Category Archives: musings

Lost – The Soap Opera

I decided to check out Lost online because I am not a TV watcher, but like the idea of catching a few shows now and again without commercials and because it’s interesting to find out what some of the hype is about sometimes.

The first episode of the first season was harrowing and set the stage for a very intense show. I watched about four episodes before it hit me hard that in order for this show to go on four seasons (five?) there was going to have to be an awful lot of he said, she said, and a lot of cliffhangery. Like when Jack got buried in the cave and Kate was desperately afraid he was dead. I’m like, Kate? Jack is the star of the show and I don’t think he’s in a salary dispute. Rest assured he will be fine. And indeed he was, only a dislocated shoulder that he manfully put back into the socket with the help of a cohort while he was still stuck in the cave.

I’m puzzled as to the appeal of this show, unless it IS the soap-opera quality of it. The characters aren’t all that likeable, and the plot just seems so contrived. The last episode I watched (fifth episode, first season) had the bad-boy character holding a flame under the painful letter he has been carrying around, but alas he was not able to actually set it on fire. So we were left hanging — will Sawyer ever be able to come to terms with his past?

Whatever. Just kind of shows me that my lack of television watching doesn’t mean I’m missing much. At least so far. But Lost lost its lustre and has run its course for me. Wonder what everyone else sees in it four seasons later?

My Take on the Creation Museum

G’day Mates. We spent the afternoon at the Creation Museum, thanks to the generosity of friends who loaned us guest passes. This saved us $154 since we took in the planetarium show as well, which was an extra cost.

Bad news, dawgs. I didn’t like the place.

We started in the planetarium. That was awesome and sufficiently stunning and marvelous and reinforced my belief at how amazingly wonderful nature is.

Unfortunately, our next stop was the “Special Effect Theater” for the “Men in White” show. This was where things started to go seriously downhill. I couldn’t figure out if the volume and sheer intensity was designed to impact a people who are used to lots of noise and sound, if they were trying to mimic being in a regular movie theater where the movies are very loud, if they were trying to evoke some particular emotions by making everything so loud and big, or if perhaps they just thought it would be cool to have a really loud, really jarring show. I didn’t stay for the whole thing. I left when the auditorium ceiling started dropping raindrops on me and the screens started raging with the flood being reenacted. Kepler was sitting on my lap, and I knew Eli also prefers not to be in such overwhelming sensory stimulation. But, honestly, I left the room for myself (taking Kepler with me), because I did not want to sit through the program. Apparently, it got better, but it was more than I wanted to experience.

We walked through the rest of the museum and looked at all the exhibits, wondering which ones were real and which were memorex. You would see an exhibit of real tree frogs next to an exhibit of fake birds and slugs next to an exhibit of real birds. That was at the beginning of the whole walk-through thing, so I think I got the big “which parts of this are real and which are staged” question rolling around right off the bat. Of course the displays where, for example, Moses was standing there with his Stone Tablets, weren’t supposed to be seen as real, but of course the intent at the museum was to convince you that the creation account in Genesis is true and that EVERYTHING else in the world and history hinges on that.

What I expected was information — basically I figured we’d be seeing pictures with evolutions’s explanation on one side and creation’s explanation on the other. I did not expect all this trauma being shown in the “catastrophe” and “corruption” sections.

We enjoyed the botanical gardens outside, and the petting zoo. We all agreed we liked the outside better than the inside, and we all loved the planetarium show.

Because of the juxtaposition of the real and fake, I was left feeling like the place was a skillfully and excellently done science fair project called “Creation vs. Evolution — why they are wrong and we are right.”

Very well laid out from a commercial standpoint, from the beginning where you are encouraged to get a photo made to give you a “lifetime souvenir” with the tour ending in the gift shop, to the snack bars and restaurants placed strategically throughout. The exhibits are also very well done — the wax figures were remarkably lifelike. The animatron dinosaurs were very cool.

Overall, a good experience because I had the opportunity to process the experience as something that happened rather than something that was good or bad, and certainly not an experience that had anything to do with whether or not I am a worthy, valuable person. Years ago, not liking this museum would have left me with the conclusion that I was first of all a very bad Christian, and second of all, a bad person for disliking it. But, I’ve come to believe that we’re all different and we have different perspectives and takes on things. This post was my take on an experience I had. Your mileage may vary.

