Chartreuse Ova

scrambled lamentations, psalms, parables and ramblings of a Christian mommy

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Revolutionary?

Lord, do you think maybe I could just do the laundry today?

I read a post by songbird last night & the words keep tumbling around inside my head. A year later, she talks about Katrina, the aftermath, and the needed revolution.

There is so much more than that to her post and that is why I'm thinking today. I sincerely believe we need more revolutionaries in this day in so many arenas of our lives. We need people who are willing to ask tough questions and demand answers. We need people who are willing to abandon all to the pursuit of God's call to go forth. We need people who are passionate about stewardship of our world, protecting the vulnerable, picking up those crushed in the wheels of the system. We need these people in the schools, in the voting booths, in public office, in church pulpits and pews. We need them on staff at prisons. We need them to step forward to lead in our communities and to step out into the streets. We need them writing and speaking and doing. We need more!

I would have been voted least likely to become a revolutionary by my senior class so many years ago (almost 30!) if there was such a senior superlative category. I was correctly voted "quietest girl". That's one of many things that have changed since then. Just ask usually darling hubby about his "quiet" wife. Still most people would identify me as an introvert.

I've been quietly, personally revolting against so many things but I'm sensing it's finally time to really find my voice and shout. I can be loud, I'm just not courageous in the face of what often seems an insurmountable wall of ignorance. Is it disrespectful or intolerant to use the word ignorance? There seems to be no other appropriate word.

I took a break after writing the above paragraphs. A break from typing, but not from the thoughts.

And now I've been reminded of the times I have spoken out or acted. Perhaps not as often as I wish. Certainly, I discredit myself by focusing only on all the times I heard the command within to stand, speak, act and I did nothing but melt into a puddle of swirling anger and fear. And I'm reminded that I must not diminish the hours when I stood firm in my resolve against the machines of this age. Those were times when so many did not even take a stand but sheepishly submitted or jumped on the bandwagon of injustice. Perhaps to guard against becoming proud or judgmental, I realize there were those days when I too readily fell in with the crowd without a thought to the consequences to others. I remember the times I have actually taken on the role of the revolutionary but without a spirit of love and compassion. It is a spiral of thoughts. I did. I didn't. I should have. I failed. I failed again.

I think that I can do nothing. God speaks to me in my momentary despair. Perhaps I am both right and wrong. I can do nothing without the grace of my Lord. I can do nothing without courage and strength from the source of all. But, I can do anything if I am obedient to the leading of God, focused on the One who revolutionized our world beyond human imagination and prayerfully reliant on the Spirit to provide the words and voice necessary for a single moment.

And is it really about my inability? Did not God bless me with specifically selected talents? Was I not chosen for a purpose or a purpose chosen just for me? Do I really believe I am not able, by God's provision? Or Is all this just another excuse to remain comfortable.

Comfort is transient.

God is making this current spot of easy contentment, very uncomfortable. I squirm and know that I will not be able to just sit here in the luxury of familiarity for much longer.

Is it really all about me? Or perhaps I'm looking within when I need to be looking outward, not only beyond my mind, my perceptions of failure and success, my self-imposed limitations, my emotional comfort; but beyond my secure, suburban door and beyond my safe, familiar church chair.

I understand the task, but I struggle with it's completion. When we grasp a trinket so tightly, we can not reach out to receive the jewels that God offers. When we hug our tiny world so firmly, we cannot free our hands to do the work God calls us to do. There is risk in release. There is fear.

The spiral of thoughts is finally coming to a conclusion. It took so many words to get here.

It can be summarized in a simple statement. When I relinquish myself, I will be ready to receive something greater.

And by an even simpler question. When?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Back to School Friday Five

Thanks to the RevGalBlogPals.

1. What is your earliest memory of school?

I remember going to my first grade teacher's house at about 8 o'clock in the evening. We had just received our first quarterly report card. My parents were impressed by my grades, but I was inconsolable. My grades were fine, the comments were fine...but it showed under attendance that I'd been absent once! I was so upset, my mother finally called Mrs. G. at home. Mrs. G. asked her to bring me over to her house so she could correct it immediately. I learned a great deal that year that I still use today. I learned to read. I learned to always check your report card, grocery receipt, and credit report for errors. I learned that teachers and other experts are not infallible. And of course I learned that it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education?

