Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Good Friday – and it’s only “good” because of what happened on Sunday. And it’s so easy to fast forward past Friday right to Sunday.

But, we should pause here on Friday. We need to remember Friday.

Friday was the day of Jesus’ physical pain. It was the day when his friends abandoned him. It was when he paid for all of our sin through his death.

Friday is necessary for Sunday to have meaning.

I hate thinking about Friday. About someone taking my sin. Suffering for me.

It’s Friday. Sunday’s coming.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lagniappe–March 28, 2013



1. My Rosie Girl was practically dancing a jog when she went to mail her acceptance of her place in the UWSP music school a couple of days ago. It’s so nice to see her so happy!

2. We watched Les Miserables the other night as a family. Wild Man’s favorite part: In the beginning when Javert tells Valjean that he’s on parole and asks if he knows what that means and Valjean says, “Yes, it means I’m free!”, but then Javert says, emphatically, “NO!” Yes. Wild Man is a strange child.

3. Sassy and Silver are binary cats. They have two modes: on and off. They are either sleeping or they are running around like crazy cats.

4. We had some catnip that I put in socks for the cats to play with, but I think the catnip was really, really old because the cats have been completely ignoring it.

5. Our car (Saturn VUE) died. Completely died. But, some good came out of it. A friend bought it and towed it to his place where he has a winch and can take the dead (as a doornail) engine out of it and put a new engine in. So, his daughter has cleaned the car spotless and is now working on coming up with the money to buy an engine that her dad will put in the car and it will have life once again!

6. In the meantime, we are living with one car for a couple of months. My brother is going to give us his SUV after his in-laws buy a new vehicle. Or something like that. We’re in the middle of musical cars. Eventually, Patrick and Lydia will go to Georgia to get a car. Thanks, Curt!!!

7. The snow and ice around here are finally melting and we have some sunshine!! My mood is definitely lifting! Not much longer before we can put in the screens and open the windows!!

That’s our life right now. What’s up with you?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Which I Write About Nothing

I have all kinds of deep and profound things to say tonight, but my brain refuses to cooperate. Instead, I’ll write about nothing.

I actually worked at the shop most of the day. Mostly, I worked on the website and our Pinterest boards, but I also managed to put out a blog post. I also did a couple of “yarn shop owner-like” things, like schedule time with a yarn rep.

I also got around to felting some slippers that I’d finished knitting about a month ago. They’re drying on the table in the shop.

Other than that, I’ve done some knitting on a pair of socks.

There you have it. A blog post about nothing.

How’s your day been going?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Ending of Les Mis

I watched Les Mis on Amazon twice this weekend. I love that musical. I cry every time I see it. But I don’t think it’s ultimately a sad movie. Grace triumphs in the end.

At least that’s how I always saw it. But as I was thinking about it today, I was wondering if it really is a happy ending. Or, at least a just and good ending.

Jean Valjean ends his life with the only family he has known and he is “escorted” to heaven by Fantine. That’s definitely good. Jean Valjean has consistently been a picture of grace. He was given grace by the priest early on in the story and he then gives grace to those around him throughout his life.

What I wonder about is the young people who were fighting for justice. They were all killed. Yes, they are shown at the end of the movie on the “heavenly barricade”, but their sacrifice isn’t shown to have any purpose. Marius goes back to his privileged life and marries Cosette.

We spend a good bit of the movie with the poor people of Paris and see their desire for freedom. Yet, all the young men who were willing to fight are killed by the government. The people didn’t rise up in armed revolt. And, once Marius is removed from the scene, the only glimpse we have at the tavern again is Marius revisiting it to sing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and see some of the women cleaning the street. And then we’re back to upper class Paris.

What happened to the poor people of Paris? Did anything change for them? Did those young men (and one boy and one young woman) die in vain? We aren’t told in the story.

Something seems wrong, though. Marius eschews his upper class heritage to fight for freedom, but he is the only one to survive (although not by his own actions). And he is allowed to go back to his previous life. No one else had that option.

I think that Les Mis has a happy ending for the main characters, but the story is played out against a background that does not include social justice.

Just my two cents’ worth. What do you think?

Monday, March 25, 2013


So, I have depression. And I have had for several years.

