Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update from the Karrsonage

I've failed to keep up on the heroes posts. However, I did keep up with it for a while, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. It was definitely fun for the times that I managed to keep up with it.

It feels like I am constantly behind. It's driving me a little nuts these days and yet, I'm not doing much to "catch up." Life just moves fast!

My baby girl is staying with her grandparents for 2 whole weeks! I really expected her to come home before the time was up but right now it looks like she will make it! I'm glad that she is having a great time and they are keeping her pretty busy so it doesn't sound like she's missing us yet. I hope she won't. I hate the thought of her crying and not being there for her. It's probably one of those times/things in which it's more difficult for me than her. I hope so! After all, I'm supposed to be the grown up!

It's also been fun just hanging out with my 2 older girls. Last Thursday we went to see Land of the Lost. I thought it was safe--it was PG-13. That means it's safe for kids 13 and up right? Uh, no! Not quite! It was hilarious but it was also completely inappropriate!

Thankfully, most of the sex jokes floated above Val's head but I'm guessing that my Merkster understood but I did not ask! I'm not sure that I want to know! Don't get me wrong, she's a good kid but she is in Jr. High and they talk quite a bit!

Anyway, that's the update from the Karrsonage. Peace out!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Heroes: June 19 & 20

hoops & yoyo are my heroes!
they brighten my day and the days of many others
they make us laugh and giggle
even when we're feeling blue

sometimes i need some heroes that can do just that
bring a smile to my face

hoops & yoyo, i love you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

RevGal Friday 5: Life is a Verb

Digh, Patti. Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful,and Live Intentionally.
Guilford, CT: Skirt!, 2008.

Jennifer recommended this book, which I got because I always value Jennifer's reading suggestions. The author of Life is a Verb, Patti Digh worked her book around these topics concerning life as a verb:
Say yes.
Be generous.
Speak up.
Love more.
Trust yourself.
Slow down.

As I read and pondered about living more intentionally, I also have wondered what this Friday Five should be. This book has been the jumping off point for this Friday.
1. What awakens you to the present moment?
getting drenched in the rain--it never fails to wake me up and pay attention
2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?
1. tree, 2. hula hoop, 3. basketball, 4. flowers, 5. grass
3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?
inspire, free, scare, love, accept, forgive, dance, sing
4. From the book on p. 197:Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?
it's difficult to remember who she was, let's see, that's 7th grade...i was an intense and rebellious child, constantly writing poetry, i always had a notebook and pen, head over heals for a red-haired boy who wanted nothing to do with me, i really liked his friend but Zach was the most popular boy in school and by far the cutest as well. however, he "dated" my best friend, so i opted to like his best friend. i guess that means i was totally insecure as well. all i ever thought about was writing and getting out of Americus, KS. i dreamt of a fantastical future in which i was a successful writer living in NYC. where is she now? i'm not entirely sure, i still dream of becoming a successful writer and living in NYC. i hope that i am a little less insecure. she's still here but she's chilled out a bit. she's given up on being a poet but not a writer.
5. From the book on p. 88:If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be? what is my purpose here? to love...that's what ministry is for me, loving God's people.
Bonus idea for you here or on your own--from the book on p. 149:"Go outside. Walk slowly forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. It might be an idea, it might be an object. Name it. Set it aside. Walk forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. Name it. Set it aside. Repeat. . . ." i look forward to completing this bonus on my own. thanks so much for a wonderful Friday 5!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heroes: June 18

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an incredible man, pastor, theologian, and writer. It feels strange attempting to describe him--he did so much with his life. He could have escaped Germany in WWII while teaching in the U.S. Yet, he went back knowing that he'd probably lose his life, which he did. He would not set back and take the easy way out in the face of evil.

His words demonstrate more than anything I could say.

There is not a place to which the Christian can withdraw from the world,
whether it be outwardly or in the sphere of the inner life. Any attempt to
escape from the world must sooner or later be paid for with a sinful surrender
to the world. (Ethics)

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them. (Life Together)

From God we hear the word: “If you want my goodness to stay with you then serve your neighbor, for that is where God comes to you.” (In the anthology, No Rusty Swords)

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as ourselves. (The Cost of Discipleship)

There remains an experience of incomparable value . . . to see the great events of world history from below; from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled ---- in short, from the perspective of those who suffer . . . to look with new eyes on matters great and small. (Letters and Papers from Prison)

Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear rather than too much. Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now. Christian should take a stronger stand in favor of the weak rather than considering first the possible right of the strong. (Sermon on II Cor. 12:9)