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Dixon. She was a patient, soft-spoken, genteel lady and quite different from my first grade teacher.

I wanted to grow up to be just like Mrs. D. Well I didn't. I'm often more like the brusque, Mrs. G.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now?

We didn't have to worry about back injuries from carrying backpacks that weighed more than we did.

Then, there was noble, but tiny planet Pluto.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned.

I think we did memorize a few poems. But I don't remember any of the early stuff. I remember learning some mnemonics.

And in high school, I vaguely recall something about Macbeth creeping,life, candles, and fools...but nothing significant. Well, it was something like that!

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share?

In first grade, one little boy kept talking to me during class. No, I wasn't that popular. He just liked to talk to me because we lived just across the road from each other. The infamous Mrs. G. mentioned earlier, decided that the appropriate punishment would be to make us share a desk for the rest of the day.

Other than that, I never, never, ever got into trouble.

Of course, there was the Honor Society Christmas thing. But hey we were just spreading joy throughout the community. Who knew a police officer would spot our Santa Claus waving from the back of the truck. One would think that honor society students would be smart enough a) to not drive past the police station with Santa and b) to find our way back to school after a community service project without getting sidetracked by Christmas elves & mischief. At least we were smart enough to have the principal's daughter with us.

One last thought regarding Questions 3 and 4:
My Very Effervescent Munchkin Joyously Studies Unclean Newts.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

By Special Invitation Only

We had planned a quiet (as quiet as can be expected with a Little Sprout in the house) Saturday night. Mindless television was on the agenda.

Then we got a last minute invitation to a concert. We were promised the debut of two new musical works along with some old favorites. We quickly readied & made our way to the concert hall. Usually Darling Hubby commented on the lack of seats since our invitation didn't come with assigned seating. I reminded him that the performer of the evening was in great demand and "standing room only" was to be expected.

Without even an introduction for the diminutive soloist, who obviously needed no introduction, the concert started. The two new songs were soon unveiled. I was mesmerized as the a cappello words bounced from the walls of the concert hall. While I can't say that a note or two (or maybe more) wasn't off; the passion of the singer/songwriter was apparent as the stage bounced during her performance.

As soon as the singing ended, the multi-talented performer picked up her instrument and played a well known tune. We were quickly taken in by the strong, clear tones of a single song flute...each note well practiced and played with great feeling. It ended too soon.

And then we least hubby & I did. Our dog just watched through the bedroom door.

"Holy, Holy, Holy. Bless the heart of the Lamb. Holy, Holy, Holy. God you can only bless. Holy, Holy."--Little Sprout

And she is right, God has truly blessed us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Brilliantly British Friday Five

From the RevGalBlogPals:

In the spirit of My Word! and Says You!, Songbird and Kathryn offer up a Brilliantly British Friday Five.

Below you will find five phrases seen or heard by Songbird on her British holiday. Use your imagination to define them. Points will be granted for humor.

Adverse Camber
Butts Wynd
Plague Church
Free House
Mind the Gap

I've read the Friday Fives before with great delight but never ventured to try. So here goes (And I'll try to keep it G-rated but it sure is going to be difficult with those phrases)

Adverse Camber: body landmarks found most frequently on young women and most frequently sought out by young men. Aka: dangerous curves.

Butts Wynd: Hey, even my 5 year old knows this one...aromatic or not.

Plague Church: A quasi-religious institution & disease that slowly eats away at your money, your time, and your spirit. Highly contagious and can be deadly. Unlike leprosy, scars are not visible but may be just as long-lasting.

Free House: Well, I've seen this in newspaper ads. It is accompanied by "must move". This is shorthand for WANTED: some idiot to come and take away a house that sways in the breeze, has built in air conditioning, a few termites. The only one that gets anything free is the current owner who doesn't have to pay to have the building demolished.

Mind the gap: I don't have a proper definition but I know we used to say this to my uncle...alot! He was not a plumber. Oh, flashbacks & bad memories. Yikes!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Mother's Prayer

Little Sprout had a play date with a friend. So as girls play, moms chat. This other mother and I are so different in our lives, priorities, parenting, and some of our beliefs. Yet we are so much alike just because we are mothers who struggle with the title, the responsibility, the mission.

