I Raised My Glass to the Moon

Feb 21 2016

I raised my glass to the moon tonight, and I yelled, “CHEERS, Mama Moon,” because I felt like she gets it, trying to reflect light in the darkness and succeeding and failing in larger and smaller measures depending on the night and her cycle and how much access she has to the sun.

“CHEERS, Mama Moon,” I yelled outside, in my big, baggy, pilled sweatshirt that’s soft and worn, and my black leggings decorated with dog hair, and my booty slippers that aren’t meant for walking on the road but are used that way anyway even though the rain seeps in the sides and soaks the socks I stole from the kids’ laundry basket because I couldn’t find any clean socks of my own.

“CHEERS, Mama Moon,” I said, and I felt like a hippie saying it, at one with the universe, but I also felt self-conscious because I said it without thinking, feeling this strange kinship with a circle in the sky, so I looked around to see if the neighbors heard me so I’d know whether I should apologize — again — for my volume and lack of bra.

“Cheers, Mama Moon,” I said, and I nodded at her and thought of my own waxing and waning, and comings and goings, and ups and downs, and the mysterious pull I have on the seas of my little world, affecting their tides and the ways they erode and repair the world around them.

“Cheers, Mama Moon,” I said, and I wondered if she ever feels alone, like I do, in the black night when the sun is blocked from her view and no one can see her, even though she’s surrounded by stars.

“Cheers, Mama Moon,” I whispered, as I walked up my front stairs, and skipped the bent boards, and paused on the porch, and listened to the children hollering at each other and their screens.

“Cheers, Mama Moon,” I said, and I lifted my glass again. “Shine on.”

 

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Image credit James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Houseplant

Feb 16 2016

My mom grew roses when I was kid. Gorgeous, HUGE roses with conceited, ruffled petals in every 80s pastel color imaginable, especially all the varieties of peach. She trimmed them, and dead headed the rose hips, and put tar on the end of every cut stalk to make sure the aphids didn’t get to the vulnerable plant, and my brother and I would play in the crab grass while she worked the rose beds, and threaten each other with bodily harm, but we stayed away from the roses because we knew what was good for us.

My grandma’s specialty was African violets. And cross stitch. And cross stitched African violets. I never knew her without them, the half wall in her dining room covered with her special white plastic shelves, grow lights, and precisely set timers eager to do her bidding. I bet if Grandma had put her mind to it, she would’ve grown great pot with that set-up. A carefully curated environment, every dead leaf perfectly plucked, and each bud babied. She could’ve made bank, friends, if she’d been just a little entrepreneurial.

But me? I didn’t inherit their green thumbs. Not even a little.

Or so I thought.

For YEARS.

I used to think I was bad at growing house plants, just because I always killed them. Now I know I was just growing the wrong kind of plants, and my technique was all wrong, because guess what I discovered?

I ROCK AT GROWING PLANTS, friends.

See?

IMG_8884A WHOLE BOWL OF HOUSE PLANTS.

I showed my kids, because I want them to have memories of their mom growing things and not, well, poisoning everything I touch.

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And my daughter said, “LOOK AT YOU, MOM! YOU ARE GROWING AN ONION FROM AN ONION!”

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WHICH I TOTALLY AM.

So I asked her if she knew what I was growing from the yellow potatoes.

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“What, Mom? What are you growing from those?” she asked.

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“A yellow potato plant,” I said, proudly.

“WOW, Mom,” she said, and she meant it, because she’s my FAVORITE, and I told her I’m growing sweet potato plants, too…

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… because I am.

Turns out, I’m excellent at growing plants. I just needed to find my kind. My mama rocked the roses. My grandma loved the African violets. I’m more of a tubers and root veggies girls, myself. Kinda makes me wonder what else I think I’m bad at that I’m… well… not.

 

 

With love, friends,

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P.S. In case you’re also good at growing house plants and need home decorating ideas, I tried out the following and can highly recommend:

  1. Decorate a Bookshelf

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2. Or a Mantel:

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3. Or, of course, a Restroom

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Your Help Needed. Important Question Ahead.

Feb 11 2016

Your help needed. Important question ahead. 

Is there something wrong with me? Or with the rest of the world?
Please pick one.

