I Am Not My Children’s Father

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I am a single parent and the sole caretaker for my four children. But I am not their father.

There are some who would wish me, or other single mothers, Happy Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June. I want to be clear, I do not take that adversely, in fact, I take it as a compliment. But I am not my children’s father.

I am a mother. I am the lone parent. I am the only name on the Emergency Contact line. I alone put to bed, provide, comfort and guide my children. But I am not their father.

But my children are not fatherless.

For over three years I prayed everyday that God would be a father to my children. And He has.

gpopFor over three years my father, my children’s grandfather, has been in my daughters’ lives every single day. He has never stopped being a parent to me and through him, my children see what a father should be.

This post was originally published on June 16, 2014. (Still true, though…) 

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Longing for the Apocalypse

It’s no secret that I love a good Zombie flick. Maybe they resonate with me because I consider myself a survivor, so much so, that I would never consider participating in a “Zombie Run” or the like because,

A. I would never want to “be” the zombie (I’m a Survivor of course.)

B. I have no desire to run from zombies – if you can’t kill them, what’s the point?

Since we are coming into that zombie time of year (October and the return of The Walking Dead) I decided to research Zombie origins to satisfy my curiosity. I am in no way an expert and my “sources” have been gathered exclusively from the wonderful world of The Internet, and my own brain.

Zombies can be classified into two categories:

Category A: Zombies: Corpses raised from the dead by magic or witchcraft as by Haitian voodoo.

Category B: Zombies: Fictional undead creatures originally found in mythical literature, such as that age old classic, the ancient Mesopotamian Epic Poem – Gilgamesh, where we are told “the dead will go up and eat the living.” Or, in more recent centuries, Shelley’s Frankenstein or the novelette’s of H.P Lovecraft. These undead creatures appeared in fictional written and oral traditions until the 20th century when the zombie genre expanded to include film and TV (i.e. 1968 Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead.)

The Zombies that fascinate me are the second category, fictional creatures. I believe voodoo, witchcraft and satanic forces exist in this world. Demons are real. I have first-hand knowledge. They are not funny. They are not cool. I do not choose to derive pleasure from anything satanic, nor will I ever. But that is a topic for another post.

When I refer to zombies, it is the creature who, usually by the introduction of some sort of infection or virus has killed the host (i.e. – the human is dead) and the zombie virus now inhabits the body. There is nothing satanic or demonic at work, but rather a super nasty, and deadly, disease that utilizes a corpse.

So what is it exactly that fascinates me (and literally millions around the world) about the zombie genre.

Could it be the Fear of death?  Does our fear of death present in such a way that not only do we fear our own deaths, but we take it a step further and fear those things that are dead? Possible.

Yet, I do not fear death. On the other hand, I definitely do not want to get eaten alive. That would be horrible. Zombie or shark or remote jungle cannibal – really, who doesn’t fear getting eaten alive?

As I considered my fascination with the zombie genre a little longer I realized that it was not so much the zombies themselves that fascinate me but rather, the idea of Apocalypse that I find most often goes hand in hand with modern zombie stories.

If I were to ask a stranger on the street, to define “apocalypse” I believe most would define this word to mean a specific catastrophic event in which the world as we know it is destroyed and the ensuing struggle for survival in the aftermath of the event (i.e. zombie virus, Biblical prophecy, world-wide death due to flu virus, world war/bombs, collapse of the internet/electricity, etc…) Truthfully, this has become the modern definition of the word.

However, the original meaning of the Greek word, apokalypsis (apocalypse) according to Strong’s concordance is:

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The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon describes apocalypse to mean:

  1. laying bear, making naked
  2. a disclosure of truth, instruction
  3. concerning things before unknown
  4. used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all
  5. manifestation, appearance

It seems to me, the essence of apokalypsis (apocalypse) is the action of something that was once hidden and is now being revealed.

As in: Jesus revealed God to man.

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father?”’” John 14:9

If this is the essence of apocalypse, no wonder millions are fascinated with it. What is more deliciously frightening than the unknown?

