Monthly Archives: April 2015

Damn Lies…

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Two days ago I wrote about how big God was. I wrote a sentence about God being big enough to find joy in giving a tired mother her morning cup of coffee while waking up beside a beloved son dealing with the aftermath of addiction.

I wrote the coffee part thinking about a friend who sends out pictures of her frothy cups regularly. She’s far away now, but the pictures make me remember our mornings together. Yesterday this friend texted us, her coffee girls, that her brother did not wake up to deal with the aftermath of his addiction.

I don’t know what form his addiction took, but it doesn’t seem to me that there is a sin as old as this one, the belief that something good is being withheld from you, that those who love you most don’t understand. The belief that you will take, ingest, and be wise.

How bodily this form of lie, how physically it works. Its consequences are old and the same.

Consequences come last and so I think its easy to confuse that they are given us in response. It can make your loving Father seem judgmental or spiteful. But the consequences were always there first. The consequences are what necessitated the prohibition in the first place.

I’m so sorry, friend.

Missing…

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So, for those of you who don’t know my dear little twenty-month-old baby number three, let me tell you he’s my “active child”. For those of you who don’t know dear little babies one and two, well, let me tell you, that’s saying something.

He likes to explore. He is not scared of strangers. And he’s fast.

And … AND … Mom and Dad have two other kids and six years of parenting experience lulling them into a false sense of security.

He once made a friend at the playground and tried to go home with him. He was very upset when the strangers wouldn’t let him into their car.

A few weeks ago he walked into the middle of a pickup basketball game at the park and took the ball. These big tatted dudes spent the next three minutes tossing the ball with him.

A couple of months ago he was playing happily in the donut room after church with the other kids. When we looked up he was gone. After a five-minute search we found him up in the balcony drinking the little cups of leftover communion wine.

And today, YES!, today he disappeared after Mom’s group. My younger two stepped out of the nursery behind me in a group of other kids. I turned for his shoes and when I turned back he was gone. I searched the gym. I searched both locker rooms. I went up the stairs. He was nowhere.

I began to freak out and enlisted my mom friends to help me. I went to the guys unloading equipment out a side door and asked them to please look out for a little boy in a yellow sweatshirt. I went to the balcony and alerted the quilting ladies to please hold onto him if they found him.

It may have been as long as ten minutes. It felt like forever.

And then someone decided to use the elevator. And there’s my boy, with the emergency panel open conversing with the first responder on the other end.

Of course, you feel better instantly as you do in these situations. As Ma would say to Pa, “Well, all’s well that ends well.” And they almost died frequently out on the prairie. Being stuck in an elevator for ten minutes would have hardly been worthy of the proverb.

I hugged and kissed my little bolter. My friend apologized to the first responder. Maybe it was my emotion, maybe it was being stuck in an elevator for ten minutes and unable to reach the “1”, whatever it was my boy was rather subdued on the way home.

I am not in high hopes that he has learned any lesson, but I certainly hope his Mommy has. I thought this post was going to end up being funny. But reliving it has just made me exhausted all over again. Goodnight!

Ritual Tuesday…

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I am super thrilled to be featured today over on my friend Cara’s blog at www.carameredith.com as a part of her Tuesday series on ritual!

My friend Cara and I bonded over the sea-green cloth-covered folding table positioned at a diagonal in classroom one, also known as … Mom’s group.

Mom’s group is a petri dish for accelerated friendships. Grab a new Momma a cup of coffee with sugar and half-and-half and they may cry. Hold their baby for two seconds and they feel like a new woman. I mean, if you need a friend, ask a new Momma the very basic question, “How are you?”

It’s guaranteed.

Cara is a super-blogger, super-tweeter, and super-speaker extraordinaire. And she just moved away from me in body to the nearby burg of Oakland even while nestling a little closer to my heart.

So go visit www.carameredith.com, read a bit of me, and meet my friend!

Big…

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I remember being a little girl driving home at night with my Dad. Everything was black except for the long stream of Los Angeles highway running bright with headlights in one direction and bright with taillights in the other direction, the only demarcation of the rolling hills being the offset lines of red and white. Into this meditative silence my Dad said, “God knows all these people. He loves every single one of them.”

I had a similar moment this morning as I rode the bus to work. There were so many different people, so many different types of attractiveness, so many different ages. I was thinking about my morning as a parent getting dizzy vacillating between the emotions of only three small humans. But God is a Father to all these people. And I found myself wondering at how it must feel to wake up with the emotions of billions. How do you wake some up with singing and others to the worst day of their lives? How do you take joy in giving a tired mother her morning cup of coffee while dealing with the despair of a beloved son waking up on Van Ness in the aftermath of addiction?

God was suddenly that big again, bigger than the California-one bus line, bigger than San Francisco, bigger even than the infinitesimal system of Los Angeles freeways. He’s that big.

Since I’ve Been Gone…

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Well, for starters, I’ve been dutifully sending off my little picture book manuscripts. I took the next step and began another blog called barbaralyonwrites.com and joined a little social media outlet called twitter, you may have heard of it. (@blyonwrites) The twittering rules are rather vague and I don’t quite know how to do it yet. These will be more exclusively used for writing and for the purposes of building that elusive support known as “the platform”.

Don’t feel neglected, dear little solongsuburbia blog, I haven’t been writing much over there either.

The elementary school play finished. It was glorious. I was officially tapped to take over directing next year and the kids applauded me heartily which was very sweet. I miss them and when I drop off my son at school I always run into a few of the cast members who sidle up to me with large smiles on their faces. And the question on everyone’s lips is, “What play are we going to do next year?”

The week after that was Easter and I was in charge of telling the story to the kids. I tell the story and draw it with pictures. It’s something I love to do and I managed to mostly maintain their attention, a feat which is not unextraordinary considering it was about noon on Easter and all of them were hopped up on chocolate bunny ears.

And the week after that I was supposed to drive down to Clovis and visit a dear friend and enjoy her baby shower. But scary complications on Wednesday led to an emergency cesarean and a baby in the NICU. So, instead of a shower there was a rather shell-shocked Momma, a glowing Papa, and a real beautiful little three-pound baby who is doing quite well. I painted the nursery. It’s Dumbo themed.

And the next day after that was…

My first day of work!

So, you remember that dream job I didn’t get? Well, I kinda still got it. I don’t have the experience, but they needed someone, so they delegated some of the responsibility away and made me a position. And it’s perfect!

I’m a children’s ministry associate of sorts for our church! It has been a very exciting week. For one thing, there’s an office and I go in to it. Secondly, the desk is a larger space than any I have in my little apartment and it’s all mine! (Actually, I found out today that I stole it from someone else, but they all assured me it was totally ok. He’s just an intern.)

I was rather overwhelmed on Monday, but Thursday was awesome. I discovered a festival of sorts in support of families of kids with disabilities and I booked us a table! It felt so good to do something. It feels so good to do something!

And today I was pricing kids Bibles all day. And they’re not that expensive! Bibles for all the children! Talk about the perfect job for Barbara.

Also, this job has been the proverbial static comb to my stream of running creativity and given me a little slant. I’ve been writing kids’ prayers and lessons. I have this new burning desire to write a kids’ Bible … one with dark people … and Asians. I feel like a jerk after looking at Swedish Adams and Eves all week.

And I might start yet another blog with coloring pages, activities, and other parent resources. I’ll let you know. TOO MANY IDEAS!!!