Sunday, April 6, 2014

Forty Two

Not long ago they started showing the movie 42 on HBO.  I didn't get to the movie theater to see the movie but had wanted to check it out, so when we came across it on HBO my husband and I started watching it.  As it turns out we really enjoy this movie.  So much so that if it is on we watch it.  In fact, it is on even as I type this. 

One evening when my husband and I were watching this movie it occurred to me that he was 42.  So I looked at him and I said, "Hey you're forty two, what is that like?"  He looked at me as you might think, like I was crazy and said, "Yeah its fine" and continued to watch the movie.  That is when it hit me...if he is 42 that means that I'm 41!  Wait a minute… when did that happen? 

This year I will turn forty two.  But will I really?  I started thinking about age.  Have you noticed that once you hit a certain age the actual number doesn't come into play unless it is divisible by ten?  You are an age range.  Technically I'm in my early 40's now, not almost 42.  Eventually everything is a range, early, mid, late, early to mid, mid to late.  But we hold on to that mid to late with everything until we absolutely HAVE to accept that next big number that ends with a zero, then we have a party that we made it. 

Aside from my contemplations of weird age anomalies, I also have other things about the movie 42 that I love.  I love that Jackie says, "You want a player who doesn't have the guts to fight back?"  and Mr. Rickey responds with, "No. I want a player who has the guts NOT to fight back."  Amazing isn't it?  The guts to NOT fight back! 

I am reminded of the Bible.  In Matthew 5:39 it says, "But I say this, don't fight against the one who is working evil against you.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, you are to turn and offer him your left cheek."  What strength and conviction of faith it takes to not fight back!  Our instincts are to fight back and stand up for ourselves.  And yet...Jesus says no and taking it one step farther and saying in verse 44 of that same chapter in Matthew "But I tell you this: love your enemies.  Pray for those who torment you and persecute you-" and in 45 "in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven.  He, after all, loves each of us-good and evil, kind and cruel.  He causes the sun to rise and shine on the evil and good alike.  He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner."

Yes, I think it takes a great deal more guts to not fight back.  Maybe you didn't watch this movie and take away from it all that I did, for me it was a good reminder of what we should do and yet sometimes fail to do.  In a world full of movies with little to no moral compass, it was nice to watch a movie based on a man who had courage and faith to see it through.  Perhaps it was nice to also be reminded of my age.  I have a lot of work to do as this year I will be 42.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Give Peace A Chance

Daphne is working this spring break.  She has a job at the mall.  Last night when she arrived home she asked this question, "what do Amish people have against peace signs?"  What?  Yeah I have no idea.  Which is of course what I said.  Apparently some Amish people came in and were looking at clothing and when they saw they had peace signs on them they just left.  She found this curious as I suppose I would have when I was her age.  I suppose it is a little curious even now but I don't care enough about what other people will or won't wear to worry about it.  Unless of course you are at an amusement park walking around in a bikini and refuse to put clothes on, then I have a problem with you.  I am a firm believer that there is a reason why we have clothes and also that there is a reason why we invented houses (no I don't want to go camping with you) but that's another story.

I love this girl so much because of her curiosity.  Of course she googled it.  As it turns out it isn't a matter of not giving peace a chance so much as it is a matter of vanity.  She felt better about the lack of purchase after that.  She thought it was different and she didn't get it but then she says she doesn't understand Jewish people not wanting to finish the rest of the Bible either so...there's that too.  Her outlook on these things while perhaps a bit misguided are funny. 

People are interesting.  Each one of us made in God's image and yet with different personalities and interests.  It is perfectly natural to be curious about our differences.  I think the key is to learn about others while not losing sight of who we are.  Accepting others is an exercise in tolerance and love.  I also believe that we can love people who are different from us while not agreeing with their choices and beliefs.

What do you suppose keeps us from accepting people who are different than ourselves?  Fear?  I wonder what we stand to lose.  My kids are still young and learning about the world, but it is interesting when it is adults that are not accepting.  Here is what I find interesting.  The very foundation of our country was built on the pursuit of religious freedom.  Yet we cannot say prayer in schools and we cannot have the very mention of God in print or word in government buildings.  Some people are offended by my Christian beliefs and have gone to court to attempt to quiet them and the irony of the situation is that God is so much a part of our country they put God on our money.  "In God We Trust"   And I have not once seen any of these people refusing to spend money. 

I am offended by lots of things as I am sure many of my fellow Christians are.  The difference is this...I am not afraid of their beliefs as much as others are of mine.  It bothers me that people who are sworn to protect what our country stands for are willing to bend and change laws to accommodate people who have a problem with the very things that our country was founded on.  I'm not going to take anyone to court, I'm not going to get into a debate, and I'm not going to make anyone feel like less because they don't have the same beliefs as I do.  Which would be another difference.  I feel it's better if I just speak truth, pray, and leave it up to God to deal with that.

