Or, Maybe

photo Or, maybe we have to choose the battles that can not be won. Because there will always be injustice and malice and poverty and famine and evil, but that doesn’t mean we give up.

Or give in.

Or, maybe to everyone else the battle is too small to matter.

It won’t change anything. No one will notice. It won’t make the news. Or even talk around the dinner table or this blog. There won’t be a video or outpouring of donations.

But we still choose justice, and right, and compassion.

And fight the good fight.

Simply because it is good.

We battle, not because we can win, but because to not even try or to not care or not even pay attention would be the worst casualty of all.

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Writing Is Not a Ministry

So I started writing many years ago and then got more serious. Then not so much. Then I said something to DH- probably when we were dating and I was trying to be show-offey because he’s so smart and talented- and I made it sound like I was a serious writer.

And he believed me!

And then I married him and shorty after, I found  out about a Christian Writing Conference.

Well, that sounds nice. And I thought, “I’m a Christian. I write.”

Well, there was approximately 500 people there and I learned a whole helluva lot about Christian Writing (one thing: you can’t say “hell”).

Christian Writing is really two different things: There are Christians who write. You know, like there are Christians who doctor.  Or engineer. Or even the ones who pastor.

And then there are Christians who write Christian.

And quite a few, mostly in the latter group, refer to their writing as their ministry.

And in my sarcastic-way-chafe-at-everything-Christianese, I hear this and really struggle to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head. Or, at least, I try to wait till I’m in private.

I do not think of writing as a ministry. Why do I write? I don’t know. Why am I dog person more than a cat person? Why do I like vodka martinis instead of gin? It just is. And I just… is a writer. (Sorry, it was just too good to pass up.)

Writing is what I am pulled towards. I know some find it odd- my love of words- but it’s just my “thing”. I don’t think of it as a calling or a ministry or a mission from God.

BUT a thought occurred during my quiet time. Just kidding. I was driving home and Little Sir was asleep in his car seat. And thought if I stopped ascribing so much TONE to the word ministry- what would that be like?

And without all the TONE, it occurred to me that  my LIFE is my ministry. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. It’s all how I am serving myself and others. And God. Which is how I define ministry.

Unless I really pursue the title of Minister (with the degree and fancy outfits and everything), I am not sure- as a layperson- I can categorize my ministry to one area.

Though that could be convenient…

Oh, sorry I was a jerk to you, but being nice is not my MINISTRY.  Housework is not my ministry. Anything to do with car maintenance too. I am not called to those things. And forgiveness. Clearly, people have a calling for that. Me, not so much. It does not come very naturally. I seem to be called to grudges.

I am also not going to inflate something I do because I simply do not know how to not do it by calling it a MINISTRY. As though somehow my writing is better or more important because I attach religious words/phrases. Maybe not better technically (why bother with petty details), but TO GOD and therefore TO YOU.

My default setting is to love words and putting them to stories I make up. It’s a good gig. But I can’t really say it’s a ministry.  Of course I want it to be okay with God and good for others, but that goes for my whole life.

Calling it something fancy does not make it better. Sashimi for example. That sounds lovely. But really that is still just bait. Calimari is still squid. Fried bait. Whether I call writing a ministry or my avocation or my career, it doesn’t change what it is (hopefully better than fish bait).

Now about those other areas of life– how my whole life is my ministry?

Well.

Progress, not perfection?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Life Lessons, Writing | 2 Comments

Spectrum Parenting: What I Do Differently

GE DIGITAL CAMERASpectrum Parenting is the term I use for the spread of child-rearing I have going on: Kids from one end to the other.

Consistency in parenting is key, but change is consistent so here are some things I do differently with Little Sir:

Sweet Dreams of Hot Rides: With one of my kids, he would bring toys in to bed all the time and it really bugged me. He was supposed to be sleeping in there! I could probably think up enough reasons why, but none that make a lot of sense to me now. Little Sir’s bed doubles as a used car lot with all the hot wheels he stores there. If we’re looking for cars, look between the covers.

The King’s Speech: With Gorgeous Gal, I was convinced baby words or allowing her to mispronounce words for the cute factor would warp her development and cause long lasting impediments. But, with Little Sir, I admit I don’t say anything when he says “froggy” for foggy or “wiggly coke” for regular coke.

This Too Shall Pass: In general, I think I was much more uptight with the other kids. I don’t know if they wore me down or I am wiser (probably both), but I approach things differently with Little Sir. I have always liked the phrase “choose your battles” and used it for all my parenting choices. But I find the ones I choose with Little Sir are different.  I am not so much lenient but just find there are different battles to choose and more ways to avoid the actual battling and still “win”. I know the day to say “no” to a bribe at the grocery store and the day to say “yes” so we can just get through the line with minimum fuss. There are still strong boundaries, but like the maps of Europe, they can be fluid too.

Regrets are for…Parents: I really try to avoid regrets. It is oftent eh single reason I will choose something risky, I don’t want to have regrets. But I do find myself at the end of the spectrum with Little Sir looking back at the beginning with Gorgeous Gal. When Gorgeous Gal was younger, I had this idea that I could protect her from the ills and pain of the world (or more of it) by preparing her for the realities. There were times I was tough so she would be tough. I was big into “natural consequences”. I now find myself wanting to model the way the world should be. The world will knock them down, I want to be a soft place to land. I want to be a refuge from what can be a harsh reality. I made a lot of mistakes in parenting and was just plain wrong, but mostly I really did the best I could with the what I had in knowledge and general wherewithal. But I do wish I had been…more gentle earlier in this journey.

One of the best things about Spectrum Parenting is with the span of the spectrum, I have PERSPECTIVE. I have seen what worked out and what needs some tweaking. I can hear about a new parenting fad/tool/theory and embrace it.

Or dismiss it.

And I know, if all else fails, save for the therapy fund.

 

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