Elections are Coming, My Friends…

Sitting in the chiropractor’s chair, well “laying” and “table” are more like it – I was talking to him about just getting back from Student Forum Sunday night and then leaving again for Annual Conference next Tuesday.  He asked if I frequently travel like this and I said not really, just on school breaks and throughout the summer, but I guess that is a lot more than just not really.  So number one – as pastors I don’t think we realize how busy we are and how strange we look to the outside world.  And number two – have you ever tried to explain Annual Conference to someone?  Much less, that this is a big election year.

So for those that are United Methodist and haven’t been to Annual Conference on an election year and to bore the rest of you to tears, every 4 years each Annual Conference (Central Conference) elects delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference.  Every four years those delegates then go and represent their lovely people and vote on various and sundry things like budgets, foci, resolutions and bishops.  Sounds fun, right?  As someone I talked to recently wisely said, if you don’t like going to your district meetings or sitting in the sessions for Annual Conference, you won’t like General Conference.

Each conference only gets so many delegates that they can send.  Half of these are clergy and half of these are laity.  So what are some important things to think about when electing delegates and deciding who to vote for?  It’s such a wide range and I guess it depends on what your motivations are for your votes.  This will be my first time to vote since I wasn’t ordained until 2007.  I am super pumped which probably makes me a way over excited nerd.  I’m looking for people that have a good handle on both the intimate issues that affect congregations (and within congregations I’m not just talking about local churches but extension ministries, etc.) as well as the broader strokes of what’s happening in our general church and agencies.  I want people that know what’s at stake and the underlying issues and not just what sounds good.  Does that make sense?  So I’d like these folks to be pretty educated.  And very awesomely there is now a course that people can take called “Exploring General Conference.”  I’m not throwing around the “experience” word here to indicate that I want us to elect only people that have been before.  Not even.  But I am saying that we need folks that are actively engaged in the conversation of our denomination and who are actively leading and shaping and learning and discovering.

I also think that it’s very important to represent all of the diversity of our conferences.  I have several young clergy friends that are tweeting from various annual conferences right now and hearing how their elections are going has been both fascinating and eye-opening.  One of them the lovely (@MegEdmondson) tweeted: #txac clergy:  the YOUNGEST clergy elected has GRANDCHILDREN.”*  That’s kind of a big deal.  So yes, we need to pay attention to all of the diversity that we encompass – race, gender, age, type of ministry, etc.  I know I’m probably leaving things out of that list but it wasn’t meant to be all encompassing but merely to point out that we need a multitude of voices at the table.  If we believe in the “future” of our church as its “young people” then as both laity and clergy, we need to take that into consideration when we’re voting.  Not saying that people that are out of the young adult bracket can’t be strong and amazing advocates for youth and young adults, but there is a different perspective and issues at stake.

I’m one of those weird people that like the full tapestry that is our United Methodist Church.  As crazy as it may be with a gaggle of voices at the table, that’s what can make it awesome in the midst.  Like a family, we sometimes can shout over each other and stick our fingers in our ears, but if we’re committed to this crazy family of ours, we’ll take the time to sit beside each other and share a cookie or two and actually have some dialogue.  (Yes, the cookies offered during the breaks are essential I think to General Conference!)  So yes, part of my voting decision is going to be based on how people stand on some of the missional, theological, societal, and practical issues facing our denomination.  We’re talking a lot about the Call to Action and indicators and metrics and all that jazz, but we’ve also got to talk from a place of Hope and Spirit and Renewal and Revival.  Can’t we live in a world of both/and and not continue in the either/or?  Can’t we work our butts off and be faithful in our calling while also following the leading of the Spirit that is sometimes (actually I would say rarely) not all about numbers or statistics?  Maybe it’s a chicken and egg idea, but somehow I think that if we are following the moving of the Spirit and we are being intentional in continuing to up the ante and be in ministry doing as Wesley says, “all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,” then the fruit or the numbers or the metrics will come.  And maybe they or a great conference or a wonderful sharing of ideas or a Spirit-filled conversation or retreat of renewal will give us the motivation and inspiration we need to keep stepping forward in faith.

So here’s what I say – before we go to Annual Conference – may we pray for the delegation that we are electing – both lay and clergy.  May we all pray for discernment as we cast our votes.  May those that aren’t voting be in prayer for a delegation that will fully encompass all that is the United Methodist Church and all of the beautiful work in progress that is.

