Redeeming the time: on the loss of my pyrex dish

I’m having a bad day.  Parker broke my Pyrex 9×13 with a lid.  I used it *every* day. I think it was a wedding gift.  I just ate an entire chocolate bar, and I don’t feel better yet.

But that was Saturday – I’m only mentioning it now because my success at repressing the trauma has ended.  I’m feeling the loss today much more than when I heard the ominous crash two days ago.  I miss my dish.  I don’t want a new one; I want the old one.

And now two days later, another precious kitchen artifact is lost, which may explain why the trauma from the earlier loss broke through my dam of repression.

Today, I can’t find the lid to my 8 quart Tupperware bowl.  This isn’t just any bowl.  It’s the bowl that my friend brought to me the day after Megan was born, 14 years ago.  She had filled the enormous bowl with a giant batch of pasta salad and presented it to me with a laugh.  We now had four children.  This, she said, was our official induction into Large Family Status.  Now, we needed a bowl like this.

OK, so we have 5 kids here.

OK, so we have 5 kids here.

At the time, I thought the bowl was hilariously oversized, but I kept it.

And I used it.

For 14 years.

canning 3 I have a canner.  I AM a canner.

I actually have 2 big bowls – but just one lid. Now I have no lid at all.

Over the last 5 or 6 years, we have used it daily.  It’s the only thing big enough to hold pancake batter, biscuit dough, sausage balls, or apple pie filling for our crew.  Sometimes we use it as mixing bowl, and sometimes we snap the lid on it to store food.  Sometimes we use it three or four times a day.  At least twice a week, I use it to make artisan bread, using half of the dough right away and storing the second half in the fridge for the following day.  The entire batch won’t fit in the bowl after it rises, but half fits nicely.

But today, the lid was nowhere to be found.  I don’t know how.  I don’t know where. We used the bowl yesterday and twice the day before, and every day before that, but the lid is mysteriously gone.  Did somebody hide it?  Destroy it?  Throw it away?  Did the dog carry it outside and chew it into pieces the size of match heads?  Will we ever know?  How will I store anything over the size of a 4 quart ice cream bucket???

I ranted and raved.  My head spun in circles and smoke came out my ears as we searched the house.  We didn’t find it, but I regained my cool enough to realize I was making a big deal out of nothing, and I asked my kids to forgive me.

Maybe it will turn up and we’ll all laugh about how much a big blue plastic lid meant to me, but I know that if it doesn’t magically reappear in the first 3 days it’s probably gone forever.

And honestly, it’s just a lid.  I still have the bowl.  I could buy both if I needed to.  What’s wrong with me?

Maybe losing two old pieces in two days reminded me of how time is slipping away.  Before they were gone, I never thought about how long I had them, or whether I would care if I lost them.  They’re just glass and plastic, and easily replaced – but once they are gone the new ones are only replacements.  I can never regain what is lost.

I will never be that 20-something mom again, full of energy to face the endless days.

My kids will never be babies again.  Well, the older ones won’t.  Some of the little ones are babies.

Lord willing, my husband and I have many years ahead of us – but we can never regain the ones that are already past.

Lord, help me to redeem the time that remains.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Busting the myth of overpopulation in Texas

enter our current giveaway: Apple Valley Natural Soap

Population Facts

Texas is a big, big place.  I knew that, but I was taken aback to learn recently that our population has swelled to 25 million.  Do you know what that means?  If the US has 300 million people, then one out of 12 Americans lives in Texas.

Furthermore, most estimates put the population of the world at 7 billion.   That means 1 out of 233 people in the whole world lives in Texas.  Those aren’t the best odds, but they’re much fatter than I thought.  Texas is a grand place, and apparently a lot of people are learning that.

While we’re at it, did you know that 1 out of 180 Americans lives right here in the San Antonio area?  Is that cool or what?  I wonder how many of our readers live here?

In spite of that, we’ve got plenty of room left.  Just drive 10 miles from any city in Texas and you’ll see what I mean.  Empty space, just waiting for more people.  What are you waiting for?

Did you know that the entire population of the world could live in the state of Texas at a density roughly equal to that in a major US metropolitan area (Milwaukee, Los Angeles, or Detroit) and significantly less crowded than other major US cities like New York (nearly 4 times as crowded!), San Fransisco (more than twice), Philadelphia, and Boston (both nearly twice as crowded).

I figured that out on my own, but this guy took it much further.  He did the math on food and water as well, and the results are just as surprising.  Overpopulation, my foot!

