Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lover's Quarrel

Last night, I was reading in Deuteronomy (not a safe place for feminists) and came across a scripture that’s tripped me up a time or twenty two before.
The previous times I’ve unhappily read that scripture and those in its camp, I’m dealt with them rationally, as any evangelical, truth-seeking, semi-feminist might. I researched. I asked questions. I  wrote letters to The Bible Authorities. I held my husband captive while I thought-aloud, wrestling with the God I Know and the God Who Wrote That.
Last night, God wasn’t so lucky.
I closed my Bible and ranted and raved at Him.

(You should be so thankful to be spared the monologue.)
And that was that.
I brushed my teeth, turned my light off, kissed my husband goodnight and fell asleep.
When I woke up, it was as if nothing had happened. The lingering stench of a lover’s quarrel with God was nowhere to be found. My mood was not foul, my teeth weren’t sore from night-grinding and thoughts of the previous night’s fall-out hardly crossed my mind. It wasn’t until mid-morning that I recalled the utter frustration and bewilderment I had walked through.
Oddly enough, as the specific words I’d read bubbled to the surface of my consciousness I was okay. Unlike times prior, I didn’t need to research, write to The Bible Authorities or duck-tape my husband’s mouth for a live, but silent, witness between me and my God.
This kind of reaction is pretty much foreign to me. My relationship with my husband and my relationship with God have been characterized by Analyzing. If there’s a problem, we know exactly why and for how long and what happened when I was 7 to play into it all. Analyzing is right up there with Forgiveness, Intimacy, and Trust.
We’ve all seen those movies where passionate couples bicker and then, instead of calmly resolving the matter and addressing the core issues, they just make out and make up. (Induce vomiting here.)
That absolutely goes against my grain.
When I considered why it was I was choosing “to not go there” with God and to simply move on, the most simple, disarming word came to me:
I need God.
I need him for healing. I need him for a reconstructed identity. I need him for freedom from myself. I need him for love. I need him for the ever-elusive security we women crave. I need him for purpose. I need him for my future.
I need him right now.
I don’t have time for another round of Why-On-Earth-Did-You-Tell-Moses-To-Write-That. Frankly, I don’t care for another round.
Right now, I’m going to let bygones be bygones  and make up like those ridiculous lovers in the movies whose relationships we all know don’t stand a chance.
Or maybe they do.
This one certainly does.

What about you? When have you wrestled with God over some issue? When have you let go? 

Friday, February 12, 2010

guilty as charged

I heard noises.

The tell-tale noises of a two-year-old who's been in his bed for over 30 minutes and is refusing to succumb to the sleep he so desperately needs.

The music on his CD player had ended and we'd followed every 'nap-time' ritual. And he was still moving, kicking,

making noises.

I walked down the hall, and opened his door, expecting to see some guilty evidence of trucks, puppets, or even crayons in his bed.

Instead, I saw this:


Now, what's a mom to say to that? 

Son, stop reading your Bible--NOW!!

I walked away.

and now that i'm done with this post, i need to play with my son

a few months ago, i was working on my (former) laptop when my son spontaneously jumped off the couch, grabbed my mug of coffee, walked over to my laptop, and

poured the whole cup of coffee over my keyboard.

(i put him in his crib so i could cry undisturbed for 10 minutes. my in-laws gave me no sympathy-- "just be thankful he didn't burn himself")

you can read my Ode right here.

it made me wonder--how intentional was that?

is my not-even-two-year-old tangled in a competition with my computer for my attention ?

i wrestle with that. i wrestle with my who i want to be, because so many times these wants seem in conflict with each other.

i want to a better writer. i want a cooler blog, with a real RSS feed and graphics that aren't pawned off of some brazilian designer who can't answer my questions in english.

i want to be a mom who's present. a mom who does cool things like make home-made play-dough, and builds forts and explores perfectly manicured lawns for centipedes and ant hills.

i want to matter in the kingdom of god. i want to help my husband build up a church, and encourage women as they get to know jesus.

i want to keep up with my brothers. brandon's at ucf and i know he could use some more 'old-fashioned oats' and raisins and coffee. elliot's in the middle of his first out-of-college job and i know he's still figuring out how to teach obstinate 16-year-olds. jesse's in high school with a job and a beautiful girlfriend. and carlin's navigating his freshmen year.

these wants, and so many more, seem to fight with each other. at times, they give way and peacefully take their turns. more often than not, they seem to jump off the coach of my mind, walk over to the other,  and

pour the whole cup of coffee out,

till there's nothing left but a fried hard-drive.

Monday, February 1, 2010

you can be quiet for now

I have, for over 15 years, become increasingly aware of a personality of mine. She's erratic; her presence inconsistent. There have been entire phases of my life where she was dominant; other times she's been shoved to the back seat, whining for lack of attention.

We'll just call her Granola.

Granola was the one who asked an associate at Taco Bell for a print-out of their (non) nutritional facts so she could choose the lesser of many evils. Granola influenced my decision to abstain from red meat (and mayonnaise) for 6 years. Granola currently monitors mine and my son's Omega fatties' intake and was a champ when I was pregnant. She even broke down the daily percent value of foods into grams so I wouldn't be lacking nutrients like calcium, folic acid, and protein while I was preggo and nursing.

Granola protested my engagement to my husband, the most anti-granola man I've met. I had to counsel her, persuading her that marriage is built on things like character, integrity, shared values and common vision for life.

Not food.

She still breaks out her I-told-you-so taunting at the dinner table every now and then.

Granola has my best interests at heart, but she can be devious. Like the few years I struggled with an eating disorder--she screwed that one up. She even covered for my "pickiness" with socially acceptable excuses to not eat. She fed me the "I'm a vegetarian" line, and people bought it.

Presently, I'm taking a cooking class. It's exciting and inspiring and invigorating.

But you should hear Granola.

She gasped when we studied emulsions.

The reason those two ingredients don't want to stick together is that they shouldn't! And you shouldn't consume them either! 

Or, last Tuesday when an alfredo sauce was simmering (I thought we were clarifying butter). Chef Alan showed me how fresh ground nutmeg "cuts the taste of fat" in your mouth. The spice deceives your taste buds from figuring out just how heart-stopping rich the sauce actually is.

It's everything in Granola to not rip every last shard of fat off the chicken bones before they go into the stock pot.

So we've come to a point of conflict, me and Granola.

I can't have her snotty and judgmental thoughts floating through my head every time I try a new recipe. I believe, I truly do, in eating healthily. I especially believe in knowing exactly what it is you eat. There are so many easy modifications (or brand changes) you can make that really benefit your diet, simply because you know what should and shouldn't be in your food.

With that said, I'm just trying to learn how to cook right now.

So I'm temporarily suspending Granola's influence.

She'll come back-- she always does, but maybe this next time she'll be a little more open-minded.