You Don’t Have to Change Your Mind

This is different, but at least it will be unpopular.

You don’t have to change your mind.

Instead of shifting your attention from one thing to another like a raccoon with a hatful of shiny objects:

STOP THINKING YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN OBSESSION ALL THE TIME.

That’s right. I said it.

Instead of committing your life to something because the cool kids ‘like’ its page on Flackbook; why not sit quietly sometimes and think about important ideas? Have a conversation about something besides carnal pleasures.  [Don’t get mad because I used the word ‘carnal‘ properly.  The word means “related to the needs of the physical, temporal; rather than the spiritual”.]

You know what I mean…

“I need a latte.”  The hell heck you do.  Have a cup of strong, black Folger’s.

“Your HAIR! What are you using on it?”  Shampoo.

“Have you seen the new [shirtless hairless effeminate male pin-up] movie?”  Why?  So we can argue about whether, evil or soft-smooth-hands-that-have-never-done-a-day’s-work are more attractive?

“I LOVE [fried chicken sandwiches].  They are AMAZING!”  They are poison.  Whether the founder attends church or not.

“Should I get [another] tattoo?”  No, start chain smoking.  Dumbass.

Put down the game controller.

And the freaking phone.

Your mind is starving to death.  If you think [chocolate milk with a shot of coffee] is amazing, your life is too darn small.  If you are amazed by that, it’s because so few really great things have crossed your consciousness.  Amazing isn’t a synonym for pleasant.

You don’t need to be obsessed with something.

All the time.

It’s okay to be interested in a variety of things.

You don’t have to be “passionate about something” or “have a passion for” it.

You can just do your thing.

Read good books.  Eat what’s served.  Go interesting places.  Have hobbies.  Try new things.  Like them or don’t.

Do your best in high school.

If your parents are letting you pick your path, find some post-secondary training of some kind.

Get a job.  Don’t be idle.  There is honor in work.  Whether it is the paycheck kind or the building the family blessing kind.

You can do any kind of work.  You don’t have to get famous for it.

It’s only bacon.  Bring it home.

I think you should work just a little bit more than you play.  Believe me or don’t, but if you haven’t worn yourself out with work, you will not enjoy the play as much as you would if you did.

Just live.

The passion of Christ, refers to his journey to the cross to be poured out as an offering for us.  His commitment to do what His Father desired.

Are you ready for that definition of passion?

Good.  Because Jesus, too, did a regular job, hung out with his family, attended worship regularly, and obeyed the law of the land.  He’d never heard of [chocolate milk with a shot of coffee] or [fried chicken sandwiches].

The passion will find you.  Though it will not know where to look, if you are always running from one silly, trivial, shiny thing to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lust: A Christmas Tutorial

The youth group has a question box.  You can put a question in and the leaders will take a little time on Wednesday evening to answer it.  Several weeks ago, someone asked if the word lust had only to do with sex.  Pretty good question.

Did I forget to mention that only men are allowed to teach mixed groups of people at our church?

Yeah.

So the person, who answered this, answered in the negative; that there is also a lust for power.  His example, people who run for public office.  Regardless of political party.

That was all.

It has troubled me for the entire time, that he didn’t talk about all the other drives of the flesh that we indulge.

I tried to bring the example of the desire to drive the “then-new-to-me” car on the road between Target and an adjoining suburb.  It features tight curves and ever-so-slight banking in a spot or two.  This vehicle is made to handle well and this little spot of perhaps a half mile is a delightful opportunity to sample that.  Really delightful.

Apparently, that was interpreted as me wanting to brag about the car.

I was interrupted and ignored.

There are a number of kinds of lust.  I avoided blogging it because, they’ll all find out soon enough and it was just me taking it personally.

So, in the spirit of taking it personally, I’m blogging it now.  Because I have a bad case.

You see, I have a cookbook collection.  Not like I am trying to build a library that will be donated for public use when I die.  But to use. Each one has a story and a reason.  I have hard and fast rules for selection, that even I don’t know.  I know when I see them.  I experience a kind of feeling of awe sometimes when I find a certain one.

