This and that, and why I think I’m pretty boring.

I got an email yesterday from a long-time friend/supporter that I only know through the electronic world.  Electronically, she’s a dear, sweet person.  She started off her note by telling me how she couldn’t do what I do, and that if the Lord had called her she would have just argued with Him until He went away.  I tried that, Sweet Sister.  Doesn’t work.

We’ve had an uneventful Sunday around here.  Church this morning.  My blood sugar did That Thing again, the one where I end up lying on the floor in a storage room in the church basement sweating and shaking and sick to my stomach with the black parts around the edge of my vision, until all of a sudden it’s over and I’m fine again.  I have no idea what causes it, and I don’t know how to fix it, and my doctor has no idea what is causing it, so he doesn’t know how to fix it either.  *Sigh*  After church we went to lunch with good friends and talked about the Olympics.  We laughed about the laughy parts and as a collective group tried to figure out curling.  We finally decided that it’s shuffleboard on ice.  We have a shared love for snowboarding (the watching, not the doing) and skiing.  After lunch we came home and I put my pajama pants on, and my hoodie, and declared to anyone who cared that I wasn’t leaving the house again today.  It could catch fire and I would probably just sit on the couch and fiddle.  (Kudos if you get the joke.)

My friend in the email mentioned that she couldn’t do what I do.  But she could, I think.  See, we are pretty normal, and pretty boring down here.  At least I think we are.  Dan gets up each morning and goes to work.  Patrick and I do his schoolwork in the morning and then pretty much nothing in the afternoon, because my body despises the altitude that I live at and runs me out of energy by noon.  The cool part of our lives is that we get to help people.  There are all kinds of amazing things happening here.  Women are being rescued from the sex industry and given a new hope.  We are teaching women who work in a garbage dump how to sew and make beautiful things and earn an income to support their families so that they don’t have to work in the dump anymore someday.  Not today, but someday.  Babies get fed and rocked and loved on, and they are safe and cared for and their mommas and daddies can go to work and not worry about them.  Kiddos get after school tutoring to help improve their grades and their self esteem, all in one shot.  They get to stay at our After School Program until their parents get off of work, and be kids, instead of having to go home and care for younger siblings, or run the streets and get into heaven-knows-what.

There is more.  Much more.  And we get to be a part of it.  Us, with our boring existence.  We get to be a part of all of this stuff.  God uses us, boring as we are.  When people tell me that they couldn’t do what I do, it makes me feel a little funny, because I’m nothing special.  Alone and on my own, I would just continue to do The Things.  You know, like falling off of my back step and ending up with a bruise the size of Columbus on my leg.  Or ignoring the laundry until it becomes an entity all it’s own, with a pulse and stuff.  I swear I’ve seen it crawling across the floor toward the washing machine.  We eat too much take-out, although I’m trying to fix that.  We watch too much TV and Patrick spends too much time on the computer (although in my defense, his schoolwork is 90% computer based, but still…)

What we do–what I do–is only happening because God is right there, in it, making it happen.  My job is to try and get out of His way, and if something amazing happens, to make sure that people know that it’s ALL.  HIM.  Because seriously, people.  This amazing, crazy, boring, exciting life…is all Him.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein




I will never, ever be on time again. For anything.

I hate being late.  If the invitation says “6:00”, we had better be walking in the door at 5:55 or I am going to have a squirrel.  I kind of blame my stepdad for this one.  Lord love him, that man made me late for more band practices than I could possibly count.  We lived 20 minutes from the school.  If band practice started at 6, and my mom put dinner on the table at 5:15 so that I wouldn’t be late, he still had to chew every bite 100 times and think about the spiritual implications of what he was eating and who grew it and whether or not he liked it and…I NEVER got to band practice on time.  For that reason, I developed a need to be on time that is borderline obsessive.  Actually, I crossed the border a long time ago.

My husband and my older three children learned early on to MOVE IT.  Don’t make Mom late, guys.  It’s not worth the meltdown.  All four of them are now very good at being on time.  Then…our family had Patrick.


He is hands down the slowest child alive.  Two speeds.  Snail and stuck.  This morning I had a doctors appointment.  Dan went and got him out of bed and started the process of getting dressed.  After 10 minutes of trying to sweet talk him out of bed, Dan finally got him on the floor.  Patrick then went and flopped on the couch, on top of the dog.  Another 10 minutes and he moseyed into the bathroom to brush his teeth, another 10 minute process.  I then reminded him that he needed to get dressed.  After 5 minutes of whining, he wandered into his room.  I got his clothes out, but he didn’t like what I chose, so he then proceeded to pick out his own clothes.  15 minutes later he has on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  I am on the verge of losing my mind and Dan is frantically hunting for my medication–whether he wanted to give it to me or take it himself is debatable.  Patrick, meanwhile, is sitting on the couch with one sock in his hand.  I tell him, in my best “Mommy is about to lose her schlitz” voice, that he HAS to put his socks on because we HAVE to leave.  He puts one sock on, complaining the whole time so loudly that I’m sure the neighbors wondered what we were doing.  FINALLY, he puts the other sock on, we wrestle him into his tennis shoes and head out the door.  I am now late, stressed, frustrated and have lost my temper…and it’s not even 10 in the morning yet.

He is the most relaxed, laid back child alive.  Nothing is urgent.  Never in a hurry.  We are never on time.  I can’t make him move faster, and he weighs too much for me to move him.  I’ve tried backing things up 15 minutes so that we can leave on time, but he just considers that 15 more minutes to argue with me.  Yesterday we had an argument about leaving to catch a FLIGHT.  I told him when we got to the airport that he wasn’t allowed to putz–that he really needed to keep up.  He was 10 paces behind us all day, instead of his usual 15, so I guess that’s progress?

I have thought about giving up, being late and calling it a day.  I can’t.  If I am late for something, even a minute or so, I may as well skip the whole thing.  Patrick and I have to come to a compromise.  And by compromise I mean that he had better start seeing things my way and get his little tush in gear, before I completely lose my mind and end up in a home somewhere talking to the birds on the wallpaper.

I am a teacher.  I know how to write behavior plans.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Move it, Boy.