Sunday, December 7, 2008

Climbing in a womb

A friend that I haven't seen since college, Shelby and her family, live in Bangkok. Her blog fascinates me. She posts adventures of their life living in Thailand along with mouthwatering recipes for Thai cuisine. In her last post she wrote about the Children's Museum in Bangkok at which her children can climb into a replica of their mother's womb.

We have a wonderful Children's Museum here in the Skagit Valley. We are members and try to stop by quite frequently. My son loves driving the Semi-Truck and my daughters could spend hours creating art projects in the wonderful art studio. The thought of them climbing into a womb replica creeps me out a little bit, however, the idea of it has really caused me to think more about Christmas... Just think...that is exactly what Jesus did when he left heaven. He climbed into a womb. He lost all of the pomp and circumstance of heaven and became "God in a Bod". Confining himself into the dark, dampness of Mary's uterus. I know He is God and all...and He probably understood what was happening, but I just couldn't imagine having my Father, the King, coming to me and saying okay here's the deal...I am going to reduce you to the size of an embryo, cover you in amniotic fluid and set you into the womb of a teenage girl. Divinity humbled to the epitomy of humanness. Talk about going out of your comfort zone.

In everyday circumstances I find myself choosing the comfortable rather than awkwardness of uneasy conditions. Philippians doesn't quite do Him justice when Paul claims that Jesus, humbled Himself to the point of a bond-servant... Jesus humbled Himself to the point of a helpless, fragile fetus. Coming to us at Christmas to save us from ourselves. One of my favorite Christmas Songs is by Relient K called Celebrate the Day...
The lyrics say: And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life

God climbed into a womb. Extreme Humility Personified.
Merry Christmas

Monday, July 14, 2008

How many have you read?

So my friend Jen posted this on her blog and she had read a whopping 63. I am feeling pretty good at 30ish. The National Endowment for the Arts posted this list that's making the rounds. According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list. Wouldn't it be fun to have read them all... I know I at least have to work on the Harry Potter books. I think I am the only person in the world who hasn't read them.
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (I know this is pathetic)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I have read a lot of Works of Shakespeare, but probably not the COMPLETE works...)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I've always meant to read this)
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (is this a trick question in terms of #33?)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (does seeing the movie count...I didn't think so)
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (I think I've read this, but can't remember)
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (In the middle right now...don't know if I'll finish)
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams (is this the one with the rabbits??)
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare (one of the works I've read)
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (again, one I've meant to read)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Costa Rica

So my husband, 4 other adults and 11 students just returned from a trip to Costa Rica. That left me with 6 kids of my own to maintain while he was a way. My good friend and neighbor, Sherry, also works with youth and joined the trip to Costa Rica (she is the hot Filipino in the front row) leaving behind her beautiful three children. Her husband, Mark, (my number 2) was also around but he works full-time. That left he and I to "tag team" parent between the six kids. I think we ended up doing quite well. Mostly this was in great part to our awesome church family. Our pastor and his wife helped out a ton. Bruce even took the kids to swimming lessons a couple days while Mark and I both had to work. We only had one major mishap. Yes the picture below shows that my son is growing a second head! While at the pool with Bruce, Charlie managed to bump his head. Many people have declared that it is the biggest bump they have ever seen! The person I feel the sorriest for in this situation had to be Bruce. Oh and Lucy, apparently she was supposed to be helping when all this went down and she felt awful. The other mom's at the pool decided that Bruce was inept and all gave him explicit directions on how to attend to such an injury. Including tips on how to check for a concussion and other wonderfully patronizing remedies. So I fired Bruce from his Manny (male nanny) position and Mark took the kids to swimming the next day. (It was already planned that way, but it sounds better to say I fired him) I am sure the supermoms were pleased to see my new Manny the next day.

All this to say, I had quite an adventure myself, while my husband was off adventuring in a remote banana plantation in La Malinche, Costa Rica. Joel has come home with eleven kids whose lives have been eternally changed as a result of the time in Costa Rica. I am so proud of him and the adult team that shepherd these kids into making decisions that they will never regret. Joel was told that most often after a few months the changes in the kids are non-existent. Not one to adhere to statistics, Joel is determined to see the changes become permanent and has risen to the challenge of providing mentors for each student to help facilitate permanent change. This makes my 10 days of single (well sortof) parenthood worth every minute. There is a woman named Kathy Robbins somewhere in Oklahoma...she sacrificed time with her husband in order to have God work through him to make changes in me. It's my turn; I'm honored.