We need to not just be in prayer for the delegates that we will elect, but for the delegates being elected across the connection.  None of us hold the speaking stick alone or keep the megaphone in hand.  This wave needs to continue over the next few weeks as we are in prayer for all of our leaders elected and the conferences that are electing them.

You’ve now read what’s important to me in voting and how intentionally I think we need to take these elections.  What do you think?  What helps make your choices about who to elect?  What are the critical issues you see in the UMC right now?  What would your ideal delegation look like?

* They have now elected a young clergyperson!  Yay!  Also to note that Josh Hale (@expatminister) said that they wisely started a pre-balloting prayer from the words of Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.”  I hope that this year’s Annual Conference isn’t all about elections, but it’s also about our learning, sharing, fellowship, sharing in the body of Christ together, and being church with one another.  Looking forward to it!

And Go!

Are you a procrastinator?  Do you put things off until the last minute?  Do you try to eek out every little minute before you need to go somewhere and often arrive barely on time or a little late?  Does this sound like a bad informercial to you?

I am a procrastinator.  Very true.  And it’s gotten worse over the years.  From high school to college to seminary, my procrastination and procrastinating skills increased exponentially.  I think part of my main fear of working on a doctorate one day is that there’s no way I can get any worse at waiting to the last minute.

So tonight is one of those hyper get everything done times.  Tomorrow morning some of the Winthrop, Charleston and Furman Wesley crews will leave for Student Forum in Indiana at 5 am.  This means Narcie needs to wake up at 4 so that I get to Wesley at 4:30 to load up.  This is not a good thing.  I should definitely be in bed right now.  But it’s also a newsletter night.  You know I can rattle off a lot of random nothingness until I need to actually turn in something for print with a deadline.  Nothing makes me not want to do it more.

Why is that?

Why can I languish on the to do list for days on end but wait until a looming deadline or trip or big event or conference to actually start cranking things out?

Now I was not one of the folks thinking we were suddenly going to be raptured this past weekend and I sure hope we don’t see as much news coverage, facebook statuses and other opinions when the new date of October 21st rolls around.  As much as I don’t exactly get where these people were coming from, I can understand the great feeling of getting your life in order.  For me, deadlines or trips or things are those times of organizing things so that I have to get them done.  It’s nice to have things organized.  It’s nice to mark things off the list.  It’s nice to finally do that thing we’ve been dreading whether that’s something big or small, repairing a broken relationship or finally taking that jacket to the dry cleaners.

So no, I’m not leaving with everything done.  I wish.  But this is reality.  However – I’ve done what I need to so that I can go in peace.  And of course try to do something on the way during that long drive.

Maybe we’re not people that believe in a set date for rapture.  I’m not even though I know the Hallelujah chorus is going to be sung at some point and it’s coming.  But, we can try to prepare and plan and keep walking on this journey moving towards that beautiful feeling of contentment and new life and peace and that sense of completion when we have done what we need to do, what we want to do, what we’re called to do.

What’s still on your list?  What’s unfinished for you?  Not just at work, but at home, in your family, in your friendships, in your heart?  It’s easy to look around a house that you’re thinking about selling and see all the things you’ve got to do and that you need to start working on little by little, but it’s harder to look into our lives and do the same thing.

So in the spirit of Spring cleaning and the beginning of summer let’s GO!  Take a break from procrastinating for just a bit and rock it out where God is leading us.

Hello!

I readily admit that I am a lover of Broadway.  Love it!  Especially musicals.  From the first time I saw Cats in the 6th grade to Wicked to Avenue Q to Phantom to Promises, Promises to In the Heights to most recently The Book of Mormon, there’s something about a story being acted out in the midst of great acting, catchy songs, and neat stages/dancing/the whole atmosphere that I just can’t get enough of.  I know, I know – it’s a long way to Broadway.  But there’s loads of shows that come through even wonderful South Carolina.  And you could see the Legally Blonde musical on MTV or the anniversary special of Les Mis on PBS or even bootlegging from your wonderful youtube.  There’s just something about being transported and watching really great art – singing, dancing, acting, the amazing orchestra – the whole experience.

So that’s the place I’m coming from when Mike won tickets to the Book of Mormon and we could see the whole thing from boxed seats and into the orchestra.  I’m not the hugest fan in the world of South Park.  I think it’s sometimes funny – the episodes about Tom Cruise, Scientology, Mormons, the Christian rock band, those I can find the humor and appreciate it.  I’m not a fan of the overkill of language and violence but I know that is part of what they’re trying to speak to.  I get that.  I had no idea what to expect out of this musical.  I had read about it in Entertainment Weekly and how they described it as “an atheist’s love letter to religion.”