My mind drifts to other mothers around the globe today. I envision each one so clearly.

The mother half way around the world wondering if this will be the day that hunger's cruel hand will snatch her little one away. And I ask, "why Lord?"

The mother half way across the country who awaits the return of her soldier-child so she can place a single rose and a pool of tears onto a box of steel. And I ask, "why Lord?"

The mother half way across the state that lies at rest while her much loved child lies restlessly in a jail cell. And I ask, "why Lord?"

The mother half way across the city who is staring at the signature line on a consent form. And I ask, "why Lord?"

And all the mothers whose voices join mine in this simple pleading prayer, "why Lord?"

Lord hear our prayer.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Losing Sleep

Sometimes I have songs whirling around in my head. Usually it's an old country or rock song from my youth or at least a much earlier time in my life. There's always a message to embrace grief, celebrate victory, dispense comfort, or promote defiance. The playlist has varied as my life has changed. There was that entire year when my television set, mind, and soul seemed to have been invaded by a purple dinosaur singing annoying platitudes. But once he was finally exorcised, my brain went back to a more sane and varied playlist.

All day today, I kept hearing the old hymn, “Trust and Obey”. Oh course it is just the refrain over and over. I can’t remember the last time I sang this in church. It must have been about 25 years ago and since then I’ve moved away and been in very different church communities.

As I hear it, I’m transported back in memories of growing up in the little church just down the road, take a right and you can’t miss it. But it isn’t about the past.

It is the song for this day, for tomorrow, for many future days.

“Trust and obey…”

And as I struggle to do just that, I’m sure the song will continue in my head until I reach that point of surrender...”for there’s no other way.”

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Love You, Man!

Today is my hubby's 13th wedding anniversary. That means he's survived 13 years (actually more if you count courtship & wedding planning) of many ups and downs. Coincidentally, by virtue of having been in a starring role at the wedding, it is my wedding anniversary as well.

So in honor of these years, I've composed this tribute in list form for Usually Darling Hubby:

1. Husbands are handy to have around. I'm thankful when you are handy, when you are gracious when I take tools away to show you "how it's done" and when you finally read the instructions.

2. I am thankful that you always listen to me, except when I hear 'ummm hmmm'...and know I'll need to tell you 3 more times before you'll either hear or finally tell me you're not interested in knowing ALL about some bizarre thing I read about on the internet.

3. I love that you don't change the tv channel without asking, although we still need to reach a compromise on the volume control thing...maybe we'll tackle that one next year.

4. It's wonderful that you seldom remind me of my dad. I have on occasion reminded myself of your mom and I'm not always sure if that's a good thing, but usually it is.

5. You really know how to give great gifts. I remember the dinner you lovingly prepared on that long ago February 13th, because you knew I might suspect a marriage proposal if you did it on Valentine's Day. I remember the wok I wanted then hardly ever used, the watch I always lost, the chocolate I ate too much, the gift of your time to fix my computer when you had shown me several times already, and the daughter we both adore. There have been fun gifts, useful gifts and a few mischievous ones we won't discuss in public.

6. You've gotten more handsome since I first whispered to myself & God, "Oh God, I can't be so lucky." as I saw you enter the restaurant where we were to have our blind date. I was that lucky! But I know & I thank God, that it wasn't really luck at all that he sent you into my life.

7. I am so glad I married a good editor. Thank you for your willingness to read college papers, important emails, etc. and correct my grammar. Thank you for the times you bite your tongue when I say something and completely butcher the English language...I'll forgive for the few times you didn't bite your tongue when you should have.

8. Thank you for bringing me closer to God by sharing your new-found faith, enthusiasm and growth with me. I may have initially dragged you back into church but since then it has been a wonderful blessing to spiritually walk together as a family.

9. Thank you for accepting & loving all my faces...the loving, the angry, the silly, the controlling, the grieving and the often perplexed. Sometimes I feel like Mr. Potato Head. I know I'm irresistable but some parts are less so.