I believe we have deceived ourselves into believing that what we know is all there is, and what we do not yet know is simply, undiscovered – yet, discover-able by us. However, on some level, the thought of an unknown, the revelation of that which we have never known before, or ever could know on our own, terrifies, exhilarates and ultimately utterly fascinates us.

We search for truth in that which is not true (like zombies taking over the earth) because there is something inside of us that knows there is a veil over our eyes, that there is more than we could ever come to know on our own short of a some sort of miraculous unveiling.

I suppose my fascination with the zombie apocalypse genre is more than just your everyday, common fascination with creepy stuff; I believe it is a longing for the revelation to, at last, be revealed. A crying out of my flesh and my spirit, in my own unique way, for the restoration of how things were meant to be. It is a longing for an end of this temporary existence and a stepping into the eternal existence with God, through Jesus, that has been The Creator’s intention since the beginning of time.

Call me crazy, you won’t be the first, but it won’t curb my longing for the apocalypse.

 

These are my thoughts, I proclaim freely that I am no expert, just a simple soul who loves Zombie stuff and longs for the day when the veil will be removed and all will be revealed.  I welcome discussion and corrections!

I am no Greek or Biblical scholar, but until today, I did not realize that the Greek word for apocalypse was used in the Bible. (Rom 16:25, 2 Cor. 12:7, Gal. 1:12, Eph. 3:3, Rev. 1:1 to cite just a few locations.)

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In Days Before

I was talking to an African woman while in line at the Indian supermarket the other day (true story). I’m not sure what started it, but we began wondering how stymied people would be these days if their smart phones were suddenly unavailable or unusable.

I am writing this post on the day before my 41st birthday. Not so old. Not so young. Born in 1973 I have been witness to life with TV (only 5 channels that you had to actually get up and turn the nob to change) and life with Netflix. I remember a time before cellphones and I was at least 30 before I had my very own. I even remember life before push button phones. od rotaryDial a number, wait (chug chug chug as it came back around) dial another number… There was no speed dial – no Yelping a restaurant or Googling a hairdresser and then just touching the number on the screen to have it dial for you. You took your finger, put it in the hole and pulled that dial around and around and around.  Seven times for local.

I was born after humans landed on the moon, during the Vietnam War and before Germany was once again, just – Germany. Not so old and not so young. I’ve seen a lot come and I’ve seen some things go. I stood there in line with an armful of Indian snacks listening to this older woman recount the wonder of the first time she saw an airplane in the late 1960s and the first time, as a young woman, she was allowed to speak on a telephone. She shouted because she thought they would hear her better.

I nodded my head like I knew what that was like. I didn’t.

Airplanes were flying over my house long before I was born and I cannot recall a time without a telephone, rotary or not, because to me, they always just were.

od pizzaod bagelI’ve often heard my father say, “Have I ever told you about the first time I ate pizza? They called it ‘Tomato Pie’ and…” It was at a rolling concession stand at a county fair in the early fifties. My Aunt Carol still remembers her first experience eating a real bagel. I’m reminded, for some, there was a time before pizza and bagels.

I have a vivid memory of the exact place I ever tasted (or even heard of) Ranch dip. Yes, Ranch. There actually was a time before Ranch seasoning – and I remember it.

I’m not old, but I feel just old enough to nod my head and murmur in agreement when someone a little older reminisces about the days before. I remember those days, maybe not the exact old days, but I do remember what it was like in days before.

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What astounds you that you remember about days before?

 

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The Cleanse

cleanse

That right there in the picture above + water is all I’ve eaten (read had to drink) for 10 days straight. Lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Who thinks of these combinations?

I’ve been wanting to do something to jump start some weight-loss, plus I liked the idea of cleansing the inside. (Believe me – I was cleansed.) From June 28th to July 7th I drank 8-10 glasses of this lemonade, ms and cayenne pepper concoction for meals. I actually did NOT feel very hungry and I DID have energy. I also got some mouth sores and after a while the cayenne burned my throat on the way down. Right off the bat I realized that I thought about food A LOT in regular life, as in – What will I eat forConclusion: Life is pretty boring when you subtract food/eating.