I was pleasantly surprised.  Yes, there’s some awful language.  So much so in parts that I can’t even describe some of the songs.  But how real and open they were to work with real issues and serious situations in the midst of the hilarity and satire, was a unique look about religion, faith, and just how cruddy or overly fake life can appear to be and yet how real and authentic it is.

I think about this how end of the world hoohah right now.  When we were in New York people were wearing signs and handing out brochures in Times Square about our upcoming May 21st big day.  One of the newspapers quoted a retired bus driver who had put in over $40,000 to get the word out to the “unbelievers.”  That’s a whole lot of money to put out there.  It also quoted a bunch of people who had already quit their jobs and sold their houses.  I can’t even imagine that kind of….what’s the word….devotion?  (lots of other adjectives that could be used here)

In the opening song of The Book of Mormon and also as part of the finale there’s a song called “Hello!” and it’s a melody of Mormons doing their somewhat cliched ringing of doorbells and introducing people to the Book of Mormon.  I wouldn’t say the musical is completely anti-Mormon, but it certainly does poke major fun and lots of holes and questions about the legitimacy of Mormonism.  It talks about these missionaries being dropped into these communities and not really caring how the people are actually doing or how they live, but only caring about witnessing.  Now I’d like to get on my high horse and say that the United Methodist Church doesn’t do that – we’re working with communities, handing out bed nets, providing food, clean water, education.  You can’t deny that UMCOR rocks.  Very true.

But do we care enough to give our $40,000 savings to anyone or anything to get out any kind of message?  I’m not saying you should start shelling out money a la to some televangelist – quite the contrary.  I’m just saying, I don’t know how many of us are willing to part with our life savings for anything.  And definitely not to our churches.

What do our missionaries look like?  And not just our missionaries because that’s putting it off on just a few, but what do we look like as we share the Gospel?  Do we share a Gospel with strings attached or just the simple bare basics in our every day lives?  Do we tell people how our scripture could change their lives?  Do we share how Jesus is relevant to our lives today?  Have any of us shared scripture with someone else, much less a Bible?  Do we think that’s too pushy or too “something”?

It’s great that we are doing Change the World weekends as a UMC.  Really great.  That’s what we should be doing.  But all the time and all the churches.  Too much to ask?  Maybe so.  But if we as a church – not just UMC, but all of us – aren’t doing something, living something, breathing something, actually giving a fig about something enough to put our time, hearts, and money where are mouths are, than what are we doing?

Hello!

I love you, Mom!

Enoch and Evy go to an amazing preschool and we love it!  It’s the Episcopal Day School (EDS) here in Rock Hill.  We have had a wonderful experience there and I know that our kids are benefiting a lot from being there.  For Mother’s Day, Enoch’s class made mother’s day cards where they drew little pictures and answered questions from the teachers.  He’s actually in two different classes, a Tuesday/Thursday class and a Monday/Wednesday/Friday class.  Loves them both!

In his Tuesday/Thursday class when he was asked the question, “I know my mom loves me because…,” he answered, “She holds me when I’m sick.”  He had been sick then with strep and a virus and so that was really sweet.  For his Monday/Wednesday/Friday class he answered in a way that Mike says is absolutely priceless.

I know my mom loves me because…She takes me to Target.  She takes me to Target!  Should I be appalled?  mortified?  amused?  At least he knows that I love him.  True.  But do I want him to know that I love him based on me buying him toys at his favorite store on earth?  Yes, it is a regular question at our house – can we go to Target today?  Both children love the place.  Heck, I love the place.  I may be rubbing off on them in not so good ways.

One of the other questions was, “My mom looks beautiful when…”  And that very wise little one put “she goes to church.”  Can’t decide entirely how I feel about this one either, except that he’s an observant little rascal.  There are many days during the week where I admit to skipping the shower in order to get more sleep, get the kids ready, or run around the house picking things up.  However, on Sundays, I actually try to make some effort and dress half-way decent, not in my campus minister uniform of jeans and no make up unless I have a meeting.

There’s something about the honesty of a child that is just priceless.  It gives something to think about in new ways because it’s something that’s not coached or said through the filter of trying to hurt our feelings or not.

What do our children remember about us?  What do they think our priorities are?  In the eyes of a child, who are we?  Those lenses tell us much about where our hearts really are and I think what we would find would both make us laugh and cringe and nod our heads and be stumped all at the same time.

Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock

So I’m trying to not eat for energy or pick up my favorite coffee drink at The Coffee Shack.  I have done pretty well at The Coffee Shack – only one in a month and that was after the New York trip before I went to a wedding rehearsal so not bad.  Anyway, so I’m terrible at this don’t eat for energy thing and I remembered that in the Wesley kitchen we found some melted chocolate from the New York trip.  I know it’s a pretty low standard if you’re looking at melted chocolate from a road trip.  Anyway, again (I’m digressing a lot here), I got a Coke Zero that someone left here and I found a melted bag of Reese cups (jackpot!) and I’m walking back to my office, when lo and behold I’m walking by the front door and I think I see out of the corner of my eye, a figure at the door.

At first I keep walking down the hall and then I think, wait a sec, I think that really may be someone at the door.  Sure enough it’s a guy.  He’s pointing at our picture that sits on the table in the entryway that says, “I stand at the door and knock” and then he says through the glass – “See, I stand at the door and knock.”  I open the door and of course he’s asking for assistance and if we’re a church.  (I must say that I love our Winthrop Wesley sign and the symbol of the cross and flame that is now big on our wall outside, but no one ever stopped by and asked for assistance before we had that new sign.  I guess they didn’t think we were a church with the words “The Wesley Foundation” on the outside, probably thinking we were a bank or insurance company or philanthropy or something.)

I explained about our college ministry and walked him around the corner pointing out HOPE, Inc. an agency down the street that many of our churches support, I point out the churches in the area, I give him directions to some, tell him about Dorothy Day, etc.  All this time saying that I personally can’t help him, but holding my Coke Zero and bag of Reeses cups in my hand.  As I walk back into the building and I look at the picture and I see what it says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock:  if any hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”  Hello, conviction as I walk in the door.

By the time I caught up with the guy after grabbing the cash from my wallet to help him with his bus ticket, he’s at the Presbytery building on the corner.  He looks at me and says, “See, I’m trying.  I’m doing the best I can asking these churches to help me.”

It’s tough.  I know that HOPE only helps people every certain amount of days/weeks and they had helped this guy when he was in the hospital last week.  I know that certain folks that he had talked to only give utility bill help or food or they give all their money to HOPE to distribute.  I know that none of us want to be taken advantage of or to enable.  Heck, enable is pretty much a curse word these days.

I know I am one fiesty woman, but also alone in the building so I didn’t want to invite the guy in and I somehow didn’t think handing him spagetti sauce and uncooked pasta from our pasta lunches would actually help anything.  I could have driven him somewhere and I thought about it, but the whole woman alone thing – sometimes I’m okay with that, and sometimes not so much.  So yes, I ended up doing something that I actually don’t usually do and I sometimes even say we shouldn’t do – I just gave the guy some money.

It’s such a hard issue – to give or not to give, enabling or accountability, erring on the side of grace or of caution.  What would you do?  Do you go with your gut?  Do you listen to the Spirit as you discern?

How is our church inviting people in as they stand at the door and knock?  Do we just give them some money or do we actually invite them in and build relationship with them?  What does the world see about a church that says we want to clothe the naked and give homes to the homeless and yet we have nothing to offer?  What does the world see in a church that just gives hands out and not hands up or real relationship?

Questions to wrestle with and ponder.

The Cycle – Suffering, Poverty

Music Space at Rebel Diaz Arts Collective

The United Methodist campus ministries went on our annual trip to New York this past week.  It always a rich time with students getting to make new friends and see and learn so much from the city.  It is also a blessing to be able to stay at Metropolitan Community UMC in Harlem.  Their hospitality has always been a huge gift to us and a shining example of the United Methodist connection.

This year the United Methodist Seminar Program led by Jay Godfrey and Jennifer McCallum outdid themselves, scheduling 3 parts of our group in 3 different areas of the city for 3 days to learn about the communities, culture, and social action taking place.  We were divided into groups going to the Bronx, Lower East Side and Harlem and had one day of service at a meals on wheels sort of thing where we actually walked to apartments and delivered meals to the elderly, one day of learning about cultures in our particular communities, and one day of seminar focusing on some of the issues in our communities and what organizations in those communities are doing to combat them.