I’d like to say it’s because of my headaches. Does that make a difference? Is depression more acceptable if there’s a “cause”? I’m depressed because I have a headache most of the time. I’m depressed because I can’t work. I’m depressed because . . . .

How about this? I’m depressed because. Just because. Because my neurotransmitters don’t work the way they’re supposed to.

I’d like to think there’s a reason underlying my depression because otherwise I start to think it’s somehow my fault that I get sad and want to cry a lot. I think that if I were a stronger person that I’d be able to “get over it”. Being depressed for no good reason seems like a character flaw.

And I think all those wrong things despite getting a very good education in college, medical school, and beyond that depression is an illness of the brain that can be treated and is not caused by “bad character”.

I’ve never even been to churches that teach that Christians shouldn’t be depressed. (Although I’ve read some articles that suggest that.)

So, yeah, I have depression.

And it’s worse than usual right now despite my medications. This winter feels like it has been longer than usual. We decided to move in the winter (crazy? yes. but lots of other benefits, so we gritted our teeth and moved.) and are just now finishing getting boxes emptied. I’ve been taking my thyroid medication with my iron so that neither one was getting absorbed, so I’ve got low thyroid and iron levels. My treadmill is at the other house so I’m not exercising enough.

So, what do I do?

I get out of bed in the morning. Every. Blasted. Morning.

I get dressed every day (well, except when I have a really bad migraine).

I take my meds.

I have the curtains open, have heavy duty lights by my chair, and take Vitamin D.

I read my Bible.

I see my counselor.

I think really hard about exercising. And occasionally actually use the Wii Fit.

Mostly I keep going. A crying spell here or there. (I watched Les Mis yesterday while I was home alone just for a reason to have a good cry. It was therapeutic.)

That’s it. I’m depressed. I really hope you’re not.

Teenagers and Sex

Evangelicals have been pushing the “purity” message to our teens for the last 30+ years. Whether it’s “True Love Waits” or Daddy-daughter dances, we’ve done all kinds of things to try to help our kids wait till they’re married to become sexually active. And we’ve failed miserably. Evangelical kids are having sex at the same rate as unchurched kids.

I’ve been part of this. I’ve talked to groups of middle school kids about sexually transmitted infections and why they should wait to have sex. I’ve done seminars for parents about why it’s important for them to talk with their kids about sex and waiting till marriage.

And I’ve talked to my own kids. Not just about the mechanics of sex. Although, since they were blessed with an MD for a mom, they get to learn everything in far more detail. I also teach them about sexually transmitted infections and sexual violence, complete with CDC handouts.

Now my son is in a Bible study group for young men about sexual purity. How did he get this old?

Yes, it’s important that we teach kids about this. We want them to wait until they’re married to become sexually active. The physical consequences of premarital sex can be significant.

But, in another way, we’ve singled out this one sin for special treatment. We’ve made it clear to kids that losing their virginity is a BIG sin. One that affects everything else. Some go so far as to say that being sexually experienced will ruin a marriage.

Psalm 51 is my Bible reading for tonight and the reason I chose to write about this. David committed adultery and murder. Psalm 51 was his confession and repentance. In verse 17, he says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

Sexual sin is a big deal, but God forgives this sin the same way he forgives any other sin. When we are talking to our teenagers, we need to be honest with them. God doesn’t want their virginity more than anything else. He wants their hearts. And if they sin, he’ll forgive them.

In the years that I was talking with teens about sex, I know that there was a heavy emphasis on behavior and a lot less emphasis on the relationship of the teenagers with God. It’s so easy for us to focus on DOING the right things. That’s generally pretty easy to see and talk about. It’s much harder to talk about what’s going on in our hearts and how our walk with Jesus is going.

And love. Our kids need unconditional love from their parents, but also from other adults. I’m so encouraged that there are other adults in my kids’ lives that really love them and show them the love of Jesus.

So I’m still talking with my kids about healthy and appropriate sexuality, but I’m also encouraging them to walk with Jesus. And I’m trying to help them see that God is a God of love and forgiveness, not a God of “do it right or else”.