Monday, May 19, 2008


So my friend Jen has written and published (which is the greater feat by far) her first Young Adult novel called Shift. I have pre-ordered on amazon (follow the link and you can too!) and am waiting for the smiling box to appear in the mail any day. I can't wait to start reading it. Following the Shift's conception and fruition has been fun to be a part of from afar. Not only has it been fun to think that now I can add published author to my repertoire of friendships, but also I have witnessed someone living their dream. That is not something you get to do everyday. So here's to Jennifer Bradbury...someone who has inspired me repeatedly with her tenacity to become who she is meant to be...teacher, wife, author, traveler, friend, mother. Unlike myself, Jen is not a sideline-sitter. I desire to get into the game, but yet always find myself too lazy to move. Jen sets goals and realizes them. From traveling across the country on her bike, to teaching in India, to becoming the wonderful mother of Evie June - she has awakened me to the possibilities that lie within my own self. The limitations I am bound by have only been placed upon me by, well, It's high time that I listen to the beckoning in me and figure out what I have to contribute to this world. Wow, that's sort of intimidating - now I have to do something about that don't I? In the end this blog was really meant to get you to pick up Shift. Look for it at your local, independent bookseller or your local library, or order it on Amazon. Let me know what you think.

confused 3/13/08

So don't you hate it when you have to cough but you just can't get the phlegm to come forth? I have been hacking and hacking at the same junk in my chest for the past week. I am sure it has something growing in it. I probably have some sort of mossy forest growing in the luscious compost that is my phlegm. (I love the word phlegm by the way...not only does it cause my stomach to react with churning at the mere mention of it, but it also has one of the coolest non-phonemic spellings I know - it looks as gross as it's definition) Anyway, who knew I would blog about phlegm - yet since I started directing a child care center it seems that much of my discussions during the day are about some sort of bodily fluid. Whether it be blood, diarrhea, urine, snot, saliva, or the like - I am constantly assessing others by way of their excretions. I am not a big fan of such analysis. I'd much rather estimate one's disposition or wellness based on the smile on their face or better yet, the color of their eyes, but for some reason God chose for us to use the intimacy of relating to one another's mucus and other waste substances. Interesting really... in order to really assess how one is physically doing we really need to get into "their business" so to speak. Yet, when we are getting to know how our friends are doing emotionally or spiritually we tend to shy away. We don't want to offend them by asking too many questions and often times we just ask "how are you" as we run by. Do we really mean it? Do we really desire to know how they truly are doing or feeling? I am one of the biggest culprits of such meaningless exchanges. I tend try and blend into the crowd or better yet I use the class clown tactic. I am the funny-don't-take-anything-too-serious type of gal - therefore if I don't take anything serious then you won't expect me to take you serious either. Kind of, I hate to say it, like a mentally disabled person. Isn't that sad??? I'd rather people consider me mentally challenged than actually risk getting to know people. In the midst of blogging I am self-actualizing and I find myself to be really pathetic. Okay, maybe phlegm isn't so bad....if my friends could just bring me their pee in a cup I could analyze their emotional and spiritual status which I could easily diagnose..."Oh, the pee stick barometer is telling me you need a hug." "Well let's see, Lucy, according to your snot you've had a really rough day at school." Wait, maybe I should go get my mental health evaluated. I am starting to scare myself; you are probably deliberating the quality of our friendship. Trust me - I understand, but at least I'm working on it. After this blog, I'll be even more diligent.

i am a cheater 2/21/08

So crowder had us play a little game... Pull up your itunes and push random and voila tell us who pops up, and then he stated...I will know if I like you. You see, I really want Crowder to like me.... even though I probably will never meet the man (how does one get meet and greets anyway??). His theological philosophy is one I ascribe to and have enjoyed musing over. God inspires me through the music He has gifted to crowder (and fellow crowderbandmates) and his sarcastic sense of humor leads me to believe we could be friends.

