Anglican Angst

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I was two years old when the Presbyterian Church of America was formed and I, of course, didn’t know that my daddy had been approached to pastor a small group of families who were pulling out of the PCUSA to plant a church in this new fledgling denomination.  My entire life has been spent in the pews of PCA churches and while I spent a small stint of time in a Baptist church during college and an EPC church while living in GA, I never moved my membership from the denomination of my youth.

When we moved to Fort Collins it became clear very quickly that the small PCA church here was not a good fit for our unusual family. We visited around and Honey got a glint in his eye over a small Anglican church; we have been there ever since. This has not been an easy transition for me and I have felt like a traitor, martyr, and foreigner at different times over the past year; at times I have just felt foolish.

After sharing with the pastor (I still can’t call him priest) my latest faux pas this week, he mentioned with a laugh that I should write down some of my observations, struggles, and blunders and, while he was partly kidding, I thought I might do just that. While it will be good for a laugh or too from the uninvested reader, it might also be therapeutic and help me process the season of life we are in and the “foreign land” to which the Lord has called us. And maybe, just maybe, when my kids are grown and called to live in a small town in Iowa that only has churches with which they are unfamiliar, they will remember these stories and find aid and comfort as they attempt to love and worship amongst a different tribe.

Or, let’s be honest, it might just become the subject of many a family joke of which I will be the brunt as they age. Yeah – most likely that one.

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Last Week 2015

2016-goalsIf I can get past the fact that my kids are stir crazy ’cause it’s 20 degrees outside with  8 inches of snow on the ground, this is my favorite week of the year. I love when the tree is down, the decorations are put away, and the house feels so ordered and clean (if I can get past the kids being home with their toys all over their rooms). The last week of the year begs for planning and dreaming for the year ahead and that’s my jam!

I’ve got out my planner and a notebook and some markers and I’ve read through last year’s plans (which were useless and forgotten) and I’ve been dreaming. Usually my dreams are big, numerous, and overly ambitious (read unrealistic); I have a feeling that this year they will look different.

I think I am going to peruse this list and choose one, two, or three things to make my own.

I think I am going to peruse this list and choose a few books to help create my book list for 2016. I read 37 books last year and this year I am going to decrease the quantity of my goal and increase the quality of what I’m reading.

I’ve been perusing some sites that include “Copywork” for the children in scripture. I am trying to think of how I can adapt this for my children’s growth. I really want to be purposeful with their little hearts this year.  Time’s a-wastin’.

That’s where I’m starting. I’m excited to spend sometime accessing where I am after a year of inactivity and apathy; I might use Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life and the list found here.

See, I can quickly get carried away. I’m just excited that I care – and I do care.  I’ve got three days to contemplate and plan – three glorious days!!! I’m so excited.

 

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Halloween Was SO Emotional

Took the kids to Respitality this weekend (local organization provides monthly respite for parents of children with special needs) and the theme for the night was all things Inside Out. It reminded me that I never posted Halloween pictures.

This was the first year we didn’t have an idea brewing in the summer. Seriously, my kids have always had an idea or I have seen a common love and the ideas have just flown from there. This year that was NOT the case. KB wanted to be Mal from Disney’s Descendants (costume=$80 store bought and almost as much to put together creatively) and the first week of October Bubba mentioned Toad from Super Mario. By that time Little had seen a Joy costume and said that would be good and I felt it was the PERFECT costume for our Little Joy and so I suggested everyone go as an emotion.

Bubba was immediately on board and asked if he could be Anger. We all voted that it would be a fitting costume and went on. KB pitched a bit of a fit about not being the cruel daughter of Disney’s scariest villain. I gave her the choice between Sadness and Disgust but her attitude was so . . .well, disgusting, that I made the choice for her and went to Goodwill to look for a dress in green.