 

It’s just that I keep seeing this meme on The Book of Faces lately…

CrochetShorts

…which says “just because you CAN crochet something doesn’t mean you should.”

Except I’m pretty sure that if you CAN crochet something, you DEFINITELY should.

Tan, yellow and goldenrod short-shorts? Um, yes. Yes, you should. You absolutely should.

You know why? BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability, friends.

 

Owl tube top?

How-to-DIY-Crochet-Owl-Basket

YES, YOU SHOULD.

Uterus?

uterus

Crochet. It.

Gall bladder with removable gall stones?

removablegallstones

YeeessssSSSSSS!

Chicken hat and chicken vest??

crochetchickenhat

chicken vest

HOW DOES THIS NOT MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

Seriously.

crochetsuits

Seriously, friends.

In a world full of fear and sadness, let us agree that crocheting the crap out of stuff is the work of God. WWJD?? J would CROCHET, guys. Like crazy. J would buy some yarn and a hook and just go NUTS.

In conclusion, I need to know. Is there something wrong with me? Or with the rest of the world? Please pick one.

With love and yarn,

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PS — To see more crocheted short shorts, go here. You’re welcome.

PPS — I know a fine, Christian lady who once made one of these for her husband.

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PPPS — That fine, Christian lady is my mother.

PPPPS — If you want to freak your mom out, put the crocheted willie warmer she made your dad on top of her Christmas tree one year. 🙂 I promise, it’s worth waiting for her to notice. For weeks. While her friends visit for Bible studies. Again, friends… WWJD?? J would put your mom’s willie warmer on the tree. J is good times, folks. That guy gets a bad rap, but he’s good times.

This Is Not A Real Post

Feb 10 2016

Guys. Guys. Guys. Guys. Guys.

I am so tired.

The End

P.S. Sorry for calling you all “guys.” I mean guys and ladies. But I’m using the patriarchal “guys” as a stand-in for both genders. It’s poor form, I know. I’m just too tired to change it, man.

On the Pub and the Church and Doing a New Thing

Feb 3 2016

I’m sitting at a pub in my little Oregonian home town tonight because a) it’s Whiskey Wednesday, b) my friend, Bubba, is working and can point neophyte me in the right whiskey direction (Basil Hayden Bourbon, y’all), and c) I’m trying to talk two of my favorite girlfriends — a pastor and a spiritual director — into running a spiritual formation retreat with me. It’s a good night, in other words, full of things that feel holy like water, whiskey and women who teach me how to love bigger and brighter and better and who think I’m awesome even when I fail completely at those things.

The music is loud in the pub — something with steady drums and the occasional tambourine, all ballady and wistful — and people in jeans and chunky sweaters are deep in conversation with friends, turned in toward each other and leaning forward to listen well. This place is community and it is a kind of church, too, in the Greek tradition of ekklesia, which was never about the building and always about the assembly of the people. A coming together for unity and common purpose.

My friends and I talk about the things we believe and how revolutionary and practical they seem. Like that we’re all unique and valuable, weird and wonderful, and wildly, desperately worthy of love. We perch on high stools at the rough-hewn wood bar, and we talk about calling and purpose and what it really means to love God and each other and how to invite those who have different ideas about God into our midst, to be our community, too, without the fear that we’ll try to coerce or convert them. We swirl ice in our glasses and talk about magic in the mess and finding God in the muck and mire and how we might reframe struggle as a worthy and rich place to meet Love and meet each other and meet ourselves. 

At the end of the night, I pay my bill which is clipped to a clothespin. I thank Bubba for the whiskey, and I hug my friends. I walk away with excitement about doing a new thing, and reminded that my purpose is to be the pub to people. I was told as a child with my Christian friends that we needed to learn to be the church, and that’s true in the idyllic definition of it; that Greek definition, which is a gathering of people whose goal it is to love and listen well and allow Jesus to infiltrate our hearts and minds and souls. It’s just that it’s hard these days to think the church is doing that very well. So for today, I’ll keep this pub in mind and welcome strangers and lean in toward my friends, believing we’re not separate and are, instead, a wild, weird, wonderful community, worthy of great grace.

With love,

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(Psst… more coming soon on the retreat! I’m over the moon.)