However, my music, I am afraid might cause him to revolt and say, No - I definitely don't like could she even think we could be friends. my attempt to try to win over the cool kids...i became a cheater...
My first inclination was to use my own playlist as I have music on my computer that is my 10 year old daughter's as she syncs her ipod using my computer. Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers...even Barlowgirl..not my music so not a representation of whether or not I should be "liked". So I am not sure if that is considered cheating or not, but doesn't seem fair. (I know you are saying, sure...nice cover...but it's true, I promise..)

My next dilemma however is that in order to be a cool kid, I have learned that you must listen to Sufjan Stevens. I do own a Sufjan album...however, it is his Christmas album. In my playlist, I do not have my Christmas albums added. I have a Christmas playlist, therefore when I hit random there will be no Sufjan in the in order to not have Hannah Montana I had to give up Sufjan as well. I am confident that was a good choice because I am sure Sufjan would be quite dismayed to be in a playlist with Billy Ray's girl.

Secondly, I like country music. You'd think the boys from Texas would too, but you can never be too sure about that. Now, I am selective at the type of country music I listen to. I am not a big Kenny Chesney fan...don't really care for George Strait (although I've heard he's supposedly the king of country music)...but I really like a good Dixie Chicks song and I think Faith Hill has an amazing voice and well, Tim McGraw- he's just hot... So I know this admission of Country Music lovin' knocks me off the cool kids list for sure.

Third, I like indie music...I support indie artists...I go to local shows...however...I don't own a ton of this music. I know those coolies they have all the indie jams. The Shins...all the cool kids like The Shins..I've been meaning to get one of their albums...I did however buy the new Juno Soundtrack. It's good. I don't own any dylan...I don't own any kanye...I don't own any radiohead...I know you could get it for free. I will, I promise...I don't know why I haven't, I just keep forgetting.

So, when I hit shuffle, I looked it over and it just didn't seem cool I hit shuffle again, and again, and again, and again....finally with the realization I was never going to be cool enough. The level of cool is just too high for me to attain. In the midst of this I embraced it. I embraced all that makes Napoleon dynamite. I made my list (omitting artists listed twice - also cheating I know) I am sticking with it. I know I have a lot of evolving left to do on the turntable. Wait...the cool kids probably don't use a turntable do they? Shoot...

blog announced 12/17/2007

  • Writing is so personal, however if it is never proclaimed what good is it really? Your thoughts are yours alone, but why write them down if you never want them read... I have been struggling with this myself. I enjoy writing and feel a sense of accomplishment when finished with a journal piece, poem or random musing, yet I have never allowed anyone, save a professor or two, to read my rantings. Now on the world wide web for all to see seems both narcissistic and a bit excessive, yet at the same time familiarly comfortable. Much like going to a crowded place and becoming a shrinking violet, hoping no one will notice, yet longing to be seen. You can say, "I was there!", and everyone can respond, "Funny, I didn't see you." Giving you the satisfaction of having been at the party, but not the responsibility of participation. Anyway all that to say, my writings have now been unleashed. Through my myspace profile I have invited my friends to join me in this adventure in composition. Ready, set, go

My 1st blog...11/17/2007

  • Wow, I never thought I would join the ranks of blogging. I am more of a reader than a writer. Reading others insights has been intriguing to me and never would have I thought that my insights might be intriguing to others. But it is a nice outlet for my thoughts in a concrete way. Hopefully as my feet have grown bigger than the stamp of them in the concrete outside my parents home, my thoughts too will grow bigger. In the past my personal defenses have caused me to stump my own growth. Thinking, like most 20somethings, that I had all the knowledge I would ever need and also that I should bestow such wisdom onto others. That the elders around me weren't progessive enough or valuable enough to have worthwhile suggestions of their own. Now into my thirties I am realizing that I missed out on a good deal of wisdom and words. Why we go to college in our late teens and early 20's is beyond me. All of the vast knowledge offered and I took it all for granted, thumbing my nose at studying and laughing at not going to class. Here I sit longing for education, longing to know more, to learn more, to engage more. So blogging and reading others blogs is an exercise in education for me. I employ on this journey with great expections. Growing in my knowledge not only of this world and those who God has placed in it, but mostly growing in my knowledge of self.