Occasional thoughts of another crazed human

Monday, November 20, 2006

On usefulness

I have a question. I wonder if there is an answer.

It starts with my Hari Krishna neighbor's comment the other day. She likes the message of Thomas the Tank Engine books and movies that focus on Thomas being a useful engine. She finds that to be an important message for her nearly three-year-old son. Usefulness. It's her goal for her son and clearly for herself. She's a bright, energetic, caring person.

So this summer a man came to church a few times with one of our church families. He was staying wtih them. It didn't take too long for them to seek Mark's advice. He was causing a bit of trouble in demanding being served, refusing to leave, and refusing to seek help. So finally, he went to stay with his brother in Connecticut and this weekend called us. He said he was coming back to DC for another eye surgery and he needed a place to stay. Mark tried to find some resources but the hour was late and he was waiting at the bus station so he came to our home. The family from our church was very concerned and gave us the man's family's info. They talked about the months they had tried to help him realize that he has mental issues and needs to seek help. He refused to believe them. Mark called his brother and sister and they reiterated the same. He needs serious help and refuses to believe it. All advising parties said the best thing was to get him out of our home as he may not be safe. So the church paid for a night at a hotel and who knows where he is tonight. Mark gave him numbers for resources, homeless shelters, etc.

This man was until some point recently a practicing medical doctor in California. Something snapped and his license has been revoked. His family believes that with mental counseling or medication he could get a job somewhere. They hope that he can become a functioning member of society and are willing to do whatever they can to help.

That's a good hope for a family member to have. But what if it's the wrong hope? Is everyone capable of being a functioning member of society? What happens to those who aren't? Are those the guys on the streetcorners with cardboard signs? Or are they ones found on frosty mornings - stiff and nameless? What should a family or a society do with someone who refuses to see their need? Should they really turn him out to starve or die?

What does Scripture say? I see challenges to accept strangers and hungry. To not say "God bless, be well" while shutting your door. I hear Christians talk about usefulness too. I wonder
where the concept of usefulness comes. Right now I don't remember hearing it in Scripture but maybe that's just my blinded aching heart. Does the concept of usefulness go hand in hand with compassion of the Christ? Somehow I can't help but think that the usefulness the church wants to tout is about Capitalistic Christianity that pulls itself up by the bootstraps.

I am confused. I am also ashamed. My confusion is my scapegoat for why I didn't stand up when someone is in this much trouble. I want to pray but I can't. .... Someone is out there on a cold night. Someone whose hand I shook as he left.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tribute to a baby

Or is he really a baby?

What is about a baby turning one that grips a mother's heart so tightly? Will it be this way on his 16th birhtday or when he's 30? For the past week I have felt that I am walking again through those moments of his birth and the preceding events. Maybe it's because many events of my last days of pregnancy are repeating this year - the return to our Bible study class and the Family outreach I led last week. Every time I've seen a friend or chatted with a stranger I have beamed out my pride that my baby is having his 1st birthday.

It's 10:14 pm. At this moment last year I had no idea that 12 hours from now I would be laying in a hospital bed, sweaty and cold and tired but elated and amazed at my baby (amazed at how quickly that purple boy started to look human). Amazed because he was 4 days early unlike his brother who 'd still be snuggled in my womb at a whomping 30+ lbs if he'd had it his way. I wonder if I'll wake at 12:42 am and think about how long it took me to figure out that was a labor pain ... or how long it took me to convince my husband that I'm not faking it.

This week a boy in my Sunday School class had his tonsils removed at the Children's Hospital in DC where Seth was for so long. I talked with his mom about the never-ending construction in the parking garage and which floor the surgery department is on. I think that connection has deepened my amazement that Seth is turning one. A year ago, he seemed infinitely vulnerable as he was connected to LED light and suction tubes and IVs. Then I worried about the fact that I couldn't feed him ... and it's no different now, because I can't seem to put enough food on his highchair tray to satisfy him. He eats it so quickly that I don't even have time to cut up more. He is less vulnerable ... he's got teeth now to bite Levi back with as well as a shrill cry when danger (again, Levi) is staring him down. But then I think about the worries of adulthood ... and I pray God doesn't call him to be a minister.

Anyways, I'll stop before this becomes a full-fledged birthing tale that should be saved for an office baby shower.

But here are some pictures of his handsome face. Can you believe how he's changed?

Monday, September 04, 2006

My baby's hives

So sad news. Seth seems to be allergic to peanuts (or almonds or pecans). He had quite a reaction to a granola bar that had all these things in it. Poor thing! Maria and I were discussing how his digestive system is about as intolerant as hers. At least, he doesn't know what he's missing. So at this point, it seems to be that eggs, dairy, and nuts are on the "off" list.

Yeah, so life is crazy at a lot of moments. My spirit is heavy too much. People tell us we need to laugh more. I agree, laughing is beautiful. I think that God gave us two silly little boys for a reason. I like them so much, even though Seth tries to eat the candles all day long and Levi likes to catapult off Seth's head. But with kids come some extra worries. With the church's woes, Mark and I are exploring options to bring in some more cash. One idea is for me to run an in-home daycare, except Lexa told me last night that I'd probably have to have a minivan. My inwards are revolting. Maybe I should sell drugs ... or Mary Kay. Oh, seriously! Anyways. Something will work out.

But I am having the hardest time lately. Life is heavy for several members of my family. I have to write a paper on suffering and faith. What a challenge when I can't seem to seperate myself from the pain around me and in me. Actually, last week's emphasis in my Scripture and reflective reading was to ask God into where we feel the greatest hurt, doubt, hope, and faith. Timely.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

After my own heart, etc

So my older son, "Boy" as he calls himself (imagine this: "mommy, Boy's turn please? accompanied by a quizzical look and shaking head), is so very much my child. The other day, I prepared a peanut butter sandwich for him and left the jar of peanut butter open on the table. Within a few minutes, I saw Levi dipping his spoon down into that jar. "mmmm" was the first little bite. After the second, he looked at me with wide eyes and smile and a simple, punctual "good!" Then he was on to another bite.

We are like-minded, he and I. Almost equally matched in the battle of the wills.

Friday, June 23, 2006

He crawls

This is the fun, formal announcement of another significant milestone passed.

TODAY Seth began crawling. Mobility here we are! For a while I thought it was ok that he had not crossed this milestone, because it will make life harder actually. But lately I was starting to get concerned as he is over 9 months old. I just love watching babies crawl for the first time.

So we're just having fun with these guys. Monday we took them to beach. I think we just stopped changing sandy diapers yesterday. Seth ate so much sand.

Let me add some pics for your pleasure.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A forum for my favorite faces

Sometimes I forget that my blog can be a billboard fo rmy beautiful babies. Here is one I took of Seth last week that I think is so, so cute. He loves to shove his pacifier in the wrong way because we laugh and he knows he's silly. By the way, I think he is about to crawl before too long. He scoots backwards everywhere.
Here is Levi at the zoo last week. This was definitely a fun experience for him. he continues to talk more and more and has to have at least two long sessions of bookreading everyday (of course, it's the same books over and over again).

I want to follow up that although there is ground be gained yet, I feel that we have had some redeeming moments since last week's board meeting. Things are still interesting and will remain so for a while. I feel better.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Board Meeting

So, bad board meeting tonight.