I had spent some time doing seminars in Harlem and the Lower East Side so I was particularly interested in the Bronx.  What a huge area and diverse group of people the Bronx includes.  In all of the stops at museums, art collectives, a Yankees game, community action groups – each area of the Bronx was really different.  They were all so proud to be “Bronxites” that their enthusiasm for their borough was infectious.  We all felt like Bronxites to an extent at the end of our time.  Did you know that the Bronx has more green space than any other burrough in New York?  Me either.

What we heard from a lot of people and I would think the other groups would say this to, was people saying that they grew up dreaming of moving somewhere else and starting a new life, but that through whatever experience, education, epiphany moment, they decided to stay in their community and try to bring about change and keep fighting for chances and opportunities for the children growing up behind them.  Many of the speakers we talked to were born and bred in these communities and the passion, devotion and pride that they felt for these places was evident in everything they said whether the good or even the challenging issues that they are still battling.

It was good for the students and me to see these people standing up for what they believe in using real, practical, and change-bringing principles to their every day, bringing voice to the voiceless.

The divide I feel when I’m talking about us going to a living wage rally or fighting on behalf of the poor versus some of the questioning looks I get from people back home, has a lot to do with people’s questions about justice and righteousness.  We say we don’t believe all of the malarky about people who suffer having done something wrong or may not have lived right and have caused their suffering.  We say that we need to support our mentally ill, veterans, the widows, the orphans, those that can’t help themselves.  But then again, when it comes to our wallets and our own comfort, it seems easier to say and assume that if people were just working hard enough, if people just did what it takes to succeed, they would somehow pull themselves up out of these places of poverty.

We just witnessed a royal wedding where a commoner who descended from coal miners and criminals married a prince.  As much as I like the fairytale and as hard as her family worked and as many names they have been called for “social climbing,” I think it paints a somewhat unfair picture of what the cycle of poverty really looks like.  To say that it is hard to break that cycle is such a rough and belittling use of an adjective that it feels wrong to say.  To stand up in the face of corruption, in the face of not just people but entire systems that abuse you, to demand the same rights that others enjoy when you’ve never gotten a fair shake – that is scary, it’s terrifying, it’s intimidating.

I am constantly amazed at the voices that do stand up though.  I was glad to hear of a student from the Bronx talk about students in the Bronx organizing a walk out of thousands of students when the government was going to take away their right to a student metrocard to get to and from school.  I was inspired listening to Intikana from Rebel Diaz Arts Collective talking about how they’re using art and music and film and all sorts of creative outlets to give people in the Bronx a way to express themselves in non-violent and constructive ways.  It’s great to see young people working to bring about a new day.  It’s good for all of us to see that we can make a difference, whether through our churches doing a soup kitchen, clothing closet, food pantry, or other social action.  In the midst of the sometimes uphill climb and little defeats in the battle, it’s good to know that none of us are alone in this battle and that we have folks journeying with us all over the world.

From a faith perspective, we are clearly called to the poor, to the wounded, to those that need to feel that love and wholeness and new life.  This isn’t just the obvious poor among us, but it’s also the single mom trying to make ends meet, it’s also our cranky next door neighbor who’s as lonely as heck, it’s also our friends, our family, the people we see at the office or grocery store or school.

One of this past week’s lectionary texts was 1 Peter 2:19-25 and it talked about suffering and following in Christ’s footsteps.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t ask God for suffering.  If you suffer, you suffer, but Christ suffers with you, I get that.  But I’m not asking for it like the lovely Mr. Wesley in his new year’s service.  There’s two things I like in particular about this text – one that Christ suffered for us and so God knows what suffering feels like – for real without a doubt not even his fault suffering.  There’s a song in the new Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon that’s called “Man Up.”  I am NOT endorsing or saying you should go out and watch Book of Mormon or get the soundtrack.  The story is about two Mormon missionaries in Africa and needless to say, one of them is seeing that he has a challenge before him and he’s like, hey – Jesus had to man up, so I need to too.  I’m not saying that we all have to man or woman up, but the song is right in that Christ did suffer and die and he’s been there.  He knows what it’s like to feel alone, tired, hungry, beaten, ridiculed, and tortured.

The other thing is that he did the suffering for us, that “by his wounds you have been healed” and he is our Shepherd leading us home.  To me, this calls us in two different directions – one to realize that we realize that this LOVE and sacrifice was for us.  The other is to realize that we have to share this LOVE and sacrifice with the world.  We can’t say, that’s not my problem, it’s a problem over “there” with “those” people in “that” place.  Nope, it’s something that we all must wrestle with as we share the light and love of Christ.  This cycle of poverty only ends as we all jump into the fight, pool our resources, and leave our pride, self-protection, and rationalizations at the door.