I digress.

For Christmas, I started a little project.  I bought cookbooks for some kids (5) I love.  They are like nieces and nephews. Sort of.  Thing.

There’s the great used book store here, and I got in the cookbook section and found six (6) treasures.  I can’t decide which book to give which kid.  Because I want two (2) of them for myself.

Two.

Two.

 

Want them.

Both.

Want.

A lot.

So I’m sitting here trying to wrap gifts and looking through the books, especially the ones I want, but then I glanced through the one that was most expensive.  Now, I want it, too.

That’s what made me remember.

Lust.

Desire.

Well-engineered cars,

Cookbooks that take my breath away,

Fine leather goods, like handbags, wallets, belts and…

Yesterday, I was doing a little shopping.

I wanted to buy something for someone who reads this blog.  Who I’m responsible for dressing.  The cost was a little ambitious.  I got a little angry.

Because I wanted what I wanted.  And felt it was out of reach.

Non-essential.

There may have been some pouting.  I’m not scared, though.  Santa and I are on shaky terms right now (it’s another post).

Desire.

I’m not as tired as I was and I think I’m going back.

To be excessive in the essentials.

Lavish.

Soliciting for real connection through some other means.

Please.

Any self-respecting first-world woman, knows I’m talking about boots.

Two pair of size ten black leather riding boots.

Mm.

Mm.

Mm.

And I might buy a hot drink (with some kind of froth or something) while I’m out.

What do you say?  Is lust just a sexual term?  What do you hope Santa will slather all over you this Christmas?

 

 

 

Dear Santa, Not that I Need to Tell You Any of This…

Dear Santa:

First, let me say, the coffee mug from last year is still rocking the mornings the dishwasher hasn’t been run.  You know exactly how to bring the trumpet shaped ceramic noise.

I hope you enjoyed the low-fat, high-fiber, refreshments we provided.  They are approved by the American Heart Association. Please let Mrs. Claus know we appreciate her kind note and will be serving those again this year.

We are looking forward to hiding in the drapes and watching you lay a finger aside of your nose.

Just to streamline your preparations and help you stay out of the mug aisle at Wal-Mart, I thought I’d give you a few ideas.

1) Santa, let’s just dispense with the formalities and get down to business on this, shall we?  I don’t just want, I need a new camera.  Three years into my brave attempts at blogging, the camera that started out as merely adequate, has gone downhill.  It really seems to want to retire.  The daggeurrotype produced a clearer image.  It served me well throughout several births, but is now less current and capable than phones I see in the hands of 10 year-olds.

Pony. Up.

pcmprd187800050016_sc.jpg Front Detail

 

2) Since we are on the topic of outdated technology.  Let’s talk about phones.  I am carrying this:

LG COSMOS

It is a good serviceable device and should offer clear talk and utilitarian texting well into the next decade.   But please. If I am on the good list, do something…  I know the girls would like to carry this phone, so do it for them.

3)  Dishes.  You saw it last year under your organic field greens with balsamic vinaigrette.  Chipped and cracked.  I’ve shopped and shown Mickey what I want for everyday use.  Yet, I went to the store’s website to check for specials and found this.

 

Mikasa® Threads Modern Dinnerware

Mikasa Threads @ Bed, Bath, & Beyond 

 

Yes, that’s right.  Our wedding china pattern hasn’t been discontinued.  That’s where you come in.  The everyday dishes are a given, so to speak.  Given, meaning, “He’s givin’ ’em to me or I’m givin’ ’em to myself.”  But to have the china completed would be really, really nice.  So I’ll have at least something for the girls to fight over who has to take it when I die.

4)  While we are making me happy with what I see under the tree, let’s talk about the man I send off to work everyday.  Looking like a scarecrow.  You know what we are dealing with here.  He hates to shop.  He went from one workplace where the boss wanted everyone to “Dress for Success”  like it was 1984 to another where the hipsters set the dress code.  He feels a little like Urkel in a One Direction video.

