Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost in Translation

Lately the kids have been in love with a certain Christian song. It gets a LOT of air time on the we hear it quite a bit, yet we've each had our opinion of what the lyrics actually say.
The lead singer has a unique tenor and his phrasing makes the words hard to decipher.  Being a vocalist I 'pride' myself on being able to figure out what people are saying in a song.....but even I had this one wrong in several places.  (Judge for yourself in the live version ;)

This is not a subject to be taken lightly either....not in our car!
Talia is at that stage where she wants the radio turned up loud and she wants to be singing along...and with Gusto!  Her passion is there but she often has NO idea what the song is saying.  So she asks me about every single line. She doesn't want to just make up the words, she wants to belt them out CORRECTLY.....God Bless our budding worship leader!

Unfortunately, I've had her singing a line from this song ALL WRONG. My bad. The song mentions NOTHING about a blessed union. It's about being in reach of God, waiting for His miraculous assistance.

Armed with her mix-matched song, she's moved on from performing in the car. Tonight she had to show anyone who would listen, this wonderful song she's been singing.

At dinner she asked Papi to listen to her sing. Oh, my goodness did she look proud as she sang to my dad, who is VERY unfamiliar with Christian music or 'phrases' for that matter. Here is what she sang:
", consume me like a fire.
I just want something beautiful to touch me,
I know that I'm married, ....something beautiful!"

He smiled and said, "That must be one of those Madonna songs, huh?"

Sigh, I didn't even try to explain.
If you'd like to enjoy the original here it is:

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown, will you let me drown?

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is rising quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side.

In a daydream, I couldn't live like this.
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful.
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won't have what I need.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

In our house, the tooth fairy is a subject/ non-subject.
One half of me doesn't want to 'kill' all the fantasy in my kid's lives.  I still want Disneyland to be magical and for there to be some wonderment in their eyes when they see slight of hand.  But I also do not want them to think that the God we speak of as being real and magnificent and omnipresent, yet the same as that fat guy in the red suit at Christmas time.
We want our words to carry meaning. 
So when you ask me, in front of my kids, if the Easter Bunny is're probably gonna get a "what do YOU think?" kind of answer.

Ask my kids if Santa is real and they'll tell you that he was a man, Nicholas, who lived very long ago and he inspired others to be giving when he filled the stockings of poor children who had hung them out to dry.
But they'll tell you he's dead now.....they'll say it almost comically.
Also, they also know that at Easter and Christmas they receive treats in the form of baskets and overflowing stockings.
So they will ask me if I'm the one filling the stockings at home and I'll say yes....why would I give the credit to a non-living being at this point?  BUT if they want to know about the stockings filled at Marmar's house...that is completely up to HER to explain.   She will have to answer to them for causing any mistrust in their childhood ;)  I don't mess with the Marmar! (Even I like having a filled stocking still!)

So.....what about the Tooth Fairy? 
Ian, being our firstborn, helped establish the ground rules.  It's a bit of a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.  I say, "If you LIKE receiving money for your teeth, then DON'T ASK!"
But really, because I keep them guessing, they still wonder.  And I LOVE it.
I remember questioning when I was their age....until I found ALL my baby teeh in my mom's jewlry box! Yuck!  Talk about a shocker!

So I told Ian that if there was a Tooth Fairy I'd make her a deal to leave the tooth behind so that we could save it, if we wanted to.  She could leave the money AND the tooth.  He was ALL GOOD with THAT deal!

Well, wouldn't you know that Ian lost his first tooth on a night where I had NO change in my wallet.  Nothing, save a $5 bill.   So we cringed and left it in his 'tooth' pillow....the one that Marmar made of course!
And then next day I told Ian that he probably only got that much because it was his VERY first tooth and not to expect that much with the next ones ;)
Well, Merrick being a whole 18 months younger just remembers that Ian received a LOT of money from that tooth!
 So he likes to tell the story, that Ian received $20 for tooth...and all that Merrick has ever received is $2 or $3 per tooth.  Poor, porr Merrick, he can be SO persuasive!