What do you think? How are you handling “the talk” with your kids?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Week(s) In Review–March 24, 2013


Despite the psychosis of moving, there has been some education going on in our home. The big news is that Rosie Girl got into the MUSIC DEPARTMENT at UWSP!! She’s very excited – and so are PWM and I!!

Here’s what else is going on:

Wild Man

History – The late 1800s, Progressivism, the Gold Standard

Literature – My Heart Lies South

Writing – I told Wild Man to write a couple of paragraphs on one of a couple of different topics. He chose to write about what kind of guitar he prefers. Without my prompting (but a little help from his sister), he wrote a five paragraph essay. I’m so excited that he did this pretty much on his own and I don’t need to teach him how to do this!! He still gets very frustrated with spelling and grammar, but those are easier to teach than writing. I’ll enroll him in WriteAtHome next year, but this year I’ll just have him work on spelling and grammar and do a couple of more papers.

Bible – Using BibleMESH. So far, I really like this program and Wild Man seems to be engaging it.

Math – Plodding away . . .

Music – About a month ago, his percussion group played at Solo and Ensemble and got a perfect score. They couldn’t go to State because their piece was a level B, but they were excited about how well they played. The band did really well a couple of days later at their concert. Wild Man is still leading the worship band on Wednesday nights at church and getting a lot out of it.

Rosie Girl

Literature – Finished Wuthering Heights and is writing a paper comparing it to Jane Eyre.

Social Science – About to start Psychology. She was going to do Social Change, but she wasn’t crazy about the possible topics she’d be reading about, so we’ve decided on Psychology instead.

Math – Almost done with Algebra 2.

Japanese – Rosetta Stone

Music – She’s getting her pieces ready for her senior recital. She’s doing her piano recital with one other girl, so they’re going to do the piece she composed last summer. Rosie Girl will play ocarina and the other girl will play the piano part.

Dance – Rosie Girl is really into Dr. Who these days, so she’s going to do her Senior Dance to the intro from Dr. Who. She has her costume, but she hasn’t started to choreograph yet. Next week, she’s actually going to teach the tap class that she usually demonstrates for since the teacher will be gone that day.

Other – Rosie Girl is in the midst of putting together scholarship applications. Next week is Spring Break, but she’s going to be doing lots of writing and filling out forms. Yay!

What is your family up to these days?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–March 22, 2013


I’ve been kind of depressed lately, and my counselor reminded me that writing usually helps my mood, so here goes:

1. One reason I’ve been kind of down is that it’s SO. INCREDIBLY. COLD!! The low yesterday was in the single digits. In the middle of March. I realize we live in the Great White North, but it’s supposed to be springtime!! I can only hope that we don’t have anymore snow storms this season.

2. I had my annual labwork done and found out that, while my cholesterol and blood sugar are spectacular, my thyroid and iron were both terrible. It turns out that I was taking my iron supplement at the same time I was taking my thyroid medication. And they interfere with each other’s absorption. DUH!! Sometimes, it’s like med school never even happened. With a TSH of 12, no wonder I’m feeling kind of sad and blue. And a really low ferritin doesn’t help my cause. So, I’m taking my iron at lunchtime to try to get things back on track.

3. I had taken to calling Wild Man my “drummer with the crazy hair” since his curly hair gets so wild. But, now he’s wearing it in a pony tail most days and you almost wouldn’t know that he has long hair.

4. Rosie Girl found out tonight that she was accepted to UW-Stevens Point as a music minor with a piano emphasis. Her hope was to be admitted as a music major for the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis on composition, although they are supposed to offer a composition degree starting next year. In any case, though, she’s in the department so she can go ahead and get started on her music classes and audition again next year to get in as a music major. Yippee!! Now it’s pretty much fun stuff for the rest of the school year!

5. Today, I walked into the dining room to find Rosie Girl teaching Wild Man how to fill out deposit slips and endorse checks. Then, they went across the street to the bank so he could deposit his checks from all the snow shoveling he’s been doing. It’s so nice when they get along! And help each other!

6. We have a buyer for our old house, but we’re waiting for all the paperwork to go through. Then, we have to close on the purchase of this house. And, then, I might can get a dishwasher!

7. Tonight, PWM and I watched Les Miserables on the Roku. I LOVE that movie!

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