Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Facing the Music

I have noticed a personal tendency in my makeup.  When I feel inadequate doing something, I try to avoid having to do it.  I am terrible at sports so I purposely sidestep any occasion where I might be expected to participate in throwing, hitting, or catching a ball.  There seems to be some type of magnet in my head that draws balls toward it; if anyone is going to get hit in the head, that would be me.

This avoidance has worked out pretty well for me, especially since I have passed the stage of gym classes and dating.  But even while I was in the dating stage of my life, I knew that if a game of softball or volleyball was imminent, pre-selecting improper footwear would usually get me out of having to play, or at least it would seriously reduce any undue expectations there might be regarding my performance.  It would not, however, deter the head injury problem.

This avoidance isn't limited to sports.  There are many things that fill me with fear and trepidation, but I find that if I just focus on what I am good at or what comes easily then life passes pretty comfortably.

Until now.  I have been dealt a hardy blow.  I am now forced to face my inadequacies every day.  I am now required to meet head-on a challenge that fills me with fear and dread.  No amount of experience nor preparation seems to overcome my feelings of  insufficiency.  I struggle.  I worry.  I agonize.  I doubt.  I cry.

I teach Seminary.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Can You Do With a Bishop

...when he stops being a bishop?  I took a little creative license and borrowed lyrics from a song.  Hopefully most of you caught the reference to the movie White Christmas with Bing Crosby.

Of course in the movie the dilemma actually dealt with a displaced General, but I think a bishop also fits.  As my husband was only just released from his calling, we haven't felt the real impact of the change yet.  But I anticipate that we will. 

Imagine having him home most evenings.  Imagine having him home most Sundays.  Imagine not getting phone calls round the clock from those needing help, counsel, or a ride to church. 

I'm trying to imagine such things.  I do know that it will be a welcome adjustment.  If anyone has a suggestion for new hobbies, I'm sure he would be open to hearing them.

Speaking of great old movies (and Miranda says Everything in life has a movie reference), not once in the entire 5 years that I was The Bishop's Wife did I receive a personal visit from Cary Grant.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some lessons are hard to learn

I performed an experiment the last couple of days.  I was trying to find out whether Facebook needed me, or if I needed Facebook.  The results were depressing to say the least.  I deactivated my account for nearly two days.  During that cold turkey time, I felt the pains of withdrawl.  When I would ordinarily check in to see what everyone was up to, I would try to distract myself by doing other activities.  I don't think I spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook during any one sitting, but collectively, I realized there were a number of times during the day that I would take a peek.  Hmmmm...

More depressing results:  not one person noticed that I was gone.  Not even my own children.

I choose to think that if I would have had the stamina to stay off for longer, maybe then someone would have sensed that 'something' was missing.  But I guess we'll never know, cause I don't think I have what it takes to be gone that long.

So I guess now I know; I need Facebook more than it needs me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've Had a Craving

Ever since I stumbled upon a movie on Netflix last week, I have had a craving for tapioca pudding.  Really.  And it wasn't a craving that could be satisfied even by Kozy Shack. 

The movie is called New in Town, starring Renee Zellweger and a personal favorite, Harry Connick Jr.

I'm not sure how I missed this movie when it came out.  It is particularly a find because it is only rated PG.  There are several things, besides Harry, that drew me in.  Being set in winter in Minnesota, it reminded me in many ways of my Idaho winters while I was in high school.  Vanity was traded in for big warm coats, boots, mittens, hats.  Just battling the cold becomes the main objective.  Been there.

I was also able to enjoy the poking fun done at scrapbookers and busybody moms.  Hmmmm.  I can relate to those also. 

One of those busybody moms, Blanch, loved to make tapioca pudding.  For her, it was just the thing for whatever ails you.  It could bring comfort and warmth even on the worst, coldest day.

I found a website for New in Town, which is entertaining by itself.  It includes several fun things, including Blanch's recipe for Tapioca Pudding.
You know what?  I made a batch of homemade tapioca and it is delicious; much better than anything full of preservatives.  Just the thing for whatever ails you, "doncha know"?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Up to Me!

We enjoy a pretty good division of duties in my family.  My husband takes care of all our financial, spiritual, and comedic needs, and I try to make life sweet and peaceful.  It works out well.  I am quite sure I have the best arrangement.

There is one responsibility that always seems to fall upon my shoulders though, which presents a little pressure sometimes; I am the Family "Cruise" Director.  All the fun, all the activities, all the entertainment seem to be run through me and my energies.  Part of that includes being the tradition coordinator.  Those traditions that have already been established must be perpetuated by, you guessed it, me!  And when a need for new traditions arises, it becomes my challenge to think of creative, worthwhile additions to our arsenal. Tough job, but someone's gotta do it.....

