Friday, April 30, 2010

Cottonwood, Kidz, and Communion

Recently I haven't been blogging much, although it's not for a lack of things happening or thoughts in my head; rather, I just haven't had the time to fish the words out of the clouds in my head and pin them down on virtual paper.  I am going to attempt to remedy that, beginning now.  I have gardening pictures, and kid quotes, and book club thoughts to share, but today I want to talk about church.
Last Sunday I was--to quote Chris (my husband)--"recruited for the military".  Said in the most admiring and respectful terms, of course, and meaning that I'd volunteered to help in our church's children's ministry (Real Kidz).  I am planning on holding babies rather than teaching older kids, because I figure that I have built up patience in the baby arena.  It has been years since I've been in those particular trenches, (those of spit-up and crying and diapers) and have no plans to jump into them again, therefore I figure it's a great opportunity for me to be able to provide some temporary relief to those who are still in the middle of it.  Chris' comment reminded me of a song from Sunday School (good memories!):
I may never march in the infantry,
ride in the calvary,
shoot the artillery,
I may never fly over the enemy,
but I'm in the Lord's army.
Yes Sir!

Last Sunday we also took Communion.  I really try to focus when it's Communion time; it's so easy for my mind to wander, and it's not something I want to do mindlessly.  I started wondering about the exercise of taking Communion, and what it really means.  I realize that I am most likely stumbling into an ancient and well-educated theological argument here, but 'oh well' and 'too bad'--here I go!

Looking at Communion from one small perspective, certainly not all-encompassing, I found myself relating it to physical exercise.  When exercising your physical body, the act of mental concentration on specific muscles actually helps to work those muscles more.  It's amazing to me that focusing your thoughts can result in a better workout.  So then, in Communion, when we take the time to focus and concentrate on what action is taking place, is not the effect greater there too?  In fact, Jesus even said to "do this in remembrance of me" which to me says that he wants us to put the effort in to remember and think about what we are doing, rather than just doing it...possibly suggesting a different outcome when you do.

The question then is, what action is taking place when we take Communion?  I'm sure there are many answers and opinions on this, but what came to me is that the bread and drink represent his body and blood.  His perfect, sinless body and blood.  A picture springs to my mind of his perfect blood cells, healthy and pure, joining with my flawed self, making mine that much more pure, that much more strong.  If the act of consciously taking Communion, of putting the effort into focusing on what God does for us, can make the outcome of this joining bond more effective, then you can be certain that I will be doing my part to make it happen.  Whatever the action is that's occurring, if Jesus said to do it with remembrance I'm fairly confidant that it would be a good thing to do so. :-)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make Way For Ducklings

One of the fun things about Southern California is its amazing ability to support year-round gardening. One of the fun things about our new house is the amazing amount of gardening to be done. Endless possibilities here, people!

Recently my girls and I were weeding and watering when a very flustered bird erupted from the nearby peaceful foliage. I didn't get a good look at the bird, but figured it was a dove or some other fairly common bird around these parts, and we continued with our weeding. About a week later, our cat happened to expell this same bird from the same area of our yard, and this time the bird stuck around long enough for a quick pic:

It was a momma duck! We had seen a pair of ducks by our pool a month or two prior, but no sign of them since. After the duck flew off I carefully, gently, and unobtrusively explored the area where she had flown from and found this:

A nest of around eight eggs, the size of large chicken eggs, nestled in the greenery. The miracle of life just never gets old, and this was amazing to see. In the interest of the little ducklings I didn't tell my children about them (they would love them--possibly to death) until a couple of weeks later when we returned from Tahoe after Easter break, and discovered the nest to be empty apart from some broken, empty, crushed eggshells. I am hoping they hatched and grew, and nothing bad happened...but mostly I'm just thankful I got share a little in this amazing process.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming...

...from tender stem hath sprung...

I have had adverse feelings towards roses ever since, as a child, I enthusiastically volunteered to help weed my grandmother's rose garden.  I was bored, and took the bait to earn a little money by yanking out the undesirables.  I went after those weeds full force, determined to get every minute piece of greenery that dared to peep up from the compact soil.  Proud of how good a job I was doing, exhausted by the work, and sizzling in the sun, I stood back to admire my work and was crushed to find that all my energy resulted in only 1/164th of the rose garden being complete.  I lost my motivation instantly, (and, as it turned out, any hope of making money, for who would pay for such a minuscule amount of help?)  Instead of this coloring my opinion of gardening in general, my animosity was reserved--in a dark corner of my heart--for roses alone.  I decided they were not so handsome after all; quite ill favored. So bare! So typical!

Imagine my chagrin, then, when I discovered how many roses I had inherited with the purchase of our new house. Rose arbors, rose trellises, rose bushes, rose trees, miniature roses, gargantuan roses, (ROUS's...Roses Of Unusual Size,) roses of pink, orange, yellow, red, white...roses, roses, roses.

And then Spring sprung.  As did the roses.  And I'd be remiss if I didn't admit how wonderfully beautiful they are.  Blooms everywhere, of so many kinds and colors, as to please me exceedingly.  Please, know that you are welcome to stop and smell the flowers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Introducing Audrey

The truth is that recently I have no inspiration for blogging about anything other than books, so I am going to turn this post over to one of my budding creative geniouses. Introducing my 5 (and a half) year old: Audrey. She loves to create songs, games, and stories, as well as take pictures.

For example, there is no reason whatsoever that her horsie cannot play chess with her:

Or that her teddy bear, Georgia, cannot read stories:

Or that a five year-old cannot take amazingly artistic photos:

My heart goes pitter-patter...what creativity! I think it's time to print some photos and go frame shopping.