Well, he's been working on a doozy for over a month now.  And it was all I could to to get my hands around that crooked little piece of enamel and tug real hard! 
But he wouldn't let us near it until last night when he let me tie a piece of dental floss around it, and as I pulled tight on the knot, that tooth POPPED right out!
Well, being under Marmar and Papi's roof can be a bit tricky.  I've had to let go of some things....maybe even begrudgingly.....but last night was hilarious!
We all rejoiced as Merrick's tooth finally came out.  Then the next thing I know, Marmar is shoving a $20 bill into my hands to put under his pillow.  "Um, Nooooo,"  I kept saying...that is NOT a precedent I want to start.  But she insisted that we had done this for Ian and Merrick wouldn't stop talking about getting $20 for one tooth.  So she HAD to do this, just this once she said!
Knowing I could not win in this situation.....I went ahead with the 'exchange'
Wouldn't you know that I snuck that huge bill under his pillow when I gave him a goodnight kiss (felt super sly about that one!)  and when he woke up in the morning he asked Marmar if it was a $50 bill!
Um, yeah, so much for THAT theory Marmar....the kid doesn't know the difference between a $20 or a $50 bill!  AND he would've been fine with our measly 3 dollar bills!

I told Marmar she can finance Talia's $20 tooth!   OR atleast make Merrick stop talking about this strange occurance.  
(thankfully Ian hasn't negotiated a 'raise' yet!)

Merrick now knows that his tooth fairy was probably new on the job ;)
The boys will tease me about being the tooth fairy and we just laugh and send them on their way!  So here's to toothless grins and $20 gaffes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Big Picture

What? You say I haven't posted in a while?
In my mind I've posted a dozen times.

Sometimes with a sharp diatribe about myself and my faults.
Other times I wrote about a fantastic experience I shared with the kids.
Then there was that time I waxed poetic about my family.

But always....always.....I was here.
Because that's what I do best....I ramble.

So if you missed it....I guess I forgot to hit send.  Those posts stayed in my mind.  My lethargic fingers couldn't make it to the keys.  I just haven't wanted to sort through my thoughts.....Or maybe it's because I've been listening.
Just listening to my surroundings.  Straining for the voice of reassurance that all of this is for a reason.
That this situation that is SO uncomfortable is actually VERY temporary in the scheme of things.
That my husband will snap out of his impatient mood BEFORE I put to practice all the tools in my "Power of a Praying Wife" bible study.
That forced relationships will become flexible....without effort.
That I can stop thinking about all the what ifs, and deadlines, and possibilities of our home.

Oh, right.  That's not the way it works, you say?

So I guess I've been sitting here in denial.
Nothing 'wrong' ....just not entirely RIGHT.  I am in limbo.  I have no 'place' of my own.  My job description is a tad 'wonky' right now.   I'm still a teacher,  a wife and a mommy....but our 'home' is out of sorts.  I cannot plan meals, buy groceries, organize for my family in the usual fashion.  It's a bit disorienting.  At this same time, my van has taken a nose dive....and has been out of order for 2 weeks now.  Now, I am the first to admit this is an ideal time for it to do so....since I am able to borrow my mom's car at a moment's notice, and our funds are a bit more fluid without a mortgage to pay....but it's still bothersome to not be in my comfort zone.  To be so wholly dependent on others when I've strived to be the caregiver for the last 10 years of my life.  I think we all feel some denial when we feel helpless.

So I've been reflecting on this vulnerable feeling.  This redefinition of our home and my role in it.

And the answers have been slow to come.  The reassurance not entirely decipherable. 
The focus less on me and my thoughts and more on the bigger picture.

I know that I know that I SHOULD know that my God is not a genie, a wish granter, or simply a problem fixer.
He is a lover, my lover.  He IS gentle.  He is a Father.  He died for the BIGGER picture.....not to just come and clean up a life I fashioned.  A life so incomplete and without reason, that I could never be content on my own. 

Nope, He desires MUCH more for me, for US, than that.
In fact, father's don't arrange things just to make it easier on us.....
not if they want to see us grow.
Not if their desire is learning and strengthening our souls. 
This verse in the Message struck me:

2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

As is normal with my dramatic postings.....this scripture describes trials I am NO WHERE NEAR familiar with......but it's all perspective, no?  I may not be in the middle of abuse, but I'm learning to deal with 'difficult' personalities.  I may not be facing MAJOR opposition, but there are challenges in not being in 'control' of your 'destiny,' as it were.
The fact is......If I'm wallowing,  I'm wallowing.
Whether it's a personal attack, a physical ailment, or as simple as an uncomfortable situation....if I'm fretting it still means my eyes are off the Provider of my strength.  The One.  The giver of ALL good gifts.
I cannot accept the good and reject the hard.
So thank you.  THANK YOU DADDY.  For the strength to think again. 
For peeling back the layers of denial and allowing me to see the bigger picture again. 
And it is indeed a BIG picture.
A pretty picture at that. 
Even if I can only see a corner of one side ;)
I'll still ramble on about how great that corner is.