What would make me happy is for you to just take care of this.  From the skin out.  Thanks in advance.

5)  The girls.  Ditto.  Not because of the workplace.  They need jeans. Because they’ve worn out the ones they currently wear.  WORN THEM OUT.  That doesn’t even speak to accessories, anything for a dressy event or shoes.  Oh my Santa, SHOES!  All that heroic nonsense about the thrift store aside; I am too exhausted to even start the process. You see them when they’re sleeping.  You know when they’re awake.  Blech.

Get to work old ma-….

Sorry.

Now I’m so glad you know I have PMS and I didn’t really mean that.

6) The boy.  Rock. His. World.  This kid would seriously fade away into Angry Birds and never be seen again.  He has a magnificent wardrobe courtesy of all our friends and fellow church members cleaning out their boys closets when he came.  Like he cares.  He needs stuff to play with outside and inside.  He’s a bit like an only child in that he and his sisters just aren’t entertained by the same stuff.  he bravely tries to join in and knows all the lyrics to all their cds.  That’s not good for anyone.  He needs more than the light sabre and the trampoline.

7) Howsabouta nice stockade fence around the backyard.  So we and our next door neighbors can enjoy our yards at the same time without looking at each other.  Remember what they say.  Good fences make good neighbors. I’m sure the feeling is mutual when I say, they would be a lot better looking from the other side of a privacy fence.  The *ahem* ‘cyclone fence’ that came with the house is an embarrassment.  I’d just like to wake up on Christmas morning and look out the window and not see the alley.

8) The peace on earth thing.  Peace has so many different meanings.  Practically one for every living person.  Let’s talk about that mom whose child is on the battlefield.  In a foreign country or an urban back alley or a cancer ward or a rebellious season.  Bring that momma peace.  For that Man who’s imprisoned by the pressure.  To conquer.  Work. Marriage. Fatherhood.  House.  Car. TV.  Money.  Give. Him. Peace.

Bring them peace.  And the earth will follow.

9) Underwear and socks.  Seriously.  We all need them.

10) An orange and some nuts and a peppermint stick in my stocking.  To remind me of the olden days.  And those who wished before me.  You know who they are.

Bonus: It would cost you nothing to send some Facebook likes for the blog.  Or some comments.  Or some reason to keep persevering with this.  Since the muse has apparently moved to one of Money Magazine’s Best Cities to live in.

Thank you, Santa for reading my letter.  And being magical.  And letting me on the good list.

Maggie S.

This letter, while genuinely heartfelt and sincere, is also linked with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Mama's Losin' It

 

 

 

For Once It’s About Me{me}!

Lady Jennie @ A Lady in France was so gracious as to invite readers to join her in answering the questions she wanted the answers to.    Because I worship her from afar, literally  am the laziest stalker ever like her so much, I am joining up.

1. What’s your guilty pleasure? You know what I mean? What do you do that you know is probably not the wisest thing for you but you can’t seem to help yourself?

It’s coffee, I could almost cut and paste Lady Jennie’s answer to this question.  Though, her cup is prettier than mine.  I have cut back so seriously, since August, that my kids have noticed I’m nicer.  And commented.  Dang.

less attractive vessel for drinking

2. Have you ever been able to overcome a bad habit? If so, how?

No. {See number one}.

The habits that I’ve broken don’t seem that bad.  And the bad ones won’t break.  Or I don’t care enough, yet. (I hate blogging.  It’s like a freaking mirror on my heart and motives.) [I really love it.  I just say a lot of mean things.]

3. What’s your first memory?

Looking out the window of the farmhouse to the dirt road.  I don’t know how young I was, but just tall enough to look out the window.  Probably could place my chin on the sill.  It was late fall or winter.  The sky was gray.  The road was red.  The wind was blowing.  It was in Oklahoma, of course, the wind was blowing.  It was beautiful to me.