There is no way to peace along the way to safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. (Address at Fano)

The followers of Christ have been called to peace. . . . And they must not only have peace but also make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult. In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods. . . . His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others. They maintain fellowship where others would break it off. They renounce hatred and wrong. In so doing they over-come evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate. (The Cost of Discipleship)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Heroes: June 17

Gloria Steinem is one of my favorite feminists. Besides being one of the founders of Ms. magazine, she has devoted her life to helping women. In addition to that, she is a fabulous writer and extraordinarily witty. One of the first things I ever read of hers was "If Men Could Menstrate." I laughed til I nearly cried and then I nearly cried because it was totally true. She has been an inspiration to me ever since.
Hopefully I will not violate any copyright laws but here is her article, "If Men Could Mensturate"

If Men Could Menstruate by Gloria Steinem
Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.
Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes "womb envy" more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.
But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, "and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It's probably the first real thing that's happened to this group in years."
Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a "superior" group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and "inferior" group has will be used to justify its plight. Black me were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be "stronger" than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be "weaker." As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, "Oh no, that's women's work." Logic has nothing to do with oppression.
So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?
Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:
Men would brag about how long and how much.
Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.
To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.
Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali's Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- "For Those Light Bachelor Days."
Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.
Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation ("men-struation") as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat ("You have to give blood to take blood"), occupy high political office ("Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?"), be priests, ministers, God Himself ("He gave this blood for our sins"), or rabbis ("Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean").
Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights ("Everything else is a single issue") or self-inflict a major wound every month ("You must give blood for the revolution").
Street guys would invent slang ("He's a three-pad man") and "give fives" on the corner with some exchenge like, "Man you lookin' good!" "Yeah, man, I'm on the rag!"
TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still "The Fonz," though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens
Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)
Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at "that time of the month."
Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.
Medical schools would limit women's entry ("they might faint at the sight of blood").
Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics-- or the ability to measure anything at all?
In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?
Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.
Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that "these people" have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.
And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. ("The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month": Phyllis Schlafly)
In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here's an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)
The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.
If we let them.
(c) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. NY: NAL, 1986.

Heroes: June 14, 15, 16

A picture is worth a thousand words. Enough said?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heroes: June 12 & 13

It took less than 2 weeks for me to break the daily writing about heroes. It's not that I ran out of heroes, it's simply that life got rather busy. I'm sure you know all about how that happens. Do you ever meet anyone who isn't crazy busy these days?
When I was a kid, I wished I was a twin--didn't everybody?
I loved watching the Wonder Twins, "WonderTwin power activate!"
I don't even remember their names. However, that's what Wikipedia is for!
Their powers were as followed:

Zan can transform into any form of water, including liquid, mist, steam, or,
perhaps most usefully, any kind of functioning ice structure. Also, at one time,
he changed into a gelatinous form. By combining with already-existing water, Zan
could also increase his mass or volume in the water form chosen. In addition, he
could transform himself into weather patterns involving water, such as a
blizzard, a monsoon, or a typhoon.

Jayna can transform into any animal, whether real, mythological, indigenous to Earth or to some other planet, like Beast Boy. She did need to know the name of the animal in order to assume its form, as she would turn into whatever animal she named.

In addition, they had a pet Space Monkey called Gleek who had a useful prehensile tail and whose body could act as a conduit for the twins to activate their powers should they be out of reach. Gleek also served as a courier when the twins needed to travel: Jayna would typically transform into a large eagle, and Zan would transform
into (plain) water, "jumping" into a bucket which Gleek conveniently would be
holding. (This led to the joke by some fans that Gleek's superpower was to make
a bucket appear and disappear at will.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Heroes: June 11

"Why indeed must 'God' be a noun? Why not a verb - the most active and dynamic of all."

"It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God."

I realize that citing Mary Daly as one of my heroes may be offensive to some--often poeple forget the amazing things she has written, said, and done and focus only on the most outrageous things she has written, said, and done.

I had the pleasure of listening to her talk and meeting her after the lecture several years ago. She was quite gentle with the folks in the audiance who heckled her--quite vehemently I might add. I had expected her to "rip him a new one" but that wasn't at all what she did. She treated him with respect, even though he gave her none whatsoever, and took the time to listen to what he said and then said something to the effect of "you don't really care what i say or think, so i won't waste my time arguing with you" and moved on. I was highly impressed.

