick. 
7. Fewer things equal less stress. 
8. You'll make mistakes. 
9. Laundry will never be done. 
10. Get down on their level.
11. Sippy cups leak. Toys break. Those things don't matter.
12. Don't worry about savoring every single moment.
13. There is no supermom. There is only the real mom. 

My motherhood season in response to hers in decending order

13: There may be no supermom. But ONE DAY, you will be SUPER GRANDMA and that day is coming soon!
12. Savor every moment, because they are almost grown up and when they leave, you will miss them so much more than you can imagine!
11. Cars get wrecked, insurance premeiums go up. These things matter, because someone has to pay the bills.
10. Let your teens fail and help them up, but don't rescue them from their consequences. When they are adults, Accept them for who and what they have become even if you don't understand why they make the choices they make. 
9. Laundry will never be done. In fact when they are teens and young adults, you will have more laundry because all their clothes are BIGGER and when they come home from college, the laundry pile is literally an avalanche.
8. You'll still make mistakes and you are actually at risk for making bigger mistakes the older they get.
7. Yep, fewer things still equal less stress.
6. Kids still get sick, and the older you get when you get sick, the longer it takes to get better. But, the good news is, that when you are sick, you don't have to take care of the little ones while you are puking your guts out. You actually get to stay in bed and rest. You have earned this priviledge!
5. Mothering teens is still often like riding a roller coaster, but as they get older, the roller coaster becomes more like a steady train ride as you build your confidence in letting them grow their wings and fly out of the nest.
4.  You will still be tired, because when they are teens they stay out LATE. The side benefit is that now you get to sleep in and since they sleep in too, the house is nice and peacefull till about noon.
3. Meltdowns in the store only happen when you forgot why you went to the store. Your teens have now drained you down to the point of nearly suffering from alzheimers. 
2. Now that you have read those books over and over again. Just toss them in the trash and go get yourself a nice big glass of wine and drink it over and over again.
1. Your house is now a reflection of your teens who did not do their chores!

Now excuse me while I go pamper myself in my quiet house,  enjoy my sassy gray hair and glass of Chardonnay and repeat as often as you want.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


In a house full of people there is almost inevtiably always an appliance running. The purr of the dishwasher, the vroom of the washing machine, the whirring of the clothes dryer; the noise never ceases. Yet, silence, it is what I long for. I love quietness and the still, soft whispers of the wind. As, I sit here reading my book, suddenly, the dishwasher stopped and all became quiet; all, except the tick- tock of the clock. I remember as a child when I would try to fall asleep as a guest in the home of a family who owned a ticking clock. The sound of that "tick" and that "tock" drove me crazy and kept me awake all night tossing and turning, wishing I could smash the clock!

tick-tock, Tick-Tock TIck-TOck, TICk-TOCk, TICK-TOCK...


Slipping away!!

The sounds of time! Oh it seems slow and quiet, but really what is time? Time is always chasing us and yet running ahead of us. The pendulaum swings. How do we catch it and how do we slow it down?

I am 43 now. My oldest is 21 and in Germany, my 19 year old is getting married in 3 months, my 17 year old is graduating in 10 weeks, my 15 year old is going to summer camp for a month in July! How did this happen???? Instead of the tick tock of the cuckoo clock keeping me awake, the worries of motherhood turn round and round in the workings of my mind,

Take my hands Lord!
In the midst of that "tick" and that "tock", they grew up! How does a mom prepare for the kids flying out of the nest? How do we handle this huge and seemingly sudden change from diapers to marriage? Why is it that the hands of the clock stay the same, but the hands of a mother constantly change?

I am not sure, but as I sit and listen to the tick-tock of my clock, I am reminded that my life is ticking away and I have but a short time to remain on this earth. What am I going to do with my next 40 years? I am not sure!! But, I am praying and asking God, "What shall I do now?"

I am waiting in the quiet, while the sounds of time are chasing me down, for the whispers of God to show me what is next.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My thoughts about Towers In The Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

Christ Church in England
The setting of this book is at Christ Church, the home of Oxford University in England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. One of the characters I found to be quite interesting was Sir Walter Raleigh and it intrigued me to read more about his real life and his accomplishments to see how it lined up with his character in the story. It also inspired me to investigate the history of Queen Elizabeth's visit to this church, as it had been established by her father King Henry VIII.  Upon some investigation, the queen did indeed speak to the faculty and students on September 5, 1566 and her speech can be read here.

Christ Church from the South-East side across the meadow

My favorite part about the book is within the pages of the last few chapters. It took me a year to read this book, as I like to read many books simultaneously so as to savor them. The first two thirds of this book were dragging for me, but it was well worth the effort. The profound words of Miss Goudge jumped off the pages in the last few chapters. I truly believe that she is the most exquisite author of beautiful literature. She is able to put ideas into words that make each sentence truly exquisite.

My goal in reading stories is to find the treasure! The treasure of golden nuggets that plant within my soul a truth to ponder that will grow within me a new way of thinking, so that I can become a better person. The golden thread that wound itself around my soul is the idea that peace and inspiration are two of the most important elements of our life on this earth.

Queen Elizabeth was giving her climactic speech to the people of Christ Church. It was an eloquent speech, although the real speech is different, I still enjoyed the spiritual depth and insight that Miss Goudge put into creating this speech. This part in the queen's speech really stopped me dead in my tracks! Through the pen of the author, Queen Elizabeth said:  

"...peace and inspiration are the two gifts of God that we most need in this our pilgrimage. If we have peace in our hearts the disorder and cruelty of of life will not overwhelm us with despair, and if we have even for a short while seen that flash of light from another country that men call inspiration we shall have the courage to attempt, however unsuccessfully, to do our part in quieting the disorder and quelling the cruelty; until we have battled through them and our rest is won....And it is in such houses as this my scholars that we find that peace and inspiration..."

Peace and Inspiration. Is my home a place of peace? Do I intentionally create an atmosphere of peace in my home? Do I intentional create an environment that breeds itself to inspirations? How can I make my home a place where these 2 fundamental facets of life are abundant?

My pondering continues. I am wondering how to really bring forth the atmosphere of peace and inspiration into my home. I must clean out the clutter of my mind, so that I can eliminate the clutter of things, in order that I might create room for that which brings forth peace and beauty. All things beautiful start with a seed of inspiration and must be planted into soil that has been prepared so it can nourish the seed to sprout and bloom into an idea which springs forth beauty.

From seed to sprout to blossom: beauty must be born from inspiration

"...he paused to look back at the towers and spires so delicately penciled against the glorious dawn sky that curved above them in the semblance of a great circle. He felt a pang of pain to think that he must so soon leave it all, but yet he had at the same time a glorious feeling of permanence. Raleigh at the last had been quite right. Love was an unchanging thing, not at emotion but an element in which the whole world had its being. All the lovely things upon earth, beauty and truth and courage, were faint pictures of it, even as the puddles of rain water at his feet held a faint picture of the fiery sky bending above the earth. And in the mind of man too the flame was caught and held; in his own mind whose strength and vigor made it possible for his eyes to see this picture of a fair city and a golden sky, for his heart to feel for Joyeuce an affection so strong that he dared to call it by the name of that eternal and embracing love."- Elizabeth Goudge, Towers In The Mist