Poll

But here’s what I really want to know: If you don’t live in Texas right now, have you lived here in the past?  Do you have hopes or plans to move here in the future?  Would you take a second to answer our poll, and maybe leave a comment?

[poll id=”29″]

Just for Fun

Just for fun I dug up a few bits of Texas trivia from around the web.   I swallowed them all whole, but am only sharing those that are easily verified or disproved.  Skeptical?  Check the facts and let me know what you find.  Got some Texas trivia of your own?  Speak up!

  1. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas (Nope.  Make that Houston).
  2. Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union) instead of by annexation.
  3. Texas is the only state allowed to fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
  4. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island.
  5. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington DC (by 7 feet).
  6. Texas is as large as all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined.
  7. Of the nation’s ten largest cities, three are in Texas  (Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio).
  8. The Dallas/Fort Worth airport is larger than New York City’s Manhattan Island.
  9. The DFW airport has the largest parking lot in the world.

Tuesday Poetry: Something of my own.

Posted by: Deanna

Great. Late again. But hey, I’m getting closer right?

Today I’m showing y’all poem that I wrote about my notebook. Sometimes it almost seems as if my notebook is a person, and a friend more than anything else. It’s like I read about teddy bears once; they don’t talk much, but they’re great listeners. My notebooks are like people that know everything I think, and keep every secret I tell them, unconditionally. So sometimes I feel bad for not writing, because it feels like I’m neglecting someone real that has stood by me with great loyalty.

My Notebook

Sometimes dear friend
you may feel abandoned.
you may think that I’ve forgotten
your unwavering loyalty.

I wish it were not so.
you hold my secrets
you know me as no one else ever will.
but some times there aren’t any secrets to confide.

I may for a while record poem after poem
and then for interminable stretches
write nothing at all.

I cannot force the muse.
I only write when my heart is overflowing.
so dear friend and companion,
do not feel neglected when I cease to write for a while.

Because you know that at the first sign of trouble,
I will come running back to the solace of your pages.
With a whole new host of feelings to inscribe.

Tuesday poetry (and sometimes prose): C.S. Lewis quote

Posted by : Deanna

Grrrrr…..This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I could claim that I was busy all last week, (which is true by the way.) but I really was just being a flake. I’m sorry.

Alrighty then. This is an excerpt from C.S Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. I have yet to read the whole thing, but I love what I have read. He has such a way of putting things that just really makes me think.

…Even the best Christian that ever lived is not acting on his own steam- he is only nourishing or protecting a life he could never have acquired by his own efforts. And that has practical consequences. As long as the natural life is in your body, it will do a lot towards repairing that body. Cut it, and up to a point it will heal, as a dead body would not. A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way, a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble- because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ himself carried out.
That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or -if they think there is not- at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

I love reading deep thoughtful stuff that he writes. I recently read “A Grief Observed”, and it really was some food for thought. I haven’t quite processed it all, and most likely I’ll read it again today or tomorrow. It was very thought provoking to read through someone else’s deep sorrow like that. I wish I could have read it when my little sister Sarah was stillborn. I think it would have helped.  Maybe next week I’ll post an excerpt from that.

Career choices

Posted by Megan

So, today I was thinking about all the stuff I’d like to do. I’d like to be a writer. I’d like to be an editor. It would pretty cool to be hairdresser.It would be flat out awesome to be a chef. Then I realized, being a SAHM  means that you can do all of that, and much more!

My mom blogs: she is a writer.

My mom edits whatever we blog: she is an editor.

My mom cuts, trims, tapers and layers all of our hair: she’s a hairdresser.

My mom cooked for all of us, for years before we started helping: she’s a chef.

It seems like some career woman think we have no choices.  I’m sorry, but that makes me want to laugh. It’s just plain silly, SAHMs (or SAHMs to be) have far less limited choices than career women. That’s my thought, anyway.

Pacifier Epiphany

This weekend, I was a little shocked to see a 3yo with a pacifier in his mouth.  Wait – if your 3yo still has a pacifier, don’t leave.  Read the rest.

My kids have all been finger or thumb suckers, so we don’t do pacifiers.  This worked out well for us since I don’t like pacifiers.  I’m afraid we would constantly lose the paci, causing emotional turmoil in the middle of church, the wee hours of the night and other inconvenient times.

I understand that many parents encourage the use of pacifiers because they don’t want their babies to become thumbsuckers, and I understand that many parents use pacifiers for other reasons.  However, I’m always a little surprised and disapproving when I see a toddler with a pacifier.  I can’t help but wonder, Isn’t it time to take that thing away?

But why?  Why do I feel that way?  Is 3 really too old?