Shall we Order McCain/Palin t-shirts?

This was the subject line in an email from my good friend, Holly, which arrived in my inbox this morning.

Perhaps it is not the most politically astute decision to be in favor of someone just because they are a mother of five, like I am, with the youngest one having Down syndrome, like ours does. But I believe it says a lot about Mrs. Palin that she knew her baby had DS and she still chose to give life to her child.

And surely there are others in the US of A who are in favor of a particular candidate because of something as non-political as what I am mentioning here.

I don’t get very involved in political discourse, although I do vote every time I have the chance. I haven’t read the cynical version of why McCain chose Palin, although I’m sure someone out there has cast aspersions on his reasoning. I don’t guess we really get to know everything — all we can do is figure things out the best we can.

I’m even going to get a yard sign. First time ever.

I Suck Because I Made the Special Speaker Cry*

*thanks to my sister for this title

I’ve been part of a wonderful group of women who have been meeting for nine weeks with the focus on food issues, although we rarely discuss food. Food issues is what brought us together but we are bound together by many commonalities, not the least of which is larning to simply believe we are ok in spite of our myriad problems. I love these women and this group. We have only one more week and then our time together will end.

Last night, we had a special speaker who has overcome an eating disorder of many years duration. She shared her story, which gave all the glory to God for His help in her victory. She gave us several pages of scriptures and expressed her belief that the Bible addresses every one of our issues and that we cannot make changes without God’s truth.

So, it’s not that I disagree, necessarily. But as I grew up in several churches (Baptist and fundy), I took in messages, which may or may not have been explicit, that in general, I was not ok. What I wanted, what I felt, what I needed, what I WAS — none of these things were ok. Verses such as Jeremiah 17:9 (The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?) were reinforcement to me that there was nothing good in me. Never mind that I don’t remember ever hearing about the context of this verse, or if there were other places in the Bible that told a different story about me. And then Paul says, “No, I beat my body and make it my slave . . .” Again, context? Again, can we temper this for someone who has shame at the core?

What I have found over the past year is that, IN SPITE of what I learned in church, I have actually come to understand some pretty important things. And I learned them AFTER I had prayed MANY times to have my mind transformed, to be changed. So, one could say that the things I have learned are the answer to those prayers. But I am deeply convinced that the transforming of our mind is not MAGIC. Unless we learn something new to put in there, the old stuff has a way of staying around.

1. What I thought of as a terrible flaw in myself turns out to be wholly related to self-image. I never understood why I saw myself either as superior to someone else or inferior to them. I just chalked it up to pride and made sure to remind myself several times a day about how bad a person I was. Seems that what is required to avoid the superiority/inferiority thing is to learn how to see eye-to-eye. Probably sounds pretty logical and duh! but wasn’t something I had a clue about.

2. And speaking of pride, I discovered that it can be incredibly prideful and self-centered to think so badly of oneself. To always, in a conversation, be worrying about what the other person thinks of me, to always think I’m offensive just by being around — these are not things that come from true humility and love.

3. It is ok to believe I am ok, that I am more than ok, that perfection is not the goal. (Ah, but what to do with Matthew 5:48: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.'”) The way I see it, my former obsession with perfection was all about ME. I was convinced that if I could be perfect, I could be loved. And if I couldn’t be perfect, I couldn’t be loved.

3. I have come to believe that “You make me mad” is incorrect. My response to you is what makes me mad, not your actions or words. This has gone a long way to helping me understand that having boundaries clarified whose problem something is. Not to say that I don’t give a rip if you feel sad, mad, scared or ashamed after an interaction with me. I will always want to apologize or make it right however I can. But your feelings are YOUR feelings. This means that I do not have to carry the responsibility for every person in the world.

4. The bottom line is LOVE.

So, last night as we responded to what the speaker said, I tried to explain my baggage from misinterpreting Scriptures and that I wanted to get rid of the baggage, and for the moment, that means allowing some space and healing to occur around some of the beliefs I internalized. However, the speaker was visibly upset by this and ended up expressing her doubts about really having the ministry she feels called to do. We all gathered around her and prayed for her and it was a really sweet time. I think it was very important for her to realize that not everyone is going to accept her message and for her to see how very responsible she feels for the outcome of giving her testimony. As my sister said, all you can do is hold out the beacon of truth. It is not your responsibility what others do with it.