If it wasn't for Mary Daly's loud voice and courage to speak against the church's stance on women would those of us who are now pastors and preachers be here? She was a large part of the voices which demanded that women have a new role role in the church. She came to believe that there wasn't room in the church for her or other women. Obviously, I don't agree with everything she says but I honor and respect her intelligence, strength and courage to stand for what she believes in.

In addition, her writing is fantastic and she is bitingly funny. I adore how she crafts her own words--I love my copy of the Wickedary--her dictionary of these crafted words. I highly reccomend that you check it out. My favorite paper that I wrote in seminary was a paper that I wrote about Mary Daly. I took the freedom to write as she does and it was the most passionate and fun paper I've ever written.

God bless Mary Daly!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heroes: June 10

Anne Lamott is one of my heroes.

I love how free and honest her writing voice is, she is an inspiration. As I struggled with my Christian faith she was one of the first writers and persons with whom I could finally identify with! She helped me to see that I did not have to fit in with the religious right but I could find ways to love them and accept them as I wanted to be loved and accepted as a Christian.

Lamott is witty, honest, and writes beautifully. I prefer her non-fiction over her fiction, perhaps it's that I enjoy reading someone with whom I can so closely relate.

PS. She will be speaking and signing books along with other faith writers on Oct. 10th in St. Paul, MN! See the previous post for a bit more info!

Holy One, thank you for the life, heart, and writings of Anne Lamott--God bless her!

Have you heard?

On October 10th in St. Paul, MN Anne Lamott, Thomas Lynch, and Susan Hampl (and others) will be at a 1 day conference called: Seeing Through Words--A Celebration of Faith and Writing!

I totally want to go! I wondered if anyone else might be interested in attending or already planning to attend--anyone?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Heroes: June 9

I'm sure I won't suprise you when I say that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my heroes. When I think about a life lived like Christ's I think of Dr. King. He was committed to God, committed to justice, love, and peace. He was willing to live for his faith as well as to die for it--he did both with grace and beauty.

It saddens me that our broken world kills those who are filled by the Holy Spirit and goodness. It's as if, we can't handle so much goodness in our midst so we must destroy it.

Dr. King was a well educated man and yet he did not look down upon or belittle those who were not educated.

I've heard rumors that he wasn't a terrific husband and father but none of us are perfect and they are rumors-not proven facts. Besides, we were created for good, not perfection.

My grandmother whom I adore/d, thought he was a communist. I guess that was a common slur of the times in an attempt to discredit him. I imagine that she died without realizing that he was a great and honest man. I sometimes wonder if she ever heard him speak or read something he actually said or wrote. I think she would have liked what he had to say.

One of my favorite "stories" that I've heard about Dr. King is when he was attacked by a white woman. She stabbed him with a knife and yet he refused to press charges. He offered her forgiveness rather than punishment--he not only spoke of love, grace, and peace but he lived it out.

God, thank you for the life of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Amen!

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars...Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that"

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Heroes: June 8

John Wesley has become one of my heroes. John had his issues but he spoke prophetically in a time in which we needed a strong prophetic voice. He spoke against slavery very early on, I believe his was one of the first voices to publicly criticize it.

In one of his sermons, he said that the blood of slaves had stained everything the people owned, they all had blood on their hands. I've often wanted to just stand and read this sermon and ask people to think about whose blood is on our hands today. I'd offer that they think about workers getting paid 16 cents an hour and threatened with rape, migrant workers who receive nothing close to a decent wage and no health insurance. I know there are many more people whose blood we have on our hands every time we shop--nearly everywhere we shop.

He wanted to start a renewal movement, to get a spark bursting in the churches and he reluctantly helped to start a new church. I think he'd be saddened by the UMC--how big and bloated its become, how far we've gotten from taking care of the poor and placing a spark of the Holy Spirit within our people's lives. We need another person of passion to begin a renewal or perhaps a Methodist revolution!

Okay, one last thing, John Wesley was attacked by dogs, folks threw rotten food at him, chased & beat him at times and yet he kept preaching--we all need such courage and determination!

Thanks be to God for the life of John Wesley!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Heroes: June 7

Thus far my heroes have been on the serious side. How about lightening things up a bit? One of my favorite comic book movie heroes (i don't think i've ever read a comic book on this one--other comics but not this guy) is Batman. He's dark and moody, human, with lots of uber cool toys and gadgets.

Yes, he's a rich kid but one who watched his parents die, that seems to make him exempt from my normal prejudices and issues with the wealthy. ;)

I don't know of a Batman movie or cartoon that I haven't liked, nor a television show--in fact, I LOVE the old Batman tv show! POW! BOOM!

