Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Anonymous Quotes

"We all like attention, some of us more than others. We can't all be Rosa Parks."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grow Into It

Once upon a time in a very far-off kingdom, a tiny princess was born. Her father the King declared a mandatory baby shower, because when a man first meets his baby daughter, he melts into a puddle and wishes for nothing more than to giver her everything, even more than what he already has (yes, even if what he already has is pretty much everything). So, every seamstress in town and country was directed to spin and weave and quilt and bind and sew until the princess should have a royal wardrobe befitting of her father’s desires. It’s no secret that women getting together for a baby shower know how to GET IT DONE, and these women were no exception. It was decided among them that it would be the epitome of silliness should ALL of the gifted garments be teeny-baby sized, so they organized themselves and each took responsibility for one set of royal dress to be worn on a specific day in the life of the little one--the later a seamstress signed up, the bigger the outfit she’d be making. In this way they progressed, until the day of the shower came, and these thoughtful women all gathered to present their lavish-yet-mandatory gift: not one, not two, not ten, but eighty-seven years worth of fine outfits, on the day the young miss turned sixteen days old.

After stocking the royal closet with a forest-worth of moth balls, the King and Queen happily settled into a routine of caring for their sweet girl, dressing her daily in whichever ensemble had been intended for her use that day by its handcrafter. However, when the princess turned four, she took a great interest in dressing herself, and indeed, over the course of the year, insisted more and more upon managing for herself the great gift which, because of her father’s wisdom and provision, had been bestowed to her. Her parents decided to allow it.

“This closet, and everything in it, is yours!,” her they proudly proclaimed as they passed her the key to the room. She opened the door and immediately shut it tight again. The sight of three miles of stored clothing, not to mention the overwhelming scent of cedar, was too much for her senses. She sheepishly looked up at her father and, thinking carefully, asked, “Papa, how exactly, might you... recommend I go about, in er, understanding - this?”

How proud the pair was of their heir in that moment! They knelt down and promised that every day, as she approached her trove, they would direct her in the best way to go; which compartment held the best clothing for each season, what hats went best with which shoes, and whether there was any wind chill that day, requiring use of a scarf, to say nothing of matching colors and patterns! They vowed to help her with each of these challenges until the day should come, and they were sure it would, when she knew their advice so well, she wouldn’t need it any more. They were right, of course. By the time the lovely princess had grown into young adulthood, she completely managed her past, present, and future clothes on her own, and with quite a fashionable eye, it was said by all.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Laundry-Room Sharing Neighbors,

I don't want to be using the shared laundry facility, believe me. I've got enough washing to tackle without also having to try to schedule trips to a laundry room while my children are sleeping. Trust me, I understand it must be frustrating for you to come out to the laundry room throughout the day, only to find what appears to be the same load of washing waiting in the same machine; it's frustrating for me to let it sit while I find a way to get to it. I know you must think me inconsiderate for leaving it for several hours of the day; I can tell by the way you take all the items out and stack them on top of another machine in order to wash your own stuff--repeatedly, even though I put it all right back in after you do that. You know what? I'm not mad that you think your laundry more important than mine. It's irritating, sure, but I never get mad at you. In fact, it brings a little smile to my face, because what you don't know is that those cloth diapers you're moving are in there so long because I've been down to the laundry room several times today, putting them through the special set of separate rinse and then wash cycles they need before they are clean. Every time you take my baby's diapers out in frustration, you're getting wet poop all over you.

hugs and kisses,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Will Perform for Love

