Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A new day

I am saddened to hear the reports of the devestation in N.O., literally a basin, filled with water which is now filled with dead bodies and contaminants that will sit until it can be cleaned up. It really is a third world kind of scene. You would think that in this day and age of technology, a city such as this, perched on the gulf, below sea level, would have already had some kind of system in place to deal with the eventuality of storms, hurricanes, flooding and the like, even on the scale of Katrina. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

I hope that the clean up goes well. I am surprised to hear the amount of fondness so many people have for the city. I had always thought is was a bit of a back water bayou slum, I didn't know it was so well loved. I kind of thought it's only claim to fame was the yearly bacchanalia of Mardi Gras, which is not resounding endorsement in my mind. But it is apperantly well loved. My apologies, I didn't know. I wonder why I got the impression it was a dirty, crime ridden, kind of skanky, if a city can be skanky. It must be TV and perhaps just personal bias, or ignorance. Sometimes west coasters can be short sighted, if they are not well travelled. We have a nice place here and sometimes don't venture far, because it is a nice place, or we tend to develop myopia, because, well, it's just so darn nice here.

My thoughts and good wishes are with the people who are displaced, and my hope is that they will be able to rebuild better than before.

I also am amazed at the incredible power of the world around us. It makes me think we are a bit arrogant at times, as creatures go. We build near the ocean and are angry when our houses and yards wash away. We build on flood plains and are insistent that someone must fix the problem that occurs when our holding flood. We build on hillsides and weep when the entire hillside slides away. It begs the question, what did you expect? Living near a forest in a dry climate may mean that ones house may burn. To expect otherwise is foolish. It doesn't lessen the tragedy when people die, but it doesn't seem surprising. Sometimes I just don't get it.

I guess that seems uncompassionate, I don't know. I guess the thing about blogging is, it is a chance to speak your mind. This is what is going on in my mind. I can't apologize for what is on my mind, I could not speak it, but I really don't understand. If I lived in the midwest and a tornado ravaged my city, I would be hurting, but I would not be surprised. I guess my feeling is just this, when you live in an area where natural disasters tend to happen, you expect them to come with the territory. You plan for it, and when it happens, you pick up your things and start over. Natural events happen, and we can't stop it. We can't even build things that can withstand it. All we can do is run. I don't think anyone deserves to be hit by a natural disaster, or that they are at fault. I do think on ehas to be aware of the risks and be prepared.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I love you Lord, because you loved me first. I love that you love me with such passion, unreservedly. You don’t hold anything back, not even your own life, and that kind of passion touches me. I know there are a myriad of other things that are lovely about you, but for me, it’s that total abandonment of ones self for another that is so delightfully touching. Not that I am glad you had to offer your own life for me, it is a tragedy, but you did it. I see the picture of that love when I think of my husband jumping off a cliff to save his daughter, touching, foolhardy, he wasn’t thinking of his own safety at all. That is a delightful picture of the heart of a man who loves deeply and it echoes the heart of my beloved who loves so deeply. My response to your passion is to open up and be encompassed and touched by you. I want to be known by you and to know you. I want you to peel back the layers, reveal what lies beneath. I want to know more about this man who loves me so deeply and completely. I see your abandonment for me and I want to abandon myself to you. I want to delight in the one who delights in me. I want to be always mindful of you, knowing you are ever mindful of me. I am amazed at the joy you take in me, and I am delighted that I bring you joy. Knowing you, I know joy. No one, nothing can touch this, it is in a place so deep that it is difficult to even put it to words, and yet so intricately interwoven into who I am that awareness of it is my constant companion. It is strange and yet as familiar as my own skin, as if this is how I really am, how I was made to be. I am not the sum of all that has happened to me. I see the world around me, it flows past me like a river, but the real me is who I am with you. I am defined by you, not by the world. I am because you love me, what you love is who I am. I discover something new about myself because you delight in something new about me. I am a living, loving response to you. That is who I really am. You are Ishi, my beloved, and I am Ishshah the response to your love. I delight myself in you and your laughter makes me sparkle. I seek not to define myself, but to love you. Love me well so that I may love you better. Be joyful and mindful, open and passionate, in order that I may be those things to you. I love who I am with you, who I see when you look at me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A day off and time to write

