Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sacramental Sermon of the Day

I stayed home from church today.  I have a head cold.  I figure it is a win-win situation; I got to sleep and my fellow churchgoers don't get my illness.  

I do think church is super important, so I decided to listen to sermon online.  I know, I am such a church geek.  

That aside, I went to one of my favorite places:  New England Chapel    

This is our church in Massachusetts.  (I went to write "Old Church" but really I haven't left it behind.  It is still there and I am just adding new church to my circle of friends.)
They post the sermon audio on the website and I love to listen to them.

I wish I could say I picked this sermon, but I didn't I just went to the last one.  When I started listening, I thought how cool?  Chris is preaching about being the person you are meant to be and how that leads to Thanksgiving.  

So I am stealing posting it here so that I can go get ready for Thanksgiving and make crafts for Christmas and take a nap for that I can get over this cold.  

Chris says it better than I do anyway.  Enjoy.

Generosity - God is a Generous Giver

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Meaning of Food

I talk about Maya Angelou a lot.  She is an inspiration to me as a writer and as a person.  

Here is a link to an recent interview she did with Southern Living.  

She talks about how what we cook and how we eat says something about us.  She knows a lot about people and a lot about food.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it causes me to think of what I want my food to say to the people who eat it.  

What does it say when it is Four O'clock in the afternoon and I have no idea what is for dinner?  What does it say when my children eat quesadillas three days in a row because they are easy and quick?
What does it say that my husband says I only bake when I am taking something to someone else?

What does it say about our relationship when Maeve and I cook cheesecake together and then enjoy the results?  How does Hilde feel when I make a special vegetarian meal she loves rather microwaving beans for her while the rest of us are eating meat?  

How good does it feel to cook all day for people you love and then sit for hours around a table laughing?  (That is a communion like no other.)

Then there are the times when the food speaks actual memories to me.  We had roast beef a few weeks ago and I commented to Hilde that I could never be a vegetarian.  She asked, "Why not?"  I told her because every time I taste roast beef I think of grandpa and all the roast beef dinners I've had in my family.  I can see my dad standing in front of the cutting board slicing the roast and saving the juice.  One taste of salty, rare roast beef and images of family dinners flash through my head.   Then I feel loved.

Yes, they looked at me like I was crazy. 

But it is true.  Food is always connected to people or a place.  We don't call it Comfort Food for nothing.  It comforts us because of the memories associated with it.

So when I prepare Turkey, green been casserole, carrot souffle, pearl opinions, broccoli with cheese sauce, sweet potatoes and maybe even strawberry pretzel Salad.  I will be thinking of my family, my husband and my friends, with whom I have shared Thanksgivings.   

I will think of all the conversations, all the laughter and all the love that the food represents.   I will remind my children of all the people we have had at our table and say things like:

" Let's make Miss Shoshana's carrot souffle."  "Do you remember when the Allen's came to Thanksgiving?"  "If we save some turkey we can make grandpa's turkey soup."  "Dad makes the best pumpkin pie."

And we will ooh and ah as we recall the delicious food and we will be hit with pangs of sadness as we think of people far away.   We will make new friends and share in new Oklahoma traditions (probably involving football).  

Food, memories and friendship all entwined.

And I will be grateful for it all.     

Friday, November 11, 2011

Subtitles Part Two

This subtitle re-evaluation was harder than I thought it would be.   It has opened a whole bunch of thoughts for me about my intentions for this blog.  It also comes at a time when I am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  As if a mother and blogger and home manager are somehow not enough.

One of the thoughts that floated by me and I finally pinned down is "Mission Drift".  I was listening to the great story of the Oklahoma City Infant Crisis Center and the speaker said, "We tried that but we realized it was mission drift."  When I heard that word, I thought. "That's exactly what I am experiencing - mission drift!" 