If you want to wear peace signs or a bikini that's your choice.  I think bikinis belong on a beach or by a pool and not around an amusement park.  I may look at you curiously and the mother in me will want to cover you up but it's your choice.  Just like it's my choice to think orange is a horrible color and ranks right up there with the color of baby food peas.  No good can come from it.  A lot of good can come from believing in Jesus but again it is your choice to believe.  Just give me the same courtesy as I choose to give you for your beliefs.  Give peace a chance. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Eighteen Year Old and Welcome Spring Break!

So much has happened that I'm not sure where to begin.  First I should tell you that I'm getting ready for a book signing in my home town for If I Grow A Beard, Do I Have to Dye That Too?  Of course, you know how I feel about public speaking so as you can imagine I'm stoked!  I have had some visions that it goes very well.  Let's hope that it does and I don't embarrass myself in front of everyone.

Daphne turned eighteen.  I am now the mother of a legal adult!  It seems crazy to think that she is going to be going to college in the fall.  She has already chosen her college and spent the night there for an admitted student weekend.  She is excited for this next step in her life and we are as well.  I am trying to remain supportive and yet I'm a little freaked out at the same time.  On her birthday I went up to random people at work to ask if I looked older.  "Do I have any extra wrinkles?  Do you see any extra grey hairs?"  These are questions I asked people.  Other than thinking that perhaps I had lost a couple more marbles, everyone seemed to think I looked the same age as I was the day before.

This last Saturday we had her family birthday party.  (Disclaimer:  It is about to be revealed to you exactly how I became the way I am.)  We had the party at a local pizza parlor and invited the usual cast of characters.  My in-laws and my side of the family which consists of my grandma, dad, two aunts, an uncle, and one cousin for this particular party.  There was a room set up with one long table with enough chairs to accommodate everyone invited.  We (my husband and children and I) strategically scattered ourselves among the seating so as to be able to socialize with the guests instead of just each other.  My grandma and my uncle were the first to arrive.  My grandma promptly proclaims that she must sit in the booth off to the side because of her back.  So she sits there and my uncle sits with her.  As everyone arrived people said hello and I noticed the most ridiculous thing was happening.  My in-laws all came to sit with us and everyone from my side of the family squeezed around that small table where grandma had perched herself, grabbing chairs and sitting over there and not socializing with anyone but each other through the entire party.  Not even the birthday girl was acknowledged aside from a hello and happy birthday.  When I realized what was happening, I started giggling at the craziness of the situation I found us in.

Through the entire party they spoke to only each other and didn't intermingle at all until they were leaving at which point they told everyone goodbye and left before we had all the cupcakes passed out.  It is at times like this I wonder why we bother.  At what point do we just give up and say, "you know what, I don't think it's worth it."  I thought back to our wedding.  I distinctly remember lighting the unity candle that united our families making us one big family and yet...that is not what I witnessed at this party.  If anything I felt as though I had just witnessed a family reunion that we weren't allowed to participate in.  As mentioned before we had plenty of seating at the large table that was set up for everyone. You know...the cupcakes were pretty good.  I'm sorry they missed out.

Today is the first day of Spring Break for us.  In case your children are in need of shots for school, I should tell you that the first day of Spring Break is a great time to get shots.  Everyone is gone and it is nothing to get in and get out. 

We started the morning with this statement from me to them:  "Listen guys, there is a lot of work that needs to happen in this house this week and we all need to help."   To which Daphne responded with, "Yeah you have fun with that I'm working every day."  I looked at Scotty and said, "You really need to work on your room."  He said, "Yeah I was thinking about that and I think you should buy me another laundry basket."  "Why do you need another laundry basket?"  "So I can get the dirty laundry off of my floor."  "But you could just go down and get your clean laundry that is in your current basket and put it away so you can put your dirty laundry in it."  "No I don't like that idea.  I think we should do my plan."  "No, just no.  Go down and get your clean laundry and bring it up and put it away."  And so it went.  At this point I'm not sure what I've done to get these children to be so silly.  (Wait don't answer that!  I just remembered I'm their mom.  Message received.)  But I did get Daphne and Megan to do some chores today and Scotty did end up seeing things my way and put his laundry away.  He says it's my fault that he is behind because I keep doing laundry.  Something tells me that he is going to have my logic when it comes to certain things and I can't decide whether to be frightened or proud.  I'm leaning toward proud.  Heaven help us all!