Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Smiling

In the busiest week of the church year, with a sick kid and a messy house, sometimes you just have to find things that make you smile.  Here are some of the things that made me smile today!

  • The Weather - the warmest day in 6 months, nearly 80 degrees, full of green little sproutlings.
  • Free lunch - one of the perks of church work is the occasional funeral lunch.  Ham rolls, bread and butter pickles, veggies and a cookie - the lunch of champions.
  • Peepshi - need I say more.
  • Realizing that I'm 15 books into my 50 book challenge and on pace for a 60 book year.
  • All your generous comments, support in my Couch to 5k challenge too, plus all the great people willing to do this mountain with me!
  • That my dad's handle for commenting on my blog is Yo'Papa.
  • That I get to play trumpet this year again for Easter after missing last year.  I even get to play my C trumpet which has been collecting more dust than I'd like.
  • That my lip held up during Easter brass rehearsal. (that sounds dirtier than it is).
  • That come noon on Sunday life seems calmer.
  • That we've seen Sister goat twice this week (spring break) and she's coming up to play when daycare is closed Friday too!
  • That I can wear flats without socks again.
  • Sock monkeys.
  • Baby goat kisses.
  • Mr. Goat's who shifts schedules to stay home with the sick baby.
  • The thought of attending some of my favorite church services in the next few days.
Tomorrow morning the stress will greet me again.  But tonight I am smiling.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blog Challenge: The Couch to ?

So maybe you've noticed that my posts have been pretty light since my Fears post - there have been lots of baby photos (which aren't a BAD thing) but not so much follow through from the post yet.  I think I had to think the realities of naming my fears through and figure out what and how I could address them without taking on too much and setting myself up for failure (a common problem with me).

But at the same time I'm equally prone to naming things and feeling better and then not actually DOING anything - which is another pitfall that I want to avoid.  Honestly, there are tons of fears that I could face on the post singularly but one stuck out as a fear I've had since 1st grade - the one mile run.

If you've been athletic this is not an issue for you.  I played sports as a child, but I was never a runner.  I had issues with chronic bronchitis and asthma as a child and I was a short burst sort of girl.  Even when I played soccer I really preferred goalie.

Nothing was so painful as the mile day in gym.  I think I must have cried every.single.year. until they stopped requiring the torture.  I couldn't do it without walking.  Oh, I crossed the finish line, eventually, but I was always last.  I'd cross the line panting as the whole class waited for me to finish so class could be over.  A mile was an eternity separating me from the other kids.

And this was in elementary school when I was in much better shape than I am now.   The thought of running the mile now, well it seems just about impossible.  Except.  It's not.  People do it all the time so I've decided that I am going to start on this process.  This summer the 1 mile run is going DOWN.

So yesterday I may have tweeted:
if one were *maybe* going to set a goal of running 1 mile by the end of the summer, 
how might one *maybe* go about it?
And the next thing I know I have people from all corners telling me about the Couch to 5k running program, they are challenging me to do a 5k, they are saying they'd like to do it too.  And I got caught up in it and thought to myself: maybe a mile, which seems impossible, is too small a goal.  Maybe to break this fear I need to crush it thoroughly.

So starting Easter Monday I'm going to be starting the Couch to 5k program.  I'm planning on downloading the podcasts for my ipod.  The goal is to run the The Liz Logelin Foundation 5k sometime in September (Date TBD).  Obviously I have much more time than the 9 weeks of the program.  I'm leaving myself space to falter and time to get back on the program.  I think my initial plan is to do each week twice before moving on to the next one but I'm going to see what the reality of my abilities are at first.  Being as out of shape as I am right now I realize that it might take me longer.  (I am also hoping to shred on off days but we'll start that a bit later on).

(I just wrote all that and I so badly want to delete it....what AM I THINKING!?!?!  But no, it stays)

I know the reality of me committing to this came from the overwhelming help and support that I found on twitter yesterday in my half-hearted question to conquer the fear of the mile.  I know that I will need support to do it from here on out too.  Chances are that you might too?  I'd like to invite you to come along with me.  Every Monday from here until the 5k I will be posting an update about this.  I want to be accountable even if the previous week consisted of cupcakes and excuses.  But every Monday I will include a MckLinky and hope that you will post on your progress as well.  I'd love to get a group together to run the 5k in September, or do occasional group training sessions this summer, or just support each other online.

