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Shalom

What I’ve discovered is that shalom arrives when I stop searching.  I spend time striving, struggling, even surrendering what I value most in search of solace, sanctuary and…

I started writing this post July 8, 2010. That’s as far as I got and I’m not sure why I stopped.  I wonder what else I had to say.  I wonder if I thought I’d arrived at answer of some sort or was still mulling through the questions.  Apparently I was really into alliteration that day.

I must have honestly thought I’d found shalom or shalom found me or something.  I don’t know if I stopped searching because I was fatigued or bored or had given up.   And what expression of shalom had I encountered?  Was I experiencing harmony between myself and God? Did I wake up on July 8, 2010 with a new-found sense of overall wholeness and peace?  Was there some sort of metaphorical hello and goodbye going on in my life?

According to Facebook, Scott Burnham had just introduced me to calorie free whipped peanut spread.  That was funny as hell but I don’t think it had a whole lot to do with shalom.  My nephew Conlin was born shortly before that.  Could be that his birth allowed some sort of peace to cover over my family for a time.  The most exciting news in the country at the time was LeBron James’ hour-long televised announcement that he was signing with the Miami Heat.  That definitely would not have been shalom provoking.

I do know that I’d like to find that shalom I apparently had once discovered.  I’m honestly not searching too hard for it unless doing paperwork for my job, watching Orange is the New Black or playing Candy Crush counts.  But I would like to find it.

This post will make no sense to you if you have never watched Daniel Tiger. It’s on Netflix and I highly recommend it to folks with little kids and to kidless folks who are just feeling a little random and bored. I have seen every episode at least 25 times. Caleb is addicted. (Always swore my kid would never spend hours staring at the tv, but I think that perceived failure is another post on its own.)

Anyway…the show has these songs. About everything including going potty. Which, by the way, you are supposed to stop and go right away. Then flush and wash and be on your way.

One of the songs is about how grown ups always come back. The social worker in me goes nuts when I hear this song. Grown ups don’t always come back. Sometimes they die or run off with the pool boy. And then there’s the group of grown ups that kids really don’t want to see come back.

I’m also convinced all the adults in the program have a secret flask or pack of cigs somewhere. They’re just entirely too calm. And I know I couldn’t deal with that Katerina Kitty Cat without some extra help.

For real though, I really do like the show. I wouldn’t have it on auto repeat play all day if I didn’t.

I’ve learned some fancy parenting techniques. When I feel so mad that I want to roar, I now take a deep breath and count to 4. I also now aspire to feed my kids healthier and homemade food. Mom Tiger makes oatmeal with blueberries or strawberry pancakes almost everyday.

 

Back in the Saddle

I’m a woman, a wife, a mother, an amateur theologian and a social worker.  In that order.  Sometimes I play all five roles decently.  More often than not though, it seems like I’m doing maybe one of them well and the others pretty half-ass.  I should try to put a more positive spin on that, or perhaps a more philosophical one, but I don’t know what else to say.

I started this blog eight whole years ago because I thought I had some clever, profound, important things to say.  At that time, what I wrote about did feel pretty clever, profound and important.  I had a small following.  I felt good about myself and my ability to write.  Seminary came and went and I discovered I wasn’t such a good writer after all.  My life got busier (namely due to the inclusion of a husband and step-daughter) and my world became some sort of confusing, mottled blurry continuum of events.  I began to feel less clever and certainly less profound.  The things I had to say didn’t seem so much more important than anything else anybody else had to say, so more or less, I quit writing.

I’ve recently realized that I’ve been living my life in the order of social worker, mother, wife, woman, amateur theologian.  Living my roles in that order is neither healthy for me, nor is it helpful for the others in my life.  Bit by bit I’ve tried to reorder my life.  I’ve started cross-stitching, coloring mandalas, playing the trumpet again, worked at reading more, doing some yoga.  So I thought I’d start writing again too.

It seems that the spirit behind my blog from the beginning holds true still now.  I wrote in 2006 and will reiterate today:  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:12

And a right-on-the-money spin on it from The Message says it even better: Don’t throw me out with the trash or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!

The joy of salvation. A willing spirit. The acknowledgement of the grayness that sometimes surrounds me. The promise that a breath of His holiness can overtake a day’s worth of weariness.

My hope is that this blog will be a place for me to share and explore all the things He has sent to sustain me. Laughter, tunes, random stories and some deeper ponderings. I hope it will all find a place here.

Wise Up

What I wish I could say…

Going to the dentist today

…but leaving my llama at home.

I bailed…

So I didn’t go to the writing group over the weekend.  Partly because I needed a nap, partly because I was too chicken.

Giving it a go…

So after much proding by family and friends, I am going to join a writers’ group.  I’m going to my first meeting tomorrow evening and am both excited and nervous.  Hopefully it will give me the extra kick in the butt I need to keep on writing as well as help me figure out how to do more with what I do write.

I’m am, however, a little bit afraid of having my precious ego trampled on…and of having the background voices that seem to tell me I’m not such a great writer after all reinforced.

I guess we’ll find out.

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