We learned a ton in New York.  It was a great trip.  The thing I like about these trips is that it’s not just something we leave in New York, in this far away place, but these are things we learn and do and bring home to make a difference where we are, not just in a nice, greeting card kind of way, but for real.

How do we break the cycle of poverty in our communities?  How do we break the cycle of unbelief and fear and doubt?  How do we break the cycle of people believing that Jesus would just look at them with contempt and say that they deserved it because of what they did?  What are our churches saying about the cycle of poverty and suffering?  Anything?  What message are we telling?  What inner soundtrack are our lives rocking along too?

A nice, tame song by JJ Heller, “What Love Really Means.”

Man Up from the Book of Mormon – (don’t forget this is a satirical musical written by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q so listen at your own risk…this is your disclaimer, seriously.)

If someone was going to write a satirical musical about our faith?  our denomination?  our churches? what would it say???

Info about Rebel Diaz Arts Collective:  http://rdacbx.blogspot.com/

Info about the United Methodist Seminar Program:

http://www.gbgm.umc.org/UMW/work/mission-education/seminar-program/

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy

Today was a good day.  No idea why exactly I feel that way, but when the chiropractor asked if I had a good day today, I said yes. 

Now seriously I don’t know why I would have said that.  Enoch woke up in the middle of the night not feeling well.  Evy had a “bug” this past weekend so we thought he just had what she had, but when our super silly, energetic little man is laying down, whiny, and falling asleep while watching cartoons – we’ve got a problem.  Mike drove Evy to school and me to work and left Enoch with me while he went to a meeting.  Enoch slept on the couch in my office underneath a beautiful prayer shawl as we waited for it to be time for his doctor’s appointment.

Did I get much work done today?  Nope.  I gave a valiant effort.  Maybe.  But it’s hard balancing Mommy with a demanding week of end of exams/graduation/preparing for next week’s mission to Harlem.  I often wish I could give everything I have to my kids/Mike and everything I have to ministry.  It’s somehow not just hard but feels next to impossible to equally divide my time.  Some weeks, it’s a predominant Wesley week – hello the last couple weeks of school.  And some weeks, it’s a catch up with the kids and enjoy not plugging in for awhile.

The thing that I loved about today – even in the midst of a crazy week where I’m not feeling like I’m getting much of anything done in the midst of feeling like I’m working all the time – was that I got to be Mommy.  I got to be there for the doctor’s visit and not have to hear about it later.  I got to be the one to get Enoch to take his Tylenol and get Evy to let her diaper be changed.  Yes, she’s in rare 2 year old form.  The 3 of us got to invade Mike’s space as he was watching the basketball game in our room and we all four had fun piling on the bed and being silly.  It was a good day.

It wasn’t a perfect day.  I didn’t get a darn thing done.  It included doctor’s visits, antiobiotic and Tylenol all over us a couple times, cat poop on the floor, Evy stripping off her pj’s to wear a pair of shorts that she loves and saw as I was putting it in the washing machine, and now – everyone asleep.  Mike and Enoch fell asleep watching the game.  Who knows if coughing will begin again or if one of the kids will end up in our bed or if we’ll all sleep peacefully through the night.

I am thankul for the chance to be Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.  As much as by the end of some long days as I’m finally sitting down and I hear the words “Mommy come here” I want to scream, I am thankful to be Mommy.  I am mindful as facebook is blowing up with pictures of people’s mothers all over the place, that some people didn’t have the greatest mom’s.  Some have also recently lost their mothers and I can’t even imagine that feeling or how much this time of the year may hurt.  Some others may not be able to be biological mothers but they are mothers to dozens of us nonetheless.  I know that has to be hard too.

I guess what I’m saying is that at the end of the day – Enoch and Evy have no facebook picture background to change.  Praise God – they would probably love the most hideous of photos, my sweet angelic little rascals.  But, I don’t want them to thank me, I want to thank them.  I can’t imagine my life without their marks all over our walls, the stains all over my shirts, or the precious feeling when they actually do say I love you.  I can’t imagine (actually sadly I probably could) what kind of insane workaholic I would be, if I didn’t have Mike and the kids to come home to.

So although in the sleepy hazy fog of tomorrow morning I may totally recant this entire thing (totally won’t happen), I find myself giving thanks for being Mommy.  Watch now, they’re going to use it extra special tomorrow in all kinds of fun ways.