I hope that if you are interested in joining me in my Couch to 5k challenge that you'll drop a comment here today to let me know you are thinking about it.  The program is free online and in all honesty if I survive it I guarantee that you can too.  It may be that you are farther in your journey than me, then I encourage you to name your own "Couch to ____ challenge" to link here.  Every Monday I will hold myself accountable.  Will you join me?

The mile has always been a wall.  Chances are I will cry more than once in this journey.  I'll probably whine a fair amount too.  I might get tripped up, I may need your help to get me on track again.  But I'll help you right back.

The mile's days are numbered.  Today it still seems impossible but on Monday I'm strapping on my shoes and taking the first step.  Please join me.

EDITED TO ADD: You can participate in the Couch to 5k challenge even if can't run the LLF 5k with me.  We'll all have to do this at our own pace and run our own races, but we can agree to support each other along the way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tagged

I've been attacked by Easter Basket tag. Becky decided that:
a. I needed to get my act together and post more often.
OR
b. I'm just cool and she wanted to link to my blog on hers.
OR
c. She thought I was someone likely to play along.

The answer of course is d. All of the above.  Despite my needing to post more, and my innate coolness (er...geekiness) I am a sucker for a company willing to donate money to good causes.  Particularly when there is really such little effort needed on my part.  So what was I tagged with?  A virtual Hershey Better Basket!

The details:

Hershey’s has partnered with CMN this Easter to donate up to $5000 through the Better Basket Blog Hop campaign.

If you want to participate also, it’s very quick and easy. Hershey’s will donate $10 per post up to 500 posts. When we are all done that will be $5000 raised for Children’s Miracle Network!

Here’s all you need to do.

HERSHEY’S BETTER BASKET BLOG HOP RULES:

* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
* Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

You can follow the giving on Twitter using hashtag #betterbasket.

I am going to pass this basket on to a few of my blogger friends.  I hope they'll participate too, if only to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.  So I am tagging Suzi and Sarah.  I enjoy both of their blogs and think they might not be too grouchy to be tagged, as I think they are awesome! :)

Oh, one more thing.  Hershey if you are reading this:  I am thrilled that you are donating $$ and I love your chocolate, but please consider making plain chocolate on peanut/nut free machines.  When you plan events with kids you have to keep allergies in mind and I just can't use your chocolate!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

Baby goat says "Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!"
Blessings to you all on this first day of Holy Week.
P.S.  Please ignore the mess.

Friday, March 26, 2010

13 months

Today baby goat is 13 months old.  It blows my mind every day.  A year ago baby goat was still in the hospital and weight under 5 lbs.  Now he is a GIANT baby - tall, chubby with an enormous head :)  I couldn't be happier about it.  (Despite my worry about learning to feed him and teach him how to eat properly)

Everyday he seems to develop a new skill or gain further mastery in something.  He isn't walking...yet.  But it doesn't really stop him from getting anywhere and everywhere he wants to go.  He's thrilled to practice walking in any form, whether it is cruising around the furniture or pushing the wagon outside at daycare.  He is on the move and doesn't like to sit still.
With size and motor skills come new challenges of course.  Diaper changes are a wrestling act and I think he's got the upper hand.  This kid is strong (and determined). We have to work on being "gentle" with the cats and the other kids at daycare.  He's just young and doesn't have a sense of his power.  The cats have been patience but they are starting to remind him that the pulling is NOT appreciated.
If he has an area where he lags behind on development at all it is in his language, but even in the last few days this seems to be increasing.  And really he's not behind, especially considering his premature birth.  We keep and eye on it but really he is an observer first and always has been.  Plus with the plethora of girls at daycare it may be that he can't get a word in edgewise.

While we began with gender neutral toys and have a wide variety it has become clear that at least for now he favors balls and things with wheels.  He buzzes his lips as he rolls his trucks and trains along with him.  I keep trying to get a video of it but if there is anything that he loves MORE than balls and wheels it is technology.  If a computer, phone, remote control, or camera is within sight reaching it and playing with it (read banging on it and pushing buttons) becomes his sole focus.


He continues to be happy in almost all situations, except when his mission is thwarted and when teething sets in.  He loves to be outside and I can't wait for spring to fully set in and we can start walking and playing at the park.  He already stands by our window with longing and hates coming in when we are out (particularly when daycare goes outside).