Before I had the awesome opportunity to learn the truths I listed above, I truly would have felt like I Suck Because I Made the Special Speaker Cry. Instead, I had the opportunity to practice being authentic. I was careful about what I said. I did not set out to hurt her feelings, or discount what she said. In a group such as ours, the point of it is to share ourselves with each other. I shared my resistance to the message and I told why. I know that doesn’t sit well with people who hate to rock the boat. I wasn’t sure I was going to say anything, but someone commented on my silence and asked about it. I took the risk to express myself. I addressed the fact that it seemed like what I had said was hurtful to her and I told her I was sorry for hurting her. But I’m learning that being authentic sometimes means things are uncomfortable for a while, and that often a deeper relationship and more meaningful interaction are the outcome.

So, I don’t really suck. Nor did I make the special speaker cry. But somehow, as God seems to be able to do, He used all the elements to minister to quite a few of us all at once.

An Essential Part of Summer

The Lemonade Stand.

Is there anything as fun? We have such generous neighbors, and the kids are always very excited when they receive a nice tip. Usually, just the two boys sell lemonade, but the girls (my daughter and niece) had just made cookies, so they decided to pool their resources.

These resourceful children have sold more than just lemonade and cookies. In fact, on the way back from the grocery store run to buy the lemonade and cups, the boys were reminiscing about the time they sold “collections.” These were such treasures as a bucket of rocks (which someone actually bought), a group of leaves, several acorns — anything they could find in the backyard. I think the boys were about 6 or 7 when they had their “collections” sale.

These two boys have been friends since we moved in here, 9 years ago, when both of them were almost 4 years old. Such sweet memories.

Eating without Distractions

This lady has the right idea, or you would certainly think so if you came to my house. Every one of us loves to read while we eat — we’ll even read the cereal box if there is nothing else available. (I think reading while eating is “the thinking man’s” version of reading while watching tv.)

Since we have five growing children in the house, we have noticed this phenomenon that happens — I go grocery shopping and bring the groceries home. The kids unload the car, and emit loud exclamations of enthusiasm as they see all the good food. As I unload the bags and put the food away, the mongering hordes swoop in and pick up a bag of this and a carton of that and four or five pieces of fruit (per person). I can’t even get the food put away before a decent amount of it is eaten.

The problem is, sometimes, a lot of times, we don’t eat until we are full. We eat until the bag is empty, or we have finished the page/chapter/book/article. I think I have alluded elsewhere to my love/hate relationship with food and eating, and I would rather not pass that along to our kids, even though I may do it unintentionally.

I recently posted a sign on the fishbowl on our dining room table asking everyone to refrain from reading while eating and I explained my thinking. Each time we eat now, we use bowls, plates, silverware, etc., and even NAPKINS! I asked everyone, as an experiment, to just focus on the eating process, the texture and taste of the food.

Here’s what I have found out. Eating is boring! If I’m reading a book, I can chew crispy foods for a long time. If I am sitting at the table, I can’t chew quite as much food. I just don’t want to take the time.

Do you think this could be a major diet phenomena all over the world? Could I get famous and be on Oprah? Maybe not and maybe not, but if I only eat while I’m doing nothing else, I bet I might even lose some weight.

Things I Wondered at Boomerang Bay Today

I wonder why people, large and small, choose to wear such teeny-tiny swimsuits. (Not a good idea to google this to get a picture. Oops.) Surely they have heard of the damage that sun can do to their skin. And I think some of those ladies need to look in a mirror from behind before they leave home. Just seems weird to me that our societal standards seem to accept going around nearly naked.

I wonder why people pierce themselves. I’ve never asked anyone why they had pierced their lip, tongue, eyebrow, etc, but I just wonder what is the appeal of piercings.

I wonder why people tattoo words like “hate” across their stomach.

But mostly, I wondered why people ride the “lazy river” ride and then speed through it as fast as they can. Greg and I took Kepler on that ride and we truly lazed around the route. MANY people passed us. Made me laugh.