By the time it all came together everyone was content and they had a GREAT time wearing their costumes to school during the day and Trick-or-Treating that night. Our neighborhood is FULL of kids and Halloween IS BIG. It was super fun; felt like a community. But I didn’t get all teary. . . I kept my emotions in check. *wink* Get it? My emotions?

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As a bit of a side note, the kids carved pumpkins for the first time in their lives too.Now, for those of you who are shocked by that, calm down! I didn’t carve a pumpkin until I was 30 so they are way ahead of that curve. Plus, we have a couple special brains kicking and so sharp objects are not what we reach for first when celebrating a fun season!

Each one did their own and each one rocked it. It was a fun memory – I know because KB said, “We are making a fun memory. You like that don’t you mama?”

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Wrestling a Wrackspurt

luna_lovegood_and_wrackspurts_by_amarantbus-d4vs1x4“A Wrackspurt. . . they’re invisible. They float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy,” she said. “I thought I felt one zooming around in here.”  Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

For the past 13+ months I feel like I have been doing battle with a wrackspurt . . . and mostly losing. I consistently find myself unable to think – unable to get my thoughts into a sensible order. It has been of a cycle that has caused me to live a bit reclusively; I’ve had limited contact with the outside world. (That sounds so sci-fi it’s ridiculous.)

I haven’t felt at all like myself and I guess one could see why. My temperament leans toward anything BUT reclusion and the zooming in my mind that I am used to are thoughts and ideas and plans for fun. This past year has not had any of that.

Why am I bringing this up?

Today I was driving down the street and I survived a wrackspurt attack and then had a moment of clarity. . . understanding, if you will. A dear friend wrote to me last night and I shared a couple of thoughts with her. She wrote back today and pushed me to think a bit further and even commit to action and my brain shut down; I could not respond to her.  My brain went fuzzy and I didn’t know how to explain to her what I was thinking (’cause I didn’t know) and didn’t have the emotional energy to try to focus enough to work it out. I went back to making Halloween costumes as if the conversation hadn’t happened.

In my car this afternoon, on the way to pick up the kids from school, I found my thoughts returning to my friend and the conversation. My first thought was fear that she would be upset with my silence but that was short-lived. She has known me long enough and loved me through enough that this fear was unfounded. My thoughts moved forward and I heard myself think, ” Why can’t I get my thoughts together? Why don’t I want to put the effort in and do what she asked?” The next thought was like a movie screen – not so much words of explanation but a picture of what was going on in me.

I keep thinking my life now . . . the way things are now. . . are temporary. I think somewhere deep inside I just keep waiting for things to go back to normal. NOTHING is as it was and, in my humble opinion, NOTHING is as it should be. I keep being shocked that I am where I am living as I am living with the people I am with and without the people I am without and I keep waiting for it to be over. It isn’t a conscious and purposeful waiting. I honestly don’t know that I have had the thought before today, but the thought today was more of an “oh, yes” instead of an “Ah Ha!”

It seems silly that I have moved around quite a bit in my life and all of a sudden I am not taking issue with the changes. As I try to process the whys, I realize that there has always been a constant home, an anchor of sorts. That has been tampered with and it feels like the fabric of reality has a rip in it; nothing will ever be solid again. Every moment seems precarious. My heart is cynical. heavy. bitter. alone.

Even this entry feels disjointed – wrestling with wrackspurts as I write. I am hoping my friend will read this and know what I didn’t write back today. And I hope another friend reads this and knows why I haven’t returned her call yet. I fear a wrackspurt attack while we converse (by pen or voice) and the fear can be paralyzing.

I was just reading through a bit more of Harry Potter and it seems Luna’s father created some sort of wrackspurt siphon, “to remove all sources of distraction from the thinker’s immediate area.”  I gotta get me one of those!! Until I find one  – patience please, dear friends. 

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Catching You Up. . .

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  1. That job I wrote about last time? I don’t have that job anymore. It became obvious VERY quickly that they should not have hired me; I am NOT meant for working in the health arena. They had a couple of kids who were really sick (unmanaged diabetes) and the anxiety was extreme. I asked if they would please hire someone else and gave two  weeks notice.