I'm amazed by this boy everyday.  We've been given an easy and happy child - at least so far :)!  We are blessed and everyday is an adventure.  I love this baby goat and he makes our family so joyful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gratitude

It is funny.  When I wrote out my fears of weight loss I never expected them to be so similar to so many others.  I mean, I knew intrinsically that may people have fears associated with weight but it seemed so strange that I can read other peoples lists and they can read mine and say "Yes, I know just what you mean!"  It is comforting.  I think that so many of us feel like we are alone in our weight struggles.  The numbers are ours, the food hang ups are ours, the love handles - ours!  But really they are all of ours.

So I'm grateful that you stopped by and shared with me.  It has buoyed me lately.  It helped me remember to eat breakfast.  It kept my lunch smaller than I wished.  It made me wonder why I worried so much about all of this stuff.  The fears demand I live in my head and dwell there, airing them reminds me to do the things that need doing and i can think it through along the way.

Thanks blogland.  I'm taking baby steps, and I'm sure to fall once or twice, but I'm going to make it.  Want to come with me?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fears

Jen, at Prior Fat Girl, recently posted a beautiful post about people's fears regarding losing weight.  As I wrote a novel of a comment about my own fears it occurred to me that I should write them here instead.  Sharing makes me accountable, and some how bringing fears into the sunlight can help me wrap my mind around what keeps me from making progress.  After all, when it comes to weight loss my progress speed can best be described as glacial.  So here are my weight loss fears.  Would you like to share yours?

I am afraid.

I'm afraid I'll never get my act together and lose the weight.

I'm afraid of stepping on the scale, the heartache of failure, the slowness of progress.

I'm afraid of being tripped up by myself, or special events, or the simplicity of processed accessible, cheap foods.

I'm afraid that if I do manage to lose weight I'll gain it all back.

I'm afraid of the example I set for my son.

I'm afraid that I'll always be messed up and have neurotic food issues even if I do lose weight.

I'm afraid I'll never get to have birthday cake, ice cream, or dessert again.

I'm afraid of hormones and emotional eating.

I'm afraid of the slippery slope, the plateau, the judgment.

I am afraid of the 1 mile run.

I am afraid of chicken, never ending chicken.

I'm afraid of sodium and High Fructose Corn Syrup. 

I'm afraid of always being "fat" even if I find a way to be skinny.

I'm afraid of the cost.

I'm afraid of finding the time and the energy.

I'm afraid of being derailed by colds, work, and real life.

I'm afraid of staying the same and afraid of changing.

But mostly... I am afraid of doing nothing because of my fears.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making a Rainbow Egg

It is Easter Party time at church today.  This is one of my favorite family events because it is just fun!  So in honor of it I will share my family's technique of dying rainbow Easter Eggs.  It is sure to impress your friends and your kids.  And of course, special thanks to mom for inventing it!


Step 1: Dye the whole Egg yellow. Remove from dye when you have a yellow color you like and pat dry with a paper towel. IMPORTANT: Make sure the egg is dry before adding any additional colors. This will be critical after each different color.

Step 2: Hold the egg half –way down into the green dye. Don’t move it around, but hold it as steady as you can. Remove the egg when you have green color that you like and towel dry.

Step 3: Flip the egg over and lower the now yellow half part way into the orange color, leaving a line of yellow visible. Hold the egg level and wait for the orange to dye that part. Hold it as steady as you can. Remove the egg when you have orange color that you like and towel dry.
Step 4: Flip the egg over and lower the green half part way into the blue color, leaving a line of green visible. Hold the egg level and wait for the blue to dye that part. Hold it as steady as you can. Remove the egg when you have blue color that you like and towel dry.
Step 5: Flip the egg over and lower the now yellow/orange half part way into the red color, leaving a line of orange and yellow visible – typically this ends up being the tip. Hold the egg level and wait for the red to dye that part. Hold it as steady as you can. Remove the egg when you have red color that you like and towel dry. 
Step 6: Flip the egg over and lower the green/blue half part way into the purple color, leaving a line of blue and green visible– typically this ends up being the tip. Hold the egg level and wait for the purple to dye that part. Hold it as steady as you can. Remove the egg when you have purple color that you like and towel dry.
TA DA! Your very own rainbow egg – sure to impress your friends and family!

