Defining Grace Two: Let It Be Me

During the American Presidential election debates, I became increasingly angry.

Ouch. (Rubbing my ears.) Yes, I just heard the “so was I” shouts and moans.Ever wish you could just romp and call it a day?

In my case, I’d never watched a political debate in my life. My parents, and then my husband did the watching and grousing up until this year. Until this year, my attitude has been:

What could be fun about worrying that the candidate I oppose is the fool who will lead my sons for four, maybe even eight years?

With this election, those eight years take our January baby right into adulthood. So, hearing the careless, utterly wrong and jacked up feather fluffing of the candidate I oppose went straight to my mom brain and has me sleepless with worry once again.

This blog is not about politics, so don’t leave me now, as this post will stay non-partisan and will get to my point in a few scroll clicks.

Oh “hell’s bells” as my mother would say, I’ll just get to the point now, and if you have time to read my longer than usual post, feel free to scroll and read on.

Are you ready?

The process of trying to experience grace has more than once, more than twice, even more than thrice made me mad. Very, very mad.

But, life has taught me that the only way through is not around or under these speed bumps, but to ramp those suckers and hope for the best. ~ Kate

After I got a few sentences into this post the other day I started thinking about when might have been the first time I felt the effects of trying to ram rod good to happen in my life. I found myself being little in my mind’s eye. How old are little girls when they first try the “he loves me, loves me not?” game of pulling daisy pedals off one at a time to learn the “truth” by way of an empty flower stem?

Young. That’s for sure.

I remember sitting on our front porch stoop and being irate that the damn flower didn’t work. Who knows if the object of my heart was “Fonzie”, or the handsome dudes on the T.V. show “Emergency,” or the acting student at my father’s work that ‘I could die for.’ Maybe it was the 5th grade dream boat that declared his crush on me with a Grape Ape Shrinky Dink, only to be too shy to deal with teasing as we continued to pass notes in class.

At any rate – that is what trying to jam prayers, hopes…dreams into the God funnel feels like. It’s like a little girl who did

every

single

thing right,

including trying a few more flowers and cheating by counting the pedals or accidentally on purpose plucking two to get the “he loves me” right on cue. For some reason what I remember about that day is that I plucked my little heart out, and what made me so angry is that I said to myself:

One more. Try just one more.

And the stupid thing landed on “he loves me not.”

Hopefully I went inside the house and had a cold glass of Tang and then skipped off to some other more productive activity.

But, isn’t that what wanting to throw things at a news clip of a debate is like? In the end, what upset me the most about the debates was the hyper active predictions, and re-predictions, and conflation about who won which debate and why. I’m actually a pretty big fan of social media for the sake of what it can do for good. I figure that this is where we are…many are living and breathing and believing all that is online – so grab that communication tool and promote what deserves to be promoted and try to ignore the rest.

But Good God Almighty! The concept that a news headline, or political leaning of a news channel is what decides the winner of a Presidential debate is Cray and Zee in my world. I’m not mad at the media, they are feeding us the Hostess treats we ask for…and repeating it every nanosecond because our attention spans have become that short.

Maybe the issue for me is that I had good parents and was raised to somehow know that lousy daisy pedal odds or not, my voice counts, but only if I use it.

So, use it I am…trying anyway. I’m retweeting and praying and going to rallys and signing up to give out water to the good people who are running the voting (not prediction!) polls. I launched a get out the female vote pumpking carving #GoVote TweetAThon with me, myself and I. It made absolutely no sense, but did burn off a lot of worry and impressed the heck out of said ten-year old son when lit up in our dark family room.

...tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

…tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

So, I mentioned in the previous post is that my plan is to come up with five definitions of grace, and to pass on a song that touches me in connection to that pondering. Here goes:

Grace is about being a mad hatter.

Grace is when you wipe out your mother’s garden and STILL have no luck with getting the cooties.

Grace is that the television you threw your slippers at was the 200 pound NotSoFlat screen and that you remembered to say You Rotten JackWagon! rather than…..

Grace is just that. It’s graceful!