I do think that The Dark Knight is my favorite Batman movie though! In my early 20's I would watch the animated Batman series anytime it was on.

Batman is both a bad boy and a superhero, what could be better than that?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heroes: June 6

Susanna Wesley is a recent edition to my heroes list. I knew that I had gone over the edge and became a true "church nerd" when I began laughing while reading a history book about the beginning of Methodism.

It was a story in which Susanna Wesley refused to say "amen" at the end of a prayer that mentioned the king (she did not believe that he was the rightful heir to the throne). Samuel Wesley, her husband, said she needed to say amen or else he was leaving. He left. While he was gone, people still came to visit Susanna, looking for spiritual advice and prayers, eventually she was having a regular church service in her kitchen. Samuel heard about this and wrote to here that she must cease these meetings immediately.

She replied that she would quit the meetings if Samuel was prepared to stand before God at their judgement day and explain to God why Susanna had not done as she was told by the Lord. He dropped the subject.

When the king was replaced by someone Susanna did approve of Samuel returned home.

Furthermore, Susanna taught ALL of her children to read, yes her girls as well as her boys! She was a woman of strength and intelligence. She held true to her religious convictions no matter what anyone else said, including her husband a minister. She was far ahead of her time. I love that! This is how she became one of my heroes.

God bless Susanna Wesley.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Heroes: June 5

Sorry this is a late posting but I was on the road by 4:30am so I didn't have time to blog before leaving--I do hope you'll forgive me. ;)

Ever since I began thinking about this heroes thing, my eldest daughter Merkin keeps popping into my head. She is one of my heroes.

Ever since she was tiny she was mostly fearless. She was and continues to be scared of heights but that hasn't stopped her from riding and loving rollercoasters, climbing some crazy stairs to the top of a lighthouse, it's not stopped her from doing anything that I know of.

When she was 5 she wrote a song at Christmas time about Jesus. I have it somewhere but I haven't a clue--boxed away I'm sure. Anywho, my little 5 year girl got up at church and sang her song to everyone. She preached a sermon that she wrote when she was 10 years old. She's one brave girl. I absolutely love her courage and confidence (although it can be a bit overbearing at times).

Despite the bravado that I sometimes put on, I hate talking in front of people (yet more proof that God has a wicked sense of humor). I'm often too terrified of what someone might think of me that I simply play it cool (now you know my weakness!).

She's not like that and I am eternally grateful that God has blessed her with a bright and shining spirit.

Zorra commented that it was cool that I come from strong and loving women--I am completely blessed by this and I am blessed because I am also the mother of some amazing young women. Ainsley and Valerie fall a bit on the shy side but seem to be coming out of that a bit. I can't help but think having Merkin as their big sister helps even if she can be a bit cruel to them from time to time. Afterall, she is a 13 year old girl! I'm glad that she's made it through a big transition this year and instead of losing her "voice" like many girls her age do, I think hers has gotten stronger. She makes me proud to be her mother (so do Valerie & Ainsley).

Holy God, thank you for my wonderful girls and thank you for making Merkin strong and outspoken (even if it makes me a bit crazy from time to time). Please continue to bless her, Valerie & Ainsley with strength, courage, and love. Amen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Heroes: June 4

Another hero of mine is my Grandma Daisy. I have more memories of her than perhaps anyone else in my life. She was my world for a very long time.

Grandma held the family together. She was rather short and unassuming, my grandfather was over 6ft and rather intimidating. However, the people who knew them understood that it was Grandma was the one you didn't want to mess with! She wasn't mean or cruel but the spoke what she thought clearly and (seemingly) without hesitation.

I loved to listen to the stories of her childhood--I wish I knew more of them. She had wanted to be a doctor but couldn't go to school (I think it had to do with $). She learned all she could on her own and she took care of all of us. She was the family matriarch. When she died, our family fell apart without her--she was our glue.

She was a woman of great strength--physically, mentally, and spiritually. She didn't attend church because she didn't like the pretense of it--folks keeping watch over who was or was not there on Sundays, pretending on Sundays that life was grand while their lives were falling apart during the week. She was intelligent and loving. She worked hard when they had the farm and when they left the farm and bought the cafe in Americus--she worked equally as hard. Amazingly she still found the time and energy to grow a huge flower garden and food garden as well.

She lived with integrity and helped everyone she could. I don't think there was a fake bone in her body. She made my mother strong and both of them taught me to be strong as well.