Below are some eggs that demonstrate another egg-dying toy - rubber bands. I have by no means perfected this technique but it does give you some cool results. I'll share this year's attempts after the party today!







Do you have fun egg dying techniques...take a photo of them and email me and I'll post them here to show the world. Or send me a link to your own blog and I'll link to other great egg artists!

Friday, March 19, 2010

7 quick takes

I have tons to do but I leave to pick up the baby in 20 minutes so I'm blogging instead.

1. I am feeling overwhelmed these days.  It might be the 5 extra events (over and above my work schedule) in the next 2.5 weeks.  It may be the 4 deadlines in the same time frame.  It may be the sickness that has held our house hostage...thankfully it is mostly mild but it is enduring and tiring.  But it seems like more than that.  I'm feeling shaken some how and I haven't had the time to figure out why.  I am looking forward to Easter though to get to a better place time wise to do some of this thinking.

2.  I'm still amazed by how many compliments my hair is getting.  It is by far the best cut I've had in ages, but I do have a tendency to think "Hey, was I THAT bad before hand?"

3.  I miss my friend Emilie.  She was always so good at talking through random, crazy, persistent emotions and I really miss having her as a friend to talk to.  She always knew not to take all the complaining too seriously too but respected the emotions behind them.  Then she always cheered me up -without fail.

4. I'm in the process of weaning myself off the breast pump.  Baby goat is doing great with sippy cups and cow's milk and is down (as of this week) to just one bottle a day.  So the pump is shutting down.  It is funny,  for as much as I moaned about the trouble that pumping is, I'm feeling nostalgic about giving it up.  I am also having the hardest time remembering that I don't have to pump as much as I possibly can.

5. I'm trying to figure out what might work for baby goat's Easter basket.  I don't want to spend much money and he doesn't really need candy (duh) or even toys but it seems like he needs something in his Easter basket.  Any ideas?

6. I wonder how it is that baby goat already loves electronics, balls and wheeled vehicles (cars, trains, trucks, etc).  Is it because he is exposed to those toys or because of a way that boys are built?  He has stuffed animals that he likes but it isn't the same love.  Also, climbing, who teaches little boys that climbing is a skill right up there with walking to master?

7. No matter how much time you think you have it always takes longer.  And when you get home and ponder your 7th quick take there is only one little man on your mind.  And when you play with him not of the worries seem quite so worrisome!  I am glad to be home with baby goat.  I wish there was more time to just play and be as a family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here

I am here...

amidst the piles of papers...

the germs...

the deadlines...

the camera left at home...

the headaches...

the stress...

the dead computers...

the late-night dinners..

the dirty dishes...

the strewn about toys...

Despite it all I am here, and I will be back with more to say another time.  Because the more full my life gets the more I want to write, decompress, share and ponder.  So I'm not gone.  I'm here and thankful you are here too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Hard Days

If you are a working mom your days home are rare.  There are weekends.  Those are often crazy and rushed - packed with family events and attempts at regaining order to your house.  They may mean fun trips to concerts or parks, but they also mean laundry, cleaning, and catchup.

Weekends are so precious.  Regardless of how much "should" get done, I almost always choose the fun and family focused over the housework (my house reflects this well).  And it never fails; weekends fly by and we are always left facing a Monday.

Most Mondays come and you pack up a smiling boy with a bittersweet heart.  You know that he is going some place he loves.  A place full of love and friends.  And yet, you send him away, leaving a piece of your heart with someone else.

Except when you don't.

There are those days.  The hard days.  The days that should not be described in polite company because they involve a variety of "goo" from a variety of sources.  These are the hard days.  The days where your normally happy son may scream at being held, then at not being held, then at napping even as he can hardly keep his eyes open.

It isn't his fault.  He is sick.

And as a working mom (parent) you adjust your schedule.  You make it work (Even Tim Gunn would be impressed).  You rock and play and coax and cuddle the illness out of your child, until the day comes when you can send him bright-eyed and bushy tailed back to daycare.  You are on duty for the hard days.

It is the curse of the working parent.  No, that's not true, it is the curse of every parent.  We all deal with the sick days.  Those are always the hard days.  But it seems that the difference lies in the days in between.  The good days, the cheerful ones, the easy ones (easier at least) - those find a working parent at, well, work.