A couple of years ago I decided to start a Thanksgiving tradition.  We began a family album solely devoted to Thanksgiving Day.  I would like to share what we have so far.  This serves two purposes; to document it as family history on my blog, but also to remind my family that we will be adding to the album again this year.

I love reading the blessings that each person wrote on their personal pages.  Some are obvious; some are not!  I love my family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not really a Gum Chewer, But....

Finally, there is a temptation in the gum world that calls to me.  The flavor is, very convincingly, that of Key Lime Pie without the sugar nor the fat.  And in my world, there are few desserts that are more satisfying.

My husband and I have made it our mission to find the very best Key Lime pie, and we have taken our mission to some great destinations.

Easily the best we ever found was in, no surprise, the Florida Keys.  A few years back, Brian took me with him on a business trip to Miami.  The convention was a bit of a disappointment, so we found ourselves with an extra free day in Florida.  So what does one do?

We rented a convertible and took off down to the Keys.  Retrospectively, this may have been one of my best days.  It was beautiful.  We didn't have time to go all the way to Key West, but we found Key Largo to be as charming and delightful as anything we could have imagined.
Imagine all of these wonderful memories called to mind because of a new pack of gum.  Powerful gum....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Be Careful How You Wish

I have the best family.  They are so sensitive to my needs.  And last night, I needed someone else to make dinner, and I needed a free evening of mindless, light entertainment without election results, or other frustrating distractions.

So Brian and Miranda went through the drive-thru at KFC and brought home comfort food.  Perfect.  And Brian's Executive Secretary purposely did not schedule any appointments for Brian so he could stay home, put his leg up and get some rest.

And Miranda had stumbled upon The Incredible Mr. Limpet on Netflix, so we all sat down together as a family and watched a favorite movie from my childhood.

Now, this may seem hardly noteworthy.  But as the end credits of the movie were rolling, playing a song called "Be Careful How You Wish," I couldn't help but feel a little that it was singing just for me.

If you aren't familiar with this movie, first of all, I recommend it.  It is about an unfulfilled man looking for a way to contribute.  He feels like, well, like a fish out of water, questioning where he fits in and what he has to offer.  He is discouraged and wishes he were a fish because as he perceives, they must have happy, carefree lives.

Henry Limpet's life soon changes very drastically from what it was before.  It is filled with drama, confusion, discovery, new friendships, heroism, and self-satisfaction.  His wishes may have been fulfilled in ways he could never have foreseen, but he came to realize that they were in his best interest.

Have your "wishes", or your prayers ever been answered in unforeseeable ways?  Perhaps in ways that have taken you off guard?  Some of life's greatest tests are usually in answer to our seeking for change, or longing for new challenges.

Be careful what you wish for....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Without Limits

I stumbled upon a quote recently that my mind has turned over and over, fascinated by its implications.  It is this:  "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."  by Arthur C. Clarke

How many of us spend most of our lives safely tucked within the limits of the possible?  We have a pretty good idea of what we can expect from ourselves and from the people around us.  We drift along with the current of the possible, vaguely satisfied with life, vaguely satisfied with the status quo.  Drifting, drifting, staying within the safe waters.

Perhaps I use the pronoun "we" too casually.  Maybe "I" is more accurate.  Hopefully "you" are pushing the limits, stretching your capacities to grow and learn and achieve, while I, alone, am the only one who has been drifting.  Perhaps I, alone, am not living up to the full measure of my creation; that gifts and talents have lain dormant, not being fully realized nor fully utilized.

But sometimes in life, the impossible becomes the just getting by.  I will be honest.  Right now, I seem to have so much on my plate that is requiring me to dig a little deeper to find that wellspring of hope and energy and accomplishment.  I am being pushed to my limits, and am found wanting.

I have felt abandoned by my blog muse.  Usually the ideas for blogposts come with very little effort.  In fact, I usually feel like they have a soul of their own and I am only the facilitator with the fingers to keyboard them into life.  I have become self-conscious that my recent blogs have started to take on a "woe is me" attitude.  Yuck.  I can't stand that.  I want my blog to be uplifting, to be smile-inducing, not a place where you walk away feeling sorry for me, or feeling sorry for yourself for having checked in.

Life is discovery.  Every day we should be discovering something fresh and new.  Even amid the chaos and trials, we should always be uncovering something that was hidden.  Maybe it was hidden by laziness, or by complacency.  Or maybe it was hidden by a life that was too easy, or too leisurely, or too "perfect." 

I hope that I have the wisdom to recognize this important time of discovery in my life.  It would be so easy to just set my blog aside because of caution to share the hard stuff along with the effortless.  But that would be a road block to discovering the real limits of the possible.  So I invite you to join me as I venture into the impossible.  I can't promise that it will always be roses, but I can promise it will always be honest.