I don’t mind if my children hang onto the thumb habit until they’re 4 or 5, even though well-meaning friends and family sometimes express disapproval.  All of our children have quit on their own, gradually, without external pressure or trauma.  Maybe people are shocked when they see my toddler with her thumb firmly planted in her mouth.  I’m not offended, but neither am I motivated to wrap her thumb in duct tape or paint bitter chemicals on it.

This made me realize how my own preconceived notions affect the way I think and the way I see things.

That’s not to say that everything in life is subjective, or that we each should find what’s right for us and our family.  When it comes to principles, there is a right way and a wrong way, and we need to search God’s Word and seek out wise counsel.

But there are principles and then there are methods; one describes the goal and the other describes the path.   Sometimes the two blur and overlap.  Sometimes there is only one path to a particular goal.  Other goals may be reached more than one way.  Even if we agree that a calm and happy baby is a noble goal, we may find many God-honoring ways to reach that point.

It’s a small thing, but my little pacifier epiphany was a reminder that when I feel disapproving feelings bubble up, the first thing I need to do is take a look at my own assumptions in light of scripture.  Do I disapprove because it’s not my way, or because it’s not God’s way?

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.  John 7:24

2 nightmares lose their teeth

Last night, I had an old dream with a new twist.  It was the common nightmare about losing your teeth – do you have that one?  I’ve heard that it’s very common especially among control freaks (who? me?) and generally means that you are afraid of having the “real” you revealed – having people see you without your game face, your company manners, your public front, whatever part of yourself it is that you don’t normally show the whole world.

This time, though, instead of being humiliating, it seemed rather commonplace.  In my dream, I noticed a very loose tooth without the usual sense of panic.  I remembered that I had often dreamed this before, but this time was obviously real since (in my dream) it had been loose for a long time.  Oh well.

And then the tooth came out.  No big deal.  Most of us will lose our teeth at some point, and for the first time I realized that this was not something to be ashamed of.  I was mildly surprised that it didn’t hurt at all, but expected it might if and I when I drank something cold.  I wasn’t sure if it had broken off and left a root behind or if it had come out entirely, but I resolved to have the dentist look at it very soon.  End of dream.

I told the kids about it this morning, wondering if it signified a change in my outlook or personality, amused at the very unexpected feelings evoked by a common nightmare, and went on with my day.

Later in the afternoon, I had what some might consider a real-life nightmare.

It was nothing, really, in the grand scheme of things.  The kids and I were at the local smalltown library and I went to the restroom at the other end of the building.  As I headed back toward the children’s room, I heard a noise: “Psssst.  Pst! Pst! Pst!”

I turned around, and saw 2 people sitting side by side.  One was a man, with his face deeply buried in his laptop.  Next to him, a woman motioned urgently at me with her hand and whispered: “Your skirt!”

My heart skipped a little beat and I felt my behind – er, I felt behind me.  Yes, my skirt was tucked.  Very high.  Very high.  You know that thing we all worry about?  It happened.  So I gave a little tug to fix things and smiled as I whispered a thank you.  She pointed ahead of me and said with a twinkle in her eye, “Well, I couldn’t let you go in there like that!”

I glanced just ahead and saw a full row of high school boys at the computers.  Yes, thank you.  Thank God for a total stranger with the boldness to say “Hey lady, your skirt is tucked into your undies.”  I pray I’ll have the same boldness someday if I find myself on the other side of that scene.

But you know what?  It wasn’t humiliating. My feeling of gratitude for what didn’t happen far outweighed the embarrassment.  It was embarrassing and I hope to avoid a repeat, but I was hardly scarred for life.  I assume these moments happen to all of us now and then, and I don’t expect to be any different.

And that seemed like exactly what I had learned from my dream.

On Farewells

Posted By: Deanna

It seems like there has been a lot of leaving in my life lately, both new friends and old moving on in their own lives, and it has been a humbling experience for me to realize how important I’m not. Anyway, I have been trying to write a farewell poem for a long time, and I think I finally have.

Why must you leave me my friend?

I know separation does not mean the end,

and maybe when the west wind tall grasses bend,

you will remember me.

Don’t mind my sad tears, dear companion.

It’s not that I think you intend to forget…

and maybe when Zephyr sings through the canyon,

will you remember me?

I do not love a painful leavetaking,

and I promise you won’t see how my heart is breaking.

But by the west wind I’ll send a message so true,

listen, he’ll whisper…”I remember you.”