There are people who debate the merits of being a SAHM vs. a working mom.  I find those debates and the anger they bring tiresome.  The fact is that many (most) working mom's don't choose it.  For me, right now, it isn't a question of choice, it is a question of supporting my family.  Until circumstances change it isn't a question of choosing one or another, it is a question of reality.

So the good days find baby goat at daycare.  The hard days are left for me or Mr. Goat.  What I wouldn't give for a few more good ones to balance the hard days.  Some days to remind me that it can be easy and fun (and healthy). 

I am a working mom. 

But...

If my son grows up and remembers that I was at his side for the hard days, then all the "goo" and difficulty are worth it.  In the end, we were there to rock and play and coax and cuddle the illness out of him.

Even if the days I get are the hard days...

Even when they are filled struggles and goo...

Even when the work piles up and your week will be crazier than normal...

Even is sleepiness...and sickness...

They are days that I get to share with him.

Therefore they are a gift, even when they are hard.

Friday, March 12, 2010

C-C-C-Changes

It was haircut day here at the Goat household.  I went first this morning while baby goat was at day care and Mr. Goat was at work.  I had a giftcard so I decided it was time for a splurge and did a cut and a color.  I also went shorter than I have been in a while.  So far I am really digging it and can think too about how I want to alter the cut slightly for next time.  I think the color turned out great too - perfect for SPRING!

Before:
After!

But I was NOT the only one to get a haircut today.  More importantly was baby goat's VERY FIRST haircut.  I don't have too many after pictures because my camera card filled up and I couldn't empty it until after baby goat went to bed.  But we'll get more tomorrow and the next several days.  Still you can see the transformation from baby to toddler.  My baby is growing up so FAST!  Make it slow down!  He was cute before, and cute afterwards, the only difference now is that you can see his ears!

Before:

Ok, I can deal with a comb...

Mom?  What is going on?  I'm not sure I like it!

Oooo, look, they have a duck!

Ducks make everything easier to take.

Happy again!

Look!  Short hair, adorable smile.  Don't you just love me?! (yes, baby goat, 100% yes)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lenten Meditation: Are you Listening?

Every year I preach once at church.  I dust off my skills and put together a sermon on our Lenten series.  This year our Lenten midweek services were themed from a book by John Ortburg called God is Closer than you ThinkI had chapters 5 and 7 and my theme was listening for God.  The reading was 1 Samuel 3:1-11 found below.  I was also supposed to have an "experiential" element to the worship service which is why the video clip is built into the meditation.  So here you go, since some of you wanted to see what it was I had to say.

The Lesson - 1 Samuel 3:1-11
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’* and he said, ‘Here I am!’ 5and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ 11Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.

The Meditation - Are you listening?
I’d like to begin our meditation today with an excerpt from a famous musical work by John Cage. Please listen to this portion of John Cage’s 4’33” arranged for full orchestra.(We began this video at 0:39 and ended around 3:15)



This video is no joke; 4’33” is a piece of music. John Cage wrote it in 1952 originally for piano. At the first performance a "tuxedoed performer came on stage, sat at a grand piano, opened the lid, occasionally turned some music pages but otherwise sat as quietly as possible for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, then rose, bowed and left." (Gutmann) And that was it.

This piece often earns the nickname the “silent” piece but that isn’t true. Peter Gutmann, a classical music critic, describes the music of the piece well. He writes:

While the performer makes as little sound as possible, Cage breaks traditional boundaries by shifting attention from the stage to the audience and even beyond the concert hall. You soon become aware of a huge amount of sound, ranging from the mundane to the profound, from the expected to the surprising, from the intimate to the cosmic –shifting in seats, riffling programs to see what in the world is going on, breathing, the air conditioning, a creaking door, passing traffic, an airplane, ringing in your ears, a recaptured memory. This is a deeply personal music, which each witness creates to his/her own reactions to life. Concerts and records standardize our responses, but no two people will ever hear 4'33" the same way. It's the ultimate sing-along: the audience (and the world) becomes the performer.

4’ 33” relies on the listener to attach value to the sounds heard in the silence of the performance. We hear this piece differently because we are all unique people. We come at it from different places and preferences. No one hears the performance the same way.

Likewise, we are all different when it comes to our experience of God. C.S. Lewis wrote:
Why else were individuals created but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently?...If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note.

