Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In Making Us He Set Us Free

Fall is here.  Apparently officially.  We've been here a year in New Freeland.  A full year at the Benedict school where I'm trying to beast what has thus far been a great school year with some stellar students. I really can't get over how blessed we are to be where we are.  Overwhelmed? Absolutely, but also absolutely blessed. 

We're all here surviving, up to our necks in living and trying to get through it.  The kids are growing and seem to be thriving.  Orbit runs.  Sweet Mint smiles.  Each one does his thing and is happy.  What more can we ask for as parents, Hazel and I? Our children are free and happy.  Each day is new and exciting.  There is some new adventure around every corner and every game of chase.  There are no worries. Its all a wonder.  G.K. Chesterton wrote, " Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony"  (Orthodoxy).  I think he described my children and we, their grownups, perfectly. When I look at my children I see both what I am and what I wish I was. I see all of the perfection and all of the potential of humanity.  This utter dependence on parents that echoes faintly my utter dependence on God.  This rebellion that manifests in screaming, flinging, world ending tantrums that I too take part in every day.  I see a sense of wonder that I can't even remember, the longing that still tugs at my heart strings.  
     We are so wrapped up in being busy.  Doing so many good things we forget what it means to be good, to totally be fulfilled in Christ and his goodness in us. I'm working with the youth at church now.  We're building this thing from the ground up. I mean from having no youth show up to whatever it is that this is going to be.  We're trying to scratch together this unity and a community for these students.  I guess you could say instead we're trying to build the kingdom between these teens and in some cases, trying to bring them into the kingdom in the first place.   One of the things we're doing is meeting together on Sunday mornings to dive into the word together.  We're working through Galatians 3 and looking at the way that God is working to bring us into his kingdom.  Its awesome.  It was a really cool moment to see kids without families talking about how we become God's family and what it means to be His.  Discussing God's love for us and how we experience it, not because we are good, but because He makes us goodIts a cool thing to learn.  A life altering, earth shattering truth that I've become too busy to live out.  This is my second school year now at the Benedict school and if I'm honest, I spend so much time and energy trying to teach truth, I forget to meditate on it and understand it.  I've become so obsessed with seeking to serve my savior that I've forgotten how to seek to love him. 

I want to be like my children.  Lost in the wonder of every day.  Completely in awe of God, not because of what He does, but because of Who he is.  Obsessed with Him because He's the center of my universe and every moment is in pursuit of Him; one giant and joyful  game of cosmic chase with the mirth of God's love for me, His child. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Rainy Days and, Well, Rainy Days Get Me Down

Hello again, World. I'm back.
I recently remembered that I have a blog.  And then I thought, "crap." The only time I blog, or even remember that I have a blog is when winter is on its way and I'm about to get a big dose of Seasonal Affective up the whazoo.  I only write when I'm sad. I'm only really sad when experiencing a lack of sun light.  Seriously, from May to September I'm as care free as can be.  Then along comes October, and worse, November which then shifts into that black hole known as December.  On and on it goes with no sun and grey skies, and no Major League Baseball. And oh, but it comes on so quickly. If you've ever transitioned from "Wow, all things are bright and beautiful" at noon to "There is no hope and we're all gonna die" by seven, you'll know what I mean.  
So here I am blogging again for the first time in what, a year? All because the weather makes me sad and when I'm sad I start to write and when I write I think about my life and its meaning to the ages.  And the wheel of narcissism that we call "self reflection" continues.   

People who post to Facebook what they had for breakfast are a bit self consumed. People who post thoughts about their lives for the public to read are narcissists.  Whatever happened to the days, say about age 10-15, when if you kept a journal or any sort of record of your life, you damn well made sure to keep it hidden.  Whether it was in the corner of your mattress, under your nightstand, the back of your closet, or in a chest buried in the deepest darkest part of the deepest darkest forest, you not only hid it there, you made sure it stayed hidden.  I used to have nightmares about what would happen if someone should happen to find and, God forbid, read my journal...not that I had one, but if they had, I can only imagine the shame that I would still experience from my secrets having been exposed.  Now I write it and say, here Google, NSA, and World, read about me! I'm not really for studies in narcissism, but if you need company on grey fall or winter days, I'll be here writing about the elephantine adventures of the seasonally affected, at least until the sun shines again in the spring time. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spray Paint the Walls: Things They Never Told Me About Babies Part I

Hello People,

   I know.  I'm a lousy blogger.  I don't really mind this since I actually dislike blogs as a general rule.  This may come as a shock to you.  "But Mr. Strange," you may find yourself saying to your computer screen at this moment, "not only do you have a blog, it even has its own specialized web address for which you paid good ol' inflated American cash."  This is true.  Not only do I have a blog, and not only did I pay for it to have its own web address (the blog equivalent of a vanity plate, blech), but I dislike the very thing in which I find myself voluntarily involved in producing.  What madness this is.  The world makes no sense and I make less.  

Somehow this has become a travel blog which I never quite intended.  And here you say, "But Mr. Strange, you live in a foreign country, traveling is your thing!"  Let us here clarify, I live in a foreign country, which means that I have traveled.  I don't actually do much traveling.  I'm not really comfortable writing a travel blog.  I'm never sure of what to write when writing about travels and when I had the revelation that I was writing a travel blog, I ceased to write one.  Regardless, I have lacked either the time or the energy to write much of anything for the last 3 weeks or so.  Those weeks go something like this: Bess arrives, Bess and I tour the city,  Orbit is born, Hazel and I morph into baby caring zombie machines.  There you have my well developed thoughts on parenting thus far.  Needless to say, Hazel and I are quite happy.  

Babies are strange creatures.  This one is pretty spectacular, obviously, but as a general rule they are well, different.  I would like to now list some things that people didn't tell us, but maybe should have.  I will put a picture with each item on the list so that you will have no excuse but to keep reading:

     1) Stuff shoots out both ends! 
Seriously, today Orbit changed the meaning of spray painting the wall. The ever helpful Aunta Bess took him to his room to change his diaper when we heard a rather piercing, "AAAAAH" and ran into a scene straight out of a mafia movie, except instead of blood there was, well you get it..

     2) Our baby is WAAAAY cuter than your's
... and it really surprises me that not everyone thinks so.  Seriously, don't they know that the very sight of him is no less than their cue to fall to their knees in awe of the adorable being who is my son. Is it not obvious to them that my child is the cutest child of at least the years following the invention of the camera?  

     3) All children look alike, but not mine. 
This may seem similar to #2 but it is quite different.  I'm not a baby person.  In fact, I'll tell you a secret.  I, like my grandmother, kind of think babies are boring. In fact, for the past several years I maintained that though I knew as a fact that children exist, I couldn't see them.  But my kid, well there is an exception to the rule!  What a fountain (sometimes literally) of interestingness.  How well he gurgles and coo's..  What skills in the urinary arts!  Given that I can't see children this may not seem like much, but he is by far the most unique child I've ever laid eyes on. 
      4) Three words: Evil. Baby. Claws.
...Much like the Power Puff Girls were made from sugar, spice, everything nice, and a little dose of Chemical X, babies are cute, cuddly, and have razor sharp parent shredders on their fingers!  We have had to hang a sign on Orbit that says, "Warning: Sharp Claws.  Approach at own risk." He'll have to keep wearing it until we conquer our fear of clipping his finger claws...er nails. With that said, here's a picture of his wonderful hobbit feet. 

       So there, once again, are my well developed thoughts on having a kid.  To those of you who don't have kids yet, fear not.  When it comes time for yours' I will tell you all of this.  You will not be as unprepared as I was.