Wednesday, July 13, 2005

CDC Gardeners

I'd been hearing weed whackers outside for quite a while, so I looked out the window and discovered the California Department of Corrections had sent prisoners over to cut down the field of dry weeds next door. Well, golly. It'll be nice having that fire hazard gone.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Conversations With My Son, #557

Son (patting my belly): "Mommy, why is your belly like this?"

Me: "Like what?"

Son (still patting): "Like this."

Me: "You mean big?"

Son: "Yes."

Me: "Oh, maybe because I had a baby growing in there once."

Son (smiling because he knows I'm talking about him): "Do you have a baby in there now?"

Me: "Uh, no."

Son: "Then why is your belly still big?"

Me (thinking quickly): "Because God knows mommies' bellies make good pillows for their kids sometimes."

Son (laughing and running downstairs): "THAT'S RIGHT!"

Now where did I put those exercise videos... ;^)

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Certainty of Uncertainty

I've been feeling grumpy lately. My son is going on his annual weeklong trip to Miami with his dad to see his grandparents. I used to go on those trips. Now The Girlfriend goes. With my son. I don't much like that, but at least she sounds like a nice person. I began feeling grumpy last week, around the time of the London train bombings, but I'm starting to realize my mood is a bit more than a reaction to another heinous terrorist act.

Nevertheless, it was in this spirit of growing grumpiness that I read an email from a friend who's very religious. First off, let me say that I like her and I understand that she needs to find her way in life as we all do. In her email she mentioned that she and her family were moved to pray for her husband's family in England on Wednesday night, the night before the bombings, and sure enough, they later found out her mother-in-law had missed one of the train explosions because she'd missed her train. "The Lord hears and protects," she said.

My first thought (and bear in mind I was quite grumpy, and therefore quite sarcastic) was hey, too bad about the poor chumps who forgot to pray NOT to die in a bomb blast on the way to work. Suckers.

I'm not very nice when I'm grumping, so I shut down my email program before saying something I definitely would've regretted. Truthfully, my irritation wasn't with my friend specifically. The prayer issue comes up for me periodically. Also, I'll mention that this is a new friend of mine and I'm not yet sure how much room for debate exists in our relationship. Time will tell.


I used to pray for things to happen. The other day, I mentioned to a different friend that my realtor had praised my "great manifesting ability" because we managed to find a place with my favorite businesses nearby and a piano left behind by the previous owners. "So if I'm such a great manifestor, why didn't I manifest an intact family?" I semi-joked. I'm a lot of fun when pity-partying. But I digress.

Would the prayer thing have bothered me if I hadn't already been on the Road to Grumpdom? Yes. I often feel irritated when I hear someone say God was "on [their] side," or when people otherwise imply that because they prayed for something and got it, that means "God was listening." In my less charitable moments I think, how naive or arrogant for anyone to think that God does our bidding.

That said, I do believe people's prayers are always answered. It's just that the answer is "no" sometimes. Same as I tell my son. I also believe there's a Grand Plan that we don't know or understand. This is something different. Yes, sometimes the Grand Plan says it's your turn to get blown away on the subway. Sometimes the Grand Plan says it's your turn to win the Olympics. It never has anything to do with the requests we might make of God. It is what it is.
Another friend brought up a good point when he asked why I even cared what someone else thought about whether or not her prayers had been answered.

Why indeed?

Obviously I need to turn my focus back to my own stuff and "tend my own garden," as I'm fond of saying. (Mental note: Take my own advice.) I need to practice tolerance and compassion, and get comfortable with the certainty of uncertainty.

Hmm. This could take a while.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Place Your Orders Now

Originally posted by David Cushing.

My son just drew me a picture of the "Entire Steak Building."

Now I'm feeling hungry.