We should take this as a compliment, that God is willing to tailor our experience of him. After all, most of us don’t experience the direct conversation that Samuel received in our reading today. Many times listening for God can involve some straining to hear. John Ortburg, author of “God is Closer than you Think,” the book on which our Lenten series is based, identifies seven different spiritual pathways through which people experience God. For example, Ortburg’s Intellectual pathway experiences God in books and words, while the Creation pathway experiences God best in nature. Others see God through service, worship, relationships, solitude, or activism.

When reading about these pathways, I was struck by the similarity between them and the multiple intelligences theory on which we base our Sunday School curriculum. The crux of both theories is the same: people are different and we come at learning (in the case of multiple intelligences) and our experience of God (in the case of Ortburg’s spiritual pathways) differently.

It is a gift that God is willing to reach us in a way that we may be prepared to receive His Word, however, that doesn’t mean it is an easy task to listen for God. In our reading today, Samuel, who was being brought up to be a leader of the church, failed to recognize God’s voice. Even his master, the prophet Eli, did not immediately recognize that God was speaking to Samuel. Samuel was called three times before his call was understood for what it was: the voice of God. If it takes Samuel that long to recognize God’s voice, how often to we fail to hear, or fail to understand the voice we are hearing? Even as we strive to listen for God we can fail to hear him.

But God is persistent. God comes to us in a way that we can experience; we simply must choose not to be passive participants. Listening is not a passive activity, it is an active one. Imagine a days worth of thoughts in your head. They are diverse and varied and never-ending. Surely these include worries and joys. Our thoughts may be about big problems or mundane realities.

Ortburg describes that every thought is an opportunity to be either God-breathed or God-avoidant. He writes that “what we say, do, hear or imagine makes our minds receptive or deaf toward the still small voice of God.” In time, as we take an active role in listening to the voice of God in our lives we can grow to hear him more frequently. By making your mind a dwelling place of God through our thoughts we can be prepared to truly hear God’s voice when we are called.

Perhaps you’ve already had an instant where God’s voice has guided you. Have you listened to the voice that opens your heart to the needs of another? Have you brought a meal to a friend who is suffering? Have you ever felt compelled to help in a small way, even if it seems like a tiny thing? Chances are that you were open to God’s voice in those times. God spoke, you listened, and you said yes to God’s nudge.

That is what it means to keep our thoughts God-breathed. If we keep listening for God, and we choose to say yes when we believe that God is speaking to us, then God’s voice becomes a little easier to hear. Think of John Cage’s piece, as you become accustomed to the silence of the “music” you hear more and more life about you. As you listen for God actively, God’s presence and voice become more apparent. Conversely of course, when we choose to ignore God, when we fail to listen, God’s voice can become even more distant.

Have you ever been around a baby on the cusp of learning to speak? My son [baby goat] is just starting to find his voice and there are constantly times when he surprises me. I can repeat something again and again with no reaction and without even a sign that he is paying attention, and suddenly one day he is able to make that same sound. My words sink in and he is listening and learning from them. With God we are like a small child learning to speak. We must listen, hear, understand and then act. The pathway is not an easy one, but God gives us all the help we need to succeed in it. We can be like a small child, or Samuel, or the prophets.

When we keep our thoughts God-breathed and are diligent in listening, we remain open to the voice of God. God comes to us on our own spiritual pathway. He tailors our own experience based on who we are and speaks in a way that we can hear him. God is persistent with us, he keeps talking to us. Give him the opportunity to speak, listen with your heart and your mind, and you may be surprised by the clarity with which you hear God’s voice.

John Cage’s piece emphasized the music that could be found in its seeming silence. But we know that it isn’t really silence, that there is music hidden and expressed within the piece. God’s voice is like that too. We may assume at first that God is silent with us, but by listening and being open to truly hearing God’s voice we come to realize there is more there than we originally heard.

God is closer than you think. God is calling your name. Are you listening?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

* I'm waiting for Mr. Goat to come home from choir rehearsal to read my sermon.  I am preaching tomorrow for our Lenten series.  I do it once a year and dust off my Seminary skills but I've never done it with the frequency to get the hang of my thoughts and writing with the specifics of a sermon in mind.  I need a new set of eyes, so I'm sending out some random thoughts tonight as I let it sit for a moment.