This prompt, titled "Tell the story of a time you felt supremely loved," was my own suggestion to our little group. I'm not sure what I expected would come out of me, but I can't say the result anything but the utmost honesty.
To tell the story of a time one felt supremely loved is to reveal a very intimate part of the soul. People in their very nature can display scores of fears, aggressions, accomplishments, even hopes, and none of these will come so close to showing the inner workings of the Creator's design as describing what makes us feel loved. We were made for it, after all: to function in, from, and because of love. So, nothing here may be played close to the vest; when describing what makes me know I am loved, I am showing you me.
Naturally, then, the pressure is felt to accurately depict the moment or scene with brevity and perhaps a touch of clairvoyance; to be able to extrapolate the deep from the shallow is tantamount. What if I should explain something ever so slightingly off from its mark, and someone tried to replicate the event, aiming to fill up my love tank? How awkward to explain their efforts fell short! What if in attempting to tell the innermost parts of me, I utterly fail to bring the right words, and what I see on the page is a rude, unbefitting description of the buzzingly delicious love I know is so deeply imprinted on my soul? How disappointing.
Perhaps, then, I should begin simply, with a word.
My high school was remarkable in that, for such a small campus, in such a small town, it had a rather well-developed arts program. Three full-length stage productions per school year came out of the theater department alone, one of which was a school-wide, open audition format; even if you weren't in one of the advanced classes, you could try for a part. There were six Lost Boys in our production of Peter Pan that year, and I was counted among them.
The remainder of my four year high school career was spent immersed in this little world, pursuing as many roles and as much involvement as I could get my hot little hands in touch with; I was lucky in this way, to have found something that made the 'Krisann switch' turn on at such an early point in my life. The Krisann switch (not to be confused with a tasty Croissanwich) had been ever present and oft-alighted throughout my young childhood. I was the kid who considered all adjacent relatives and playmates mine for the directing in any number of the backyard shows I scripted, choreographed, starred in, directed, and produced. Any available family members and neighbors were then commanded to serve as audience while I helmed our performances. These activities increased, in number and intensity, culminating in regular productions and a trip to New York as a senior.
Telling this story doesn't seem to intersect with the traditional themes you might expect in a discourse about feeling loved. There was no moment where, say, my parents came to a show, shedding tears of pride in their daughter's accomplishments like a scene out of a cheesy movie. There was no theater critic attending incognito, writing rave reviews about the young starlet, and nary a talent scout sporting an outrageous East coast accent to be found. There was just the quiet, rushing warmth of standing on a stage, being watched, sharing myself. Then, that glorious applause. The stuff that made me beam and bounce off the walls and feel, maybe know on some cellular level, that I, this person I was growing into was, firstly, at all lovable.
As a girl who was raised in the church, you can imagine this idea, this sort of thirst after glory and praise, was met with some resistance in my head space. "God doesn't share glory!" I argued with my feelings. I had this idea that I'd one day have to die to myself, my love of performing, my love of praise, because it was in direct competition with my belief system, and my jealous God would ask me to exchange it all for proof that I followed him. So I bailed. I spent several years learning nothing more of the God I'd claimed was my own, and focused only on feeling loved.
I wish someone had told me. I wish someone had said that the feeling of hotly burning cheeks under the lights, feeling glorious, was good. I wish someone had explained that when I worked hard for months in preparation and then skillfully performed my role, that basking sort of stillness while receiving a standing ovation could be one of the ways to connect with the identity of a jealous Lord, not a threat to it. I wish someone had pulled me aside to say, "Girl, when you perform, I see the imprint of the one who made you. Brava."
No one did, so when my preferences came full circle and I returned to pursuing the scholarly and spiritual aspects of my reignited devotion, I pulled a move straight out of 128 Hours. I took a crude instrument and sliced off an entire part of me in order to escape from a harrowing situation. It was harrowing, really, because in the process of bailing on God to pursue my stage, I wound up in a series of tighter and tighter spots, emotionally and spiritually. In shedding theses vices and grasping for freedom, I thought I'd finally come to the moment of laying down my life; you know, laying down what I thought was fun in exchange for something serious and expected. What a grown-up I was being! How very mature! It worked too, except for that terribly pained whisper inside of me every time I thought of theater. You'd never have known it on the outside; I'd become good at 'denying myself' for the sake of suffering for the cause. Thankfully, I began to learn more and realized that much of my thinking on these matters was challenge-worthy to say the least. A year in school of ministry cured me of most of those beliefs, but by that point I had no idea of a way to merge the two now-seemingly disparate parts of me.
The journey to rectify that split carried on over the years as I married and became a mom. So finally we come to the climax of the story. Rattling on about the challenges of motherhood one day, I sat at the kitchen counter of my friend Karlet's house, appreciative of her open ear and understanding expressions. We talked at length regarding my place as a mom, feeling trapped (I had no vehicle at the time and relied on anyone and everyone to go anyplace), feeling alone, and unsupported, and not knowing where to direct this growing angst and anxiety about my life. Like a skilled surgeon, she laid me open with a single slice of a phrase, "Well, you're a show person. You need applause." I felt my head involuntarily responding with two small nods, the second of which continued straight into a head slam onto my arms in front of me.  For minutes I sat with my face in my hands and wept violently. This was no pretty, churchy cry; this was legitimate snot-filled, swollen-faced bawling. While I released all that grief, feeling less alone and more known, I heard it finally. I heard the Father whisper resoundingly into my soul, "Feeling glorious is good, baby girl. When you feel that praise, you have a rare and unique opportunity to understand me more, to know why I ask you for it. My girl, when you perform, I get to see my blueprints alive and at work exactly as I designed them, and I love it. Brava."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Worth it.

