Friday, September 25, 2009


i was told once a long time ago from some well intentioned holy rolling christian (the kind that had me seriously considering leaving church for awhile before i had a chat with God and He kindly assured me it really wasnt all about her and her types) where she, in her vast knowledge and perfect interpretations explained to me in the nicest of ways why we, as followers of Jesus, are not to ask God why He does what He does. i remember smiling politely and nodding my head all the while feeling a bit sheepish and guilty because i had asked God on countless occasions why.

why were nearly 3,000 innocent people allowed to die when a few crazy radicals thought it best to fly planes into buildings.

why didnt mr. woods from my home town blow his own head off before hunting down his wife and young children as they ran for their lives around their house while dodging the inevitable plan of death he had for them.

why the tsunami.

why are their children sold for sex for a few dollars to a multitude of sick bastards who are more than willing to pay.

why andrea yates.

why darfur.

why. why. why.

i have a million whys for God. something i read or hear or see on a daily basis has me asking Him why. He doesnt owe me an explanation or an answer. He doesnt even have to listen and truth be told i have far more questions than i have answers. i know of children in need of love. of orphans in need of parents. of kids caught up and tossed about and lost in a system that while full of great intentions is horribly broken. and i know of women who were born to be mothers, women who would make incredible mothers and if not for the overwhelming pain and heartbreak of not being able to conceive a child of their own would never meet the divine fork in the road where they, in their grief and longing for motherhood, would forever alter the life and future of a baby in desperate need of them and their love. children born of their hearts not of their wombs...most certainly after years of asking why.

and i mean no disrespect when out of disbelief i come to my Father and question Him. im not trying to fill the role of the right hand man, not trying to second guess Him in all His perfectness or imply He owes me an answer. i just cant imagine Him creating each of us with our sense of reason and logic and our minds full of natural curiosity only to ask us to spend our lives simply void of questions when it comes to what lies under His control (which is incidentally everything). my trust and faith in Him easily coexist with my questions of Him. much like georgia asking me if im going to catch her while she jumps, i can ask God 'why' while simultaneously trusting Him and His plans. i can have my faith shaken by the heartache and grief around me and be left grasping for answers and clinging to Him for the hope and peace i long to steady me. i have spent the better part of this week in a tailspin of questions for Him and while i have been honest and confused, fumbling for ways to articulate my bewilderment to Him, He has met me where i am and calmed me reassuring me once again that He is present. if God the Son, while fulfilling His purpose and having all of the answers can still cry out to His Father in immeasurable pain and ask why from the cross...certainly we, His children, when witnessing or consumed by our own suffering can ask the same of Him with the same certainty that He is listening with compassion and comfort in our time of need.

so i wonder. and i ask. and i wait for answers that usually never come or that i simply do not recognize or understand. what i do know without question is God is present and accounted for in every situation that gives me pause. sometimes Hes most visible in the midst of the storm, other times in the aftermath. but He is always there. so ill continue to love and to trust and to ask why, eagerly anticipating the day when we are face to face and all of the hope and all of the blessings that remained unseen to me in the living years are revealed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the not so great outdoors

let me start by admitting in complete and total honesty im a total poser when i appear to be enjoying myself in the great outdoors. i own northface and merrells. i can rock nothing but chapstick for a day or two and ive been known to take a shower with nothing but a few baby wipes, but i pretty much hate every second of it. its not my thing. sure, i have romanticized the crap out of the IDEA of camping...campfires, shooting stars, crisp mountain top sunrises with nothing but the birds keeping me company. the problem is the reality of it...bug bites, crappy coffee, a hard ground, gear to haul around like mules, limited wardrobe changes, non existent shower facilities (and let me just say right here for you crazy 'oh there are campgrounds with showers and bathrooms...i say boo to you...really? i know theyre not clean, and while running water may constitute a shower to you, i require a bit more, like steaming hot water, clean tiles and soap that smells good enough to snack on). and of course theres the beginning of time dilemma of where and how do you pooh in the woods...and why of course you cant pooh for days on a camping trip. ah yes. and tava, we cant all have fifth wheels. soooo, back to why camping sucks and more importantly why its on the brain tonight...

i once thought patrick and i should go camping and like all new ideas of mine, i got overly excited and eager about the accessorizing part. i spent loads of time researching tents, perusing up and down aisles everywhere from rei to target wondering what the perfect tent would look like for us. thank God i had the opportunity to go camping in a tee pee in aspen for a few days because i immediately realized that our perfect tent looked identical to a room at the hilton. there were porta potties (which are really just little caves i refer to as hell deterrents as i imagine hell is one big giant porta potty that everyone in hell has to use and spend all their time next to) and sleeping bags and of course baby wipes. it was a fabulous opportunity to spend time with amazing students and it saved patrick and i a boatload of money because if it wasnt for that trip we would be the proud owners of all things camp like and it would all be brand spankin new.

needless to say, our sweet kids will get their love of the outdoors from some other people which remain unknown to us at this current time because we pretty much roll with people like us. however, this week i did have a brief opportunity to share with georgia a camping experience. on our way home from running errands, i, in an attempt to reward some outstanding behavior suggested we travel to a new playground. one far from our house and in the woods. brilliant. we arrived at the hidden playground to find one mama watching over her 4 year old little boy climbing on the slide. georgia was thrilled, i was thrilled. fast forward 20 minutes into our excursion. other mama and i have made enough small talk that i know she is tired and relieved to have 2 of her 3 boys in school while monkey child hangs and swings from every piece of playground equipment. jack is happily swinging in the swing and the peach is enjoying the tunnel slide. all is well. at this time the peach mentions, 'mommy, i have to go potty'. i said, 'okay, no big deal. lets pack up and go home and i promise we can come back later today or another day.' to which my natural born used car salesman replies, 'actually, i really dont have to go.' fast forward 48 seconds....'mommy, actually, i have to go poop and i have to go right now.'

several things flashed through my mind and i was left with only one choice. i looked to the other mama and said something like, 'can you make sure no one takes my baby from the swing while i take my daughter to poop in the woods?' these are words i really never thought id utter and yet, here i was, leaving my infant in the care of a stranger to take my peach into the woods to poop. i hate camping. once in the woods, the ever inquisitive georgia asked, 'what do i do?' to which i answered, 'well, honey, you just poop. right here. under this lovely tree.' she looked at me like she was waiting for me to say just kidding. when i didnt, she said, 'well, i guess im fine with that.' so she pooped. and of course she wanted toilet paper. geez, georgia, right now toilet paper and some hand sanitizer would really make my day too, but what we have is a leaf, so here you go. double eww. at this point all i wanted was a hot shower in my clean bathroom with this whole disgusting experience behind me. so we headed back to the swings to find jack happily, obliviously swinging. he was laughing at us like, 'i get to poop on myself. its so much easier.' i thanked stranger lady profusely for preventing any abduction of the lump and we called it a day. and while im no camper, the peach may just be...on the way home i overheard her talking to her baby doll and it went something like this...'so, baby, one day when youre big like me, you can poop in the woods too. its really pretty cool.' ugh.