Mission drift is when you start out wanting to focus on one thing and a whole bunch of other good things come along and you want to add them too because they are such good things.   Then things get tough to juggle and nothing is getting done really well  because you have strayed from your original intent; you have drifted from your mission.    This is the story of my life and most recently of my blog.

Do I want to share with the cute antics of my super amazing daughters?  Well, yes but really NO.  The point of this blog is not a mere journal.  I really do have a purpose, I promise.   

My intention, my mission, my goal, with every post is to use my life as a word picture for how God works through motherhood.  Sometimes it's pretty but a lot of times it's not; but everything when looked through the filter of grace is a chance to see holiness.  A chance to be a little more holy and whole.  

My suspicion of mission drift was confirmed, when Daniel said something like, "Well, it's not like you see God in breakfast."  To which I replied, "Oh but I DO!  That is exactly the point!" Somehow, I wasn't very good at communicating that to him.

You see, that's my gift.  I see God everywhere and in everything that ordinary life dishes out.  Especially in my home.  I want to show you how to see Him too.  I want moms to be in awe of the things that happen when we pay attention. I want people to look at me, and honestly I want me to look at me, and think being a mom is most important job in the world and more then enough.  In fact, more than I can ask for or imagine. 

So, to that end this new subtitle adventure has helped me re-focus, clarify and tidy my intentions.   I think I finally found one that fits.  Here it is:

Declaring the miracles in ordinary motherhood.

Here's why I chose it:  

I loved the idea of high purpose but to be a high purpose means someone has a low purpose and I don't think any one's job is a less than mine.  

I wanted to make a strong point - that's what I do best, teach.  So I wanted to be a little more forceful than just "discover" or "exploring".   (Thanks Ellen for reminding me that this sets me apart!)

Then I searched the trusty, old Merriam's again for a word that mean "point to" because that's what I want.  I realized that "Declare" means to point to and also this, "To make know (something abstract) through outward signs."  That's pretty much a synonym for Sacrament.  How cool is that?!   (Thanks Cheryl for that suggestion.)

What I want to point out is the MIRACLE in EVERYDAY, ORDINARY LIFE because that's when and where miracles take place.

So that's what I came up with.  What do you think?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I started this blog two years ago.  When I did I came up with the name and then copied a dictionary entry for the word sacrament and pasted it as a subtitle.  I thought it was self explanatory.  

When people read: "Sacrament...An action or object of ecclesiastical origin that serves to express or increase devotion"  I thought they would understand that I see motherhood as something sacred and that my life as a mother increases my devotion to both my family and to God.  

Well, I guess it wasn't as clear as I thought.  Daniel in particular is asking for some clarification.  He hates "church" talk and apparently my subtitle is too churchy.   He doesn't really understand what I mean when I say "sacrament" or "ecclesiastical",  Go figure. 

I am going to ignore the fact that he has had these feelings for two years and is just getting around to telling me maybe I could be a little more succinct.  (Thanks for helping me start strong, honey.)  

I am also going to give his male IT brain the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe he isn't the only one that doesn't quite get it.  I will also refrain from pointing out that maybe male, computer geeks aren't my target audience.  

I will ignore all these variables and make an effort to appease my husband and work on a new subtitle.  

Maybe in the course of helping Daniel I just might make my blog a little more approachable for everyone.  To that end I have come up with some new subtitles.   Here there are:

Sacramental Mothering:
Viewing motherhood as a spiritual journey.
Seeing God in ordinary days.
Seeing Jesus in my family and being Jesus to my family.
Letting Motherhood form my soul. 
Living the higher purpose in motherhood.
Reclaiming motherhood as a spiritual act.
Making every day  sacred. 

That's what I have so far.   Please vote on your favorite.  I would love to hear what makes sense to you and why.  

I do want moms - and male computer geeks - to read what I write and be encouraged that inside every day is a miracle, we just have discover it.

Hmmm, that sounds like a good subtitle. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quote of the Day

Marriage is not a simple love affair; it's a complex life entanglement.  
-So Beautiful, Leonard Sweet