On our drive home today after a lunch with a friend, my little one's attitude had reached beyond the max of what this mama can handle. I addressed her from the driver's seat.

"Miah, you've been having a hard time listening to me today, so when we get home you're going to take a nap."

"But, I will listen to you!"

"Oh, good, that will be nice."

She paused a moment, probably unraveling the tale of how these things have gone before. Namely, that when she promises to change something that's already gotten her this far, she still has to lie down. She finally responded.

"I love you mommy, but sometimes I don't. I like you too, but sometimes I don't."

"Oh really? Well that's a bummer, because I always love you. Every day. Even when you don't listen to me. Even when you disobey. Even when you make messies on purpose and forget to be my nice girl. I love you no matter what."

"Even when I cannot listen to you?"

"Yes, even then."

"But what about when I'm whining?"

"Yes, I love you even when I'm telling you to stop doing those things."

"Well, what's gonna make you not love me?"

"Nothing. Nothing will ever, ever happen that will make me not love you. I will always and every day love you, no matter what."

As I unbuckled her from her car seat she lifted her arms up around my neck and said, "I can't believe you will always take care of me!"

I think she got it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February. One Down, Eleven to Go.

For the year 2012, I laid out a plan for small, totally accomplishable improvements to tackle each month in three categories: body, brain, and home. We're aiming to take good care of our selves, enrich our creativity, and continue our structure and organization mission. The aim is to continue any and all good habits and patterns started in one month into the next. By December 2012, we will have stacked up a whole slew of accomplishments and life adjustments.


Body: Dessert
Water cleanse last month went well, and I am pleased to report I'm re-hooked on water. I think of it more than milk or juice again, huzzah! This month is the festival of chocolate hoarding and consumption--yeah for Valentine's Day! Therefore, for the month of February, we will refrain from any sweets that are not home-made. Home-made desserts and treats are likely to be better for the body for two reasons. Firstly, they will be lacking in preservatives and shelf-stabilizing ingredients which really would better not end up in a living body. Secondly, if you're going to take the time to make up a dessert from scratch, you're (me especially) likely to indulge less often. This is going to be some severe self-control on my part, and I'm thinking the timing of this goal is especially poignant.

Brain: Finish last month's book!
Life does a great job of sidelining your plans, and both my brain and home goals from January will be reallocated to this month. I took a job editing a book for a friend (so great!) so my reading time disappeared while I adjusted to my new schedule. Aaron started school again, too, so we're both playing catch-up this month. Not sweating it. Next month will see the start of a new book, as well as an activity I'm very excited about getting underway.

Home: Dining/schooling storage
I bought some supplies for my job instead of my shelves, again, as these things go. Tax return is coming, so shelves are sure to follow! Also, I'm patient as I can be, his wait to replace my washer is killing me. Get here soon, money!

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