Update, work is going well. For the most part, it's not a bad job and it is low key. We have 3 people we take out into the community, mostly go to parks or shopping or whatever. The people we take out are fun, but have been sick the past few eeks off and on, so attendance has varied. My kids don't like me being gone during the morning, and I don't like it either. I feel like they just spend the time sitting around waiting for me to get home. I wish we could make it on one income. I think when school starts it will be better.

We went on a boy scout camp out last weekend, to Olallie lake
That's up in the hills, Mt Hood Wilderness area. It was warm, weather was nice, cold at night up at that elevation (app. 5000ft) but not that cold. The sky was clear and the stars were beautiful. We even saw some of the meteor shower fireworks, not too much because we couldn't stay up too late.

The kids went on a hike to a lake for fishing. Hubby and I were planning to go with them, but got behind. I was ready and said I would try to catch up, they were a 1/2 mile or so ahead of me. Huby still was getting gear. He reminded me to take the radio so that I could stay in contact with someone,w hich I did. I got to the first lake 1/2 half mile away, but the group had gotten even farther ahead. I tried to call my husband to let him know that, and the radio was dead.

Here I was, walking along this beautiful lake (I'll put up pics when I get them off the camera), totally alone. I'm thinking (of course) this is bear country, where is the nearest biggest stick? The huckleberries were in full season, the lake was clear, as many mountain lakes here are. I think it is the cold water and lack of growth of algae and stuff, but you can see right to the bottom. There were rocks and boulder strewn around like lawn furniture. There was not another soul to be heard.

I got to the sign for hte next lake and realized there were 3 other lakes, not one that one could go to. Since I didn't know which lake they went to, I had a problem. Les was no where to be found, I even tried half heartedley calling for him a few time, in case he was in shouting distance, he wasn't. I decided, just liek mom taught me, to stay put. I did however decide, if I was going to stay put I was going to fish. I bumbled over loose rocks at the far end of the lake to a point, where I couldn ot only fish but be visible to anyone walking along the edge of the lake. No sooner had I gotten there than hubby showed up and saved me from certain, uh, lonliness? I remember that as I waited, I just felt alone, like I was the only person therefor the moment. Kind of nice, kind of odd. It was so quiet.

We decided to go on the the next closest lake assuming the group had goen on there, another mile along. I thought it was another 1/2 mile, not realizing the sign had said 1 1/2 mile to fish lake. The hike so far had been slight uphill followed by a steep descent to the first lake and I was not looking foreward to going back up that hill. We went down more hill and got to an overlook and our first view of the second lake. We were looking off a cliff at a beautiful lake way, way, way down at he bottom, 3-400 feet down. Maybe more, I don't know. It was a long way down. I loked at him and he looked at me and waved to the stick figures down at the bottom. He got out his radio and called them, yes that was our group. And, no we were not going to try to get there, mostly because if we did, they would need to airlift me back out again. I won't have that. So hubby and I left for the first lake and fished for a while, caught nothing, then went on back to camp. Boy were my feet tired.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Happy Birthday

To me!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How am I doing?

You tell me how I am doing, am I meeting your expectation?

Why does knowing me give you the right to crawl inside my head?

Tell me that what I think is ok (or not)

How I dress is ok (is that really what you are going to wear?)

Rate my likes and dislikes (how can you stand that, be like that, like that!)

Give your stamp of approval or finger shaking at me.

I am who I am.

What I like is what I like,

What I think is what I think

Love me because of who I am, not in spite of it.

Holding me up to your mirror is your narcissism.