10 I'm sorry for all the times I've suggested things and proceeded to convince you they were right. Convinced? Maybe Nagged is the better word choice. But we're enjoying the house, the kid, the vegetables from the CSA, and a million other things I was right let's just not talk about the 4 or 5 that were misses on my part, okay?

11. Thank you for all the times you've suggested things and proceeded to convince me they were right. I remember agreeing about getting a dog, but you connected with the scruffy looking mix at the humane society. I was sure he was Cujo dog & would attack me in my sleep that first night at home. He cleaned up nicely. You were absolutely right and he's been the best doggie boy ever since. Of course there were a few other times you were right, but I've probably decided they were such good ideas that I claim them as my own. I promise not bring up (at least for today) the times that you totally missed the mark.

12. As I see the Bible verse card on our refrigerator each morning I think of you. Not just because you made it for a handout for a message at church. Or that I was so proud of you as you spoke that night. Or even that it reminds me I need to take a few things off the refrigerator as it is being swallowed up by Little Sprout artwork. The words from Philippians speak to me almost daily. "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles." Thank you for sharing in my joys which is easy and my troubles which is not so easy.

13. What else is there to say. I love you.

Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Faith, Mammals and Dead Presidents


Yes, it was shouted, not by me but at me.

I've been finding many of my beliefs & ideas challenged lately. In the past I have felt an occasional twinge of pride regarding my "enlightened" view and that I have not been indoctrinated by various groups and organizations. That's worked great when the issue is something that I don't face in the mirror. In some instances, I was sure I knew what I believed but when faced with acting on those beliefs found the belief not so firmly entrenched in my system. Or those indoctrination voices suddenly pounced. I thought they weren't there, but yep they were hiding somewhere in my brain. I think they were just lurking behind the name of my fourth grade teacher and the spelling of Abe's last name that eliminated me from the spelling bee that year.

It's been a struggle finding out that what I thought the Bible says, isn't always what the Bible actually says. Finally I reached that conclusion and accepted it. Well, I'm still not sure I've reached acceptance. I hate to be wrong. But once I faced the possibility that I could be wrong, I've been reading the Bible with fresh eyes and a renewed hunger for truth. As I've opened my mind, I have felt led to various websites, books and radio broadcasts. And it hasn't been one sided "propaganda" but diverse interpretations from many reputable sources and some not necessarily so. Still I find myself going back to my Bible to check it out for myself while praying for discernment.

What's that got to do with mammals?

Little Sprout checked out a book from the library about mammals. We were reading about the attributes that identify one as a mammal. I asked if she was a mammal.

I didn't expect the indignant response I received. Reviewing the "facts" of the book with her only resulted in ended in her shouting at me. She refused to even discuss it any more and I'll respect that. We can get mighty cranky when our strong held beliefs are questioned.

Learning is hard work. Growing up is tough whether you are 5 or well over 40.

I am a mammal; Mrs. Nelson was my fourth grade teacher; I can spell Lincoln, L-I-N-C-O-L-N, Lincoln and I trust God will show me more of His Truth each day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Potato chips are my Kryptonite, more than a few can put me into a high blood sugar stupor.

I tried resisting them. I have little self-discipline.

I tried only eating a small handful. Did I say I have little self-discipline

I tried only buying them once in awhile.

I tried. I failed miserably.

Finally I gave up trying and began to pray...that lead to being reminded almost everytime I reached for one that my body is a temple. Followed by the thought that if I believe that God is healing me more each day and will fully heal me, I must honor the temple.

That seemed to be working well and I felt at peace. I imagine it was much like that in the Garden of Eden just before the serpent came into the scene.

Today little sprout (my daughter) and I shopped for groceries. She asked if she could add potato chips to the cart. She was so polite. She was being so helpful. How could I say no. And I didn't. But I still didn't desire them.

I prepared lunch and added a few chips to her plate. No problem.

My sometimes darling hubby made a comment during lunch regarding the potato chips and how I always had difficulty resisting them. Was that really hubby or had the serpent appeared on the scene? Suddenly I was aware of the chips.

I put away all the lunch leftovers except...there was that open bag of chips.

"Just a few," I thought.

Two bites into the coveted prize and I realized that the chips tasted really stale. No, the flavor was beyond stale. Yuck!
I stopped.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for the big things you do in my life and the little things too.