* I'm so very grateful for all your thoughtful comments on my Big problem post.  I'm feeling more centered now and a little less panicked.  I realize that I have time and that my awareness is the first step to fixing the potential problem.  I'm considering what my next logical action steps are.  First we are working to wean baby goat off of breastmilk and bottles.  It is going well so far but we are going slow too.  Secondly I am working to find some very quick dinner options that we can all eat as a family.  As baby goat is doing better and better with table food we need to move in that direction.  It will be healthier for us all.  However, we all get home right as dinner time commences so I need some quick healthy ideas.  I'm searching but options are appreciated.

* As grateful as I am, I'm also sort of annoyed at you blogland.  I know it is silly but I was hoping for a greater response to my birthday donation post.  It is funny, you tempt people with a giveaway and they comment, you offer to give money to a worthy cause and comments trickle in.  I still love you blogland but I was hoping that you'd step up.  After all, I debated about how much to donate per comment since we aren't exactly living in Mr. McDuck's vault of money over here, but I also hoped I'd have a response that challenged me too.   You can still donate of course - comment here and we'll add you to the list.  My parents are now matching the donation, and Mr. Goat's parents are sending a check too.  $70 buys a goat...

* We've has some random, minor, mysterious illnesses over here in the last week.  A random fever, a temporary stomach bug, teething, etc.  I'm hoping that we can just find a place where we are well.  It seems like it has been a while.  It seemed we were on the mend but baby goat got a random fever again tonight.  Argh.

* Completely random fact about Mrs. Goat:  When the snow starts thawing like this, and when traffic allows, I like to to drive near the curb and crush as much of the ice shelves as I can.  Very satisfying supporting the coming of spring.

* There is a dog yipping in the hallway and I worried it was baby goat for a second.  It is not.  Whew.

* We've been working on "gentle" with baby goat as he enjoys manhandling the cats (and occasionally the daycare kids).  On Sunday he was grabbing the cat and pulling him across the ottoman when I told him "gentle"  He stopped, kissed the cat on the mouth, pet him twice, and started pulling again.  I'll count it as progress.  (The cats are very tolerant, so very tolerant).

* I'm giving myself a big FAIL on my lenten disciplines so far.  I'm just lucky I'm getting all my stuff done right now.  Multi-tasking is just a part of my reality lately.  I'll just have to cut myself some slack, keep trying and contemplate what the true goal of the discipline is. 

* I hate and love laundry night.  I hate it because it is laundry.  I love it because it always finds Mr. Goat and myself putting laundry away together so that we can sleep in the bed.  We have great conversations then - no tv, no computer, just him, me and socks to pair.

* I also love Easter candy.

* Mr. Goat is home.  Back to the sermon.  If you want to read it tomorrow I'll put it up.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Baby Goat's Birthday Game Answers

Did you get them in the right order?  The correct order is:
L, I, C, M, E, A, K, F, G, D, B, H, J

Would you believe that only ONE person got the whole thing completely right?  Tiffany my oldest friend and baby goat's Godmother managed to get them all right, though many had one or two switched (particularly E and A)

Thank you to everyone who donated.  I am donating 25 cents to the Samaritan's Purse to buy a share of (what else) a goat.  A goat (or other dairy animal) will be given to a poor family in an underdeveloped nation - like Haiti, to provide, milk, cheese, and income to another family.  There were 23 donations there for a whopping total of $5.75.  BUT, I am opening up the comments for this answer key as well.  If you would like to donate (or donate again) please leave a comment (ANY comment) on THIS post and I will donate for each comment here as well.  If you don't know what to write just say: Baby goat is sure cute!  (It always works for me!)

A. 5 months
  
B. 10 months
C. 2 months
 
D. 9 months


E. 4 months








F. 7 months

G. 8 months

H. 11 months

I. 1 month

J. 12 months

K. 6 months

L. O months
M. 3 months

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A BIG problem?

If you know me in real life this will come as no shock.  I am FAT.

Obese.

Ugh, I hate that word.  I hate that title.  But it is true.

FAT.

I've been different weights to be sure, but I've never beyond the truth of that monniker.  I wonder if I ever get skinny if I will still be fat, sort of like how and alcoholic is still an alcoholic after years of sobriety.

But I am not writing that today because of me.  I'm writing because of baby goat.

