Friday, October 22, 2010

Letters On the Road

Linking up with Julie at Foursons for this week's...


Dear Pedestrians,

You have the right of way. I am bigger and faster and deadlier and will keep an eye out for you and your well-being.

I am aware that when you're in a crosswalk, it is illegal for a vehicle to drive through that same crosswalk. But when a car is stopped, backing up traffic, waiting to turn until you're safely across the street, do you mind picking up the pace to a walk instead of mosey?

Itchy Right Foot


Dear Bikers,

I will share the road.

I don't mind it. I think it's great that you are getting exercise, reducing emissions and saving the world. Good for you! I have no problem with you on the side of my lane, and I will always make sure that I give you a little extra space. Heck! Certain areas in Seattle now have green boxes at the intersections that are only for cyclists!

That said, as long as you're throwing a tantrum to be given equal rights on the road, do you mind obeying the rules? If I did half the ridiculous things that I've seen you do, I'd have my license revoked! That big red roundish sign with the little corners and white letters means STOP!!!

Equality means Equality.


And though not a letter, a conversation with Lee that fits the theme:

"Mom, that girl just ran across the street."
"Yep. She made it safely, but probably should have waited until we passed."
"Yeah. Just like on Frogger."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Today's Good News, Bad News is prompted by the search for items for Abby's Halloween costume...

Good News: I found my purple & white flag team (dance team) skirt.
Bad News: She doesn't want to be a cheerleader this year.
Good News: The skirt still fits me and is a touch loose.
Bad News: I only put it on one leg.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

My dad teaches an early-morning scripture study class to a group of high-schoolers in my hometown. When we visited a couple of weekends ago, he mentioned that he needed a completed piece of needlework for an object lesson that he was going to use in one of his lessons, where he could show these teenagers the front AND the back.

He didn't explain the symbolism, but there was no need. Everyone judges the front of the stitchery, noting the beauty, complexity, deciding if they like it or not, often commenting, "I could never do something like that." Maybe even feeling jealous that another person has the talents & skills necessary to complete such a work of art.

Rarely is the back side given a second thought.

The back is usually a mess. There are knots everywhere, intentionally placed so the stitches hold fast. In some places, there are large, clumpy, accidental knots of thread, bunched together in unattractive 'oops'es. Where the front may have delicate French knots or ordered stitches, the back is riddled with seemingly random lines stretching from here to somewhere inexplicable. And the stitches behind the lettering only vaguely resemble the inspiring words on the front.

The front would not be near as presentable if the back was not so imperfect.

We're all like that, though. Every single one of us has knots, 'oops'es and scars that we hide from others. They're past experiences, lessons learned, lessons still being learned, struggles that mold us and form us and make us into better versions of us. The problem comes when we see the back of our own tapestry in all its funkiness and compare it to the beautiful, finished front of everyone else's.

I had an oddball thought as I was driving down the freeway this afternoon. What if we all wore t-shirts that showed our struggles?
--Doesn't feel loved.
--Scared of job loss.
--Molested as a teenager.
--Not good enough.
--Afraid of doctor's test results.
--Marriage on the rocks.

What if we decided that our knots, scars and missed stitches are okay? What would happen if I wore a shirt that said, "Worried about money; Concerned that I'm screwing up my kids instead of teaching them right; Keep forgetting to put my husband first in my life."? Okay, it'd have to be a dress, but you get the point.

Would we think less of each other? Would the world be a better place because everyone just gets it out there & doesn't have to struggle alone? Would it be way more pessimistic and we'd all just concentrate on our woes instead of being grateful for our blessings? (There would be some benefits, because it would be easier to protect ourselves from criminals and the like.) But how would it all work out? Would we run to others to alleviate their pains and uplift them? Would be reach out to strangers to help bouy them up and lift their droopy souls?

Would we forget our own woes as we love & serve & help others?

Of course it's a fantastical idea, unrealistic in many ways. I just wish that there wasn't such a negative social stigma to seeing a therapist or being on an antidepressant or...being imperfect! I don't know a single person on the earth today who's perfect.

There's only been one, and it's good to remember sometimes that He loves me, knots and all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Do you see it?

I had this super-mega bottle of bubble solution for months before I noticed it.

Gotta' love the power of the brain. And someone on staff who reads English.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prayer & Pom Poms

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Don't care who ya' are, ya' do, and I am no exception. Interestingly, some of the strengths that I really admire in other people just happen to be the things that I absolutely, completely, positively suck at.

Prayer is one of those things.

Not that I don't pray. I do it all the time. "Thanks for the green light. I really needed that, I'm almost out of gas." "Please help me find the van key because it's the only microchipped one we have." "Thank you for watching over Cora because she just woke up from a nap and pulled a penny out of her mouth." That sort of thing. Lots and lots of thoughts, emotions and requests sent heavenward.

It's the prayer prayer that I'm terrible at. Like the consistently-get-down-on-my-knees-pour-out-my-soul-leave-my-burdens-at-His-feet-and-let-Him-fill-me-back-up prayer. All too often I feel like my relationship with my Heavenly Father is like the dear friend I see very occasionally for a couple hours of good catching up, but otherwise just touch bases through facebook.

Nothing to be proud of. And I'm not.

Last weekend as I watched and listened to His word for me, I was lovingly nudged back to Him, and reminded that He wasn't the one who got lazy. So I've been thinking of ways to keep myself motivated and on track. I think I've found what will work for me until it becomes a habit:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's a reward jar. I figured if the kids can get stickers for using a potty, peanuts for quiet mornings or raffle tickets for positive behavior, I can work toward filling my own jar! To make it attainable, I'm using craft pom poms first, then beans later. (And yes, siblings of mine, that IS the smallest and last-remaining of the glass set of canisters that Mom had on her counter for years. I kept it. I have no idea why, but I did. And now it has a purpose.) It was a bit tricky coming up with a reward, because I can get a donut or quarter or new headband whenever I want. It's one of the glories of being a grown up. After a bit of thought, I decided that my reward would be a record of progress.

So this morning as I let my fingernail top-coat dry, I very carefully wrote my State of Being: where I am in all aspects of my life...physical, relationship, financial, spiritual, etc. (And then I prayed, earning me that first big, sparkly puffball. Not remotely coincidentally, the kids & I had one of the best house-cleaning days we've ever had for the most part. I was full of praise and patience, Lee didn't have a single time-out today & he behaved better than his older siblings!) When my retro jar is full of colorful puffiness, I'll record my State of Being at that time, and again when it's full of beans.

I look forward to looking back and seeing the distinct differences in pretty much all areas of my life, because this one thing touches everything in large and small ways. That will be such a great reward. So wish me luck.

Bag that. Just keep me in your prayers. You'll be in mine.