At times I feel like an empty bag waiting to be told what it will be,

how it will be filled, made to carry the baggage of another.

Joy is realizing that my beloved father, the best man in my life,

knows who I am.

Doesn’t hem and haw at my





He never rates me, holds me up and says

“How dare you not be like me!”

He says, “how beautiful you are, and how glad I am you are here”

He sees my joy and is joyful,

My sorrows, and is sad,

My fear, and holds my hand,

My opinions, and notes them.

He waits for me to ask.

He doesn’t have to, but my assent matters.

His yardstick is his son.

Against Jesus, not “how do I rate?”, but a warm embrace.

I stand eye to eye,

Shoulder to shoulder,

back to back.

He has set my feet on a solid rock,

not at his beautiful feet

but by his side.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Teach your children well

I have striven to raise my children to be wise, to think for themselves. I think sometimes people try to avoid forcing their kids to adopt their values, so that they will be free to form their own. I would rather talk to my kids about what I believe and help them understand why I believe it, knowing that in the end, they will form their own opinions anyway, no matter what I tell them. Thinking that avoiding giving them any of my stuff will somehow help them doesn't ring true with me, they will aquire stuff along the way, baggage comes with life. I let them know where I stand and what I expect of them. I feel just as bad for people who feel they must stamp their kids into a model they feel is the right one, I see the kids react by going totally their own way and then the parents feel they have failed. I have found the way God raises us is that he sets down rules, and he says what will happen when we don't do it his way. Then he lets us make our own choices and learn that he is right.

That's where I differ with people who feel God is a strict disciplinarian who threatens us to make us do what is right. My experience of him is that he is loving, and he has nothing to prove to me. He is in control and he knows it. If I don't know it yet, I will find out. Things work better his way, because he made us and knows us, it's his world. Like reading the manual to your new car and then throwing it out the window, because you know better. God knows me better than I know myself. He lets me make my own decisions because he respects my personhood, but he also lets me suffer the consequences from my decisions, because he respects my personhood. He is perfectly willing to help me if I ask but he won't step on me and make me do it his way. He has all of eternity to help me grow up.

As I learn how he is, I learn to lean on him, to ask for help and to wait for his timing, not mine. I used to worry, "what if he doesn't do anything" or "I want this to happen right now". Now I have learned that he always answers, that whatever the situation is, he will make it work out, and when I wait for him, things work out better. I don't find myself fighting him as much because i have begun to trust him more.

I love that God isn't forcing me to be a certain way, he is leading me to be the person I am meant to be. He allows that to happen, doesn't demand it. It really helps me to realize that, because just about the time I am saying to myself "what is going on, when am I ever going to get where I am going, how is this part of God's plan", I remember that he loves me, that he wants what is best for me and that his intention is always to see me and my family blessed. So whatever is going on, he is involved and working it out. I don't need to worry.

I try to incorporate that into my kids, but boy is it hard. I pray about every night that God will help me to be a better parent, I get so frustrated and I am sure that I say things that hurt my kids. I just want them to hear, and they seem to never listen. I am amazed when I think about how good God is at listening, building us up without letting us get too inflated or too beaten down, and how patient he is. I get angry so quickly, and I fly off at the mouth.

I know that God waits for us to move toward him, he is always there and reaching for us, but he waits for us to seek him. He says time and time again, if you seek me, you will find me. People who say they don't believe in God simply haven't found him. Either they aren't looking with their heart, or they have been hurt and built up walls against religion, or they just aren't ready to believe. But I know that those who are really looking for him, find him. He isn't trying to hide but he will allow himself to go unnoticed so that those who don't want him don't have to have him. He is a gentleman that way. Even people who don't really know what they believe, when they are really looing for truth, find him eventually. I think that is amazing. It's not about a system that one has to learn, a set of rules and rituals that make one clean or holy or whatever. It is about a direct experience with the living God who made us. When that happens in your life, you know that he is real. There is no guessing. You know that God is and he is love.