I also drank warm sea salt water every morning to cleanse. That was the worst. I tried to convince my mind that it was broth but my mind remained unconvinced. I never even got close to the 32 oz they recommended. But once everything was cleared out (thank you laxatives) the salt water rushed right through me as it was meant to – and I’m not talking about peepee, uh huh.

On the upside – I lost 8 lbs in 10 days. I lost 5 in the first 2-3 days and then plateaued for a few days – I guess that was the “water weight” that people always talk about. I don’t even know what water weight is – I suppose I do now… The weight did continue to come off and I am now 6 lbs away from my goal – which is still a plump me, never-fear, but 14 lbs less plump than I was.

Confession: I didn’t actually make it until this morning as I had originally planned – By late yesterday afternoon I was feeling sick and migraine-y. I was out of maple syrup and didn’t want to buy more for half a day. I think my body was just OVER the cleanse. I ate watermelon and cherries and a little bit of grilled chicken last night. I confess. It’s unusual for me to not see something through to the end and to punk out right at the finish line – but, well, I do have four little people who depend on me and my body needed food. (I also started exercising the last couple days of the cleanse which helped the weight loss but also contributed to me feeling nasty…)

All in all, I consider this one more training exercise preparing me for being a contestant on Survivor or surviving an apocalyptic situation – whichever comes first.

Can I Have a Taste?

Food mooching. 

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How do you respond when you sit down to eat and another person asks for a bite?

Is this appropriate behavior? Do you enjoy sharing your dinner platter with others?

When I sit down to eat, I want to eat what is on my plate. This is mine – that is yours, don’t ask. Eat your own stuff.

I recognize that there are couples who are deliberate about collaborating on food choices at restaurants so as to each share half a plate. If that’s your thing, I think that’s cool, but it is so not me. Please don’t ask me to share.

I know entire families whose forks are constantly on each other’s plates, cutting up chunks of meat and eating freely.

No. Just no.

When it comes to parenting, sharing food is a whole other issue. I often give my kids whatever they ask from my plate just to keep them from bugging. The loss of food is worth the silence it buys. I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about adult on adult food mooching – do you do it? Do you approve? Or do you inwardly cringe and then purposefully “sneeze” all over your food when a known food moocher walks in the room?

You Know Women Live Here

My plate is overflowing lately (figuratively, not literally – I mostly just eat Fiber 1 cereal in a bowl), so I’ve been constrained to blogging in my head. But until I get some free moments to transfer from my brain to my fingertips, here are some FABULOUS finds from the thrift store today.

Paris Inspired Bathrooms here we come…

Four AMAZING Vintage Paris prints are perfect for our new Paris inspired bathroom. $24!

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Super cute shower curtain for $3. This will go in the little girls’ bathroom.

I won this ultra fab brand new shower curtain with rings on eBay. I got it for a steal.

pa3

So, uh, yeah – this is a household of women. We can decorate this way.

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Murder Your Darlings

skWhile on my getaway a couple weeks ago I had plenty of time to read. I was especially excited to dig into Stephen King’s book “On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.” And I’m not even a fan, I prefer Koontz.

However, “On Writing”, part memoir/part How-To, is practical and fun to read. Mr. King writes it as if he’s sitting at a table talking to you and you get the feeling that he is concerned about making the advice he is giving practical and helpful to (wanna-be) writers. It’s not surprising that he was once a teacher.

I’m sure there were tips and pointers that I learned that were brand new to me, but overall I felt the book confirmed what my instincts have been telling me these last few months. And that, more than anything else, I found invaluable. I’m a person who puts value on confirmation. For example, I know how to sew, but I’ll take a sewing class just to confirm the knowledge. I feel more confident when I have an expert tell me to do what I’m already doing – if that makes any sense.