She died trying to help someone else. As my grandparents were driving home one evening there were big boxes in the middle of the road. They pulled over so she and Grandpa could move the boxes and prevent someone from getting in an accident. Ironically enough, a woman driving too fast and not paying attention to the road hit my grandmother, sending her soaring through the air and landing in a field. She was dead before they could get her to the hospital. It was very hard to lose her. I saw her nearly everyday of my life and then she was suddenly gone.

However, there are times that I feel her presence with me. About 15 years ago, I was having a very difficult time and as I was walking to work and passed under the awning (I worked at a gas station at the time) a daisy fell onto my arm. There weren't any daisies to be found around the area--I just knew it was from my grandma letting me know that everything was going to be okay.

I love you Grandma!

Strange Dreams

The last month or so I've been having the strangest dreams but this morning I woke up still disturbed by one from last night.

I'm not sure what the craziest part was--my ex-husband shooting me perhaps 2ft away, or a gradeschool friend saving my life, or perhaps my beloved hubby wanting to divorce me because I had spoken with my ex-husband.

Not the best way to start the morning!
Oh well, at least it was just a dream!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heroes: June 3

Rosa Parks is one of my heroes. Without intending it she sparked the rise of the Civil Rights movement--at least to white people's eyes. I once heard her (on a TV interview) say that she wasn't meaning to start this big hoopla, she was simply tired and didn't see why this white man should have claim to her seat so she just stayed there. She simply listened to that small voice that says "no" to injustice and refused to move.

This is really all any of us can do. We can only listen to the voice within us that tells us something isn't right and if we follow this voice we can do good things, small things that help to bring about some small victories of justice in this world. Rosa Parks showed us this truth. She was simply tired and refused to be bullied. It took great courage for her to do this and it took great strength even if she was tired.

Be sure to check out Rosa and Raymond Park's Institute for Self Development.

God bless you, Rosa Parks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Heroes: June 2

My mom has been a hero of mine for a long time. We fight and fuss like mothers and daughters do but she truly is my hero.

My mom, Linda, is one of the strongest people I know. She left my father because he was physically abusive. It was really scary for her but she did what she had to do. It took courage and strength beyond imagination. Despite the awful threats he made to her, a year or so later she found the determination to come for me. In the first grade I moved in with my mom. I used to sneak and read her diary from time to time (sorry mom) and she was still scared of what he might do and yet, anyone else would never have known it. I only knew because I was a snoop.

She raised me with great love and tenderness which is pretty amazing because I was a horrible child to her. I was an angry child and filled with rage most often misdirected at my mother. (I'm sorry mom.) Yet, she never laid a hand on me. I don't know how she did it, I would have ended up beating a child like that! She wasn't and isn't perfect but she saved my life by leaving my dad when she did. I am totally grateful because I was raised with a loving mother and protected from living with violence in my home on a regular basis. (I love my dad too but I am grateful that I only had to live with him every other weekend)

She is one of the most generous people I know. If you are in need she'll do whatever she can to help you out--even if it means that she will go without. She's sorta funny because you never know what will pull at her heart strings and move her to do something extraordinarily kind. For the most part she doesn't look down on anyone--she's been working at the Adams County Jail for nearly 10 years and that has jaded her a tad but not as much as one might expect.

I've seen her through good years and bad years and through it all she's shown courage and strength. She taught me not to take "stuff" from others, to stand up for myself as well as stand up for others. She taught me to care for those who needed a friend, to give what I have to help someone else, and to always share celebrations usually intended for family with those who have none.

Thanks Mom! I love you!
PS. I couldn't find a different/better picture because you're always hiding from the camera! <3

Monday, June 1, 2009

Heroes: June 1

Dorothy Day was an incredible woman. She felt that her faith, her beliefs, the life she found in Jesus Christ meant that she had to live accordingly. She took great care of others and lived a life dedicated to living, loving, and doing whatever she could to help those who were pushed down, financially impoverished, and generally looked down upon by society. She knew that there had to be a better way, a better social system than the one we had, the one we still have.

It seems that she feared absolutely nothing. She experienced what it meant to be thrown in jail and yet continued to devote her life to others and creating a place for justice.
She raised a daughter, Tamar, on her own.
She helped to start the Catholic Worker Movement which still continues--in Kansas City there are 2 Catholic Worker Houses. They do amazing work and truly act as the hand and feet of Christ in this world.

Dorothy Day has inspired many--from her own time and into our present. I know that her legacy will live on into our future as well. She has taught us the Gospel through her life and actions, and used words only when absolutely necessary.
God bless you, Dorothy Day!