My very strange dream

I mentioned quite a few upcoming posts, but I’m going with the one about my bizarre dream and its meaning first for several reasons:

  • It doesn’t need photos, which means I don’t have to peel my tired bottom out of this chair until I’m done.

Well, that’s pretty much the whole list.  I thought there was more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment.  Maybe this isn’t the best time to compose an introspective post after all…oh yeah.  Second reason:

  • An introspective post is long overdue on our blog.  Don’t you agree?

MY DREAM

I dreamed hubby and I were at a gathering with many other adults.  They ranged from friends and casual acquaintances to those we barely knew by name.  I think they were you: our readers.

We were participating in some sort of athletic activity, taking turns at an obstacle course.  It was another woman’s turn, but she didn’t want to do it.  She would have to take out her false teeth, and she was ashamed to do so.

(Hey, quit laughing.  Do your dreams make perfect sense?)

I decided to encourage her:  “Come on, you can do it!  Don’t be shy.  Look, I have false teeth too.  I’ll take mine out!”  I popped out my false teeth, right then and there.  It actually felt good; I hadn’t realized how uncomfortable they were.

(Hey, I said quit laughing.  It’s not that funny.  Well, maybe it is.)

A few minutes later I found myself in the bathroom examining my teeth in the mirror.  The false teeth were actually more like caps, and I had broken, disfigured teeth beneath.  I wasn’t surprised to see them, but I was taken aback at just how bad they looked – especially my two front teeth on top.  “I really should get those fixed,” I thought to myself.  “Why haven’t I done that already?”

fade

Ok, that was the end.  Are you stumped?  I’m not, which makes sense to me since dreams are often a sign of what’s going on inside our own heads.  Here’s what I think it means.

THE MEANING

I think my teeth are my life.  This is actually quite common in dreams.  For example, when you dream that you are losing your teeth it often means that you feel you are losing control of your life.

In this case, I think my teeth – my false teeth, to be specific – represent the “public me.”  KimC.  You generally see the cheerful me, the hardworking me, the humble-and-submissive-to-my-husband me.  The patient, charming, brave, kind, generous-to-a-fault, ever-holy-and-pious KimC.

Yes, I do post about real life.  I have a whole category dedicated to Gone Awry.  But more often than not, those posts are about me keeping my cool and my fabulous sense of humor even as all my best laid plans go awry.

I don’t know if anyone is laboring under the assumption that I’m perfect (no?  whew!) or even that I’m any better than you are, but I want you all to know that sometimes more than just my plans go bad.  I can be cranky, rebellious, selfish and lazy.  It can be very difficult to persuade me that I’m wrong.  I tend to be blind to my own faults and shortcomings.  That’s just the short list.  I’m sure there’s more, but I suspect that the part about being blind tends to keep the list short.

And like my real teeth under the false ones, I think I need to feel a bigger sense of disgust over these flaws of mine rather than a flippant willingness to accept them as a part of my personality.   I need to hate my sin nature and turn from my sinful ways.   Don’t we all?

That’s what I think my dream meant.

Excuses, excuses

What’s happening to me?  Usually I have to drag myself away from the computer, and lately I can hardly force myself to blog.

I feel consumed with mothering.  It’s not that I’m doing it any better than I have in the past.  It’s also not that I’m complaining or feeling unusually burdened.  I just can’t seem to concentrate on blogging.  Every time I sit down in front of the computer, somebody wants to tell me something, and I want to listen.  I’ll blog in a few minutes.

Then somebody wants me to read a book – just a short one!  I’ll blog in a few minutes.

Then somebody needs a diaper change, and the girls have been doing it for me lately, so I’ll do it this time.  I’ll blog in a few minutes.

Then it’s time to start dinner.  Maybe the girls will help me cook, but I’ll just pull the meat out to defrost.  I’ll blog in a few minutes.

And I really need to give Rachael a quick reading lesson.  She’s young, and I don’t stress about starting them young, but she’s also interested and I hate to pass up the chance.  I’ll blog in a few minutes.

You get the idea.  When the baby is nursing, it’s far easier to read than to write.  It’s easy to get distracted with a toddler in my lap, doing cute toddler  things and telling me I’m pretty every 10 seconds.  Hubby sends me an important link and I really should look at it before I blog.  I need to correct somebody’s math lesson before I get immersed in blogging.  I didn’t read my Bible yet and I don’t allow myself to get online until I’ve done that.

I’m just full of important excuses.  Maybe this is good.  Maybe excuses aren’t always bad, or maybe excuse is simply the wrong word.  I knew my priorities needed adjusting and I’ve been praying that God would help me.  Maybe that is what’s happening to me.