When he was small, so small and early, weight wasn't an issue.  Or rather gaining weight was the goal.  We spent 6 months on fortified breastmilk to keep the calories up.  But it has become increasingly clear that gaining weight is not ever going to be baby goat's problem.  All signs point to a metabolism like mine, or Mr. Goat's.

He started life at 4 lbs 7 oz.  He weighed in on Monday at 29 lbs 3 oz.  97+ percentile.  Off the charts.

The doctor didn't admonish us and say he HAS to lose weight.  He said to watch it and to be mindful of feeding him healthy foods and only when he is hungry.  Baby goat already gets pretty healthy foods - fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, breastmilk in pretty good proportions.  He is just a good eater.

And yet, this is causing a crisis for me.

I've grown up fat - despite healthy food.  I've been teased.   I struggled against my mom trying to help because while I knew that she was trying to help as a teenager it sounded like a question of worth and not a question of health.  I know full well the ease which I can overeat and the lack of an off switch I seem to possess.

And that is about me.  But how do I, with all my food issues, my FAT, my overeating, protect baby goat from that?  How do I teach him healthy habits?  How to I ensure teach him to value healthy eating while unconditionally defending his worth, his preciousness and my love for him?

He's one.  He doesn't know.  There is still time.  The Doctor isn't too worried...yet.  I am worried.  I fail at weight issues thousands of times a day it seems.  I make bad choices.  I need to change for me I know, but even more so I worry about him.

And yet to name it as a problem almost allows it to be a problem. Am I overreacting as a new parent?  Is my overweight childhood self coming out?  Would I be better off calming down and be mindful of his eating and see how it goes as he starts walking and being even more active?

Is naming it creating it?  Is ignoring it perpetuating it?  His baby goat doomed by his genes and his parents?

I don't know, but this worries have been swirling in my since Monday.  I know a FAT life.  I would protect him from it if I could, but I know the food issues that can come from manically seeking to prevent it too.

So I write and think and overanalyize and crave cookies to make it seem better and wonder where to go from here.

Mr. Goat says this post is melodramatic.  He's right of course.  It is channelling my very best skills of overreacting, anxiety and fatalism.  I can acknowledge that, but the question remains:  How can I teach my son something that I have not mastered myself?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I really wanted to blog tonight but I've got nothing.  I don't want to be whiny because that's not quite where I am at, I'm just feeling quiet.  So here is some cuteness and a reminder to comment on baby goat's blog game and increase our donation!

Monday, March 01, 2010

"Not me" Monday


Today is the sort of day that insists that I play along with McKMama's Not Me Monday so welcome to my day.

I certainly did NOT bury myself under the covers when baby goat started crying again at 6:30am this morning.  I certainly was NOT annoyed to lose my final half hour asleep after being up with him from 11:30pm - 2:00am the night before.  I would NEVER let my precious son cry more than a moment longer than necessary.

I also did NOT feel embarrassed by baby goat's weight on the scale and I would NEVER wonder if I am doing something wrong since his weight is in the 97+% percentile.  I would NEVER overlook that he is healthy, happy and almost entirely caught up developmentally from his preemie beginnings and focus on the one slightly "keep an eye on it" comment from the doctor.

I would NOT find myself less than an hour later kneeling in the middle of the hall of the dr's office trying to console a baby who did not want his the bandage from his pricked finger.  I would NEVER have to hold him down to keep him from getting blood everywhere.  Also my underwear would NOT be hanging out while I bent over giving him a bottle, consoling him and trying to clean up.

I, of course, am NOT annoyed by the 50 minute wait at Target to fill baby goat's perscription afterward.  I would NOT browse Target during this time and put Ben and Jerry's and Cheetos into my cart. 

I would NOT in my funk find myself writing responses to rude emails in my head or swearing over annoymous innappropriate blog comments (that are since deleted).

I would NEVER yell at a well-meaning insurance employee who called with a simple question and happened to have the bad luck to wake up the napping baby who then screamed.  (Turns out I would feel guilty immediately afterwards though, if such a CRAZY thing would have happened).

I would NOT have put the baby in the pack n play to play for 45 min before Mr. Goat came home just so I could answer email.

And of course, I would NOT think that maybe a day at work might have been simpler and less funk-ifying than a day home with my son.  I always treasure our time together and am NEVER cranky with him.

How was your day blogland?