And the music? Ray LaMontange and his song Let It Be Me. I close my eyes and try to imagine Jesus himself rowing me in a boat…and some times I am calm. Off to listen again.

Bye for now, Kate.

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Forgiveness Friday: A Little Band of Angels

“ Then a voice came from Heaven.

‘I will show myself. And I will do it again!’ ”

(John 12: 24-25, 32-33)

Okay. It’s good that I went for a walk.

Here’s the bottom line of my past couple of weeks based on a 20 minute cruise around the block:

1: I’m Homesick

2: I’m Scared

As it should be, there is media frenzy in the United States about one of the many murders of a young black man that have happened in the past few weeks. I’m struggling to respond to both the frenzy and the brutal loss of life.

Over most of my last, say, ten Lents that I’ve observed, I’ve found myself needing to give up some or all forms of media that include the news. I’ve always been a hater of news that frightens.

I’m tempted to blame it on the press and my memories of war footage during dinner meals as a little girl. For now, I’m taking the easy way out and blaming it on my brother. That’s what siblings are for, right? Hopefully he’s not still angry that I cracked the code for his little 12” square safe when he was out playing in the yard back in 1970 whatever.

Nah. Can’t blame him for even the price of tea in China…he’s the bestOof the Pesto and he didn’t turn my t.v. set on when I watched too much news. I did. Right?

Last year I tried to give up sarcasm for Lent. It was a good idea – “say what you mean and mean what you say.” Unfortunately, I only lasted 48 hours.

HOMESICK

This year my plan was to give up Facebook, and do for others as I read about and pray for illustrator Maurice Sendak.

The Facebook thing has been fairly easy as I find myself bored and confused there most days of late, but gave into peeking and full out looking by last week as I was waiting to hear if a friend’s baby had been born in Ohio.

Done! Hudson made it to the world safe and sound so my temptation to peek is gone and done.

So, yes.

That’s the homesick part. This is my first Spring West of the Mississip’ and I’m giving myself a reprieve. Patiently waiting for baby photos is a good and healthy thing.

It’s funny isn’t it?

Homesickness, I’m realizing, is no different from grief. It’s all about: “Daaang, I’m miss that <enter place, time, person, food item, grandpa, special tree with the handmade swing…etc, and et cetera>

Yes?

I wish I could remember which friend or family member was checking on me a few months back about our transition from one state to next. I was trying to explain that what stinks about the level of change in our family in the past year is that moments of sadness pass and at my age, I can’t exactly remember which <enter place, time, person, food item, grandpa, special tree with the handmade swing…etc, and et cetera> I am missing.

Ha! Like just now! I just finished closing my eyes for a second to remember what I was going to type next and a crow went screaming by outside. As I started a nano doze I must have been thinking of – jeepers, who knows, but it jolted my eyes back open.

“Whoah!” My tired and adult mind says – “Wake up. You’ve been hearing crows for 45 years now. Bzzzzzzzdt. No times for a nap dearie. In just a bit you need to conquer the urban sprawl and get to the store.”

FEAR

So, my Forgiveness Friday post is this:

Grace, for me in the past 24 hours or so, arrived in my kitchen a few hours ago in the form of Eric Clapton’s version of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

It was 5:40 a.m. or some such and I’d just sent one son off to track practice (gotta’ run when it’s cool), and turned around to see the Jordan River, and this is what it looked like:

Though as a first world mom I am inordinately thankful for a dishwasher, the drama queen in me wanted to fall to the tile and weep.

I know. I’m not the only woman living near the Mississippi or Jordan rivers with lots of worry or weary on this fine spring morning. Dishes to need to be done and boys are being murdered on both sides of the planet as we speak. Scary stuff. I guess I was feeling like I needed to solve both problems by noon.

Enter our boy Clapton….I stood there at the sink for a second and tried to get my bearings and found my self jamming out to my sweet little BandOfAngels sink shelf for a couple of minutes. I went over to the window and looked at the sun that was just up.

I remembered that one of our boys has a new best friend in said house, took a deep breath, and went back to my Sticky Note plans for at least today.

If you too need a little Clampton to get you to noon…here’s a link: Swing Low.

Pax, Kate