Tag Archives: church

Twenty Things…

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Here are the twenty things I am most excited about right now:

  1. The next two days off, no rehearsals, no office. Just me and my beautiful babies.
  2. My 36th birthday on Sunday.
  3. The raspberry liqueur my brother and my sister-in-law bought me for my birthday that I am drinking right now.
  4. The lesson on the Wedding of Cana that we’re teaching on Sunday. He used the purification jugs! 20-30 gallons they held! God is kind!
  5. The talk I heard today by Wes Granberg-Michaelson on how to take care of your inner spiritual life while working in a leadership position in the church.
  6. For my birthday I will be making a girl date at my friend’s to watch Rushmore, the Wes Anderson movie I was really not sure about before I decided for sure that I loved Wes Anderson. Excited to finally love it!
  7. The school play, Aladdin Jr., is well on its magical way. I am three weeks into rehearsals as “director” and having a ball.
  8. The group of Moms helping out with the school play. My new assistant director and I figured out our babies will begin Kindergarten the same year so we are destined to work on the school play for a decade together. These ladies and I are going to be friends for life.
  9. I am excited that the children’s Christian calendar I illustrated for my church is going to be used in another church. I get to go see the training on Saturday.
  10. I bought CDs and books for my children for Christmas based on the qualification that they were something I would want to be liturgy, something I would want my child to heart-memorize. I succeeded. My two-year-old walks around reciting poetry. And my daughter has already memorized “Annie”.
  11. I love my coworkers. Last night we drove around the Mission district, had Mitchell’s ice cream cones, and saw our city lit up from Bernal Heights Park.
  12. My administrative assistant who is my brain at work and helps me be as super productive as I’ve always wanted to be. (I need a Leigh for home.)
  13. My stack of YA science fiction waiting to be read. This year’s resolution: read more fiction.
  14. The small stack of paintings on wood ends that I’ve recently covered with resin. They look great. I want to cover everything with resin.
  15. The fact that I was asked to do a linocut print for a wedding invitation.
  16. Seeing my artwork on someone’s wall.
  17. My husband’s indomitable motivation to work at things, old things, new things, new ideas all the time. Indomitable.
  18. The watch I think I might be getting for my birthday.
  19. The prayer tip my friend gave me for how she prays for her family. One phrase or idea from one verse prayed for each member of your immediate family.
  20. Doing things. Doing all the things.

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!!!

Bound…

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Last week I got into a fight with my husband. I said something. He said something. I said something else when I probably shouldn’t have. Then he REALLY said something.

The next day there was a bit of resolution … an unsatisfactory bit.

And then a few days later I said something again.

Now, here I am on Sunday morning sitting in church and I realize I have a fistful of strings clenched tight in my hands. This string is tied back to the moment he said this. This string leads back to the moment I said that. This string is from the moment that he didn’t understand. This string is from the moment where I was uncompromising.

And I’m picking at the bundle, trying to keep them straight. Counting the tally, who owes who what? Who has been vindicated? Did I come out ahead?

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past six weeks since my son started school it’s that I’m not good at multitasking. I’m late for pickup. I’m late for soccer practice. I forget the library books. I forget the teacher’s birthday.

And it works to my benefit now as I get confused by this tangle in my lap, trying to keep track of my debt, my desserts.

I have to drop it. This could go on for weeks or months or more. I could hold tight to this little string or that one and save it for the moment when I could say, “See here. Remember when you said this?”

But they drop from my hands in my sudden inability to keep it all straight. And I gasp a little and grasp a little. Because I’m pretty sure I was coming out on top. But in that moment I feel free. And I can breathe. So, then I decide.

I toss them away, throwing the jumbled ball to the ground and wiping my hands down my arms as if to brush off the clinging spider webs of sour memory.

And I drink my communion cup slowly, letting it flow down my throat to coat, like the pink Pepto Bismol in the old commercial, redeeming every bitter thing as it goes down slowly into my gut.

How ‘bout that? There was resurrection in the morning! What a glorious surprise is a new beginning!

And the last song we sing is, “We are bound, we are bound, we are bound for Promised Land.”

So, I leave church without strings binding me backwards, but bound by one leading me ever forward into promised places.

A Prayer for Mother’s Day…

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Heavenly Father, Jehovah God, from whom your whole family in heaven and on Earth derives its name, we thank you for motherhood. We thank you for what it reminds us about who you are.

We thank you that you understood first the joy of anticipating your perfect family.

We thank you that you understood first the pain of losing your perfect children to sin and death.

We thank you that you understood first the pregnant advent of centuries as your redemption formed.

We thank you that you understood first the pain of delivery in water and blood on the cross that those children might be born again to you.

We thank you that you pursued first the blessings and difficulties promised of adoption.

We thank you that you modeled first a mother’s love as you gathered Israel, then the nations under your wings.

And we thank you for your grace that covers our failings as mothers,

The grace that makes us all your children,

The grace that covers your church, which is your body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Amen