Ever have one of those days…

In addition to making almost everyone on the internet angry today, I also attempted to poison the entire teaching staff at Veritas Classical Academy.

It’s been one of those days.

Craig invited the staff over tonight for dinner. We currently don’t own a grill so I decided to make a chicken dish I’ve made a bazillion times before. I wasn’t exactly sure how many people were coming and I had no idea what they were bringing, so I planned for a bunch and I prepped the whole meal. I made five pans’ worth of this chicken dish.

When it came time to actually serve, I pulled one of the pans out of the oven and put it on the table. Twenty minutes later after everyone had already sat down with their plates one of the teachers came to me in the kitchen to discretely inform me that the piece he had wasn’t cooked. At all.

That’s when I panicked and started looking at the pan he’d taken his chicken from as I had just switched over to a new pan. The uncooked chicken came from the FIRST pan – the one that everyone had just taken a piece from.

Yep. I served the teaching staff and their families raw chicken tonight.

I’m all about the first impressions around here. I believe if you start low you can only go up from there.

Now excuse me while I exit the internet for a while and pretend today didn’t really go down the way it did.

Night.

Thoughts on same-sex marriage

I’m holding my breath and jumping in the deep end today at WORLD. Care to join the discussion on explaining same-sex marriage to kids?

PS: If you haven’t read Wesley Hill’s book, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality you really really should.

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My oldest daughter, who is 12, was checking her email the other day. Before she logged in to her account, she saw the headlines on Google News and took notice of the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. She asked me later what I thought about that.

Some sins are worse than others, right? Not in the eyes of God maybe, but certainly to most of us. For better or for worse, we tend to place degrees on sin. In doing so, cheating on a test isn’t nearly as bad as-murder, adultery (whether heterosexual or homosexual), stealing a car, or perjuring ourselves in a court of law. I don’t mean to teach my kids that some sins are worse than others, but I do it every day by my own reactions and responses to sin in both their lives and mine. They are learning early from me.

For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality and whether or not same-sex marriages should be allowed. Five years ago, I think I would have come down pretty solid on the line of “absolutely not”-under no circumstance should this mockery of what God ordained as union between one man and one woman be given the same status.

I’m not sure I can say that anymore. Wait a minute: It isn’t that I think homosexuality is OK and is something Scripture overlooks or agrees with. But it is that I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of Christians is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who do not follow the ways of God.

Because of my Christian worldview, I do not agree with the practice of homosexuality, but I do not expect the government or most of our country or world to share that view. The trick for me right now is how do I explain that to my kids?

My friend Wesley Hill is a celibate homosexual Christian. His book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality has been formative in helping me understand the struggle of Christians who find themselves wondering what it means that they struggle with a homosexual orientation. I asked him for his thoughts on the legalization of same-sex marriage, and he responded in this way:

“I tend to think the church shouldn’t behave as if its viewpoint on same-sex partnerships resonates, deep down, with everyone . . . because it doesn’t. We tend to think everyone really knows gay sex is wrong, but when we say that, we’re just not listening to gay people well enough about how their (my) orientation is ‘hardwired’ and not ‘chosen.'”What that means in terms of specific policies, I don’t know. I’m inclined to think that Christians shouldn’t have much of a problem with American governments (state and federal) granting recognition (e.g., ‘civil unions’ at least) to non-Christian same-sex partnerships. . . . Even Focus on the Family is admitting that conservatives have pretty much ‘lost’ the culture war on this issue. (Wasn’t there a recent interview with a Focus employee in WORLD to that effect?)

“The vast majority of my generation is in favor of gay marriage, and I suspect it’s only a matter of time before it’s made legal across the board. Which should be no cause for despair among more traditional, Bible-believing Christians. As Paul Griffiths says, ‘What the Church ought do . . . is to burnish the practice of marriage by [Christians] until its radiance dazzles the pagan eye.’ Our best apologetic for ‘traditional marriage’ is the beauty of the Christian lives we live. We ought to woo people towards it rather than legislate its acceptance.”

1 Corinthians 1:18 says:

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Lord, how do I-and my kids-pray for Your power on behalf of the perishing?

Anyone still out there?

Wow, that took a long time, didn’t it? We moved out of our house on Friday, June 3 and though we had very shallow pockets of internet thrown in throughout the subsequent three weeks, it was never on my desktop and I don’t blog from the library. I can’t use a PC anymore without major frustration. I am officially a Mac snob.

Hope your June has been less chaotic than mine has been so far!

The Angry Birds Jedi Master

For the past two nights the girls and I have been having a shared Angry Birds round robin competition with Angry Birds, Rio. Actually, nobody is keeping score, but we’re all crammed together on my bed with the iPad. The girls take turns having a round of five with me on whichever level we’re on. We trade back and forth until her five turns have been completed and then she switches places with another girl. Sometimes the levels are really hard and we go through almost all of them before winning that level. Other times, the level gets mastered on the first try.

When this happens, it is almost always Millie who does it. She’s pretty amazing. In fact, the last round we did went through me and Chloe, me and Katie, and me and Maddie. I had just called it over for the night, but then said, “Hey Millie, come here a second – I just want to see what you can do with this one.” She came over, watched me do it once (and fail) and then took her turn. Bam, bam, bam. She nailed it on her first try.