“If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it. Toss it even if you love it. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch once said, ‘Murder your darlings,’ and he was right.” pg. 197 This was probably the most profound “pointer” in the entire book for my own writing. In fact, the editing part of the writing process is my very favorite. There have been times that I have edited something I’ve written down by half. Murdering my “darlings,” or those portions of written work that I adore but just do not fit with the overall picture or flow, is never easy, but I always feel relieved after I’ve done it and my writing is better for it. In fact, I may murder this entire paragraph during the edit. 😉

“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.” pg. 134 This simple sentence is freeing to me. I can get distracted by what others are writing and discouraged that something else is better or more well written. I remind myself that my writing is an extension of me. If I were to adjust it to be another way, more “correct,” it would lose the uniqueness that makes it mine – for better or for worse. Not that I don’t need improvement, I most certainly do, but I should not try to improve myself by imitating the styles of others or feel locked in to a certain way of “correct writing.”

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.

After that, things can only get better.” pg.269

“On Writing.” Stephen King. 2000

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This is Who I Am

I’ve never been in love with my “About” page and actually changing it has been on my to-do list for a some time. This post will be edited to become the New, Improved ABOUT Page.

This is who I am.

mom 1I am a Mother. From my earliest childhood memories all I really wanted to be was a Mom. Four days after my first wedding anniversary that is exactly what I became. Four little girls call me “Mommy,” and I can’t imagine life any other way, and hey, without them, what would I have to blog about?

I am a Treasure Hunter. I have loved adventure since before I can remember. One fateful day on a 4th grade field trip to UPenn’s Art & Archaeology Museum I decided that I would become an Archaeologist when I grew up. Twelve years later on a rainy day in May I held a degree in Classical & Near Eastern Archaeology. By that point, I had come to realize that I loved people more than I loved dead civilizations and I became a missionary instead. Archaeology did, however, take me all over the world.camel I’ve traveled by plane, ship, boat, bus, taxi and camel-drawn cart and experienced enough adventure for two lifetimes. These days I don’t venture too far from home but I will always be a Treasure Hunter, that illusive beach shell and the local yard sale treasures are always waiting to be discovered. And once in a while, in a magical moment of inspiration, I even find treasure in a string of words.

I am a Go Getter. A Make-it-Happen-er. How many 9 year old’s decide their college major and actually stick with it? Yeah, that’s me. If I set my mind to it, I make it happen.

I am a Wanna-be Survivor Contestant. It’s not about the money. It’s never about the money. It’s about surviving.  Sadly, I fear I would have hygiene related issues – would they let me bring a small mirror and tweezers along? Reality show contestant or not –

I am a Survivor. That may be a tale for another day.

This is who I am. I am all these things and more.

I am one who writes.  I write with no agenda. I write simply, and for no other reason than I am compelled to write. I write because I am compelled. I write with the hope that something I have written would cause my Reader to depart from this silly little blog with a smile on their face. I write to touch a chord in a Reader’s heart and to give hope to those who have little or none. I write to bring light to the dark places.

I am one who writes because my life has already been written by the Hand of the Creator and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these feeble written (often ridiculous) words, He would be visible to those with eyes to see.

I have no goal or prize in sight, I write simply to write and display to the world my Clothing of Joy.

psalm 66

This is who I am.

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I dream big.

I may be a sweet little (mostly) humor blog, but I dream big.

One of my recent goals was to get on bloglovin’. It may not seems like that big of a deal to you, but there is a learning curve to this blog stuff and I’m still curvin’ or learnin’ or somethin’.

Anyhoo, I follow blogs on bloglovin’ – the cool DIY ones. The snaz-zay ones. The ones run by people who actually earn a living from their blogs because they work super hard, are creative, and work super hard. Bless them.

I really just want to connect and make people smile. But I want to make MORE people smile, so I joined bloglovin’. It wasn’t hard and I even got the widget (that’s a weird word) up.

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