2. Jamberry has expanded to Australia and it has been something else. Several of the girls I used to meet with have joined the company and we are working together. It’s a different kind of laboring but it is so great to talk with them each day and hear snippets about their lives. It has made me miss them and the country I fell so in love with like crazy.

I continue to love this aspect of my life and laugh that the Lord would choose to use fingernails to minister to me and allow me to minister to others. He never ceases to amaze.

3. Several people dear to me have died in the past few weeks. A man from my home church who invested in me and my family for YEARS. He was a supporter while I was in college ministry, an usher in our wedding, and a dear family friend. A friend in St. Louis’s husband died suddenly; I lost my breath when I read about it. My mother-in-law’s mother died last week. A guy i knew from singles group died this week. I can’t bring myself to write a sympathy note to anyone. I continue to grapple with my heart on all this – death, I mean.

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My baby turned eight this weekend – I can hardly believe it. We went to a local corn maze to celebrate and I was told it was “the best birthday ever” at bedtime.

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Best line of the day was when the kids all started swinging and Honey walked over looking shocked. He said, “No one needs our help. They are all swinging by themselves.”  Milestone.

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Everyone rode the pedal cars and the men did corn chucking.

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Then there was pizza, there were presents and there was cake. It was a good day.

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I am such a softy – I never thought I would be so emotional about things like my kids’ birthdays, and yet here I am all teary. She is growing up so fast. . .

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Duck – 1 week

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Duck – 8 yrs.

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Health Office Hack

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Ice packs made from sponges in sandwich bags. SERIOUSLY SMART!!

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Movie Review – The Intern

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The kids went to Respite Care today and honey took me to see The Intern. Let me warn you, the previews are killers; so many tears shed it was ridiculous. That said, let me tell you that the movie was phenomenal; tears were shed once again but not nearly as many.

For my brothers benefit I will tell you that it was a good four part story! There was conflict, sacrifice, redemption – a good story. For my mother’s benefit I will tell you that there was one use of the “F-word”. For everyone’s benefit I will quote my husband at the end of the film, “That is the best movie I have seen in years . . . and that’s including The Dark Knight Rises.” (If you know my husband, you are probably reaching for your phone and the Fandango app, already purchasing tickets of your own.)

Nancy Meyers tends to write/direct films that depicts the seniors of the world in an honoring way. Her writing is honest and gives dignity to those that many in our culture patronize; The Intern is a prime example.

Deniro [Ben] did a great job being a “good man” – a gentleman with integrity, wisdom, and grace.  The patience his character demonstrates is respectable, his work ethic worth emulating, and his word choice is on point. The character values people and pushes them toward excellence – it is beautiful to watch.

Anne Hathaway [Jules] is adorable and wonderful and her character is loveable, brilliant, and strong. Her standards are high, her needs are real, her struggles believable and her choices respectable. The character is written so honestly – it is refreshing and gripping. Really, when was the last time you saw characters facing issues that weren’t dealt with quickly and with snippy jokes? This movie shows true growth in the characters and there is a great balance between spelling it out for you and asking you to think.

Honey summed up his thoughts with this comment, “If you are a woman in Jules’ position you should watch this movie and LEARN FROM HER. If you are a man in Ben’s place in like you should watch this movie and LEARN FROM HIM.” I think everyone can walk away from this with something learned and that is saying something when the film is main stream and not produced by a Kendrick or Pure Flix.

Viewers will laugh and cry might just want to see it a second time. People who liked Pitch Perfect will enjoy seeing Adam Devine in a completely different role and folks who know Anders Holm’s quirky characters on The Mindy Project and Workaholics will enjoy seeing him playing off type as well.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I liked the movie and think you will too. Ebert would have given it two thumbs up. I can’t wait to hear The One-Minute Review about it. Let me know what you think after you see it.

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