All hail our 7-year-old Angry Birds Jedi Master. Do you have some pesky monkeys hanging around? Millie knows what to do.

Tap, Tap, Tap – Is this thing on?

It's been about three weeks since I've had access to the internet from anything other than my phone. I did have one night's worth at my parents' house (when I put up the last post) but other than that, nada. It's not necessarily been a bad thing, but let's just say I'm glad to have it back now.

Oklahoma has been…hot. No surprises there, right? It's pseudo-south and not-pseudo summer, so the heat is to be expected. What isn't going to be expected is our air conditioning bill when it arrives. We're not used to having central air conditioning, but we're getting used to it quickly. Our house has three units and the main challenge is remembering to turn off whichever one(s) we're not needing at any given time. My other challenge is remembering to turn them back on when I enter a room. I have this weird habit of not noticing the temperature until I've reached an extreme, so by the time I realize the air isn't on, it's 82 in the house. Yes, I know. It's weird.

No painting has taken place in this house yet, but I'm considering tackling my first project this weekend. I did have this unexplainable need to throw some color on in some fashion last week, so I took three hours out of my unpacking and covered this bulletin board:

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I. Love. It. I have another super large bulletin board in this same room that I think will get the same treatment at some point in time, but after realizing how long it took me to do this (smaller) one, I decided the larger one could wait a bit longer. We still haven't even found the printer cord. Ahem.

I did grab some paint chips today just to begin thinking about color and where it will all go. I want another orange room, but won't do the main living room orange this time. Nope. I'm going to paint over our floor to ceiling brown paneling with something else. Haven't quite decided just what yet, though.

Anyway, wanted to come out of hiding tonight to say hello and we're still around. We're just still very much in the process of digging ourselves out of our latest transition. It could be a while before things totally normalize again.

Update

I’m not sure if my one week silent treatment here on the blog has been sufficient proof that we moved last week or not, so I thought I’d break my internet fast tonight to tell you it’s true. Last Sunday we left St. Louis for Oklahoma City. We’re still finding our way around in every sense of the phrase. The people we are buying our house from (we still haven’t closed on the house yet even though we HAVE moved in) still have a lot of their things in the house until they get their own situation figured out. Among these things are their dog, Boomer, and their cat, Lloyd (if you don’t get the significance of those names to the geographical area then go brush up on your OU trivia…).

We’ve been enjoying Boomer and Lloyd very much even if Peaches, our own pooch, doesn’t care so much for Lloyd and Chloe and I have had to break out the Zyrtec again due to cat-induced allergies.

However, the girls and I are back on the road this weekend. Half of us are headed back to St. Louis to gather up the rest of our own things we left in what is now no longer our house there in Maplewood. So we’ll be silent for a bit longer as we continue this transition.

Peace out.

Finding meaning in the mundane

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I hearby take a break from Operation: Pack This House to post something on WORLDMag. I think I have some typos over there, but haven’t had time to fix them yet. Forgive?

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Sorting socks is not a task I enjoy very much and the pile-o-mismatched socks that sits in the corner of my room proves it. Yesterday was the big match day and I sat on my daughter’s bed sorting socks for a good half-hour. I started groaning inwardly while doing this, but somewhere in the middle of it all my perspective changed and I began thinking about all the people in my home who wear said socks and my heart changed from bitterness for the task to thankfulness for the wearers. The job became less demanding as I opted for cheerfulness in the midst of the chore.

I’ll be honest. Thankfulness in the midst of thankless acts is not my natural default. I don’t take to heart the words of Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” But in that moment of sock sorting, something switched in my heart that I needed to get through this, our last week in St. Louis, which hopefully will have a lasting effect. I began to see my work as, not only for the Lord, but also for the people in my family who benefit from it.

My next test came soon after that as I was packing up my 10-year-old packrat’s, I mean, daughter’s bedroom. I can’t remember the last time I took a peek at the back of her bedroom door. It was completely covered with clippings of favorite animals, notes from friends, Cardinals baseball memorabilia. At once, tempted to groan at the amount of tape that needed to be peeled, I was instead quickly able to move to a position of thankfulness for the unique position of being able to catch a glimpse into some of her very favorite things. These were all things she’d hidden from most eyes most of the time, but things she felt compelled to display for her own enjoyment. And seeing the world through her eyes, for only a moment, made the peeling more palatable.

I’m not the most patient mama. It’s definitely one of the spirit’s fruits I wish grew in more abundance on my personal tree. But I’m finding that developing new eyes for the ordinary things of life with young kids goes a long way toward helping sprout that fruit. It also enables me to take the long way home with my kids a little more often. It’s during that long path home we discover more of who we all are. And I’m finding that when I take time do this, I remember how much I love the life I’ve been given, mismatched socks and all.

Farewell Party Take 2

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That could mean a farewell party for two (Maddie and Chloe), or another farewell party (as in the second one). Or, see these cupcakes? Go ahead. Take two.

Friends of the girls from school hosted a pool party today on their behalf. Seeing as how it was some 90 degrees (or close to it), it was much appreciated.

So were the cupcakes.