4. Have you ever had an experience with a ghost?

I’d like to think so.  We’ve had a few poltergeist type things happen in this house.  They’ve always preceded emotional cataclysm with the twins.  Which is what poltergeists love.  Remove the emotional charge, remove the activity.

One time, my husband, son, and I were in the back of the house, and we heard a knock on the door at about 7:00 a.m. I went to the door because I was dressed and the others were still bedhead.  There was no one there.  No one in the street.  No one along the sidewalk.  It had been an assertive and unmistakable knock.

Another time, the family was moving around the house doing their own chores.  At one point, one of my daughters and I stopped in the living room at the same time.  Movement caught our eye and we looked up.  The living room fixture was spinning lazily.  Back and forth.  This fixture has been hanging since 1920.  It doesn’t move when both powerfully strong girls are dancing in the very room.

During a really horrible time…before I knew what was going on, our house was surrounded by cats.  Wailing, howling, spraying, screeching.  Day and night.  Nights were especially horrible.  Neighbors speculated that a feral colony was migrating.  Whatever.  They were aggressively inhabiting our porch and storage area and it was nearly impossible to sleep.  This lasted a couple of weeks.  Animal control would bring me a trap when they had one free– in about six weeks.  One night, tucking my daughter in bed, I looked at her face and for a flash thought, “She’s dying.”  My baby was transfigured into a macabre visage.  In two more days, a dark secret was exposed to the light.  The cats were gone that day and never returned.

5. Have you ever had a significant dream? One that came true, or one that meant something to you?

No, my husband has the significant dreams.  I interpret.

My grandmother often dreamed of a house– large and empty, not a home.  I’ve had a house dream a couple of times.

Mostly, my perception stuff happens in waking.  I frequently awake at exactly 5:22.  It started when the girls were 3 years-old.  In the last few years, I note the time in the evening at that time, as well.  I’m hoping one day to know why.  I have a friend who has the same thing at a different time.

6. What’s your most embarrassingly funny memory, and if you dare, your embarrassingly embarrassing memory?

Weird…I have a fart story, too.  I was standing in the store that sells baseball caps.  Paying for a cap for my husband.  The clerk and his buddy, who was “hanging-out-in-the-cap-store-at-the-mall-because-he-was-a-winner-that’s-why”, were standing there, and while the guy prcoessed my check there rose around me a stink such as the world had not known.  If evil has a funk, this was it.  Grease and Sin.  I gagged.  I made eye contact.  They froze.  Perhaps they didn’t yet know whether their buddy had served it up.  Never ever in my life before or since have I delivered one that bad.

That’s copying, though.  When I was a junior in high school, I fell asleep in U.S. History.  I drooled on my desk.  When I awoke, I was lying in a puddle the size of the desktop.  My hair was wet and my arms and body were keeping it from DRIPPING OFF THE DESK.  I couldn’t move until class ended, in order to keep others from seeing it.  I have no memory of how it was resolved.  I vaguely remember telling the teacher.

7. Alright moving on to more distinguished topics. Favorite book. Why is it your favorite?

I hate this question.  I am like the little boy who was an optimist…when he there was only a heap of manure under the tree on Christmas morning, he leaped upon it and started digging.  When someone asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Pile of shit poopie this big?  Gotta be a pony in here somewhere!!!”

I can never remember the book that held me by the heart in shock that I was finished and it was over.  Because I didn’t just dig through…I closely examined a lot of individual… [lightheaded; head between knees] turds.

Books that have made me sob:  Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls;  Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Eliot;

8. Last question – most romantic. At what precise moment did you know your spouse/partner was “the one?”

Looking back, I think the first moment I saw him was a sign.  I’m not saying a shaft of light came out of heaven and the angels sang, but there was definitely a jolt. I didn’t believe in that kind of nonsense and didn’t see him for some time, but he called me once just to see how I was doing. Another six months passed before I saw him on my way out of town and he asked me out.

I’m sure Lady Jennie would be delighted for you to stop by and participate as well.

 

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