The mental neat freak

neatfreak1

A few weeks ago I went to the salon to get my hair cut. One of the little lifehack-y things I do is to think carefully about what luxuries I’d most enjoy, so that when Joe or my parents ask what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I can give them a list of things that I actually love and would use. The result is that I have a nice collection of gift certificates to my favorite salon, and I’m able to get my hair cut by a talented stylist. It’s a nice place: music that was somehow both hip and soothing pulsed in the background while... Read More

A few other things I learned from my month o’ doom

I’m now entering week 10,000 of this pregnancy, with only 40,000 more days to go until the April due date! (I don’t have a calendar handy, so that’s just a guesstimate.) Also, I just found out that I’m seriously anemic, which will help me fill out my “Blood-Related Issues that Make You Feel Like You’re Dying” punchcard. I thought I’d take a break from my big afternoon plans of staring at a wall (and occasionally yelling utterly empty threats to the kids about what will happen if I have to get off this... Read More

They broke the mold

Two weeks ago, our good friend Joedaniel (JD) Horne was found dead in a hotel room. It wasn’t a suicide and no foul play is suspected; he had been in poor health for a while, and a combination of factors finally overwhelmed him. JD Horne Joe forwarded me an email that had the subject “JD Horne died.” I thought it was a crazy coincidence that this guy who passed away had the same name as our friend JD — who, obviously, was not going to die any time soon. I read and re-read the details that spoke of the same person we knew,... Read More

What a spiritual director and an MBA taught me about being overwhelmed

I have a personality type that leads me to feel overwhelmed a lot. I’m ambitious but lazy; I have a latent perfectionist streak that comes out at unexpected times; I’m an Olympian procrastinator; and I’m so non-confrontational that I often find myself saying “Yes, I’d love to help with that” when what I should be saying is, “I CANNOT EVEN FIND TIME TO BRUSH MY HAIR RIGHT NOW, LET ALONE SIGN UP FOR ONE MORE FREAKING THING.” Because God looks out for people like me, I’ve had some very wise counsel... Read More

Reason can convince you of stuff that’s stupid and wrong

Oh man, was I in a terrible mood a couple days ago. It was bad. I’d had two nights in a row of getting very little sleep because the baby had been fussy, then had one of those days where even my smallest ambitions were thwarted: I wanted to freeze some leftovers, and out of the ten thousand containers and three thousand lids in my Tupperware drawer, I could not find a single matching set. I wanted to banish the stircrazy kids outside for a while, but it was 107 degrees. I wanted to get the mail, but it was 107 degrees. Did I mention that it... Read More

Praying like you’re illiterate

Yesterday I hit a level of exhaustion like I have only rarely known before. This whole “third trimester” thing just is not working out for me this time around, and after a morning of huffing and puffing around the house to keep up with the kids (including the most spirited two-year-old God has ever created) I was on the brink of some kind of physical collapse. I was just about to toss an open box of granola bars on the kitchen floor, stagger to the couch and count on the kids’ survival instincts to do the rest, when the phone rang... Read More

When I am weak, then I am…weak

Okay, knowledgeable Christians, I need your help. You know that famous verse in Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, where he says, “When I am weak, then I am strong”? The one that everyone always quotes like they totally understand it and this is a guiding principle of their lives? I don’t get it. I never have. Well, that’s not completely accurate. Like with so many other things, I get it in theory. It is when we are weak that we stop trying to do things of our own accord and actually rely on the Lord. As... Read More

When church isn’t fun

I can’t think of a time in recent memory that I have had less fun than I did on Easter Sunday. It was the day I found out that feeding four young children a breakfast of donuts and Easter basket candy results in the same behavior you’d expect to see if you gave crack to monkeys. It was the day that I learned that my husband and I are evidently descended entirely from warlike peoples, our genes leaving our offspring without a shred of proclivity towards civilized behavior or docility. It was a day that I was blessed with bountiful opportunities... Read More

In memory of a lost cat

Our cat is gone. We have no idea what happened to her: animal control and the local pounds don’t have her, and the neighbors haven’t seen her recently either. She simply disappeared. We didn’t exactly sign up to be cat owners. She belonged to the ex-wife of the house’s previous owner, and we were under the impression that he would take her to the pound before we moved in if we didn’t want her. My husband is allergic to cats and we were expecting our third baby in three years at the time, so we weren’t exactly... Read More

When God locks doors

On Saturday, my long-awaited break finally arrived. Regular readers know that for a couple weeks now I’ve been desperate for some time to get away from it all to recharge my batteries both spiritually and physically, and that my efforts in that department kept falling through. Just when I felt like I was getting close to some kind of breaking point, my husband arranged for me to get out of the house for a couple hours on Saturday. I was so excited I was giddy, and I knew exactly where I was going to go: our church’s Adoration chapel.... Read More

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